Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day...

Rom. 14: 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
***
I remember when I was a kid, Memorial Day meant a day off of school, and a day where we had cookouts. You could smell the grills churning from blocks away. It was as if everyone in the city had a cookout on this day.

We didn’t really celebrate it as a Memorial Day to soldiers who served our country, and little did I know about the day or the sacrifices made. You could call me ignorant to the facts, but no one ever really just said it plain and simple for me, so I could appreciate and honor the day and respect those who served.

My Dad always hung the flag, “Because it’s Memorial Day.” He was a Marine himself in his day, and I had many family members who served, fought in wars, and possibly died later from PTSD.

As I sat in church yesterday, and they showed a clip of a Dad taking his son to Washington DC for memorial day, I was hit with a ton of memories, a floodgate opened up and I appreciated the soldier in a whole new light.

The man went to the Capital, he took his son to the birthplace of our founding fathers, the White House, Lincoln Memorial and then they ended the day at Arlington Cemetery. The boy asked what all the crosses were for, and the dad said, “Heroes.” As the son turned around a soldier stood Saluting a grave, “Dad? Is he a hero too?” The father quietly whispered, “Yes son, he’s a hero too.”

These were all places that as a child, were part of our annual school field trips, since we only lived about 30 minutes away. We never went to any of these places as a family, because my family was too busy fighting the years of dysfunction to be bothered with ‘family’.

Which brings me to the other part of our service yesterday. It was about the importance a grandparent holds for generations to come. How they essentially determine what the future generations will bring forth in life. Pastor Mike went on to give examples of former Presidents, whose descendent's produced many political senator’s, presidents, and other upstanding citizens. While at the same time, he took a murderer, and looked at say, 500 of his descendants. Over half followed suit and were either incarcerated or followed the path of the illegal.

That scared me. I had four grandparents, two who died when I was eight, within two months of one another. While extremely of poor lineage and alcoholics, they had a heart of gold. My other two grandparents were boozers I call them. They come from and were taught to be selfish, greedy and to drink your problems away.

Maybe that is why I was an alcoholic before the age of twelve. I never had good examples to look up to. So I began carving a new me, I looked up to new things. I accepted God and built a life around him and as he embraced me, essentially becoming my grandparent, we strode together to form something to pass down to MY next generation.

As you have your cookout today, as you sit with family. Look around you, and see just what it is that you as a human being are going to pass down to YOUR future generations.

And Thank you Soldiers of past and present... I thank you and appreciate all you have done for me and the generations that will look up to and follow you.

God Bless America!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ The Shell Remains ~

Psalms 34:17  The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
***
The Shell Remains

(c) Joni Zipp
***
I sit in the hollow halls of pain
with nothing to comfort but the rain
they say, they say they care
when really they mean, when I’m there.

I’m alone in this fragile world of mine
greedy paws take away my shine.
like a flower beaten by a deluge
something grander something huge.

Abandoned by my nearest and dearest
all of them that dwell in the fear fest
I bow to the wind and all its fury
unleash on me His reigning glory.

When I’m happy, you’re by my side
a wonder of words in which I confide
but when I’m down and at my worst
my body shreds as if I’m cursed.

You leave me to dangle like a thread
about to break by the fiery dread.
Walls collapse, my mind reformed
like a babe about to be born.

I can not stay in this lonely shell
where loads of lies run rampant as hell;
the fire burns endless my soul will not sour
I’m controlled by love and a Higher Power!


All rights reserved: copyright © joni  zipp

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quotation Saturday

WRITING
 
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
~Helen Hayes
 
They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talk about writing or themselves.
~Lillian Hellman
 
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
~Ernest Hemingway
 
One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.
~Stephen King
 
Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'. Otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
~C. S. Lewis
 
Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves. 
~Robert Anton Wilson
 
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information. 
~Oscar Wilde


PATIENCE

Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee. 
~Immanuel Kant

So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world." 
~ Immanuel Kant
 
I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. 
~ Winston Churchill
 
Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.
~Helen Keller

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finally Friday

"You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope of creating something beautiful." ~Gustave Flaubert
***

It has been a long week. A good week, but unseemingly long to say the least. Adam finished up school on Tuesday, finally getting the year of being bullied behind him. He wrote a story for his English class, and was pretty successful in bringing home a complete story. It’s official, my kid can write! I’ve taught hime everything I know, except one thing you can’t teach, is writing. You’re either born with it or your work sounds forced. He is a natural! *happy momma*

He also won some ribbons for his art. I am pretty excited about that, so much so, I hung them all on his wall and surprised him when he came home on his last day, Tuesday. The teacher let him have them on Monday, but the one where he received Grand Prize was missing. I’m assuming someone liked it so much they wanted it for themselves, but the teacher still gave him the purple ribbon!

