Friday Fun for Chinese New Year!

Gung Hey Fat Choi!

Chinese New Year 2014

Chinese New Year


In celebration of Chinese New Year–the Year of the Wood Horse for 2014–today’s writing prompt is to use these 3 words to start a story:  wooden, trot, new.

Want to know a little more about the Year of the Wood Horse?  Here’s a cool blog post to read:

Happy Writing and Happy New Year!

Thoughtful Friday Fun

I’ve recently been reminded of a quote by Viktor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor.  The quote prompted quite a bit of introspection and several diary entries.

And so, for today’s writing prompt, choose from one of the Frankl quotes below and let your pen loose.

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.
Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness.  In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.  That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.
Happy Writing!

Thieves Oil Blend

During the winter, staying healthy can be a greater challenge than during the rest of the year.  Sniffles, sneezes, and coughs are everywhere.

For me, I prefer to use natural remedies and immune supporters.  One such remedy that’s a boon this time of year (in my opinion) is Thieves Oil.

Legend has it that in the 15th century, a band of grave robbers created a blend of anti-infectious essential oils in order to protect themselves while looting the bodies of recently deceased plague victims.  Many essential oils have antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic qualities:  tea tree, oregano, and rosemary, just to name a few.  The traditional blend for Thieves Oil contains clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus oils.

Here is a recipe from Mountian Rose Herbs:

40 drops clove bud essential oil

35 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops cinnamon essential oil

15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil

This oil is said to help protect against colds, flu, bronchitis, cold sores, and cuts.  For more information, read this post on the Mountain Rose Blog.

Stay healthy!



Friday Fun. . . . and some astrology fun!

If you were to trace out the path that Venus makes in the sky, it would look like a five-pointed star.

Venus Star Pattern

Venus Star Pattern

Pretty nifty, I think.

Tomorrow, January 11th, Venus will touch on the star point in Capricorn.  Capricorn teaches us about structure and discipline and order.  It likes tradition and practicality.  It’s the father figure of the zodiac.

How can you use this astrological arrangement to help yourself?  Think about the obstacles and struggles you may have had over the past few years.  What hard-won lessons did you learn?  How have those things shaped you and forged the person you are now?

For today’s Friday Fun creative writing prompt,  write a letter to your future self.  Include a recap of some of the lessons you’ve learned over the past year or two (or ten).  Then summarize the main thing you’ve learned that you want to bring forward with you out of that learning period.

Happy writing, and happy learning!


Happy New Year!

A new year, a clean slate!  I don’t know about you, but there’s something so appealing to me about a “do over.”  I usually blame that on my Scorpio Sun Sign.  After all, Scorpio represents transformation and change.

But maybe it’s deeper than that.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good redemption story?  Don’t we always cheer for the hero who goes through the fire and comes out stronger on the other side?  Don’t we all applaud the man who falls down and then pulls himself back up?  Maybe it’s the “hope springs eternal” thing that is inside each of us.

2013 certainly had its share of challenges.  Lots of fires for us to go through.  Lots of chances to fall down.

But my hope is that we all learned at least a little something from those setbacks.  Every warrior on the path toward wisdom needs a nemesis or two, a hurdle to overcome, a hardship to test his mettle.  The key, though, I think, is to keep going through those obstacles.  Sure, there are times when we all want to give up, and times when we even do give up for a bit.  But in the end, it’s continuing to fight the good fight that matters.

So here, then, is my wish for 2014, expressed through the amazing genius of Donald O’Connor: