The questions in this week’s Share Your World are these:

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

What do you do to make a living or during the day? If you are retired what mostly occupies your day? Or if you are a student what are you studying?

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

And my answers:

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

Shower for actually getting clean, because a bath is, like, you-soup. With soap.

But bath for reading and listening to music and scribbling jots that blot and run.

So bath THEN shower. That’s my preference.

What do you do to make a living or during the day? 

I’m on the clock as we speak, so I guess I could say I blog for a living, couldn’t I. But if the phone rings I must pick it up and say, “Thank you for calling the Hampton Inn by Hilton Evansville – this is Daniel – how may I help you?” Or if a would-be guest presents him- or herself here at the counter where I stand (yes, stand) eight hours at a time, five days a week, then I might say, “Hi. Are we expecting you?” or “Just arriving?” or “Checking in?”

For you see, I am a guest services agent. A customer service representative. A fancy hotel front desk guy. And I like the work. What I’m selling (sleep) is something the people who call or arrive actually want and/or need, so the transactions I conduct are quite different from the greater part of retail sales.

Of course, this is not the job I had in mind while taking my BA in English Language and Letters. I rather fancied myself a tenured professor one day. But halfway through grad school, I realized that a professorship was not for me, considering: the horrid, sniping, backbiting departmental and interdepartmental politics; the pressure to publish in scholarly journals and all the research, composition, submission, and crushing rejection which goes along with that; presenting dry, highly specialized papers at lame conferences – feeling always the need to spend half the paper proving that the field is worthwhile and a justifiable pursuit in the first place; then the teaching, which I always enjoyed, but for the necessity of slogging through mountains of poor rough drafts, of assigning grades which disappoint many and delight but few… so I bailed.

I did go on to teach for a time, after a fashion, before life through me some curves and I took to the comfort food of hospitality grunt work. The pay is peanuts, but how much dosh does a childless old bachelor really need? Maybe some day I’ll make a foray into management. I did take an Associate’s in Accounting a few years back. But it’s just as likely I’ll stay where I’m at ’cause it’s simple and straightforward and pleasant all in all.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom?

There is. It came just weeks ago in a Halloween slash Christmas care package from a dear friend. She sent, among other fun trifles, a pint-sized green dragon with tiny purple wings. I plopped it in my tray of pocket-change to guard the hoard.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Word prompts, photo prompts, theme prompts, title prompts, questions, challenges… in other words, other writers and bloggers. Big thanks to the prompt-makers, one and all!

In addition to prompts, I’ve taken inspiration this week from some famous quotes I found stashed on a certain blogger’s sidebar, an artistic photograph another talented blogger happened to post, an old haiku by Basho, and – perhaps most of all – from my own experiences and memories.

That’s a lot, I know, so let me narrow it down to what I consider to be the top three.

Linda Hill’s ‘Just Jot it January’ challenge has been helping me focus on blogging daily.

The ‘My 500 Words’ Challenge by Jeff Goins has been helping me work toward longer posts and pieces.

And third place, under the heading of appreciation, has to go to the kind folks who’ve taken the time and effort to visit and read and sometimes leave a ‘like’ or even a comment. The writer writes, even in a vacuum, but my growing sense of a supportive blogging community does help a lot with feeling motivated to put the words down, shuffle them around, and send them out. I’m very grateful.