Journal Entry November 23, 2015

Journal Entry November 23, 2015. Prompt from NaBloPoMo November Prompts.



As a musician and a teacher, I am always seeking to be original in what I do. Some people borrow and steal. Maybe we all do a little. So what makes a pretender?

Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.

Prompt: The Great Pretender | The Daily Post

Growing up there was a word for people who tried to look the part. We called them “posers.” Growing up in a tough, surer rich OC environment, I tried avoiding that label. I didn’t play an air guitar, I studied and jammed on a real one. I wasn’t good at surfing ut I took my board out instead of a boogie board. All these things were stupid but I did them so I’d never think of myself as a “poser.” People still teased me anyway for stuff. There was no avoiding it at my high school or with the coastal friends I ran with. I guess that carried over into adulthood.

I am all about function over form. The tools for my life that I purchase now are not flash but substance. I am drawn to rustic beauty like that found in nature. In short, I try to “keep it real.” When I am awarded something at work or in my online life, I usually think I deserve it. There is no sense that I imitated someone. I’m humble and realize there really is nothing new under the sun. At the same time, I forge my own path and am quite accustomed to the grooves of doing so. “The Road Not Taken” has made all the difference for me.


Rainy Afternoons are Back

Feeling landlocked due to rain isn’t so bad when you’ve got warmth, some food, and a list of happy pastimes to do. We have all those here in the Riley house.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singin’ in the Rain.” Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

Usually my wife and I get about a cord of wood every Winter. It hasn’t happened yet but that’s just because the cold weather only started a few days ago. I’m a Winter creature. By that I mean, coffee, a fireplace, some big fluffy blankets, and tv or laptop suit me. Right now as I type this morning I have a slightly heated raspberry danish with melted butter next to me. I’m typing with my feet up in front of my fireplace. It was blazing last night, we used one of those bundles from the grocery store.

We have a Netflix home. On rare occasions we’ll watch the satellite but we’ve been talking lately about dumping it. There is a whole world of stuff to explore on Netflix. If I know I’m going to be home for a few days or more, I’ll take the time to search on Rotten Tomatoes for the most highly rated shows. I’ll admit, Netflix also has a lot of low rated junk. The gems are there though if you do a little searching. We love watching movies and then having family conversations about the plot and characters. We’re all watching our diet but we’re very into snacking on healthy stuff, with the occasional junk food 😉 Living in dry California, we welcome the rain about to come. Summer is truly my favorite time of the year but as you can see, I have plenty of hobbies and habits that Winter is just right for. Oh, I almost forgot, I’ll be reading other people’s blogs and composing in my own. Winter is a great time for reinventing your blog.



Ever since I discovered Geocities back in the 90’s I’ve been a blogger through and through. I’ve learned a balance that works for me and it’s still tons of fun. I say if you can do that with a hobby, you should keep it going as long as you can. Life is interesting to me, that’s why I blog.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.” Why do you blog?

My what a fun question. My reasons for blogging have changed through the years. I’ve tried many different platforms and approaches. There was a time when I wrote periodic updates to family and another when I actively mentored new bloggers into well known names in the business. I went through a dry spell where I didn’t blog much when I lacked the internal purpose I needed to be motivated every day. In all truth, I really lost my reason for doing it. After that, I decided I’d never quit again and that was about 5 years ago. It is a sustainable hobby for me. I can say this since I seem to be maintaining a life apart from it.

As for today? I blog to express myself. As I do so through editorial type posts, movie reviews, and daily blog challenges, I am forced to grapple with saying something others can read and enjoy. I think this makes me a better thinker. So, in the final analysis, I would indeed say that I blog to become a better, more well-reasoned thinker.



Come Out Sweaters and Jackets

In the past year I’ve discovered Bullet Journaling and I’ve been a fan of Tumblr for over a decade. It makes sense one of my favorites is a journal blog on Tumblr.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.” Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

One of my favorite blogs is Journaling Junkie. The blogger there has managed to attract a sort of journal empire. People submit their journals and pages in photo form written by hand and participate in her monthly challenges. I’m not a disciplined at this as I should be but I try to participate by writing a journal entry by hand and submitting a photo every day.

Her penultimate post is a photo she has reblogged of sweaters in storage boxes. It reminds me so much of this time every year when we take out sweaters and jackets that have stayed folded all year. The rustle of leaves on the ground signal it’s too late in the year for sandals and flip flops. They now give way to boots and solid shoes. It’s a reminder that my fireplace yearns for wood. I plan to buy soe very soon, a cord I hope. There are supposed to be record rain storms this year in our part of California. I love the imagery of her photo and the memories it brings forth.


You have to be F****ing Kidding Me

I’ve written about what scares me more this month than I remember ever doing so. The Daily Post wants me naked I guess. Still, why not start my first day of #NaBloPoMo with yet another October scare challenge. This is my first time trying it out so here goes nothing!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “1984.” You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.


Ok, so I wake up in a bed in a strange place to an alarm. It’s going off loudly at 11am. I figure out how to turn it off in a sleepy stupor when I turn and see a Freud-like character in a chair lighting his pipe.

“Do you know why the clock was set for 11 young man?” He says, sounding just like Freud would.

“No, but do tell.” I retort.

“Well, you see you are trapped in this room on a WORKDAY and you are a NO SHOW. You’ve called in NO SUB and your boss and co-teachers have had no call warning them you’d be absent.”

“What? You have to be fu****ing kidding me.” I would feel chills like I’ve never felt. This is no doubt one of my worst fears. My hands are sweating as I type this.