Thank You

In 2016, I joined the Inspired Prompt’s crew. Through the experience, I met a group of people who “got” me, unlike my family. Please don’t misunderstand me. Perhaps our families are our biggest fans, but let’s face it when writers mention things like pinch points, plot twists, and character development eyes tend to glaze over.

Writers need people who understand their problems. 😊 That need for understanding is what made Inspired Prompt work for the past eight years. Each week, fellow-writers came together to share ideas and much-needed encouragement through their blog posts and comments.

But like all good things, Inspired Prompt will come to an end this month. So, to all the readers, and commenters, I want to say “thank you” for all you’ve done. You are the reason I showed up and wrote each month. You encouraged me to keep going when I felt like giving up.

And now, I want to encourage you. Don’t let anything get in the way of reaching your goals. If for some reason you miss your target, don’t beat yourself up. Show up and keep writing. Find people and groups who can help you along your way. Take classes and hone your craft. And when you achieve your goals, help others in their endeavors. You won’t regret it. Finally, stay true to yourself. You are God’s gift to this world.

I’m sure we will meet again somewhere in this world of writing. Until then, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Happy writing, dear friend.

Life Interrupted

Congratulations! You’re finally writing that best-seller. The words are flowing, your characters are playing along, and your plot is mind-blowing. Life is good. Then it seems everything that can go wrong suddenly rises to meet you.

During these unexpected interruptions, you may find it hard to focus on your WIP. Don’t worry. There are still things you can do to keep your skills sharpened.

Time Management

Writers' Resolutions for 2017 by Karen JurgensLast year brought my writing time to a halt as I faced more responsibilities with elderly family members plus my own health issues. As days turned to weeks and weeks into months, it became necessary for me to write on the go. Here are a few places I found time to write.

Waiting in the doctors’ offices

In the nursing home parking lot

Waiting for my daughter to get out of class

While riding on long trips

While cleaning and cooking

Writing on the go isn’t easy. But with a little imagination and creativity, you’ll be surprised at how many words you’ll have written by the end of the week! Now, let’s look at what we can do with those words.


During difficult times, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a project. If yours is a long-term interruption, why not set smaller goals. If you can’t work on your story, work on smaller pieces. Write articles, devotions, or short stories. Each small goal will hone your skills as you wait. The most important thing is to keep writing and reading.


If you are a writer who can’t write unless you have absolute solitude, try reading. Reading will hone your editing skills. Reading a well-written book makes you aware of plot patterns and sentence structure. It will also fill your creative tank and get the ideas flowing once more. Keep those ideas tucked away in a safe place until you can begin writing again.


I want to add a caveat here. If you are facing a physical ailment, family responsibilities, or the loss of a loved one, take some time off. Do not feel guilty for needing time away from the computer. The book will be there when you are ready. Your health is the most crucial issue. There is only one you. And guess what, you can’t do everything. Believe me. Take care of yourself.

Remember, God holds it all in His hands. He knew everything that would come our way on this journey. His timing is perfect. Our jobs are to submit to His plan, follow His directions, and be ready when the time comes to share what He’s given to us.

Happy writing, dear friend!

Click-to-Tweet: Learn how to deal with life’s interruptions. You might try writing on the go. Life Interrupted by @lgjohnson87 via @InspiredPrompt

Writing Prompt

Use your imagination and write down ways you can continue writing when life brings interruptions.

Anne and Gilbert: My Favorite Romance

By Candace West

Getting smacked with a slate was not how Gilbert Blythe expected to fall in love. I daresay most of us would avoid such a head-splitting blow to the heart. When L.M. Montgomery first penned that scene, I doubt she knew she was writing one of the most beloved romances of all time. Yet it works. It charms us. A skinny, red-headed orphan loses her temper to a teasing flirt who in turn loses his heart. From that smack until Anne and Gilbert share their first kiss, we hold our breath.

Conflict between enemies turns eventually into conflict between two friends, one of them in love with the other. Can a story get any better than unrequited love? We agonize with Gilbert while we itch to shake Anne by the shoulders (even though we love her). The perfect guy is right under her nose, but she is blind. Bravo, L.M. Montgomery! You snagged our hearts forever!

Why, then, did it take three books for Gilbert and Anne to get it right? I think Lucy Montgomery would tip back her head and laugh at this digital, high-speed, instant gratification world. She instinctively knew that the future Blythe’s needed time. Gilbert had to first grow into a man shaped by his experiences. Anne had to taste freedom, independence, and a touch of romance before she could comprehend her “book of Revelation.” Their characters mature and strengthen, preparing them for that perfect moment that would otherwise be unperfect without it. Just as a rippling creek smooths and shapes the rocks beneath, time and trials shape Anne and Gilbert for that perfect moment when their love is ready.

