Thinking of you Friday

It’s Friday again…




Arm Chair Travel

Dear Fellow Journalers,

“We travel not to escape life, but for life to escape us.”  unknown

Arm Chair traveling is basically transporting ourselves to a destination without leaving our office, kitchen or chair in front of the fire. There are many ways to discover say London, and the many ways are movies, books, pictures, audio-books. There are other ways too.

How many of you travel up a mountain slope in Switzerland or ride a train into a forest while biking on a treadmill? Books that bring out the local culture can transport us to distant lands. Richard Paul Evans, Debbie Macomber and Kristin Hannah have a way of drawing you into the surroundings of their characters. Two books that I read recently transported me not only to the place but to the time period as well.

I saw the movie “Conagher” and wanted to read the book by Louis L’Amour. The book brought me to places I’d only seen on TV westerns. The second book is “Magic Hour” by Kristin Hannah. I’ve been to forests before but never to the State of Washington’s Olympic National Forest.

One of the best ways to use your imagination is to engage another of your 5 senses – taste. I usually order the same thing in an Italian restaurant in my town but I tried something different awhile ago and was transported to a tiny fishing village where I ate and drank to my heart’s content.

The perfect ending to a perfect day of arm-chair traveling.


How do you find the end?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

While your opening sentence grabs the readers’ attention and makes them want to keep reading your story, your ending paragraphs  or sentences give the summation of the story and the satisfactory aspects you want the reader to take into their lives.

Just as you struggle with that pesky first sentence, the last sentence depends on the way you’re feeling about your story/novel. Some writers are “fed up” with their novel – they want it to end now! Some writers have grown to love their characters and don’t want the story to end. One interesting aspect is that you may have written the final sentence already. How do you find the end?

  1. Re-read your draft and think about the structure of the story. Where is the sentence that solves the conflict, the climax has been reached, the heroine solves the mystery or realized that she really does love ____. End the story after that sentence.

  2. Think of your story as a series of questions and answers. Your narrator supplies the questions and in some cases the answers. When you’ve supplied all the answers, end the story.

3.  End your story on a note of hope for the future of your characters.

4.  Your last lines should teach a lesson, leave a memorable image or a satisfying sigh “Oh I just love this book!”

5.  Suppose you want to write a sequel, your last lines should make the reader want to buy/borrow your next book. The main character becomes estranged, the love triangle shatters, the roof falls……….

The following are some endings of books I have read:

“Life is not a sprint. It was never meant to be. It is just one step of faith at a time.” A step of Faith  by Richard Paul Evans

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far far better rest that I go to than I have known.” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

” Hope,” I say, “once upon a time there was a girl who loved the stars so much she took a ride on a rocket ship.” The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

and finally the beginning of the last paragraph of The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle:

“It is a formidable difficulty, and I fear that you ask too much when you expect me to solve it. The past and the present are within the field of my inquiry, but what a man may do in the future is a hard question to answer.”

‘Til next time,


Paper Daydreams The Pursuit of Happiness- Spirituality


Dear  Fellow Journalers,

I write a blog and every month I post an article entitled The Pursuit of Happiness.

While I try not to duplicate, I think this one is worth it:

July is the month of Spirituality. I’m sure that at first “glance” the idea of spirituality read religion  may seem to be out-of-place when you think of journaling but I’ll bet if you read on you’ll understand the “pull” of this topic.

For those of you who attend church, temple or other houses of worship, think back to a time when the music moved you. Sometimes a prayer, sermon or just the surroundings can inspire you. If you don’t go to church, do you watch a minister on TV?

Do you have a place that you go to reflect or pray? There’s a retreat house in CT that I have gone to for 15+ years now and people are always asking me why. “Why go so far away?” ” Why every year?” I tell them that it’s my second home. I feel close to God there and the combination of the peaceful surroundings, companionship, talks and music help me reconnect with my faith. My faith journal always accompanies me and one book. This book I will review for you on the 16th.

“We make our journeys by hope and faith; hope that our walk will be worthy of our steps and faith that we are going somewhere.”

“Walking on water” by Richard Paul Evans

‘Til next time,



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