Social Thinking

Usernames and passwords: How many do you have and how do you keep track of all of them?

Just when I think you’ve come up with a system, the website wants me to change my password. I’ve had enough Apple IDs to fill an orchard. Evidently, they turn rotten quickly because none of them ever works longer than 24 hours.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Emcee who provides one-photo clues to our weekly 100-word riddle is Alice Ludden Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

photo courtesy of Yours Truly


“Thinking is the hardest work there is; which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford


It pains me to say this, but one group at high risk for Heavy Thinking addiction is writers. These individuals spend a lot of time alone in front of blank computer screens actually encouraging the thought process.

I attended one of their small group meetings. During a critique session, a Heavy Thinker will offer a fledgling writer powerful suggestions to improve their story. This continues around the room until the author of said paper shows signs of dizziness and intoxication from an overdose of knowledge.

I usually sit there with that deer-in-the-headlights-look, occasionally offering half a thought, just to be social.

* the above is an excerpt from The Perils of Heavy Thinking, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

74 Comments on “Social Thinking

  1. Dear What’s His Name,

    Back in our game show days, it seems that a password was something simpler. Simpler times. Simpler minds. Now I have to wrack my half of brain to figure out combos I might possibly remember with symbols, upper and lower case letters. As for critique sessions…oy vey. Information overload usually has my eyes spinning in their sockets. Love the story…tanks for the prompt.


    Alice Ludden W(T)F

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alice Ludden W(T)F,

      I loved Password (the game show) and Concentration (although I now find my ability in this area lacking). I’m not very good at critique, but I do appreciate good suggestions that make my stories better. In the longer version, I also mention the Heavy Thinking that goes on at writers conferences. It’s sad to think how many nice convention centers have been desecrated by such blalant use of brain cells.

      Good luck with those passwords,
      What’s His Name


  2. Hahahaha. What a wonderful excerpt, Russell. Also, English being my third language, I had no idea what the deer-in-the-headlights-look was until I read it, googled it, learnt it and then of course, laughed out loud. Thanks so much for the dose of laughter. Also, thanks much for the photo prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have a lot of idioms (not to mention idiots) in America. Thanks for taking the time to look this one up and for your delightful comment. Glad you enjoyed the photo. I look forward to reading your story.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I dunno if I could handle a roomful of “suggestors”.
    As for the password situation. I break all the rules by using one for everything. Then change it everywhere when I have to…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, they are supposed to do an “account recovery” for me, but evidently it takes two weeks to do it. Ridiculous. Still, I do like their phone support. I get to talk to actual human, and so far, they’ve been very helpful every time I’ve called.


  4. Perilous times indeed – who’d be a Heavy Thinker when the world constantly demonstrates how unfashionable the concept is. Especially amongst the great and powerful … Made me smile Russsell 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I first looked at the photo I thought you were going to say your best ideas are formulated in the outhouse! 🙂 Love the excerpt!
    The password/user name thing is driving be batty! I have so many I’ve forgotten my own name.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now this seems familiar, “dizziness and intoxication from an overdose.” I believe I’ve experienced that several times before.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think I will continue to life offering only half thoughts. I’m not up to full blown deep thinking. Loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Funny and true, Russell. I tried an online writer’s group which ran contests for stories. I surmised after a time that the contests were being judged by members of the group who probably didn’t know much more than I did. I decided I’d rather learn from books written by published authors who knew much more than I did. I have to laugh when I read many people have passwords like “1-2-3-4-5-6.” I’m in sympathy with them though. 😀 — Suzanne


    • I’ve been attending writer groups for over 10 years and love it. The group I attend is non-judgmental, they just offer suggestions and you can take or leave them. I have read some good books on writing though, and they are quite helpful.


  9. I have about five passwords for possibly thirty sites. I keep track of them via a list over my desk, but they’re in code. Maybe that keeps me safe, maybe it doesn’t, but there’s only so much one can cope with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a limited number of passwords myself, but the Apple one is the most troublesome. We write some down too. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.


  10. Russell,

    When I saw this weeks prompt, I immediately said this looks like a “Russell” photo. It has so many funny ways to make up a story. To my total surprise, found out later it truly was you.

    I am loving reading all the stories with your prompt. Thanks for providing the photo.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Passwords are poppycock really. We only truly need diferent ones for where electronic coinage is exchanged. So one size fits all the others and alter a symbol every month job done. While I am here thank you for the loan of the photo for friday fictioneers. I enjoyed my 100 word respinse. P. S the ole firebox is a good a place as any to write… just hold your nose haaahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Russell!

    I never thought I’d say I was inspired by a toilet, but I guess I can say it now. I’ve been thinking about getting back to Friday Fictioneers for some time now, and it was YOUR photo that did it–though I had to think on it for some time. But then, now you know where I do my best thinking. HAHA!

    Love your sense of humor, as always!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jan,

      You may have been the one who told me about Friday Fictioneers to start with. In the early days, it was just you, me, Madison, and a handful of others. The group has certainly grown. People drop in and drop out, but I have made some wonderful friends around the globe and truly believe this weekly excercise has improved my writing.

      I originally posted this photo on Facebook as one of those 7 photos in 7 days things, and Rochelle snatched it up from there. It’s generated some imaginative stories. I look foward to reading yours. 🙂

      I really enjoyed your presentation at OWL,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear What’s His Name,

        You’re one of the reasons I couldn’t let Friday Fictioneers fade off into the sunset. And I feel the same about the friends around the globe. Again I’m happy to see Jan come back. A good meaning to what goes around comes around. 😀 I’ll admit to being a photo thief but I’m not saying a word about the invisible box.

        Alice (remember Alice? It’s a blog about Alice) Ludden W(T)F

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve never been much good at group-think. Too independent, I guess. And I’ve noticed that here on FF, very little genuine criticism is offered. I don’t offer it either. I’m too amazed at the abilities of all the other writers, which always seem more imaginative and original than my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t consider myself very good at offering critique, which is why I limit my self to half-a-thought. Sometimes, I will offer a suggestion for improvement if a particular passage causes me to stumble during the read, but that doesn’t happen too often in this group.

      I love your stories. Don’t put yourself down. They are very imaginative.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Why, thank you! I really wasn’t fishing, but I do appreciate the encouragement. Especially from someone with a mind as creative and funny as yours 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. If that’s really your bathroom, it must be freezing in the winter! Thanks for the great photo prompt this week. 🙂
    I used to think I had a good memory…until I had to memorize hundreds of passwords at a time.
    Would even more thinking be going on if everyone was sitting on a toilet during a writers’ group meeting? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing I like about Rodin’s thinker, he keeps his thoughts to himself. I guess he follows that old adage, if you don’t have something good to say, keep your mouth shut.


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