A Day In My Life

How Easily We Become Community

A Day In My Life

I joined a word game on The Nextdoor App right after Covid quarantined our world. I didn’t get invited to the group or anything so formal. The creator, Basha Gray, put the game online and over the weeks about 60 of us began gravitating to it and chiming in with our responses. If you know me, you know I didn’t join right away. It took a month because I wanted to see how the game was going and if I could identify with the other players. Perhaps I wouldn’t want to follow the rules. I’m something of a loner, and like most writers, I’m comfortable dreaming and making up stories—not conforming.

Yesterday I talked about Renaissance and all things new, but some things will remain the same. The game has become important to me, and this morning as I brewed my coffee (which I also can’t do without) I decided to tell you about it. We game players joke that we’ve become addicted and can’t function without our daily word fix. Over the years I’ve pulled in my husband, daughters, son-in-law—whoever is around to help me think up answers. This morning as my husband ran past me and out of the kitchen, he threw up the sign of the cross (don’t mind him, he loves when I use his answers, especially if they get a lot of “likes”).

This is the game in its simplest form: Basha gives the word French ­­­­________, and our responses are: 

French fries

French poodle

French language

French pastries

By the time latecomers emerge, answers have grown creative and responses are now French press, French knot, French embroideryberet, etc.

Other times the line is in front of the word: ________Party, ie. Dance, Pajama, Political, House

Today was song day, and we had to respond with a song title that asks a question. Answers were Baby, Baby Where Did Our Love Go? How Will I know? Who Let the Dogs Out? When Will I Be Loved? Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? 

Players get a little serious and will often contest an answer. For example, this morning someone answered, “If I Were Your Woman.” Right away the challenge came. “That’s a statement not a question.” The response was, “Yes, it is a question. It begins with if and if is a question word.” 

I stay out of the fights. I’m just there to have fun, but I agreed with the challenger. I also agreed that Ask Me No Questions by B. B. King wasn’t a question title just because it has the word question in it. 

A lot of poor answers occur because players are reaching. You must get there first to score the top choices and win the coveted trophy at the end of each day. (Ya’ girl has won the trophy a few times). Sometimes the game begins at 5:30 a.m. and other times it comes up at 8:00 a.m. The times vary to allow everyone a chance to put forth a great answer and win. 

Basha usually leads us off but sometimes she’ll let someone else get the excellent answers and she’ll take the leftovers. Though her leftovers are usually pretty good. The game’s only criteria is that there be no duplicates and that we keep it clean, but a few naughty answers sneak in, and we respond with the “rolling on the floor laughing” emoji🤣 (lots of them).

Duplicates will be deleted, and anyone can tag a duplicate for deletion with the emoji up arrow ⬆️ referring to a previous answer and the name of the original author. Of course, the first ten or twelve comments get the most “likes” but those of us who’ve played the longest support each other. Meaning even if I’m delayed that morning, I’m bound to get a few familiars, and even Basha, to like my response. 

Members of the morning game have become my community, and we miss players who are absent. We worry until they come back. For example, one player, Mr. C, had been gone many months. When he came back, we were overjoyed and before we “loved” his answer, we had to leave individual greetings and welcome-backs. We’d missed his warmth, wit, and risque comments. Other players have gone on tropical vacations. They tell us their plans and we celebrate with them. 

These online relationships have developed naturally, virtually, and fully over the years. We talk about meeting in person, but I hope not. We’ve never zoomed so meeting might be a big disappointment. I know how they look and sound in my head. It might be a case of the movie not being as good as the book. I’d hate if Mr. C. was a twelve-year-old kid.

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Educator, Author, Blogger, and supporter of Independent Writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, http://amzn.to/2kSqdPX. Find me on Twitter @boom_lyn.

21 thoughts on “A Day In My Life

  1. Hi, Linda! I never heard of Next Door, but it sounds like fun. I play Wordle occasionally, but am not as addicted to it as some. Anything you do to exercise your brain must be good though, no? I tend to play FreeCell not sure why. P.S. if you ever get to see, against your will, Mr. C, please let us know what he looks like.Maybe he’s even a “she”!

  2. Hi Linda! Isn’t fun to make friends online? I just love it, but like you, I want nothing to do with the drama. Glad you have a fun game to play…and a reliable coffee maker to make your morning that much better!

    Best wishes,
    Donna M Atwood
    D.M. Atwood

  3. Hi, Linda! I ditched NextDoor 2 years ago. I don’t like the fact that they have these moderators (who are usually biased towards wo’s there – i.e. their family, friends, actual next door neighbors) and the fact that these are adults who secretly report other adults when they say or do something they don’t agree with. I also don’t like the so-called power CORPORATE ND gives to these moderators.

    That being said, I’m glad that you’re enjoying your time there! I find it one of those forums where the ugly hide out, waiting to pounce on the decent.

    Great post! I enjoyed it!

    ~Nonnie Jules

    1. Hi, Nonnie! I see some of that on Nextdoor. The comments can be very ugly. So far the administrator of this forum has stayed on top of commenters; but I have seen some of what you say. Thank you for commenting.

  4. I’m addicted to Wordle; I do it every night. There’s also a site called Wordplay where you can do unlimited Wordle-type games. I haven’t met anyone in person from the people I correspond with online, and I don’t believe I want to meet them. I like the mystery of who they are.

  5. Love that last sentence, Linda! Even introverts, which I’m convinced make up the majority of writers, can enjoy an online community. Your way of easing into it is wise, especially in today’s world. When we find something we enjoy and can participate in, it becomes easy to start making personal connections. I can think of one GREAT example right here! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. Hi, Linda,
    I like word games, especially scrabble, and working with crossword puzzles. I usually do a daily word game with Thesarus.com. I don’t know whether I would fit in with your game but it sounds like lot of fun.
    Shalom aleichem

  7. Your last sentence cracked me up, Linda! This games sounds like loads of fun. My sister, her best friend, and I play Wordle and see who can guess the word in the fewest moves. It’s one word a day, but it has become quite addictive, so I know what you are talking about. I love that you all have created a community around this game. Enjoy every moment of it! 🙂

    1. Awww, Yvette, your first sentence makes it all worth it. We live to make the reader feel what we intend. So thanks. I’ve tried Wordle, too and enjoy it. I appreciate you commenting.

  8. Now I see how you spend your days. I am definitely a loner and probably wouldn’t last in these group situations. Plus I’m no longer an early riser since I have retired. Lol!

    1. I don’t always get up in time to post the top answers, Shirley. I’m satisfied to be a participant and to like and encourage the other players. Thanks for keeping me encouraged.

  9. Sounds fun. To take photos without shadows you need to keep yourself from being between the light source and the subject. It’s hard when you have an overhead light. So the best thing to do is get a lamp, and the put the light on the subject while you stand behind or 90 degrees from the light source. That will usually work. Good luck

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