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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for January, 2009

WRITER PROMPT: The Most Beautiful Words You Know

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

According to Carolyn Kellogg, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, the web alphaDictionary (see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2009/01/mellifluous-loq.html) has compiled its selection of the 100 most beautiful words in English. Some examples cited: adroit, champagne, dulcet, ebullient, efflorescence, paean, rhapsody. A few more: chiaroscuro, diaphanous, ebullient and desuetude. Yes, I know, a dictionary would be helpful about now, wouldn’t it? But try to sound out these words and you’ll agree they are beautiful.
Your turn now: What beautiful words would you add?

WRITER PROMPT: Is Summer Always Within Us?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The other day I read a very inspiring quote from the great writer Albert Camus in which he said:
”In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
I take this to mean that no matter how difficult the days in our lives are, we have within ourselves an internal sun that is always there to bring light to our lives and feed our souls, and that this ”summer” of light can never be darkened even if terrible things befall us.
Camus’ quote is so relevant today as people throughout the world go through a harsh ”winter” that reveals itself in harsh economic conditions, loss of jobs, terrible wars that never seem to end, personal and family problems. So my question today is what does the quote by Camus mean to you? Do you agree with it — is there always a beautiful summer within us? How have you find the light in your own life when things have gone wrong? Or, what is the quote or advice or philosophy that gets you through hard times?
Please share your insights with us. We all need such help to find our courage.

WRITER PROMPT: Please Add to Obama’s Speech

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

If you could have contributed one paragraph or idea to the inaugural speech that Barack Obama gave as the new President of the United States, what would you have written?

WRITER PROMPT: What would Martin Luther King Jr. Say?

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

On August 28, 1963 speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during a march on Washington in support of civil rights legislation, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous ”I Have a Dream” speech in which he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites among others would coexist harmoniously as equals.
He said, among other things:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
“This is our hope…
“Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
If Martin Luther King were alive today to deliver a major speech, what do you think he would say? Would he say his dream come true? What issues do you think he would fight for in this time in which we now live?
Write us. Share your thoughts.

WRITER PROMPT: One Day in the Life of Another Person

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Three children in different parts of the world wake up one morning, each expecting the day to be like all the others. For one, in Mexico, this will turn into the most important day of her life; for another, in China, the day will be the happiest she will ever experience in her life, and for the third, in Chicago, this will become his saddest one. Write one of the children’s diaries for the day.

WRITER PROMPT: Posting a Note About a Sorrow

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Imagine that a public bulletin board was put up in your community where people could post notes in which they talk about their grievances, or the things that trouble them and give them sorrow. Maybe your grievance is about a family member who gives you a hard time, the problems you have at work or school, the poor service you receive in a restaurant or retail store, the problems of living in your city or community. What are some of the sorrows, the rants, the notes that you might expect to see on such a grievance board — what would they say about us?

WRITER PROMPT: What’s Important in Your Life?

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

We are all worried about the economy and how it is affecting our lives. We worry about the loss of our jobs, of the declining value in any property or stocks we may own, and sometimes these financial and economic concerns overwhelm us and put a shadow over all the good that is happening in our lives.

Robert L. Leahy, a clinical professor of psychology at Weill-Cornel University Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says we need to look at our lives in a different way and identify all the riches we have other than money.

”Your portfolio is not simply financial but a life portfolio,” he said in an interview for The New York Times (”Coping Skills and Horrible Imaginings” by Alina Tugend, January 3, 2009). Writes Ms. Tugend, ”Although it’s easy to nod and tune it out when you’re told that money isn’t everything, it helps to really focus on what is important in life besides making money, like your family relationships, friendships and your role in your community.”

Says Professor Leahy, ”You are not just a consumer product. It will sound corny to some people, but if your life portfolio is greater than your financial portfolio, then you’re diversified.”

So, take a look at your own life right now, and think about all the things that make life rich and wonderful for you, such as your friendships or relationships, and write about these things which give you pleasure and make you feel good about living. Please share the good in your lives with us. The things you write about will help the rest of us also focus on the good that is in our own lives.

WRITER PROMPT: Your Resolution for the New Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Philippe Petit, the wirewalker who walked across a rope attached to the Twin Towers (as shown in the movie, ‘Manyon Wire”) recently said this about his resolution for the new year:
”I live in the clouds, among birds. My problems are the treacherous wind currents, and ah yes, on the ground, the men and women who have been trained to say no to miracles.
”So let’s include in [the new year’s] school curriculum classes in daydreaming, in following your intuition, in romantic improvisations.”
This is a wonderful idea, don’t you think, to be encouraged to daydream and use your imagination to look at things in a new light?
So go on and daydream and think about your own resolution or dreams for this new year. How do you want things to change for you and for the world? What is the hope or dream that comes from your heart?
Please share your thoughts with us.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!