Try a Little Kindness @ Tuesday Tryouts

27 Nov

7:36 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups

Hi, all. The problem with not taking a computer on holiday is the surprising amount one can fall behind, in five days. To the group who wonders whether I again fell off the planet: later today, as soon as I get through the college essays I’m editing, I’ll be around to respond to comments. NaNoWriMers, almost done! Congratulations for still being in the game.

I am shifting today’s focus, as I signed up for Fiona Robyn’s blogsplash to celebrate the one year anniversary of the publication of her novel Small Kindnesses. We’ll have art next week.

I knew about the blogsplash some time ago and had signed up tentatively right up to the moment a few days ago when Fiona wrote to see if I wanted my blog on the list. I still didn’t know, because the topic seemed overwhelming: pick a [as in one] small kindness done to you and relate it. Choose one? Just one? Fiona wrote back and said she would put my blog on the list anyway, whether or no I joined in. And, there, ladies and gentlemen, is my small kindness.

I have known Fiona since the inception of the community Writing Our Way Home. Throughout the past two years, Fiona has shown other small kindnesses to me, like checking to make sure I have not fallen off the planet. An act of kindness is one that does not have to be done, but is anyway, with thought only for the recipient. My husband is a man whose core is kindness and I watch as he performs small kindnesses every day, both to me and to strangers.

Watching a kindness done is an easy thing for the mind to absorb. I know that when I see a small kindness done, I carry it with me for a while. When the kindness is done to me, I feel cherished and acknowledged.

I looked the word up, as I am always curious about word origins. I found a fascinating essay on the word kind. I enjoyed it so much, I am giving you the link, should you care to investigate.

Fiona’s small kindness for all of us, is to make available for free, for one day, her novel. Head on over to her post on Writing Our Way Home and check it out.

What’s that? Yes, I am including a writing prompt, a true prompt rather than an exercise. Would you like to guess the theme? Too obvious? Go on. List as many small kindnesses as you remember witnessing. That will get the brain focused on the topic. Then list as many small kindnesses as you can remember being done to you.

You can go in a number of directions. A list poem might work. Or, you might want to pull together like kindnesses. Or, you might want to focus on one. It depends on what you want the poem to do. If you want the poem to say something about kindness that goes beyond a list, you might have to tweak details. That’s okay.

I shall see you Friday for the week’s roundup; and next Tuesday for the image prompt.

Enjoy your day. Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 27/11/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

30 responses to “Try a Little Kindness @ Tuesday Tryouts

  1. barbara_

    27/11/2012 at 8:58 am

    A week without a computer. I’d have been shakes and nausea by Day Two.
    Got to think about this one for a while, see if there’s a way around my negativity. Isn’t “kindness” just the right thing to do?

    • margo roby

      27/11/2012 at 9:01 am

      Hello, you. I am so glad your brother is doing well. Yours is one of the comments I wanted to reply to immediately, but while my phone is smart, I am not.

      Shakes? Oh yes. But, also calm!

      Kindness is the right thing to do. So why isn’t everyone doing it?

      • barbara_

        27/11/2012 at 9:23 am

        That’s pretty much the question. But I have a cold that won’t either get on with itself or go away, and I’m seeing most things in that light. Kindness. Tolerance. Not to be good is to be a poor excuse for a human. (granted, most of us are poor excuses) It should require an effort to be mean-spirited, shouldn’t it? (and this in a nutshell is why I failed at 5 consecutive NaNos)

        • margo roby

          27/11/2012 at 9:30 am

          Wait, wait… how on earth does NaNo connect?

          More drugs, alcohol… Skip has a wretched cold. He never gets sick, but he has had a cough and cold going on for ten days, now. I am waiting for the axe to fall and praying I have had this particular virus.

          • barbara_

            27/11/2012 at 10:40 am

            How does nano connect? Every time I try to make a villain, I subvert him with excuses, and since my good guys are just so-so, and conflict is something I can’t tolerate (it’s just not nice) well, nothing much happens.

            • margo roby

              28/11/2012 at 8:34 am

              Ahh! Yep. Stop while you are ahead, or, behind. Oddly, life works better with conflict, not wars and nastiness, but things that require thought.

              You don’t have to have a villain. You do have to have a counterpoint. The conflict can be cerebral; or, both sides can have valid points of view. What am I doing?! Sorry, the writer overpowered me.

    • barbara_

      28/11/2012 at 5:20 pm

      I know this doesn’t explain much, but here it is

      • margo roby

        29/11/2012 at 7:36 am

        As our thoughts tend to run together, I suspect I’ll have no problem with it, Barbara.

  2. JulesPaige

    27/11/2012 at 9:25 am

    Glad you haven’t fallen to far off the planet. I may not always say so – but I do worry about my cyber friends when I don’t see them.

    The link leads to my small verse, but also leads to a longer piece that I wrote for Elizabeth’s images.

    I’d love to answer you question on ‘Kindness’, but it falls in that same space between ‘rock and a hard place’ when you try and reason ‘common sense’…being that we often think common sense isn’t as common as it should be.

