Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Accentuate the Positive

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.
Willie Nelson
***
In writing, you’re going to come across negative and positive situations. I’ve run into an entire site of negative goofballs that I’ve found, and it is just time to eliminate the place entirely from my life. Happy them, oh joyous me!

I always try to surround myself with a positive flow of energy so that the positive will flow through me and into them, but I do expect the same in return. If you can’t respect me a little, then you are not worthy of an ounce of my energy. By putting a positive spin on our writing, nothing negative can from it. Hand it to a negative and you’ll get a negative return.

Sure, if you put it in the hands of negative people, you do know what’s going to happen don’t you? You will surely be told all negative things about your work. They might say, “This stinks! You really need to work on your writing!” “Well this is okay, but this could certainly be better.” No I’m not saying that you want to hear all good things and praise for your work, but you would like honest feedback and respect, wouldn’t you? You’d like to feel something positive coming through the screen.

In a world where Satan has plans and twists and turns for everything that God has put into place, we need to be a stronger species and become aware and delete the force from our life so we can walk in the Light of the Lord. In my writing world, the negativity has worn me down to where I had never ever wanted to write again. And it wasn’t until I got rid of those negative people from my life, that my writing life took on a whole new turn, for the positive.

Sunday evening, satans minions were out in full force, tugging at me and pulling my strings. As you know of my health issues, you know I am at this point, very weak physically, but have never been stronger spiritually. While I was bonding with my sweet sisters in Christ, through prayer and common bonds, the dark one was swiftly at work trying to put an anchor to the ship that has done set sail with God’s breath.

Are any of you aware of his malicious intent? Are any of you brave enough to put a stop to him that speaks as a viper, licks with a wicked forked tongue and strangles you with his mighty bound force? Many walk on in stride, ignoring his clutch, pretending that if you ignore his strength, befriend him, he just won’t exist or have any input in your life. That my friend, is a lie that he has fed you and a lie that you believe.

I woke in a sweat Sunday morning at 3 a.m., from a nightmare. The doctors were telling me that they couldn’t help me, they wanted their money ($5000 dollars) and to come back and see them when I got the funds. Shaking and trembling, tears didn’t just leak from my eyes, it was a deluge! I came out to write. Still reeling from the negative spew of the night before, nightmare all to vivid in my mind, it was washed away by the Grace of God and one email! “We have the funds!”

You see, satan had wanted to put a halt to Gods plan for me, but he forgot who has more power. God has more power and has surrounded me with a positive flow of people who will lift me up in Christ, and satan holds no power with his negative people and forces!

I don’t apologize for not allowing the wolves in sheep's clothing, to come and sit with me so as to find my weaknesses so they can strike. If by the Grace of God, you are surrounded by the power and positive energy of the Light, satan and his minion folk can’t touch you. Oh, they will try...but one needs to be aware, or the negative force will wreak havoc in YOUR life.

Go with Godspeed... accentuate the positive; you, your health, and your writing is well worth it!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Internal Editor

It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.
C. J. Cherryh
***
Now this has happened to all of us writers at one time or another in our writing career. We open our workspace (document) to write, begin writing, and see a typo or something else that catches our eye, we go back to fix it and do that down the entire page, and realize the entire five hundred words were led by...our internal editor.

As much as I hate to admit it, editing has hindered my writing on more than one occasion. I don’t just mean a proofreading of my work; finding the misplaced comma, grammatical errors, typos and such. I mean editing to where I rewrite a sentence, place a more heavily understood metaphor in its place; trashing an entire sentence and rewriting it to where it looks and sounds right. This has been me on more than one occasion.

I’m here to tell you to shut it off!!! You can not get anything accomplished if you’re always looking back over your shoulder to see the trail (mess) that you leave behind. We must always look ahead and embrace whatever we must at that place in time. Writing is like the long journey which we trek down in life; we’re always doubting, shaking our head, often trying to fix the wrongs and make them right, and how successful was THAT? Impossible!

As writers we always try to fix the wrongs as we’re writing and that is just plain futile! It gets you nowhere and certainly doesn’t keep you writing. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It might not be a secret, maybe all writers have found this morsel as they grow as a writer.

1. Open your document and turn spellcheck off!!!
2. Start writing and DON’T look up at the screen!
3. Don’t stop until you feel that you’ve hit 500 words, AT LEAST!

Okay, now you can look up at the mess, I mean writing. If this is enough writing for you. Stop and fix. If you’re writing a short story, look back down at the keys and begin writing again, another five hundred words. Keep doing this until you’re done for the day and you’ve accomplished what you came for.

Don’t allow your internal editor to tell you what to do! Too often we listen to others around us or that small voice inside, and we’re ready to listen to it too, because we always think it to be right. Well I’m here to tell you the truth. Nine times out of ten, that voice is wrong and just wants to confuse you and lead you astray. Know anyone like that?

I grew up in a household full of negativity and had to teach myself how to break free from that scary inner voice and listen to the one true voice that God gave me. One Voice- one truth. Remember that! As you’re writing and the voice says, ‘that’s no good! You stink.’ Turn it around and repeat after me, ‘MY WORK IS GOOD! Not GREAT BUT GOOD!!!’

As you continue to feed a positive affirmation to the mix, the negative voice sounds like a muffled taped-mouth voice! Eventually ONE VOICE will win, and it won’t be that lackey the internal editor!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ Angel Speak

1 Chron. 16: 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
***
Angel Speak
***
The purple azure sky
calls me to a place of rest
where my body knows no limits
I’m one of heavens guest.

The sun has not yet risen
although beauty still abounds
the earth is meek and quiet
with silent morning sounds.

The pleasant walk among them
I hear their morning call
 life is stirring round me
in the elegance of it all.

They dance with fine twined linen,
sing with voices nigh
gives all praise and honor
to the One who sits on high.

I prance with patient glory
I know His will for me.
To dance among the angels
to live and tell the story.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quotation Saturday

HEALTH

The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind. 
~G.K. Chesterton

I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better. 

~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, 1903

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around.... Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing. 

~Larry Dossey

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

~Author Unknown

Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something. ~Lord Chesterfield
Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body. ~Cicero

In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else. 

~Alison Rose Levy, "An Ancient Cure for Modern Life," Yoga Journal, Jan/Feb 2002

In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible. ~Cicero

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open. 

~B.K.S. Iyengar


SELF-RESPECT
In my day, we didn't have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned. 
~Jane Haddam

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. ~Frederick Douglass

Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when e suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it. 

~Whitney Griswold

Never violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect. 

~Theodore Parker

I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing. 

~Michel de Montaigne

If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.

~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Friday, January 27, 2012

Leaving a Mark

Immortality is to live your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind.
~Brandon Lee

As a writer, it is your job to leave a mark in the hearts of readers. I’ve seen a lot of writers over the years and quite frankly they have not left a mark, or left an impression that they even care to write. So why be the all mighty and powerful poster of nothingness? I’m a bit confused on that one.

Since the beginning of the new year, I have written every single day. I take the time to write something of value so I can touch every reader of my work. I feel that if I just pull rubbish out of my hat to write, then what is the point in writing? I’m not saying that last year I didn’t write, because I sure did do a whole lot of writing, but my FOCUS was not on the writing world it was a lot of rubbish about my life, my triumphs and trials and I’d toss in a few writing posts. Then I was off taking care of writers and just not interested in writing.

