Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quotation Saturday

"I always see the Light before the dark envelops me." ~joni

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.
~Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)
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The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.
~ Dee Hock
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Creativity is...seeing something that doesn't exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.
~Michele Shea
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Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.
~Norman Podhoretz
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I started concentrating so hard on my vision that I lost sight.
~Robin Green , Northern Exposure, Burning Down the House, 1992
Invent your own mythology or be slave to another man’s.
~William Blake
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The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.
~Albert Einstein
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The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.
~William Faulkner
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I hated school. I don't trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there's something really wrong with you.
~Stephen King
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We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which coms always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.
~Woodrow Wilson

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
***

Words are like a stream of tickertape spewing across the screen. They either become a sentence or they turn into jibberish.

Have you ever been listening to people, in a restaurant for example, and all the words seem to blend together like scrambled eggs? Jumbled and confused you can’t discern one conversation from the other?

We as writer’s have to listen and pick apart a conversation in our writing. We can’t jumble it all together and expect readers to get the point. Always try to remember a beginning, a middle and an end. Using this technique will make your words have a cognitive point.

If we start a paragraph, we should start with point A., move on to point B., and finish it up with point C. Tying it all in to point A. We can’t confuse the reader by giving them the whole alphabet and expecting them to put it all in order and make sense of what we write.

Our words are going to flow from one point to the next and the reader is going to be all the more enthralled in your story. Whether you blog, whether you’re telling a Short Story, or whether it is a Novel, you must always keep in mind the reader.

I know of some writer’s who try to over-explain, and in this sense, they lose the reader. It’s as if the writer is writing in desperation, trying to get the story out and all that they get from me is sympathy. This is where a lot of possibly good writer’s are left behind on the way to publishing success. I also note that while in the library, there are many writer’s who are published sitting on the shelf collecting dust because either the cover didn’t grab someone or the story synopsis was lame.

I’m going to pick up a book that has a little taste of what the writer has written. His style or her flair will pull me in and if it doesn’t, then onto my search for the next Shirley Jackson or Stephen King. They know how to streamline words. They know what the reader wants. The reader wants to get lost in some fantasy world, but wants you, the writer, to make sense of this fantasy world. Our words are going to keep them reading.

It seems my tickertape has run amuck and must end here. Remember, words are your friends. Take good care of the relationship and it will blossom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
***

Maybe this will be my audio day where I talk about all of the audio technology out there available for the nighties of the world. Nighties is a term I use endearingly to my fiancé since the sighted people of the world are called sighties.

Yesterday we met VICTOR. It was apiece of equipment from Human Ware for the low-vision or the blind. It is a way of handing the blind technology that is easy for them to use, carry around, and feel like they have a part of the future in their hands.

Since going blind, our lives have been uncertain. We’re told that with an operation my beau could be back in the sighted world, but without any medical assistance, he remains blind. This is where the uncertainty comes in. Do you give in and accept being blind, knowing full well this is reversible, or do you hold out hope and faith that a miracle will take place?

In today’s society we’re never encouraged to hold out for hope or to have faith. We’re encouraged to face reality, tossing away any hope we might have. Because to many people, there is no such thing as hope. It is just wishful thinking, and who doesn’t wish for a million bucks? Me. And who doesn’t wish for a fancy car? Me. No, I live in reality and hope for the best day that the good Lord gives me. Guess what? Hope wins because everyday I make it through another one.

Back in Texas, the Commission for the blind wanted to do Psych tests to see how stable my beau is and how much he knows cognitively. They sent a man out that was supposed to teach him a few of the skills that he would need as a blind man. Wow, the man gave him a cane and we never saw him again. We were left to learn on our own and I had to use what I could muster to put dots on the microwave, move furniture,quit rearranging.

“You’re on your own.”

Now we’re here in Nebraska and the Commission wants to put him in school for 3-9 months! What? Where is the person that comes out to the house and teaches you? The school isn’t an outpatient thing, it is an inpatient, goodbye see ya later joni thing. I like learning about the blind and the skills that they need,but if he went away,came back out with independence skills, I’d have no idea what he learned while he was away.

So the lady comes out yesterday to show him a VICTOR stream player. Wow, they are so cool! He wants one and hopefully this will be available to him but the way I see it, the Commission is short on funds, and hope is not their friend. The disabled lose out in society.

