IMG_0363 (1)If we scream that we want peace, and we are looking for a fight in the process, then we don’t really want peace.

We want to fight. We want to struggle. We want to be right.

It’s challenging to be peaceful when it seems like the world has gone mad, violence has become random, and the world has become chaotic.

But I am pretty sure that humans have always felt this way from time to time.

The thing is, we are supposed to be more enlightened today than we were in the past.

We are supposed to have evolved to a place where we can peacefully say what we need and want, not merely rail more viciously against what we don’t want.

So before you really rip someone a new you-know-what, take a sec and notice whether or not you feel peaceful while you are doing them this little favor.

And if you don’t, try to calm yourself down.

Maybe you need a good cry.

Maybe you need to pound some pillows on the bed…until you can cry.

Maybe you need some quiet time or perhaps you wish to be with others who are also processing their emotions in healthy ways.

It’s your job to tune in to what you need and take care of your needs. The world cannot be peaceful until every one of us learns how to do this.

What we see and hear lately is too much hate, too much ego, and too much righteousness.

Certainly this does not describe everyone’s behavior, but I think we can all agree that there seems to be too much of this in the world right now.

So, check your temper, curb your ego, and get in touch with what you tend to get righteous about.

None of us are perfect. I am calm writing this right now, but all of this advice also applies to me, especially in times when I don’t feel this centered.

No one is asking you to be perfect. I doubt I will become perfect any time soon.

But we are being asked to get in touch with what we think we cannot tolerate and learn how to calmly bear it, so we can all step forward into a better world, together.

There are a lot of things I don’t like, but I like to believe that there isn’t anything I can’t handle.

That doesn’t mean I am asking for bad things to happen. It means I am accepting what is and I’m ready to move forward from here.

Let’s remind each other of this, as we calmly discuss the issues with respect for each other.

Self-respect begets respect and respect creates a ripple-effect of wider respect.

Slow down. Get a grip. Take care of you.

We can soothe this violent streak, but only if we work together.

Only if we nurture peace within first.

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Summer Writing Prompts BadgeThe number one skill I recommend for writers is capturing moments. Capturing moments makes you a better writer every single time you write one.

What’s a moment?

Here’s an example.

I am standing at Starbucks this morning waiting for my quad-shot, half-caf, one-honey, with-room Americano and I spy a little girl also waiting with her mother. Her mother is blonde with long curls spiraling past her shoulders. She is wearing a little black sundress and has a toe ring on one of her sandled feet. You might think the little girl, around age five, would be similarly girly, but nope. She is wearing a lime green jacket over a navy sundress and pink puffy Crocs. Her face reminds me of drawings I’ve seen of Ramona in the Beverly Cleary books. The mother is poised and calm. The little girl is jittery and happy. She does not walk over to the counter next to her mother, she dances in an exaggerated fashion, jutting out her arms like violin bows going both ways, making up steps to the music as she walks. Her legs are pale and so is her little square, pig-tailed face, which often glances up with a huge grin at her mother. From the side, I can’t see her mother’s face as it is wrapped in long, thick curls. The way she carries herself seems to want to keep the curls intact as long as possible. But I assume she is looking at the girl with approval, since I am grinning and on the verge of laughing out loud witnessing her childish exuberance. I glance over at woman to the left of me, who is also witnessing the girl. She is somewhere between blank and scowling, which I don’t understand, since the little girl’s joy is so contagious. I look at the solemn woman a half-second longer. Is she sure she can’t smile? Apparently, she cannot. Back to my right, the girl suddenly launches herself from her mother’s side and takes two giant strides towards the Starbucks counter, then pushes herself up on her hands like a gymnast going over the vault, while in mid-air she grabs a straw from the collection, and comes solidly back down on her feet. She pivots and marches towards her mother holding up the straw with a giant grin across her face as though she has just scored a perfect ten. But she is not a gymnast, who would be poised, cool, and collected, more like the mother. She is all spindly little-girl arms and legs, her dancing rhythms are jerky and explosive, her brown pigtails spurt out of the sides of her head like two tiny explosions. She is all girl. No TV or Internet has succeeded in subduing her with articles and videos of how to get a perfect bikini body this summer. No tense mother has shaken a finger at her over and over telling her to calm down and behave. She explodes into spontaneous dance moves and giant grins and vaults over imagined obstacles just like all girls, little and big, always should.

