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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

White Mum by Linnell Chang One thing always leads to another: While putting a colorful Mother’s Day bouquet in a vase of water, I decided I should snap some photos of the flowers before they passed their prime. The following morning, I got out my camera and looked at the flowers from different angles. As my camera lens zoomed closer and closer to the delicate chrysanthemum petals, I became intrigued with their spoon-shaped curves and concentric rows. Soon I found myself “Googling” chrysanthemums on my computer. I learned from Symbolic-Meanings that Dreaming of chrysanthemums indicates an unfolding of the inner self, during a tumultuous time of life. More specifically, it may represent a time of deep personal growth forged by hardship or conflict. The result leading to a stronger, more realized self. At another site, I found out that John Steinbeck wrote a short story in the 1930s titled The Chrysanthemums. After reading the story, I sought more information about Steinbeck’s use of symbolism and how they relate to the development of his characters. As the morning passed, and as one discovery lead to another, all I could think of was how the beautiful bouquet of flowers was a gift that kept on giving.

#1 – Humanity

Act of Kindness

A man giving his shoes to a homeless girl in Rio de Janeiro

Reading the newspaper or watching the news every day can be a depressing experience when story after story highlights crimes against humanity. View this series of 35 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity and remember that acts of kindness can set a chain of positive events in motion.

#2 – A Two Minute Respite
Need to relax, unwind, take a break, de-stress, recharge, or refocus? If so, go to the Do Nothing For 2 Minutes site. Close your eyes or gaze at the photo of the sun peeking over the horizon. Relax and listen to the sound of ocean waves while the timer ticks down. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. The instructions state, “Just relax and listen to the waves. Don’t touch your mouse or keyboard.” If you dare ignore these instructions, a red “FAIL” appears on your screen. Give yourself a gift of 2 relaxing minutes.

#3 – One Sentence
After taking a 2 minute break and recharging your creative juices, how about trying your hand at writing a true story in only one sentence? That is the challenge of the site One Sentence. The site says, “One Sentence is an experiment in brevity.” The entertaining part of the site is to read what other people have submitted. If Ernest Hemingway could write a six word short story, you can write a story in one sentence!

#4 – One Recipe, Two Uses
The May issue of the Nutrition Action newsletter features a versatile recipe for a “Greek-inspired topping for grilled or roasted salmon or other fish — also doubles as a delightfully tangy salad dressing.” For more healthy recipes check out the “Healthy Recipes” section at Nutrition Action.

Yogurt-Dill Dressing:
Combine 6 oz. of fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 cup of fresh dill sprigs, 1 Tbs. of lemon juice, 1 Tbs. of Dijon mustard, 1 small shallot, and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

#5 – Happy to Be Grateful
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wishing you a weekend of grateful happiness!

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Oooo . . .

how dark it was . . .

how dread it was . . .

walking the road

to the end of the town . . .

for the halfway tree . . .

the Ghost-Eye tree . . .

was feared by all . . .

the great and the small . . .

who walked the road

to the end of the town . . .

Rounding the bend and seeing the Ghost-Eye tree, that I had imagined many years ago, those words from a children’s book fluttered back into my consciousness. Deep-cut bark created a pattern reminiscent of some exotic animal skin, while twisted gnarly branches became sinewy “arms” that, in a moment’s notice, could reach out and snatch someone. Old branch scars bulged out like “eyes” keeping watch.

When my children were young, I would dramatically read them the tale of The Ghost Eye Tree by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. They loved the scary story of a little boy and his sister who were forced to walk past the dreaded Ghost-Eye Tree in order to fetch a pale of milk on the other side of town. I always told my children it was just make-believe, that there was no real Ghost-Eye Tree. But standing in front of this tree, I realized I was wrong. The Ghost-Eye Tree exists in my imagination because someone planted the seed about it, but my imagination took it a step further and applied it to reality. The notion that minds can convert things in our imagination into reality is powerful. So much of progress and change stems from seedlings in our imaginations. Keeping our minds open to possibilities is what makes the impossible possible.

#1 – Make A Difference
Make a Difference Day Everyday is an opportunity to change lives and to make a difference in this world. But imagine a day when a nation collectively strives to make a difference. On October 27th join others around the nation and participate in Make A Difference Day: National Day of Doing Good. Click here to search for a Make a Difference Day event near you. It does not matter whether what you do to help is on a large or small scale. It just matters that you’re making a difference.

#2 – Virtual Choir


Using his imagination and creativity, composer Eric Whitacre gathered over 2,000 video submissions on You Tube and engineered them into a virtual choir. These beautiful voices from around the world sing together in perfect peaceful harmony.

#3 – Inspired Writing
Short Story Ideas When was the last time you sat down and wrote something for the sheer enjoyment of writing? A document for work or an expository piece for school certainly does not qualify on this count. Go to Short Story Ideas and click on the button that says “Inspire Me!” Three random words will appear in a small white box. Using those words as a source of inspiration, start writing. If you need more inspiration or a different type of inspiration, click on any of the headings in the toolbar at the top. For example, if given the first line, “It was never going to be an ordinary day” or if given the setting, “A bus stop is the location, money is the root of all evil is the theme. A fur coat is an object that plays a part in the story,” what would you write about? Let your imagination flow. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect or well-thought out. It will not being graded or looked at by anyone else but you, so write because it’s fun, challenging, and good exercise for your brain!

#4 – Advice To Your 15-Year-Old Self
Arianna Huffington Advice Using your imagination, go back in time. Go back to when you were 15. What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self? What things do you wish you’d known back then? In honor of the International Day of the Girl, CNN collected these inspirational thoughts and reflections from remarkable women around the world. Read each of their Things I’d Wish I’d Known.

#5 – Speak Your Truth
“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before. So walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going.”
Marc and Angel Hack Life

Have a wonderful weekend!

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