Prompt: Growth

Using colored ink in your journal can help you theme entries into categories.

Green symbolizes so many things -- nature, growth, life, earth...
This week: Write in green ink about a time when you were growing. Maybe you were growing physically (growth spurts as a child, becoming a teenager, pregnancy, etc...), maybe you were growing emotionally. Maybe it was mental growth (school, classes, etc...) or spiritual growth.

Write about it. Growth. Life. New Beginnings.



"The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly." -- Friedrich Nietzsche



What are you using to decorate your journal? Try something new this week! This summer I've been experimenting with rubber stamps. Loved these brown butterflies!


Journaling Escapes

This morning after dropping my Kindergartener off at school, I took my toddler to a coffee shop overlooking the beach. She enjoyed apple juice & toys while I did some writing and sipped a latte. Later, I journaled at the beach while watching her chase seagulls and feed them her Goldfish crackers.

Where are you journaling? Finding new places to journal can free up your writing, and shake up your routine and perspective. This week: pack up the supplies you need to journal and find a new place to write. It might be your car, the playground, a train or bus, a cafe in the grocery store, the doctor's office waiting room, your front yard, or the children's section of your local library. See where your thoughts take you on the page, and report back.

Happy journaling & stay tuned...



Journaling is a hobby you can take with you quite easily, even if you use more than a pen and blank book.

What I generally take out-and-about with me fits in a big handbag with plenty of room leftover for wallet, keys, cell phone, etc. etc. plus things my daughters might need like snacks, board books, and extra clothes.

I like to take:
  • my journal
  • pens (at the bare minimum, one archival-quality black pen, like the Sharpie Pen, or Pigma Micron.
  • stickers
  • a gluestick
  • colored pens or pencils.
TIP: Affix an envelope into the back cover of your journal, and put bits of art or stickers inside, for quick additions to journal entries on the go.

Here's a short video on one art journaler's personal travel tool kit.

Happy journaling and stay tuned...

Contentment (Prompt)

I read somewhere that it's often easier for people to write about hard times and sadness than it is to capture with words happiness and true contentment. Think back to the last time you felt perfectly happy. Write about that moment, day, or time in your life with as much description as possible. Were you happy because of external circumstances, or despite them?


Changing Seasons

When the weather begins to change, and one season morphs into the next, it is easy to think about other changes taking place around you and within you. The other morning I woke to a cold house. It felt like Fall. Today my daughter started Kindergarten, and the yellow school buses are busy with their pick-ups and drop-offs around town. It is a season for new crayons & pencils, sweaters, and new beginnings.

Make a list in your journal about the things you love about Fall. Lists are fun! They are easy, can be done quickly, you can use bullet points, or different colors of ink or fonts, whatever you like. Doodle a border around your list or use stickers or magazine pages to illustrate your page.

Here are a few of my fall favorites:
sweater weather
new jeans

fuzzy socks
hot drinks
the crisp smell in the air
the seasonal scents & flavors -- apple, caramel, pumpkin...
long evenings to savor
the crunch of brightly colored leaves beneath your feet
baking pumpkin bread & muffins



Sometime in the next few days, do some writing using this phrase to start: "I used to believe..."


Extraordinary (Holiday) Monday

These are the best kinds of days... sunshine, not hot, and fresh air; outing with my family; everyone happy; toddler giggles from the playground tire swing; coffee & journaling; burger lunch outside; good conversation with Jonathan; strolling while hand-holding; tourist toodling; feeling elegant; wearing pearls; the awareness that I respect the man I married; the absence of tasks and duties waiting at home. No schedule, no agenda... just togetherness and fun.

Details, details, details... and the Art of Being Present

In writing, as in life, it is valuable to learn to be present. Writing is enriched when detail from as many of the five senses as possible is included. When I find myself content or joyful in a moment, I often stop and think specifically about what is contributing to my happiness.

Example: "This moment brought by the smell of Tide laundry detergent, the sound of Indie music on Pandora, the taste of cinnamon-brown sugar-cream oatmeal, the sight of two itty bitty girls smiling, and the feel of lavendar-infused shea socks."

What is it that has caught your attention about this moment? Is it a cool breeze that's blowing the wind off your face, or the faint smell of rain lingering in the air? Is it a giggle from your child, or stacks of freshly folded laundry? Whatever it is, use it in your writing.




Prompts work equally well for journaling or writing. Often, your writing will end up somewhere you didn't expect when you began writing from the prompt.

Try and set aside a few minutes sometime in the next week to write about a time you felt alone in a crowd.


On Journaling

My writing journey began nearly twenty years ago when I began keeping a diary. The diary was a gift from family friends. It was white, small, hardback, with a tiny gold lock & key. I especially adored that feature as I had three siblings. I began to write in it, and eventually I filled its little pages, and got a new diary, also small with a lock & key. Fast forward through the years, and many preferences of journal size & style, and I now have boxes of filled journals. At some point in this journey, I began to add things in, other than just writing. If I flip back through my volumes, I find all sorts of things attached to the pages -- receipts, photos, stickers, brochures, ticket stubs, ballet & theatre programs, greeting cards, candy wrappers, florist cards, you name it, it's probably in there somewhere. I have used many methods for affixing said objects -- staples, Scotch tape, doublestick tape, clear packing tape, and gluestick.

Essentially my journals have become what I jokingly call "scrapnals" -- a mix of scrapbooking & journaling. They are journal books, filled with lots of writing, but with a fair amount of proof & illustration.

I journal about everything. Daily events, things my daughters say, celebrations, tough times, food, weather, outings & events, things rattling around in my head and heart that have no audience.

Journaling is therapeutic. But that's not nearly all it is to me. Between the covers of my journal I record life. I creatively illustrate my pages using stickers, brads, marker, colored pencil, rubber stamps, photos, drawings, etc...

It is art. It is creativity. It is authenticity. It is history. It is reflection & recollection & restoration.

"Creative journaling", for lack of a better term, is a gift. Watch for future blogs on journaling.

Seeking Beauty

I have sand on my feet as I write. The ocean inspires me like little else. What inspires you? In the midst of jobs, responsibilities, stress, deadlines, and obligations what feeds you? In starting this blog, I am attempting to create a space where inspiration and art can live. Like a packet of flower seeds, I hope this will be just the beginning of things to come -- for me and for you. Stop by and see what I'm thinking about, what's grabbing my attention and inspiring me. My hope is that you'll begin to search for authenticity; that you will look for beauty around you.

Stay tuned...
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