I’ve always enjoyed open spaces, but they’ve taken on a little more importance since so many places are closed right now and people are cooped up in their houses because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s also the second day of WordPress Discover prompts, in which I have resolved to participate just to see if I can manage a post every day in April.

Today’s prompt is “open.”

Since I don’t want to sit and fret about what’s closed for the foreseeable future, I figured I’d jot down a few snippets of my memories from places like parks and prairies.

Read on if you care to join me for a walk through the open spaces in my mind.

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Today, April Fools Day, is normally a day for jokes, pranks and general tomfoolery.

This is far from a normal April Fools Day.

Aside from a bad impression of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey — whose accent is the quintessential Southern drawl — I wasn’t in a jocular mood. I just learned “jocular” today thanks to WordPress Discover, which has started daily prompts again.

Today’s is “joke,” and it struck me as ironic since most people don’t see a global pandemic as the right time to joke around. I heard an actor say something about how important it is to document this time so when it’s over we’ll remember what it was like.

Something tells me most people who are old enough to remember this stretch of time won’t soon forget it.

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There is something in journalism called the can.

No, not the toilet.

It’s the place, in my experience most likely some sort of file or desktop folder, where writers keep stories they’ve decided to save for a slow news day.

I toiled seven years in print journalism, and there were a lot of days I just didn’t want to write or wondered whether there would be enough words to write to fill the paper.

One of the things I learned early in my journalism career was if I would like to receive a paycheck, the paper must be filled.

My bosses never liked my suggestion we fill it with crossword puzzles so the can saved my butt more than once.

I feel like now is a good time to tell you I have no idea where I’m going with this, and the time it takes you to read these words will be time you’ll never get back.

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I quit.
For a pretty good while last Thursday night, those two words were the only ones on the computer screen in front of me.
I’d even joked about a plan to simply leave this column blank except the above words and ride off into the proverbial sunset. (more…)

Each time I get writer’s block, which is often, I look for writing prompts to make the light bulb come on.
It’s generally a good bet no matter which list of prompts I read, the question of why I write — or some variation of it — will be included.
So I decided to answer it. (more…)