Thursday, December 31, 2009

Writing Wrap-up

Luke 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.


This is the year in review:
Have you ever heard the saying, “Comes in like a lion goes out like a lamb?” I know they say it for the month of March, but that has been my year. It came in like a roaring lion and went out like a gentle lamb.

January found us struggling with the state of Texas for some kind of assistance for the blind. Allow me to be the first to tell you that Texas caters to the healthy and wealthy and NOT the poor and down-trodden.

By the month of April we knew that Texas was no longer the affordable place for us, so with the help of family back in Nebraska, we packed up and moved up a few states. Now let me also say that Nebraska’s health department is efficient, quick, and caring! As are the people. There’s a whole different breed of people up here that I’ve never experienced in Baltimore or Texas!

Come summertime, which was extremely more comfy than Texas, found us surrounded by family and friends. We got most of the help we needed, from the state and Commission for the Blind, and all of the love and support we needed from the family. Summer sped by like a lightning bolt! Now you see it, now you don’t!

September found us scurrying about getting ready for the festive holiday’s which we knew were right around the corner. My writing had taken a back seat to the year of activity. A post here, another there but I maintained my blog and tried to give you all a little of what my life was like and as faithful friends who stand by me, I deeply appreciate your caring love and presence!

November found us with a lot of family events. Too many visits to mention and before you knew it Christmas and the New Year were staring us right in the face! Snow fell and more snow fell. Coming from six years in Texas where we seen nary a flurry, in Nebraska on Christmas day, we were struck by a blizzard that kept us safe at home.

My fiancĂ© went through the holidays with his music, since he is still blind and we await the promising news that this is only temporary and he will soon get the operation he needs to see again. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time and we’ll be fine.

The lamb I refer to is the calm serene Christmas week where we shared each others company, his family had gatherings, we visited the eye doctor, and then the New Year will be rung in this evening showering us with blessings for the New Year!

On a sad note...I lost a dear friend at Writer’s Village University this year. Miss Connie will always be in my heart. She had a way of making me feel special! I had no family of my own (meaning blood relatives) supporting me and these virtual people have become blessings in a grand scheme of things!

So to you all, I wish the Lamb to lie with you as you bring in this New Year and that blessings fall on you like sugar from the sky making this next year sweet to the taste. Be blessed in knowing that He loves you and that you will NEVER be alone!

John 1: 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Poetry Sunday~

For my Dad and Adams birthday
the beacons of light in my life!
Adam 12-27 Dad 12-30
Happy Birthday!


The Lighthouse of Life

Joni Zipp

There comes a time in life
that changes do occur.
One foot in front of the other
We tread as life's a blur.

We turn to strength and guided hands
to show us where to roam.
We look to our father for his armor
Our haven; a stable home.

He stands in the shadow of silence
Giving advice when we seek.
He lends to us a pillar.
A beacon when we are weak.

On the shore of rocky oceans
His kids are out at sea.
The lighthouse of my youthful years
Was all he gave to me.

He gave me courage to stand afoot,
To be strong when seas were rough.
To ride the ebb and flow of life,
Always remaining tough.

At times when tears begin to flow,
To him I would never bother.
I'll stand ashore and see the gleam,
Of the eyes of my loving father.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A True Christmas~ God's Plan

Jer. 1: 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
***

Yesterday was Christmas and boy what a Christmas, God had a plan. My summation of the day as I think God had intended.

Christmas eve the snow was falling, like feathers from the sky it was drifting down and blanketing the ground with its beauty. We missed the Christmas eve service because it was canceled due to the lovely picturesque snowfall. It was dangerous too and God wanted everyone safe at home. God had a plan!

December 25th is not really Jesus’ birthday, but this is what man has turned into the Lords Birthday and we supposedly celebrate it as such. Man has a plan too and that is to turn the day into a light festival, gift giving, receiving bounty of treasures, hustle, bustle and ignorant to the true meaning of the day. God had a plan!

Since He knows we are to celebrate His birthday on this day, He made sure this is what we did. I can’t speak for the rest of the states because I imagine they all went on their Christmas voyage of visiting family, eating lots of food, and lets not forget getting and giving gifts!

My Christmas was supposed to be spent with the in-laws, since that is the only family I have here but God had a plan. I did too and that was to celebrate Jesus’ birthday in deep thought, contemplation and gratitude of my life! Could I do what I planned surrounded by sounds of the family? The hustle and bustle of the day?

God had a plan! I arose Christmas morning to the sounds of chimes clinging and clanging due to the high winds. I looked out the window and couldn’t even see the road! There before me were treacherous blizzard conditions out there with snow drifting in every direction, visibility was nil; I almost expected to see a few decorations to go blowing by like in the Rudolph show?