As a train came down the track, and basically ran over me slicing my legs in two, figuratively, I lost the joy of writing! I seriously contemplated giving it up because of the disaster, but as the year ended, I realized, I am more to the world than any person that unleashes hatred on me. More I tell you; to myself, my life, and to the world. They have their cozy place all picked out and I hear it’s a nice warm place too, but me? I rise above, spread my wings and take flight!

Like I said, I began the new year with a juicy new incentive, to WRITE! That’s right, my legs may have been severed but it did nothing to my hands that could tap out promising posts day after day. Here we are, twenty seven days into the new year and already am I revived, rejuvenated, eager to bring to the world something of substance.

As my health hangs on the wings of prayer, which is mighty fine by me since I know my health is in good hands, I continue to shine on and give to the world a light that they may have thought dimmed. *I* can not be dimmed by the likes of imps. Nope, I march forward each and every day, write to my hearts content, and make something of this life that I’ve been given. I’m proud to call myself a writer! Honored that the Good Lord gave me awesome gifts to share with the world.

I began another blog telling of my pretty ugly life story. I’ve written daily writing posts that actually pertain to writing. I have put off all the silliness, tossed aside the immature-unprofessional-zany-crazy-woohoo-life of last year, stood up and took notice of where I was going wrong and have put into perspective just what I am here on this earth for, I have come to this world and this juncture in my life to leave my mark on each and every one of you! The goal of every writer!

This year: Mission Accomplished!


"A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world, lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes." 
~William Sansom

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Passion for Writing?

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.
Ray Bradbury
***
Are you passionate about writing? I may not make millions of dollars on my writing but truly, I don’t write for the love of money. I write because it is a fire burning inside me that I call my passion in life!

When you sit down at the computer are you sitting down because your passion for writing is calling you, because the virtual social world is tugging for you to come on in and play? Or is sitting down to write a chore you’d rather let someone else clean up for you? Whatever the reason you are sitting down at the computer, your passion  is calling you to come and stroke the softness of the keys, to tap out a sumptuous piece of writing that is worth reading by other people.

If everyday you come to this computer and get nothing accomplished in the writing world (assuming you’re a writer) does what you came here to do, actually make you feel complete? Are you accomplishing what you set out to do? Writing takes on the roll of passion as it moves you forward in your writing journey. It doesn’t take a nonchalant approach, a fun filled whimsical lifestyle, it takes serious passion!

As I watch other writers move around me, I sit at the observance level watching them make their way through the day. Yeah, did you know you can glean a lot by witnessing people throughout the day, move through the virtual world, thinking themselves a fly but really are a loud elephant stomping through the safari? They are leaving a trail behind of who they are, piece by piece, step by step, the squirrels like myself follow and study the elephants as they walk slowly, making a mark, their mark, in the virtual world.

Are you going to be one of those writers that is admired for your writing? Are you going to be thought of as the silly one that went through the day getting nothing done, but had fun doing it? Or are you going to be a passionate writer, that people look up to and want to emulate?

I’ve discovered that each writer is different in their actual passion for writing. Some I see, setting goals for each day, and accomplishing them daily as they publish, submit, and get published. I call those writers the Goal Setters! I examine the behavior of some writers actually working on a novel or story, writing every day to move one word closer to getting the book or story where they need it to be. Searching markets and striving to be the best writer they can be. I call that type of writer The Go-Getters! Then there is the writer who writes sometimes, plays all the time, never accomplishes anything with their writing in their day of service to writing, and I call them, The Wanna-be Writers.

Writers need a passion for writing and whether it is reading or actually writing, you need to stoke the fire daily or you will certainly watch a once flaming element burn out and turn to embers before your eyes. Make a wise decision in your journey, because it is all the passion that is left in you today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do Readers Write?

In yesterdays post, I stated that writers read. We flip through the leaves of a book, go sailing on an ocean, climb into a characters head, and enjoy the journey we’re taken on. What is also true is that not all readers write. My dad was an avid reader. He could always be seen, sitting in his recliner, blanket over his legs, and a book in his hand. Lots of people in my family liked to read, educate themselves, drink from the fountain of knowledge, but none of them aspired to be an actual writer.
 

That’s not saying that they couldn’t write, but none ever went the distance of pursuing a writing career. I sometimes thought that with the proper support, they might have journeyed out into the unknown world of writing, but as it was in my family, support was not to be had. We were lost kids seeking approval of something, anything, and it was not to be. Just as I had to find my way to Christ (or He found me) I had to lead the way down my own path in life.
 

I’ve seen people who’ve read all their lives who never ever wanted to write. “That is just not for me.” they say, but then after retirement sets in, and they want something different to do, they try out their hand at writing. And I’ve seen some success from that leap in life. They’ve gone on to be published writers!
 

What is the difference in a reader and a writer? A writer WRITES!
 

A story is told of a famous writer who was invited to address a group of aspiring authors. He arrived at the venue, walked onto the stage, and looked down at the upturned faces of his admiring audience. "Ya wanna be a writer?" he said. "Then go home and write."
 

With that, he pocketed his check, and left.
 

So you wanna be a writer? Here’s some interesting tidbits for you:
 

1. Do you write almost every day? Journal, snippets, 500 words or less. Or more?
 

Then you’re not a writer
 

2.  Do you allow yourself to think of YOU?
 

Writing requires that you spend a fair bit of time in your own, totally isolated zone, oblivious to the demands of others, no matter how reasonable their demands might be.
 

3. Do you know WHY you want to be a writer?
 

The urge to share is a primary driving force for writing. Whether it is to share an idea, a story, just a simple piece of information, you feel that people have a need to know. The main thing is, that what you write should matter to YOU and to your readers.
 

4. Do you think you’re a good writer?
Well there’s a problem. No one THINKS themselves a good writer! We ALL think we can use some work!


5. Do you read as many books, as much as you write?
Then you have a persistent road that needs grading, get to it!

Tidbits over, now a few thoughts to leave you with.
 

If you wanna be a writer, plan on reading A LOT!
Plan on WRITING a lot!
Plan on harsh criticism, mostly from yourself!
Plan on getting published!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writers Read




The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

As a writer, it is essential to read, and I don’t mean every book On Writing that you can get your hands on, because I’m from the old school, you can not ‘learn’ to be a writer. And this is true, if you think you can write just because you want to, you are on the wrong path. Jump off and join a circus, better odds of success there. You can learn the basic elements of writing, but to be a writer, you need to READ and to WRITE! All writers are avid readers. You’d be hard pressed to find a writer who says, “I don’t read books.” 

Are you kidding me? Why does one become a writer to begin with?  It is because you were little once and climbed into a book and chapter after chapter you were swept away into a fantasy land. You then thought things like, “I could do that! Take people to another world of imagination.” And the dream of becoming a writer was born. What were you, a month, two months old when your first book was ever read to you?
 

I didn’t become a writer, I’ve been a writer all my life, and you’ll hear that a lot too in the writing community, “I was born to write!” We began our life being read to, then we began reading all on our own, then we saw something that was like a small spark of fire in the dry timbers of the pages. We knew we could write a story like this or that, and so we started with an essay, then it grew to a short story and maybe poetry, then we were well on our way to driving the train into the writing world.
 

I used to read anything and everything I could. I began diving into books of fiction then moved onto philosophy, then psychology, then I got into reading about the many different religions, physics, quantum physics; I just got wrapped up in those books educating myself for who knows what purpose, then I returned to fiction. All the while growing, I was writing poetry and stories on a typewriter until about ten years ago I got a computer and began joining writing sites and poetry sites, posting my work for all the world to see.
 

