Sunday, January 31, 2010

Poetry Sunday~Bloody Valentine


Bloody Valentine
***

The sunset does not glisten
like the stars soon to follow.
The night sits calm and quiet
as pain has left me hollow.

Night creeps in to peek its head
the crimson seared my mind
The barricades have been built up
across the sands we’d bind.

Often times a glimmer of hope
will shoot across the sky.
But morning claws toward me
I lay here left to die.

Tears they stream silently
upon my bloodstained heart
where has all the love gone;
my pain soon to depart.

The moonlight shadow dances
across this soul not mine.
I hunger for him evermore
my bloody Valentine.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quotation Saturday

I am but a flower reaching for the sunshine so that one day I may come to my full glory and blossom. ~Joni

~Thoughts for today~


The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
~Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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

Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
~Leonard Bernstein1918 - 1990)

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(469 BC - 399 BC), In "Apology," sct. 21, by Plato.

Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.
~Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr. (1900 - 1965), speech to Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 1952

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
~William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
~William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Hamlet", Act 3 scene 3

I show you doubt, to prove that faith exists.
~Robert Browning (1812 - 1889)

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


Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing from the Spirit

Genesis 37: 24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
***

Truth in poetic form or any form is the only way to write. When I write poetry I feel as if a small surge of energy flows through my veins. I can sense it moving until it reaches my fingertips and urges me to write.

This is what writing should feel like to you. When you sit down to write, if you’re not feeling the surge of the spirit, you will not only write gibberish, you’ll put up a brick wall and you won’t be able to write anything.

When sitting down to write, clear your mind of all of the outside distractions. This is probably the hardest part in writing and that is finding the quiet space and time to get things down on paper. Having access to a computer helps but remember the pen and paper was around before the keyboard.

Writing from the depths of your being is what writing is all about. Does it matter if you write in a POV that people like? Well I have to say, write what YOU like. If it feels like the poetic style that you are accustomed to writing is calling you to jot something down, then by all means write what is in your heart and don’t worry what other people are going to say or think.

Sometimes I think you can get to caught up in bringing perfection to the table when we all know the tablecloth has a stain from last Christmas. What does that mean? Nothing is perfect! We can’t expect to ever be perfect in our writing, our views, what we say, or what we do for that matter. Life holds high expectations and writers are not exempt from feeling the need to be arbitrarily stagnant.

We have high hopes, we need compelling reasons why we aren’t where we think we should be, we need affirmation, we need a pat on the back. Yes, we’re needy. Admit it.
But this does not mean we are perfect. I myself don’t strive for perfection because I know it is an illusion that can never be. In my writing, the same holds true. There is no perfect place that says, you’re done.

Strive to be better, yes. Learn all you can, yes. But feel the need to be perfect? Never.

Believe in yourself. Just be!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OVER ABUNDANCE of SPAM

Due to an over abundance of people trying to post SPAM on my blog, I am now relinquished to setting the comment moderation to APPROVE first.

Sorry to all you losers who think this is a forum for you to sell drugs and sex and anything else.

Sorry to my readers who might not see their comment right away. I will approve you all most definitely!

Thank you for all of your support!!!

Any problems in posting a comment? Let me know! I'm here!

Joni~ Writer/author/respectable person

Ghost Stories

1 Cor. 2: 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


Okay, Dayana Knight opened a can of words for me (as opposed to can of worms?) She was writing/blogging about Ghost Stories and as the paranormal freak that I am, I just had to read her blog and tell just one itsy bitsy story of my own.

Can you believe that there are some folks who’ve never had a paranormal experience in their entire life? Well that’s what they claim anyway, I think they are just non-believers and when the paranormal slaps them upside the head, they wouldn’t know it if it jumped out in lightning bolt form shouting, BOO!

As a writer, it is the paranormal genre that keeps me writing. I try to write about non-fiction inspirational tales, but even hidden in those words are the paranormal Holy Ghost. They say Ghost and Spirit numerous times in the Bible and if it means what I think it means, Spiritual happenings even produced by the Holy One, is a paranormal event in Grand Spectrum form.

Paranormal is the realm that we read about, the stories that we talk about, the words that we write about, and apparently the spine-tingling factors behind interest in a Ghost Blog. A Ghost Blog? No friends, this won’t become a Ghost Blog, this is a writing blog and as such, the paranormal is going to come up eventually.

Paranormal is defined by Webster as: ie: of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

Supernatural phenomena. That is what this crazy world has built up, and released into the cosmos and minds, fertile minds, link onto it; or the spirit world links on to us as they sense we’re an open door to releasing the energy.

I remember when I first got a computer and it (the living entity called a computer) asked me for a SCREEN NAME. I had many, but most were of the nature, IMNOPEN DOOR, MYMINDSEYE, anything that had people wondering, “Where the heck did this thing come from.” haha. I’ve been called weird, quirky, strange and onto the more colorful synonyms, loony, whacky, cuckoo,demented, deranged, but my favorite, TOUCHED.

Ephesians 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Yes I’m touched. I know by the Grace of God, His hand has touched me and on a level few comprehend.

I came from the realm you wish you knew, want to know, and are afraid to embrace! I am your fantasy, I am your dream but most of all, I am your worst nightmare. But first and foremost... I AM a WRITER! Keep that in mind. *wink*

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Point of View


This week is point of view or POV for short. You want my point of view about the state of this country? I’ll gladly give it to you. Oh, that’s not the POV you want to hear about is it; you want the POV in writing.

Recently I have noticed the biggest problem for new writer’s is not getting the story out, it is keeping the story consistent.

Consistency in POV and consistency with tenses. Sure I see alot of grammatical issues being tossed out there as a new writer, but POV is one tough element of the craft that needs to be honed and mastered.

Mastering the POV will help in keeping the work consistent.

We at f2k, have an exercise this week in POV and when asked to shift pov, alot of people will write the same exact paragraph and switch the POV from “He said” to “I said”. To me, shifting the point of view changes the perspective and the ‘who’ is seeing what and from whose point of view.

Here’s an example of something I’m working on: Two pov’s and different perspectives arise.

POV 1 ~ First person
As I hover over my lifeless body lying below me, I wonder where I am. The aroma of a fresh garden surrounds me making me feel like a weightless cloud. I want to yell down to myself, but I can’t seem to communicate from here. I walk slowly toward the endless portal that awaits me. I float like a feather on an endless air drifting into the unknown. No claps of thunder, no bolts of lightning, just eerie warmth surrounds me. A gravitational pull sucks me like a huge non-existent vacuum of space and time. I turn away from the light and try in a motionless effort to reclaim the body I left. Suddenly, I awaken to the trickle of an ice cold shower that releases me from the warm safe haven. I scan the bathroom and wonder how on earth did I get in here?

POV2 ~ Third person
Look at her, a lifeless form in need of assistance. She has left her body only to discover the realm of the unknown. The bright light that has hold of her won’t let her go. She can wriggle and worm all she wants but it is pulling with an endless flux of gravity. She knows this is the end of the line, the place she’s heard about but never wanted to be at the cusp of her youth. She's grappling with fear yet releasing herself without a fight, letting herself drift into the aromatic garden that waits. As moments pass, time is of the essence.
She needs to be revived; it’s not her time. Wait; look; she’s in bathroom shower. How on earth did she get there?

The same paragraph but from different perspectives, and two different pov’s. This shift sometimes confuses new writer’s because they can’t see from anyone elses eyes. They are looking at the paragraph and thinking they need to write the exact same words but change *I* into *She*. When I shift pov, I see from someone else eyes.

I think we need to look at perspective as much as POV. Work on the POV, sifting through all the knowledge you can and try this exercise from a writers POV and I can bet you’re perspective will change too. You’ll be seeing through different eyes in no time.

Now get moving, Write Right!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Angst in Writing

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
***

Often times while I’m writing non-fiction, the true me surfaces. I try to write fiction but even there my characters take on my pain. It is through their windows that I peek in and let out emotional turmoil and make angst theirs instead of mine.

Writing is a healing tool; has been all of my life. Whenever I was feeling down I could always count on my pen to guide me into a poem of healing, or a story to help in the healing of others.

I never had a computer up until about seven years ago so I had to have a really good ball-point pen and many notebooks. I had a sketch pad too where I could sketch out my pain in way of a tear, or a tree, but it was my trusty pen and notebook that got me through many days and nights of sadness.

As I sit here now, with the keyboard keys tapping I realize that writing will never stop being a healing tool. I watch as my beau writes, after he has gone blind, and I do believe that this has been his healing tool also. The Drums in the Deep, is his outlet for the turmoil he goes through and as I watch and read his words I realize even more, that writing is an all powerful healing method that not only writers use, but that all should use to help in healing the pain or hurt that lurks within the sheltered walls of, you.

Many of my followers are not writers, but for some reason they are drawn to wanting to learn to write. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be a writer to sit down and let it out. Write your heart out and release it to the world. Even if it doesn’t get released to the world, read what you’ve written and find a place of healing in your heart that you know you’ve come to overcome.

I have a friend who went to a psychiatrist, the first thing the doctor told her was to get a pen and notebook and write it down. Write a letter to your mother/brother/sister/friend, anyone who’s hurt you. “Don’t mail the letter, just release what is in your heart,” the doctor said.

Even the psychiatrists and psychologists of the world know what I’ve known all my life without a P.H.d, writing is a medicine that is empowering, addictive, and not a drug! Drugs are used to ‘hide’ and ‘shield’ pains of the emotional kind, writing is a medicinal healer that you don’t need a doctor to prescribe.

In my writing days, I release what ails me. I don’t sit, fret, and wonder, I release it and it makes me feel good enough to take on the world and new characters. It makes me a better writer, and it makes me a better person as a whole because no longer is my soul seeking...I’ve found all that I’m looking for and I have the tales to prove it.

Write and heal...that is my motto for the day.

and a big P.S. here: I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t use meds when and if they are needed, I’m just suggesting an addition/alternative for you to look into.

Thanks and godspeed friends...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Writing~A Living Breathing Entity

Gen. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
***
This week in F2k I’ve read a lot of sentences by many writer’s who are at different levels in their writing. I’ve seen beginners structure words, the novice create sentences, the artists, paint a picture.

The artist paint, you ask? Well this is what I call a writer who not only writes words, but they paint pictures with words. I’ve had to exercise my knowledge cap because this is one colorful bunch of people who likes exercising their keystrokes.

They can take a sentence like:
“The man walked down the street.” and turn it into
“The little chubby man walked down the street.” then even more...
“The little chubby fellow bounced and jiggled as he walked happily down the street.”

