Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year that was...

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”  Wayne Dyer
***

Well this has been a long year. Every year we have had a ritual on New Years Eve which I feel has been expelled with the new us. For the past year it has been a challenge for the whole family as we have highs and lows, big dreams and minor setbacks. But we endure.

Beau has been blind for the entire year now. Nebraska has its ups and downs what with the weather, the driving challenges, and my life has been a railroad soaring on through the year, blowing the horn loudly if anyone gets in my way, and trudging through the elements that all are being tossed at me.

The weather - Last Christmas we were hit with a blizzard, and another followed right after that one and I found myself isolated out here, the truck getting stuck in tire-high snow, and the season not wanting to end when I still had snow in the yard come April. Then the summer storms hit, then the, what Nebraskans call ‘breezy’ days with 35 mph winds. (Where I come from, we call that WINDY!)

The driving challenges - In April I found myself in an accident that changed my driving skills forever, I feel. While I know many of you can get in an accident and just hop back on the road to blissful moments of driving in the car, for me, everyday was a challenge to get behind the wheel. We live in a place with narrow lanes, and no shoulders of the road, just a drop into a ditch. The winds push the truck around like it was a paper bag, then you have ol’ paranoid me, behind the wheel.

Then the holidays hit - Where we once went out, looking at all the beautiful lights, in Texas the houses all competed for the best light show and we, for five years trekked for two hours to go to a BEAUTIFUL, drive-through, Light Show with elves working, Santa waving, showers of lights that sped around the park, the truck being swept along by lights and the many cars behind and in front of us. But lights hold no luster for a blind person, so I didn’t go to see any either, this year or last. 

I spent a whopping thirty-five dollars and some change on Adam for Christmas which really cut our holiday bill. But you know what, he was the happiest kid in Nebraska for the miracles that WERE left under the tree.

The year is ending on a high note as I know the New Year will be spiritually enriching. Growth is inevitable and change lies just over the horizon. I can smell it and taste it in the air. I also will welcome the New Year as a beloved long lost friend, embracing the arms of a new month, a new beginning, a wonderful new number! 2011...or twenty eleven as some say. Its an odd number so that’s good. Good things happen on the odd numbered years for me, so I am much looking forward to it!

May God bless you all on your journey so that you hold the change in your hand and feel blessed for all that it is!  ~ Joni

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Embrace the New Beginning

No one is able to enjoy such feast than the one who throws a party in his own mind. ~Selma Lagerlöf
***
What are you suppose to do, when something new smacks you in the face and life is sent into a spiral of change? Embrace it? Or move on to the next big upheaval?

While beau is having a high on audibook heaven,  receiving books to review from publishers, he’s found a few other ‘associates’ blogs to romp and comment on. Nothing like the meeting of the minds where books are concerned. He’s having a blast! Got himself a domain and all! Woohoo!

I’m on the other end. While I’m an avid reader, my fun is in writing and helping others learn the craft. Did I tell you that f2k Free Writing Course is starting on January 5. Last day to sign up is Jan. 3rd, so if you want to experience your love of writing, sign up and see if you have what it takes to be a writer. Sign up here: Writer’s Village University


From WVU:
Our next session of F2K (7-week creative writing course) begins January 5th, 2011.  It's easy to register, and it's free, thanks to volunteer Mentors from Writers' Village University.

First, make sure you're registered with the F2K Social Site. You will not be able to see registration links until this simple process is completed.

Click on "Login" then the "Register" link.

Enter your real name then your username and password choice. Only your username will be displayed to others. Your real name is used for your F2K Certificate upon course completion.

Important! You will receive an activation email with a link. Follow the link from your email (or copy and paste link into your browser). This will complete the F2K Social site registration.

Once you've completed activation, login to F2K Social, new links will appear in the navigation tabs.
***


There you have it! This will be the beginning of my new year, running around the halls with my friends, Benning, Gran, Silby, Leona and a few other mentors. New friendships will be made, the pursuit of happiness will be within our grasp, and all will be right with the world, hopefully continuing to spin on its axis. And audiobook heaven will soar into the cosmos and be everything beau dreams it to be.

This is going to be the year of change, not upheaval. Ride the wave and hope you land smoothly on the sand, and not drown in the undertow. Here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Embrace the change!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Time for the New Year to begin...

Ecc. 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
***
We’re three days away from the old year ending and and a new one beginning. I normally celebrate my New Year around Easter, when not only the calendar is marking a new beginning but the season of growth blooms into beauty, souls become redefined, and newness of life is being ushered in!

But the calendar demands me to flip the month over and start a new year. Although, I don’t feel it will be a new year unless I personally make the changes to make it a new year. So what am I going to do this year that’s different from last year?

I’m a woman of honesty, if you are my friend, I love you with a part of my soul that you can trust and depend on. I don’t do lip-service and call you friend, hence the reason I have a select number of friends on facebook. They are people who actually know me and want to be a part of my life, to accept someone just to accept them, is to me, not friendship at all.

So this year I will:
ONE, continue my selective few friends that I can bring into my bosom and call friend. That means I will embrace new friends in the warmth of my heart who would like to be my friend, in the truest sense!

TWO, I will continue to write my blog and keep the new writer’s of today abreast of all the new things going on in our writing community.

THREE, I will continue to pursue a publisher for my poetry. If not I will go the self publishing route, determined to get my spiritual uplifting words into many people’s hands.

FOUR, I am determined to grow in love. Even if I feel isolated and lonely, I will give all that I am to whomever is willing to embrace me and be honest and trustworthy! I need this in my life. I’m too old to play games of secrets, lies, mischievousness, and downright disloyalty. Betrayal is my enemy.

FIVE, I will cling to my spirituality even more so than I’ve already done this year. I have given my heart and soul to God and I expect respect from others who share in the same Glory as I. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.

These are just five of the new and improved me things that I will wholeheartedly pursue in this coming year. I had a blessed Christmas holiday with the love of beau’s family, and although my mother spent Christmas in the hospital back home, I was blessed that she healed and returned home to the warmth and loving arms of my father. Maybe this will be the year I finally make the trek back home to see my family. One can dream can’t they?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Poetry Sunday


Christmas Thoughts

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 embraces 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.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quotation Saturday ~ Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS
***

“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”
--Taylor Caldwell

“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
--Oren Arnold

Let's be naughty and save Santa the trip.
--Gary Allan

There's more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer; It's the spirit of sweet friendship That brightens all year. It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!
--Author unnknown
 
“Let us keep Christmas beautiful Without a thought of greed, That it might live forevermore To fill our every need, That it shall not be just a day, But last a lifetime through, The miracle of Christmastime That brings God close to you”
--Ann Schultz

“May the joy, peace and love that you feel at Christmas envelop you so that you carry it throughout the New Year. Be blessed in all that you do and the blessings, my friend, will come back to you.”
-- Joni Zipp

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Legend of St. Nicholas~ a poem

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 all time, 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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The History of St. Nick

Isa. 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
***

As you can see, this week has been a themed week. As a writer it is my duty to give to you vital information, whether it is about writing, learning or growing, I bestow knowledge so you can take what I give or leave it behind, either way, you glean an informative lot of info to put in your database of the ‘Knowledge Pool’. And since we are in the throes of the Christmas season, I hand to you the history behind our rituals, traditions and possibly convictions.