It has been cold and windy and yes, my heat was still churning on May 20th! I have to admit, weather wise, this has been one strange year. This week alone we received well over four inches of rain, throughout the week. An awesome downpour but I feel for the farmers whose fields look drenched solid.

As for writing, I’ve been focusing more on my writing and websites of writers. I can’t just stay in one place, as much as I love, adore, respect Writers Village University and F2K, there comes a time when one needs to expand their options. And this is one of those times in my life where I feel I’ve hit a roadblock, and need to see what is over the horizon of my journey.

I’m refocusing, prioritizing, and really just shaking up the normal routine of things, because you have to admit, eating oatmeal every single day for five or six years straight kind of becomes a boring and untastey ritual no matter what you add to it, thinking it will perk up. It doesn’t, it is still oatmeal.

I’m also realizing along the way, who my true friends are. It’s sad to see the ones whom I thought were, are not really ‘friends’ per se, and the ones whom I thought were just drifters are true friends. A strange world we live in. My advice on the writing trail: watch your back always. Protect your heart indefinitely. See through the hypocrisy and be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else, so that people will like you, because most of the time, people will see right through you.

Remember to watch your words carefully. Your words can cut wounds into the heart of someone, just as theirs can be like a knife, slicing down the skin and all the innards within falling on the floor.

Well folks...it has arrived. It is Finally Friday!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Facebook Woes

The act of writing is an act of optimism. You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt it didn't matter.
~Edward Albee
***
I remember a few years ago a friend told me about facebook being a place to hook up with fellow writers and the possibilities of networking. I saw that as a step in the right direction, then I started getting friend requests from people I hadn’t seen in thirty years, so I clicked the ignore button and accepted mainly writers, and very close family.

The site quickly became a game. Sure I loved Farmtown, loved the Garden Patch, Yoville, Frontierville, but they soon became a place where there seemed to be a hidden agenda behind every game I liked to play. Then my computer stopped allowing the games to load, which was a blessing in disguise really. It unhooked me from the claws of doom. But not before I met some awesome friends through the games!

I post scriptures and well wishes and spread good, positive thoughts to everyone who enters
my page. I’ve met new Christian friends along the way, and quickly I’ve been a positive link in a negative society.

Here lately the Social Scene that I liked, has now become the scene that I loathe. I’m not a political person by any means. I don’t bash our government for every little thing they do wrong and I certainly am not a partaker of spewing hate to the masses. I go to Facebook for a positive experience, but lately, (until I change my settings) a lot of negative is surfacing.

I don’t care if the president plays golf, is an ‘original born American’, if he had peas for breakfast, if HE is the one who made the call on getting bin Laden. I care, as an American citizen, that other American citizens who have freedoms BEYOND what many countries have, can sit on a high horse and declare their Christianity and in the same breath HATE.

Am I not to love my enemy? Am I not suppose to turn the other cheek? When has facebook become the end all gateway to information, much of it in way of virus’s and more hate?

People love to hate. People love to question. I love to write, share, spread good and call humanity on their ignorance. I am not perfect, I am a sinner. I am tired of facebook and the people who spew hate, and the people who LIKE the people who spew hate. I will limit myself on the scene for a while, rethink my plan of networking, and continue to write what is near and dear to my heart. I will love all, no matter what the others want me to hate.

There are a lot of good people on facebook, sure. But there is also an agenda.  I was told that with this Government of ours that my Christianity was in jeopardy. Little does that person know, the government doesn’t hold MY Christianity in its hands. God does. Her Christianity may be in jeopardy, but mine was built on a Rock!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

The rule for accepting  The Versatile Blogger Award stipulates that I have to tell you seven things about myself.

Ravenne’s Seven Things About Myself That Haven’t Made National News

1.  I have never hung my underwear outside on the clothes line. Joni responds: ( I have and even had them stolen! And that was WAY before VS was EVER heard of)

2.  I am a human hamster who pads her nest with many, many books. (Joni bellows: I’m a ham!)

3.  I lie to telephone salespeople and say I am the maid. (Joni says: I answer and do a Chinese womans impersonation.)

4.  I play Lady GaGa songs when I’m in the car. (Joni says: I play praise music.)

5.  I buy salad and then I never eat it. (Joni responds: I buy pickles...and eat them)

6.  I sweat like a pig when I’m on the treadmill. (Joni infuses: What’s a treadmill?)

7.  I use my finger to draw smiley faces in newly-opened jars of peanut butter. (Joni smiles: I draw smiley faces on steamed up windows and in dirt on trucks!)


