Category Archives: Bravery

Soul-Prospering – My Writing: Sharing a Short Story (and a Blog Hop!) with You

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I believe each one of us is on this Earth for a specific reason and that reason is to live a soul-prospering life. When we do this, we’re contributing our unique combination of gifts, abilities, and talents to the overarching goal of creating a better world. In the process, we get to live a deeply satisfying and fulfilling life that matters profoundly.

With this in mind, I’d like to share what I’m doing to live my soul-prospering life. Since I’m the author of this blog, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I like to write. Here is a flash fiction story that I wrote this summer. Flash fiction is a short story of 500 words or less, although some people say the upper limit is 1000 words.

A special treat for you is that this story is part of a blog hop.  At the end you’ll see links to others’ flash fiction stories.  This is my first time participating and I’m very excited about it.

My story is 493 words and is called Black Moon. I hope you enjoy it-enjoy the other stories as well!

Black Moon

Mama turned from the front window of our snug cottage hidden in the dark woods. Even though the lights were out, the star glow was enough to show me her worried face. “A Black Moon on All Hallow’s Eve.  I thought surely you’d– ”

“What, Mama? Whatever it is, I’ll do it.” I didn’t know what was upsetting her but I wanted to make her smile. “It’s still my birthday.  We can be happy about that, right?”

“Of course, my love!  The second New Moon in a month combined with your thirteenth birthday on All Hallow’s Eve. A very special night, indeed.”  Mama hugged me, her fuzzy sweater tickling my nose.

Rustling in the woods drew her to the window.

Oh! A sharp twinge in my hips.  I waited for pain but it didn’t come.  Instead, it felt…natural.

A sudden rush of raw power from Mother Earth coursed through me from my feet to my head.  What was going on?

Rather than fear, giddiness filled me. I bounded to Mama and threw my arms around her. “I lovelovelove the night!”

Mama laughed. “That’s because you’re a vampire.”  She growled, pretending to nibble my neck.

“No, Mama.”  I giggled.  “Then I couldn’t eat your yummy meatloaf, so full of garlic.”

“Hmmm, true.”  Mama pretended to think.  “I know!  You’re really a pixie or a wood sprite, and you fly like the wind.”

“Nope, not it.” I moved from her embrace and rolled my shoulders to ease the cramping. “Flying isn’t the only way to race like the wind.”

“Then you’re a zombie.”  She lumbered toward me, arms outstretched.

I shrieked. “No, Mama!”  The bones in my feet crackled as I dashed away from her.

“Then you’re a fairy or maybe an elf.”

“They’re too small and scrawny and won’t make decent toothpicks much less tasty tidbits.”

“Well then, that leaves one thing.  You’re a–”

Yips and barks close to our cottage.

Too close.

“Oh no!”  She let out a cry of fear.

My gaze sharpened on her. She looked delicate as she backed away from the window.

A howl echoed on the still night air.  My pulse quickened.  My bones ached, muscles throbbed. It felt so good! I stretched in anticipation.

She blindly reached back for me.   “Hide! Wolves!”

Yes Mama, yes. That’s it!

I snapped my jaws now filled with gleaming teeth. I crept toward her, reveling in the power of my new form.

She saw me. Surprise on her face.

I inhaled. Ahhh, the sharp tang of fear.  My mouth watered.  I moved in.

A hard thump at the door followed by a rumbling growl that shook my bones. I stopped, crouched. Uncertain.

She dropped to her knees, relief flooding her face. Now on her hands, too. Broadening, elongating.

Huge.

Now I was surprised.

She padded to me, her claws clicking on the hardwood floor. “Welcome, Pup!” She nuzzled me, her soft fur tickling my nose.  “Come, meet your true family.”

 

Happy Halloween, my dear Pep Pals! Feel free to share in the comments what you do that’s soul-prospering. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Here are the links to the other stories in this blog hop.  Have fun reading!