This technology puts freedom in the blind, low-vision’s hand with streaming audio books, music, notepad, it has a bookmark feature, a recorder and many jazzy features that would make the bulky player obsolete. It’s only $300 and some odd dollars! A 4x2 mega tool. I call it a palm-reader. *wink*

Let’s hope, that hope wins. I will keep my faith, thank you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Poetry Sunday

Jeremiah 24: 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.



The Wall
***
The wind tousles my hair
I haven’t a care
for I am there
with Him I stand.

Sometimes I offend
when all along I send
words to mend
a soul that is lost.

I hear the call
written on my wall
it seems so small
the feeling that I’m blessed

Should I cry out
so they hear me shout
I’m having doubt.
I will go on.

On my knees
resounding pleas
wayward seas.
I’m lost and then I’m found.

Hurt by the fight
words in the night
from those without sight
I will forgive them all.

He’s in my sight
all day and night.
saves my plight.
I love the Lord my God.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quotation Saturday

I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.
Leonardo da Vinci
...as his last words

My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
~Anton Chekhov

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.
~Tom Clancy

Our lives with all their miracles and wonders are merely a discontinuous string of incidents – until we create the narrative that gives them meaning
~Arlene Goldbard
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.
~Maimonides

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.
~Elvis Presley
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
~Ernest Hemingway

In brief, I spend half my time trying to learn the secrets of other writers - to apply them to the expression of my own thoughts.
~Shirley Ann Grau

I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I'm one of the world's great rewriters.
~James A. Michener

A short story can be held in the mind all in one piece. It's less like a building than a fiendish device. Every bit of it must be cunningly made and crafted to fit together perfectly and without waste so it can perform its task with absolute precision. That purpose might be to move the reader to tears or wonder, to awaken the conscience, to console, to gladden, or to enlighten. But each short story has one chief purpose, and every sentence, phrase, and word is crafted to achieve that end. The ideal short story is like a knife - strongly made, well balanced, and with an absolute minimum of moving parts.
~Michael Swanwick

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Tell the Truth


John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.



I didn’t dream last night about what to write, so I’ll go with my handy dandy instincts here. Truth in writing.

We as writer’s always embellish the truth on some level and maybe that is why I have trouble with the fictional tales. My spiritual tales are close to truth, and close enough to my quirky truth that they are real.

Honesty is something we need in our characters. For far too long we’ve read fiction that lies and in a sense we have a nation that feels comfortable in lying. Our politicians lie, our friends lie, and sometimes even our churches lie, (although they believe it is the truth, so I guess it’s okay.)

I have always been honest to a fault. Sometimes my truths seem over the top, unbelievable, and mere conjecture, but let me tell you, I have a real hard time lying. In my characters, I like an honest duo that fights the dark with the power of Light. My dark characters can lie like a rug. But where do I pull the character’s persona from if I myself am unable to lie?

I dig deep into my past, where people have lied to me to no end. I dredge up old horrible memories and create a character out of that. I have some doozies too. The character then comes off as dark and deeply disturbed.

Now with non-fiction, like my blog, I tell the truth until I’m blue in the face. I hold my breath and think, “Did I just write that?” People ask me,”Did that really happen?” And I have to say, “Yeah, it did as awful as it sounds, it did.”

I’m writing my memoirs and I was moving along posting my story in a NaNo fashion, National Novel Writing Month, where you pen some seventy-thousand words in a month.
There I posted most of my life, up to about twenty one, and the poor souls couldn’t believe my story. They did, because they know me, my personality,and my honesty but they were stunned to see that I turned out this way, as good and honest and pure as I am. Okay not perfect by no means, but you get what I mean, right?

There it is, my testament of faith. If I lie then would my testament hold any credence? I don’t think so. In truth, my testament is a rock, a foundation to stand on firmly and people look at me and say, “Wow!”

Ever hear the saying, “The truth shall set you free?” In all honesty, it does, it is a healing place for me. If you deny the pain, anguish or hold shame in what has happened in the past, in essence, you are lying to yourself and making a mockery of the very faith that you hold in your heart.

So listen up. We writer’s, and non writer’s, have the most powerful tool in our hands and we need to wield it, it is the HEALING TOOL, brought to you by, none other than, God. *smile*

godspeed friends...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Salvation

Romans 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,


I like to think myself intuitive with a 95% positive rate. So when I dreamed last night that today’s blog would be about Salvation, I took the cosmos up on its request.


