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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Day 74: Looking back on 2017

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 74: Looking back on 2017

The year is drawing to an end and if you’re like me you’re thinking back on all that’s happened over the past months. All in all, I think it was a rather uneventful year, but let’s have a look how 2017 treated me.


The year had hardly started and I was down on my luck already. I was nearly knocked down by a car and not once but three times. The first time by a driver of a Mercedes who was reversing without looking in his rearview mirror. The second time by an SUV who was in such a hurry to slip into traffic that he paid no attention to me. The third time by a Toyota who slid across the zebra path.


In February nothing happened, except that someone took one of my stories about a cat and included it in her cat anthology. Some people seem to think that it’s okay to help themselves to other people’s work.


In March I was threatened with legal action. I had written an in-debt review of Contena, a site where freelance writers can find all kinds of writing gigs. Before (almost) joining I had done research about the site and found nothing but good reviews. This itself seemed fishy to me. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. I found a number of flaws with the site and listed them in my review. Within a matter of days, Kevin (the founder of the site) sent me a rather nasty email and threaned legal action. So that’s why there are no negative reviews of Contena to be found. Anyone who has anything but praise for the site gets threatened. My biggest problem with Contena was that members have to pay $99 per month for the site's services. There are plenty of other writing sites around and none of them charges their members one cent.


In April a pair of finches came to have a look at our balcony. Shortly afterward, Mr. and Mrs. Finch started making a nest. For days they flew back and forth with twigs and pieces of fluff and when the nest was finished, Mrs. Finch took up residence and over the course of six days deposited six eggs. What amazed me the most was the patience of Mrs. Finch who sat on her eggs for hours on end without moving.


In May the chicks hatched and fought for space within their nest. We followed their growth with interest. Every time when the parents weren’t around, we went out and took a peek at the young ones who were nothing more than six little balls of fluff.


June saw planting season. The time when we make our way to the Home Depot nursery and buy flowers. As a rule, I always choose petunias because I know they are non-toxic to cats.

At the end of June the six little balls of fluff who were now properly feathered birds flew off. The remarkable thing was, as soon as they left our balcony they were joined – in mid-flight – by one of the parents who guided them to the rest of the family.


In July, we started looking for a new place to live. I contacted an estate agent and the first property ad he sent us was a hit. From the outside, the house didn’t look like much, but inside the whole place was renovated and was just perfect. The advertised price was perfect too, just $159,000. As it turned out, the estate agent had made a mistake though, the price was not $159,000 but $1,159,000. Needless to say, our interest went from hot to ice cold.


In August, I started this 365 creative writing prompts project. Some posts are current events, some are memories, every now and then I vent about something or another, and when I find nothing to write about I turn to my cats for inspiration.


In September nothing happened, absolutely nothing. The only thing worth mentioning was that I read ‘The Alchemist’. This book had a huge advertising campaign, quite a few people were talking about the book so eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I bought the book. And it wasn’t bad, it was an enjoyable read. But to make such a hoopla about it … no, I didn’t think the story was that good.


The same applies to ‘Origin’ by Dan Brown. A much-anticipated book, a huge promotional campaign, but the book itself … a bit of a disappointment. Very well written of course, very engaging, but Dan Brown’s theory about how life started on earth … no, not something I agree with. I have all Dan Brown’s books and I dare say, ‘Origin’ is my least favorite.

October also saw the start of the #metoo campaign, started by Alyssa Milano and followed by a number of other sluts. When looking at pictures of these women, I very much question their motives. I don’t doubt that they were, at some point, harassed by men but then what woman hasn’t been. I daresay that every single woman at one time or another has been on the receiving end of harassment. But to make such a big deal of it. Just take a look at the pictures of these so-called victims and then draw your own conclusions.


In November, I tackled quite a few issues. Rather than writing it all again I’ll give you the subjects along with the links.

Discrimination – old vs. young

Children and electronics

Does Deodorant increase the risk of breast cancer

What’s the difference between a turkey and a tiger

The dangers of parabens

Online Christmas shopping


On December 6th one of our beloved cats, Mickey, passed away. I noticed that his breathing was labored. I suspected a cold and took him to the vet for medication. As it turned out he had congestive heart failure. Treatment would have cost thousands of dollars and would have been very painful for Mickey. I loved Mickey too much to put him through this and so I decided to let him go and cross Rainbow Bridge.

And so, that’s it. Christmas has passed, New Year’s is upon us and tomorrow 2017 will be history. We can only wait and wonder what 2018 will bring.

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