The 5 Paragraph Blog: A Foxy Request

So, this one came during a conversation with another dear friend of mine. He did not come up with any of the typical “Hot Topics” some have fired my way. Instead, he asked if I could do “5 paragraphs on a hot day on main street… from the perspective of a fire hydrant.” Well, then. I told him, “I can do that”. I’ve thought about this a bit and tried to place myself inside the object as best I could. While I can not completely take away some human characteristics in my writing, as is my personal style, I hope you find it at least interesting. Technically the full perspective is only 4 paragraphs, but I promised to limit my posts to 5, so this one happens to count. Here goes!

It’s noisy today. The “clang, clang, clang” of the street trolley rumbles by, vibrating the hot cement I’m attached to. I should say partially attached. Two of the four bolts meant to hold me in place rolled free long ago. I could not tell you where they got off to as my view is extremely limited. That is, to say, I’ve no eyes at all. Not that it is ever been an issue as the most excitement I’ve gotten is the rush of the Down Town crowds hurrying to their coffee shops and boutiques.

The noise begins to drift off as the trolly passes from my road. Only the quiet murmuring of the ladies across the way interrupt the slow and tepid flow of my thoughts. I’d be bored if I were one of those scurrying creatures, I suppose. However, I find it most pleasant taking in my corner, uninterrupted by the flow of activity. That is until I felt a dull smacking. The sound a thud that coursed through my entire structure. Moments later a rush of water, hot from the stored heat at first, burst through my top and the cheering laughter of smaller creatures sounded out as they began to dance around me.

Initially, I was  horrified at the intrusion. I’ve never been used for anything before. Heck, I’ve never understood when passersby referred to me as a “fire hydrant”. I’ve never even seen a fire!  I could not tell you how I was meant to hydrate it, either. But, here I was wetting the now steaming concrete while these smaller ones took obvious enjoyment in the experience. I suddenly realized I’d had no real purpose until this moment and a joy unlike any other streamed through me, forcing the already shooting water into an even higher arc. This, of course, caused shrieks of delight from my happy companions.

As the water continued to pour forth from my top, slowly losing its pressure, a secret satisfaction set itself into the core of my being. Finally, the flow of water died down and the dull thud returned and my top was once again in place. I felt emptied of all pressure and strain. A pressure I never knew had filled me all this time. And, as my new found companions made their way from my small corner, I found myself looking forward to the next hot day for the very first time.


The 5 Paragraph Blog: The Beauties and Beasts of Parenting

Ah, trying to fit such a topic into only 5 paragraphs will feel very limiting. However, the liberation of knowing I will choose only 3 highlights of such an all encompassing part of my life may provide a focus I rarely have while parenting. I believe I will focus on 3 aspects of parenting that bring both pros and cons, aka “Beauties and Beasts”. One I can think of immediately is this: You are your children’s main example. Another is the fact you watch your children grow. But, what should the 3rd point be of this little essay? Hmmm..let me think. Ah! I have it; When they begin to leave “the nest”.

We are going to assume you are a part of your child’s life in today’s topic, therefore they should be spending enough time with you for you to have a huge impact on their lives. For many, most the time spent will be in the earlier years, but for some families (such as mine) we have chosen to home-school. This means I spend a lot of time with my two boys. They see how I act. Whether or not I am lazy. How I respond to both the mundane and during a crisis. Watching me, they learn a lot. This can have both a positive and negative impact on how they proceed through their own day. Because I am not perfect, and they live with me, they have seen both the best and worst of who I can be. I would say my saving grace is; I keep trying. If there is one thing I hope to leave as my legacy as they observe and learn from me as an example, it will be “Never give up and always love others”. Hopefully, it won’t be “Cry and kick doors in frustration while screaming”.


Oh, the joy of watching your child go from wobbly headed newborn to inquisitive crawler…only to have you dropping them off their first day of Kindergarten. Wait?! Where did the time go?? Now they are doing high school curriculum, my daughter is working at the hospital, and my youngest has started looking like What…the..heck?! The parental pride and joy I feel as I get to watch my children grow into young men and woman is nearly always accompanied by missing being able to hold them in my arms and smell that perfect little spot on the top of their sweet little heads. That time is forever gone, but seeing them continue to care about others and take a sincere interest in being helpful to others really does help me through those bittersweet moments. Yeah, watching them grow definitely has it’s pros and cons, doesn’t it?


So, I’ve reached the point where one has already left the nest. I miss her every single day. It’s been a few years already and I feel quite blessed that I almost always see her each week. She comes over to eat lunch with me, lounge on my bed, raid the cupboards, and tell me the trials and joys of her “adulting”. Both my boys are even reaching a point where, though they still live at home, they don’t need me quite as much. This has given me some opportunities I did not have when they were younger and I had to constantly be on my toes just to keep them out of the oatmeal, which was on the top shelf of the pantry. You know, the one just inches below the bloody roof? Not being needed so much by your children as they become more independent can be both a thrill of parental excitement and pride, but leave one without direction. What do I do now with my life? Well, I suppose this blog might be part of the answer.

While I know this topic was not quite what my reader was looking for, if you read between the lines, you will get a lot of hints of how it is going with our family. Everyone is growing up! It has forced me to look into other areas of my life to find what will bring me joy in my older years. I will never stop being their parent and I will always provide the best example I can, or at least take responsibility when I mess up. I will always be there for them, even when they leave “the nest”. That’s the beauty of it all. The beast is I am coming to a new path in my life, but that has it’s own sort of beauty as well.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: 3 Faeries (Fiction)

I remember waking up from the same old nightmare, my body stiff with terror. I barely breathed, so caught up in the images that skittered through my mind. It took an eternity, it seemed, before dawn lit my room enough for me to feel safe enough to pull the blankets from my face. My skin was so hot from the trapped air that the sweat made the separation from the fabric a nearly painful process. Gingerly my wary eyes tracked across my room as I eased myself into an upright position.

Shock iced it’s way into my bloodstream when my flittering eyes fell upon the walnut skin of a small wizened…man? He was sitting on the edge of my bed, looking worn and drawn. I grappled with the thought of my own sanity as I stared at him with a gasp. He smiled tiredly, yet gently, speaking in a soothing voice. “Ye be a’ight lass. Ye be safe!” he ended on a slightly elevated note. He looked at me with some curiosity as he asked himself thoughtfully “How come ye see me today, though?” I blinked at him, rather stupidly I might add, and shook my head. “I..I don’t know.”

“Hmmmmmm…” he mused thoughtfully, drawing the single sound out quite a long way. He turned and spoke to a spot on my dresser and I felt helplessly drawn to look at the source of his attention. A part of me knew, before my brain did, what to expect. Another equally fantastic creation, though this one light and airy. Beautiful in her quick and elegant movements. As opposite the wizened  little man, her appearance was the pure embodiment of innocence and youth. Tiny, yes, but with a brilliance that instantly removed all fear and shock from my system. “Triniza! Is this your doing?” The walnut man asked. Triniza laughed a delightfully pretty laugh and sang out “Of course, dear!”.

Both of us looked at the laughing lady with a mixture of amusement and confusion and I found myself blurting out in unison with the old man, “Why?!”. I watched with a hint of trepidation as she streaked over to me on wings so fast they would have put a humming bird to shame. “Why, so you can step on that!” she announced with as much staunch anger as she could muster (Truly difficult for one of her disposition, but she managed) as she flung a finger towards what appeared to be a quickly fleeing glob of…what the hell was that, anyways?!

I leapt from my bed in a fit of disgust and fear, slapping my slippers to my feet. I did not hesitate, I did not question. I allowed myself to be propelled along the path of destroying the ghastly thing slithering away chasing it down before it made it beneath my bedroom door. Slamming a slippered foot on top of it, I heard a burst of sound that popped my ears painfully. Gingerly, I looked to the spot and saw…nothing! Confused I turned to see the other two creatures beginning to fade from sight and I yelled “Wait! What was that thing?” The walnut man smiled, the wrinkles from his face suddenly releasing to show smooth skin “That, my lass, was an Unseelie nightmare giver. Yer free now.”

The 5 Paragraph Blog: Necessary Evil

My first challenge topic comes from a dear friend of mine in Brazil. It started with a rambling discussion while he was still half asleep yesterday morning, but I managed to get him to condense it enough for me to understand the general idea; Necessary Evil. Being limited to a short format such as the 5 paragraph essay, this allows me to keep it brief. First, I’ll cover “What is necessary evil”. Next, I will give a historic example of what some term as a ‘necessary evil’. Finally, I’ll cover my own personal thoughts on the topic.

Simply put, according to Wikipedia, “A necessary evil is an evil that must be allowed for a greater good to result.” This brings into question; what is evil?  Well, according to multiple dictionaries (I’ll leave it up to you to look it up if you so desire) evil falls into 2 categories: 1. (something) profoundly immoral and malevolent. and 2. profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. I present these separately because the first relies on the motivations of fellow humans while the other implies a supernatural entity normally outside our control. For the intent of this essay, we will focus on our fellow human beings.

So, with the focus on “necessary evil” being implemented by a person or group of people, I will bring up one example easily found on the ‘net’. I want to make note that many of the examples you will find stem from times of war. However, we will not be discussing whether or not war, itself, is a “necessary evil”. The example I have chosen was the  English WWII code breakers having to allow the  Luftwaffe bombers to strike at times so the Germans wouldn’t know they had deciphered their codes. According to The BBC, “Millions of lives were saved” because of this. The lives of those lost during the allowed bombings in exchange for saving so many more lives is a frequent example of “necessary evil” that appears in Google search engines and questions. I  recommend a movie based on these events called “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch to get a good understanding of the situation.

Here is the difficult part for me; Making my own stance on this topic. I know many like to have things presented in “black and white”. That a stance always be one way or the other. I am afraid I can not do that. People and situations or not black and white and I have come to learn in my 42 years on this earth the need to take each person and situation as it comes and to apply my experience at that time. This does not mean I have fluid values, but as we are not dealing with perfect people and situations, it is a “necessary evil” that I have to be willing to be flexible and ready to do things I would never have thought I could do at any other time. An example would be protecting my family from a violent intruder intent on rape and/or murder. I would never consider killing a person under normal circumstances and I believe murder to be evil, but if I were to be presented with allowing another to commit it and the ability to prevent it using deadly force as being the only means; I would do just that.

I want to thank Maverix, my gamer friend, for this topic idea. It was a bit of a challenge in that I needed to look up a few things and link them to give proper credit. However, I enjoyed it immensely and hope that by covering this topic as I did, you appreciate the nature of “necessary evil”. Not only what it means, but understood the historic example I gave and my own stance on the matter. Using the comments section below will provide ample opportunity for you to let me know your thoughts and opinions on “necessary evil”.

Until the next one.


A Note on the 5 Paragraph Blog

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Just a quick note before the next 5 paragraphs go live: Thanks to everyone who came, read, and encouraged me! I look forward to writing ideas and the challenges they will bring me. Some ideas will force me to stretch myself and the idea of limiting myself to 5 paragraphs, but I shall do my best! Sometimes it might be hard to see the format I am attempting to follow, but there should always be 3 main elements covered in the 3 middle paragraphs between the others. Let me know what you think as time passes.


The 5 Paragraph Blog: A New Start

You might have noticed I have a struggle (or 12) and it can bleed into my writing if you know what to look for. It is these struggles that bring me here this morning. You see, I live with chronic depression. It eats at the very fabric of my life and frequently makes just living my life a challenge. I don’t know how I get through it some days. I also frequently think about how I am not really good at anything. But, then this strange little idea popped into my head; I can be pretty good at the 5 paragraph essay. But, will it be worth it? Well, all I have to do is come up with 3 reasons! I think it will help me with my depression. It will also strengthen my writing skills and allow me to connect with other people.

So…depression. It’s such a dirty word to me. It dirties my soul. It discolors so much in my life on a daily basis. To say it makes me absolutely miserable on a daily, nay hourly, basis some weeks would be an understatement. Those of you that have dealt with any sort of clinical depression will understand this is not something you can just ignore or shut off at the convenience and will of those around you that just want you to get your crap together. However, I’ve found distraction can be helpful. The trick is to make it a healthy one until the moment, however long, finally passes where your brain is not dumping chemicals into your blood system to wreck havoc on your ability to function. I believe this 5 paragraph blog idea of mine could provide a good distraction that will yield multiple good benefits.

I’ve been writing for a very long time. Be it poetry, short stories, or cranking out essays. In fact, they were usually so very easy for me, that when in college, it kept me on the Dean’s List. It did not matter the topic, I could nearly always write about it and get a good grade from the teacher. I have always credited this ability with the fact I understood the 5 paragraph essay format so well that I could turn it into a 5-page term paper. Or a 10 page one. But, as with any skill, practice does make perfect and I don’t write nearly as much as I did in my younger days. It is my belief that using my 5 paragraph essay blog idea will provide the perfect means to gain regular practice that will help improve my writing skills.

If there is one thing I love, it is connecting with people. Heck, I love people in general. I care about that stranger walking down the street. My heart goes out to all those I see that are suffering. I wish I could help them all. I am not just saying this. It is the absolute truth. You..yes you mean something important to me. I want everyone on this earth to find joy. Perhaps, though my efforts on this blog I can achieve a stronger connection with others that will achieve this larger goal in my heart.

I hate to say it, but the most difficult part of writing this for me was being interrupted by my sister with a small crisis. I can say this, the very act of writing it allowed me to not drop into a tailspin of despair when she called to explain her latest trouble. And to assure you, my reader…it really is a small thing and it will be taken cared of. Not only that, I believe it helped me focus on writing again and I can definitely see how using this format will help improve my writing over time. And, because one major goal is to be able to connect with others; feel free to suggest, or even challenge me, with topics I can write about using the 5 paragraph essay format.

Until the next one.