Doing some research, I delve into the man, the myth, the legend the lore:

Santa via wiki eyes
 
History of Santa in America



The Christmas holiday is full of mythical legends, rituals, folklore and tales. First and foremost, Christmas is the celebrated birth of Christ. Second, we have a man, St. Nick, who believed in spreading gifts and good cheer, and third, we have a day where love, peace and joy collide during a season of glory.

The Roman emperor Diocletian commanded all the citizens of the Roman Empire, which included Asia Minor, to worship St. Nicholas as a god. I can not imagine being forced to believe in any one thing, be it a god or man. Free will allows me to believe what I want to believe as long as God the Creator remains front and center as my belief.
 
Yes, as a child I believed in Santa Claus. I was hurt and dismayed to find that my parents, the ones I trusted most in my life, had lied to me. It was a sad Christmas day when Santa no longer delivered the gifts. But on a high note? My parents cared enough to buy me all those gifts, along with their five other children, and place them neatly under the tree, only to be opened on Christmas morn.
 
I never lied to my son. I told him the truth from the very first Christmas. While others around me saw it as cruel. I saw it as standing by my moral high ground and took their slaps and cuts as stripes along a long journey of being a faithful servant.
 
So while there was no Santa, the spirit of the season grew in my heart and soul and I carried that year round to bestow on people throughout my life. With Christ and Santa living in my heart, I knew I would grow to be a strong, caring, nurturing person. After my mistakes were forgiven, I made sure that I perfected my soul, enlightened my spirit, and gifted myself and others around me with my presence.
 
Do I believe in Santa? Yes. My son thinks me crazy, but Santa’s giving spirit dwells in me, what can I say, he’s an honorable man. Do I believe in my Lord and Savior and the true documentation of the Holy Words shared for centuries? Wholeheartedly!
 
“There is no greater gift in life, than the gift of love. Give it often and freely.” ~ Joni

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Pagan History of Christmas

Prov. 21:26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
***

Have you ever thought about why we celebrate Christmas? I mean, I’m sure you’re aware that it is the appointed birthday of Christ the Savior, but have you ever wondered how we knew he was born on this precise day in time? Why are we Christians celebrating by decorating a tree, hailing Santa Claus as the bearer of gifts, and in turn giving gifts ourselves? Are we born and bred to relive these customs and traditions? Why?

A little research uncovers some interesting facts about Christmas day:

Christmas history in America


Christmas BEFORE Christ


Christmas - WIKI interprets


With all this information, have I answered the question why we celebrate Christmas on December 25 th? I sure hope so!

I am neither a pagan:
1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
3. an irreligious or hedonistic person.
 

or a heathen:
1.an unconverted individual of a people that do not acknowledge the God of the Bible ; a person who is neither a Jew, Christian, nor Muslim; pagan.
 

I am honored to mark one day as a holy day in any calendar! I’m not Jewish, so I am more than likely not doing what God asks when he demands us to celebrate His feasts. But I’m also not a grinch, sitting high up on my mountain top, standing firmly on principle and technicalities, watching everyone else celebrate the Glory of our Lord. He’s my Lord too, and I’m going to celebrate by giving all the glory to him!
 

If I pick apart the Holy Bible and uphold only certain things, at certain times, but say, God don’t mind me doing this or that, at other times. Are we not all hypocrites in this world? I say we because Jesus assured me that “We have ALL sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Don’t pick apart Christmas, celebrate life!
 

Don’t be chastened when unbelievers get mouthy about Christmas being celebrated on the Saturnalia. It’s true! Our Christmas celebration is based on the date of that pagan Roman celebration.  And it doesn’t matter. As long as we focus on God, Christ, and the reason for that celebration, you’re on the right road. The right road being that in your heart, you have found peace and love dwelling in you, at least ONE time in the year.

Now if only we could have that love and peace throughout the entire year. If you don’t, that is totally up to you, I will not judge. But I will celebrate this day with you! :)

"Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. " (Leviticus 23:40)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Season of Gifting?

Prov.15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
***
I remember so many times as a child getting through the crowds at Christmas time, trying to hail a cab with my mother because we had so many bags and boxes we just couldn’t fit onto the overstuffed bus!  Pushing through the throng of shoppers, waiting in long lines, pressing through to get that one special gift!

My mother would take herself broke to give to others. Always on Christmas eve, running at the last minute to get just one more ‘special’ gift. She’d pay dearly all year long for having a giving heart. Did it cloud my view of what Christmas was all about? No, it opened my eyes to the unnecessary attachments we hold to the gift giving season.

Have we as a society gotten away from the real reason we even have a Christmas or has the world colored our vision so much so that we feel the need to give give give? I remember AFTER Thanksgiving, the stores would decorate, the streets would become a bastion of light shows, the trees, the street signs would all welcome this gift giving season with open arms.

Now the Christmas holiday is ushered in right after Halloween, forcing us to think that if we don’t get an early start, we won’t ever be able to get that perfect gift for the ones we love. The season is shaded by giving gifts, even if that means taking yourself broke. Buying and spending, all in the name of love? So are you telling me, love has a price tag on its head and if I don’t give you a gift, I don’t love you?

How clouded is that theory? Commercialism will not suck me dry. It will own no part of my soul. When I give, I give year-round, I give of myself, my time, something treasured from my heart that I know will impact a person for years (seconds, minutes, days?) to come. I don’t spend money at Christmas! I buy my son a gift, beau a gift, and everyone else receives my presence.

The only reason I celebrate Christmas, the pagan holiday, is because tradition almost demands it of me. While others are out buying, shopping, feeling good about themselves, sometimes they overlook the reason they are giving in the first place.

Are they doing it to make themselves look good? Others feel good? That is all well and good, but wouldn't a batch of homemade cookies, or hand-knitted scarf, or a simple poem, picture or other treasure from the heart mean more than a gift certificate from Macy's? Top-notch perfume? The 'perfect' purchased gift? Think about the answer you just thought!

