Monday, July 27, 2015

Spiritual Inspiration

Without entering into a lengthy and probably controversial discussion of spirituality or beliefs, I want to discuss how I have been inspired and share some of my writing with you.  

My spirituality or feelings of connection with my God come at times when I am contemplative, under stress, relaxed or are unexpected.  During some of these times I find myself talking to him and even creating something in my mind.  Do you know those times when words just start to form and you have to write them down, those times when you are talking out loud to yourself?  Those are the times when I know I am being inspired to write.  So, I write.

Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly what was going on in my life when I wrote this, but I called it 'A Psalm' for a reason.  When I was first discovering my faith as a Christian, I read the Psalms A LOT!  I connected to them because they are poems, song lyrics, direct messages to God.  I wanted to have (and still want to have) a directed link to God.  David wrote many of the psalms as his expressions of great emotions toward God.  Sometimes he was angry, sometimes he doubted, sometimes he expressed deep faith and love.  The overall feeling of this psalm is a desire for connection, not wanting to be left behind or forgotten.  I can see a strong desire for hope and belonging.  Also, I believe that I needed spiritual strengthening.

A Psalm
By Kimberly L McClune, January 18, 2013

Diffused light from the bright morning star
Emanates through a maze of frosted branches.
Fingers of illumination pattern the blue tinted ground.
A glowing countenance gracefully peers from beyond
Bearing a measure of hope to my longing my soul.

Oh, light that brings peace and love
Renew my spirit, fill the depths of my soul!
Shine your light in and through me.
Reveal your truth to my hardened heart.
Shower me with fulfillment and joy!

Do not deny a weakened spirit.
Open a portal to the inner sanctuary
Hardened by disappointment and fear.
Pour out your soothing balm to cleanse
And heal the wounds left by an ordinary life.

Oh, mighty and righteous giver of peace,
Wondrous lover of needy and aching hearts,
Let your love reign in my gasping soul,
Lift up my wounded spirit,
Wash me clean of all wrongdoing.

Heavy heart, wounded and sore
Hold fast to that one remaining thread of hope.
Don’t loose your grip, but cling to it
As if nothing in the world can move you.
For this is the path to enlightenment.

Hope does not fail, love does not leave
Peace is never far away.
All around are signs of faith and healing.
Open the heart, the mind and the spirit

And all shall enter in, together at last.

Whether you are Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or have any other faith, we can all relate to similar spiritual needs.  We want the belonging and the comfort of a faith in something greater than ourselves.  I encourage you to embrace your spirituality as it relates to writing and see what you come up with when you bring the two together.  Writing as an expression of yourself, for some, is the only way to write.  For others, writing can be a way to escape yourself.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Writing Prompts ~2~

In this post, I’ll be giving you some ideas for writing prompts, as well as sources for finding them.  Perhaps, I’ll even give you an example of one or two of mine. 

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, the best way to get better at something is to keep doing it.  Practice, like with an instrument or a sport, will help you to get better.  Getting better and seeing improvement in your own ability is one of the best ways to be inspired, at least for me, to keep working at it. 

Writing Prompts are a great way to challenge yourself to try new things, new themes, new styles and new genres of writing.  I find they can help to bring me out of a slump too.  There are many different types of prompts. 
If you’re a story writer, a good source for writing prompts could be the newspaper.  Review the headlines to find a situation or story that interests you and, without reading the newspaper’s article, write your own article or story.  Or, you could buy books that have prompts like, The Writer’s Book of Matches or 1001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction.  I found out about this from Writer’s Digest
online.  You can find it on Amazon or at a local bookstore.

On the website Creative Writing Now,, you will find hundreds of ideas for writing poetry, as well as tips and advice, and a bevy of other helpful things that writers like to poke around and read. 

You could chose to write about an image or painting or other visual stimuli you encounter or peruse in the course of your day.  You can also simply search for images of a certain thing, situation, feeling or word on your favorite internet search engine, like Google.  I searched ‘images for peace’ and got a load of “Peace Sign” images and doves holding olive branches and people holding hands, etc. 

Here’s a writing prompt with a visual for you to contemplate and write a poem for.  It can be any type of poem in any form, just use this prompt as your inspiration.  Try giving yourself a time limit for your piece.

                                                       The sun is rising.

Here's what I threw together in 10 minutes based on this image and these words.

Misty sunlight scrunches my eyes.
Still water slides past my weighty and sluggish strokes
As the long night turns to new day.

Faded, the world drifts past.
Molten gold swallows my oar as it pushes on
While daylight unfolds before me.

I would love to know what you come up with from this prompt.  It would also be great to hear from you about where you get ideas for poems and what inspires you. 

Keep writing and watch how much you improve with the practice.  

Other online sources for prompts: