365 Challenge: Day 171 – Blank

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Blank: (a) showing incomprehension or no reaction, (b) unrelieved by decorative or other features; bare, empty, or plain, (c) a space left to be filled in a document


I spent a little energy this morning thinking about the posts I need to write in preparation of a long-weekend getaway to visit family in Louisiana this weekend — if we are able to get down there given all that’s occurred with Hurricane Harvey (more on that later). A few words popped up, which I’m outlining in my head as to how I will blog about them for Saturday thru Tuesday while I’m away. The one that felt pertinent for today is the word ‘blank.’ I checked the trusty online dictionary, as I always do, and found a few appropriate definitions for the 365 Daily Challenge.

It all started yesterday when I was attempting to be funny with a comment on a post from my friend Nel @ Reactionary Tales. I left a few words blank with “____” for her to complete. She came back with a hilarious response and it just made me laugh until it then bugged me because I couldn’t remember the name of the game/quiz/magazine that you could buy to play with your friends and fill in the words. I kept thinking… am I getting old enough to be one of those guys who says “wuz that ole game we done played back when…” (yeah, apparently when I get old I bring out some southern accent that I do not have) and then I just wanted to cry about it. I did not cry. Too many other things got in the way. But sometimes a good old-fashioned cry helps. There I go again… “old-fashioned” — why is age such a big deal today? OK, I am way off topic. Nel finally knew what I meant, after a few back and forth jabs, she said “MadLibs?” For a second, I wondered if she had an expression on her face, sorta like, ‘dude, that game is so 1990s…’ Does anyone even know what I am talking about?


Anyways… ‘blank’ started it all. Then I was walking home from meeting a friend for lunch and I had a song that kept popping up along the way. I  found myself singing along (in my head — at first), not really knowing who sang it or what the name was. Finally, there I am walking down 1st Avenue in NYC with my phone, searching the lyrics I could remember, finally stumbling upon it. And then I was sadly ashamed of myself. Not because I couldn’t remember the song name or the artist. Not because it was someone very current and popular. Not because it made me feel so old. But because it was Taylor Swift. I mean no offense here. And I know very little about her. But for some reason, I don’t like her. Too many news articles about all the issues she has dating. “Get over yourself girl, shut the hell up and live your life. Stop telling me about it.” OK, rant over… again, if you love her, sorry, I don’t mean any offense.  The song was “Blank Space.” Well… I’m still not a fan of Ms. Swift, but it’s been playing on Spotify a few times a day around my apartment. I really need to take away Ryder’s permission to use my laptop.

For a small laugh, picture me… shorts and a tank top… walking down a NYC street… with my iPhone blasting “Blank Space” and no headphones… just speaker volume on high… singing… I’m a little shocked I made it home without someone — really, anyone would have at that moment — beating the cr*p out of me for torturing them with my awful voice and dance routine. Yeah, the head was bopping side to side… “cause we’re young and we’re reckless… go down in flaaaaaaaaames” {Aside: Ironic word. Eh, I will not validate that this happened. Never put in writing what might come back to haunt you.} It’s playing right now as I type this post. Here you go, enjoy my torture, click to listen to the song (not me):  Blank Space.

Back to the 365 word… I began creating my author website yesterday (https://jamescudney4.com) and it’s got so much blank space because I don’t have a lot of graphics, photos or images to use yet. Once the book cover comes back to me and I approve it, I can load more. Until then, it feels so blank! And I kept thinking… what do people want to know about me? How much should I put on an author website. I mean… I reveal EVERYTHING about myself on “ThisIsMyTruthNow” but what should I do on the new site? Any ideas? I could use some advice and input as I am apparently not creative enough to figure it out on my own. Or maybe I’m so creative in writing that I can’t design a visual blog and website. Help!

And lastly, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, my mind is a complete and utter blank over what is happening in Texas and Louisiana from all the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. I lived through the super storm Sandy in NYC years ago. I lived in NY during 9/11. I watched Katrina hit New Orleans years ago. But for some reason, seeing the flooding — and what it’s done to all the people of Houston and the surrounding areas — has created a huge blank space in my mind. Blank over shock. Blank wondering how do they survive. Blank at how anyone can possibly handle this much water and not lose everything they ever loved. It’s awful to witness, which means it’s impossible to imagine what’s really happening to the people most impacted by it. My mind is just blank as to how / why / who / what / when / where…. and everything that comes with it. I send tons of love and prayer and hope to any of the victims and people impacted by this tragedy.

I considered just leaving the whole post ‘blank’ as a very small way to remind us all not to be empty or blank in our support of others, but words often do more justice. We love you Houston. We should do anything we can to help them. And while I am and will do something outside this blog, I also dedicate this post (completely poking fun at myself) to them, in the hopes a little laughter will go a long way to pushing everyone to help the victims survive and carry forward.


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


51 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 171 – Blank

    Books Teacup and Reviews said:
    August 30, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    You don’t like Taylor Swift! That’s new! I also don’t know much about her life or news or whatsoever as I don’t specifically open a celebrity page on internet and read about their life, but I like some of her songs. Not this Blank space of course! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 30, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      Hehehe! Oh, I felt like such a fool when I saw it was her. Thanks for more laughs today! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Nel said:
    August 30, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    I hate her too. It’s okay. We can hate her together, haha. I’m pretty blank about what’s going on in Texas as well. I keep hearing stories about these heroic rescues and it just gives me so much faith in humanity. I was talking to M this morning and she was like “maybe you can adopt all the homeless animals!” and I was just like I really wish I had the means to do that cause I would in a heartbeat. For now, I hope the little bit of donation money I can give goes a long way.