Think about it a minute. If everyone truly gave from their heart and soul, (meaning, not spending a dime on the 'show') the stress of the season would be relinquished! Money could be given to HELP people, and EVERYONE would have a warm feeling during this day of celebrating Christ’s birth, and all that His presence meant to the world.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ Sounds of the Season

Sounds of the Season
***
The trees they shiver in the cold
as Christmas day draws near.
Crunching of the fallen leaves
that continue to linger here.

Aromas of pine crawl throughout
the embers of fires aglow;
the season is touched with tidings
as we welcome new fallen snow.

Many people gather
in the shelter of a breeze;
Whistling winds shudder the bones
as forms begin to freeze.

Carolers having made their rounds
in the magic of the call.
Lifting spirits as they go
blessing one and all.

Allow the moment to take you away
where joy and love abound.
The blessed world comes alive,
in the harmony of all sound.

The time draws nigh unto us,
to remember the very reason,
we yearly come to celebrate
this glorious Christmas season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quotation Saturday

The best things in life are the ability to laugh, the true love of a friend, joy in every day and the gratitude of living!
--Joni Zipp

HUMOR

"Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come." 

-- Og Mandino

"Gentlemen, why don't you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Wit penetrates; humor envelopes. Wit is a function of verbal intelligence; humor is imagination operating on good nature." -- Peggy Noonan

"The amount you laugh in your relationships with others is the true measure of the health of your personality." -- Brian Tracy


FRIENDSHIP ~

It should be a part of our private ritual to devote a quarter of an hour every day to the enumeration of the good qualities of our friends. When we are not active, we fall back idly upon defects, even of those whom we most love.
--Mark Rutherford

Friendship with the wise gets better with time, as a good book gets better with age.
--Thiruvalluvar

JOY ~

"Don't postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons. Joy is your lesson."
-- Alan Cohen

"Joy is the feeling of grinning inside."
--Melba Colgrove

"Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls."
--Mother Teresa


"Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."
--Joseph Campbell

 

GRATITUDE ~

"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."
--Doris Day

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
--Kahlil Gibran

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart.""
--French proverb

"I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God."
--Helen Keller

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In with the New!

Job 32: 19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
***
We’re going to roar into the New Year with a bang, right writers? And we’re gonna put this old heap of garbage of a year behind us and start off on a new note, a new key, an exemplary tone, a swashbuckling wallapalooza of a new beginning.

As many good things that have happened, there’s been an air of things that just didn’t pan out for me this year. The ending of this year is no different. Things are not falling into place the way they should and more than likely I’m the culprit. Okay that is not true, circumstances are not within my control, and things sometimes spiral in a wayward fashion and I’m left standing on the sidelines wondering how things ever got so disheveled.

So here I have Christmas crawling up on me like sly fox coming out of nowhere. The year just wooshed by and here it is Christmas next week. Have I bought anything? Nope. Still sitting here, tapping on the keys, waiting for a miracle. Miracles are a part of Christmas y’know. :)

I woke up this morning and there is a dusting of white stuff clinging to the grass and roads. Not enough to make a snowball or cause a driving a hazard, but enough to make the sun appear brighter than it is already. It was 19 bitterly cold degrees and I had a longing for Texas like never before. It was always so warm this time of year; the roads wide, the stores bigger than life, but the downside was, it was congested to the hilt!

I’ve been hit with yet another cold! Since Adam started school, he’s had three! Brings them home with him then we all catch the lingering germfest. “Are you taking vitamins?” they say. “Did you ever see the price of those things?” I retort. I believe vitamins in a pill form are a luxury that I can’t afford, and I just don’t believe in pill popping. Do I eat good? Yes! Vitamins via food? Most certainly! I drink green tea, which I still say minimizes the length of my cold.

In the six years that I lived in Texas, I had maybe six colds. Since I’ve lived here, in a year and a half, I’ve had six colds! So what is this post about anyway? My pity party? My big complain day or something? By no means. This is the road to a new beginning. A New Year! A long awaited year of change!

By putting all of the have’s and have-nots, success’s and fails, in a written form, I can now see what went right, and possibly where I went wrong. It’s not a pity party as much as it is an organizing technique where I can now begin to shape a new year of fresh unique things that will take place and put my journey in the right direction.

Why not try this yourself. Make a list of the things that went wrong this year, writing or otherwise. Make a list of what went right. Now put a positive spin on it and bring the year in with CHANGE!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Out with the Old...

Pss. 33: 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.
***
Wow, can you believe another year has gone by? I just looked at the calendar and it is the 15 th of December already. The new year will be beginning in a little more than two weeks and have I gotten anything done this year that I had set out to do? No.

I have never been one to make plans. It always seems that you make them, something comes up and the plans that you had planned on for weeks or days falls apart and then you need to shift gears and make new plans.

I have been writing my blog almost religiously. I like to keep my posts current and active. I like to teach new things or share with you, so THAT plan worked out well. And as we wind down the year, I must wonder if everyone is ready for this holiday? Are you eager to begin the new year and shuffle this one behind you and scoot it nicely under the bed? I sure am!

I know one of the major things that worked out this year was growth in my faith. I had always assumed I was nicely content with my faith, but one should never get  too content with ones faith. Whether you’re Christian, Buddhist, Catholic, or Muslim, there is always room to grow and journey with your God.

You can say, “No, I’ve learned all that I can.” But I have to disagree, with every single day of your learning/living, there is always something new where you scratch your head and say, “Well, I didn’t know that.” Ever have one of those days? Well geez, in my case every day is like that.

The new year started off on a high note but by July, it all started having a domino effect and tumbled downward day after day. What-with doctor visits and preparing my son for his first day of school, taking beau to Omaha on a few occasions, hopes rising and falling, then God putting a halt to all the toppling of the outcomes by saying, “Wait, did you run all this by ME first?”

Since it is Him who has complete control, we all stopped and said, “What will you have us do Father?” And that is when beau decided to wait on the Lord, Adam decided to pray for his enemy, and I, I continued writing like a news reporter gleaning all the days/weeks news.

So as you head into the new year, look behind at the old one and ask yourself, “Have I learned anything this year that I never knew before?” I bet nine out of ten of you will all shake your head in agreement and give a resounding, “Yes!”

Move forward into the new year with joyful anticipation knowing there is something new waiting for you next year! You don’t have to make plans, just know in your heart that it is waiting for you around the corner!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Writing~ A home within my home ~

Pss.19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
***
A writer sits nestled behind the short wooden desk, a lamp that looks like a small crane reaches out its light to cast dreamy whiteness onto the keyboard. Fingers can be seen tapping on the keyboard as many words fill the page.

