The Big Open

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Just as we we were beginning to normalize our lives, a variant of Covid entered our lives and masks, social distancing, and isolation appeared again. The brief and yet so welcome respite refreshed our hearts and souls. Desperate folks saw lights at the end of their tunnels. Rather tan get angry at the current state of affairs, why not embrace the peace we felt a short time ago?

The world is still spinning on its axis and we’re still here, banged up a bit and disillusioned but still here. Why not keep an open mind and search for ways to get into the world again – “The Big Open ” is still calling!

One of the themes in the Laramie Fan Fiction stories (my story site) is the theme of “The Big Open”.” It refers to a “place” (new territory, if you will) where you can go exploring, where no one knows your name, where you are free to be who you are. Why not go exploring? Ok, Sallie, you’re asking me. Where can I explore? What can I explore? In A Word – EVERYTHING!! Books, music, foods, virtual museums, crafts, skills etc. etc.!!

The Open Road awaits:

Write and share where you are exploring.


June Monthly Prompts

Dear Fellow Journalists,

All months are important. All months have special days and events to celebrate and yet June seems to have a bit more than others. For instance, there’s weddings and conversely anniversaries. Graduations and new beginnings. Love and friendship, travel, new growth. So, it’s hard to pick just one theme to concentrate on so here are a few prompts I picked. I’m sure you have a few you could add too.

  1. What are you excited about this month?
  2. List your 10 favorite foods that remind you of summer?
  3. What’s on your summer reading list?
  4. Visit a park and write about what impresses you.
  5. What was the best advice you got from your Dad.
  6. Plan a “stay cation” for the last week of summer. What does it include?
  7. If you have a song that always reminds you of summer, play it slot. Mine is Kenny Cheney’s “Summertime”. Play it and you’ll hear what I mean.


Music – Its far reaching affects

Dear Fellow Journalers,

As I write this post, I am listening to the album entitled “The Man from Snowy River¬†” from the movie of the same name. The songs mostly remind me of horses which is mainly what the plot is about.

Anyway, I wondered how music affected us and after some¬† research discovered that even though we know that music is a big part of our lives, we react to it in many different ways. For instance, moderate noise levels are the best for creativity. Too much noise makes it impossible to get anything done. You’ve all heard the expression ” can’t hear the sound of my own voice”. Well, you can’t think through a problem with too much background music either.

Another interesting thought is how our music choices predict our personality. The study I read concentrated on 5 traits: openness to experience, being agreeable, being a conscientious person and emotional stability. So, for example, classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative and at ease. Country Western music fans are hard-working and outgoing. Soul fans are creative and gentle.

Music affects how we feel. If you listen to music on the car radio and the station plays a song from your past, you may remember the words but even if you don’t your memory of events will kick in. The song “I go back” from Kenny Chesney is so appropriate here.

Music can affect us when we exercise. Ever wonder what people are listening to when walking on the Stairmaster? The rhythmic speed of music influences your performance. For instance, if you’re taking a leisurely stroll through your neighborhood you might want to listen to soothing music in your ear and not something fast-paced. The tempo, researchers suggest should be between 120-140 beats per minute or BPM.

The best music for writing is very subjective. Some people have been listening to classical music others to their own favorites for years so much so that they scarcely hear the lyrics anymore. My advice? Try both and judge for yourself. Just don’t forget the earphones!


Word Ghosts and the road

One of my favorite Country singers is Kenney Chesney. Here is his song about traveling the road…




June 2023

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