Do you see what I’m getting at here? Shaping a sentence is a lot like molding clay. You have a form of nothingness, then you shape it to make it your own creation. I didn’t over exemplify the above sentence (yes it is mine.) I added shape to it. In your mind you have now conjured an image of a little chubby guy bouncing down the street happily.

Now there is a possibility to over-do a sentence and not create the image you want or one that bores your reader as they swim in the pool of words.

Take a look:
“The portly round little chubby guy,wearing green and red plaid pants and a yellow and orange striped jacket, had a pipe in his mouth, tooting smoke rings in the air as he bounced up and down, walking the the street overly happy.”

I like this sentence but I think I over-did it. Sure you get an image in your mind even clearer, but all you really wanted to say was he was walking happily. Give him some meat and you have a complete sentence. But add to many adjectives and you possibly lose your reader. You might even lose your sanity because you think that no sentence is good enough to call actual writing.

The above sentence works for me but had it been in a story of 2500 words, and the story is filled with these types of sentences, you may bore your reader to tears.

Quote by June: “Writing, like life, is not stagnant, but is a living, breathing entity.”

I once read a Native American parable about a grandfather who says, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” When asked which wolf will win the fight in his heart, the old man replies, “The one I feed.”

Feed your writing. Let it flow as a natural form of consciousness. Don’t over-word your sentences so that it looks and sounds right; feel that it is right. We can’t be perfect writers, we can only learn so much via a textbook; there comes a time when we must trust ourselves enough to say, “I am a writer! I am a darned good writer!”

Breathe life into your writing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Sacrifice, Sunken Treasure, Fall from Grace

Psalm 25:18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.


SACRIFICE
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
***
Sometimes our lives intermingle with one
Allowing us to expand ourselves.
Committing to the spatial amount of time
Remembering to allow each others wings to

spread
Into the fullness of a blossom.
Forever being grateful for the journey
Into each others soul
Constantly nurturing…
Each others total hollow shell.


***
Sunken Treasure
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
***
Anything is more than me.
I am the waif that spans decades,
of searching.
Lost among the vibrating echoes of silence,
abandoned
on the sandy shore of loneliness.
Collapsing on the pier of destiny,
waiting effortlessly
for the ship.
The ship that will take me out to sea,
and drown me in the emptiness of space.
Waves will crash around me.
I'll burrow in the whitecaps,
until I become...
a sunken treasure.

***
Fall From Grace
 All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
***
Father, Father, what have I done?
Seems I have fallen from number one.
Faltered, Faltered, where do I turn?
Please come save me, from hellfires burn.

Sheltered, Sheltered, was my soul.
On the top, I once was whole.
Fallen, Fallen, out of space.
I wipe a teardrop from my face.

Hear me, Hear me, hear my cries.
Take this sadness from my eyes.
I beg thee, beg thee, don't let it win.
Take me, Take me, from this sin.

Forgive me, Forgive me, for I have strayed.
Sinful choices, I have made.
Save me, Save me, as you always do.
Return my soul so I begin anew.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quotation Saturday

On life:
The writer in me wants to revise,edit, revise,edit. The spirit of me wants to let it flow where it may. ~joni
***


Genius hath electric power which earth can never tame.
~Lydia M. Child

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
~Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities.
~Robertson Davies, "Fifth Business"

Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?
~Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~Scott Adams

All writing is a process of elimination.
~Martha Albrand

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
~Justice Brandeis

Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.
~Louise Brooks

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spybots afoot

1 Chron.16: 27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
***


I’ve had my blog for almost three years now! Thank you, thank you. Almost 400 posts now. I know, I know, some bloggers have thousands, write five times a day, yada yada yada. But when I began this blog, I wanted it to have content. Quality content. Something where when someone reads this, no matter what the post, they are going to think about what they read. Hopefully not in a bad way either.

I think I achieved my goal. I have content! Enough where spybots have sought me out and are trying to spam me left and right. Okay, maybe not seek me out, but have found that I have an active blog, and think it is worth advertising? At first the little buggers got posted, I got an email verification and immediately run in here to remove them. Their ten minutes of fame didn’t last long on my blog!

So then I tried comment moderation. This is where a suspected spybot has to get approved or deleted by me, before it ever makes it to my blog. All good right? Well no because if you have a blog of your own with blogger (or wordpress for that matter) the comment just goes right on through to be posted on my blog. I still get the email verifications so if I suspect someone is trying to spam me, I go and delete their post.

Now people are getting more creative in advertising on my blog. I’m controlling the little bugging spybots, but I’m not having much success with people who will start a blog, post a comment or really just be a linking walking advertisement because their blogs have no posts!!! I don’t have a problem with that as long as it isn’t malicious or lined with links to drugs, also I don’t have a problem sending people to my friends blogs, I post their links to the left just so you know what is out there in way of my friends, but to start a blog just so you can be seen here? I’m honored.

Honored to think that people find so much good stuff on my blog that they want to share it, comment on it, advertise on it, and even become a friend of mine. Way to go people! Thank you for the ego boost. Now I need to get down to business and guide the writers into a whirlwind of imagination and get them writing! But remember...I’m always watching.

Have a great and glorious sun-filled day because even if there’s clouds...the sun is still shining!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do as I say...

3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Not as I do.

Ever hear those words? My mother used to spew them at me and my siblings all the time. Did I ever listen? Hail no!