The image of the writer spending many days and nights in this very position of straight back, legs curled up under, possibly a warm fuzzy blanket wrapped around to take off any chill that might drift by, and silence. Silence fills the air except for the keys delivering a cabaret in the stillness of the morning.

The writers mind envelops many worlds, wired to fantasy outside of home. Clinging to thoughts that have passed over time and now adhering like a wet blanket to the mind waiting to be spilled onto the white page.

The roads are dark and treacherous, the clouds ominous, the sounds piercing, the people all held within a conflict of the world that spins around them. Material and immaterial presence is lurking around every page, stones skip in a river, boulders tumble down the side of a mountain, barely missing the few that have wandered this road.

This is the eclipse of the writer as she destroys families, rebuilds friendships, molds characters, misplaces words, only to find them resurfacing on another page, another chapter in time of the story, waiting to be used for the most poignant part of the clincher, the revealing of the truth that created this story to begin with.

Sentences all line up like soldiers, dark and mysterious, forming gripping paragraph after gripping paragraph. The reader is in the mesmerizing throes of the pages that have formed the story and the writer, the quiet, beautiful writer has cast a spell holding the one who reads the story in the palm of her hand.

Here before you lies a tale of the writer’s life. Sure if they’re making millions, they’re probably out having fun in between stories, but for us wannabe’s, we’re here living out this fantasy of putting meaningful words, compelling words, to a page. We can’t just tell you a simple story, with so-so words. We have to pack a powerful punch in each and every single word so that the meaning can carry on throughout an entire chapter, massive amounts of pages, to a finale of complete orgasmic quality!

My mentors always tell me to make every word count and as I scan my sentences I’m always making sure there isn’t a boring word, that will stop you in your tracks and cause you to toss my book/story into the heap of no-good reads of yesteryear.

Did I say orgasmic quality? What can I say. Writing is a euphoric high here in the pine scented confines of my humble abode. Without any inhibitions, writing is, my home within my home.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Angels Ascent ~

Ps. 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
***
~ Angels Ascent ~

They beckon with the mornings breath
hear the sounds of spiritual death.
Soft rain has drizzled and wet my lips
The taste I long for; I inhale sips.

The Angels swoop, I hear the sound
cradling me with warmth all around.
The fluttering wings, the soft sweet song
they’ve made me know it’s here I belong.

Out in the cold naked and bare
my heart is taken not given a care.
They swirl around lay swaddling clothes
watch my friends; guard me from foes.

The realm is peaceful like the setting sun
protecting my essence, to them I’m one,
not two or three, never leave me behind
they shelter my soul, my heart and mind.

Embrace me now as I ascend
this world is gone I can not mend.
I leave behind my worldly peace
as I’m allowed this heavenly lease. 
***

Pss.103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quotation Saturday

YOU ARE UNIQUE

"Your brain has more than 100 billion cells, each connected to at least 20,000 other cells. The possible combinations are greater than the number of molecules in the known universe."
-- Brian Tracy

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You have a calling which exists only for you and which only you can fulfill."
-- Dr. Naomi Stephan

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own."
-- Benjamin Disraeli


LIFE

People need to be made more aware of the need to work at learning how to live, because life is so quick and sometimes it goes away too quickly.
--Andy Warhol

Life is sufficient unto life if it is lived and felt directly and deeply enough.
--Richard Wright

WORRY/FEAR

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." -- Martin Luther

"Worry is negative goal setting."
-- Brian Tracy

"It is never safe to look into the future with eyes of fear."
-- E.H. Harriman

"The fear is worse than the pain."
-- Shannon Bahr


UNDERSTANDING

When we put ourselves in the other person's place, we're less likely to want to put him in his place.
--Farmer's Digest

Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.
--Erich Fromm

S tart small; T hink tall; R each over the wall; I nvest your all; V isualize the mall; E xpect you may fall; but, if you fall, that's not all; get up and STRIVE again. --Dr. Robert Schuller
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean,but the ocean would be less without that drop.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Effects ~ Part II

Becoming an author in order to get rich is like going to the desert in order to become wet.~ J.E. Fishman
***
Words, they all have an affect. Sometimes when they spew from our mouth, we wished we could just take them back but too late, they’re out and like a missile, have fired in someone’s direction and possibly hit hard or missed the intended target to begin with.

This is why I like writing so much, because often I can take back what I spewed, erase, delete, revise, whatever the case may be, and do a re-write. Writing gives me that freedom and although I don’t always catch a mistake, I often have an extra set of eyes who will read my work and point out, either a typo or something not quite understood.

Writing is an uplifting part of my day where dreams and mysteries collide, word and worlds convene, fiction and reality merge to become either a story or a message that I need to convey to the unsuspecting reader, or the reader who needs to read those words right at the time I say them.

You can’t imagine the affect that writing has had on the world. It seems that the written word has been somehow chiseled into our history since the days of Noah when someone was penning the words of the Bible. Can you imagine, a chisel? Then the pen/feather quill came and more and more words were written and in time writing was having an affect on all peoples from generation to generation.

Before there could ever be a movie made on any subject, before we had cassette players to read for us, before the camera could collect an image for us, we had writing. Writing, to me, shaped the world and began a flow of intelligence that was and never will be stopped, in the mission to make us a more brilliant species.

So as you write your post it notes, send out Christmas cards, pen the all American novel, send love to the ones afar, remember you are writing and as the masters before you, you are going to have an affect on each and every person who reads your words; so make each word count!

A writer is born every second that we breathe, an artist is created and he/she will change the world in one way or another. We all would like to think we have an affect on someone else, but there is no other like the writer that can affect someone more. Long live the writer!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Writing Effects...

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
***

Did you know that writing has an affect on people? You didn’t? Well come on, you’re reading this, you’re going to gather all the info that I put in my post and use it or lose it. Either way you walk away affected by what was said here.

I recently had the pleasure of encountering yet another online hoax. It seems face book is always being pounded on with one hit after another for these hoax’s. Those spam/ forwarding emails are old news; now that nobody opens them or reads them and believes that they’re going to get millions from Bill Gates, or die because they didn’t send it to 13 of their friends. Or that their friend is stuck in England needing money FAST!

The recent uproar in hoax’s was the cartoon pic change as an avatar on FB. My blind friends are fortunate enough to be spared these childish antics, but many, and I mean many, jumped on the bandwagon of following what the words told them, all to support child abuse. Sure people have the best intentions when following these things but really, can an avatar STOP child abuse, or fight the cause, or even HELP the cause? How silly! 

The hoax debunked!

If people are so willing to end child abuse, why not support actual charities that ASSIST in aiding children of child abuse? Oh, because it might take money away from you? Are you so greedy that the thought of giving even one dollar to assist in the cause scares you? But you’ll change your avatar and think that this is helping?

Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 

The hoax bubble burst when people started posting that the group responsible for this uproar in cartoon characters was really pedophile’s wanting a chance to get in on the friendships that so many have come to enjoy on facebook, especially unsupervised children. So here we have someone wanting you to support a cause, then something turning it into a dark and evil cause that you’re actually supporting. When in actuality, you are just being a follower. Then the snopes site says even the pedophile post was a hoax! Even the local news reported the pedi- post as ‘truth’!!!
 

Come on, this world is just getting too crazy. I like the internet, but people,not just writers, real human beings, want to ruin it for us, and it is all through the written word!

What it all boils down to is writing affects the reader, in one way, shape or form, the reader is walking away with a feeling of either despair, fear, paranoia, or embarrassment. I like them to walk away with joy, but we writer’s can’t always hit our mark.  There will always be ten naysayers and snakes lurking where one positive seed is planted. 

Remember this next time you forward an email, or follow along because EVERYONE else is doing it.

Stand up and be a leader for a change!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ A Winter Scene

A Winter Scene
***
The morning breathes a sigh of relief,
a new dawn has broken through.
The snow it whispers from the sky
 the blush of a fresh days hue.

Trees are barren as they sleep
each limb has clinging cotton
crisp cold air wafts throughout
squirrels are all but forgotten.

The crunching noise it lingers
as deer and elk creep by.
Silence holds this winter day
as snow falls from on high.

The air is full of Christmas
a holy day abounds.
Bells and holly carry on
the wondrous seasons sounds.

Mystery here is clinging
as angels sing a song,
coming is a new born babe
leading men along.

Awaken all you nations
hear the words I plea,
God has sent a part of Him
for sins of you and me.

Generations have come and gone
but everything's the same.
The Holy night is cherished
as the very day He came!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Quotation Saturday

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
***
WORDS

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
-- Mother Teresa

"Vocabulary enables us to interpret and to express. If you have a limited vocabulary, you will also have a limited vision and a limited future."
-- Jim Rohn

"It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." --- Robert Southey

"Refuse to criticize, condemn, or complain. Instead, think and talk only about the things you really want."
-- Brian Tracy

You may not have saved a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other folks, you are a pretty rich man.
--Seth Parker


I have no desire to move mountains, construct monuments, or leave behind in my wake material evidence of my existence. But in the final recollection, if the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy within your heart...then in living--I have made my mark.
--Thomas L. Odem, Jr.


WISDOM

"The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous."
-- Margaret Fontey

"A person dies daily, only to be reborn in the morning, bigger, better, wiser."
-- Emmet Fox

"Wisdom is the lesson learned, applied."
-- Rick Beneteau

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
-- Plato

GRATITUDE

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
--Kahlil Gibran

"Giving thanks for abundance is sweeter than the abundance itself..."
--Rumi

"I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God."
--Helen Keller

"Real life isn't always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties."
--Sara Ban Breathnach

Friday, December 03, 2010

Just words or WORDS?

Job 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
***
Words words words. Sure you’re building a story, you being the architect of the masterpiece, but are you building your story on just words or WORDS?

There is a difference you know. I can write a poem and by the time I’ve revised it, many of the unimportant words have bit the dust and my poem comes out stronger in my minds eye. This is what we need to do to our stories.

Sure we hate cutting out words, but we need to make sure the reader is getting every juicy morsel of our work and not just words spilled on the paper like yesterdays coffee stain. Our words are our tools in making the reader flip through paragraph after paragraph. They need to see each blooming chapter as being filled with new possibilities for your character(s).

If you’re writing a novel, those first words in a paragraph are so important to keeping your reader reading. We usually call it the hook. The first paragraph, you say, not the first page? Nope, it is that very first paragraph that has to pack so much punch that the reader will be willing to move onto the second, third and fourth paragraph.

I have read books where I’ve gotten through the entire first power-packed chapter only to find that the second chapter had less fizzle than sizzle and I wound up never reading the entire story. Is this what you want for your reader? I didn’t think so. You didn’t sit at the keyboard hours on end typing fifty thousand words only to find you’ve written nothing with substance, just a bunch of words slung onto the page, thrown together like a heap of wind driven leaves.

In revision, you need to cut out those unnecessary words, fill the sentence with flavor, scan each chapter as if you were panning for gold, and make each and every paragraph leap out at you. Make your story what you think every reader wants in their arsenal of literature.

Do you have a heap pile? That’s the pile of books that have gone un-read, sit on your shelf looking out at you like the long lost teddy-bear of years gone by, wishing you would pick it up and hold it endearingly.

I don’t have a heap pile. ha ha I only buy or read books that I know are going to get me to the end and fulfill the commitment that the writer began in the first place and that is to make my reading journey a pleasant experience.

Don’t waste you or the readers time on ‘just words’, make every one count so in the end, we the writer and reader are fulfilled in the journey!

Job 8: 10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Building of a Story

Matt: 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
***
At my Writers Village University hangout we are often in discussions of what it takes to build a story. Bob Hembree, the mastermind of WVU is an intelligent man who has brilliant articles on the matter of sentence structure, metaphors, and the philosophy behind the building of a story, word by word.

I’m a poet and as such I love metaphors. I love the idea of a hidden meaning somewhere in the makings of a story. Like a poem, a story needs to have a grander picture than what the reader is actually reading at face value.

Recently I read Animal Farm by George Orwell and while unimpressed with his style of writing, I was floored by the hidden meaning of a tale that is now listed as a classic. Like many classics, the meaning of the story transcends time and space.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is another story I read that held deep meaning in every page. I gather, from my interpretation, that man is a beast with struggles on many levels. In Animal Farm, men are pigs; in LOTF, man is a barbaric beast. So you see, this is just my take on the books while others would walk away with a philosophical explanation and may give deep levels of understanding. But we all walk away with something different.

What I’m getting at here is that stories can’t just be written to TELL the reader a story, there has to be intricate levels to your story to make it worthy of any publisher. They have to see that deeper hidden meaning, whether subtle or an in-your-face kind of meaning.

So how do we build a story? We take it brick by brick; layer upon layer, and give the novel shape. You can write twenty thousand words or eighty thousand words, if they have no shape, no structure, your tale will fall flat and on blind eyes, not one glance.

Here I go with the house metaphor again. You see a plot of ground (blank page) and you want to build on it (write a novel.) You are not going to just start building the walls, floor and roof are you? You’re going to check that the foundation (the meat of your story) is sound. This is where the outline becomes your best tool. The outline gives you a visual of how the story begins, all its ups and downs, riddled with conflicts, and a possible ending to your tale. Without an outline, you’re writing without a foundation.