    If anyone would like to participate in a random act of kindness…please send good thoughts of healing to our friend K.E. – one of our Jr. Volunteer Firefighters who a month ago was in a serious car accident. Just recently moved out of a month of being in intensive care to a rehab facility for two months. K.E. is a fighter and in for the long hall – just waking up as it were, still has a trach/throat-tube -but is making extended eye contact, thumbs up (with a gentle help with fist making), holding their head up on their own for short periods of time and is getting at least three hours of grueling rehab a day…(so far). We of course are hoping for a full recovery, which may take years. Because damage to the brain in one’s head is just not fun. Here’s kindness for you. Our firehouse annually has a ‘Santa Breakfast’ all the funds raised this year were given to the family in support of K.E. The turn out was more than triple with about 1,100 people showing up to support this family. The prep, cooking, serving and clean up was all done by the volunteers of the fire company, their family and friends – between 60-80 people. I think at least in my small part of the world, kindness is very much alive.

    • margo roby

      27/11/2012 at 9:32 am

      That’s an inspiring story, Jules. Sandy showed us a lot of kindnesses happening in communities, too. I like the thought of sending thoughts this young man’s way. Such a simple thing anyone can do. Somewhere in the cosmos it is noted.

      • JulesPaige

        27/11/2012 at 9:45 am

        I suppose I was too cryptic…’She’ is only 17 and thanks.

        • margo roby

          27/11/2012 at 9:47 am

          Noted! She. Good grief, 17. Somehow that makes it more awful, doesn’t it.

          • JulesPaige

            27/11/2012 at 10:18 am

            And yet perhaps because of the resiliency of youth there is a greater chance of a full recovery?
            Her Mom has been keeping everyone updated through a site called ‘Caringbridge’. That in itself is another amazing feat.

            Hope Skip can shake his ‘cold’ and that you don’t get it. πŸ™‚

        • barbara_

          27/11/2012 at 10:36 am

          Wow. That makes the long haul seem even longer. At seventeen a month is pretty much forever. Good wishes.

          • JulesPaige

            27/11/2012 at 12:13 pm

            Thanks, Barbara – I truly believe every good wish helps. I hope to tell her one day where some of her good wishes came from…all over the internet!

            Hope things by you, in regards to your family (that’s been mentioned above… your brother) also heals. Hugs, from here.

  3. PJF Sayers

    27/11/2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Margo, glad to see you back! I hope your Thanksgiving was relaxing. I like this prompt and it is something worth mulling over. I see acts of kindness often here, mostly within families and amongst friends. But have I seen them with strangers or toward animals, well, that is an area which seems vague to me. I suppose in my very humble opinion “small kindnesses” toward the latter have more significance. (I will be putting this prompt in my Margo folder).

    Barb, I am happy to hear your brother is doing well (I didn’t know he was sick).
    Jules, sending good wishes for a speedy recovery for the young lady.


    • margo roby

      28/11/2012 at 8:20 am

      Pamela, we had a lovely Thanksgiving. It’s getting chilly up in D.C.!

      When you mull, look at your categories. It might be interesting to do a counterpoint poem where someone shows kindness towards an animal or stranger, then does something incomprehensible, [or just a taking for granted sort of thing] to a family member or friend.


      • PJF Sayers

        28/11/2012 at 1:30 pm

        Good thoughts, Margo. I am saving your prompts along with Joseph’s. Did you receive my email? I have a couple of questions.


  4. carolisle

    27/11/2012 at 1:32 pm

    I seem to have fallen out the poetry world of late. This prompt was just what I needed. You all are up earlier than I am out here in the other coast. Here is my slice of kindness.

    • margo roby

      28/11/2012 at 8:23 am

      You have been quiet, Carolisle. It happens. I had a six month drop out last year [and worried several people];now I make sure I warn a couple of people when I know I’m going to retreat. Or, I go dark on my blog for a scheduled two weeks. It helps.

      I’m glad the prompt nudged you.

  5. Hannah Gosselin

    27/11/2012 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you Margo!

    I will need to return tomorrow to catch up with others and to see what you offered for the blogsplash, Margo. I really am glad you went with this this week.

    Warm smiles to you!

    • Hannah Gosselin

      28/11/2012 at 8:20 am

      Ahh and now I’m putting the puzzle pieces together this is your blogsplash “small kindnesses” offering and a perfect one it is…it has perpetuated many other stirrings in the vein of kindness and that’s the purpose…I’d think. πŸ™‚ Thank you Margo. β™₯

      • margo roby

        28/11/2012 at 8:28 am

        πŸ™‚ It took me a while to decide if it was okay to make it part of my prompt day, but if not, I probably would not have posted about it. Life!

        • Hannah Gosselin

          28/11/2012 at 8:38 am

          I think that was the perfect way to do it!! πŸ™‚

  6. purplepeninportland

    28/11/2012 at 6:56 pm

    A lovely prompt! Mine is up at:

    • margo roby

      29/11/2012 at 7:34 am

      There you are, Sara! Thank you. I shall be over in a moment.

  7. Kathy Uyen Nguyen (@alotus_poetry)

    30/11/2012 at 6:25 pm

    This hits home for me:

    “Watching a kindness done is an easy thing for the mind to absorb. I know that when I see a small kindness done, I carry it with me for a while. When the kindness is done to me, I feel cherished and acknowledged.”

    Thank you for summing that up. Happy to stop by and say hello to you, Margo! πŸ™‚ Warmest blessings.

    • margo roby

      01/12/2012 at 9:30 am

      So good to see you, Kathy. Thank you :-).


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