When I saw her doing things, I always followed suit and did them like a puppy learning new tricks, only in my teen years did I realize that she was right. I shouldn’t have done as she said or did! What she was doing may not have been right and I shouldn’t follow her ways and actions. So I went on my way, converting myself, living the way that I wanted and growing as a spiritual human being.

To this day she doesn’t understand the person I turned out to be because some of my siblings are still following in her footsteps twenty and thirty years later. They harness greed like my ancestors before them, they live for themselves, not concerning themselves with family and all that a family, or the term family, is meant to be. Yeah my family is screwed up a little too tight.

Mother and Dad raised six kids, me being the baby, and here I am today leading and setting examples of the way maybe, just maybe, life should be lived; in a humble, respectful, caring, giving, sharing, manner.

I’m a writer and as such I like to lead other writers into a world of fascination, imagery, and scribbling their hearts out. Would I ever tell them to ‘do as I say?’ I never ever want to come off as my way is the only way because certainly as time goes on, life is lived and we as a human species all change in our own way.

I am comfortable in my own skin knowing I am a leader and people follow. I like knowing that I might have changed one person in my lifetime and if I’ve changed more than one persons life, then kudos for me. Don’t throw me a party and shout hooray to me, just pay it forward and do the same for the other human beings living in a desolate society, dry of any compassion.

Sure the movie stars are sending millions of dollars to help in Haiti, as are other churches and missionaries sending help. We leap at the chance to help, only when tragedy is upon us. Do we leap to help when our brother or sister is in need? Not all of us do, we cower at the sheer thought of giving of ourselves, but in writing, that is just what we’re doing. We’re giving of ourselves one word at a time.

So yes...Do as I say...and feel free to DO AS I DO!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'll knock some Sense into you!

Matt.17: 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
***
Senses...the sweet sensation

When we walk through the pages of life it is our senses that bring us from one place to the other. Without the senses, life would be an empty abyss shaped as a bowl full of nothing. A senseless bowl that sits there with nothing in it. Even if it was full of mashed potatoes and gravy smothered on top, if you didn’t have your senses, it would just be a bowl.

How would you know it was a bowl if you didn’t touch it to feel the shape? How would you know the bowl held mashed potatoes with gravy without the smell? Even without sight, you can tell that it is mashed potatoes. The texture, the taste, the smell, even the sound of the plopping onto the plate would give you an idea that you are about to dive into a bowl of something.

You see what I’m getting at? Our senses will spell out a world of imagination and vibrant life. When one sense is lost, the others stand at attention waiting for direction but really they need no direction because they are there just quietly activating without you even knowing it.

This is what we need to do when writing. We need to allow our senses to guide us through the words. Don’t think about what you’re going to write, allow your senses to lead the way into a tale of glory.

I read one girls post in f2k. She said she wrote the dialog and then went back to fill in the tags. What? When you’re writing, the flow of dialog should come as natural as the flow of senses. You can’t go back and recapture what you wanted to smell or taste or say or do; writing needs a natural flow.

Your writing with the senses is a lot like faith. You either trust in it fully or you have doubts in your thoughts. There is no room for doubts where faith is concerned. Faith is diving off a bridge, arms flung wide open, and out of nowhere you are caught by a feather that places you in the water. A boat might come by to save you but faith is trusting that a boat will come by.

You have senses to carry you through life. Taste,touch, sight, smell, sound, faith is the sixth sense, the unknown, space and time. These are the senses that you will write with. These are the senses that will propel your writing to new heights. Be sure you have faith in your writing as the senses haul you from one place to the other and your reader will thank you for taking the extra time to touch them in ways no other has ever reached.

Come alive with your senses, they’re there for a reason, so use them to the very best of your ability.

Hebews 5:14 says: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Is he telling us to exercise our senses? Darned tootin, he is! For when our senses diminish, like the morning mist, we will also.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Sneak Peek

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
***
We’re heading into another lesson and if anyone from f2k reads my blog, they might get a heads up on what the next lesson consist of. But since no one there reads my blog except maybe June and Ana, I’m ready to release.

This is yet another monster in my closet. Thanks June for that! lol I’ve been cleaning out the monsters all night and all day yesterday trying to figure out what is what. But she, June, put the fire under my butt, and now I’m burning, ready to move forward.

As in all writing, we use our senses to show a tale. We don’t tell a story, we show and without the use of the senses, our story will just be a tale of tell not show. In this lesson we’re going to learn how to write with our senses, all except sight! Can you write a piece under 500 words without using sight as a guiding sense? (that’s a bonus exercise)

Well now, use all eight! Did I say eight? Yes siree, I most certainly did. Sight,sound smell, touch and taste. Then we move to the unknown, space, and time. With these eight elements, one paragraph will take on new meaning in your writing. No longer will it be choppy. No longer will you look at the paragraph and wonder what is missing. It might take two paragraphs but still, these elements are going to last your entire writing career.

You will be a better writer and I’m betting my money that this will guide you for many years to come in growing and knowing a craft that everyone yearns for at least once in their lifetime. Sure there is so much more to learn in this art, but I know that this lesson here changed my life years ago when I first took f2k and my poetry even benefited from the use of the imagery I got from the senses lesson. My imagery took on a whole new shape as my poems were now crafted with senses and not just words with a rhythm.

