Sunday, January 01, 2012

Itty Bitty Gratitude Prompt for New Year

Mindy Philips Lawrence line edits my Sharing with Writers newsletter and contributes an Itty Bitty column each issue. They are always loaded with links and resources for authors.  I thought you'd like this one--a little inspiration on this first day of a year of gratitude. By the way, if you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter that gives back to writers, send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject window. HoJoNews @  AOL  .  com.

Gratefulness: A Perspective on Being Thankful
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By Mindy Phillips Lawrence

“Pied Beauty”  ~ Gerald Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple - colour as a brinded cow;
For rose - moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh - firecoal chestnut - falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
With swíft, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers - forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise hím.

Hopkins’ poem, written in 1877 but not published until 1918, celebrates creation in all its variety. Although the work has layers of meaning, I’ve been thinking of it as a poem of gratitude.

Life is complicated. We have to deal with money problems, relationship problems, and the challenges tomorrow brings. Because we are consumed by our troubles, we often don’t stop to see the dappled sunshine dancing in a park or take the opportunity to see the fish shining as they move in
the water. We lose out.

Some people I know make a daily list of what they are thankful for and post it to Facebook. When I thought about doing this, I realized how grateful I was for simple things: That I got to know my sister Rose before I lost her, that I’ve had the same job for twenty years, that my electricity works and I have a place to live. I live in a little town with a small area where I love to park and just look at the trees.

Uncomplicated. Tranquil.

Why not take a piece of paper and write down at least ten things that make you grateful. Periodically add to the list. When you get frustrated and the world comes at you too fast, read your entries over again and realize how fortunate you are.

May you be well.


“Pied Beauty"


Light a Candle

Create a Life of Gratitude - truths - to - help - you - create - a -
life - of - gratitude/

I Am Thankful: Everyday Gratefulness - gratefulness

~ Mindy Phillips Lawrence,, is the author of the poetry collections One Blue Star and Above and Below. She is co-author of The Complete Writer and a publicist. She is in the process of putting together an e-book and paperback based on her Itty-Bitty Column for Sharing with Writers. Blogging at: Her specialty is helping writers with their media releases. Reach her at

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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