Word Prompt: Lies | Story Prompt: from the book “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“In July 2004, the City Council of Monza, Italy, took the unusual step of banning goldfish bowls. They reasoned that goldfish should be kept in rectangular aquariums and not in round bowls because “a fish kept in a bowl has a distorted view of reality and suffers because of this.” No mention was made of the bland diet, the noisy pump, or the silly plastic castles. No, the problem was that round bowls deform the visual experience of their inhabitants, and goldfish have the fundamental right to see the world as it really is. The good counselors of Monza did not suggest that human beings should enjoy the same right, perhaps because they knew that our distorted views of reality are not so easily dispelled, or perhaps because they understood that we suffer less with them than we would without them. Distorted views of reality are made possible by the fact that experiences are ambiguous – that is, they can be credibly viewed in many ways, some of which are more positive than others. To ensure that our views are credible, our brain accepts what our eye sees. To ensure that our views are positive, our eye looks for what our brain wants. The conspiracy between these two servants allows us to live at the fulcrum of stark reality and comforting illusion.”


Write a scene from the perspective of something smaller than you – MEC July 2017

I guard this corner of the window, this drafty space. I’ve backed into it so I can see all – both prey and foe. The light moves around me, circular, but occasionally interrupted by a bright glare that starts and stops with no sense. There are larger beings here on occasion, they fill the air with strange scents and move the air currents – sometimes in my favour as they cause a gnat to fly off course into my sticky netting. Sometimes, with a swipe, my nets are all struck down and with them my sustenance, perhaps even my progeny – my eggs. At those times, retreating into my corner may not be enough and I scramble for other cover. Always I return though, and patiently begin again. Strong outside strands, and thin, sticky inward ones. What a wondrous, satisfying existence. Where I wait, and my prey comes to me.


Thinking about simpler things like spiders and webs, bees and flowers, these things help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the state of things as the Pandemic rages on, and ICU’s are far too full and too busy. Writing about them helps even more. What do you like to write about these days? Are you working on something big, or on many smaller projects? Share your thoughts below!

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