That’s a moment. I did not write it in response to a prompt, I wrote it about something I witnessed this morning.

You can write moments about things you witness, feel, remember, or you can write moments in response to a prompt, which is a way of asking your writer-self to wake up, engage, and respond.

You don’t have to go anywhere to write a response, you can write a response from wherever you are. And since writers are virtually everywhere in the summer time, I created a series of 30 prompts to help us have something to respond to every day.

This moment was a personal response to something concrete. Moments that you write to my series of prompts can be anything you like. I suggest you let them be what they want to be. Just let them flow out. Just be writing.

If you decide to register and join the fun, I hope you will share the badge I’ve included with this post. It’s linked to registration page for the challenge already, so feel free to pin it or share it. You may share what you write in your blog as you write, so long as you do not give away the prompt itself. If you wish, you can share the challenge badge with your posts, but it’s not required.

Some writers prefer to write in private, some in public, some in groups, etc. The key is to write however you enjoy writing most. These are writing for pleasure prompts, after all.

Happy summer writing. May you burst into spontaneous fits of imagination…just like the little girl I saw at Starbucks today.

Summer I Writing Challenge

Summer I Writing ChallengeI always wanted my online school to be a place for creative growth and empowerment and in tune with this mission, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Summer I Writing For Pleasure Daily Prompt Challenge.

This daily writing prompt challenge is perfect for the month of June and will begin on the day you register, so you can take it in June or beginning any day this summer. Registration opens tomorrow and cost for 30 prompts is $15.

You have a couple of choices as to how to approach the daily prompt challenge:

  1. You can pick up your daily prompts in my school and you will be given one prompt per day for 30 days starting the day you register
  2. Or you can download the entire list of prompts after you register and pick and choose from the 30 prompts however you like

I know that some participants like to have the prompts paced out, so they don’t see them all in advance. So you can do that in my school. But since it’s summer and folks are on the road and often away from Wi-Fi, I thought I’d offer the download option, as well.

There will not be a competition or instructor review aspect to this challenge. In reviewing the legalities of online competitions, it seems to make the most sense to simply focus on creating quality prompt challenges and leave the competition aspect out.

I am very excited to be able to use my school to offer courses and challenges. Let the daily writing prompts begin! Registration opens tomorrow morning, Tuesday May 31st. In the meantime, you can check out the challenge description right here.

Be sure to register for the challenge the day you wish to begin. And happy writing all summer long! Coming up next, the Summer II Writing For Pleasure Daily Prompt Challenge.

Thanks for reading! And thanks for sharing this post with fellow writers! Please subscribe to The Prosperous Writer Blog and sign up for The Prosperous Writer Newsletter, for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Take advantage of lowest price discounts now in my brand new online writing school.

 

Summer[Update: registration for first summer challenge will open on Tuesday and your challenge starts the day you register. So register on the day you wish to begin. In the meantime, happy long weekend!]

Exciting news!

I’ve decided to launch daily writing for pleasure prompts via my new school.

Nobody wants tons of writing pressure in the summer. But it’s really beneficial for writers to write everyday whether they have a work in progress or not.

Remember when I used to do moment challenges via email? Those were great.

This time, I’m going to set the daily writing challenge up in my school instead and each prompt will be a mini-lesson in writing well.

So even though it will seem like you are only writing for fun, you will actually be learning valuable skills that you can apply to everything you write.

I will have all the details by Monday! Stay tuned if you want to keep your writing skills cooking even as you kick back and relax this summer.

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