Tag Archives: writing

Write On! (Some Writing Prompts and Encouragement)

words mean more

It’s an inescapable law of the universe that if you want to read something, someone must have written it previously. Just as immutable, is the sometimes painful truth that if you want to have written something, you have to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, voice to voicemail, lipstick to mirror, marker to small child, first. Even if your receiving medium doesn’t have a pulse, getting the words started can be terrifying, no matter how brave we may normally be.

Roller coaster rider

What will I write about? What’s my opening line? Am I digging at an itch? Do I want her to laugh? I don’t know what I’m going to write about I’m never going to write anything because I suck and a story about a gargoyle afraid of heights is stupid and I should go and mop the garage and why is this page so EMPTY?!!??!

It happens. I haven’t met anyone who writes who doesn’t experience the above paragraph in some way, way more than once, with associated procrastination, wailing and/or dramatic drooping. While dramatic drooping can be entertaining, it can also be painful, so here’s what I suggest instead – just decide to spend 5 minutes writing something. It could be anything at all (I’m not going to suggest what it could be!), if it’s got words in it then it counts. Just 5 minutes, 3 minutes, or even 30 seconds. Just a moment in time where you remember that you can write.

Diving belle

To help, I’ve compiled some pictures and ideas from “writing prompts” for your musing and entertainment…* Continue reading Write On! (Some Writing Prompts and Encouragement)

Peculiar Treasures & First Draft Poem

Collage by Linda Hoffman Kimball

This week’s Segullah bloggers’ Peculiar Treasures provide another diverse array of online bits of wit and wisdom.

Denise Stirk offers thoughts on the strong bonds of the shared experience of motherhood. She finds in those bonds both consolation and increased capacity to mourn with those that mourn.

Business leader and author Margaret Heffernan explores the benefits of “conflict”. It’s time to stop thinking of “conflict” as negative. Rather, it can be a loving, creative and effective way of collaborative thinking. In some cases, it’s the only solution to deep systemic problems. What applications spring to mind in your own lives? This piece was the writing prompt for Linda Hoffman Kimball’s 1st draft poem (below).

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Ann Cannon’s shock at an egregious – and viral – obituary from Down Under spawned a fun article. The Australian obituary opened with unflattering commentary on famed author Colleen McCullough’s physical attributes, rather than her writing excellence as the author of the bestselling novel The Thornbirds. Ms. Cannon gave several Utah based authors (including some Segullah sisters) the alluring writing prompt of writing their own obituaries as a good natured protest. Enjoy their results.

For the athletes among us, Business Insider’s article on “Why You Should Run a Mile Instead of a Marathon” provides science and reassurance to those who prefer – but have felt guilty about – running shorter distances.

For a hit of pure delight and creativity watch this “tasty” PES video – and check out the other clever and quirky PES-produced clips as well! You will think about household objects in very different ways from now on.

Author Kurt Vonnegut shares his rejected University of Chicago Master’s thesis that he considers his “prettiest contribution to culture”. He exploring concepts of the shape of stories. I think he’s actually on to something!

And here is a first draft of a poem by Linda Hoffman Kimball. She’s bravely sharing this work-in-progress inspired by the compelling TED talk by Margaret Heffernan.

Healing Powers

In 1956 Dr. Alice’s Lancet article shared her discovery:
At a rate of 2 to 1, children who died of cancer
had mothers who were x-rayed while pregnant.

But the world was in love with the cool new machines,
And surely doctors intent on healing
Could never do harm.

The slaughter of the innocents continued for
Twenty-five more years
Despite the news.

“Openness alone cannot drive change.”

Institutions cannot think.
They are comprised of people
Who find some information frightening,
And the conflict it invokes threatening.

They do not yet see
Conflict as a kind of thinking.
They have not yet embraced
The value of differences
Nor built the muscles
Such thinking requires.

Dr. Alice (the people person)
and statistician George (the reclusive nerd)
danced a passionate pas de deux.

His task – to disprove her theory;
Hers, to prove it right.
They brought their best:
their devotion to science’s highest purposes,
opposite perspectives,
their varied backgrounds.
They were not each other’s echos.

It was exhausting. It was not fun.
It took patience and a lot of energy.
It was a kind of love.

By this tumultuous process
– and the death of a child a week for twenty-five years –
Changes came.

“Openness isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.”

Passion: Or maybe just a fad?

Running with The Raven on Miami Beach. He has run eight miles on Miami Beach every single day of my life– talk about passion.

Six years ago, I had a routine: get all the kids ready, drop the two oldest  off at the elementary school, then head over to the gym, where I’d put the baby and the preschooler in kid care, and I’d go off to spend the next two hours doing whatever I wanted. Usually, I wanted to take a spin class. I was pretty fanatical about my spin classes. I had teachers I loved and teachers I barely tolerated. Some songs were great for spinning (Latin dance music– who knew?), while some songs made the class almost unendurable– and if you asked (and even if you didn’t), I’d be happy to expound on which was which. In class, I’d sit in the back, right under the fan, with my water bottle full and my game face on. I was the annoying girl who grunted and sweated and tried to race you. It was awesome. If you had asked me what I was passionate about back in those days, spinning classes surely would have been on my list.

Five and a half years ago, we moved, and I can probably count on one hand the number of spin classes I’ve taken since. I haven’t even been on a bike.

Looking back, it’s obvious that spin classes were, for me, just a fad. An enjoyable fad, to be sure. My butt looked amazing, and my abs were much tighter than they’ve ever been before or since. But when we relocated, there wasn’t a gym that had classes at a time that worked, and my kids were old enough that I didn’t need my daily interaction with the girls at the gym (as competitive as it may have been on my part) to save my sanity.  Continue reading Passion: Or maybe just a fad?

The October Segullah Journal is Ready and Waiting!

As Fall flashes her brilliance in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is showing off in the Southern half – my Instagram feed is full of Autumn/Fall colours and early vegetable seedlings being coaxed into the warming earth. Segullah is also flowering and fruiting with this month’s Journal!

Sandra Jergensen shares her hopes and waning garden, and Kelsey Petersen relates the unexpected fruits of pride and humility. So open your windows to the warm/cool breezes, and open a browser to our October offerings. And remember – we are always looking for submissions!

Peculiar Treasures – 22 September


Do we have some amazing, incredible, bizarre and wonderful links for you this week! The links are grouped loosely by theme (all brought to you by the letter “W”), so read on and have a peculiar treasure or twelve to start your week of well.

On writing: Did you know writing has health benefits, from your lungs to your liver, your mood and healing capabilities? Or watch someone explain “My job is that I lie to children” with humour and a secret door or three.

On wonder: Gather good. Pass it on. Multiply goodness . Also, there’s the love of a man for his wife and God, shared by his son.

On weird and wacky: A carrot for/is music! How to cut cake with science!

On wilderness: Some deep sea creatures have been highlighted, as well as one that looks like a real-life Pokémon. Continue reading Peculiar Treasures – 22 September