And now Seven things about myself you wish you knew:

1. I love my country. The people running the country are NOT perfect, but then again, are YOU?

2. I am not perfect.

3. I am not a hypocrite

4. I sing praises as often as I can to the good Lord who carries me through every single day!

5. I’m sane. (though some may disagree)

6. I can not stand Americans who complain about our government. Get a life, try a third world country or something.

7. I’m going to say it... I support MY PRESIDENT! Flaws and all!

Thank you Raven for your kindness!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What price do YOU pay?

“In the heart of devastation...lies compassion. Human survival feeds off of helping one another. Reach out and have compassion on one another, it will surely get you through the mounds of devastation.” ~ Joni
***

There seems to be devastation everywhere I look these days, Whether it is tsunami’s, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, you name it, we’re being hit pretty hard. The world, not just the U.S.

Writers have a wellspring of material climbing out of this upheaval, if they can see it, grasp it, then write about it, we’ll have a pretty good amount of stories coming out of the ashes. I know I like to write, but sometimes as the blank page sits there staring at me in the face waiting for me to put something on it, I draw a blank as what to write.

But all I need is a picture, or to read the days news and a story can bubble up from that and grow. Not necessarily a fictional piece, but writing about the reality of today's world really interests me.

I watch as people follow false prophets, are mislead by the almighty dollar, going ga ga over false beauty, attached to their materials. They draw concern at the mundane happenings in their world and give a tiny thought to the world around them. They might give a big thought about the world around them, but are helpless in helping.

What I’m getting at here is that we can NOT put a pricetag on life, in any way shape or form. We are only here because we were breathed into existence and as He knows every strand of hair on your head, it might do you good if you got to know one word out of his mouth.

We are not here for ourselves. We are not here to acquire all the materials in this world that we can get, we’re not a part of the whole and the whole being, me me me!

Many years ago, I gave up everything I owned. (I’m crazy that way) I didn’t have much to begin with but I gave it all up, still holding onto the last remnant of me, was my teddy bear that I had at the age of three. I had a scarf that my grandmother had knitted before she succumbed to cancer. I had a ring my mother and father had given me, when I was thirteen. Those things were the last of my possessions that I held onto thinking that one day, I would see them again.

It was not to be. They were lost in a fit of, I don’t know, I was told a tree fell on top of the shed that they were in, and no one even tried to salvage the final part of me that I didn’t want to let go of. I was devastated.

But soon I realized, this life isn’t about the materials! I hold in my heart the memories. I was trying to hold onto the last bit of my material belongings, knowing that when God said “Give it ALL up for me,” I thought He wouldn’t mind me keeping a few things of my past.

All does not mean, 3/4..all means ALL!!!

So as we muddle through the day, and worry about our hair, our value of life, remember someone has already placed a price tag on His head and He went for the ultimate price! He gave it ALL, not a mere portion.

Write about YOUR all and what price YOU would pay!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What a May...

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb
***
Well May is almost over and while I wonder where the first five months have gone, I need only look back over my posts.

I remember a time when March 21 signaled the ‘soon-to-be-arriving’ Spring. We sat day after day in anticipation of the flowers bursting their little heads through the soil, the bees onto doing their work for the season, even the ants peeked out in anticipation of the season and prepared for the next.

This year, Spring has yet to arrive. My Day Lilies have came out to greet the day, but have been bearing the brunt of high winds and chilly temps since they made their appearance. Yup it is still in the forties at night here in Nebraska, and the winds are still unbearably gusty. The days drag on in anticipation of the school year ending and hopefully the arrival of Summer, which I’m sure will be wiped out by Old Man Winter rearing his ugly mug way too soon!

We’ve had anniversaries, the 16th was our Eighth Anniversary, we’ve had birthdays, graduations, end of season sporting events taking place, all the while the winds of change have not embraced me.

We reached the twenty-first of May and I look back and think, have you written this year? I have to admit, my writing muse has taken a small break. Just too much going on with doctors visits, storms, stress and more stress. It cradles me like a newborn babe and doesn’t want to release me into the grown-up world in which I live!

Adam, my son, has gotten an ear infection. Actually TWO of them and a sinus infection. He is in his last seven days of school, four of which have been spent in bed, taking meds and trying to recover! And I’m sitting here wondering if Spring will ever tap me on the shoulder, shake me like a  pair of maraca's, and wake me from this hypnotizing funk that I seem to be in.