God had a plan! He gave me MY Christmas of wonder and glory. I sat in contemplation of all that I am grateful for in my life! Our family visit was put on hold and we celebrated with good food, laughter and joy...high winds and SNOW! This was a blessed day because I got to feel and sense all that the meaning of Christmas truly is.

Many friends had the same Christmas where they sat, watched movies and just spent the day at home with each other or alone, but they all FELT the true meaning of Christmas! Some complained about the snow and not getting out of the house. Some washed over Jesus’ birthday like it didn’t exist and that Christmas was all about THEM. God’s plan was to weed those people out! He now knows who had a truly glorious Christmas in honor of HIM! Alleluia!

Now, on to see what God has planned for the New Year! :-)

May you all be blessed and find the true meaning of this season wrapped in your heart, forever and ever...AMEN!
**

Luke 2:8-14 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Sounds of Christmas

1 Cor.14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
***


The Sounds of Christmas

The year has been new and wrought with change
A blemish renewed a life rearranged
What I have, is sounds of my heart
they give me a stir with love to impart.

The lights draw dim no longer a pleasure
the music now holds the sounds that I treasure.
The presents they sit but who knows where
it’s as if my Christmas tree is bare.

The sounds of Christmas are what I have now
music,chimes,bells, the crackling bough.
The snow is cold, wet and a bore.
My eyes can’t see the white stuff no more!

The joy and laughter is what I’ll hold close,
the family around me with hugs I suppose.
The light will be bright right inside my being.
Until the day comes when I’m once again seeing!
***

author's comment: Did you ever hear the saying, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone?" Or something like that? I guess, just guessing here, that that is what it is like to lose your sight. You kind of appreciate the sounds more.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Proverbs 7:19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
***
Christmas Thoughts
of Mother and Dad

Though I’m not there to be with you
my spirit fills the room.
Remember I am happy now,
no longer full of gloom.

I left a void with those I love;
my soul it craved release.
I had to move on as God had asked,
so the pain in me would cease.

Often times I shed a tear,
thinking of all I lost.
Relinquishing all material wealth,
is all that it would cost.

The price so small in my mind’s eye
as the Lord embraced my being.
Sacrifice is a message instilled;
His light is all I’m seeing.

As holidays will come and go,
my love lives in your heart,
for as long as my memory lingers
We’ll never be far apart.

Think of me as if I’m there
as hard as it all seems.
I’ll be home for Christmas,
if only in my dreams.


***
Christmas’ Past
***

I teeter on the barren steps
away from all the clutter.
Hustle and bustle of parents below;
my heart is now aflutter.

A little flannel gown I wear;
it hugs my tiny feet.
I see the tree alit below
my Christmas now complete.

Giggles begin to surface,
as siblings sit astride
We gaze at all the action below
Our tiny feet we hide.

Christmas pasts, that I remember,
with such a joyful wonder.
My gazing down the steps to see
the toys that lay there under.

Our tree was always brightly lit
Unceasingly on Christmas Eve.
The star gave hope for my future,
a humbling time to believe.

Santa Claus may not have been real,
I clearly know that now.
But something happened on Christmas’ past
That made him real somehow.

I always had a momentous present
nestled tightly beneath the tree.
It was a treasured loving gift,
wrapped especially for me.

It was as if St. Nicholas
climbed inside my parents heart.
They shared their love on Christmas day
To their children they did impart.

What wondrous Christmas memories
I carry in my soul.
No need to ever long for more;
My Christmas’ are whole.
***
I wish you all a Merry Christmas
as you treasure family moments.
Be blessed!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Legend of Saint Nicholas

The Legend of Saint Nicholas


There he sat in a great big chair,

Velvet red suit, snow-like hair.
Full of laughter, joy, and cheer.
Once again that time of year.

"Mommy, mommy, who is he?"
Are words I longed to hear.
But what do you say to innocence,
To make the story clear?

Do I grant him imagination,
His mind set to explore?
Or thrust him into reality,
Allowing his soul to soar?

I tell the story of Jesus,
His gracious, humble birth.
About how wise men brought Him gifts.
Because He blessed this earth.

St. Nicholas too, was a humble man,
Who loved all girls and boys.
He gave them joy and laughter,
By blessing them with toys.

His giving to children once a year,
To feel enormous pleasure.
Throughout eternity, each child will hold,
A day they'll always treasure.

Chosen was the day of our Lord,
I'm sure He wouldn't mind.
Sharing His appointed birthday,
With a man so warm and kind.

Jesus had inspired a man,
To lovingly care and give.
And through the spirit of both these men,
Their memories will live.

So once a year, St. Nicholas' spirit,
Dwells in the hearts of men.
Bringing imagination to life,
In any way he can.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ A True Christmas Story

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.." Isaiah 9:6
***

A True Christmas Story

A tale was told one Christmas eve,
Tis' better to give than to receive.
But I have no gift, my pockets bare,
I am but a poet, my poem I'll share.
I rose from my bed on Christmas day,
The sun was peeking down where I lay.
I crept down the stairs so I could see,
Had Santa left gifts under my tree?
I wasn't surprised, left unamazed,
I stood at my empty tree and gazed.
No gifts to give, my heart did ache,
But I would go on for Christmas' sake.
I threw on my clothes, rushed out the door,
Just what is all this excitement for?
I have no gifts to give to thee,
No presents were left beneath my tree.
So how can Christmas be happy and gay?
What is the secret that makes this day?
I swung open the door, to my surprise,
My family was sitting before my eyes.
Greetings exchanged, hugs of embrace,
Smiles that lit the entire place.
"We're glad you're here, accept this gift.
Maybe then your spirits will lift."
I saw in their eyes a special glow,
That sunk my heart, and let me know,
That they were giving with deepest love,
For God had signaled from above.
The spirit of Christmas is a radiant gleam,
That shines through the soul, in a warming beam.
I have felt that warmth throughout the year,
By spreading laughter, joy, and cheer.
But a chosen day was set aside,
For all our arms to open wide.
So the gift I give has no ribbons or bows,
I'll give you peace that warms and glows.
I'll tell you I love you, I'll make you smile,
I'll see that your visit was worth the while.
I returned to my house, I plugged in my tree,
There sat a star gazing down at me.
I looked at the star with wondrous sight,
For God had appeared that Christmas night.
I was given the secret of Christmas eve,
Tis' better to give, than to receive.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quotation Saturday

I believe that uncertainty is really my spirit's way of whispering, "I'm in flux. I can't decide for you. Something is off-balance here."
~Oprah Winfrey (1954 - ), O Magazine, June 2003

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
~Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
~Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), The Passionate State of Mind, 1954
***

On a lighter note...

A Strange Christmas Scene
***
In a small southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me.
The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets.

Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left. At a "Quik Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You stupid Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said "See, it says right here, 'The three wise man came from afar.'"
***
Something Cheap?
***

After being away on business for a week before Christmas, Tom thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift.

"How about some perfume?" he asked the cosmetics clerk. She showed him a bottle costing $50.

"That's a bit much," said Tom, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.

"That's still quite a bit," Tom groused.

Growing disgusted, the clerk brought out a tiny $15 bottle.

Tom grew agitated, "What I mean," he said, "is I'd like to see something real cheap."

So the clerk handed him a mirror.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Freaky Friday~ Sanity

The Heavenly host cried out in joy the day you were born. Know you are here for a reason and REJOICE!
~joni~
***

Sanity...part II

Okay, after reading my post yesterday I’ll get into clarifying it up, hopefully. It sounded like a cryptic message lay hidden in there and if you know me personally, there more than likely is.

The year started off in a weird way. I was searching for myself and somewhere along the line I got lost; what with the move and all. Some thought I was uncertain of the move, unsure of where I wanted to be but in my heart there is only one place I wanted to be and that is here in Nebraska.

My writing took a big back burner because now I was taking on tasks that I never had to do before. I think life got flipped upside down and confetti flew all over the place (those were my brains) and I found myself here on a farm out in the middle of nowhere with chores that needed tending. A good five-six hours were spent mowing, raking, weeding planting, sowing, reaping, washing, drying, all kinds of chores!

I was sure my writing was going to pick back up but excuse after excuse,distraction after distraction kept me from writing. Now keep in mind, I’ve worked hard to become a writer and all of the sudden things stopped. I didn’t want to write, I hated writing. Writer’s block? No, stuff happens. I was putting others before myself and my writing was what got cut short.

If I could put the year in review? I put my heart and soul in the blender and pushed ON! There I go, look at me twirling all around, jumping through hoops, press STOP and I find it’s Christmas already!

Last week, something happened. I felt a shift in the atmosphere. I got hurt. Hurt to the point I’ve been trying to pull myself together like a worn old teddy bear needing someone to sew his arm back on. I’m not one to dwell on crap, so I move on, but I’m telling you...it was a polar shift and I don’t know if all the pieces will fit together again. Where do *I* fit into this puzzle? I don’t have nostalgia here, or old friends, family, memories. Nothing, so where do I fit in? :::shrugs:::

I was moving right along, enjoying everything this world has to offer then, WHAM, this boulder started rolling like in the Indiana Jones movie? Rolling, I’m running, running, it’s rolling and WHAM! I’m crushed! Like a cartoon character I pick myself up, stick my thumb in my mouth and blow, POOF, I’m whole again.

Come January my writing is going to take precedence in my life once again. No more excuses. No more problems getting in the way! I’m doing it and that is final!! I need to find myself once again and I will turn to the strength and love that has come to comfort me in my darkest of moments, my Heavenly Father. I know I’ll make it because He is going to carry me as if I’m a feather!

godspeed my friends...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thought-filled Thursday

Lam:3:11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.
*
I will not go down...

Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
*

As a writer I feel as if I am in my own little world within my head. Thoughts run like a freight train in circles until one end catches up with the other.

They circle like kids on a maypole these thoughts of mine and maybe I’ll be able to turn them into a story. The only problem is, these are not of the fictional tales these are downright gut wrenching life tales! Soul searching spiritual revelations!

I can’t remember a time in my life where things were just pleasant as a peacock. I mean, I’ve always strived for feeling good, Lord knows I’ve tried. Sometimes not always choosing the right method for feeling good, but I learned my lesson, moved on and became what I thought was a better person.

I drift through the aisles of the days like a fog laden morning. I wonder if the eggshells will break in my hand or will the mirror crack into a thousand pieces. I’m afraid to turn and look to see if what I’ve done has caused a train wreck, a disastrous train wreck that pummeled through my year and left only pieces to be cleaned up.

I hang here in the gallows of Christmas time scurrying here and there taking care of matters but what is this hanging on the boughs? It’s my sanity, dangling like a partridge in a pear tree, dangling like the clapper of a bell, back and forth, clinging, clanging to what it is that holds me here on this Earth.

I realize that nothing is as perfect as it seems and everything can use a little glue to hold destroyed bits and pieces together. Suppose it’s a lost part? I’m thinking you just either need a shiny new unblemished trinket, or enjoy the broken torn blanket that you carry and be grateful for having something warm and treasured to cling to.

You know what I’m saying? Why throw away the old, when what you have is here? Now! I’m not prefect, never will be, but then no one else is perfect either because we all have little bits of ourselves scattered around the years that could use a little bonding to pull us back together.

I’m tired of hurt, pain, disappointment. I’m living for the moment and whatever it slams into my face. If I break, I have the Lord to fill in the gaps and holes and in the end...I’ll mend.

A writer’s life is insanity.

(to be continued...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

F2K FREE Writing Workshop!

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
Ernest Hemingway
***

What is f2k? Allow me to tell you. It is a seven week free writing workshop that teaches you the basics of writing. F2K stands for fiction 2000, but the concept isn’t just for fiction it spans all writing!


To put it simply, you will learn all the basic steps in writing a short story that will carry you onto writing a novel. With these elements in place you can write your heart out, whether it is blogging, a thesis paper, or even a magazine article.

You’re asking, “Is it really FREE?” YES!

Hundreds of students are divided up into six or seven ‘classes’. Each room has a mentor who oversees the seven weeks. The mentor comments on the first week but sits and watches new writers take shape and form, from the sidelines. We have ‘mentor support’ for a $25 dollar fee, but most students receive their critiques happily from fellow writers who are usually well crafted returnees to the workshop.

Mentor support is one on one with the mentor of your room. PLUS the students get to give you feedback. You get the best of both worlds!

You see, Bob Hembree, a brilliant man, thought that people should have access to free basic lessons in writing. He’s the brains behind this gem of a course. You’ll learn characterization, plot, conflict, point of view, and one of my favorites, the senses!

F2K signup link

Above is the sign up link. We are blind accessible. I know because I had a student last session who had been blind from the age of six years old. I didn’t understand words like JAWS last year, I thought it was a big fish that ate people. But JAWS is a voice system that reads content for the blind.

I have another friend who is quadriplegic and it is accessible to his Dragon Naturally Speaking. I just call her Dragon Lady because she don’t like me! lol

Seriously, if you like to dabble in writing, want to become more concise or at least look like you know what you’re doing, this is the course for you. It will tighten your written words up so that you no longer babble! ha ha.


Now this is an IMPORTANT note: You will NOT gain access until January 6th of 2010.
I repeat, YOU WILL NOT GAIN ACCESS, until 1-6-10. I repeat myself because lots of folks have joined already and want access NOW. They want to look around. But there is no one there so there is nothing to see! Or hear! ;-)

Be patient and I hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Remember the Reason


Remember the Reason

It’s not about presents it’s not about bows,
It’s all about the heart that grows.
As Christmas day draws ever near,
I lost the luster of good cheer.

I dig in the snow, my dog runs ‘round
We both seek for nothing found.
I’m off to a dismal Christmas day
Not much to do nor much to say.

But wait, there it is, I see the gleam
shining down as a radiant beam
it scans the snow covered lawn
it peeks in my window at the crack of dawn.

He taps on my shoulder I’m startled awake
my body shivers I begin to quake.
He whispers words into my ear,
“Have you forgotten about me here?”

I rub my eyes I see what he means,
its all around in Christmas scenes.
“I haven’t forgotten, please don’t leave!”
But gone is the hand of which I’d receive.

I stumble to my bedroom door,
to see the angel perched once more.
a nativity scene is flooding my mind.
the tiny babe lay warm and kind.

How did I miss this glorious sight.
It visits me yearly on this night.
I feel his presence all year through
What’s so hard in getting it through.

