1. Jean West says

    A quest. Big quest, little quest, a challenge gets my juices flowing. I’ve already “come alive” this morning, writing a scorcher to the homeowner association’s management company because they aren’t weeding the back of their beds and the weeds are now in my lawn. When my father developed weeping edema (naturally on a weekend evening) I went online and found a hospital wound manual and started treating it. When I saw Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, I knew I had to climb it. When I found a map of Custer’s battlefield that couldn’t have been made without input from Native Americans, I hounded my co-workers at the National Archives until we solved the mystery (the map was made six months later after interviews with some of Sitting Bull’s warriors who turned themselves in.) When I start a jigsaw puzzle, I don’t give up until I finish it. It’s one of the reasons why the prompts work well for me, as well as the National Novel Writing Month with its crazy word count goal each November. Whether it’s a quest I assume willingly or one placed upon me, the adrenaline flows, the neurons fire, and I come alive—although not with as classy a hair-do as Frankenstein’s Bride!

  2. Mary Ann Young Robinson says

    When the sun caresses my skin, it is almost like my best friend throwing her arms around me when I need care. Both are important to me in feeling well and blessed. I have always been a person who gets bored easily, I remember always talking and getting in trouble in elementary school, basically because I was so bored. I enjoy putting colors together whether it is a home project or a wardrobe project, the color spectrum excites me and satisfies me when accomplished. I will walk the mall or shops for a certain scarf, shoes, or other item until I am half dead…but when I find it?? I am ecstatic! I love meeting new people and most of my younger life I would thrive on being social and making new friends. I am partially disabled now, and it affects my everyday life so I have down-sized my activities. My husband encourages me when I am in the dumps, can’t get sun, vitamin D is low…I am appreciating more of God’s creation in flowers, birds, animals of all sorts, but that may be because I am getting old!

    I am still struggling with beginning paragraphs of a work and not giving up because I think my story may not be good for others. I worry too much about what others think…but, they might be the readers, so how can I not?

    • says

      Trust your voice, Mary Ann. Make your stories good for you. Start there. If you have the critic sitting on your shoulder as you write, you will never get any traction in your work.

  3. Ann Volkov says

    Chilly mornings in the mountains makes my whole being come alive. Physically with adrenaline, mentally with awareness and spiritually with awe of God’s creation. When there is a nip in the air, fog floating through the pine trees, dew dripping from the points of the needles on the Douglas Firs, I am in my element. I wish I could bottle the aroma of the wet leaves mixed with fresh dirt and pine and bring it home with me. I would open the bottle on those dreaded hot Southern California days, take a whiff and be transformed back into the mountains.

  4. Joy says

    What makes me come alive is when I’m writing a story that I can not only continue writing for more than one hour if I want to, but also in the hope that the subjects I’m writing about can make a difference in peoples lives, maybe help them see something in a whole new way that they’ve never thought before.

  5. Joy says

    Besides writing, noticing the beauty of nature all around me also makes me feel the most alive.I wish there’s a way to add this to what I’ve already written, but oh, well.

  6. Beverly Boyd says

    What makes me alive?
    I’m not very good at it. I’m not very consistent: spending a few obsessive days, then being distracted by something else that made me alive. It may be weeks before I do any more. I’ve learned to foster plants that thrive; in the local environment, that can take periods of neglect; maybe even grow stronger for it. The plants in the garden are much like my seven children, now grown. I enjoyed noticing how they wanted to grow and encouraged those behaviors. They learned to be very independent at an early age, taking care of themselves and each other to accommodate my busy and varied schedule. I called it “benign neglect”. I was always near enough if needed. My garden and my children bloom, go through periods of dormancy and bloom again.

    When I work in the garden I find myself in meditation as I notice the ways of the plants. The bur clover that, like my “character defects” has a way of coming back and creating a matted mess if I don’t pay attention. So, If I do nothing else, I ruthlessly pull out any new growth of it as soon as I see it.

    Now in July, the yellow oxalis and many colors of Iris have given way to red, white and blue of Crocosmia, Shasta Daisies, Alysum and Sage in one area and a riot of multi-colored Nastursiums in another. The Sage and Alyssum along with Society Garlic and Fortnight Lily, if cut back occasionally, will give pleasure through most of the winter until it is time again for the joyful yellow declaration from the Oxalis, “Spring is Here!”