When I look up the word salvation here is what I get:
salvation-
1. the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2. a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3. Theology: deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

I like number three the most, but that is only because I am a Born-again Christian. But when I look at salvation from other religions I find that many believe in salvation, not necessarily the God granting redemption of ones sins, but through suffering, reincarnation or meditation. I won’t sit in judgment of these faiths as I journey through life. I find it quite enlightening that throughout the ages no matter what humans endure, we all seek salvation at one point in our lives.

Through my writing, I am acting as a relay person to protect you from harm, risk, loss or destruction. I don’t want you to risk losing all that you’ve learned so all of my posts are archived. I am a writer helping other writer’s to be the very best they can be whether it is in their writing or in their daily lives that they muddle through.

Sometimes we get confused with where to go, what to be in life, but often times we have a guiding hand in there tweaking us as we go along to choose the right or wrong path. Maybe salvation means being saved. Interesting concept either way.

“His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7

Acts 13:26 says, Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

II Timothy 3: 15 says, And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I Peter 1:5 states, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

I’m not pushing my faith on any one of you. You are all your own individual human beings whom lay down their lives for something. As we near the end times, I’m sure you think of mortality more and more. Do you think of being in the ground six feet under with worms crawling over you? Do you think you just go to sleep eternally?

Whatever it is you think, before you leave this earth, your last thought will more than likely be either “I’m afraid to die,” or “I’m saved, Lord take me home.”

Salvation, the deliverance from the penalty of sin.

Okay the weird and quirky lecture is over. May you all listen to your instincts as you go through life, maybe, just maybe, you might hear the word of the one that you worship in your faith.

Praise be...godspeed

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Blog


Some may say, “Life isn’t all about blogging.” I say *whack*! I’m kidding folks. Life isn’t all about blogging. Life is about, well, life, and living it.

But as a blogger, I like to think that they are at least worthwhile. How many times have you googled something, only to be taken to a blog? Blogs are becoming the information of today and maybe tomorrow. They are enlightening, fun, and a virtual breeding ground of pain and angst, but also they are a tool for learning. Not only learning about a skill but learning about people, meeting others like yourself, writer’s and people who have the same interests as you.

When I first started blogging, over three-hundred posts ago, I never thought that I’d have anything worthwhile to add to the blogging world. I thought maybe this was a passing fancy and I’d lose interest after a while. Instead I’ve found that twenty-one followers later, that I do have something to say. My friends and family will say, “You can sure talk up a storm, why not blog up a storm?”

That’s the funny part, my family is non-supportive. Wait, I have my fianc√© and my son who claim to follow me religiously. I mean my blood family. Do they even know I exist or that I am a writer? Who knows!

I have a family within my writing community who stands by me, supports me, and is very encouraging in all that I do. I think sometimes they are my family more than the blood people who claim to be related to me. When a writer friend from across the country can send me money because she read of the hardships that we’ve endured, while my blood family ignores me like I have the plague, I’d say my writing friends ARE my family.

Now don’t misunderstand me, my beau’s family is awesome beyond belief. They have been here for us every chance they get! They care! But then again, read my poem Nebraska and you’ll see why. These people rock!

My blogging days are far from over as I help along the writing community to become better writer’s. Maybe give them ideas that will grow into something promising, or maybe even post that market that will find their work a home and they will become the published writer that they dreamed of becoming.

All in all, no life isn’t about blogging, but life is about helping people and that is why I will help people until the day I rejoin my Father in heaven.

Angel Always...godspeed friends...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, 'I'd like some fries.' The girl at the counter said, 'Would you like some fries with that?' ~ Jay Leno
* * *
I’m always being teased by,you know who, about my names for my ‘special days’, like Quotation Saturday, Poetry Sunday, and I used to have a Funny Friday.

Well, you know who says I should have a Taco Tuesday. He remembers the olden days when Taco John’s had Taco Tuesday, so now he thinks I should have a taco Tuesday. So for him I am declaring today, Talko Tuesday!

You heard/read me right, Talk-o, for him and his audiobooks. You see, my fiance went blind only months ago although he struggled with his sight for a few months before that and years before that with infections, a cornea transplant and what-not, but in any case, audiobooks became a big part of this avid readers life. He loves to read. I never seen a man so hooked on the written word. Maybe there are a few guys out there that will admit to liking reading, but besides his computer, books are his thing.

