June 19 – World Sauntering Day

Posted June 19, 2013

I don't know who came up with this holiday—some reports say that it began at a hotel in Michigan in the 1970s—but it has a nice message:

Slow down. 
Don't rush through life.
Take the time to enjoy the little things.
Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

To saunter is to walk slowly, with a pleasant attitude of enjoying the walk. It is to stroll, maybe even meander. One could saunter while ambling about the countryside. Slower than sauntering would be dallying or even loitering.

But loitering to smell the roses just sounds wrong!

I personally am a fan of “fast.” I love a screaming-fast roller coaster, and I like to hurry from coaster to coaster at an amusement park, too. I like to walk around the community for exercise at a brisk pace, but I also like to clip along on a hike to see a waterfall, say, or grove of butterfly trees.

But I also love to stop and take in a gorgeous sight, or watch an interesting bug, or look through binoculars at a bird. I like to look up a lot—I look at the sky a lot, at amazing pile-ups of clouds and at stars, checking out the ever-phasing moon, spying an occasional meteor, gasping over lightning or a rainbow.

There are definitely things worth slowing down for, and taking in, and enjoying.

Happy Sauntering Day!

Words for “went.”

When we write stories, we shouldn't rely on adverbs to tell how people say things or dance or walk. I mean, sure, we can say, “She said slowly,” or “He walked quickly” once in a while. But our writing is stronger if we use more descriptive, just-right verbs instead of adverbs. Words like (you guessed it) “saunter.”

Here are some words you can use instead of “went”:

scuttled... dragged... marched... lunged... boogied... hastened... trod... strutted... darted... flitted... plodded... slithered... skipped... moseyed... chugged... clambered... fled... scrambled... zipped... waddled... veered... drifted... dove... pranced... gadded... slinked... dashed... galloped... hiked... hurtled... scampered... scaled... rushed... roamed... 

Of course, sometimes we want to keep it simple. You don't want everyone in your story constantly yelling, whispering, chortling, and shouting. It's nice when people keep their voices at a nice, even volume and simply “say,” “ask,” or “reply.” 

But when you find yourself using an adverb, stop and consider:

Rather than this nondescript-verb-plus-adverb, could I use a better, more colorful verb?

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the opening of the first movie theater

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest pages on June holidayshistorical anniversaries in June, and June birthdays.

And here are my Pinterest pages on July holidayshistorical anniversaries in July, and July birthdays.

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