Why the Home Became the Center of Our Lives
The home has become the center of our lives because simply: we built our lives around it. Everything we do, we do to take care of, better our enjoyment of, or keep our families safe together in them. We work to expand them, to decorate them, to define them to our personalities. And most of us are doing a pretty good job of it as well.
In the beginning, caves were the foundation of life. But let’s face it: they were cold and damp. And carried the occasional wild-life or two. We wanted something more. Warmth, of course. But also, a feeling of tenderness, of intimacy that came about as we built modern dwellings. It is here, we run our days and nights from. We organize not only our days, but our spouses and children. And they in turn organize their own schedules.
Back when we were on farms, the families spent the majority of their time taking care of the chores that came with raising livestock, crops, and a healthy financial investment. As more and more people moved to the cities or took to the factories, lifestyles began to change. Instead of acres of land, our yards began to shrink and box in with our neighbors.
Thus, the neighborhood was created. Sometimes neighbors could be great help in times of crisis. Other times, they could be a liability. Feuds erupted. People took sides. The reasonable minded their own business. More and more, we’ve come to live beside those we don’t even know the names of but wave to every morning on our way out the door.
Is it better this way? Who knows? But for now, it works. Neighborhoods thrive. People tend to move in and out in a frequency like laundry week. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if the persons next door have changed or not. There’s the curiosity factor. The quick glimpse of a U-Haul and five other pick-up trucks but no goodbyes. The new people move in just as quick without even so much as a hello. Oh, you wave to them still.
But it’s more of a habit than anything else. There are people you see walking about regularly. They seem to be here then there and become a fixture on your route to the post office, work, etc. Fire trucks blare at night. Chainsaws cut through a man’s former life. By the next day, like him, there gone. It’s sad. The only trace of him is his family who continues to clean out all the things he hoarded.
Ambulances roar through the streets headed to the hospital down the road. You see them at your neighbors. Passing by on your drive. They can appear anywhere. Much like the police and the state highway patrol. And then there’s the lost pet signs. Numerous. Sad. Few happy endings there. The for-sale signs dot the place. People who’ve lost their dreams or want to move on to bigger ones.
We search for that home that means “family” to us. A certain quality, a certain layer, maybe fixtures we all want to attain. But are we finding what we want? Are we liking what we find at first, only to come to dislike it after abiding there for several years or more? Does the shine splash away with purchase?
Are we continuously on the prowl for a better that doesn’t exist? Have we forgotten what the home really is the center of? Family, yes, but what drives us more. We can search forever and never find it until we find what we need in ourselves. What makes you happy? Surrounds you with comfort. Peace? That should be on the list of the search for the perfect place for any of us. A place to be ourselves.
Happenings: Minor setback with some leg and feet swelling this past week. Painful but I’ll survive. Otherwise, doing well.
Some things around the web that might interest you:
- Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2023/03/character-arcs-making-a-long-story-short/ A well-structured story uses events (also called story beats) to move the narrative forward — with compelling issues, rising stakes, and an organic sense of cause and effect — toward a surprising-yet-inevitable resolution. At the same time, our story’s plot events force our characters to react, adapt, make choices, and decide on priorities, often resulting in new goals and revealing a character’s values and beliefs. The most significant events are “turning points,” which send the story in new directions and create a sense of change for a story’s arc. In other words, story structure affects plot and character (internal/emotional) arcs. So just as we must adjust the plot aspects of story structure when writing a shorter story, we also need to consider the character arc aspects of story structure with shorter stories. Let’s dig into how we might tweak story structure for shorter stories, especially regarding character arcs. I remember what Neil Gaiman said about short stories. He said that he always thinks of them as the final chapter of a book. Hope that helps!