Being the most popular will not make you a good writer, popularity and over eagerness will NOT make your writing appear better! My family never supported me then and doesn’t support me now. In my physical realm, it is just me. In my virtual world I have an over abundance of support! How did you become such a good writer, you ask? Well, it was through the encouragement of the many writing communities, a two year writing course, and being wrapped up in words like a blanket to my soul. It was due to the fact that I have read thousands upon thousands of books. To be a writer, one must be a reader first and foremost, then writing comes almost as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

You're Not Alone...

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein


Have you ever felt like sometimes your writing is in vain? That you’re alone on this intergalactic spaceship filled with words that are taking form but no one is there reading those thought provoking words? I have felt this way many a time in my writing career and that is the reason I join writing sites, so I can share my words with at least SOMEONE who is like minded and cares enough to read what I write.

Often times I post my hard work and it is as if I have the plague. People won’t comment and I realized something this week. I wrote this awesome poem. Yes, I am conceited enough to know when my poems are awesome. Some I might say, “EH.” to, but more often than not I say, “Wow! Where did that come from?” So what did I discover this week? That newcomers to the writing world are intimidated by another writers ‘well written’ work. Even if they like it, they should respect me as a writer and say so. If they don’t like it, then say so that too!

You see, my poem was so awesome that they felt less confident in themselves or they may have felt they didn’t measure up in some way. I’m here to tell you, stop with the ‘I fear, woe is me pity party’ please! You have a right to be nervous, you have a right to be leery of sharing your work with others, you even have a right to feel you won’t measure up. But by golly, if YOU are taking on the name of calling yourself a ‘writer’, you better stiffen up and get in line that stretches around the corner to the pity party.

YOU are not alone! You need leather-like skin in this business. We writers are not here to stroke your ego, we’re not here to make you feel special, we’re here to read what you wrote, and give honest feedback, so you can GROW as a writer! Sometimes people don’t feel like they are in a place where they can give feedback and that they just want to write, post and have people like what they write.

Well I’m here to tell you, not everyone will like what you write, and good writers will be the first to tell you where you might need work, where you did great and where you need a little tweaking. Did you join a writing site to post pictures? Did you join to promote your blog? Did you join to make all the friends you possibly could? I don’t think so, I think you came to learn the craft of writing and to share what you have learned along the way.

Too often I see people who write, but need a picture to visually give an idea of what they have written. If you need a picture to help people understand what you’ve written then you better go find a stock photography site and start posting there. Writers can give you a visual with no picture needed. THAT is what the craft is all about! Being able to fill your readers mind with the visual picture of your spectacular work!

You’re not alone in the journey, you joined a writing site to share the journey with fellow writers. The least you can do is respect the others, and give a kind and gentle comment (if you have nothing to offer constructively) and begin becoming a REAL WRITER.

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
Jules Renard

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ Cataclysm

Matt. 8: 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Cataclysm
***

Windswept willows work the breeze,
timbered towers sway the trees
singsong stallions stay the field
fiery foxes, to man, gives yield.

Hallowed hounds track the scent
another day for him is spent;
wicked wind howls through the air
fleeting falcons weave with care.

Gathering geese have all give rise;
brisk beat winds bare the skies.
Cumulus clouds clap with thunder
Every eye looks on in wonder

All will weaken lest they wallow
something strange is sure to follow.
Awakened conscious now can see
a shattered world we can not flee.

Silent sickness sweeps with sound
gnashing teeth torment the ground.
Swords will swing as men have fallen
heaven’s open, He’s come a callin’!


Is. 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quotation Saturday


~ ACTION ~
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
~John Locke
 

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
~Frank Tibolt
 

An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.
~Arnold Glasow
 

Note to self: finding a cool quote and writing it in your journal is not a substitute for Getting. It. Done.
~Betsy Cañas Garmon
 

~ WRITING ~

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
 

Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.
~Ray Bradbury
 

If you find yourself imitating another writer, that doesn't have to be a bad thing, especially if you are a young or a new writer. However, you should be conscious of exactly how you are imitating him - word choice, sentence structure, motifs? - and think about why you're doing it.
~Poppy Z. Brite
 

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

~ GRAMMAR ~

My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.
~A.A. Milne
 

Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression.
~Bronson Alcott

Women are the simple, and poets the superior, artisans of language... the intervention of grammarians is almost always bad. 

~Rémy de Gourmont

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!
~Owens Lee Pomeroy


~ ART ~

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
~Henry Ward Beecher

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

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.
~William Faulkner
 

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. 
~Stella Adler

my life story

Friday, January 20, 2012

Professionalism

It only takes one person to change your life – you.
Ruth Casey
***
There comes a point in ones writing career when you realize the importance of acting like a professional. If you’re just writing to make friends, to be popular, to just plain old have fun, then you are in the wrong business. Maybe you should think of joining a circus, or a carnival, or perhaps a day care where the children don’t want you to be professional, they want a like-minded person who is funny and will play all the time. Remember, they WANT Bozo the Clown for a friend!

When you join the writing sites, it is pretty important that you come off as a professional. You never know if a prospective editor, agent, or publisher is sitting right next to you, observing you before she/he approaches you. If they see that you can’t even act professional, why would they want to take something as serious as getting you published and helping you with it, into their professional business?

Allow me to ask this, when you submit your work, are you going to put cute little hearts on your work, a few woohoos; are you going to sign it with (hugs)? I’m just here to tell you, that your work will go right in the trash! Why? Because not only did you not adhere to the guidelines, it was because you were very unprofessional in the submission of your work!

As teachers of writing, we have to set proper examples for the new writer to follow. When we act in a childish manner, the newcomer finds this as an example to follow and they go on acting like a child, then the whole class begins acting like a child, then the classroom erupts in crazy behavior and becomes a circus-like atmosphere. Which has me running for the exit. But it has the newcomer embracing the silliness, and then the entire school is acting crazy and unprofessional and makes me not want to be a part of the writing world!

I will not take seriously anything someone is trying to teach me if they continuously shout out “WOOHOO” with a smiley or the words, woohoo. An occasional smiley might make them feel welcome, but the annoying over use makes you appear not very knowledgeable, or better yet, very unprofessional in the field. You’re waging a popularity contest, an ego boost, and in hindsight, you’ve created a series of fellow performers. You were just suppose to teach lessons.

The RINGMASTER - YOU, the teacher! The one who is guiding and leading has trained:
CLOWNS - these are the folk that follow your insanity and lead others too!
TIGHTROPE WALKERS - these are the ones that stand high above you looking down, wondering what they got themselves into.
TRAPEZE ARTISTS - these are the ones who swing all around the place, trying to fit in, and showing off their silliness, as you taught them!
JUGGLERS - Who juggle many sites, doing the same thing. Running around being crazy.

Now don’t get me wrong, the newcomer is frightened as it is upon entering a new course, and when they see someone acting like a goof, they then think, “Hey, this is an okay place! I feel at home.” Then they go onto acting a little loose too, where otherwise they might have remained professional. I say this: Know your boundaries! Set your limits! Know that the writing community is full of professional people, just waiting to help you along your path. Even the ‘stiff shirts’ can be a little zany sometimes, but we know what our job is and that is to guide you in the RIGHT direction, not skirt you off to the circus!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Confident Writer

You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
Les Brown
***

I have noticed that a lot of newcomers come into the writing world lacking confidence. I don’t know if its their age, immaturity, low self esteem, or lack of confidence in their writing ability, but these folks need to learn from the ground up. Their first step is to join a writing community. This is where they take that first baby-step.

I’ve watched many join a writing community that are well versed, well spoken and darn good writers, still they lack the confidence needed to get them to the next level, and that is, publication! So they meander around the writing site, setting their writing free to the writing community, and get accolades on their writing and in essence get their confidence built up!

Now with the ‘newbies’ they call them, they are testing the water, dipping a toe in, seeing if it is warm enough to go swimming with the, I’ll call them ‘oldies’. The oldies are going to show the newbies the ropes and hopefully lead them in the right direction with their writing. Now some oldies are just as unprofessional and unconfident, so I think that is giving the newbs false leadership because then when the newbs decide the water IS nice warm and safe, they find they’ve jumped into shark infested waters that the oldies never warned them of at all!

Confidence is opening a vein. Have you ever walked into a crowded room, all eyes were on you, and your stomach started churning and gurgling? You stood there with beads of sweat starting to form on your brow and the palms of your hands were sweaty? That is your lack of confidence rearing it’s ugly head trying to get you to bolt right out the door. But in your confidence, you stand and walk through the throngs of people with a gentle smile, and you look at the people, straight in the eyes, and make your way to the buffet table!

A confident writer is one who has written a tale, has read the story and maybe even revised it, walks into his classroom and delivers one of the most outstanding short stories the people have ever read. They attack the grammar, fix a few sentences, tear apart your spellbinding work and you, you walk away from the buffet table feeling full as if you have eaten the entire table. Your peers liked your work so much, they felt it worthy to straighten a few things out with you. The confident writer goes back to the table, takes all of their advice, reshapes, re-forms the tale and brings it back to the classroom shiny and new.

They love it! Now the confident writer seeks a market for the story. Searches and searches until they have found a home for it, and when (not if) it gets published, you go back to your peers and they all let out a roaring clap and congratulate you.

Now the not-so-confident writer fears even pulling her/his work out for everyone to see. They’re the ones who either bolt out the door as soon as the eyes are upon them. Or they walk slowly to the buffet table, head lowered, never seeking eye contact with one individual. They eat (read others work), they nibble (give a little feedback) they mingle (befriend and enjoy the camaraderie), and soon, after seeing that the people are all just like him/her/them, the confidence starts to build and slowly but surely, they are sharing their work.

Whether good or bad, you will never ever get an ounce of confidence if you don’t walk in the door, and take a big old chomp out of what scares you the most! With fear you will always remain a newbie in a world of popular confident people.

My entire point here is this: Share your writing with confidence! Or you will remain a fearful newbie writer for a good long time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Write On!

If you have an hour, will you not improve that hour, instead of idling it away?
Lord Chesterfield
***

The world of writing is all about writing. Trying so hard to over please people, clicking the LIKE button one hundred times a day, does not make people LIKE YOU more it makes you pitied more. I have joined a couple of new writing sites where a like button is obscure. And the one site that does have a like button I haven’t seen anyone going down the board clicking like to something as simple as “my dog died”. You know these people don’t even read what they are clicking like to, they just want to BE liked and are over compensating while looking a little foolish.

No this isn’t at facebook that I’m speaking of, this is just my observance elsewhere on the net. A site that I no longer promote because honestly, its an embarrassment and I would not refer a professional, only for them to lose money because that is what they sought, a professional writing atmosphere.

Writing takes focus, writing takes commitment, writing is the breath of you and there will come a time when you can like your way into peoples lives, and some will buy it, but professionals won’t. A professional writing site is focused on your writing, your creativity, your story and structure, they don’t need the like button because everyone is equal!

That is what I seek in my writing journey, like minded people, who are creating and crafting stories, willing to give honest feedback, and are a comfort to wake up to, not a big scare. I laid my dream on the line, now I’m going after it without all the idle distractions of the day.

What will you do this new year to make your writing dream come true? Will you waste it trying to be liked? Or are you going to write, snag that keyboard by the keys and begin tapping ‘til your fingers bleed? You betcha!

Things to get you focused on WRITING:

1. Open your MS word, or whatever program you use, and begin with...”The clouds swept over the house...” or something to that affect. I notice if I open with an action line, many other words start to flow that I didn’t even know I was sitting down to write!

2. Disconnect from the internet! That is one of the main distractions to writing and that is the internet, looming in your browser, if it is open, you are more tempted to be distracted from it!

3. Focus on writing AT LEAST 500 words at one sitting. When you take away the distractions, more times than not, you can produce more than 500 words at a sitting.

4. Open the internet but only for research reasons! We may have written a 1500 word short story and need to do a reference check or something. Be strong, and focus on RESEARCH!!!

5. Have confidence in yourself. You DO NOT need a Social Scene to boost your moral, or to get you writing. If you honestly go there to boost your writing, then why all the LIKES? You are not focusing on writing, you’re more focused on being accepted, popular and LIKED. In the WRITING world, focus on WRITING
!!!


So there you have it, all the tools TO WRITE! Writing software, focus, NO INTERNET, research tools, and most importantly, confidence in yourSELF! Now WRITE ON!!!
What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself.
Hecato, Greek philosopher

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dream On

“Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don't listen to anyone who doesn't know how to dream.” ~ Liza Minnelli
***

Dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come true. Ahh the words of a song by Aerosmith. I remember as a kid hearing this song and it just moved me on to dream. Sitting there with my feet up on the sofa, foot and head bobbing along with the song until finally I was on my feet playing air guitar! Those were the days.  Just like my aim with this blog, to move you on to dream of becoming a writer.

You see so many reality shows with young people dreaming of being singers, dancers, winning a million bucks for stranding themselves on an island with some other folks with the same dream. I even remember a day where stand up comics were given the spotlight to see if they had what it takes to be ‘professional’. Why is there no show for writers to showcase THEIR work.

Ok somebody is going to steal my idea, and I lay claim to it if they do, because maybe I want to see a show, of wannabe writers standing up on stage reading their work and in as few as 500 words hook the audience, and only giving the audience more, if the writer has nailed hooking them and leaving them wanting more.

Oh this reality show is only on dream status for now (tv producers out there? Contact me, I’ll give you the entire idea, for a small price. ;) ) You see it would never come to fruition unless you of course wore your most sleaziest outfit, showed lots of cleavage, and delivered something that our sick society would want.

You, as a writer, have a job to do. You’re writing is not just a dream. I was always told by my siblings when I said I wanted to do this or that, to 'DREAM ON!' And that is all I ever did was dream. I never had the encouragement from my siblings that I do now from the writing community, and that is what I’m here to tell you, DREAM ON... you can do it! You’re dream can become a reality. Stick to it, write your heart out, never give up, and as Liza said, “Don’t EVER listen to anyone who doesn’t know HOW to dream!”

Sometimes words can elicit a dream like the famous works by Martin Luther King, “I have a dream...” There comes a time in everyone’s life, where we dream a dream of bigger brighter and better days. This is my dream, to see each of you reach out and fulfill your very own dreams! I’m tired of all this talk about ‘reality’ shows, lets make our DREAM, a reality!
 

Are ya with me? Dream on, dream on...dream until your dreams COME TRUE!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ Soul Dance




Soul Dance
***
I’m consciously aware of dipping my toes
into the stars yet no one knows.
They care to know all physical things
not wanting to dance where a soul now sings.

My soul is one that loves to prance;
jump right in and take a chance.
Free my spirit that quietly rests
among the earthly peasant guests.

I’m free as a bird that soars on high,
I mingle with lights spread through the sky.
I float on by with nary a care
of dogma drizzled in the air.

My spiritual quest on which I ride,
is out in the open no reason to hide.
My journey glides from idle distraction
into the unknown where rises reaction.

To one I am all and all I am one,
giving my soul to some or to none.
Within my essence is formed a quark
a barrier of light to protect me from dark.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quotation Saturday

FAITH

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.
~B.C. Forbes

Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine. 

~Henry S. Haskins

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there.
~Author Unknown
 

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.
~Victor Hugo

Faith is raising the sail of our little boat until it is caught up in the soft winds above and picks up speed, not from anything within itself, but from the vast resources of the universe around us.
~W. Ralph Ward


BOLDNESS
Few novels or plays could exist without at least one troublemaker in the group, and perhaps life couldn't either.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
 

Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences whence it is bad in council though good in execution. 
~Francis Bacon

I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more, as I grow older.
~Michel de Montaigne, translated
 

The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.
~Theodore Roosevelt

IGNORANCE

Before we work on artificial intelligence why don't we do something about natural stupidity?
~Steve Polyak
 

You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do.
~Norman Juster

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.
~Mark Twain

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
~P.J. O'Rourke

THE WICKED

Gen. 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
 

Ex. 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
 

2 Sam. 4: 11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
 

2 Sam 22:22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

RIGHTEOUS

1 Tim 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
 

Phil 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
 

Tit. 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
 

Rev. 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Charlie in the Box

"When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it also helps us to develop inner happiness and peace." 
- Dalai Lama

Nobody wants to play with a Charlie in the box.  I love that line in Rudolph when Rudy tries to guess his name, “I know, it’s Jack.” and the reply  “No, my name is Charlie,” the sad crying box goes on to say. So why was Charlie on the Island of Misfit Toys? Because, all together now, “Nobody wants to play with a Charlie in the box.”

As a writer, you will sometimes feel this way as you write things no one wants to hear about themselves in your words. You’ve hit a nerve, and with that you get tossed out onto the Island of Misfits. They don’t mean to, but in their anger, they put up a shield of protection against your words and can not see you there. Either they are justifying their actions, turning a blinds eye, shutting you out completely, or running in FEAR of the truth. They remain at a distance, pretending to care, but really they are the ones that put you on the Island. You are now a misfit.

Nobody wants to play with a ‘Charlie in the box’!

It is okay to be on the Island with other misfit toys, because you have reached into your reader and touched them so much that they hurt, are angered, hate or just want nothing more to do with you, yet they keep on reading your words. You become Charlie; alone, in isolation on the Island, but there, you don’t feel the warmth of being loved and appreciated in life. Or do you? I’m okay with that because I have a mission. I’m not here to please all of the people all of the time, I’m here to strike a nerve within you, as a writer! I am not here waving my arms, flagging down a passing sleigh trying to get someone's attention. I’m not a people pleaser and I’m not an overactive drama queen (or king). I will not conform to a way that others have conformed to because God created me to be more in life. The one thing writers do in life is get easily side-tracked and distracted. You can ask any of them

Why do you think there are so many writing posts on GOALS and FOCUS? It’s because we as writers find the pretty colors and images of the day distracting so we stop writing and put our fingertip in the pool of colors and play. We finger-paint our way through, we play and enjoy what is offered to basically anyone, and you all make sure you put Charlie in his place, and isolate him from Santa’s workshop where all the happening elves are making merry.

Sure why not, as long as you don’t have to write.  You’ll do anything to be distracted from it. Go ahead play all you like, but one day you’re gonna say, “Where did all that writing time go?” Well go look in the sand, there is some words there, oops it’s all washed up, which is what you are, if your not sitting at home, writing the story or novel of your dreams! FOCUS people!

I think I’ve went and isolated a few people with my writings about how addicted everyone is to facebook. Some could care less what I wrote and shrug off my posts. They are the ones confident with who they are, not embarrassed or ashamed at all! They actually HAVE lives. But others have climbed into their closet of guilt. It is theirs, so I let them embrace it for a spell. Me? I’m visiting King Moonracer today and asking him if he has plans to upgrade this place. “Yes, Charlie. You will be our bearer of news to the writing community who tells all the boys and girls about us!” Can you just imagine an isolated writer? :)

 It’s okay, I still have you, all my followers and the new writing sites I’m joining will have new friends too. I might get picked up by Santa after all and put in a nice little home! I’m looking forward to it!
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Story to Tell...




Prov.10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

As a leader in the world and the writing community, I see something that knits us all together. We all have a story to tell. Even if it was not a dream of ours, or maybe it was and we just got lost along the way (see yesterdays post) we all need to be aware that we have a story to tell and how you write, effectively drawing out emotions in the reader, will either spell success or fail in your journey.

As our story unfolds, heartstrings will be tugged and like a rubber band, it will snap something in the reader. Either a tear will exit the eye and make a beeline for the chin, or maybe a crinkle will appear on the mouth and form a smile. Maybe a fevered pitch will drive a stake right in the heart of your reader, and anger will bubble up to the surface and a scream will bolt out of the mouth. Whatever emotion that is elicited, it will have to come from bringing it home for the reader.

I have met quite a few people that have said, “I’m a writer,” and I know many who are ‘published writers’, I know many who write, but again, it isn’t the story you tell or the perfect sentence structure, it is the emotions that are tied to the story. I don’t care if it is a sci-fi thriller, a Western, or Romance, (I think we all relate to them in some way) or a supernatural thriller, we have to tell the story with the reader in mind. We need to reach them, or we have no story.

Allowing your best friend to say, Good story! Loved it! Really does not tell us how we’ve done in pulling on the heart and making them feel as if they were in a Narnia-like closet, lost among your very words. We need them to express how their heart pined for the star-crossed lovers, we need them to say “I cried when I read about Mary’s death.” Why did they cry? Because you reached into their heart, and touched a cosmic emotion that wriggled the tear ducts and left them feeling pangs of pain.

Is that what we want? Pain? Not necessarily, but we do want to get an emotional reaction. If we just TELL a story, we are not going to get any reaction except maybe, “Well that was nice.” When we take it to the level of a writer, we are going to show them the same story, only they will say, “Wow! That was great! Touched me all over!”  Can you see the difference?

I know a lot of people who read my poetry, who really don’t even like poetry, say things like, “I got it! It touched me! You moved me.” That is what I like to hear.  I wrote my dad a birthday poem (as always) and my mother said, “It was beautiful. I could really feel the emotions in it.” I know I know, it was my mother, but I said, “Did dad cry?” She said, “I don’t know about him, but I sure did!”

YES! I scored! I got a tear out of the reading of my poem. I went back, read what I wrote, and even *I* welled up at the reading of it! Daggone it! Not me. I’m not supposed to cry! But as a writer, even sometimes WE need to cry too at the good writing of our souls. Every one of us has a story to tell!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

See Yourself Here?

Pss. 73:20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
 
Do you see yourself in my words?  Last weeks posts were all about having you see yourself in my words as I sorted out the state of my mind. Although I know my mind is not your mind and we are all different, we are the same in many ways, for one, we’re writers and as such we share a common bond; a string that links us together whether you like it or not.  I know that through the years, many people I’ve known have looked to doctors, and pills, alcohol and social scenes on the net, just to feel like the pit isn’t so deep and swallowing them whole. I have not been exempt. Nope, I jumped right in, feet first, and wallowed in the abyss with everyone else, and must say, I enjoyed it, it was fun!

But I stood back, looked at the pool and it was a green mossy goo and grimy. It was as if the sludge had covered all the bodies and scenes of a horror show came to mind as only the faces surfaced, distorted in a grotesque fashion, and I knew, something had to change. But I was not going to change. I was enjoying myself, justifying my actions, I continued. Until that is, while my head was turned, I smacked into a solid brick wall! Not the soft ones that your mind conjures and you walk into without a bump on the head. Nope a rock solid brick wall.

I was forced to change. You see how these posts came full circle? I went from facebook forcing a change in my social scene addiction to today’s post of  the All powerful God, forcing a mighty change in my life! You might again say, “That is not me, I have no problem.” But He sees in me what He himself created, and I’m not using it so He took action to make me see.

I am a writer! God created me to write and as I lost sight of that, got lost in the murky water, I realized why my face was poking through, all of our faces, because that was to keep us breathing so we can take action and change, or stay covered in the marsh, floating on your back, with just a grotesque face showing.

Do you see yourself here? In all of my writing, whether my poetry, in the scripture I share, or in a story I tell, my goal as a writer is for each of you to see yourself, take a look in the mirror, and see if that is the you that God intended, or are you just another character in a story hiding among the myriad of words behind the masks that you yourself have created.

Through this blog, I want you to see yourself AS
a writer. If God intended that for you, then embrace the words He puts in your heart and give the world a you, that you can be proud of. Share stories, journal your thoughts, learn how to build word  upon word, a story that everyone else can see themselves a part of. Don’t make it all about you. Connect in ways that you were born to connect with. Thread by thread you will be building a blanket of warmth that lights the heart and souls of others, just the way that He intended.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Commit to Writing


It is within my power to commit to writing. As I give up a few things, I will be drawn to other things, possibly forming a new addiction. An addiction to writing is not a bad thing. Did you ever notice that the word ‘addiction’ makes you cringe? Probably because addict sounds negative, but not all addictions are of the negative. I come from a long line of family members who have been addicted to drugs, alcohol, you name it, and as I clawed my way out of the mire to become a free spirited addict of writing, I lost many family members along the way.

I met new family members in the world of writing, who not only shared my addiction, they are pushers too, they pushed me forward and helped my addiction grow into the fruit producing tree that is spoken of in the bible. My new family has come along side me, embraced me, my quirkiness, my beauty, and my words. I met many at f2k, my beloved writing course that I gave up, and as they moved into the Village, I embraced them to welcome them all to the family, that so lovingly welcomed me many years ago.

Some addictions you recognize as more painful than worthwhile. Some addictions abuse you, so you must give them up, whether positive or negative, you just have to, to save your sanity! My writing has never abused me in any way. It is an addiction that I will carry to my death, and possibly to Heaven where I can meet with the writers that have gone on before me. Maybe we’ll share, maybe we won’t, but I do know that committing to my writing is what this year is going to be all about.

What will you commit to in the new year? Are you not going to change at all because you like where and who you are? I’m not that old that I can’t see when the time of change has come into my life. I’ve been here through many journey’s, many climbs over mountains and through the boulders of life and I walked away a better person because of each choice I made. I think that is the operative word, choice. You need to see that boulder as a mere pebble. You need to look at that mountain and don’t whisper, you demand it, move mountain! And with all the strength you’ve gathered from your Lord, your faith carries you and the mountain, in a remarkable amazing fashion, moves.

You have a choice to change things. You can stay the same and as you do, not one mountain will move and not one boulder will sway, you will become trapped by the deluge that has fallen into your life of loneliness, you will become overcome and suffocate. Is that what you want for your life? That’s all fine and dandy, but it is not what I want. I have a choice and I choose life, and my commitment to writing! I will not be as the sleeping man, caught unaware when the change comes. When you sleep (know what I am speaking of) you will always remain idle in everything. Every venture, every spurt of possible growth, you will miss, because you were too busy sleeping.

Mark 13: 33- 37 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.


My inspiring journey: Soul Songs

Monday, January 09, 2012

Pros and Cons


You know, there is a useful side to the Social Network, facebook. As I see Writers Digest, and many other writing pages soar and become LIKED by thousands, I wander in, seeking the benefits to which I might reap. They offer posting of your writing, critique, contests, and some even have magazines that offer publication! So that is one of the good things to come out of Facebook and all the other Social Scenes for me. Am I ragging on them too much? I’m a writer and I need the technology to advance my learning and to write my work. The computer and the internet is a part of the writers arsenal.

I seem to come down pretty hard on the Social Scene, but again, there is a marked difference in the Social aspect, and the Networking aspect. I love all the Christian pages, so much so I can get lost in them, too. Commenting and praying throughout the day, but again, it is just a means of justifying my time spent on there among friends. Maybe I’m addicted to my friends??? Well let me tell you, they have been an ironclad support system whereas my family members have been a wet leaf of support!

Every aspect of life has Pros and Cons and the Social Scene is no different:

Pros:
1. You make friends in the writing world to which you might have never had the chance to meet, and they are SUPPORTIVE, to the brink you wonder how you got through life without them!
2. You gain from knowing these people because you can brainstorm on your work.
3. You get to be a nosey busybody, and become friends with basically everyone that you know and that all your friends know.
4. You find out who really cares, sincerely, not just for the show.
5. These people via my blog and FB just might become lifetime friends who actually give a hoot!

Cons:
1. There is a non professional feel to the Social Scene, that leaves you crying out in utter disgust as you seek sanity.
2. You get used and washed up, tossed aside like a worn kleenex.
3. People want to become your ‘friends’, not because they care about you, but because, they want to know your business.
4. You make a deal with the devil that you can not take back!
5. You become an addict, no different than the drug abusers. So, you’re not harming yourself with toxins, but sometimes these sites ar toxic!
6. You’re absorbed into the sponge like atmosphere and become a social fungus.
7  You become oblivious to the harm it is doing to your psyche.
8. You justify your actions, again, just like a drug addict. “I don’t have a probelm.”
9. You’re in the maze of confusion and have found peace there.
10. Swallowed whole, your life no longer has purpose and meaning. You’re a washed up old rag, and you like it!

As I head into the New Year, I go with God. I will keep my health issues to myself and allow you all to just keep sending up prayers for me and in some way, you will know that I am okay. I can not pretend and like my way through life, I have to have something physical and real that I can hold onto even if it is for a short time.

The cons outweigh the pros of the social network for me BUT my point in all of this, is this. KNOW your limits, stay focused on what you need to do to get to your next goal you’ve set for yourself. Achieve something daily, to make up for the wasted time. And always and I mean always keep WRITING!!! That is more essential than ANY socializing scene!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ A New Day

Pss. 14: 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
***
A New Day

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

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

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

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

A new day is dawning
inhale His holy light.
Glory will shine through you
with radiance so bright.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Quotation Saturday

ON WRITING
***

"Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them."
~Allan Gurganus
 

"A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes."
~William Sansom
 

"However great a man's natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once."
~Jean Jacques Rousseau
 

Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write."
~Robert Penn Warren

BREVITY
It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.
~Robert Southey

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
~William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1918

"In good prose (says Schlegel) every word should be underlined!" that is, every word should be the right one; and then no one would be righter than another. There are no italics in Plato.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea.
~David Belasco

SELF-CONTROL         
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
~Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence, 1967

The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person.
~Norman Vincent Peale

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
~Buddha
 

And so, Reader, (for it is time to have done with guessing) would I bid you conquer in your warfare against your four great enemies, the world, the devil, the flesh, and above all, that obstinate and perverse self-will, unaided by which the other three would be comparatively powerless.
~Augustus William Hare

SIMPLICITY
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.
~E.F. Schumacher
 

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
~Elise Boulding

Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.
~Robert Brault,
 

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
~John Burroughs
 

“It is with simplicity, brevity and self-control that I will go on writing. ” ~Joni Zipp

My NEW Christian Blog: Soul Songs~ My Minds Eye

Friday, January 06, 2012

Finding My Place

2 Cor. 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

A week into the new year and I’m just trying to find my place. I thought I knew where I was heading last year, but I got caught in a tailspin then it all went haywire and out of control. An illness attacked my body and a dark force tried pulling me down, but I kept the Lord front and center (as always) and with Him by my side, I am overcoming many obstacles.

I have come down heavy on the Social scenes this week because that is one of the dark forces that tried swallowing me up. I say dark force because it distracted me from what God had intended for me to do in MY life.  To many, Social Scenes are their life, to me it is just a fun playground, where I ran around and lost myself in the zany crazy aspect of life but when I started losing sight of my goals (see Mondays post) I realized it was time to move on into the new year and into the Light.

To find your place, you need to embrace the reality that is before you. Sure you can drown in your virtual world, pretend that you’re working, tell yourself this is what you enjoy doing and this is fulfilling to you, but really think about what you’re saying. A technological gadget, has swallowed hours upon hours of your time, you wake up to drink coffee with a virtual social world. You sit all day updating a status and liking and when it is time to go to bed, you wake mid-morning and find yourself sitting at the Scene, posting that ‘you’re awake.’ Is this what God had planned for your life?  A lot of people pray, asking God for things, but did you ever pray and ask Him what He WANTS for your life? Do you hear what He says when He speaks/answers???

While I love my friends dearly that I’ve met in the virtual world and would not trade one of them for anything. They are my friends and know me respectfully and know that it is time for my mending and healing. This string of posts are all about me and how *I* need to change my life. If, for some reason, you see yourself in these threads, then maybe that is God speaking to you, not me. 


While Social scenes might be to some, their world, it can not be my world. My healing is physical, my  life is going to gain spiritually and the waves coming through a machine, sometimes hinders that flow of the spirit. You can ‘post’ a hundred scriptures a day, it doesn’t bring you (or anyone else for that matter) any closer to God, than when you speak to Him directly. The reason I posted scriptures was because I am sharing my walk with Christ. If someone gets moved to Christ, well then, All Glory to Him!  My motto, “Don’t talk the talk, if you don’t walk the walk.” This is where I walk...

It is Monday, and I have written five days of blog posts including this one, over 3000 words, and that’s not including all five days for next week, and my journaling, etc.!  I’m focusing on NOT giving up writing, because that is a part of my spiritual healing. As I move into the second week of January (lookout people. This series of threads will drift into a more promising outlook), my healing along with My Savior, is right beside me, and we shall move forward into the Light that I need to be in. I’m finding MY place, are you?

Gal. 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Social Misfit

Why am I such a misfit, I am not just a nitwit...


Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
~ Mother Teresa ~

I walk into Church on Sunday morning, hand outstretched to greet someone, I smile and say hello to the regular Sunday morning attendees, and I have a big smile for the ones I might not recognize and see them as new potential attendees. I go on to praise God, like it says in the bible, and to lift my voice in Glory to Him.

I might walk into a store and have the greeter greet me, but I return a big smile and an ample “Good Morning” too. I might attend a dinner with family members and I always have a smile and a chuckle for anyone who might be in need.  I think this is what is called socializing, in the real world, that is.

In the cyber-world, socializing is made up of  liking all sorts of things, doing things you might not normally do, and pleasing everyone you possibly can. I watch as Social Kings and Queens, meander through the walls and halls like ghosts, linger and haunting, liking and chatting, communing and accepting many things that in the real world, they might be totally hardened to act upon. To me, they seem like stalkers hunting their next prey. Eagerly over compensating, they try too hard to be something in the virtual social world when really, they are painstakingly lonely and crying out for help or some form of attention and this is their only means of communicating with people and touching in part, a part of themselves they need to reach.

Now some, socialize with finesse. I’ve witnessed them post, say thank you and go on their way. Very sparing with their bubbles, I have the utmost respect for the Classy Socializers, but the stalkers, just as in real life, are annoying to the brink of insanity and I’m wondering where I fit into this crazy scheme of things. I know where I belong, in the palm of my Lord’s hands embracing the reality of His world!

As I write this I realize some people will spit on my thoughts, fear of the truth, possibly become aware of their own behavior, and might decide to work on their addiction. I DO NOT apologize for my writings, my beliefs, I make no apologies for my faith; I AM who I am because HE made me who I am. No apologies necessary. God makes no mistakes. We need to realize that when we hit the TURN OFF button to the computer, we are then allowing ourselves entry into HIS world. Leave the virtual world behind, it is not the be all and end all of living! You DO turn your computer OFF, don’t you?

Sometimes I might feel worthless and alone, but an addiction is no way to fix what I broke, it only feeds the addiction more. I know I am loved, and who I am, makes me SPECIAL. It’s not about how many friends are on my list, not about how many likes I click that makes me who I am, it is about the light that shines from me, and everyone wanting a small tiny portion of that, and to them I offer... my outstretched hand, as I always do.

I do apologize to you, if you feel targeted by this post. I have no target in mind, this is just me sorting through the things that tried to swallow me whole in 2011. I watch as other people get swallowed up and I can only hope they recognize it also OR maybe they are happy and virtual socializing is what WORKS for them. Me, I’m happy being a Social Misfit.


Matt. 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Networking

 

A sticky situation...


Networking is a part of the online world. It is where the meeting of the minds takes place. Facebook is luring folks with the Social Network, but is facebook really all about networking?  I remember when I was new to facebook it was about finding friends, maybe from your childhood or high school that you’d like to reconnect with. I, personally, like connecting with my writer friends and a few family, but I in no way want to connect with EVERYONE in the world.


Me, I joined facebook to Network with writers and writing sites and quickly got swept away in the tidal flow of incoming friends, games, posts, the what ifs and what nots, apps and likes like blood to a shark! It became a virtual playground taking me away from what I came for and that was Networking! 


I joined twitter but didn’t like the aspect that it had a 60 word minimum or something like that. I’m a writer, I can’t say what I need to say in 65 words. I totally blocked Myspace from my computer, only because to me, MySpace is a sexual predators playground. With young kids posting explicit portraits of themselves, in hopes of what? Having a grown man hunt them down? Too many bad dark stories kept/keep me far away from MySpace. And too many perverts continue to prey upon kids there.


Twitter is a word only page and quickly people in my “Network” were following me. These are usually people from the Village where I attend an online course. Through my blog, I was networking as a writer through BlogCatalog and this is when my followers started growing in leaps and bounds, then it was onto Linked In and now I’m with Networked Blogs. And the list is growing and growing.


All this stemmed from the love of writing!


What is different from Networking and becoming a Social Fiend buff, a Facebook Addict if you will? Well, to me, with Networking, you remain focused on a very clear goal of accomplishing something of importance. My clear goal was, and I say WAS because I’m admitting to getting off track when my train was plowing through the worldwide web, my goal was to get my writing published, then to market myself or should I say, promote myself. A study found that Facebook addicts (a category defined by reportedly spending over four hours everyday on Facebook) had a higher incidence of depression and lower physical and general self-esteem levels than less frequent Facebook users.


As I got pulled into the playground-like atmosphere, I realized I was no longer on the Networking track, I was conforming to a Social Frenzy, something I honestly don’t believe in. I don’t like to follow along because everyone else is skipping and looking merry, I like to lead. I got lost with flowers and gardens, towns and pics and likes and shares, until finally the over saturated wall (my life) became nothing but bubbles of notifications. And you can’t turn them off! (maybe another glitch being worked on) Twitter doesn’t have BUBBLES upon BUBBLES of a like fest. With reality biting me in the butt, I jumped off the bubbly train and decided to regroup!


More like, grow up, prioritize, and focus! There’s that word again, focus. Even in my writing course, it has now become a Social Site, with all the pics, smileys, likes and dislikes, (yes someone actually gave me a thumbs down, imagine that!) and chat addicts; no longer a peace filled learning experience, TO ME! I actually justified my actions because I was one of the teachers, but again, the overwhelming immaturity of some,  has ruined it for the serious mindedness of others, ME.


And with that, I move on. I focus on my health, my blog, and hopefully finding a common ground with writers at a new site. I will Network, with like minded people, I will grow and heal. AND walk faithfully with the Lord.


authors note: before you jump to the conclusion that this weeks posts are targeted at YOU, allow me to say, it is about ME!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Timeline

Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
***
Well Facebook is at it again. This year was met with many changes at facebook and I heard so many griping people whine. Grown men and women, who for some reason, are so set in their ways that change rocks their world like a landslide! If you are a non-conformist like me, you won’t like change very much because it is like forcing a wet rag down your throat with no other option but to swallow!

That’s what facebook seems to do on a monthly basis. First the option of new security on who and who would not see your posts happened, new ads streamed the right of the screen like a frozen ticker-tape, people were subscribing and LIKING  things that their mothers would surely not be proud of (and it is streamed to all your friends) and the list goes on and on with the changes of 2011!

Are you a person who accepts any friend just because they request your beloved presence? Does that make you feel good standing at the center of all the likes, to where you don’t even realize you’ve accepted a stripper with lurid pictures on their wall which are then streamed to all your friends walls??? Do you even care who you ‘choose’ as a friend, just as long as the ‘friends’ list grows and you’ve won the popularity contest? Do you fear not being liked?

As we ended out the year of 2011, facebook was well on its way with yet another change in their pocketbooks! The timeline! They (the kingpins at facebook) want your facebook experience to be like a Newspaper of all your friends happenings. It’s much like the Enquirer, a mag that feeds you junk! Thank you facebook for choosing the junk of my friends that you will spoon feed me. Facebook (logical minds?) says, “is that if you’ve been away from the site for a few days, you won’t be in danger of missing the most important posts friends put up.” What? So it’s like getting an OLD newspaper, days out of print? Yippee?
 

This new Timeline was available to those who wanted to try it out before the new year, but come 2012, wet rag people, down your throat.
 

The NEW Timeline? :
1. Cover image: no more banners, just a big bold pic. (the new facebook is all about pics) Sorry blind people, you are excluded!
 

2. Friends, photos, maps, and likes. (the timeline is like a journal of all the things you’ve done on facebook, since YOU JOINED! And it is all SHARED with each and every one of your friends. How sweet! Good thing I seek all the Christian pages.
 

3. Choices in hiding the crud. (Yeah go back in time and delete the insane posts that your new facebook caused you to post)

4. Not much control on the settings, once again. (Facebook remains in the driving seat, YOU are their Truman Show!)
Who can find me? Everyone? Friends of friends? Friends? Where is the ONLY ME option, Zuckerbird? Can’t limit access either? CONTROL FREAK, ZUCK! And when someone POSTS on your wall? Whether you like it or not, you CAN NOT remove it!!! It 'appears' that you can, but try it. (possible glitch being worked on)

5. LIKE/UNLIKE button is still there as is the SHARE button. (the over-abused like button is the only thing you have in the race to popularity and having people LIKE you. It’s what facebook is all about. The SHARE button is again for personal use only to share things on YOUR wall and hope your friends come visit you to catch it. (What’s the point of sharing to yourself?) Oh wait it gets streamed (spoon fed) to others IF they’ve subscribed to your newspaper!

So the NEW Facebook isn’t all about networking, it is all about YOU, Socializing and being liked for it. It’s about sharing your pains, sorrows, laughter, and embarrassing posts. YOU are Truman on the worldwide web! To me, it’s all about stepping in poop barefoot and having everyone come and take a sniff. So you can see how much I like facebook, new or old!! I’m not whining about the ‘change’ The pics are pretty cool! But it is like the bouffant hairdo. Too big, and will wear out quick. For me, it already has, anyway.

Enjoy the new Timeline, the New Year, the likable You!! I’m out >>> ---------->>>

Truman: Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

1Tim. 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Goals for the New Year

"So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible."
Marian Wright Edelman

As the new year begins, this is the perfect time for setting your goals; whether it is for the week, the month or the coming year! As writers, we need to have goals in order to accomplish them. A lot of writers make plans by spelling out their goals; they make a list, either on white board or in a document, so they can visually SEE the goals and once they’re achieved it gets marked off.

Say for example:
January’s Goals
write story
revise story
edit story
find market
query
send

Or maybe the goals are simpler in that it’s a time line for your novel. You’ll need to follow each character created so the consistency remains solid throughout the novel. Or maybe executing goals was your problem in 2011? Whatever it was for you, goals were made to be broken. It seems like thousands, no, millions of people make resolutions when the year ends and the very next day, they break them like an egg into a frying pan. There goes your goals, all fried to bits.

You need to set realistic goals, ones that are possible to accomplish and carry out. How many people say, “I’m going to start going to Church! Every week in the new year!” or “I’m going to quit smoking!” or my favorite resolution across the country, is, “I’m going to lose weight.”

You’re setting yourself up to fail. I’m setting myself goals that I aspire to keep. But when you’re addicted to things it is not easy to just say, goodbye addiction. Some people are in the throes of social addiction. They NEED the sites, so they feel a part of something solid and whole, even though it is a virtual, temporary, blissful world. Maybe it is what completes them as a human being, maybe it fulfills the empty aches in their heart? I don’t know, but I realized that while the internet is a voice-box to the world, I also realize it can suck the oxygen right out of your lungs! Some know where to draw the line, some can’t draw the line, and some have no desire to draw the line. I’ve decided to draw the line and work on my writing, not the social ins, outs, gizmos, apps and gadgets. A danger to computers and lives, everywhere!

Networking is an entirely different use of the net, that as a writer, is necessary. But is it all about pics and ‘like’ing? Networking is connecting, it is not a social popularity contest. Suffering from low self esteem is an entirely different blog!

As we enter into a new year, goals are all a part of feeling as if you have something to reach for in the year, and maybe accomplish them too. And when next year ends you can look back and say, “I set goals, AND I followed through!”

My goals for the new year:

1. Use facebook to network with other writing sites/writers.
2. Focus on MY writing!!!
3. Focus on my health and not being a Socialite
4. Remain focused on my Lord and Savior.
5. Be strong, endure the pain, chin up and move on!

Basically I’ve set pretty achievable goals for myself, so I don’t set myself up for failure. The tie that binds my goals? FOCUS!!!

authors note: Please keep in mind the views on this blog are entirely mine and not targeted at anyone. I’m entitled to an opinion too, I’m a writer! 

addendum: My Lord and Savior has and always will be first on any list in my life, it's a given. 
 
 Happy New Year! 

Silent Protocol

Silent Protocol
Angel Always...godspeed

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award