Arrogance, pride; they get in the way.
Of the true meaning of this wondrous day.
Although a symbol of generations old.
His birth was real for it was foretold.

I’m sorry I missed the enormous blessing
He gave to me through fact, not guessing.
He is the Mighty Savior and King
In my soul I’ll let the yule ring!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quotation Saturday

Isaiah 17:11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
***


The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
~Anna Quindlen (1953 - )

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.
~Saint Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622)

The conception of two people living together for twenty-five years without having a cross word suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep.
~Alan Patrick Herbert

A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.
~Dave Meurer, "Daze of Our Wives"

Intimacy is what makes a marriage, not a ceremony, not a piece of paper from the state.
~Kathleen Norris

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.
~Bob Newhart (1929 - )

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world.
~Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004)

Now on to my Christmas joke of the week:

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.

That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.

"Why are you crying?" the father asked.

"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.

To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flippin Friday

Flippin Friday...

Yeah today is flippin friday. The day I look back over the week and see how not so great it was. I’m feeling a little down. Is it the holiday’s? Is it isolation? Loneliness? What!

Alone!

Well I was and still am happy about the snowfall! It maxed out at a good 13 inches (by my count) and the snowdrifts are over two feet! The temps have been really low, too low to go out an enjoy it and I don’t even have a daggone shovel!

ALONE!

Today I’m getting me a shovel! And I’m going out in 16 degree temps to shovel! Darn, I’m sufficient. Instead of dwelling on my aching heart, I think I’ll rejoice in the snow! It will wrap itself around me, cuddle me, and make me feel loved! So loved, it might snow again come Sunday! Of course I think I’m coming down with something...but that’s another story. I’ll fight it.

ALONE!

I’ve got to go and wallow in my own self pity party. I’m having streamers, horns and all! Maybe something will happen that will make me feel like a mortal citizen that belongs in this world. Because right now...I feel like death run me over!


I know....I’ll shop! Get some presents under the tree! Ribbons and bows and all that jazz? We’ll see... I’ll let you know if it works.

Reminder: f2k post coming up!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Job 37:6 For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.


I’m wondering if it’s interesting to write about snow? I know Frost did it in very few words but the impact and images have spanned years. (referring to Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening?)

Today it is snowing again. It began Sunday as we were leaving church to head home. I was so thankful I got the service in because the sermon propels me through the week on a spiritual high.

I started on Facebook, woohoo’ing and yipeeing but it was met with polar responses. No pun intended. Some like snow and some don’t and some wish they were in the land of God awful heat, raking up a.c. bills and spending way too much money on antiperspirant.(That is and never will be Joni!)

I was born and raised in the wonderland of Maryland. We had snow on a yearly basis and I was the first one with excitement quivering in my voice when I exclaimed, “It’s snowing!” The white stuff falling from the skies pushed me to believe that God was as pure as the driven snow and that He loved me because he gave me this gift, yearly!

When I had my son on December 27th, of 1995, I was whisked away to the hospital as snow flurries fell. Two weeks later we had a blizzard! A BLIZZARD and a child who needed his inoculation come hell or high water. Well, the deep snow didn’t keep me from getting him to the doctors and since that day forward, my son shares in the delight and excitement of snow also!

Fast forward to 2003 when I was led to the dreary, dismal, heat drenched Dallas Texas. The vain laden state that swells with arrogance and smells of smog. What the heck was I thinking, oh yeah, I was in love! In love with a man from Nebraska. For six years I longed to come to Nebraska for the snow, the family, the tightly woven communities, the humble beautiful nature of true people of the mid-west.

Sure my first year in Texas when I told everyone I was bringing snow with me, they scoffed and laughed, “We ain’t had that stuff in ten years.” That year...it snowed! God didn’t let me down, I knew He Wouldn’t! For six years he gave me a gift, a day here in winter, a day there, but I saw snow.

Our first snow in Nebraska happened in October! How excited was I??? Walked a mile to go sledding in it! So today after three days of watching the white stuff fall graciously from the sky, I will once again go walking in the purity and feel it grace my face with its tiny tentacles of ice. I will wash my body in the silkiness and feel as if God’s own fingers are touching me.

Once again...my gift from God!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Poetry Sunday ~ The Mystery


The Mystery
 All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
 ***
Within the snow capped dome I see
the mirror image looking back at me
Ice propels one to bliss
the wash of love I dare not miss.

The pine it lingers in my soul
fragments left to control
the gifts are but a vivid illusion
of life that struggles with confusion.

Christmas carries an air of mystery
as does the spirit throughout history.
Propels the thoughts of one who sleeps
into a place where cynicism weeps.