I’ll get back to writing. It is in my blood, it’s in my heart, writing has consumed my soul. I know there is more to life out there but right now, all I see are winds and I can find comfort in here, with my writing.

I think if you’re a writer, you know what I’m talking about. You try to do other things, but writing keeps calling you back as if it has a straight-landline to the fingers and it’s telling you to write write write!

If you bought into May 21 being the end of the world, I pray for you. The world can not end until my novel is published and THAT, you can bank on! :)

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ In the Shadow...

A human being is only breath and shadow.
Sophocles

In the shadow...

(c) Joni Zipp

While I sit in the lonely shadow
the cloud hovers over me
I try to run away from it
its eye won’t set me free.

As I cling to the shadow
the darkness covers my being
I’m not allowed sunlight
only what I am seeing.

As I kiss the weary shadow
I lend blessing to the rain
it scurries off in fear
releasing all my pain.

As I walk out of the shadow
the Light beckons my soul
nurturing me 'til once again
my body can feel whole

Goodbye lonely shadow
leave me with my day
Let me drink the sunlight
that reigns this glorious day!


All rights reserved: copyright © joni  zipp

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quotation Saturday

ON WRITING
 
"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make."
~Truman Capote

"I always do the first line well, but I have trouble with the others."
~Moliere

"Writing well is at one and the same time good thinking, good feeling, and good expression; it is having wit, soul, and taste, all together."
~Buffon

HAPPINESS
 
Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 
Happiness is not a matter of events, it depends upon the tides of the mind.
~Alice Meynell
 
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.
~Benjamin Franklin

LIFE
 
One life - a little gleam of time between two eternities.
~Thomas Carlyle
 
Life is a pure flame,
and we live by an invisible sun within us.
~Sir Thomas Brown
 
As I grow to understand life less and less,
I learn to love it more and more.
~Jules Renard
 
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

Our waking hours form the text of our lives, our dreams, the commentary.
~Anonymous
 
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
~Paul Valery
 
A skillful man reads his dreams for self-knowledge, yet not the details but the quality.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Day of Compassion?

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
~ Dalai Lama

Compassion is not much unlike the emotion, love. Compassion fills your heart, warms the spirit and guides you into a blissful spin of the universe in your soul. What, you’ve never felt this before? Then truly you need to get out into the world that is in dire need of YOUR compassion.

Can you imagine, billions of people uniting in one compassionate act a day? Can you imagine a day set aside where we are made aware of such an event taking place? Have you ever had a compassionate act move your heart so much you went out and did something compassionate yourself?

I sure hope you answered yes to all the above questions. Compassion needs to move the human heart and I do believe what the Dalai Lama said, “it is essential for human survival.”

In a world where there is global devastation, like Earthquakes and tsunami’s, hurricane’s and tornadoes all wiping out and leveling the human spirit, has anyone noticed the one thing that rises from the ashes/dust/turmoil? Human compassion!

While we grieve for the dead, we reach out to the living. We shroud ourselves in compassion and forge through the barriers of devastation and bring to life the art of compassion on grand levels that actually shift the tides in the humans capacity.

I have been a receiver of such human compassion. Two years ago when we were basically forced to move to the state of Nebraska, we wondered how all of this would come together and sure enough, when we arrived after the compassionate brother and sister came to Texas and helped move us north on the ten hour trip, we arrived at a house, that had food, supplied by a church that we had no affiliation with, money, to help get us started, and love welcomed us with open arms.

As the two years pass, not without struggles, it is the human heart of compassion that carries us through our days and nights and never releases us from its clutch. Still not having the means to give compassion on a grander level than I’d like, I sit and pray for the   souls that cry out for help. I share the Word with people who might not even read the Book, except when they are in dire straits and turn to the Holy One, to help ease their pain.

Sure enough, my heart is a compassionate heart on many levels. Levels that heal, levels that make a difference. And you too can make a difference in the human fluctuation of events just by having compassion on one person!

Don’t make ONE day, a day of compassion, just like Valentines Day is marked as a day of love, I think these things should be in our arsenal on a daily basis. Not just one day a year. Think about that and act on it, you’ll be relieved that you are a part of a greater whole.

Love and Compassion walk hand in hand through the sands of time. Embrace them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ Time...an eternity

Isa.57: 15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
***
Time... an eternity

(c) Joni Zipp
***
Minute by minute the clock it ticks
away at time the veil it nicks
life is fluent ever flowing while
worlds collide with no one knowing

Simplicity basks within each wonder
pluck the bad to put asunder.
Cubicles carry the coarser thrill
all vanity notions are swallowed still.

Silence I hear in my hallowed heart
beating a sound that tears me apart
My sanity shorn I fall to the ground
kissing the soil my lips have found.