    Liked by 2 people

    Roda said:
    August 30, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    I think a video of you singing and dancing to some T. Swift is a fabulous idea!!

    Liked by 2 people

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    August 30, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Kudos on remembering Houston and all other impacted areas today.

    Liked by 1 person

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    August 30, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    On another note, my kid is a big swift fan….I’ve seen her in concert twice….and yesterday, my daughter showed me the new video and explained to me the significance of each section…..how I am able to put a coherent sentence together today is a mystery. And maybe with the website it’s ok to be blank….after all, your career as a novelist is just beginning….it’s a blank slate. It will come to you, how to add on to this rich, new facet of your life. Or you can let Ryder do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    August 30, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    There’s much to say in response this this post . . . but words would never be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    August 30, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Terrific post. I totally agree about TS. Get over yourself, although I suppose that if she had a normal relationship she’d have nothing to write about. LOL on your Southern old man accent. I can’t imagine the devastation in Houston. Be careful in your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    Patty said:
    August 30, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    The game is called Mad Libs I used to love that game. 🙂 I can only imagine what Nels fill ins were. She is hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    August 30, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    I love several of Taylor’s songs but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m a fan of hers. I used to be obsessed but I am at the point now where I am over it lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 30, 2017 at 1:43 PM

      over it, !!! love it

      Liked by 1 person

        mistysbookspace said:
        August 30, 2017 at 1:50 PM

        Yeah like sometimes her songs come on the radio or pandora and I will listen to them and sometimes I am just like ugh really Taylor Swift again?

        Liked by 1 person

    deborahsinclair63 said:
    August 30, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Thank you for the follow, I appologize my brain eas some scrambled this morning when I wrote my post, but thank you non the less

    Liked by 1 person

    coffeelovingbookoholic said:
    August 30, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    i want to comment on this but i am so tired right now that my mind is totally blanking… 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    mrhushhush said:
    August 30, 2017 at 3:34 PM

    Lol!! I’m looking forward to your old age! Sounds funny as hell. You better gimme a call the second u wake up and realize you’ve turned to a hillbilly! Especially if you’ll still be singing Taylor swift 😂
    Great post 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    August 30, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    Oh no! No, no, no, no, no! Taylor Swift?! We need to rehabilitate you! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    Mel Gutiér said:
    August 30, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Wow! Just going through my reader. Taylor’s git a new song out. I’m so over the girl! Loved her 1989 album but this last song… Who does she have advising her? She needs to read your post on feedback!

    Great post and I just saw you commented on mine. Thank you for your thoughts. These types of disasters affect us all.

    Warm regards. This post made me smile after I’d been tears a little.

    Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    anne leueen said:
    August 30, 2017 at 10:05 PM

    I would like to write some intelligent comment to your very intelligent and entertaining post but my mind has gone blank.

    Liked by 1 person

    Cozynookbks said:
    August 31, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    A short bio describing who you are, what you like and what books you’ve written? People like to hear about pets so if you have one mention it. Just a suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    August 31, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Okay, so as I have gotten older (I turn 60 later this year), I have more and more of those blank moments and it is so frustrating. I actually used to have them quite a bit when I was younger too, but everyone just said it was because I was so busy, now they say it is because I am getting older. What happens when you are old and busy? On a more serious note, it is so hard to even imagine what the people in Texas and Louisiana are feeling right now. Unless you have lived it, you can not know We had a storm here and people were all upset because their basements flooded with a few inches to a foot of water. I understand being upset, but let’s put things in perspective, they still have a home to live in.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 31, 2017 at 9:05 AM

      Perspective is hard. The small flood in the basement is definitely painful and troublesome, but it can be fixed hopefully without too much damage. But as you pointed out, it’s is devastating what’s happened elsewhere. Good reminder and share.

      Blank moments, oh, maybe they could be fun if we forget the things we never really wanted to know in the first place, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    August 31, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    I, like you, am blank (my word numb) after going through Harvey. After a point I had to turn off the TV, no longer answer questions texted to me by well-meaning relatives, and read a good book instead. I couldn’t take any more of people’s pictures sent to me of their ruined homes, any more news of people who were friends who were hospitalized (or three who passed away) from the stress of it all, or any more fears voiced about food shortages. It was simply awful that these things were now realities in my life. VERY SLOWLY things are getting back to normal. Schools will resume on 9/11 (hopefully a week earlier for us, the day after labor day). Some students whom we met the week before all “this” happened will drop out with no word to anyone because they have moved to another state or gone home to their home country and anxious parents, or simply will not be heard from again. The lack of communication is one of the hardest things. Things like Facebook and group texts are absolutely toxic and those who rant politics and religion should be ashamed of themselves. I am so grateful we fared as well as we did and almost feel guilty as well as blessed that we did.
    Sigh…thanks for letting me post this.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 31, 2017 at 4:26 PM

      You are always welcome to share your thoughts. I agree on the FB stuff. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s fair to write it, but you need to stay away to be healthy sometimes. I am glad you are OK too. I wish you well in the coming days thru the beginnings of recovery. and so sorry about the loss of friends. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    mainepaperpusher said:
    September 1, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    I love the idea of posting or commenting leaving spaces to fill in. I haven’t played MadLibs in ages!

    Liked by 1 person

    shalini said:
    September 10, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    I blank out during exams…
    Oh are you dancing and singing to Ms. Swift.. In your birthday suit????? Eyebrows raised

    Liked by 1 person

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