- Life in the Realm of Fantasy https://conniejjasperson.com/2023/03/13/micro-fiction-goals-and-rewards-amwriting/ The habit of creative writing usually begins small. It’s an idea, something we wish someone would write. At first, it’s a hobby we must fit around our work schedule and family obligations. Somehow, that hobby grows and grows. For some of us, it becomes a second job that pays little and demands a great deal of attention. When new writer decides to begin their career by embarking on writing a novel, the magnitude of the undertaking soon becomes apparent. At first, they are fired up about the project. For several pages, the words flow. Unfortunately, the fire of enthusiasm burns low as creativity fails. They have the idea. They have the characters. But they don’t have the skills to write something as long and involved as a novel. Many people see that as a sign that they are untalented. They put it away and never write again. But the truth is, the project was too ambitious for their skill level. They haven’t learned the tools of the trade and received no reward for their efforts. I suggest people begin by writing microfiction. Drabbles are a form of micro-fiction, an entire story in exactly 100 words. I have found from experience, the same as Connie. Smaller pieces of fiction gain you that writing muscle, that push you need to go on to longer works. And they keep you fit and ready to go on to a fulfilling career!
- The Write Stuff https://marciamearawrites.com/2023/03/14/guestdaytuesday-joanhall-menagerie/ Time for another #GuestDayTuesday, and it’s my great pleasure to have author Joan Hall visiting with us today. I know you’ll enjoy her thoughts on Music and Writing, so let’s get right to it. Take it away, Joan! 😀
- Library of Erana https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/love-you-now-book-spotlight-julia-kent-romance-romcom/ OUT NOW—Love You Now (Love You, Maine, Book 4) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor) #romance #romanticcomedy #romcom #contemporaryromance Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance Cover Designer: Najla Qamber, Qamber Designs (https://www.qamberdesignsmedia.com/) Audiobook Narrators: Erin Mallon and Teddy Hamilton Tropes/Themes: Small Town, One Night Stand, Reunion Romance, Secret Baby, Strangers to Lovers Description: Ana DaSilva is looking for a palate cleanser. A one-night stand. A reboot. Instead, she got fireworks, sparks, chemistry, and the perfect guy. No one wants to meet Mr. Right when he should just be Mr. Rebound, but Mr. Right is so right. But then he went from Mr. Right to Mr. Never, because when she learns she’s pregnant three days after that beautiful night with Dennis, she realizes her sleazy drug dealing ex not only left her with the legal mess she knew about, he gave her a life-long present. One that means ignoring Dennis’ texts and phone calls, no matter how much she wants to answer. Dennis Luview wants to escape his pain. Coming back to his hometown of Luview, Maine – the cheesy tourist trap where every day was Valentine’s Day – means facing a past he left behind twenty-four years ago. Yes, his family is loving, and sure, he has roots that go bone-deep in the small-town community where people step up for each other.
- Myths of the Mirror https://mythsofthemirror.com/2023/03/18/at-the-mirror-blog-share-sighs-of-solitude/ Today I’m sharing a post from Jude Itakali. Jude writes fabulous poetry: freeform, syllabic form, and frequently a combination of the two blended with poetic prose. His posts are often like journeys, leading his readers along a path through his thoughts and feelings. Sighs of Solitude is a piece of Tanka Prose, a syllabic form in response to Colleen’s Wordcraft Tanka Tuesday challenge. It’s beautiful. Jude was also incredibly kind to give a shout-out for The Necromancer’s Daughter. I was delighted and honored by the gesture. I hope you enjoy Jude’s mesmerizing talent. Sighs of Solitude by Jude Itakali sighs of solitude listen to conflict’s whispers reconciling depths some woes come from good intent rebirths that will never die In the deep stillness, I ponder scars long etched in my blemish free beginnings, healed yet forever barren. I ignore the itch of scabs…
- Meeka’s Mind https://acflory.wordpress.com/2023/03/19/the-hyena-natures-feminist/ I was on Robbie Cheadle’s blog recently and was intrigued when she described some of Southern Africa’s wildlife as ‘the Big Five’ and ‘the Ugly Five’! I had to ask, right? Well, here’s what Robbie said. Robbie: The “Ugly Five”, comprising of the warthog, hyena, wildebeest, marabou stork, and vulture, aren’t as well known, but also play an important role in the southern African ecosystems. The hyena, marabou stork, and vulture are all scavengers who help ‘clean up’ the bushveld. One of the most interesting of the “Ugly Five” is the hyena which is one of the most misunderstood and persecuted animals in history. Throughout history, hyenas have been regarded as vermin and a liability to local communities. Disney’s movie, The Lion King, also perpetrated the myth of hyenas as despicable animals. Me: Having watched The Lion King many times when the Offspring was little, I knew that the hyenas were depicted as evil henchmen to Mufasa, the uber-villain of the story, so ugly and despicable. But what did Robbie mean about them being ‘misunderstood’? Robbie: The reality is that hyenas are very interesting creatures with surprising social behaviors. They also play an important role in the ecosystem The spotted hyena is the most common hyena in sub-Saharan Africa and, while not yet threatened, their populations are declining. Historically, they lived in groups called clans, comprising of up to eighty animals. Currently, spotted hyenas live in clans of between ten and forty individuals in the game reserves and national parks of southern Africa. Hyena clans are led by a dominant female and all females are dominant over the males. The alpha male has a lower status in the clan than the lowest-ranked female. This is very interesting, Meeks!