  1. <a href=”https://inkmapsandmacarons.com/en/snow-white-tabloid-style” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Snow White Tabloid Style, by Fannie Suto</a>
  2. <a href=”https://samanthadunawaybryant.blogspot.com/2018/10/31-of-31-days-of-halloween-writing.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Starving Artist, by Samantha Bryant</a>
  3. <a href=”https://wp.barbaralund.com/storytime-blog-h…ers-origin-story/ ‎” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Halloween Dance, by Barbara Lund</a>
  4. <a href=” www.elizabethmccleary.com/the-ghost-in-my-yard-blog-hop-october-2018” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Ghost In My Yard, by Elizabeth McCleary</a>
  5. <a href=” https://www.katharinagerlach.com/posts/storytime-bloghop-halloween-2018/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Her Majesty, by Katharina Gerlach</a>
  6. <a href=”https://ctbridges.com/holloween-blog-hop” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Chris Bridges Posting Storytime Blog Hop. Give her shout out and say Hello!</a>
  7. <a href=”https://dailypeptalks.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/5609/ ‎” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Black Moon, by Lauren M. Catherine</a>
  8. <a href=”https://www.jqrose.com/2018/10/storytime-blog-hop-poes-heart-celebrate.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Poe’s Heart, by J. Q. Rose</a>
  9. <a href=”https://wp.me/p1z8Ja-3h” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Hanks A Lot, by Joe Bouchard</a>
  10. <a href=”http://reprobatetypewriter.com/storytime-october-2018” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>In The Gray Lake, by Karen Lynn</a>
  11. <a href=”http://www.vanessawellsbooks.com/blog.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Right Honorable Brotherhood of Spirits, Poltergeists and Ghosts, by Vanessa Wells</a>
  12. <a href=”http://billbushauthor.com/october-2018-storytime-blog-hop” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Life of a Pumpkin, by Bill Bush</a>
  13. <a href=”http://www.ginafabio.com/posts/storytime-blog-hop-why-should-i/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Why Should I?, by Gina Fabio</a>
  14. <a href=”https://www.junetakey.com/storytime-blog-hop-october-31-2018-have-a-hallowing-halloween/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Reaper, by Juneta Key</a>

 

 

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Begin Again: What to Say to Yourself

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Here are positive statements to say to yourself frequently throughout the day:

 

I choose to begin again right now. 

 

This moment is fresh and new and I step into its glorious possibilities. 

 

I release and let go of all that no longer serves me. 

 

I turn my back on the past–out of sight, out of mind. 

 

I focus on the present and look to my bright future. 

 

I’m excited about my future because it’s full of potential.

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Begin Again: 10 More Quotes to Inspire You

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One of the most important things we can keep in mind as we build our soul-prospering lives is that we can always begin again.   We can always press the reset button, start fresh, begin anew. It’s never too late, we’re not too old, and it isn’t true that too much time has passed. We can and we should start again whenever we need to.

Below are a few more quotes to add to the selection that I posted yesterday.

 

Beginning is the most important part of the work. ~Plato

 

The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide you’re NOT staying where you are. ~J.P. Morgan

 

Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning ~Desmond Tutu

 

You live, you learn, and you upgrade. ~Unknown

 

It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

When you can no longer think of a reason to continue, you must think of a reason to start over.   ~Linda Poindexter

 

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~C. S. Lewis

 

Do you see each day as a fresh start or are you carrying yesterday into this brand new day. See the possibilities of beginning anew.   ~Theodore W. Higginsworth

 

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~Louis L’Amour

 

The bad news is that most people give up; they settle for second best; they don’t start over; they stay stuck. Please don’t allow that to be you. ~Doug Fields

 

Keep handy those quotes that rung true for you. Refer to them often this week, especially when you need a boost.

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Back by Popular Demand: Quotes to Fire Up Your Persistence

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Perseverance. Sticking with it. Seeing it through to the finish. Whatever you call it, persistence is the essential ingredient to crafting your soul-prospering life.