Allow the truth to never hide
Christmas day I will confide.
Hold out the hand of all you ration
within your heart the stem of compassion.
***
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

author’s note: I have no idea where this came from! But read and gain what you need to. The message is there.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Quotation Saturday

Luke 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
***

A little Christmas joy for my followers. Tired of being sad around the holiday’s? Read on! Quotation Saturday will lift your spirits for sure!

Little Known Christmas Fact
***
Not long ago and far away, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip...but there were problems everywhere.
Four of his elves were sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More Stress. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys. So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he found the elves had hidden the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the he kitchen floor.
He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.
Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said: "Where would you like to put this tree Santa?"
And that my friends, is how the little angel came to be on top of the Christmas tree.


On a quotable note:


Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself. ~Francis C. Farley

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis

Friday, December 04, 2009

Freaky Friday

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Goals goals goals!!!

One week has almost passed since my last posting. That shows you how well I am at setting goals and keeping them.

Sure I like to blog every day so that my fans can all get a good lesson of their writing needs. Whether it is inspiration, encouragement, skills or just passing by for some fun. This is what I like to offer my blog readers.

But this week I’ve been a little lazy in my writing endeavors. I’ve been running around cleaning, preparing for the holiday shuffle and doing all sorts of things that just keep on pulling me away from my writing!

My friend Raven always says you should set goals and from what I read, she actually does set goals and keeps them! She’s one busy gal AND she completed the NaNoWri Mo (National Novel Writing Month, for those NOT in the know.) The idea is to sit at that computer and write at least 1500 words a day and by the end of the month you’ll have a novel, ready for revision! That’s what I said, a novel!

This is what setting goals can do for you. I’ve been writing my blog for some time now and I’ve given you all a taste of the writer’s life. We need to learn, write, submit, write, grow, write, and basically every single day pen something worthwhile to read!

Sure we can post rants and raves on a daily basis like a good cup of morning coffee, it becomes regular, enough that we know our fans likes, dislikes, wants and needs. So you all want more of my life story don’t ya? Ha ha...Just kidding folks. I’m sure after this holiday hustle and bustle we’ll get back to a more regular ‘learn to write’ style.

But I thank you all for staying with me this long, bearing with me as I go and grow. What a life! This is all any of us can do in this world and that is go with the flow that life’s pace hands out and grow from the experience of it all.

I wish you all a wondrous and glorious holiday season no matter where you are in this world or where you are at in life!

Note: Look for my posting on the free writing course coming up January 6, 2010! I’ll be providing links to haul you all into class with me as I teach you the basics of writing! It is an awesome FREE course! Yes people FREE!!! More later. :-)

Godspeed friends!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Lonely Christmas~

Psalm 34: 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
***

Lonely Christmas?

Where are you Christmas?
My heart is hanging low.
Like a tattered worn out ribbon;
a frayed old crumpled bow.

Tinsel has lost its luster;
lights have all drawn dim.
I cradle my lonely Christmas.
My tree I just won't trim.

Where do you hide, my Christmas,
this joyous festive season.
Shine your light upon me,
give my life a reason.

Swaggers all set astride,
ready for the day
while all alone I sit and cry,
for love to come my way.

Underneath the velvet stars;
the cratered moon so high.
I wonder what the sheer night holds.
I scan the open sky.

Where is my treasured Christmas,
a Rockwell theme of yore;
family gathered all around,
glistening lights galore.

Want and greed have sold you out,
your nothing but a show.
No longer lighting up my life,
my Christmas holds no glow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quotation Saturday

***
I can't think of anything to write about except families. They are a metaphor for every other part of society.
~Anna Quindlen (1953 - )

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~Jane Howard, "Families"

No matter where you live, brothers are brothers and sisters are sisters. The bonds that keep family close are the same no matter where you are.
~Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

Family isn't about whose blood you have. It's about who you care about.
~Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park

The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.
~Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
~Ettiene De Grellet

Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition.
~Sir William Osler (1849 - 1919), to his students

That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
~William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

Author’s comment:
As I passed through the shadows of the week frozen in pictures and memory are that of a great family get together. My family is back home in Maryland, but I have been welcomed and loved by this family, Steven’s family. They embrace my quirkiness, delight in my smile, and care for me in depths unimaginable. I have to admit, they are forever entrenched in my life. They give my life new meaning and it is through them I retain strength to go on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What to do Wednesday

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:5


Well today is Wednesday, the day before the big feast. But already my week has been full with family and food that I think I might take tomorrow off and have lasagna!

I am soooo kidding! I have to have turkey on Thanksgiving like everyone else. It’s as if the tradition was set in stone many moons ago and anything other than turkey for thanksgiving is just another day, right?

I do digress. I think Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful. Not just for turkey and food, but all things present in your life. A day to give thanks to Our great Lord and Savior for the blessings that He and He alone has given us.

Sure we can go out and buy food, we can enjoy a feast, but isn’t it great to take this one day and focus on The One? Many people will not eat a meal today, many will wander the streets searching garbage bins just for a crumb of food that will hold them over to the next trash bin.