You need to be the architect of your story. You shouldn’t write a tale, then decide, “Hey, I should have checked the foundation first.” You’ll find that after ten revisions, your story still isn’t grabbing the reader after the first chapter. What did you do wrong? You more than likely built your novel on sand and now will have to work extra harder in finding the solid ground it has to stand on in order to be published.


Lyrics: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Off Topic~ Bullies!

Ps.73: 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
***
Adam had a feeling. He didn’t want to go to school on Monday. Was he sick? Does he need a doctor? No, just a feeling. I sent him anyway saying , “Aww you just have to shake it off.” Against my better judgment, I sent him to school.

All day I sat wondering and I anxiously awaited the bus. I can always tell by the way he walks from the bus to the front door whether or not it was a good day. Monday was not a good day. No wave of the arm, no smile, just a sulking boy with his head lowered not to rise until he got to the door.

“What happened?” I asked. “I got sent to the office for self-defending myself!” he unleashed. Now let me tell you, I know mothers always think their son is right and never wrong, but my son is a good kid. When I went to the Parent/teacher meetings, Adam got all good reviews of how well behaved he is, mannerly, polite and respectful. Not a bad thing about his behavior. He even received the ACE award which is for Achievement, Citizenship, and Effort.

So when he told me the story of how he tripped, fell into a kid, and the kid turned and began pushing him, HARD. So he pushed back. What was he supposed to do, stand there and take the bullying? A teacher was a partial witness of the commotion and she overheard the other boy calling Adam an effing b*tch. They were both sent to the office. The perpetrator was taken first.

Adam was the one to look like it was all his fault. The principal called in a ‘witness’ and the poor girl only told what she saw, but she didn’t say Adam tripped, she said Adam was trying to trip the other boy, intentionally. Adam, trying to START something? No, he’s the one always trying NOT to start anything. So the girl didn’t lie but she didn’t see Adam trip, she ASSUMED he was trying to trip and her word was gold to the principal. “Thank you, for telling the truth.” she says. Adam wasn’t allowed to say HIS truth.

So Tuesday, Adam stayed home from school. He now doesn’t want to go back. Gibbon has let him down. What I thought was a Christian community, has turned into everyplace high school. Is this what the schools across the map are all about? Are kids being bullied, fearing for their life each and every day? Are the principal’s in these schools taking the proper precautions in preventing bullying or are the protecting the bully by blaming the victim.

As always, the victim is made to feel more of the victim, and this is hurting kids across America! What is a parent to do? I step in and it continues, nothing is being done, so once again I am stepping in, trying to resolve this so my kid can get the pleasure out of school. One more time and I’m pulling him out and returning to home-schooling.

This morning he rose and went off to school. He said, “I can’t miss my test!” He’s a good kid!! God be with him today and always!

Joel 2: 6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Off Topic II

Prov. 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
***
On Wednesday Adam was home from school. My how he enjoys school. If only the kids were nicer to him. His grades are not bad and I heard something this weekend that went something like this, “All C’s still get degrees.” So if Adam gets out of this year with all C’s, I’m only more than happy that he whizzed through the year and made it out alive!

Bullies are a whole other topic! I’m talking holidays today. Adam had a five day weekend at home! Wednesday I had to run to the store and you would’ve thought it was Black Friday trying to get through the store. I didn’t need a whole order, that was done on Saturday, but I muddled through, got a prescription, and some cough medicine. It still took almost an hour and a half trying to get back home! Grumpy tagging along.

Thursday I slept in as did Adam. I arose and made some Pumpkin Pies for what I thought was a two pm. dinner that, to my surprise, turned into a 12 pm dinner and the pies were still in the cooling stages as I brought them to moms for a family celebration. Good food, laughter and hugs were shared.

Friday was a rest day! I slept in, as did Adam and the day was bright and sunny, as football bellowed from the radio and TV. Thursday had been cold and blustery but Friday was Sunny and 54 degrees! What a whirlwind of temps we have here in Nebraska. Saturday, Adam and I went off to the store to pick up a few things. The store was darned near empty. A pleasant trip on the day AFTER Black Friday! The wind once again picked up but it was a gorgeous sunny day, yet felt like a Sunday for some odd reason. I saw grumpy in the mirror!

Saturday was the day that we put up the Chritmas decorations, after beau played the sax, rehearsing for some dinner party. Then Adam kept bugging me to let him put up the tree. We used to get a real tree but allergies abound and it dries out too quick in a months time, so we have an artificial tree. Adam went to town on that tree. Took him about three hours but in the end, I have a beautiful tree. Now sadness was with grumpy, those two had a party!

Sunday was church. I got to see my Church Family and realized how much I missed them when we missed a week (due to sickness.) An air of grumpiness followed us around like I was Snow White and Grumpy belonged here with me. I couldn’t shake it. I prayed, cried, laughed, but there it was, staring me boldly in the face!

Depression. It is obvious to me but well hidden from others. Standing on the edge of sanity, depression will knock you down, drag you through the mud and leave you there to get hard to turn into some form of  lumpy clay. I can usually meditate and pray and shake the bug, but beau and Adam? Well they have a hard time just letting go and shaking off the blues. They’ll pull me in because it’s what we do. We’re a family, we feel each others pain, share each others sadness, and hopefully mend each others heart.

Bring on the holidays!
Ecc.1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Off Topic...life

Prov. 14:13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
***
Today I’m going to go a little off topic. I mean after the exhausting week last week, I think my blog needs a break from all this writing biz. Sometimes it’s a welcome relief and I know you, my reader, you all like to see what’s happening in my life every now and again. Which not only makes me feel good, but it also makes me feel loved.

I never realized how depressing the holiday’s could be. I mean, in years past, living in Texas, I was down around the holidays because I missed my family back in Baltimore. I’ve been away almost eight years and only got back home once to see my mother and father. It’s around the holidays I miss them most. Not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but holidays in general.

Back before I gave up my old life, my family was my life. Mother, father, sister, brothers, my son, hubby, nieces and nephews. The seasons of love, sharing and caring were all shared as a family. Sure I have a dysfunctional family but they are mine, and I loved the holidays with them.

Six years of loneliness and healing in Texas’ grand warmth, I started to get used to being alone and possibly never seeing my family again. My niece and sister came to visit me in Texas once, and beaus mom visited a couple times along with his aunt and uncle. But again, the holidays were just us three in our tank tops, putting up the tree, eating turkey and celebrating being alive. We did make a few trips to Nebraska in that interim.

