REFINE: Free Write Day 30

  I love this photograph. It's the perfect combination of plain and fancy, simple and sophisticated. Both extremes are beautiful in their purest forms.   Both have value.   This photograph perfectly portrays what comes to mind when I think of "refined" people.   START   A refined person is NOT necessarily one of great wealth or aristocratic upbringing. They are NOT someone who's snooty or old-fashioned. They don't always know which fork to use.   I've known many refined people, and they all have things in common—regardless of bank balance or upbringing.   A person of refinement is kind, polite, respectful.   They are always thoughtful—in words and ... Keep Reading...

FOLLOW: Free Write Day 29

  I walked around a corner and saw them:  these shoes, sporting their cute looks along a wall. Once again, those girls showing their creative side . . . their "cute".   START   Those girls. They're following a new path.   The one they were born into wasn't pretty.   Abuse, neglect, abandonment, trafficking.   The girls no longer wonder if they'll be safe at night. No longer worry about whether or not there will be food to eat—or a bed to sleep in. Those cardboard "street mattresses" weren't very comfortable.   These girls no longer follow the path of poverty, teen (or childhood) pregnancy, and uncertainty.   Instead, they're living in homes with house parents who ... Keep Reading...

CONNECT: Free Write Day 28

  START   Life is no dot-to-dot picture.   We don't get a hint at what the future looks like. We don't even know how many dots there will be to connect.   Will our life be long, short—or somewhere in between?   Will the final picture be happy, sad—confusing?   I love watching children do their first dot-to-dot pictures. Some children know their numbers well and follow exactly as intended. For others, the final product is a little bit "off".   Life is like that, too.   Some people appear (on the surface, at least) to follow a clear path that leads to good things happening. Others take a lot of detours; some of their own making and some not.   And yet, if ... Keep Reading...