- Robbie Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/weekend-serial-atonement-in-zugzwang-episode-4-featuring-robbie-cheadle/ Talented story teller, Teagan Geneviene, has featured one of my recipes and selected three items from it to create her latest episode of Atonement in Zugswang. Thank you, Teagan. Welcome back to Atonement, TN, everyone. If you saw my post yesterday, then you know that this new installment of Atonement in Zugzwang was driven by a recipe (from which I chose 3 things) created just for this post by the amazing Robbie Cheadle. Here’s a link to the post where you can learn all about that fabulous Black Bean & Vegetable Soup. This episode is a little longer, and I’m sitting up late to finish writing it and do this post. So let’s get to business. The three random things I took from Robbie’s recipe are chopped carrots, and soup. Teagan and Robbie always come up with the most delightful things!
- Smorgasbord Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2023/03/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-podcast-poetry-flash-fiction-kinship-and-the-close-match/ Kinship bonds we form with others of our own blood or unrelated forged in the fires of life create a circle of steel sanctuary formed in kinship there may not always be harmony but the ties of love cannot be broken. Just beautiful!
- Fiction Favorites https://johnwhowell.com/2023/03/18/stream-of-consciousness-saturday-prompt-tape/ For the second week in a row, the coffee appears without drama from the AI drama queen. The cup to the lips and a long slow sip is interrupted by the sounds of a calliope followed by the amplified voice of Phil Harris. “Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages. Welcome to the Warner Brothers Looniest Show on Earth.” A quick run to the back door confirms the big top is up and packed with people. “And now I turn your attention to the center ring where, for your entertainment, the most recognized animal trainer in the world. The trainer of trainers. The honorable Elmer Fudd puts the ferocious beasts through their paces.” Slipping into the tent during the applause, taking in the scene is overwhelming. A white-hot spotlight converges on the likeness of Elmer Fudd decked out in high boots, jodhpurs, and a pith helmet. He is snapping a whip, and the so-called ferocious beasts are cowering on their perches. Claude Cat, Arnold the Pit Bull, Hector the Bulldog, Baba Looey, Charles the Dog, Lola Bunny, and Toro the Bull look like they would rather be anywhere else. To make matters worse, the calliope music is obviously on tape, and Phil Harris is nowhere in sight. Elmer coaches each to perform. Claud gives a half-hearted roar. Arnold barks at the audience. Hector and Baba Looey chase each other, Charles and Lola do a leapfrog routine, and Elmer shoots his pistol when Toro takes a run at his backside. The audience loves it. Elmer grabs a chair to force toro back on his perch. I’d buy tickets to see this! Lol. It would be one of the funniest performances ever!
- Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2023/03/19/how-bad-publishers-hurt-authors-by-gemma-whelan/ It began with that heart-fluttering feeling of acceptance after so many rejections. My second novel was going to be published! It was the end of August 2020. The world as we knew it had been upended. We were getting deeper into the pandemic, with fear, illness, death, and uncertainty ravaging the world. When New York City–based Adelaide Books offered me a contract to publish Painting Through the Dark, it set my heart racing in a good way. It was a promise. The contract looked good: 20% royalties, paperback, and ebook, quarterly reports, approval over the design, and cover art. The marketing plan also sounded excellent: pre-publishing editorial review, all pre- and post-print marketing tools and services, design and maintenance of author’s website, magazine promotion and interview with author, social and blog posts, book video trailer, book giveaways to bloggers, and consideration for various literary competitions. Plus two free books for the author, and further books could be purchased at a 30% discount. Then came this sentence: “All we ask of you is to pre-purchase 45 copies of your book (at a 30% discount) upon signing the contract as a token of your support for our publishing endeavor.” That’s when the happy heart flutter turned anxious. Was this legit? The terrible preying of some people on hopefuls needs to end.
- Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/no-idea-about-word-count/ This was a week from hell, like so many at my workplace. Wound up putting in a bunch of extra hours and was kind of tired today. That poses a problem, because my only writing days are Saturdays in this new world order. Do, or don’t do. Thanks, Yoda. I elected to work on my science fiction project this morning. Jenny has been spinning her wheels after her promotion. She’s trying to help her son get through college and dreaming of doing some investigative reporting. It sounds like a lot of dragging components, but she’s uncovering important things as she pokes around. She doesn’t see the big picture yet. Hopefully, readers will want to piece some things together as they go. I introduced two lesser characters today. One is a disgraced network anchor who might be able to do some mentoring. The other is a billionaire (on television) who wants to enter the vanity space race. It all seems unimportant right now, but will come together later.
- A Delectable Life https://adelectablelife.com/2023/03/17/a-hole-in-the-clouds/#like-12914 Monday was Prosery Monday on dVerse, hosted by the lovely Merril D. Smith. We were given the following line We have 144 words to play with and it must not be in any poetic form. We must use the line, word for word, though we may change the punctuation. Today, I was watching a talk show and the singer Michel Rivard was the guest. He just so happened to sing the song “Un trou dans les nuages” (A Hole in the Clouds) which inspired me to participate. I translated the song and added my two cents’ worth.
- Angel Messages https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/angel-messages-mar-18-2023/
- Rosie Amber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/%f0%9f%8c%bamarching-through-the-month-spring-flowers-in-my-hampshire-garden-for-sixonsaturday-gardeningtwitter-gardeningmakesmehappy/ After missing last Saturday (snowy weather that pressed pause in my garden) we are back with more of a seasonal selection of flowers.
- Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2023/03/16/the-twisted-dead-gravekeeper-3-by-darcy-coates-paranormal-bookreview-suspense/ Keira is ready for her life to return to normal. Though, to be fair, normal is a tall ask when your ability to see ghosts has landed you the job of groundskeeper in a small town’s cemetery. When Keira receives an invitation to dinner at Dane Crispin’s crumbling ancestral estate, she knows she can’t refuse. The last living descendant of the Crispin family is reclusive. Keira only met him once…on the night he tried to kill her. The mansion is steeped in history that is equal parts complicated and bloody. Keira senses the presence of restless spirits the moment she steps through its door. And Dane, waiting for her inside, wants to ask for her help. Although I missed the first book (I read book two and this is the third) in this series, that hasn’t prevented me from keeping up with what went on. The author does a good job of including details that bring the reader up to speed. I recently read that Coates’s books can be categorized as cozy horror/paranormal. To me, cozies are those mysteries with adorable covers (especially when cats are included) and clever titles. When I read the reasoning behind it being classified that way, it made sense. There’s a mystery, a paranormal element, humor (seriously, Zoe should moonlight as a comedian), and no gore. I think even non-horror fans could appreciate this series. A lot of things are happening in this novel. There’s progress in the ongoing story arc of who Keira actually is. She learns more about Artec and why she’s on the run from them. Mason’s reason for leaving medical school in his last year is revealed. And Dane Crispin may not be the baddie he seems – he may just be misunderstood. Considering he tried to kill Keira the last time they met, she takes a leap of faith in accepting his dinner invitation and helping him. The slow burn romance, I’m talking glacier pace here, between Mason and Keira
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