Writing Challenge Day 2: Your Earliest Memory

Burlington, Iowa circa 1983
I was a toddler. My Dad’s cassette deck in a component system was at my level and I remember playing tapes on it. I only recall the music having a good beat and dancing to it. I was told later by my Mom the album was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The tape wore out I was playing it so much. I remember the living room, where the tape deck was, and the adjoining kitchen with its thin green carpet.  No other memories of that time and place are left.

This may also explain my fondness for sound equipment; I have a knack for setting up home entertainment systems and equipment for bands.

Writing Challenge Day 1: 5 Problems with Social Media

It seems ironic to me that I am speaking about this on social media.

First and foremost, the internet trolls: those that seem to make a living by tearing down others without empathy or realizing the whole story. They go for the jugular, unrelentless in their pursuit of the truth as they see it; there is no room discussion. They annoy me. And even the ones I’d agree with on a subject come off as that jerk who’s had too much to drink at a party. If you’re going to go after someone, show up with facts and figures and be firm; don’t provoke with idle comments.

It seems to do anything on the internet with getting your business/name/brand/writing out there requires a marketing degree. I will admit I am a little ignorant of all those buzzword protocols and decorum. It doesn’t feel organic enough to me – instead it’s more of a foreign code I can’t quite crack. I suppose this is more my own problem with social media. It appears to work well for those who know what they’re talking about.

I marvel at people who can put everything they are feeling or thinking online without thinking about the consequences of their actions. I find this more so among those of Generation Z – the ones born in the late 90’s and beyond. I wonder how much their concept of privacy compares and contrasts with my own. I am by nature a very private person.Or perhaps, thanks to platforms such as Twitter, we have the ability and the right to alert all our followers that we are “turnt at 2am.” I have a just off-stage-left view of a Generation Z girl, both her online and real life personalities and I must say, I am both horrified and amused by her posts.

My own issues, to satisfy my craving for privateness, reflect how I use social media. I censor for the masses, especially on those platforms where a vast array of people from different parts of my life can read it. To some, I walk a bit too much on the wild side; to others, I’m the pristine virgin. I assure you I am neither. Nonetheless, the small part of me that is still a people pleaser tends to come out in these situations. I’ve gone as far not posting anything personal. I’ll comment on posts, but I post nothing about my inner thoughts, feelings, or current situations. Perhaps it’s because I like to be mysterious; perhaps I’m retreating further into my shell as I age. Or maybe it’s a little of both.

The lies that social media starts constantly have me shaking my head. Take today, for instance: I saw a graphic a friend posted about turning the clocks back on October 25 (yesterday). I freaked for a moment, as I was drinking my morning coffee, how did I miss daylight savings?? A quick Google search set me right: it’s next weekend. Ugh! Just goes to show you can’t believe everything you read. The medical lies floating around out there are the ones that really get to me, mainly because I am a part of the medical community. Until you pull back the curtain and know what’s going on behind the scenes, which most don’t, things don’t always make sense. We take it at face value and run with it. Our perspective shields us from the truth sometimes.

And hence, the lies become perpetuated on the internet because a group has traded it as the “truth.”


For the past 12 years, I have blogged under different personas and hosting sites, documenting my life as it happens. Most of the time it was a very sanitized view of things, since people I knew in real life read them and I didn’t want to sound any alarms or raise too many eyebrows. Like a phoenix, this is just another revivification of my life, with a different slant. No longer do I feel the need to introduce myself or put on airs or give an aseptic evenness to what I write.

This is full throttle on an open road with no real particular destination in mind.

My name is Simonne Braden and I would love for you to join me on this journey.