His presence wraps me in the light
I long to taste within the night
the juice of every fiber of being
my Lord has granted all I’m seeing.

Whisk me from this absurdity
clear my mind of uncertainty
thoughts no more of second guessing
rain on me your bountiful blessing.

Minute by minute I hear it calling
through the portal slowly I’m falling
into a realm that none should see
until they taste their eternity.


All rights reserved: copyright © joni  zipp

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quotation Saturday

WRITING
 
"What a writer brings to any story is an attitude…"
-John Gregory Dunne

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."
-E.L. Doctorow

"The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly…Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three - throw them away and look for others."
-Bernard Malamud

GOALS
 
A man should have any number of little aims about which he should be conscious and for which he should have names, but he should have neither name for, nor consciousness concerning, the main aim of his life.
-Samuel Butler
 
Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
-Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog
 
The great and glorious masterpiece of
man is to know how to live to purpose.
-Michel de Montaigne

WORRY
 
Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
-John G. Whittier
 
The rose is fairest when 't is budding new,
and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
-Walter Scott

SELF-TALK
 
Whatever is expressed, is impressed. Whatever you say to yourself, with emotion, generates thoughts, ideas and behaviors consistent with those words.
- Brian Tracy
 
If your sunshine wants far outstrip your cold morning desire, have a talk with yourself. Then have a lot more talks with yourself. Convince number one that you can succeed--and you will succeed. If you don't believe in you, why should anyone else?
- Tom Hopkins
 
End your day by privately looking directly into your eyes in the mirror and saying, ‘I love you!’ Do this for thirty days and watch how you transform. 
- Mark Victor Hansen

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hungry Like a Wolf

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become. ~Buddha
***
This morning I rose to find blogger having some sort of difficulties. They ate my words and maybe it disagreed with its tummy. I had a nice blog posted yesterday on the twelfth, only to awaken and find it missing in action, so I decided to write a post for the thirteenth, Friday, that is to say.

I, like the writing fool that I am, went to try and repost the missing post, and they are STILL having difficulties. I think its a bloody conspiracy of some sort. Don’t know what kind of conspiracy, I can only assume.

Maybe it’s the crazy weather! Do you know on Monday we here in Nebraska hit 97 hot summer-like degrees? We haven’t even had Spring yet. I think the conspiracy is that Winter wants to duke it out with Spring and in the midst of the fight, Summer jumped in to rear it’s ugly head. Then just when Spring peeked out (yesterday 70 degrees) Winter body slammed it, literally, with thunderstorms and tornadoes across the state. And for today Winter is in the lead with a 45 degree temp, gusty winds (what’s new for Nebraska, right?) and a windchill factor of 33 degrees.

So the story goes...In today’s news, in little town Nebraska, after Summer reared its ugly head this week, a fight ensued and Spring won but then Winter gave a sneak attack. "You're not done with me!" It exclaimed. Roaring evil laughter can be heard in the echoes of the wind this morning.

This is not even funny anymore! Dallas is looking all the more better every day I tell you! Maybe even somewhere east like North Carolina or South Carolina. That would be nice, and one never knows, after the ‘sight’ comes back, Nebraska might just be a bump in the road.

So as I go on with my day, blogger or not, I will win no matter what the weather throws at me. No matter what, I will tackle cleaning inside today and beat this game that thinks it is a better chess player than me. I will write my heart out too, in between chores and accomplish all the goals I have set for myself this very day. And blogger can lose to the battle of Friday the 13th, and shove my words so far up their nose that it chokes on its own spit.

There, I got THAT off my chest. Now to make the most of my day. :)

Writing is my life. The good thing about it is whether the wind gusts, the rain falls, the earth trembles, or the sun finds itself displaced, I will always have my writing, in my heart and in my head but most importantly... in the hallways of my soul.


**p.s. This is your lucky day! You get TWO posts because some internet gremlin ate yesterdays excellent post, which I reposted for you all!
**

Write Right and Get Organized!

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go." E.L. Doctorow
***
We’re writer’s, right? Right! And we love to write, right? Right! Now you see why my blog is titled Write Right, right? ;)

But as writers are we always organized? I don’t think so. I’ve done my Spring cleaning, where I do every nook and cranny in the house and I do daily cleaning because, well, I like it pristine and beau likes it organized. We’re both like that y’know, we like things just right, where nothing is in disarray. Perfectionist? Not by a long shot. Demands order? Most definitely!