  7. Paula Hill says


    Breathing in………breathing out……..and everything in between……
    Clicking, huge garden spiders…… curlews, calling at the sea’s edge….
    Paddling a kayak within a beam of the sun setting beyond the lake….
    Fingers shifting the humic garden soil; toes wet and muddy from an impromptu summer thunderous storm…
    Gathering a bouquet of flowers grown from my own sweat and toil…..
    Walking through a meadow, accompanied with the distant, voluminous drone of bees working in the surrounding oaks….
    The dried scent of burning white sage as incense of gratitude to Nature’s spirits…..
    Sailing large, swelling seas on an Autumnal windy day….
    A bonfire under a New Moon, sitting with lovely ones…
    Grieving at the deathbed of my father….
    Laying exhausted upon my bed, body and mind spent, at day’s end…
    The hunt for the celebratory tree in early Winter’s snowfall…
    Unspoken love in the arms of a hug….
    Passion’s Gate opening to the one I love…
    Blood breathes and seethes…
    alert, vivid, vibrant…
    in deference for submission to pulsating life….

  8. Tempered Ashes says

    What makes me come alive is myself. I’m not sure what else to say, except that I know now that I am alive. Perhaps before I thought I was dead–or perhaps just among the “walking dead.” I used to function like a robot. I used to do my chores, get my grades, walk the dog, air the laundry. Now, I write. And laugh. And cry. I hurt a pain so deep that sometimes I do not know if or when it will ever go away. I suppose my pain has brought me alive. My pain has forced me get in touch with my soul. My pain is what brings me the messages that I need to become a better human being.
    I just got stuck–I just got in touch w/my pain and I froze. My fingers stopped typing and my mind went blank. Perhaps my pain is trying to tell me something. Perhaps my pain recognizes the true value of who I must be as a living breathing person. Perhaps I am done with pain and can start living.
    Once I start living, I’ll tell you this much: no more pain! (At least not the kind I’ve experienced these last 10 years of so. . . )
    Now my pain will be about life, not death.
    Now my pain is about how do I get up in the morning so that I can suffer through a full day–(instead of how do I remove myself from the day and be among the “walking dead.”)
    Now my pain is real and I no longer have to hide it, dress it up or even take it out to dinner. I do not have to consort my pain as I did before. Now I can just feel my pain and make no apologies. I can tell the world that I am angry and that is ok. I can tell the world that although I have not been very alive these last 10 years or so, I am more alive now than I have ever been. Even through my pain I had felt the faint glimmers of an existence. I think “therefore I am, right?
    Well, I have certainly “thought” a whole lot these last 10 years. I have thought that I am a dragon-abutterfly-a Chinese template-a nose hummer. I have thought that I am tired. I am so so tired all the time and I just wish I could sleep-I mean really SLEEP. Of course when you sleep, you die. When you sleep, you no longer exist. Instead when you sleep you hear crickets at nighttime doing a dance. You hear water buffaloes waiting for their mate. You hear anchors fall and flyswaps hold. I guess sleep is ok every now and then- a natural human function.
    Now folks I am a little tired. Perhaps I’ll sleep tonight, perhaps not. The automaton that is still in my body will only let me sleep when he wants-not me. Here’s to the glory of the automaton-perhaps one day he will learn to live as well.
    Hugs always,

  9. Lisa Bulman Taylor says

    Bright flashes of paint; pure joy,
    smooth like butter flowing off the end of my brush.
    Dark morose tones hiding secrets and telling stories I dare not speak.
    Colours mixing, swirling, creating form.
    Satisfying pressure against canvas,
    positive space and negative space defining my vision.
    With every brushstroke, I appreciate my given gifts.
    I pray with thanks for each opportunity to create and express.
    With every moment I stay in, I thank our Creator
    for giving me life and his patience in teaching me how to live it well.

  10. Barbara says

    WoW!!! It’s my first time here and I’m not only alive, but I’m super-charged!
    What GREAT writers! I’m so inspired! Thanks so much for the invitation, Laura! And BTW, aren’t you supposed to be on vacation???!!! I think I know what makes YOU feel alive!

    Blessings to you, Laura for the inspiration you are to others and me too!
    And Blessings and gratitude to each of you who share your “insides” so BEAUTIFULLY and COURAGEOUSLY!

    In Awe,


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