Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1st Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

It is Sunday, September 1st and I am going to apologize in advance, but I am about to get up on my soapbox. This rant is about being socially responsible when posting, sharing or forwarding alarming stories on Facebook, Twitter, wherever.

You see an alarming post and you feel compelled to share it. It could be about a missing child, a potential disaster, a beloved celebrity passing away, whatever. PLEASE take two minutes to verify the information is accurate, truthful and up to date. This can be done very easily by typing a few key words into your search engine of choice or by going to

If the information is correct, then by all means, post it; but if it’s not, share the link on the original poster’s post debunking it so everyone who saw the original post is aware the information is not true and should not share it.
Here are a few examples of recent stories that have been flying around the internet:
Jackie Chan, star of multiple martial art movies, was rumored to have fallen to his death during a movie stunt. The poor man was forced to post a photo of himself, holding a current newspaper, to prove the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. The rumor caused people who loved and cared about him a great deal of unwarranted pain.
In late June, early July, I saw postings looking for 2 and four year old brothers, Cole and Chase who had been kidnapped. Of course, as a mom, I was going to repost the alert, but I checked it out first. Turns out they were safely returned to their grandparents in APRIL. Same held true for several other Amber alerts. Unfortunately many more were valid and I did share the posts on my personal page, but wouldn’t it be good to know everyone I saw was valid?
Other alarming posts were photos of the ocean outside the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan boiling, and color satellite photos of the leak headed straight for the west coast of North America. Upon further inspection, photos shot from a different angle showed the boiling water was actually just fog and in reality the color satellite photo was the path of the tsunami waves from the 2011 tsunami and not of a nuclear leak. YES, the plant is in a state of emergency, and yes we should all probably be concerned for the thousands of people the disaster will affect; but get the facts straight so you don’t cause a panic.

We need to ban together and stop these erroneous posts. They are the equivalent of yelling “FIRE” in a crowded movie theater. Think before you repost, and when you do repost, add a tagline stating verified on such-and-such a date. When you debunk something, post it. It is embarrassing to have something you have posted debunked and it makes you think twice before blindly reposting.

OK, I’m done complaining. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!
Your Last Challenge was:

I can’t seem to get that song out of my head…

Chad pressed his hands to his temples and squeezed, hard. “Why can’t I get this song out of my head? What does it mean? Dammit!”

Several months ago, while on a call, Chad had been shot. Just a graze to the head, nothing life threatening, but the incident left a scar as well as an unusual side effect. He noticed the change when he returned to his first case after the accident. He and his partner Tom were assigned to a missing child case, a case with no clues, no leads.

That’s when the song “Under the Boardwalk” started playing over and over in his mind. It had tormented night and day until, out of frustration, he drove down to the beach and took a walk under the boardwalk, and that’s where he found the missing child, being held captive in a cage like a dog. The moment he freed her, the song stopped playing in his mind.

He had chocked it up to coincidence or he saw a clue which only registered subliminally, but then it happened again, and again.

Hmmm…may be a real story in there…

Your Next Challenge is:


Slowly he turned…step by step…inch by inch…


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.