My how much life has changed in two years. Beau went blind and life took on a whole new meaning. We both went through transitions of healing our hearts and souls and even Adam had his set of adjustments. Money commenced, warmth of the Texas heat was left behind, replaced by snow and wind and a life out in the middle of nowhere, except there was a difference here in Nebraska; family.

The holidays have a new shape to them now, spent among family, sharing the joy and laughter, but something is missing. As Adam (who did all the work) and I put our Christmas tree up this weekend, and beau sat on the sidelines moping, I realized life has changed all around for all of us.  Although we have his family surrounding us and special times are being had and memories are being wrapped in our hearts, we are still three people, in search of something we know we may never find.

Adam is off at school, I sit here writing and beau is absorbed in audiobooks and listening to movies. The holidays are upon us and it can be quite depressing. All I do know now is that I have the love of God in my heart and his plan is in action, and we all move with the fluctuation of the life energy that sustains us.

Ecc.7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Nightshades

Ps.146: 8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

Nightshades
***
A parade of silence fills the air
the night is cold and dreary;
light it dances on my face
my legs are getting weary.

Christmas holds no magic
the sight of me took flight;
it left a somber stillness
in every bleeding night.

The tree it has a presence;
the lights just sit and stare.
I touch the piny needles
Yet no one knows I’m there.

Another Christmas is coming
the holiday creeps right in.
I’m standing here left gazing,
at the windows I have within.

Will the season show its mystery
to me as I muddle through
I’ll cling to all the sounds I hear
and memories of you.

My joy is in the musical notes,
the sounds of bells and song.
I’ll find that during Christmas
it was with me all year long.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quotation Saturday

STRENGTH

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Never give in... never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force... never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
-Winston Churchill

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”
- August Wilson

VISION

"Yesterday's passions may not serve tomorrow's goals."
- Frederic Hudson

"I think all of us are looking at the future with yesterday's eyes."
- Dan Burrus

"Achieving your vision doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of the line. It simply means that you’ve come to a new starting place."
- Nido Qubein

HOPE

You cannot put a great hope into a small soul.
-Jenkin Loyd Jones

Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have. -
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.
-Oliver Goldsmith (1730 - 1774)

ON WRITING - Emotions
 
Writing is communication, not self-expression. Nobody in this world wants to read your diary except your mother.
-Richard Peck
 
Sharing our stories can also be a means of healing. Grief and loss may isolate us, and anger may alienate us. Shared with others, these emotions can be powerfully uniting, as we see that we are not alone, and realize that others weep with us.
-Susan Wittig Albert
 
Storytelling is healing. As we reveal ourselves in story, we become aware of the continuing core of our lives under the fragmented surface of our experience. We become aware of the multifaceted, multichaptered ' I ' who is the storyteller. We can trace out the paradoxical and even contradictory versions of ourselves that we create for different occasions, different audiences... Most important, as we become aware of ourselves as storytellers, we realize that what we understand and imagine about ourselves is a story. And when we know all this, we can use our stories to heal and make ourselves whole.
- Susan Wittig Albert

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

1 Chron. 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
***
I’m thankful for….

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!
***
May you all have blessings this day
and be thankful for one small thing!
AMEN!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Steps to Cure Writing Addiction

Nothing you write, if you hope to be good, will ever come out as you first hoped. - Lillian Hellman
***
I find that I am addicted to writing. I’ve decided to start my very own 12 step program to help me with my problem and I was thinking, maybe you’re addicted too? Let’s heal together. The first thing we need in our arsenal:

1. First you have to admit you have an addiction. Own up to it! Admitting you have a problem is always the very first step! Do you sit for hours on end, typing words onto a blank page, only to find your butt has grown a suction cup like bottom and is now stuck to the chair?

2. The second step is seeing the addiction for what it is. Yearning to sit at the computer for hours on end, craving words to be spilled onto the empty screen that longingly glares at you; calling out to you, needing to hear the hum of the computer to know it is working so you can begin to write, bleeding fingertips from hours upon hours of tapping on the keys, carpal tunnel syndrome AND arthritis setting into your bones; these are all good signs to look for.

3. Your third step is to look at the problem in the face and tackle it head on. DO NOT pull your hair out! You will need a sledgehammer in this instance, by your side. Not for the kid screaming from behind you, saying it was his turn hours ago. Or for the man repeatedly saying, “finish up,” as he plays ‘Taps’ with his fingers on a trash can lid.

4. Ah, the fourth step -- you’re getting there. You realize you have a  problem, and are now ready to take some form of  action against the issue of gnawing addictive writing.

5. Step five is a biggie. Look yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you, I want you healed, you’re special. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Okay, the last half was a Stuart Smalley affirmation but you get the idea.

The next six steps you might want to skip because it could get ugly. You’re going to take the sledgehammer to the computer and beat it until it stops humming (or just turn it off), go for an enjoyable bike ride, purchase a kite, take long breathtaking walks through the sun-filled streets, look at human people once again, or have human contact in any fashion, and then, be like a kite and soar!

12. The 12th and final step into curing your addiction? Bend over, stick your head between your legs, and kiss your butt good-bye, because you’ve now come to the ugly conclusion...there is NO CURE! And why should there be a cure, YOU’RE A WRITER!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Newcomers

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye
serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24
***

I have to admit, watching new writers makes me smile. They are just like I was about eight or nine years ago when I began to take this journey seriously; alive with creativity bubbling over their cup. Oozing with frothiness, layers of imagination whipped up for the course.

Some newcomers I sit in awe of as they have a natural ability to putting pen to paper and creating a dashing piece of art, not just words in a novel. The most fun part of being a new writer is learning. Learning new words, new techniques, grabbing ideas, tapping at the keyboard into the wee hours of the night, and being one with a new character. But the most fulfilling, is completion, I have to say.

Although when you complete your novel, you’re sitting there scratching your head wondering what to do next. We can’t go back and do revisions, it is too fresh in our minds, we won’t see anything wrong at least until a week later. So what is a writer to do?

Start a new story, new style, learn new words, different techniques. There’s a world of knowledge to be gleaned from the writing pool. As I sit in the stages of revising my nearly sixty thousand word novel, which will more than likely be more after revision, I think of where all this writing began.

Like many before me, writing was and is a part of  every day living, always has been and always will be. It began at a young age when I first held a pencil, albeit a fat one, in my tiny hand and began doodling. Ahh, fresh untouched paper, like a newly fallen snow with not one footprint, a firm wooden pencil clutched in my hand like the baby-blankie I gripped in the other hand; scribbling thoughts that surfaced, images, words, the love of pencil and paper began. Those were the good old days.

As I grew, the words took on new meaning, they shaped either a poem or a story and all throughout school, before I ever typed on a computer and had the luxury of internet access, I was born to write. I didn’t stumble upon the written word and think, “Hey, this is cool.” No, I read, read and read some more. Wrote, wrote and continued studying the craft of writing, all throughout my childhood and early adult years.

After my hand developed callus's from writing, my hands ached from the old style typewriter, then out of nowhere a computer fell into my lap and changed my world forever. That was almost nine years ago, and I still persist in writing, whether pen or keyboard, I still write.

The best advice I can give newcomers to the field, is persist. Don’t write for a year or two and give up, that does not make you a writer, nor just because you pen words on occasion, does it make you a writer. A writer exemplifies, PERSISTENCE! We’re a tough breed and I’ve learned that the writing community is more than a community of artists, it is a home away from home.






Welcome to the writing world F2k alumni! You completed lesson six, in the shroud of NANO, and now move on, to PERSISTENCE!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ The Path I Take

Pss. 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
***
The Path I Take
***
As curious winds dance about
snow lay at my feet
swirling in my mind is doubt
for all the world to meet.

Take my hand and walk me through
the life that has a muddled hue.

Swift soft whispers of the day
spin my life around
stellar are the stars I see
they lift me off the ground.

Hold me now for I am weak
my Father’s face, do I seek.

Step lightly as you pass.
on wilted willow's bough;
Windows open, breath falls in
I’m here amongst you now.

He breathes new life into me
I share for all the world to see.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quotation Saturday

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. --C.S. Lewis
***
TRUST

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him."
-- Booker T. Washington

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."
-- Indira Gandhi

"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough."
-- Frank Crane

"One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life."
-- E. M. Forster

THOUGHTS/THINKING

"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once and a while, or the light won't come in."
-- Alan Alda

“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.”
-- Norman Vincent Peale

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”
-- Benjamin Disraeli

"The most expensive piece of real estate is the six inches between your right and left ear. It’s what you create in that area that determines your wealth. We are only really limited by our mind."
-- Dr. Dolf de Roos

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
--C. S. Lewis
 

A tragedy is a representation of an action that is whole and complete and of a certain magnitude. A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end.
--Aristotle

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Outline

Job 27: 18 He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh.
***
I’ve opened a can of worms with the mention of an outline.

A lot of writer’s don’t ever draft an outline. They write their story, get ample feedback on it and are happy with what they’ve created. Other writers have a story lined with complexities that an outline is an absolute necessity.

An outline is going to help you with the tiny, mundane, intricate levels in your story, that just writing the story isn’t going to be able to accomplish.

1. It will help you see inconsistencies. Whether it’s the clothing of the era, or the song of the right times, or maybe as simple as a car that’s being driven. If you’re doing an early 20th century novel, surely they will not be driving a Volkswagen.

2. The outline will help you with a time line. If your character was born in 1940, surely he won’t remember the 1800’s from memory. If something happened in 1955, you want to keep track of all instances that things happened.

3. It will help you with POV shifts. Maybe you started out in third person and drifted off to first person?

4. The outline is going to give you a shape and form to your work. Think of it as a lump of clay, and you the potter, who is going to mold it into an interesting piece of art.

5. Clarity! The outline is going to give you clarity so you can point out the weaknesses in your story. Whether it is a weak character that don’t really add to the story. Faults of your main character? Maybe some other character is more interesting?

The outline is a trade secret in all your writing needs. If I’m writing a short story, the outline is more like a synopsis of what I want my story to be about, where I am going with my characters, what direction each one is heading and what is the point I’m trying to get across to my reader. We need the outline to give us a visual field in which to see the future progression of our story, all the way into our umpteenth revision.

I like to think of the outline as the building of a house. You don’t begin building without a plan, a sketch, an idea; or an empty parcel of land (the blank page.) You don’t use mortar in place of wood. You don’t do the brick work without first building the foundation.

After the foundation is laid, you begin framing the house and giving it shape and form. Think of the outline as the foundation. Think of building a story around that foundation and then move onto framing the story. The rooms will all have doorways which will be different levels of your characters and conflict will abound in each and every room. (The chapters)

Sheetrock will be the solidity of each chapter, paint will be the emotions and senses of the story.  The surrounding gardens of the house will be the beautiful imagery that you add to make your story work.

Now I bet each and every writer among us is going to make an outline right this minute if they haven’t gotten one already done before they started the book. Now get building!


author's note: Congratulations to me on reaching my 600th post! Wow, I didn't think I had anything to say. :) Thank you followers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Making of a Story

Matt: 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
***
Here’s the Long and Short of it:

You may want an outline if this is a novel, this will be the foundation of your story, a framework on which you are going to build a solid, cohesive tale. Without it, your story could crumble down around you midway through your first draft. Outlining first may make the difference between a powerful story with depth or a mediocre tale. Which will boil down to an accepted submission or a rejection.

An outline will force us to think through our story piece by piece. It shows us quickly and precisely: (1) the depth of our principal character's problem; (2) if our story sufficiently resolves that problem; and (3) whether our plot logically takes the character from his problem to the eventual resolution.

So start by jotting down the kind of conflict that concerns your main character. With this information in front of you, you're ready to begin your outline.

Using an outline to discover the character's innermost conflict can lead you to a very rich story. A shallow story about a loser who throws away his gifted life after one mishap may leave the reader with an empty experience.

Let's look at the outline:

Plot example:
a) josie finds God (spiritual guidance)
b) josie needs attention (inner struggle)
c) josie uses drugs and alcohol (the dark force)

Theme: Man against himself (or woman) in other words, the conflict
Problem: The affects of drug use
Resolution: Leaning on God to help
Conclusion: healing through diverse measures

Outlines don’t need be lengthy epistles, nor should they take long to complete. If you can't seem to finish your outline, this may be a sign that all is not well with your story idea. If you're stuck, ask yourself: does your character have a compelling enough problems around which to build a story? Does your resolution solve your character's problem? Do your plot developments logically take the character from his problem to his resolution? If not, can you come up with a series of events that do?

I hope I’m not confusing you with the term OUTLINE. The outline is like a short story (500-1500 words) basically giving us all kinds of tidbits into one crammed piece of work. This is your story in a nutshell.

You may choose to write a short story instead, using all of the elements identified here:

1. An opening conflict
2. Complication 1
3. Complication 2
4. Complication 3 (optional)
5. Complication 4 (optional)
6. Crisis
7. Falling action (optional) -this is where the crisis tries and resolves itself.
8. Resolution - this is where the crisis DOES get resolved.

Think outside the box and start being the creator of a masterpiece. Build your story like a pair of marble steps, then let the rain wash over your words and slide down and conclude your completed story!

Most of all, Write Right!

Rom. 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award