Words Without Voice

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about expression. Specifically, how you express yourself creatively. This one’s pretty simple for me, because writing is practically the only way I express myself. I spend most of my time either reading or writing something, and I’m really shy. I absolutely thrive when I’m exploring and wandering alone. I’m fine in a professional or one-on-one setting. But adding lots of people makes things…messy. If you met me at a party (probably hiding in a corner with a book), you’d rarely get more than politeness and a smile out of me. I never know what to say in social situations, and my voice is too soft for most people to hear. Some people have said I’m intimidating. I also think much faster than I speak, so I have to make a conscious effort to slow down verbally. Otherwise, it can come out as gibberish. With all that trouble, why bother wasting my breath? Writing is much more natural to me; I can collect my thoughts and focus without worrying about scaring other people away.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m okay with that. It’s really frustrating to be the quiet type. Human beings are social creatures, and the Internet takes it to the logical extreme. We’re constantly bombarded with tweets, videos, ads, etc. about everything we can possibly think of. While it’s a great snapshot of the modern world, it’s tough to sort out all the ideas and find the individuals buried beneath it. That’s especially true for writers; I could weave together an incredibly detailed narrative about the history of a game company, but it’d probably get overshadowed by the latest funny cat-related video. I’ve been laying the groundwork for a Let’s Play channel on YouTube or Twitch – I even have a microphone and recording software – but I’ve found that my voice really is as soft as I feared. You think public speaking is tough? Try talking into a mic and making your live video gaming sessions sound interesting. It’s harder than it looks. I just don’t have the personality for it. Since there’s no way I can be as loud or obnoxious as most players, I’ll inevitably be drowned out.

It’s the same thing with music. I’ve memorized dozens – if not hundreds – of songs in my head, but I can’t actually sing them out loud. I’ve got Bohemian Rhapsody and Under Pressure down perfectly, but only a tiny fraction of Freddie Mercury’s range. I’ve tried karaoke exactly twice, and I ended up just reading the words onscreen. Yeah, it’s not fun being booed and laughed offstage. My sense of rhythm isn’t much better; I have trouble with dancing and even simple music-based games. I fare much better when it comes to capturing moments via painting and photography. In my college years, I could sit for hours with a canvas and a set of brushes and colors. I’ve got a good eye for shading and perspective. Drawing is much harder, though. I’ve grown accustomed to taking my camera with me everywhere, just in case I stumble across something fascinating. All of my photos – including the ones I’ve posted on the blog – are taken with no preparation whatsoever. Judging by the feedback I’ve been getting, I’m pretty good for a newbie. If I keep at it, maybe I’ll be great someday.

Until then, writing is all that counts.


Claude Monet’s Ultraviolet Eye


What happens when one of the greatest artists in history gets cataracts and removes one of his lenses? A messy, colorful vision unlike anything we’re used to. It’s Okay To Be Smart gives us a glimpse.

Daily Prompt: Keeping up with the Jones’, Or: A Wishful Space Odyssey

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is about coveting. That one utterly irresistible, yet completely unfeasible/irresponsible thing you desire. It’s a pretty apt topic for Black Friday. I could write a novella on what a dehumanizing farce that little post-Thanksgiving romp has become, but I’ll save it for a later post. This prompt is just about the new cool/shiny/ridiculously expensive thing I want. And to be honest…I don’t really have one. I’ve always been the kind of type that tries to get the most out of what I’ve got; my laptop and cell phone are both pretty dated. I own only four pairs of shoes: tennis/walking, business, bath slippers, and sandals. Does that make me cheap? Well yeah, but I don’t care. If it works and I’m comfortable, then that’s just fine. Most of my “crazy” wants are pretty geeky/artsy/tame. A Gutenberg Bible, maybe. A first edition of Don Quixote. A legit First Folio. Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. A Playstation 4 would’ve been nice, but I (and everyone else I know) certainly can’t afford one. The point is that I don’t need any of that. I don’t derive the same kind of satisfaction that I’d get from going somewhere and experiencing something new. As long as I can live comfortably and explore, then I’ll have the essentials covered.

If I had unlimited funding and resources, however, I’d use them to exactly to that end. Space tourism is in its infancy, but I’ve always found the concept fascinating. I don’t think I’ll ever be cut out for NASA, but I’d still love to see space. Can you imagine it? Leaving the ground and all the worries upon it behind, breaking through the atmosphere at a gut-wrenching, exhilarating velocity. Those tense, shaky moments when you’re not sure if you’re going to make it, and the sheer relief when you do. Watching the weather patterns drift and swirl in mesmerizing patterns. Going on a spacewalk, floating forth and pondering your detachment from the world. Seeing the sunrise against the curvature of the Earth, the intensity of its light awe-inspiring and terrifying in its magnitude. There are no borders out there; you see the planet and its inhabitants bared full in all of its wonderful, tragic beauty. The entirety of human civilization, the centuries of bloodshed and progress, all contained within this one blue speck


Maybe there will come a time when space travel won’t be limited to the super-wealthy. It probably won’t happen for decades, but it’d make quite a retirement gift. Oh, and for the runner-up ideas? Climbing Mt. Everest and exploring the Mariana Trench. I may like to live simply, but I like my adventures epic.