See? As we sit here, tapping on our keys wondering what we’re going to write, there are people with so much less than what we have. So tomorrow and possibly every other day, take the time to THANK your God, your Allah, your Savior, whoever you choose, but thank the very being for making all of this in our world possible!

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving! “Give thanks, for it is who we are that makes us become who we want to be.” ~joni

I’m thankful….
***

I’m thankful for that one warm ray,
That shines on me to lighten my day.
I’m thankful for the dewy grass
That tickles my toes as I pass.
I’m thankful for the fragrant air,
That wafts on by without a care.
I’m thankful for the torrents of rain
That soaks my skin; releases my pain.
I’m thankful for the budding flower.
That blooms in glory, a scented shower.
I’m thankful for every timeless season,
new bark; new bough with endless reason.
I’m thankful for all the joyful bliss,
that graces my cheek as a gentle kiss.
I’m thankful for being allowed too touch,
that one lost soul whom needs so much.
I’m thankful for every little thing,
that has no worth, but smiles they bring.
I’m thankful for the minuscule,
for that is where my soul can rule.
I’m thankful for all my eyes can see,
breathless beauty from God to me.
I’m thankful for all of this and more,
The love of life, the chance to soar!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Monday...

1Chron. 29: 11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
***


Well yes, today is Monday.

Had a nice weekend, rich with family and church. Now today is Monday my rest day? ha ha ha, as if. Cleaning, trudging, working, preparing, that’s what’s on today’s agenda. But I couldn’t go on with this week without giving you something to do in your writing life.

Have you been sending out your work? Have you made it a priority? Don’t worry, I’m the procrastinating type too. Maybe next week my vision will be a little clearer as to what on this God’s green earth I’m supposed to do!

Here’s a market or two from Funds for Writer's, (one of my favorite sites) to keep you busy writing AND submitting!

UNTIED SHOELACES OF THE MIND
http://www.untiedshoelacesofthemind.com/sample/

Pays three cents/word up to $30 for short fiction.
Submit genre or literary stories between 100-2,000
words. Our preference is between 500-1,000 word stories,
but we will happily accept longer stories. See online
for defined categories.


OUTSHINE
http://shineanthology.wordpress.com/outshine-submission-guidelines/

In dire need of submissions. A Twitterzine for optimistic,
near future prose poems. They're flash length, and look ahead.
Looking for: prose poems of optimistic, near future SF that
fit within the 'tweet' limits (check out Twitter); i.e.
maximum 140 characters long. Pays $5 each. Limit one submission
per week. Only pays through PayPal.

WHISPERS PUBLISHING CONTEST
http://www.whispershome.com/contests.html

NO ENTRY FEE
Beginning January 1, 2010, Whispers Publishing will host
the "Make it Quick" writing contest. The contest is open
to all writers published and unpublished. Looking for
Erotiquiks which are hot, steamy stories of 2,000 words
or less. These must be complete stories with a hero, heroine,
and a plot. Be creative and don't limit yourself. Any genre
or time period is acceptable, but the story must follow all
of Whispers guidelines and can not include any of the taboos
listed on the submissions page. So whether it's the West you
long to write about or a futuristic world of your own
creating, challenge yourself by tightening your story into
2,000 words or less. Deadline January 31, 2010.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $25, an award
certificate, a contract for publication, and a promotion
package upon publication of the work.

First Place Winner: $15, an award certificate, and a
contract for publication. Second Place Winner: $10, an
award certificate, and a contract for publication.
Third Place Winner: $5 and an award certificate with
consideration for publication at editor's discretion.
Two Honorable Mentions will receive award certificates.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Give Thanks!

Romans 14: 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.


Giving Thanks...

For all we are and all we do
we give our thanks each day.
We live, grow, change and mend
I give my thanks and pray.

I thank my mother and father
for all the things they gave.
Within their hand they held my life
but only One could save.

I led the life He wanted for me
although the road was rough.
I never look back with any regret.
the unpaved journey was tough.

The path was laid before we were born
the forks were all in place.
Which we chose was a cosmic bend
that altered time and space.

I found a cross in my walk
as I wandered through each year.
Whimsical times and frenzied mind
He made it all come clear.

The crystal shell lay in shards
glass was torn to pieces.
He put them all together again
My love for Him never ceases!

I thank the Lord for carrying me
through life’s seasoned highway.
I’m mended now because of Him,
No longer are things done my way.

***
It’s His way or No WAY!

***

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quotation Saturday~ Thanksgiving!

Lev. 22:29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.
***
If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.
~Phillips Brooks(1835 - 1893)

One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.
~G.E.Lessing (1729 - 1781)

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
~Chinese Proverb

You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act.
~Barbara Hall, A Summons to New Orleans, 2000

In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.
~Ellen DeGeneres, (attributed)

Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light.
~Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), The Republic

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

Proverbs 16: 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
***

How do I write a writing post when so much is going on in my physical world that I feel like my head is in an ice bucket, frozen in silent animation?

