Sparks Light Fires


Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.


Carl Sagan,


(via simplybookdrunk)

(Source: a-ramblinrose)


Watch our interviews with musicians from Heartbeat, an international, interfaith nonprofit organization that “creates opportunities and spaces for young Israeli and Palestinian musicians to work together, hear each other, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them.” Based in Jerusalem, Heartbeat “unites musicians, educators, and students to build mutual understanding and transform conflict through the power of music.” This performance—made up mostly of songs composed by members of the band, from “I said why won’t you let this go?” to “What’s the wall good for?”—was part of a recent US tour. It took place at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC.

hello jj :) first and foremost, I love love love your blog! Thank you for all the inspiration! I have a question about journaling that I hope you can help me with: halfway through writing in a journal, I become bored with said journal and abandon it. I have a bunch of half written in journals lying around my house and I would love to be able to write through the whole journal without becoming bored with the process. Please help! <3


Hello, there! Thank you for the love! It has been much needed over the past few days. I’m kind of hitting a rough patch myself, to be honest.

I’ve known a great many of my friends to get sucked down into this same rut before and it literally sucks! But sometimes, in order to keep ourselves focused on a journal or a piece of writing, we have to mix things up a bit.

Here are a few ideas for you ( and okayjohnson, justmepilit since you’ve been waiting so patiently for me to answer, THANK YOU! ) to get your creative juices going when you are running dry: 

  • Stage 1: Relaxation and Observation

1) Take a break! Don’t just write all the time. Writers need time to themselves to reflect and rejuvenate, so STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!!! Put down the pen and spend some time with friends. Drink some orange juice. Go for a walk or a jog. Listen to music and meditate. Allow yourself to clear your mind and just be for a few hours. Or it could be a day or two. However long you think you need to put your thoughts in check, take that much time. Listen to what your body and your brain is trying to tell you!

2) Go outside.  [#1 continued…] While you’re on your vacay from your writing projects and your journal, breathe in some fresh air.

But, this is your real homework: Make Observations.

As you probably already well know, writers are natural observers. We see things that happen, we notice the small details about people that make them different from each other, and we recognize that this world is indeed, a strange but wonderful place. You have a gift. So use it!

Challenge yourself to observe 1-10 things that inspire you to write!


The way the grass smells after it rains is so sweet…


    Wow, that cashier was really rude to her customer. What would I say to her if I had the chance to stand up to her?

3) Be productive! Sometimes when we’re in this kind of rut, we need a bigger distraction. Tackling that huge pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen and folding the laundry is one of them.

Writers crave (but don’t necessarily need) organization in their lives in order to breathe properly while they work. You’ll feel so much better after you’ve granted yourself this distraction, and your work area will be more accessible as well! Now, what writer doesn’t want all their papers neatly filed away in their correct folders?


  • Stage 2: Preparation 

4) Read a book! Studies show that reading a book for 20 minutes that you haven’t read before will increase not only your clarity for speech, but also your drive to write. Go check out an old dusty book from the library that no one has given love to in years and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

(This is a trick that I have used to many times before, and it does work.)

5) Get out your dictionary. Flip through the pages A-? and for 5-10 minutes write down a list of words that you have never heard of or find extremely interesting. Define them and figure out how they can possibly fit into your next journal entry or novel.

6) Get active! Now you may return to your computer. Go online and search for writing prompts that you may be able to respond to. Choose a prompt for every hour on the hour or maybe just one prompt per day if you’d like to take more time.

Write your responses to these writing prompts on a sheet of paper in your own handwriting. Typing is acceptable as well, but doing a bit of extra work and pushing yourself is going to train your brain more quickly.

  • Find some writing exercises Here and online Tumblr prompts Here.

Let inspiration in and chase after it!


  • Stage 3: Writing

7) Ready, set, write! Now that you’ve had some time off, collected your personal thoughts, and challenged yourself to take baby steps, it’s time to get back to the nitty-gritty.

Get settled. Get your favorite snack and drink. Make a checklist of all the helpful tools you might need. (ex: Got your handy-dandy vocabulary word sheet you made earlier with your dictionary?)

Take the plunge.

Take out your journal. If you don’t feel like writing page after page, switch it up and doodle or sketch with colored pencils. Use water colors. Write down some of your favorite quotes that inspire you!

  • Find Art Journaling and regular Journaling inspiration Here.  Pick out the blogs and websites you’d like to visit and create a brighter world for you and your journal. (And don’t forget to give the writers your support for being so awesome!)

Sit down to your computer and type the first sentence to your novel. Then follow it with a second and a third until you’ve completed your first paragraph. Take it slow and pace yourself. Plot your plot line. Find your rising action. Create conflict. Make your falling action. Then, tie it all together at the resolution. Make visual writing charts and plan out your writing strategy. Baby steps, remember?

Because you allowed yourself to heal and prepare, before you know it, you’ll have a completed novel (complete with big, fancy vocabulary words and everything in between) and a completed, beautiful, artistic journal.

Who can get bored when they’re making the best of their craft?


Additional advice: 

Although we may not see it, every day actions like cooking, cleaning, or even drinking a small glass of water can create the largest inspirations. Take advantage of the little, simple moments in life.

Everyone works at their own pace. You shouldn’t give up on something you love to do because you’ve become bored with it. Recognize that you’re good at it. It’s your talent. It chose you and you chose it. It’s worthwhile. Do not quit on your dreams, no matter how small or insignificant they may be to someone else.
Pick up all those extra journals and finish them with poetry, quotes, and sketches! Keep at it. You’ll be glad you did.

I hope these suggestions have helped you out, even in the smallest amount.

Good luck and happy writing/journaling to you all!


An Open Letter to Sam Pepper


Hi Sam!

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel. It’s not easy, and you should be proud! That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of…

Fallen leaves and apples by Robert Abrahamsson on Flickr.


Fallen leaves and apples by Robert Abrahamsson on Flickr.


The Ranger, Graphite and Digital Media, 9 1/2” x 14”, 2014.
10/10, would so ride into battle. You can buy this as a print here!


The Ranger, Graphite and Digital Media, 9 1/2” x 14”, 2014.

10/10, would so ride into battle. You can buy this as a print here!


Wildflowers of the West



Here’s what Shakespeare’s plays sounded like with their original English accent




Kindness is king! ht


Kindness is king! ht







but imagine if we had tiny little dragons

the size of puppies

and they would go wherever we went sitting on our shoulders and hissing at everyone who tried to touch you because you’re their most special thing in the universe and they are so tiny it’s ridiculously cute

the fact that this post has more notes than i ever expected makes me really glad 

(Source: elfoftheforest)


"And all that I hope forIs that all that I wantBecomes somedayJust those things that I needLike a small houseIn the pine treesAnd a big heart for the worldA warm fireOn a cold dayAnd my arms around my girl.”JTB, from Headwaters


"And all that I hope for
Is that all that I want
Becomes someday
Just those things that I need
Like a small house
In the pine trees
And a big heart for the world
A warm fire
On a cold day
And my arms around my girl.”

JTB, from Headwaters


John Green is such an inspiration! I’m glad he sees the magic in reading and shares/encourages everyone to seek the experience.