Light in the Darkness – Daily Quote

wherever-my-story-takes-me-however-dark-and-difficult-the-theme-there-is-always-some-hope-and-redemption-not-because-readers-like-happy-endings-but-because-i-am-an-optimist-at-heart.-i

They say the best stories reflect life. My experience says life is messy, difficult, filled with trials and tribulations. If the tales we write were all about rainbows and unicorns, they would feel unreal, unbelievable, and the reader would soon throw the book across the room. Or I would.

Writing fiction riddled with gloom, doom, and terror would be equally unsatisfactory. Mired in deep despair, when all is lost, I search, hunting for a glimmer, a flickering light beckoning at the tunnel’s end. I fervently hope the light is not a freight train barreling toward me. Lost causes, desperate situations hide miraculous resolutions. Wayward heroes discover novel ways to set things right. Despondent characters unearth a reason to carry on. Novels that give me a reason to hope are the ones I cherish.

How do you balance light and dark in your stories?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – April 6

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 97 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? We are living in an upside-down world. The hustle and bustle of daily commutes, the never-ending parade of constant stress, unreasonable demands, over-hyped experiences, and thrilling activities competing for your time, attention, and energy—evaporated. Self-isolation, social distancing, work from home, eLearning, family time, and dog walking, are the newest must-do exercises. No one would blame you if you are feeling directionless in your suddenly open schedule.

Abrupt changes can induce anxiety, but what if you considered this an opportunity to cultivate deep working habits? Deep work is a concept defined by Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and self-help author. He defines deep work as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” The concept involves complete immersion in the task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call it “flow.”

Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions. Will applying this strategy help you find your voice, open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Home Sweet Souvenir – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title: Home Sweet Souvenir
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 151 – Keepsake
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 49 words

woman sitting on window inside room

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Every penny went to pay the mortgage on my first house. Cash for furnishings was in short supply.

The family dubbed me the Keepsake Klepto when they discovered their sentimental items decorating my home.

Laughing, they let me keep their kitsch, saying it was cheaper than a garage sale.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Quest for Happiness – Daily Quote

the-thing-were-all-looking-for-is-happiness-and-if-we-achieve-just-a-modicum-of-that-or-even-a-little-piece-of-serenity-even-for-five-minutes-a-day-were-very-lucky.-mel-gibson

Anything worth experiencing takes effort. When we lack a focused resolution, it is easy to find ourselves consumed by life’s crazy whirlwind of doubts, fears, anxiety, and hopelessness. Without thinking, we sink into predictable patterns of consuming massive amounts of data and trying to process complex concepts faster than any supercomputer. Feeling confused and overwhelmed, we plead for five minutes of silence. Is it any wonder we cope by vegging on the couch? Or we can make a different choice.

My alarm rings at 5 AM, and I force myself out of bed. No one else is awake, and calmness perfumes the air. I move in pre-dawn stillness as I brew my coffee. My oversized mug steams when I step onto my deck and wipe the dew from my chair. These early morning hours hold a special magic. Photographs cannot capture the beauty or brilliant promises on the horizon.

Songbirds sing, squirrels scamper, and a rabbit nibbles the tender growth in my strawberry patch. I snuggle into my warm jacket, sip my hot coffee, and discover I have found happiness. This quiet moment reminds me of the true value of simple things. These five minutes set me on a hopeful trajectory.

What brings you happiness?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – April 5

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 96 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? We are living in an upside-down world. The hustle and bustle of daily commutes, the never-ending parade of constant stress, unreasonable demands, over-hyped experiences, and thrilling activities competing for your time, attention, and energy—evaporated. Self-isolation, social distancing, work from home, eLearning, family time, and dog walking, are the newest must-do exercises. No one would blame you if you are feeling directionless in your suddenly open schedule.

Abrupt changes can induce anxiety, but what if you considered this an opportunity to cultivate deep working habits? Deep work is a concept defined by Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and self-help author. He defines deep work as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” The concept involves complete immersion in the task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call it “flow.”

Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions. Will applying this strategy help you find your voice, open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Mornings with Tweety – Friday Fictioneers

Title: Mornings with Tweety
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

“Morning Tweety Bird.”

