My Unintentional Sin

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Stories that Must Not Die

Editor’s note: this story was submitted anonymously.

The internet is a universe unto itself. 20 years ago, if you had told me I could fall for a woman without ever having met her, I’d have pronounced you insane and ceased further interaction with you. I’d have mocked you mercilessly. Now, however, I’d tell you that it’s happened to me more than once. I’d also tell you I hope it never happens to me again and that I’m actively taking steps to avoid this perilous situation.

Last year I met a lovely woman online. She is smart, beautiful, caring, and independent. That sounds like wonderful news and under different circumstances it would have been, but there was one small problem. She lives hundreds of miles away.

Despite the distance we managed to meet. I fell more deeply in love with her after spending some time with her. She returned my feelings…

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We Don’t Need No Thought Control

Today we are discussing some of the problems with higher education over at Stories That Must Not Die. Pop on over and add your thoughts and experiences to the discussion.

Stories that Must Not Die

Please welcome Bumblepuppies to discuss higher education, graduate school and a form of cultist sequestration I had no idea existed.

I’ve come here to tell some stories. I usually write humor but today I intend to go serious with topics that sometimes end up as a punchline for me these days. You should not expect extreme emotion from me, but rather a disturbing calm. I have been away from the situation for a while now, long enough for other life events to move into the foreground. It is for this reason that I don’t usually talk about this anymore, though it is something people need to know before allowing friends and relatives to pursue a Ph.D.

If you humor me on the small stuff early on, you’ll find that the issues grow as you keep reading.

And so…

I remember that my academic department had an email listserv for all…

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the gathering silence

The long pauses between notifications stretch me thinner, and my attempts to ward off the unwanted thoughts grow weaker.  Is it something I wrote?  Is it just a quiet week?  Have my words lost their luster?  Where is everybody?

I look for the orange light.  I click it hoping to catch something there before it has refreshed on its own.  I keep clicking even when nothing shows up.  I feel alone.  I feel small.  I feel lost.  Did I not visit enough posts this morning?  Did I not leave enough comments?  Am I being shunned?  Where is everybody?

My stories glare at me, bore a hole through my head (through my soul?), like a (knife, baby, edgy and dull?) blast of lightning from all of my forgotten wizards.  They demand an audience and I am not providing.  They call me a cheater for quoting songs.  They threaten to leave.

I am powerless to stop them.

In the gathering silence, the whispering of my words thunders like a storm.  Did I cross a line?  Have I been forgotten?  Am I being ignored?  Am I no longer worth reading?

Where is everybody?


be true to who you are

If I had one piece of advice for someone who is bravely entering the blogosphere now, it would be to embrace their individuality, to be true to who they are.

That seems pretty straight forward, right?

It isn’t always that simple.

Once you’ve gotten that first like, or that first positive comment, or that first follow.  something can switch inside you and make you crave more.  You can lose yourself, lose your purpose for starting the blog in the first place, while you go in search of stats.  And then what does that accomplish?  You’ve got a ton of followers, but your blog is no longer the outlet you wanted/needed it to be.

Because we are all unique, because we are all individuals, there is no need for you to go in search of an “online persona.”  There is no need to create some new identity.  Be yourself.  You are who you are, and your voice will ring true in what you post: pictures, fiction, daily prompt responses, journal entries, top ten lists, news articles, etc…

If you stay true, the whole experience will be more rewarding, and the stats will follow eventually anyway.  The blogosphere is enormous.  Trust me, there are an abundance of bloggers out there who want to hear your story in your own words.


Then again, I’ve been blogging for less than a year, so what do I know…

For those who have been around longer, am I on the right track?

Magic Vs. Reality Tug-Of-War Results

Those crazy wonderful folks over at Daily Prompt asked: “The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?”

I didn’t want to answer right away and then remembered that we have a great resource at our disposal for answering questions like this; so, I brought it up for a Tug-Of-War resolution.

And you played along…

The winner by an absolute avalanche is “fun and harmless fiction.”

The tallies:
fun fiction – 57
pointless lying – 19

Keeping the magic of being a child alive came out of the gates strong and pulled the truth into the mud before it could even start to put up a fight.  The truth did try and pull itself out of the mud but never got enough support to manage it.  Thus proving that magic trumps truth always and forever.

I’ve known it all along.  Magic does exist!




Some of these were very hard to place properly, according to the official counter.  They did their best, but if you feel your support went behind the wrong team let us know and we will adjust the numbers accordingly.

As a clarifying example: for those who said they wouldn’t perpetuate these stories to their own children we decided that should count on the Reality side of the tug-of-war despite any other arguments for Magic they had.

Thanks for playing.  The shower for those who need to rinse the mud off is just down the hall and to the left.  There are plenty of towels.