Since becoming blind, books have been swept away from him like dust on the floor; taken away and placed in the wastebasket. Then the audiobooks came along and kept the man reading. Now he has a talking screenreader and by daggone it, he can now use the computer AND hear his books on his mp3 or the audio system that the NFB set him up with. He’s almost in heaven!

What does a bored man do? Only what he knows best, he writes reviews of the books he listens too! He has two blogs and maintains them all on his own without my help. One thing I’ve learned is to back away and let the man do things for himself. He does beautifully for someone who was thrown into blindness and learning on his own. We’re learning together actually, but he is, more than me because I’m a sightie. I like to think of myself as his guide dog. ha ha. Always by his side, I’m soft to the touch, and I roll over and play dead!

Do you wanna know whether to read the next book or listen to it on a ten hour trek in the car? Maybe you listen to books while on the treadmill and just don’t know whether a book is good enough or not. I’m pushing his blog because I’ve found that the man can write too! What a guy! He’s honest in his reviews, gives the duration of the book, lets us in on who is the voice, and you know what else? He doesn’t give the whole story away. He let’s you decide if the book sounds good to you, then you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth listening to.

Why not give him a click, you’ll be glad you did. Reviews of the Deep, my mans blog!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Market Monday


Market Monday

Cross that bridge from writer to marketable writer. *smile*
Here’s a new one for all of my followers. How about some markets for you to send your work out to? I’m in WVU, Writer’s Village University, and the one thing we don’t have is a room where we can post markets to help other writer’s along. It’s like this big search for yourself kind of attitude and I’m of the sharing type, so here! Here is some markets and I’ll make Monday’s my market day.Just a few to get you started. Next Monday, you’ll find more as I pretty much know what my fellow classmates write. Hope you all enjoy!

Title: THE UPPER ROOM, USA
Description:Encouraging Christians in their personal life of prayer and
discipleship.
Pays: $25 per meditation, upon publication.
Click Guidelines: http://www.upperroom.org/devotional/how_to_write.asp

Popular newspaper:

Title: USA TODAY, USA
Description: Accepts unsolicited opinion pieces for The Forum, its Op-Ed page.
Columns typically run 650 to 750 words in length. Paying market.
Guidelines: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2005-08-10-guidelines_x.htm

Title Christian Science Monitor
Description An international daily newspaper produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Pays up to $225.
Web site http://www.csmonitor.com
Guidelines http://www.csmonitor.com/aboutus/guidelines.html
Country USA

Title: U.S. Kids is committed to publishing high-quality health and
fitness material to educate children. They publish the following
three magazines:

Title: TURTLE MAGAZINE
http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/magazines/turtle.shtml
Description: Magazine for preschool kids ages 3-5. Pays up to $0.35 per word.
Fiction up to 350 words, nonfiction up to 200 words. Guidelines:
Guidelines: http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/writersguidelines.shtml

Title: HUMPTY DUMPTY
http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/magazines/humptydumpty.shtml
Description: Magazine for kids ages 5-7. Pays up to $0.35 per word.
Fiction/nonfiction up to 450 words.
Guidelines: http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/writersguidelines.shtml

Title: JACK & JILL
http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/magazines/jackandjill.shtml
Description: Magazine for kids ages 8-12. Pays up to $0.25 per word.
Fiction/nonfiction: up to 700 words.
Guidelines: http://www.uskidsmags.com/cbhi/writersguidelines.shtml


Title Dialogue Magazine
Description Welcomes the submission of freelance material from visually impaired authors for possible publication. Fiction and non-fiction. Pays $15 to $35.
Web site: http://www.blindskills.com/dialogue.html
Guidelines: http://www.blindskills.com/submit.html
Country USA
Region North America
Pay PAY
Payscale UNSP

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poetry Sunday


Coming Home
***

We couldn’t stay in Texas,
where sun and warmth abound.
The grass is green, the trees in bloom
in autumn no crunchy sound.

I longed to live in Nebraska
once again I would see snow
with family all around us;
this is where I knew I’d grow.

A huge farm and green grass
cottonwood trees galore.
Where was all this beauty
in the place I was before?

Nebraska holds a tenderness
a purity unseen.
The people seem to be in a warp
of the old time machine.

They wave as your car passes,
they’re friendly and sincere.
Impressive hospitality,
of all that I hold dear.

Golden rows of cornstalks,
kiss the sun good morning.
Animals wander on the road
without any warning.

I wonder if Nebraskans know
there’s something here to treasure.
Things this city gal holds dear,
with love beyond all measure.

God has taken a gentle hand
and shown to them His grace.
Placed love and gracious kindness
upon Nebraska’s face.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quotation Saturday

One nice thing about putting the thing away for a couple of months before looking at it is that you start appreciate your own wit. Of course, this can be carried too far. But it's kind of cool when you crack up a piece of writing, and then realize you wrote it. I recommend this feeling.
~Steven Brust

Measure your minds height by the shadow it casts.
~Rex Stout

You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.
~Jonathan Swift

I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
~Herbert Bayard Swope

The only one who doesn't make mistakes is the one who doesn't do anything.
~V. I. Lenin

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
~Jack London

Writing a book is a adventure. To begin with it is a toy and amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him out to the public.
~Winston Churchill

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
~Ray Bradbury

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making Money from Writing

There will never be another now -
I'll make the most of today.
There will never be another me -
I'll make the most of myself.
Helen Keller
***
In today’s world of fast paced cutthroats, writers need diligence to get them to make money from their writing. A good writer makes little money from all of their hard work whereas a great writer makes an income. Now an excellent writer is, well, you know, sitting around his pool drinking Mai Tai’s basking in the glory of all his/her published works.

No, I don’t really believe that is what the excellent writers are doing. Is that really how you envision Stephen King or Dean Koontz? Sitting around in the lap of luxury without a care in the world? I see them as writing. They continue to write their hearts out no matter how much money they have garnered from a previous published book. It’s a tried and true method for them to keep on writing. No write, no money.

Now before you can start writing for money, you are going to need material that is publishable. And it must be good enough for somebody to WANT to pay for it. Ask yourself a question. “Would a publisher be interested in spending money on MY work?”How many times was King rejected before someone finally took the manuscript of Carrie and made it a successful publishable piece of work? Over twenty times! He has the wallpaper to prove it. (King says he has wallpapered his room with rejection letters to keep him writing better.)

A publisher is taking a risk in spending thousands of dollars on you, the unknown, so make your work worth a large amount of money. It has to have some value before you can expect someone else to want to publish your work.

It will help if you have a story that a reader can’t take his/her hands off of and easily put it down. A story that the reader can't put down is one that could inspire a publisher to see the potential in book sales. The same is true for a script. Sometimes the writer must pitch the idea to get the publisher, agent or producer excited about the potential of their work.

The Internet is full of markets where you can sell your work. Whether it is a short story to a magazine or an agent for your novel, or a publisher that you can query. Writers are not only writers they are small-time archeologist! They need to dig, dig, dig to find the precious gem that will give their work life and an abundant glory of profit. I’ve used writer’s as archeologist twice this week!

And whatever you do fellow writer, DON’T GIVE UP! Did Indiana Jones? NO! Stephen King? NEVER! Now get to writing and selling, marketing and publishing! You can do it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are you the Type?

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.
Stephen King
***

I’m not the obsessive type. Sure I log into facebook to eavesdrop on my friends conversations, to post and play games, connect with people, spread the Word of the Lord and maybe it is quite an obsession but as for my writing? There is no obsessing there!

I’ve been reading/writing since I can remember and when I was a kid, I think I was obsessed with getting books, hanging out at the library, reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. Nowadays I’m more selective in what I read.

Just so you know, I won’t read anything that compromises my beliefs. Sure I can discern fiction from non-fiction, romance from science fiction, but does my mind decipher what is right and what is wrong. Well, I like to think it does. But books on demons and devil worship will not be on my bookshelf anytime soon.

As for my writing, I draw a line there too and this can become a hindrance in writing. As a writer we need to cross boundaries, we need to leap without looking below us to see where it is we’ll fall. We need to write and sometimes we need to write things we as individual human beings would never touch in a million years!

Take Stephen King for example. Sure he’s creepy and a little kooky but I would have him no other way. He is willing to go into the depths of hell just for make believe purposes and bring us a spellbinding story that wraps us so tight around his every word that we forget we’re reading fiction. We go into the zone! ha ha.

I’ve written a spiritual novel, wrote a short story ghost story, and my stories all tend to have a spiritual flair to them. All of the Light source mind you, the light being God and all his mysteries unraveling like a woven blanket. You know the kind, where you pull one string and it tends to let loose the entire blanket? That is what writing a story is all about, unraveling mysteries one word at a time.

Where do I get the inspiration for this type of writing? I was an avid Unsolved Mysteries fan. I always seek the unknown, read a lot of non-fiction in hopes that I will grasp the mystery and be able to shed light on the subject. But as for my ghost stories? Awww come on, they’re just fiction. *wink*

I like to think of myself as the fun and carefree throw-caution-to-the-wind type. So that is what I try to pull off in my writing. Instead of obsessing over the perfect sentence, correct word or phrase, I’ll just let my long blond tresses down and run naked through the cornfields and let my writing flow like the wind of time. Things change, people change but one thing that will never change, my love of writing!

godspeed...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Zone

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
Gaston Bachelard
***

So you’re sitting there looking at the blank screen. You’re either drifting off into the zone or you are actually reading what I’ve written.

The zone, you ask? What is that? Well that is the place that your mind goes when you’d rather be someplace else, doing something else. You know, the zone! Writer’s have a tendency to weave in and out of the zone. We like to visit it as a place of solace when we’re bored and in our zone, this is where some of the best story ideas come into our head.

A story idea came to me this morning while I was in that place of hidden treasures. It came at me like a lightning bolt grazing the ground and I need to write down the idea before I let this one get away.

There is your tip for the day. Get out of the zone and write those ideas down before they slip away into the abyss. The abyss is a dark place where all our thoughts and idea’s go and are sometimes unretrievable. (Is that even a word? Those squiggly lines are appearing making me think I’ve just made up a new word, for crying out loud! Okay, the word I want is irretrievable! DUH!

Now where was I? The squiggly lines...no no that’s not it, the zone. Yeah I was in the zone thinking what a gray day it is and how much I’d like to be out walking so I can harvest some story ideas on my walk.

No no, I was telling you, my readers, about the zone. Do you remember sitting in school, a really boring class and you zoned-out of what the teacher was saying and went into this world of make believe? Thoughts of the previous day, possible thoughts of the next day? Maybe even a fantasy of a whole different world! THAT’S the zone!

I knew you were one of those people, okay maybe a few of you are one of those people. What? You are ALL one of those types who visit the zone? Yay! Maybe I’m not crazy after all.

There in the zone lay a treasure trove of thoughts and ideas that need to be written down. Get out your pen and paper, open up you MS Word, excel, whatever you use. Open the screen up so you can get those ideas out of the zone and onto your screen where they will soon leap up at you making you want to dig deeper and then write about what the hidden archeologist in you has found.

I’ll assume we all have an innate consciousness where we know there is more planted than meets the eye. The only way to find out is dig dig dig until you unearth something of value. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, fantasy,sci-fi, write the idea down, go back to the page every now and again and see where the zone will take you after reading that one sentence.

Okay people, come back to this post you’re reading and get OUT OF THE ZONE!

Write Write Write!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Check Mate

Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.
Rhys Alexander
***

Since blogger won't upload my pics, I'll resort to what I know and love the most, writing quotes! They keep us all motivated.
***

So you were anticipating the blog about the correlation between writing and chess? Well let me tell you, I can give a really good analogy of a chess/ life scenario but I’ve really got to work on the writing/chess.

Okay where do I begin? I’ll start with the white side. This is the team I always go for in playing chess. It reminds me of purity and all that that entails. Strength,wisdom, knowledge,etc.

In writing, the white team can be visualized as the protagonist, or the good guy. The dudley-do-right, the main character of the story. Then we have the black team and they are the antagonist, the bad guys, the dark force, the one or ones that will be causing all kinds of trouble in the story.

We have pawns on both sides, correct? The same powerful pieces standing behind the pawns on both sides too. The pawns can be seen as the disposable characters, if you will. Now you have all of these characters standing behind you vying for a place so lets give them a place.

The rook will be the homestead or foundation of your story, the dark side has an ominous looking castle which probably houses Count Dracula or some other dark figure.

The knight will be the character in your story that does all the fighting for you. The dark fights for the light, the light normally wins IN THE END, hopefully, with fingers crossed the Light will win. (emphasis on WILL win)

Then we have the bishops. They can be your moral compass. The good seed buried in all of us that sometimes we call a conscious. Now the dark bishop is who in your story? Well it’s the dark force or the bad seed that will not and can not take root because you’ve given him/it no fertile soil in which to grow.