“Good morning, Tweety Bird,” I lifted the cage’s covering and peeked at my tiny companion.

Tweety ruffled his feathers and hopped towards me.  I opened the wire door, and he flew into the kitchen.

“Tweety Bird want toast.” He cocked his head, waiting for me. “Tweety Bird want coffee.”

He pecked his empty saucer.

I placed a crumbled cracker on his plate, and he chirped his approval. I sipped my coffee while he danced and fluttered after crumbs until they disappeared. When he finished, he rewarded me with his morning song. Today would be a marvelous day.

________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Reward of a Good Writing Session – Daily Quote

i-kind-of-have-my-little-ocd-wood-shed-at-my-house-where-everything-is-just-right-when-i-go-write.-sam-hunt-

I don’t know if it is OCD, but I like it when things are immaculate and ordered. There is something satisfying about having a place for everything, and everything lives in its assigned spot. Clean house, sparkling windows and mirrors, freshly folded towels, spotless floors, and warm homemade cookies are my idea of a comfortable abode. My writing rituals are no less rigorous.

I set specific, time-sensitive and writing goals, which I scheduled and then analyze my progress. I demand high standards. Expecting perfection, my results are often less than gratifying, and yet better than I hoped. A clutter-free desk and a blank document allow my mind to concentrate on writing without distraction. When my writing session is complete, I reward myself with a cup of coffee and one of those home-baked cookies.

What is your perfect writing environment?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – April 4

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 95 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? We are living in an upside-down world. The hustle and bustle of daily commutes, the never-ending parade of constant stress, unreasonable demands, over-hyped experiences, and thrilling activities competing for your time, attention, and energy—evaporated. Self-isolation, social distancing, work from home, eLearning, family time, and dog walking, are the newest must-do exercises. No one would blame you if you are feeling directionless in your suddenly open schedule.

Abrupt changes can induce anxiety, but what if you considered this an opportunity to cultivate deep working habits? Deep work is a concept defined by Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and self-help author. He defines deep work as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” The concept involves complete immersion in the task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call it “flow.”

Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions. Will applying this strategy help you find your voice, open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Let Me Sleep on It, Baby, Baby – Daily Quote

it-is-a-common-experience-that-a-problem-difficult-at-night-is-resolved-in-the-morning-after-the-committee-of-sleep-has-worked-on-it.-john-steinbeck

I suspect we are all experiencing abnormal sleep patterns. Stress, uncertainty, altered schedules, and worry contribute to insomnia. Add unprecedented layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours for some, and overtime requests and increased exposure concerns for others, and you might wonder how anyone is sleeping at night. Whether you are working from home, home without work, or are an essential worker, any tenuous grasp on normalcy has been severed. Then there are the kids.

We need a firm schedule, sunshine, exercise, and elusive sleep. Experts recommend waking at the same time every morning and indulging in at least 30 minutes of sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythms. They suggest gentle workouts help mitigate anxiety, and they advise against using devices leading up to your normal bedtime. The trouble is, when the room goes dark, irrational fears creep from under the bed, and threaten to drag you down the rabbit hole of one more sleepless night.

My bag of tricks includes nice long baths, deep breathing and relaxation exercises, meditative music, and an almost boring book. Collections of inspirational short stories, books on poetry, and essays live on my nightstand. Page-turners I reserve for early morning reading sessions. As I turn the page, sleep closes the book on another day, and I dream of a better tomorrow.

How do you ensure a good night’s sleep?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – April 3

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 94 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? We are living in an upside-down world. The hustle and bustle of daily commutes, the never-ending parade of constant stress, unreasonable demands, over-hyped experiences, and thrilling activities competing for your time, attention, and energy—evaporated. Self-isolation, social distancing, work from home, eLearning, family time, and dog walking, are the newest must-do exercises. No one would blame you if you are feeling directionless in your suddenly open schedule.

Abrupt changes can induce anxiety, but what if you considered this an opportunity to cultivate deep working habits? Deep work is a concept defined by Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and self-help author. He defines deep work as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” The concept involves complete immersion in the task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call it “flow.”

Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions. Will applying this strategy help you find your voice, open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer