"What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life."-Bertrand Russell

Zest is one of my favorite things: there are few foods that smell as clean and energizing as a citrus fruit--especially a lemon. Zest is, therefore, the perfect word to describe the excitement, or energy for life. We have zest for things that we love. And sometimes it is that zest, the tantalizing hint of what is to come, that hope for a more delicious future, that carries us through.

"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done.
The zest of creating things new."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If gratitude is for the past, hope is for the future, zest, therefore, is for the present."                    -Park, Peterson & Seligman, 2004

"Zest. Gusto. How rarely do we see one living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up and rush him along the road he wants to go...I would only warn him to look…


We yearn the most for what we have lost, for what we cannot have, for what can never be. But there can be silver linings to our yearnings. We might discover something we love or want even more than what we originally desired. And, then, this: out of yearning, great stories are born. 

"I love those who yearn for the impossible."  -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What do you yearn for?  What story can you tell about it?

"Art comes from the place where you dream."  -Robert Olen Butler interview with Robert Olen Butler
Writing about yearning in fiction
Robert Olen Butler & short fiction
Longing writing prompt
From fear to yearning writer's prompt
An ancestral yearning: why writers love the ocean
Yearning for transcendence
Books about yearning
Yearning and writing inspiration
Harness the yearning

"If you don't die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert. You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of …


"Xenophilia isn't just codified in our metaphysics. Biology suggests that it is rooted in our DNA."     
-Paul Salopek

Love what is different. Let the differences enrich your lives. For our world is constructed not of separations, but from a continuous cultural tapestry woven on a fabric of land and sea, circling the sun in a vast solar system, within a potentially infinite universe. 

What might you love that you didn't know you could?

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion." -Nelson Mandela

"Strong people stand up for themselves. Stronger people stand up for others."

x-is-for-xenophilia-share-your-artwork-now xenophilia Xenophilia, Gender, & Sentimental Humanitarianism Projects out of Eden walk How to love "There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between th…


The world is full of magic things, waiting for our senses to grow sharper." -W.B Yeats

Wonder invites magic, escape, and wisdom. 
It brings discovery.

What do you wonder about?
Please check out the wonderful links below.
For kids:
Wonder book series
7 picture books about wonder

For adults:

The Wonder Wonder Towards Nature
Wonders & the Order of Nature
I Wonder: The Science of Imagination
Moth Presents All These Wonders
The best books on science & wonder
Other links:
Books of Wonder Bookstore
Wonder Books Bookstore Stimulate wonder in the classroom Fostering museum engagement through wonder 7 wonders of the world 7 natural wonders 
"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."
"He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder." 
-M.C. Escher
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” -Rachel Carson Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Ocean Image by StockSnap from

Venn Diagram

"My mind, a Venn diagram. 
You, the overlap and the intersect;
A pulsating glimmer--omnipresent, 
a lighthouse with its glowing breath..."
-Lang Leav, The Universe of Us

What is a Venn diagram?
A Venn diagram uses circles and curves to show relationships among sets (groups of like things). They are wonderful visual tools for triggering ideas, or unleashing creativity. This is because they allow users to easily pinpoint areas of overlap between items that may not initially seem similar. Venn diagrams are commonly used in math, but they have applications in virtually any field. First used around 1880, and named after mathematician John Venn, these diagrams can be complicated, but although they are capable of depicting complex relationships, those that depict fewer sets tend to be visually spare and elegant. 
These days even Kindergarteners learn Venn diagrams in school:
Venn diagrams for kids

Venn and creativity:
Venn diagrams as creative thinking tools
The Venn diagram stage of writing


1. A place of ideal perfection, especially in laws, government, and social conditions
2. An impractical scheme for social improvement
3. An imaginary and indefinitely remote place

In 1516, Thomas More wrote a satirical book in Latin entitled Utopia, which described a fictional island society. More created the term utopia. Its origins are Greek ("ou," no, and "topos," place), and it means "no place." It isn't the easiest of reads, but if you want to have a look, you can find it here: Utopia

Nothing is perfect. But we can strive for perfection, so long as it does not consume us in the process. Perfectionism, however, is the death knell of writing. If you cannot accept this, your story will never be finished.
Utopia has its issues, too. Like perfection, it is not achievable. But we can strive towards utopia, and lift everyone up, making life better in the process. 
Utopias, past and present

A writer's utopia can be a refuge.

What is your u…


1. Lasting for a limited time

"This too, shall pass."

Our time on earth is temporary. But our imprint on this planet, our legacy, does not have to be. 

We can live in the moment, but what if this moment is not one that we want to be in? We can temporarily escape into the things that we love--the creative arts, exercise, hobbies--or we can find distraction in our loved ones. Maybe they are human, maybe they are animal. We can check in on our friends and family. Especially those who are alone. Those who have lost jobs, or have health issues might be particularly vulnerable right now. 

Then we can plan for the future. 
We can help others to do the same. 
We can try to leave this world better than we found it. 

"When you make a choice, you change the future." -Deepak Chopra

"The future depends on what you do today." -Mahatma Gandhi
"The past is always tense, the future, perfect." -Zadie Smith

If you could leave a legacy, what would it be?

Why …