The holiday’s are fast approaching and while I will be surrounded by family, I feel alone. Alone because my family is back in Maryland and could use the strength that I brought to the family and instead they are struggling on their own, alone also.

My hectic week will begin on Saturday and probably won’t give me a breath until the following Sunday when I’m sitting in Church thanking God for all of the blessings He has put in my life. Should I sit here and pout? Throw myself a pity party? Nah, that’s not who I am. I like to find the positive and run like the wind through the trees or harvested cornfields, and feel exhilarated for the things about to take place.

The clock is ticking, I’m wondering who this woman is, where is she finding the strength? Oh, yeah, GOD! You see, I should be in a frenzied, panicky mode, but I’m feeling ...what am I feeling, who knows? Weird? Strange? Yup, that’s Joni.

I am just going to take it One Day at a Time like all those anonymous groups say, and see what the Lord puts in front of me to handle. I know He only gives you what you can handle so I’m thinking, “He must think I’m a pretty strong chic to give me all of this!”

This came in the mail last week when I needed to hear/see/feel, “Joni, I’m here.”
***
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness joy.

O Divine Master grant that I
may not so much seek to
be consoled; as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

{LISTEN UP HERE}
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying, that we, are born to eternal life!!!

These words resound in my life as I face this week. May you carry them with you also.

Amen? AMEN!

Angel always...godspeed...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Psalm 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
***
Intel has debuted a text reading device in the UK. A friend found this interesting enough to share with me, since he’s from them parts. Thanks Q.

This text reading device, to my knowledge is not as smart as the Victor stream but still, the way I see it, is that technology is finally catching on that there are people who can’t see or have the ability to read.

We sighted people take advantage of our ability to see. Only recently have I come to understand the nighties dilemma when it comes to not being able to see.(I lovingly call my blind beau a nightie so take no offense, please.) There are also people with low-vision who can’t see the screen even with visual enhancement tools. I’m glad to read that some, in the tech world, are showing signs of developing things for the blind, visually impaired, or the dyslexic folks of society.

I’m thinking, they are not doing this for money, they are doing this for human beings and that in of itself is remarkable because how many big-wigs out there care for something other than their pockets?

Speaking of pockets, this little device is the size of a paperback book? In the picture on their website, it shows the device looking smaller than a paperback, but I’ll take their word for it since the creators know what size they made it.

I wonder also about the publishing world. When we get our work published into a book, do we have any say whether we want this made available to the blind? I see all kinds of books available for download but what warrants ‘available for the blind’ or MP3 usage of our stories?

I’m thinking we should make it a clause in our contracts with the publishers. Sure we want our work in Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etcetera, but maybe we can also say, “I want this to be made available to the blind!”

Are the techno geeks the only ones going to step up to the plate and offer devices to the blind? When can we as writer’s make a difference also?

Now there is food for thought!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Follow me...


Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
***


You know, it hit me yesterday as I read a comment from someone on ‘another blog’. Thanks R. I might only see 22 followers in my following box, I have a bunch at the blog catalog too and R made me see that there could possibly be thousands reading my work.

Talk about intimidating. Me, a writer, being read by thousands? ha ha...every writer's dream.

When I was a kid, a writer is what I wanted to be. Only in the past six years have I been following my dream, studying the craft intensely, learning all I can and starting a blog where I can help other beginners follow their dream. I’ve been writing for twenty some odd years but never took it seriously, life happens, until a few years ago.

I don’t claim to know everything there is about writing and sometimes the technical stuff gets to me too. Whew, there is so much to learn here! A lot of other writing blogs take you down that technical road; they dissect every adverb, adjective, noun and clause for you. Me, I never liked Biology. haha

One thing is for certain. I love sharing! It is the life of me. I love sharing writing, I love sharing my fries, friendship,hospitality and a number of other things. If I can reach one person on this journey of mine, then I’ve accomplished what the Lord set out for me to do.

(Chorus) Today we follow, tomorrow we lead, and we’ll bring to the world all we are. A new world is dawning that we can help to build for tomorrow is our gift to you.

That’s an old school song. Don’t know who wrote it, or I’d give them credit for planting in my mind that I am a seed that has been nurtured and watered over the years and now I’m in the blossoming stages of my life where I can now release seeds into the world.

I think it was in eighth grade that we learned that song and today..I can still remember it word for word.

Song continues. We live and we learn. We change and we grow, we laugh, we cry and we share. But ours is the task to become what we may...to try and live what we learn. Repeat chorus... for today we follow...

I like having followers, I like people commenting and saying they grasp what I am writing. I like knowing how many people follow me as it signals to me...the thousands out there that I know are there.

Thank you!

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award