Try it as you write not just a sentence but a paragraph and allow the paragraphs to form a story. Notice the SHOW and not TELL.

There the monster has been unleashed and now I’m off to do some writing. That’s using my senses, eh? ;-) *wink*

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week one down...

Deut. 1:9 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:
***

Week one down and 4 more to go!

Well we’ve gotten week one under our belts at f2k. It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of people who don’t listen to rules and guidelines. They come into class and one person wrote a 1700 word piece for lesson one.

We emphasize and emphasize a 500 word count but still they act like the rebellious child and post what they want. I’m wondering how they will do in week two? Or how they will do during submission time.

I usually give leeway in week one, because they are just new, anxious, want-to-write, writers. So I allow it and think they are cute and go on to our week two. This week I think I’ll threaten them with being ousted if they don’t adhere to the rules. Just kidding folks, I’m a little more professional than that.

I just wish that the new writer, (and keep in mind a lot of them appear to have degrees and are coming back into writing,) would show a little respect to the course and follow the guidelines. Is it that hard?

We have much smaller class sizes this time. I’m used to the first week being so full of running here and there, but this week has been laid back and I’m not as active. I want to run the halls but I think sometimes over exposure to too many mentors may scare a few kids back into the corner. I’m not there to scare, just help aid a writer in learning.

I’m sticking to my room and playing nice. This should make some people very happy.

Okay, I’m going to get to work. Writing is fun and exciting but you know what? There is a real world that is calling me out here! Time is NOT on my side!

Bye for now...see you in the morning...hopefully

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Lost

Job 21: 3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
***

Lost
 All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
***

I feel like I am a rock
sticking out of the sand.
A tired misplaced object
in a foreign land.

I feel like I'm a cactus
on the wetlands shore.
Lost amid the foliage,
of things gone on before.

I feel I am an empty limb
no digits to complete.
No hand to touch, the arm to reach,
Two legs without my feet.

I feel I am dark matter
In the blazing sun-dripped sky.
A bird flung high into a cloud,
No wings for me to fly.

I feel as though I'm a snow- white dove,
Flocked amid the geese.
I see them fly north and south,
Whereas I just seek peace.

Make me feel like I'm a song,
a rhythm to your beat.
Hold me in your wandering thoughts.
Where truth and love can meet.
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quotation Saturday

The unconscious is the ocean of the unsayable, of what has been expelled from the land of language, removed as a result of ancient prohibitions.
~Italo Calvino
***

As a writer I'm merely a journalist who has learned to write better than others.
~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.”
~Italo Calvino

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
~Robert A. Heinlein

There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick.
~Robert A. Heinlein

Short stories are designed to deliver their impact in as few pages as possible. A tremendous amount is left out, and a good short story writer learns to include only the most essential information.
~Orson Scott Card

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

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
~Ernest Hemingway

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
~Thomas Jefferson

As with all other aspects of the narrative art, you will improve with practice, but practice will never make you perfect. Why should it? What fun would that be?
~Stephen King

Friday, January 15, 2010

Word Count Importance

Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.


I think it is so cute as newcomers come into the writing world. They throw caution to the wind, toss guidelines and rules out the window and just plain well do what they want to do.

Here is a gentle reminder to the discussion of WORD COUNT! It is essential in the writing world that we remember to show the word count. No publisher will even glance at your work if you forget to place the word count on the top of the page.

Imagine a publisher asking for 2000 words. He opens his/her email to find there is no word count. Do you know what happens to your submission? It gets TOSSED IN THE TRASH! All that hard work! All the anticipation, all the excitedness tossed in the bin. Why? Because NO WORD COUNT?

You might not think it is important but to a time honored profession, it is! I only push for it in all of my rooms for one reason, if you don't do it in your writing forums/classes/courses then you'll get lazy and not remember to place the word count in when the REAL submission time comes!!!

Also is is essential that you ADHERE to the guidelines. If the publisher, writing group, whatever, asks for a 500 word essay. It is downright rude, clumsy and unprofessional of you to write 1600 words. Sorry, I will not read it at all no matter how good of a writer you are. Not meaning to hurt your feelings in any way, but you didn’t follow the rules.

So please, (I see that some have mistakenly forgotten the word count, then remembered) That is fine in a writing course, unacceptable to an editor. To be honest, before I even attempt to read 5000, 2000, 500 words, I need to see just how many words there are before I dive in. So remember the word count!

Be on your toes! Always double check before submitting and clicking that send button! This will get you in the habit and when submission time comes, you'll actually get your work read.

Write Right folks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

You've got Character

Eph 4:[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
***

Well we’re on our way. Like linking lego’s together we’re building our characters. Like an erector set, all the pieces are going together and fitting nice and tight, but we still have a few screws loose.

Now we need to tighten up the bolts and make the character unique. I was thinking of this today. Dean Koontz likes to give a lot of his characters, too many to mention, green eyes. I think, “It is not every day that you see a dazzling emerald green eyed person pass you by.” Koontz thinks it is unique enough to use it all the time but dang Mr. Koontz, it is getting old!

In his Odd Thomas series, Odd (the main character) has blue eyes that when closely looked at, and when the sun bounces off of them in a certain way, have a purple hue. Now that is odd! Unique. But you can’t give tons of characters purple eyes now can you?
By the way, that is an excellent book, a must read!

This is where we’re at. We know that there has to be something unique when we have a character in mind. Sometimes it can be a big nose with black framed eyeglasses, or it can be a skull tattoo across the mans face! Or maybe it is an unusual piercing, like in the fingernail or something. Whatever the case, you need something that is going to make the reader want to come back to this character and by making them unique in many ways, is almost a sure fire hit; one that will keep your reader reading and keep them coming back for more.

The characters are going to carry the story, so if they aren’t unique or stand-outish, you better get back to the drawing board. The setting might help a bit but it is the antagonist and protagonists that are going to melt the tale together and form the building of your dreams, all out of out of the erector set that you started with as just a bunch of pieces laying on the floor. :-)

My friends and new writer’s at f2k are well on their way to constructing the masterpiece of their dreams. I’ll find the holes, weed out the inconsistencies, pluck away a ton of adverbs, scrape a ‘but’ here and there, never overlook the over-use of the word AND, then we’ll revise the tale until it is whole and maybe, just maybe they’ll get a submission out of it.

And maybe I too will get some writing done. This is looking like a good start to Twenty 10 to me! May it be for all of you, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Build - a - Character

It is not who you know or what you know, it is what you create in this world that will be your living legacy. ~ joni
***

Okay, we’re off to a great start at f2k. The students have all met one another, they have been rolling through the halls like snowplows on a blizzardy day. They’ve sat at the cafe, posted some work, talked a little about themselves and just basically did everything the orientation week calls for and that is “Get to know your peers.”

We have a lively bunch too, with a sense of humor, intelligence that would make Gates sit in awe, friendliness that Mother Teresa would be proud of, and then there is the camaraderie. It can be found nowhere else on the web except through writers.

We have a tendency to be accepting and friendly and it rubs off on even the most scared of the bunch, that would be the newbs. Newbies means new folk to the forum for those of you, not in the know.

We’re learning already about each others likes and dislikes, style and originality, we’re getting to know one person at a time and this is always a highlight of my year when I can share with others a part of myself, while growing and learning at the same time.

Which reminds me, this week we learn about our characters. Nice segue by the way, right? From living breathing characters to our fictional characters? Yeah, that’s what we’re doing this week. We’re getting to know our characters intimately. I mean all the way down to a well produced pimple! If a character has one, write about it, we need to know our characters right down to the hairs spurting out on their heads.

Building a character is as much fun as the ‘Build-a-bear’ workshop. But as adults, we get more out of it than the eager child. We are like the eager child as we build our characters to form a part of a story that we writer’s are writing. It builds and builds until we have a an outline, a story, then either a novel or a short story.

Be an eager beaver today and start building a Character! Use this link to get you started on a profile of your characters. Try it on the four main characters as you get to know them inside and out. Like a worn out paper bag you'll need to get all the wrinkles out, but it is worth holding onto, because they just don't make bags or characters like they used to.

Write Right friends!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Originality

pic: Arc of the suns rays!
It is the Lord who made us each in our own unique way. Your writing is His creation that YOU put into action. ~joni
***

Often I read works from people and think, “Well that sounds like________.” Put in any writer you can imagine. Then I think, “Are they not original or creative enough to make their own mark in the writing world.”

As many of my reader well know, that I love poetry. I’ve never heard anyone comment, “Well that reads just like so and so.” That’s a good sign. That means my poetry is being read and it is coming off as original with it’s own flair. In other words, I’ve found my style within the written word.

It is so important to find your own voice in writing. Do you want to be compared to King or Koontz or Rowling? Well okay maybe it would be a compliment to be compared to them but then are you being liked because of your originality or because you mimicked someone else’s writing?

I write some dark poetry. Only when I use the word, nevermore, does someone say, “Boy, that had a Poe quality to it!” Poe? AWESOME! It has a Poe quality, meaning it was pretty good! But they didn’t say that it sounded like Poe’s style, also good, for me anyway because I never mimic another writer, I’m original in my own right.

When I see someone mimic/copy ME, in some ways I’m honored but then I almost feel sad that they can’t be original enough to create their own style or voice. Now taking my words is downright plagiarism, but writing in my style? That is theft! In a way I’m kidding but in another I’m dead serious. Serious as a playoff game when it comes down to the final seconds and there is a tie!

I want to be known in the writing world as original. My blog posts come to me, I don’t seek them out. One word can trigger an entire blog post. Imagine that. One word can also trigger a story. A picture, a tree, a dead shoe, they all have possibilities of becoming a short story, a poem or heck, even a novel! Can you see a dead shoe (as opposed to a living shoe, with a breathing entity carrying it along) having the weight on its shoulders of an entire story?

In my unique way of writing, I more than likely could make an original story out of a branch and it not turn out too bad. Are you original in what you write? Can you give life to a fig and allow it to carry a story all on its own entrenched in poetic, graphic,visual, biting words?

Why not give it a try and you too can become, an original! Be what you were made to be.

Write Right! (that's mine!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Editor Etiquette?

pic: A pinwheel of red and silver. the symbol of wheels going round and round
***

I remember early in my writing career I looked at publishers. A pretty hard knock on the door if I do say so myself. So I looked at editors. Did you know there are people who will take your money, tell you to fix your work, take more money, needs more work. You see the cycle here?

I was told you should never shell out money. If your work is good, should you have to pay someone to say it is good, or give them money and they will help you make it good? I’m sorry but something is wrong with that scenario.

