Word Prompt: Strength | Story Prompt: from the book “Here On Earth” by Alice Hoffman

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“”The dog,” she says. “Hey,” she cries to the terrier. She claps her hands and whistles.

The dog sits up, ears twitching. It’s little and so dirty all of its fur has turned a muddy gray shade. It has been waiting here for a long time, it hasn’t eaten for days, and it’s not about to be disturbed from its vigil by strangers. As March approaches, the terrier growls, low down in its throat.

March stops, startled by such a small dog’s depth of feeling.

“It’s all right.” The Judge has come up beside March. “Sister,” he calls. “Here, girl.”

At the sound of his voice, the dog leaps up and runs to him. The terrier is filthy, but the Judge bends down and picks it up.

“You silly thing,” he says.

The dog’s tail wags like mad against the Judge’s overcoat. It’s clearly in ecstasy to be held in his arms, and it yaps with what little voice it has left, since it has been howling each and every night.

For all they know, this dog has been following the body of its mistress from the time she was first taken from the house. It may have been waiting in the alley beside the funeral parlor, pursuing the hearse down Route 22. This small creature is not at all confused about what it wants, unlike men and women, who have the ability to conceal their deepest desires. Men and women, after all, can hide their love away. Men don’t chase after cars. Women don’t throw themselves upon cement doorsteps, curled in a heap, until somebody opens the door and finally lets them inside.”


There are so many different kinds of strength. Physical strength, strength of character, mental strength (or focus) for starters. Depending on the task at hand, you may need to ask for help in the strength department. We typically have no trouble asking for help to, say, move a piano, but when it comes to strength of character or mental strength, the ask can seem so much more difficult. Friends or family are often our first go-to, but when that avenue seems closed there may be programs in place to help – AA or Al Anon also comes to mind, or Shelters, or foodbanks… yet that first step can still seem insurmountable. When saying it out loud seems impossible, practice with yourself first, in the mirror. Watch your confidence slowly grow.

Are you lacking in strength? Have you looked around and asked for help? Why or why not? Share your thoughts below!

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