Ah, now we have the king and queen. This will be the strong lead characters in your story who eventually are left standing with the dark side (king and queen) all alone on that big checkered board, or white page.

What do we do in this position? We do what any good writer would do and that is knock the pants off of the Dark Force and we have our main characters all full of light left standing in a triumphant glow of completion. Check Mate!

Hey I think this sounds better than the football analogy. Have either of these two posts made any sense?

Good...now lets see if I can see what gardening and writing have in common. Okay, I’m kidding!

Now we know what makes a story so what are you waiting for? Why are you sitting here reading, shouldn’t you be writing?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Go Team! Football vs.Writing


I was thinking, since I’m such a football fan (Go Huskers, Yay Colts) that writing is a lot like a football team.

Go ahead and think me crazy but listen to the logic before placing judgment. There is a coin toss in the beginning of the game, right? Well that is sometimes what writing seems like, a complete toss up between getting published or not.

Then we have the field players. Words, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, etcetera are all vying for the win. In the beginning (we writer’s call it a rough draft) we play the field after placing all of these words in order, line them up and charge down the field at the opposing team. I like to think the opposing team in writing as writer’s block! You know that stiff tight end (you) you’d like to kick in the rear while it sits back with a blank stare, gazing at the empty page all the while having water poured down the throat? This is you watching from the sidelines instead of getting out there and playing, I mean writing!

Ok, we’ve got the words all in line, we have the opposing team ready to tackle our butts, now it is time to charge. Make some sense out of the story before we get the wind knocked out of us. We have our protagonist, our antagonists, all of the conflict ready, ups and downs, highs and lows, we pulled off a good piece of foreshadowing,(Deep breath here) then we revise. This in the football game would be called a field goal!We've basked in the afterglow of completion then we finished our story and now have to tackle the tough stuff. We huddle, then get back to the field, ready.

You see, football can be like writing, we have our coin toss, we have our rough and tumble days of opposing forces, I think sometimes we even have a bouncing ball on our screen! Maybe it is just squiggly lines telling us we’ve spelled a word wrong. But that doesn’t stop us does it? We continue on until we have something legible in our hands and are ready to make a TOUCHDOWN! That would be to place it up on the market and let the world see. Maybe get it published?

I can hear the crowd roaring behind me, my cheerleader's, although not as hot and big breasted, are my fiance and my son, standing on the sidelines yelling out, “Go get ‘em!”
I’m so glad they’re wearing their sweats as they cheer. I never did think they looked right in a skirt!

And as I’m running to catch that game winning touchdown pass, my helmet keeps me from bumping my head on the ground too hard as I fall, get rejected, but I still have the winning touchdown, my manuscript.

I wave to the crowd, thank them for all of the support, do a little winning dance, and go back out onto the field to run down the entire length all over again and again until I WIN the game, I become published!

How’s THAT for analogy?

Wait until you read my chess analogy. *wink* *wink*

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Double Dose~

For Him
***
I walk a straight and narrow path
this line I walk alone.
No one to hinder the road I’m on
yet nothing is set in stone.
*
I strive to be the woman that He
has cast out on the shore.
The one He made the perfect way
Until I yearned for more.
*
Something was swept away from me
that keeps me tied and bound
to this earthly crime for mercy’s sake
My soul to never be found.
*
I’m on my knees; arms are raised
I beg for you to hear
Shower me in your grace
to make it all come clear.
***
***I am Forgiven***
***
Will He still love me
when all is said and done?
the blood of my sin drips
as I walk on sandy
shores leaving footprints
on souls .
I watch as they wash away
with the tide and wonder
will He still love me when
He sees me bare? I’m naked
running to Him yet I turn away
as my shame keeps me from ever
grasping the true love.
I hear the whisper; then the
resounding echo, "You are
forgiven!"
I turn to him as my wet tendrils cling
to my face; I run for him. He is my love
My one and only true love who knows
all that I am and ever will be.
Will he wash away my sin?
He already has.
I am forgiven!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quotation Saturday




Snow in October?
***

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
~ Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) 'Meditations Divine and Moral,' 1655
***
The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
~John Burroughs (1837 - 1921), The Snow-Walkers
***
O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly roof Of undisturb'd Retirement, and the hours Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
~William Cowper (1731 - 1800), Task (bk. IV, l. 120)
***
If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
~Mitchell Burgess Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992
Nature...
***
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
~E. B. White (1899 - 1985)
***
Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
~Elizabeth Aston,The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, 2005
***
Ever the optimist...
***
The act of writing is an act of optimism. You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt it didn't matter. ~Edward Albee
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
***
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
***
Those who tell you it's tough at the top have never been at the bottom.
~Joe Harvey
Final thought...
***
In good writing, words become one with things.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just Words?