Keep in mind that there are editing services out there that are legitimate. When you have a completed manuscript, you’ve revised it ten times and are ready to submit but you feel you need another eye to look at it, a professional eye that will pinpoint any kinks that are missing in the story.. This is when the editing services come into play.

Be ready to shell out money, but the benefits of an editor are when they read it and like it, they will suggest places to send your work, will help you get your foot in the door, stand behind you 100%. Remember they will only take you on if they feel you are worth it. They are more than likely with a publishing house, and often will either accept or reject your submission. Your story has to be good for them to even bother.

Some will take your money. There are so many scammers out there so you need to be sure you do your research of the place, person, credentials, etcetera before forking over one dollar.

In the writer’s world, I find it tacky to say, “My editor said this, or my editor said that.” Now when you say a friend said this, or a friend said that, it comes off as banter and not boasting. When in a writing group, of published authors, editors and the like, to me (notice I said to me because we all as individuals have preferences) tossing out my editor said this and that is undermining the board of trusted peers.

When you are published, be proud and let it soar where it may. But boast over and over again? As a writer, you need your ego in check because one day my friend, there will be someone to knock that ego through the roof. Patience as a writer, is your best friend. Respect for other writers is a MUST!

Here is an interesting question I felt compelled to share. “How do I find an Editor’s name for submission?” The answer is at Fiction Notes. Nowhere does it say brag your heart out once you connect!

Write Right people, and whatever you do, be original!

I must add that here is a link for an AWESOME writing coach!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ Slam Poetry?

Proverb 17:8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
***

Why I write...

I write because words, like a slow effervescence, shower streams through my veins like blood, forming sentences which I know to be verse. I write so all that is within me bubbles to the surface and is put onto paper making sense of all the insanity.

Whichever way I go, whether up or down, verb or adverb, they all tend to lend credence to what I have taken from my brain and brought into your reality. I see letters in my mind forming words which in return form a sentence that I give to my readers and they decipher the madness and relate to my brevity.

I clearly have no special form because I invent the reality that the readers are saying that they can relate to and I know deep within my soul I have touched someone on a magnanimous level. They may see me as a human conveying a message whether in fiction form or non-fiction form, but one can grasp the meaning because they’ve been there.

Hold true to who you are and write what you know. No matter what anyone tells you to change, keep the truth always front and center in your heart and mind. One day you too will find the words attached to the letter...ACCEPTED!

***

A simple exercise in f2k offered by a mentor.
My answer surprised me as it turned into a poem, if you will.
This is Slam Poetry or as some call it Beat Poetry.
Definitely a sign of growth in me
and my writing!

***

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Quotation Saturday~ The love of Writing!

“I write so all that is within me bubbles to the surface and is put onto paper making sense of all the insanity.” ~Joni Zipp
***
I think the first duty of all art, including fiction of any kind, is to entertain. That is to say, to hold interest. No matter how worthy the message of something, if it's dull, you're just not communicating.
~Poul Anderson

The virtue of books is to be readable.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your stuff starts out being just for you… but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right - as right as you can, anyway - it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.

~Stephen King

Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you. Listen to yourself. If you are excited by what you are writing, you have a much better chance of putting that excitement over to a reader.

~Robin McKinley

Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write my books so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded!

~Sidney Sheldon

Editors also know that the people who are really readers want to read. They hunger to read. They will forgive a vast number of clumsinesses and scamped work of every sort if the author will delight them just enough to keep them able to continue.

~William Sloane

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

~Henry Ford

Friday, January 08, 2010

Day 2 of f2k

Words are an expression of your mind...paint wisely and all will sit in wonder. ~joni
***


As expected, it was a slow day in F2K. Either the returnees are back, mingling with old friends or the new kids on the block have come in and said their “Hi’s” and have found a quiet corner of the room to hide in.

Imagine tackling writing after many years of absence, how overwhelming it can be to walk into a new course and spread your wings in hopes you’ll fly. I see the timid faces even through a screen. They may be older than me or younger but they still have that fear of releasing their writing to the world.

I see so many people with questions like, “What if someone wants to steal my story.” My response is, “We’re writer’s and as such we would never ever put ourselves in a position of plagiarism. We’re trying to be professional and that certainly isn’t the way to start a career in writing.” And then I tell them, “There are so many writers in the world with ‘original’ ideas that someone is bound to come up with the same ‘original’ idea with a twist. In other words, it has been done before and you’re just a new writer putting a twist on it!”

I try to put them at ease and when it is your first time sharing, it can feel like you’re placing your heart on a guillotine, just waiting for it to plunge downward and slice it in two. I’ve been there/done that and I know all of my work is copyrighted the second I put it into the MW (microsoft word.) It is my valid proof that I, and only I, wrote it. And the blog is public proof! I hope these writers find all that they came to find in way of returning to the writing world once again without fear.

So as the f2k clan reminisces about older classes in f2k, the new kids find friends and chat with others, links are surfed, virtual food is cooked, atmosphere and ambiance overflows the place; we head into the week of Orientation with a smile on our faces and ready to write our hearts out!

I’m telling you, it is the place to learn and grow but most of all, to find people with the same love as you and that is being a writer! My new phrase in the place is this... “Don’t write to earn money, write because you love it. Passion comes before monetary measure. If you get paid for your passion, that’s a bonus."

Write Right people!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

First day at f2k

“...you are yet a blossom on the vine of life about to bloom!" ~joni


Day 1 of f2k
...