Now some of you might be thinking, ‘You’re beau is blind. How does he know if it’s not clean?’ The man has a nose for dirt and disorder and he will call me on it every single time! He can smell a dust bunny in MY NEIGHBORS house, and he’ll think it is living here somewhere, lurking under a bed or something. Okay, so he’s not THAT paranoid;  he might be blind, but when you trip over a shoe, you don’t need eyes to know that it is not supposed to be there.

I remember when I lived back in Baltimore, my mother would always come over for a visit. She’d say, “You didn’t have to clean up for me.” And my response was always the same, “I didn’t, it’s always this clean.” So what am I getting at?

Well it seems I peeked into my folders and found disarray! Beaus folders are perfectly neat and tidy but mine look like Hurricane Joni flew in while I slept and disheveled the documents placing them here and there and essentially everywhere..

Sure I have folders and in the folders are documents, but I think I’ve found some Short Stories that have been misplaced, and rediscovered as if striking gold while I panned for a document. How cool is that?

Not cool at all because upon finding them I realized they were really good stories and should have been submitted by now, but no, they’re lost among two books of poetry, Writers Village University files, F2K lessons and tips, and a bunch of other stuff that I didn’t even know I had!

I did the Between the Lines course and the MFA course years ago but there they were, files of the undead, lurking innocently in my secret storage facility. What I’m saying here is that I’m not as well organized in my virtual world as I am in my real world. Maybe this is my way of rebelling against order? Maybe this is the only place that my mess is safe and no one else will even know it looks like Phyllis Diller’s hair, on a good hair day!

Today I am going to take the time to Spring clean my files and folders and get them organized so you can all follow in my footsteps and do the same. Organize your work! Don’t misplace your hard work, in the files of miscellaneous, learn how to target what you want, and where you want it placed. Label it so  that it stands out as important to your eyes and you will soon find yourself, ORGANIZED like me. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talk-o Tuesday

"Writing is an adventure." Winston Churchill
***
I haven’t had a good Talk-o Tuesday in a bit. This is where I talk about the audiobook industry and a pretty cool blog that does reviews on audiobooks, audiobook-heaven.
The audiobook community is alive and well and moving forward in the 21st century. I’ve read that audiobooks are pretty much equal to good old fashioned print books, on the take-out lists at the library.

I overheard one woman at the library say that she does a lot of driving and she loves listening to audiobooks for those many hours on the road, while the librarian herself said she uses them when taking her stroll after work to drown out the sounds of traffic and such, while yet another woman piped in that she checks out audiobooks for her blind beau, oh, that was me that piped in. :)

There are audiobook review sites all over the web, and some are good, and some not so good. I don’t like a review to tell me the whole story, but I want just enough to bite on so that it makes me want to read the book. That’s what I get at audiobook heaven. And I’m not just saying that because I know the writer personally, it really is a good blog. Check it out sometime.

On the home-front, beau went to the doctors yesterday and is now on the cornea transplant list. He was on it back when he was visiting the doc in Omaha, but when he skipped his last appointment with him, it removed him from the list and so, we wait for a cornea. This doctor is close to us and beau liked him, that means a lot when you have to trust him to operate on the most delicate part of one of your organs.

He gave us the the possibilities, as much as he could without seeing the case history from the other doc, whose office was SUPPOSED to send the info, but didn’t. So maybe the other doc wasn’t such a ‘good thing’ if he takes you off the transplant list because of a missed appointment, and his office can’t be trusted to send pertinent information over to another doctor.

The dr. in Dallas warned us of such behavior between doctor’s,  and I was kind of prepared, but beau, he has this naïveté about him. This doctor has another doctor in the Grand Island area that HE works with on patients (he himself is out of the Omaha area) and when beau does get his operation, we’ll have a follow-up the next day, and one a week later in Omaha, but then the rest of the follow ups, which goes on for about a year, will be done here locally in the Kearney/Grand Island offices. Which will make it a lot easier since an eight hour round trip to Omaha every two weeks would be costly.

What will sight do to Audiobook heaven? I don’t know if it will have any effect. I don’t know if he’ll have much sight in his one eye and may still remain ‘legally’ blind, but not completely. Audiobooks will be a part of his life, the rest of his life.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ Happy Mothers Day ~

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!


What Is A Mother
(c) Joni Zipp
***
A mother is God’s way of saying
That He’s with you all the way
He put her here in His place
So you would never be led astray

She watches over and protects you
In any manner that she sees fit.
She brings you up to be a good person,
Yet she spoils you a little bit.

Once you’ve left home she’s still there
As God would want her to be
A mother goes on with her own life
Yet she always has room for me.

God created a beautiful thing
When He created a Mother
Especially the one he blessed me with
Who could be replaced by no other.

~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~

A Gift

(c) Joni Zipp
***
I may not be home this Mother’s day.
But my thoughts are there in every way.
My mind it thinks of  many yers past.
Memories I hold that eternally last.

I try not to think of why I’m not there.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t care.
It means that life for me has changed.
Little things grand, they’ve all re-arranged.

I think of the words spoken by my mother.
“To care for your mate, like there is no other”
I chose my son and a wonderful man.
As God has molded His master plan.

I cannot live a life of regret.
I need to be strong but never forget.
That my heart and soul may always roam.
But not always wind up there at home.

I know I long to be by your side,
To be your strength, to be your guide.
But now I see by being away.
The Lord has plans for me this day.

He wants us all to boldly see.
That strength is found in the Trinity.
The Father to mold and shape your life.
The Son who carries all of our strife.

The Holy Spirit to nourish the soul.
With all these things, you now feel whole.
Never let sorrow tarnish your heart.
Remember the love that He'd impart.
 
All rights reserved: copyright © joni  zipp

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Quotation Saturday

HAPPINESS

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
-Helen Keller

Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.
-Aristotle

Happiness resides not in posessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.
-Democritus

PEOPLE

You must look into other people as well as at them.
-Lord Chesterfield

A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love.
-Basil

To rejoice in another's prosperity, is to give content to your own lot: to mitigate another's grief, is to alleviate or dispel your own.
-Thomas Edwards

WORDS OF WISDOM

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.
-Solomon Ibn Gabriol

Years teach us more than books.
-Berthold Auerbach

Silence does not always mark wisdom.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

No man was ever wise by chance.
-Seneca

THE READER

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

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.
-Matthew Arnold

The only test of work of literature is that it shall please other ages than its own.
-Gerald Brenan

Friday, May 06, 2011

Resolution

“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will. ~ Jonathan Edwards
***
Yesterday we spoke of the conflict in a story. Some folks think that is the height of the story but really you find solace in the resolution more than the conflict, don’t you? When you’re reading a story and your heroine is tossed into a conflict, do you not find yourself rooting for her and anticipating a resolution as the story ends?

Take for example, a young woman who has decided to get out of a troubled relationship, where conflict is heightened, where her child and her are endangered. You see her on a dusty road heading off to the sunset with a small child's hand in hers and a backpack on her back. Leaving behind everything precious; ornaments, nic-nacs, photographs, even her very first Teddy bear.

You watched the conflict build in this relationship and you pulled for her and as she is walking down the road, sun in front of her, shadows of her past behind her; you read the conclusion. Or did you?

Picked up on the road to nowhere the child and her are tossed into another relationship. Thinking it was for the best but then it happened, the same old circle of the past came running around; the relationship grew, the same resentment and pain that was left behind brewed and here she was back in the mirrored image of the life that she left behind.

Once again, you felt the joy in her resolution only to find she was smack dab in the middle of conflict once again. In writing, this is the crux of the story that you’re writing. We like to call it the inverted check mark. The conflict rises, rises, peaks, then resolves. Whew! But then it confronts the heroine again and the vicious cycle comes back and before the final chapter, either your heroine dies, or she succeeds in finding a way out of the circle that has haunted her life and held her captive for so many years.

This is the premise of so many novels so I don’t believe I’m releasing anything new to the reader and this is why my life story has been put on hold for a spell. It seems ‘done before’ even though it is unique to me, to readers, they might not find it interesting enough to pick up and scale through thirty or forty chapters of this same thing happening over and over. Maybe the title should be Karma- What goes around-comes around.

Now remember, it is all in the resolution where the reader finds reward. So as you embark on learning the ropes of conflict, no matter where they may be in your story, resolution is what the reader is REALLY looking for! 



Congratulations to me on my 700th post!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Conflict! Conflict! Conflict!

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." ~Martin Luther King Jr

Conflict...That is what this weeks lesson at f2k is going to touch on. As many people are having the time of their life in f2k, some learning new tricks of the trade, some are repeating this session because they love the rebirth of their writing muse, while some are puzzled by what this lesson means to their writing.

They’re usually the newbie writers who have put their writing dream on hold and have finally crawled out of the woodwork and decided to take writing on, not as a hobby, but as a possible career. The thing with that is, they walk in and think they’ll make hundreds of thousands of dollars for writing one short story or a novel.

I told the young girl that this is an art, not something you just jump into and begin making money. This is a craft that takes years of learning and honing for it ever to come to the fullness that you expect. In other words it is an internal conflict of sorts. The bug bites you, it stings for a little bit and without nurturing the wound it has placed on your heart, it will never become the healing place that writing can be.

Conflict in writing...it can breathe life into a so-so piece of work, it can cause a swell of the tidal waves coming ashore in the motion of your words. You can either have a knock-down-dragged-out fighting scene, or you can choose to have your protagonist, main character, fight the war within her/himself.

Have you ever seen conflict in reality and a need to convey it in writing? Well this has been one of those weeks where conflict has been a part of the world around me. Not only with the Osama bin Laden conflict that festered for 10 years, ate away at peoples pain and culminated in a shoot out where he is now deceased and people are relieved. It was like, up up up goes the conflict and CRASH, down comes the resolution. But also I watch as stress levels in my home rise to a heightened point, eating away at the very core, only to come crashing down in a harsh, field on confrontational conflict.

I’m always so upbeat about every tiny thing, and sometimes I allow, or feel I’m allowed a moment of anger even if it is brief, it just has to be released so I can find a resolution to it all. I’m not the only one in this household, and I’m certainly not the only one stressed out to the point of the stretching of the Bungee cord! *SNAP* It either breaks or you bounce back. That would be the resolution. Bouncing back into shape and allowing conflict whether in writing or life, to have its place, but to be resolved, and finding the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow.

I’m alone out here, I miss my family, I miss so much but I will not dwell on the have-nots. I will soar as an eagle and carry with me my love of writing and all the things I have in my life. My friends are a bonus to have as support, and I thank them dearly!

Don’t let conflict, ruin a story, allow it to carry your work to the next phase. Resolution!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Prioritizing!

1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
***
As a new month begins so does the need to prioritize. Have you ever just been wandering around, doing things just to do them, then find that you’re not really doing anything at all anyway? Well, that’s how it has been here.

I’m not mentoring F2K this session (the free writing course I’m always talking about) and that was one of my main tips in the prioritizing scale. It totally drained me back in the February class, and this time I chose, enough is enough, it’s time to think about me! Not that I’m selfish by any means, I just know there are things more important in life right now, and while I love aiding and assisting the new writer, I have to think of my sanity or I’m not going to be in any position to help anyone else.

I woke this morning and decided that facebook would not be my first stop. That place is a ridiculous mess also, but it is where I can connect with my sister and niece daily, and touch base while inspiring people so they have just one positive to begin their day. Can you imagine never hearing anything positive? So my goal is to greet people in the morning with a note of something positive and be on my way.

Today though, not even handing folks a positive note felt right. I read that Osama Bin Laden was killed and it drew some really uneasy emotions in me since I’m not a political person to say the least. I remember him coming onto the scene as the mastermind of the devastating events of 911, I knew we were looking to kill him, but that’s about it. I'm not up on the latest gossip.

As I write this, I peeked into facebook and was going to just pass on a positive note but I was immediately slapped upside the head with negativity. I can not stand it, when this free country rails against their own president. If it isn’t one thing it is another. And in the history of my life, the Americans who are FREE, choose to degrade, belittle, demean every single president that is in office. (Even the favorites like Kennedy and Reagan.)

You’d think that people would have more important things to do but these folk are bored, tired, angry, bitter, heartless, emotionless people, who have nothing better to do in life. They’ll claim they’re just tired of the government, but tell me, who isn’t? Would you prefer living in a Third World Country? Pakistan possibly? Korea, Russia, China?

Be grateful for EVERYTHING that you have. Stop holding onto bitterness no matter WHAT country you live in. Make the most of the daily life that you must live, and that is NOT slinging mud at others. We are here, we have one shot at life and energy is being wasted on negativity where it could be spent on prioritizing the more important things in life that will get you through a day.

Live life to the fullest does not mean be full of hate and anger people! Fill all those holes in your life with LOVE and maybe your world will be a better place to live, if not for others, then for yourself!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ The Tree of Life

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
***
Tree of Life
(c) Joni Zipp
***
 
In the vision of my eyes,
I see the world in disguise
playing with the human emotion
like a child without a notion.

I scan the open field of dreams
everything clearer than it seems.
Wandering round in an enlightened state,
hoping my words don’t come to late.

Can you feel the life of you
within the world of confusion too?
Upon the doorway of mystical bliss
there is a lot I feel I miss.

The trees they prosper with each season,
some are wounded with good reason.
Getting stronger from each storm
within each branch about to form.

Life it takes us for a spin;
seasons strengthen us to win.
This world is one we all must commune
lets play our lives in angelic tune.

Sin will compromise our feat
sacrifice is our only mete.
When we serve the One who is True,
the tree of life will flow through you.


All rights reserved: copyright © joni  zipp

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