Even now, their romance is timeless. Just the mention of Anne and Gilbert makes so many of us weak-kneed. This kind of effect does not happen at the whim of an author’s pen. Authors must develop it. Like the reader, they must get acquainted with every character to make a story live in the imagination. By investing time into characters, authors blur the lines between fiction and reality. By the story’s end, we feel like those characters really lived.

The result? A story we forever remember.

I am so glad Lucy gave Gilbert and Anne all the time they needed.

Click to Tweet: “I think Lucy Montgomery would tip back her head and laugh at this digital, high-speed, instant gratification world.”

Writing Prompt

Your characters have known each other since childhood. How do you plan to help them realize they care deeply for one another?

More about Candace West:

Amazon: Lane Steen

Connect with Candace West Posey here:

Writing the Healthy Way

Let’s face it. Sometimes, it takes a wake-up call to help us see what’s right in front of our faces. And for “why” people (waving hand), it takes understanding why something is necessary.


My wake-up call came in 2010 when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, Sicca, also known as Sjogren syndrome, arthritis, and bi-lateral frozen shoulders. For one who didn’t like taking breaks, drinking water, or eating balanced meals, my life was about to change.

Although the diagnoses explained all my symptoms, it didn’t give me the answers on how to change my lifestyle. The whys came by years of research. Hello, Google.


Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that messes with your cognitive abilities, among other things. If I get overly tired, I struggle to make decisions and suffer memory lapses. On those occasions, I take time away from everything, returning when I’ve rested.

Unfortunately, I can’t always control my schedule. Life has a way of interrupting our normal. What I can control is my nutritional intake. I do this by feeding my brain the necessary nutrients.


The way we eat affects our brains and our moods. Too much sugar weakens brain function and may worsen mood. Foods to avoid are refined carbohydrates, food high in trans-fat, highly processed foods, Aspartame, alcohol, and high mercury fish.

You may be asking, well, Gail, what do you eat?!

The omega 3 in fish is great for the noggin! Dark green vegetables improve memory too, along with berries and walnuts. By eating more vegetables and fruits, I have energy without the pain, and I think clearer.



A good word for Sjogren is dry. You can’t swallow food or breathe when your nasal passages and throat feel like a desert, so I’ve learned to drink the required amount of water each day (that reminds me, I’ll be right back).

Hydration has become a way of life. A water bottle is always with me. Coffee is limited to one cup. Sweet tea with lemon and Dr. Pepper are treats for rare occasion. Hey, I get tired of water, but it’s a necessary element for good health. 😊

Want to think clearer? Drink water. Your brain is made up of 73% water. How about breathing better? Your lungs are 83% water. Want supple skin. Your skin is 64% water. Lastly, your bones are 31% water. (I’ll wait while you get that water bottle.)


As writers, it’s necessary to sit and type for hours. But this disease has made it necessary for me to move. Experts advise moving every hour to counteract the dangers of sitting. Some suggest every thirty minutes.

I often do household chores or fold clothes while writing, carrying paper and pen with me. I exercise by walking outside, on a treadmill, or riding a stationary bike. The idea is to get my heart rate up and keep it up for 30 minutes to build stamina, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lubricate joints. My favorite thing is cleaning yards, especially raking and hauling leaves to the burn pile. Pulling a tarp or pushing a wheelbarrow always does the trick. 😉

Do I ever fall off the wagon? Honey, I’ve jumped and rolled down the incline. However, I’m learning everything that tastes good, is not good for me. If I want a body that will take care of me, then I must feed it the right nutrients, get the needed rest, drink plenty of water, keep moving, and write the healthy way!


Learn More:
The 7 Worst Foods for Your Brain
How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?
4 Types of Food to Help Boost Your Memory
Your Brain On Food
2 Minute Walk Every Hour May Help Offset Effects of Sitting

Click to Tweet: “Do I ever fall off the wagon? Honey, I’ve jumped and rolled down the incline. However, I’m learning everything that tastes good, is not good for you.” ~ @GailJohnson87 via  @Inspired Prompt  #writing #health

Writing Prompt

Jane’s hands paused over the keyboard. She couldn’t stop, now! She glared at the kitchen timer.
To lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, you must start moving, Miss Reynolds.
In the scene, tell if Jane obeys or ignores her doctor’s instructions, giving reasons for her decision.

I Think I Did Pretty Well

Steve Martin quote by Gail Johnson on Inspired Prompt

I pray you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Until next year . . .

ClicktoTweet: “I think I did pretty well . . .” ~ Steve Martin  #writing #quotes @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson

Writing Prompt

Sandra ripped the red metallic paper from the box and lifted the lid. Seeing the crisp white pages inside, she squealed with delight. The first thing she would do . . .