Well my friends, day 1 of f2k went off and as usual we had our glitches to fix, people wandering around lost and people picking them up and finding them. All in all it was a good day.

Our first week is Orientation week, where everyone gets to know one another, people click links and find their way around, bump into walls and either make new friends or find old nemesis, or just find old friends who went on their way since the last f2k.

It is all the things a good book are made up of. Maybe I should do a book, about an online course, where the people learn, grow and fulfill their destiny of becoming a writer, but on the dark side as the story builds... well I’m not going to tell you the story! It would be fiction based mind you so I could put a little evil spin on it. OR I could make it fact based and give some of the proceeds BACK to WVU, where it all began!

I myself have to get my feet back into writing regularly. Not just my blog but writing! I was loving the short story and I have a novel under my belt and one in the works. But lately my writing has been back burner while I take care of matters on the home front.

I mean, seriously, I just had my address changed on my license and I’ve lived here nine months already. Well funds had a lot to do with it as something always came up that was more important than my license, ya know?

But here I am back mentoring f2k and sinking my feet in all the way this time. Last time I got sidetracked and a little discouraged. My mind was clouded and surely didn’t perform my best as I like to give the students. So we’ll see what this year and this session has in store.

On to writing my friends...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

F2K Free Writing Course is under way

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
***

Yes you read it right, the f2k Free Writing course is getting under way and it is a little too late to sign up for it now. But don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on what we’re learning and how the mentoring aspect of it goes along.

This will be about my fourth time mentoring and each and every time it gets more exciting. I meet some of the nicest people. I always keep my eye out for the newcomers as they seem like they get a little jilted by the fun camaraderie that the old timers have.

We become like a family of writer’s who meet up every f2k and the newbies don’t fully participate all the time because they feel overwhelmed by the writer’s. But allow me to tell you this, a new writer is just as much a writer as any of us are!

I also see a lot of the newbs who come in wanting to post their website even after I strictly state that that kind of amateurish behavior is frowned upon. We have a profile section where we all can post our websites or blogs, but to sit there and place a blog/site in every daggone post that a person responds to is not only annoying, it is frustrating and slightly childish.

Then I get on my childish kick by not responding to anything that that person has to say and I let them know why! So they’re not all professionals but they want to be and this writing course is a good place to learn and understand the craft and the professional quality of work that is expected from us as writer’s.

I, by no means, am an elite professional but I would only steer a new writer in the right direction! This is the whole reason that this blog got started to begin with was so I could guide some new writer’s. We all need to learn the craft and I thought, if I can do it under 500 words a post, then more power to me!

So allow me to be the first to tell you, the f2k course is a stand alone course all on its own! You’ll walk away with knowledge and a feel of ownership that you took the bull by the horn and hunkered down to learn a craft. You might even pat yourself on the back in seven weeks when you’ve written your first short story or novel!

Well I hope that some of you joined up when you saw my post offering the course, but if not, I’ll give you a sneak peek, birds-eye-view and you can judge for yourself, then maybe you WILL sign up, next time it is offered.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Writing from the Spirit

Genesis 37: 24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
***

Truth in poetic form or any form is the only way to write. When I write poetry I feel as if a small surge of energy flows through my veins. I can sense it moving until it reaches my fingertips and urges me to write.

This is what writing should feel like to you. When you sit down to write, if you’re not feeling the surge of the spirit, you will not only write gibberish, you’ll put up a brick wall and you won’t be able to write anything.

When sitting down to write, clear your mind of all of the outside distractions. This is probably the hardest part in writing and that is finding the quiet space and time to get things down on paper. Having access to a computer helps but remember the pen and paper was around before the keyboard.

If you’re drawing a blank on your story, maybe try working on the character you have in mind. Flesh him/her out and fill in the blanks of who they are and what your plans are for them.

Maybe write a synopsis of what your story is about. Just a short general idea of what you plan on accomplishing with your story and characters. Note who the antagonist and protagonist are and flesh them out a bit.

Right now I’ve got too much on my mind to even think of writing anything of useful content. So I’ll allow you to peruse what I’ve already written in two years. Happy New Year...may you get some writing done! And whatever you do, Write Right!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ A New Year!

Galatians 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
14) And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.



A New Year...

On a wayward breeze I caught the day
it surfaced once again.
Something was different, the air was fresh
a new year set to begin.

The fragrance of the rising sun
washes over me;
it tells me there’s a new year
that’s fighting to be free.

The sounds ring out in a clamorous wave
that carries round the world
it moves in gentle elegance
as flags are yet unfurled.

I sing a song to the new date
receiving it’s blessed presence.
The lion will lay with the Lamb
and cleanse my very essence!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Quotation Saturday~ Happy New Year

Luke 4: 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
[19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.


Happy New Year Everyone!

As we segue into the new year and embark on the craft of writing, I had to post my quotes! Sometimes hanging these above the desk or on a door or even in the bathroom by the mirror will inspire you, encourage you and keep you motivated, to continue on your writing venture no matter how impossible things seem!!!!

I wish you all a prosperous New Year and a wonderful productive writing journey!

***

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
~ Arthur GoldenMemoirs of a Geisha
Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

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

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

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.
~Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)



May the journey you embark on this year be one full of blessings! ~joni

Silent Protocol

Silent Protocol
Angel Always...godspeed

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award