WORDS

Words are what make a sentence. They are what we use in the human language to convey what we want, what we think and by everything we do, we use words.

Now words placed together like a string of pearls, become just that, a gem. Place them in the wrong order and they become unintelligible thoughts. But as we make a necklace out of our words, they become a writer’s dream. A fluid and well defined thought.

I know a few folks who say, “Hey this writing thing is for me. How do I do it?” Well let me tell you, you can’t just sit down and write and think it is publishable for one. You need to study the craft for quite awhile before you become familiar with what is right, what is acceptable, and what publisher’s will actually publish.

You’re not looking to be published? Well then write away. I think journaling is your thing.
What was that? You WANT to be published? Well then you better get off your tush and start learning the art form that takes place in writing.

No one likes learning and diving into knowledge. (Well most people anyway) Most people like to take the easy way to getting things done. I’m not one of those people. I like to learn and drink in knowledge like a good cup of coffee. On our journey to learning the craft of writing we get sidetracked. Someone said that they start to write and then forget what the point was that they were trying to make.

You’re trying to make words into sentences that make sense, that’s what you’re trying to do. Let’s say you have an idea for a story. Be it a novel, a memoir, or a short story. It is advisable to write an outline of your ideas FIRST so you don’t get sidetracked. Just a simple outline of points you want to touch on, or a character outline so you know the character before you write one word.

Words! They’re not just letters put together you know. The letters form words and it’s up to you to make sense of what you form. We’re not abstract artists here. I like to think of writer’s as the Thomas Kinkade’s of a story. We create beautiful works of art out of simple words. We’re writer’s!

Now lets get those words in order! Learn what to do with them once you have them put together! Workshop with other writer’s! Get busy!

Lesson: She asked if it was going to work.
Look at that sentence. Does it make sense? NO! Who is ‘she’? And what is ‘it’?

Donna asked if the car was going to start.
Now we know who and what.

Asking the who’s and what’s (or why, when and where) of each sentence will tighten up your work.
Can you see? Now act on the structure of writing and get to work!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ A New Day is Dawning


A New Day is Dawning

A new day is dawning
the sun peeks through the trees
in a blazing show of splendor,
I drop down to my knees.

His grandeur took my breath away
in a winking of wondrous bliss
I stood there waiting for him;
this moment I couldn’t miss.

A new day is dawning
I sense it in the air.
Change is painting color
across my heart with vibrant flair.

I reach for quiet victory
in His arms I find my peace.
Always praying His amazing grace
will grant my soul release.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Quotation Saturday


Great thinking:

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Writing is a struggle against silence.
~Carlos Fuentes

I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.
~Socrates

The habits of life form the soul, and the soul forms the countenance.
~ Honore’ De Balzac

Great Writers who think:

I could speculate, but it would be just speculation and the kind of thing that you would get in with a science fiction story. And if I was doing a science fiction story then I would come up with what can go wrong with this system.
~Gene Wolfe
...commenting about the future of book publishing technology

Endless conflicts. Endless misunderstanding. All life is that. Great and little cannot understand one another.
~H.G. Wells

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
~William Faulkner

The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.
~Mark Twain

Good point:

Plotting is like sex. Plotting is about desire and satisfaction, anticipation and release. You have to arouse your reader's desire to know what happens, to unravel the mystery, to see good triumph. You have to sustain it, keep it warm, feed it, just a little bit, not too much at a time, as your story goes on. That's called suspense. It can bring desire to a frenzy, in which case you are in a good position to bring off a wonderful climax.
~Colin Greenland

Plotting isn't like sex, because you can go back and adjust it afterwards. Whether you plan your story beforehand or not, if the climax turns out to be the revelation that the mad professor's anti-gravity device actually works, you must go back and silently delete all those flying cars buzzing around the city on page one. If you want to reveal something, you need to hide it properly first.
~Colin Greenland

Silent Protocol

Silent Protocol
Angel Always...godspeed

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award