 

Below is a post on the topic of Persistence. It was originally published on August 9, 2015.

 

 

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It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance. ~ Miller

 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas A. Edison

 

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. ~ William James

 

All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck – who keeps right on going – is the man who is there when the good luck comes – and is ready to receive it. ~ Robert Collier

 

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

 

If you are going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill

 

Your homework today is to earmark time in your upcoming week where you can take the next step.

We’re all busy and our time is over-committed. With that in mind, make sure you break the steps into teensy-tiny, itsy-bitsy pieces that are so small that they can easily fit into the little smidgens of free time in your schedule. Then do those bits and smidgens!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Back by Popular Demand: 10 Quotes for When Fear Has You in Its Clutches

 

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We’ve all been afraid, especially when we’re going after our dreams. Fear seeps into our thoughts not only when we’re outside our comfort zone but even when we’re just thinking about maybe stepping a tiny bit outside, perhaps….

Below are 10 quotes that can boost your spirits and help you take the next step in spite of the fear and terror you may be feeling. The quotes below were originally posted on September 15, 2015.

Enjoy!

 

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”– Dale Carnegie

 

“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to boldly walk through them.” – Orison Swett Marden

 

“It’s all right to be afraid. You just don’t let it stop you from doing your job.”– Jim Butcher

 

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”  – Confucius

 

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy.” – Dr. Henry Link

 

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

 

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”  – Doug Firebaugh

“Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.” – Arthur Ashe

 

Keep these quotes handy during the week. When you become worried, fearful, or terrified, pull them out. Let their calm wisdom comfort and soothe you.   Then take the next step!

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Frenemies: What to Say to Yourself When a Frenemy Attacks

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Have you ever suffered a frenemy attack? Perhaps a colleague at work–someone you’d worked well with previously–throws you under the bus; now it’s you the boss is unfairly zeroing in on. Maybe, in confidence, you told a friend something very personal only to find when the whole group gets together that everyone knows….

After you recover from the shock and embarrassment, what do you say to yourself?

I’m sure you have thoughts of anger and you may even think about revenge how you’ll avenge yourself.. You may feel fear or worried because this may negatively impact your career. You may be sad and disappointed that someone you thought was a friend turned around and betrayed you.

These thoughts and feeling can lead to you telling yourself lies such as:

 

Maybe I am less talented;

 

Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be team leader;

 

Maybe I’ve been deluding myself all along and maybe I truly am an idiot…

 

NONE OF THESE THOUGHTS ARE TRUE!! THEY’RE ALL LIES!!!

 

Here are a few things to tell yourself instead:

 

This says more about them than it does about me;

 

This will show me who my true friends and allies are;

 

I am talented, I am intelligent, I do have a lot on the ball;

 

I am a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars. I have a right to be here. (from the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann)

 

 

Choose on of these thoughts to keep handy–or one that you’ve thought of for yourself. When a frenemy attacks, repeat to yourself the positive statements about yourself.

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Frenemies: 7 Quotes for the Upcoming Week

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Last week we started to talk about frenemies. With my computer and Internet troubles, we didn’t finish that discussion so we’ll continue it this week.

Here are 7 quotes about frenemies for this week. Let me know which one(s) ring true for you.

 

Thank you fake friends! You’ve only made me stronger and wiser. ~Unknown

 

Time will prove the worth of friendship. As time goes by we lose the false ones and keep the best. True friends stay when all the rest are gone. ~Ritu Ghatourey

 

Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back. They’re behind you for a reason. ~Unknown

 

An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say.   Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake. ~Zero Dean

 

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. ~The Buddha

 

A friend who stands with you in pressure is more valuable than a hundred ones who stand with you in pleasure. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

 

Better to have an enemy who slaps you in the face than a friend who stabs you in the back.   ~Unknown

 

Tomorrow we’re going to be talking about handling the feelings you have after being with a frenemy.   Come back and join the conversation!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren