Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The query letter is what is going to get your foot in the door. Are you getting rejection upon rejection? Maybe it is the query letter and not your novel at all.

In the query letter to the publisher you will become your best marketing tool. You need to sell yourself to the publisher and not giving them a good enough nibble of your story may cost you the possibility of getting your wonderful masterpiece accepted.

You’ve finished your novel (or article), you’ve revised it, reworked it, taken the advice of your peers and changed what needed changing and now it is ready.

But wait…you’ll need to query the editor first and see if this is something that they would be interested in. An agent working on commission is only going to accept what will make him money. You need to tell them (the agent, publisher or editor) that this piece of art is going to sell, sell, sell!

Now think of cutting your entire manuscript down to one page. That’s right, you’re going to sell yourself in one page and give them the gold mine that they’ve been searching for.
Don’t go on and on about yourself, there will be plenty of time for that AFTER he accepts your work.

Just like starting your novel/article you’ll want a hook (and please make it dangle with a tasty worm so you can reel him in.) Tell him a little of what your story is about by asking a ‘what if’ question and leave him dangling for the answer. Don’t spill it all in a paragraph.

Try not to bloat the imagery. Bloating will give you an adverb filled telling query when you want to SHOW them what makes your book special. Try not to tell him it is a Stephen King like novel or this will send a red flag to them that you’re not a pro in this challenging field.

Whatever you do, don’t give him (editor/agent) all of the chilling details of your ending. Allow him to savor what you’ve written thus far and leave him begging for more. Your end to the query letter will also be the place to put in the ‘you’ part. Your experience and credits you have to your name. Give him the manuscript length and ask if he’d be willing to give it a read, thanking him for his time. He may want sample chapters and this is when you will send him three for a taste of your art. SASE and send it off!

You should hear back from them in three to four weeks, if not, a brief cordial note asking if he is considering your request.

If a rejection comes in, it was your query that didn’t sell him. This is why the query is of vital importance. Make it SHINE brighter than the morning sun!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Funday Monday!

Picking a title

Picking a title for your story is almost as hard as writing it (notice I said almost.) The title needs to grab the reader and have him/her scratching their heads wanting to read the inner circle of words that is making this story so compelling that it has the quirky title that it bears.

Short titles with a slant work well. I mean how many people read To Kill a Mockingbird only to find out it wasn’t about mockingbirds? But the title grabbed you enough to pick it up right? Do you judge a book by its cover? Of course you do, that is another reason you picked it up. Let’s try to aim for four to six words with your title.

Go to your local bookstore or library and look at the titles that grab you. Pull the book out and examine the cover. It will help if you are looking in the genre in which you yourself are writing. Sometimes titles in a cookbook aisle will feed the title for your mystery. "Dice it and Slice it" would be a quirky murder mystery title found after searching through the cookbook titles.

Keeping the buyer in mind and what your reader is looking for will help you in picking just the right title too. Make your reader a part of the title. Knowing the type of gal or guy that you are targeting will help in defining the perfect title. A romance wouldn’t need a title like "Fire Bomber" maybe "Pop Tart" for the elusive flirty woman in the romance? The secret woman within all of us perhaps? "Loose Lips, Lose Lovers". Ahh, the ever lovely alliteration for a title. It must be the poet in me who likes this one.

Whatever the case may be, choose a title wisely. Make it short and sweet, with the ability to roll right off the readers tongue making them want to see what is lurking inside that they MUST read!

Funday Monday Word day ~

felicitate ~ [fi-lis-i-teyt]
1. to compliment upon a happy event; congratulate.
2. Archaic. to make happy.

doggerel ~ [daw –gruhl]
comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure.
rude; crude; poor.

gadfly ~ [gad-flahy]
1. any of various flies, as a stable fly or warble fly, that bite or annoy domestic animals.
2. a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.

rhetoric ~ [ret-er-ik]
1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display;
2. the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
3. the study of the effective use of language.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Poetry Sunday

Soul Storm

Stately shields of white do bask
hiding the blue blazing mask.
Frothy crested domes of light.
Billowy blackness haunt the night.

Sweeping across the fading miles
caps are crowning glorious tiles.
Dominating the borne domain
master of the azure plain.

Nightshades flutter amid the stance
nimbus clouds begin their dance.
Clustered as a prism bay,
thunder erupts so cleaves the day.

Floating weightless without a sound.
Lightning bolts seize the ground.
Erupting in calamity's heat.
The soul and cosmos briefly meet.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quotation Saturday

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
~Robert Frost

Know the rules, and the rules will make you free.
~Orson Scott Card

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
~Mark Twain

True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
~Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"

The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax.
~Alfred Kazin, Think, February 1963

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do - not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad.
~Stephen King

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
~Henry David Thoreau

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

Friday, September 26, 2008

*Funny Friday*

Writers in the making…

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail. Amen."

And one particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel microphone, & as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord & nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles & jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother & whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

Six-year old Angie & her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang & talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church." "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church & said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."

A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, & led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked. "He died & went to Heaven," the dad replied. The boy thought a moment & then said, "Did God throw him back down?"

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, & shouted, "Thou shall not take the covers off thy neighbor's wife."

Psalm 12: [7] Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At This Point in my Life

What I'd like to do, is express myself through song lyrics.
Moods can sometimes be a window to the writing world.
Share with me...
At This Point in my Life
Tracy Chapman

Done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right
Oh I ...Oh I've
Done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right

At this point in my life
I've done so many things wrong I don't know if I can do right
If you put your trust in me I hope I won't let you down
If you give me a chance I'll try
You see it's been a hard road the road I'm traveling on
And if I take your hand I might lead you down the path to ruin
I've had a hard life I'm just saying it so you'll understand
That right now, right now, I'm doing the best I can

At this point in my life
At this point in my life

Although I've mostly walked in the shadows
I'm still searching for the light
Won't you put your faith in me
We both know that's what matters
If you give me a chance I'll try
You see I've been climbing stairs but mostly stumbling down
I've been reaching high always losing ground
You see I've been reaching high but always losing ground
You see I've conquered hills but I still have mountains to climb
And right now right now I'm doing the best I can
At this point in my life

Before we take a step
Before we walk down that path
Before I make any promises
Before you have regrets
Before we talk commitment
Let me tell you of my past
All I've seen and all I've done
The things I'd like to forget

At this point in my life
At this point in my life
I'd like to live as if only love mattered
As if redemption was in sight
As if the search to live honestly
Is all that anyone needs
No matter if you find it

You see when I've touched the sky
The earth's gravity has pulled me down
But now I've reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine
If you can give it a try
Then I'll reach inside and find and give you
All the sweetness that I have

At this point in my life
At this point in my life

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Writing Course!

F2K is a six-week online FREE writing course.

A free writing workshop will be coming to the Internet near you very soon. Writers Village University and the honorable R.J. Hembree are bringing the six-week course to you. I say honorable because he has given to the writing community more than they can ever imagine.
Through his University I have seen people come and go, stay and never want to leave. If you are committed to the writing craft, you’ll stay and eventually find yourself down a winding path to publishing.

Writer’s Village has spawned a lot of writer’s who have had their stories worked on in a workshop and the stories went on to become published novels. Short Stories have found their way into the magazines and other online venues making the Village a hidden success story.

To the left where you’ll see my "My Friends" links, click on these to see some of the success stories coming out of WVU. Many of these authors who are currently in WVU have gone onto become a published author but they remain dedicated members so they can help new budding writers find success in the craft of writing.

Don’t be intimidated because they are ‘published’. Remember they were where you are now. They too were undecided where the writing life was going to take them and here they are ready to aid and assist the newcomer.

You do not need to be a member of Writer’s Village University to take this FREE course. It is FREE! No strings attached!

You WILL learn:
Week 1 Character introduction
Week 2 Activating the senses
Week 3 POV (point of view)
Week 4 conflict
Week 5 characterization
Week 6 plot/theme

Watch my blog closely as I announce its arrival. If you’re interested in writing, not sure if you want to be a writer, or if you just want to have some FUN writing, you might want to give this course a try. Experienced mentors are on hand to guide you along the way and the best thing is, it’s FREE!

Are you game?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Funday Monday~Vulgarity

Vulgarity ~

Should we use vulgarity in our writing? Only if it suits the character you are writing for. I see many authors who like to use it like spilt milk, they’re all over the place with it. But I ask you this, does it really enhance the story?

Stephen King says in his book On Writing, don’t skirt around the talk just because it isn’t in you, the writer, to use foul language. Remember this is a character and if a gun-toting butt kicker comes into a bar and he is in the middle of starting a gang war, would he ask if he could use the bathroom to take a pee? No, he’d sure enough use the vulgar term and say, "Where’s the shithouse, I need to piss!"

I’ve read tons of Dean Koontz books and I am hard pressed to find a vulgar word even with his tough characters. It doesn’t take away from the character, Mr. Koontz I assume, finds it an unnecessary way to move the story forward. Don’t get me wrong, he has used vulgar words when they ARE necessary but they don’t absorb his book like a sponge in water. He is very adamant about writing his story with the respect of the reader in mind. Does he sell top-sellers? Repeatedly!

The choice is yours as the author to where you want to take your novel or short story. Keep in mind your reader though because they will be the ones who either like or dislike what you are writing and they are the ones who will PAY to read you.

Today’s Funday Monday Words:

vulgar ~
1. characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste: vulgar ostentation.
2. indecent; obscene; lewd: a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.
3. spoken by, or being in the language spoken by, the people generally; vernacular: vulgar tongue.
4. lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary: a vulgar painting.

banal ~ commonplace; tired or petty

profane ~
1. characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
2. not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular
3. to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of: to profane a shrine.
4. to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.

obscene ~
1. offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.
2. causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
3. abominable; disgusting; repulsive.

vernacular ~
1. (of language) native or indigenous
2. expressed or written in the native language of a place, as literary works: a vernacular poem.
3. using plain, everyday, ordinary language.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Poetry Sunday!

Mystical Waterfall

Walking to the waters crest
the sound of a spraying shower.
There amid the foliage guest
belies a hidden bower.

Stretching along the waters edge
within this cove I’ve found.
The moistened place no longer hid
with its forceful rushing sound.

My clothes I peel and lay aside
to wade this peaceful setting.
I now become the water's bride
the fall my face is wetting.

My head tilts back just a bit
cascading water flows.
In this steaming abode I sit
away from worldly woes.

Serenity has a hold on me.
May its presence never cease.
Here alone to freely be
I’m one with intimate peace.

copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quotation Saturday

A true poem is distinguished not so much by a felicitous expression, or any thought it suggests, as by the atmosphere which surrounds it.
~Henry David Thoreau

Some people are making such thorough preparations for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.
~William Feather (1889-1981)Writer and publisher

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves. ~C. Astrid Weber
It is the little writer rather than the great writer who seems never to quote, and the reason is that he is never really doing anything else.
~Havelock Ellis

I am a man, and alive.... For this reason I am a novelist. And being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog.
~D.H. Lawrence, preface to Shestov, All Things Are Possible, 1938

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.
~Sinclair Lewis

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?
~Friedrich Nietzsche

What things there are to write, if one could only write them! My mind is full of gleaming thought; gay moods and mysterious, moth-like meditations hover in my imagination, fanning their painted wings. But always the rarest, those streaked with azure and the deepest crimson, flutter away beyond my reach.
~Logan Pearsall Smith

Friday, September 19, 2008

Funny Friday

Welcome to Funny Friday (or not so funny) Mild Language. Aww, just this once!


We all know finding work can be challenging, but recently, GURU added a new slant when it offered writers a project for "flash product demons." But not to be outdone, Job Sleuth would like a writer who can "work with all the angels." So take your pick, folks... the battle between good and evil is just waiting for that next proposal!

How the media would handle the end of the world

Wall Street Journal: Dow Jones Plummets as World Ends.
National Enquirer: O.J. and Nicole, Together Again.
Inc. Magazine: 10 Ways You Can Profit From the Apocalypse.
Rolling Stone: The Grateful Dead Reunion Tour.
Sports Illustrated: Game Over.
Playboy: Girls of the Apocalypse.
Lady's Home Journal: Lose 10 Pounds by Judgment Day with Our New "Armageddon" Diet!
TV Guide: Death and Damnation: Nielson Ratings Soar!
Discover Magazine: How will the extinction of all life as we know it affect the way we view the cosmos?
Microsoft Systems Journal: Netscape Loses Market Share.
Microsoft's Web Site: If you don't experience the rapture, DOWNLOAD software patch RAPT777.EXE.
America OnLine: System temporarily down. Try calling back in 15 minutes.

Q. How many writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Ten. One to change it; nine to think they could have done it better.

Wilma and her husband Barney, a hard-working writer, go to church every Sunday, and during the service Barney falls asleep. One afternoon Wilma goes to the priest and asks what she can do. The priest hands her a needle and tells her to prick him with it everytime he falls asleep.The next week at church Barney falls asleep while the priest is talking and when the priest asks who is our savior? Wilma pokes him with the needle and he yells out JESUS!!Soon after that he goes back to sleep. The next question the priest asks is: Who is Jesus's Father? Wilma pokes him with the needle and Barney yells out GOD!!and goes back to sleep. The last question the priest asks is what did Eve say to Adam after he impregnated her for the 99th time? Wilma pricks him with the needle again and he yells:IF YOU POKE THAT DAMN THING IN ME ONE MORE TIME I'LL SNAP IT IN HALF AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ARSE!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Print on Demand ~~

Print on Demand is the term for digital printing technology that will bring your complete manuscript to be printed and bound in a mere matter of minutes. A lot of author’s are going this route so they are not stuck with hundreds of books that sit in the garage and they have no way of selling and promoting their work.

What’s the catch? It is this: you are paying to publish your own work. In other words it is self-publishing all of your hard work for a fee. All self-publishing is costly but there are quite a few out there that are reasonable.

POD allows you to print up say, as little as three books, and market them to the right places and see if they are well received.

Self publishing vs. POD
SP - The writer controls all aspects of the publishing process, from cover art to print style to pricing.
POD - You get limited services depending on the package you choose.

SP -You retain all rights with self-publishing, you remain in complete control depending on the package you’ve chosen, and with self-publishing you get all of the proceeds
POD - You get ‘royalties’. They get paid twice, once when you choose a package and have made the final decision, and then they get part of the royalties from your book sales

SP - You retain all rights.
POD - You basically give up those rights when you choose a POD service.

These publishing houses don't provide proofreading, editing, or marketing (although some publishers offer these as add-ons to the basic publishing package, at additional cost mind you). READ THE FINE PRINT!

The POD houses look like vanity publishers to the unknowing writer, and some are. They are there to take your money, make your dreams seem hopeful, and in the end, the vanity publisher wins AGAIN and who gets left behind? You, the hard working author who has waited years upon years to see his/her work in print.

There are a lot of things to consider before shelling out the money for a POD book. Besides being expensive, the quality might not be up to par, your book will not be publicized, they will be frowned upon in professional venues and many book sellers will not be putting YOUR book on their shelf.

So once again I say, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before getting all worked up. Think things through and see if your work wouldn’t be better placed with a real publisher who is ecstatic about what you are offering. Don’t set yourself up for a fall. Be patient with your work and all the success will be worth waiting for.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Enter At Your Own Risk

Entering contests is a nice way to get into the knack of submitting. Although your chances of winning are diminished by the amount of writers entering the contest, you should always read the fine print before entering.

Some contests offer hefty prizes to lure you in, while others feed off of your desire to publish. Beware of the vanity contests. They are like sharks in an open sea just waiting for the vulnerable partaker to nibble so they can devour you.

What is the lure? The questionable contests will tell you that you will be "offered a book contract." Winners don’t find out until much later in the game that they will have to agree to pay a fee for publication, or agree to pre-purchase a certain number of books, OR they may be asked to pay the said publisher for starting a publicity campaign.

There are also contest mills that are making money off of YOU, the unsuspecting hopeful author. They’re not scams per se, only because they have actual winners who receive prizes. These type of contest exist for no other reason but to make the mill money, hence the name contest mill.

Winning a contest may make you feel like you’ve accomplished something worth putting on your resume but they hold no weight in the industry unless it is from a prestigious contest like the Golden Heart Award conducted by the Romance Writers of America. Or the Malice Domestic contest run by St. Martin's Press, or maybe even the Writers of the Future contest, which is judged by well-known writers and editors. Prestigious contest is the acceptable route for a writer.

Try to be realistic in what you expect from the turnout. A lot of times the contests do not allow simultaneous submissions so your piece of work sits in limbo for the length of the contest when it could possibly find a home in a magazine, paper or anthology.

How can you spot a scam? Do your homework before putting any money in the mail. If you’ve researched the group holding the contest and come up with nothing it more than likely is a scam.

Google is an excellent place to begin because one word can find the truth for you.

Ask yourself these questions before shelling out any money:

Is the contest "free"? Usually poetry contests are free and this is a red light to a vanity firm reeling you in.
Is there an entry fee to the contest? This doesn’t make it legitimate any more than it screams VANITY publishers. Again, do your homework!
How often is the contest run? If it is too often then let the red light in your head go on.
Are the guidelines specific enough? Many contests are focused on one aspect, varied categories means a red light should be going off.
Whose doing the judging? A reputable company may not name names but since you KNOW it is reputable it is acceptable. But if an unknown contest is keeping the judges names from you, this again is another red light for you.
Have you read the fine print? This is ESSENTIAL to do! If the fine print sounds like jibberish and lingo you don’t understand keep your money and buy a dinner out, you’ll be glad you did.
Maybe the tides will turn in your favor and you can shout to the world, "I've won, I've won! AND it was a legitimate publication firm. I'm IN!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book Trailers

Book Trailers ~ A picture is worth a thousand words.

The book trailer is the new (some will say not-so-new) advertisement for your book. It gives a whole new spin to your work. I’ve seen a few of them done and it is a pretty exciting venue for the new author to showcase his or her work.

You’ve seen movie trailers right? Well the book trailer is a little like that except in front of the pictures is scrolling parts of your story. The sleeve of your book will tell a little to the reader so that they will buy the book. Now with new age technology someone came up with the brainstorm to do Book Trailers.

It hasn’t been around long but it may be the new way to promote your work and feed it to tons of possible buyers out there in the market. I’ve found an informative blog who talks about just book trailers and if you click the title up there or here --> BOOK TRAILERS it will take you to the site.
Now go take a peek and see all of the possibilities that are out there to promote your work.

I know, I know, you’re still writing that great American novel or short story, right? And you have more of the craft to learn yet? Well that is okay too. It doesn’t hurt to look ahead and dream of where your book will end up besides in the trash bin.

Forge ahead with your dream! Dream big and big dreams will come true. There are so many possibilities for self-promotion out there today that if your book isn’t flying off the shelves you need to ask yourself, "Am I doing all I can to promote my work?"

Note from author: todays pic is of the State House in
Annapolis Maryland

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funday Monday

Language is the human form of communication that we use everyday to convey a message, tell a story or to relate news.

Throughout history language was used to build bridges of communicating to one another and to this day, it still is. (My apologies to the deaf/mutes who I am excluding from language as a form of communication.) Although other forms of communicative systems are used by every species, it is language that is the most widely used by human beings.

The grammar rules are what define the English language. There is a structure, form and a system that plays into the use of correct language. I’m not here to discuss foreign languages such as Japanese, Chinese, or Spanish (and many other languages) because I know absolutely nothing about them.

Linguistics (not to be confused with linguine) is the scientific study of language. Theoretical linguistics is the study of syntax, phonology, morphology and semantics. Basically it is studying phonetics (the sounds of words), morphology is studying the way words are formed and the composition of words, syntax are the rules on how to form phrases and sentences.

The human language is referred to as a Natural Language, it is in a constant state of change and if it weren’t it would be deemed a Dead Language.

Did you ever think of language as a structure? Well when you become a writer, your mind is always thinking of language on all levels because if you didn’t then you would be considered a dead writer. (ok that is my theory in trying to add some humor to the post.)

We have words that we use regularly, we have words that are slang, we have dialect that shifts with the coasts, and we have languages that we have never known or learned. That’s me, I’ve never learned a foreign language because I’ve always enjoyed picking apart the English language so much, I’ve never gotten around to learning a different language.

Whatever the case may be, explore your language in depth so you can bring your writing to the table and have all of the readers gobble it up. If you don’t understand the make-up of your own language how do you expect readers to understand what you’ve written?

Here are some words for you to mull over. Words you might use in your everyday language or in your writing. Now go make some sentences, form them into paragraphs and get that story written! Now wasn’t this FUN? I didn’t think so. I can hear you now, "About as much fun as a root canal." :-)

a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation; a proverb

1. full of, marked by, or of the nature of clamor
2. vigorous in demands and complaints

1. to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime.
2. to serve to make (a fault, offense, etc.) seem less serious.
3. to underestimate, underrate, or make light of: Do not extenuate the difficulties we are in.

1. to consume (liquids) by drinking; drink: He imbibed great quantities of iced tea.
2. to absorb or soak up, as water, light, or heat: Plants imbibe moisture from the soil.
3. to take or receive into the mind, as knowledge, ideas, or the like: to imbibe a sermon; to imbibe beautiful scenery.

1. existing in one from birth; inborn; native: innate musical talent.
2. inherent in the essential character of something: an innate defect in the hypothesis.
3. originating in or arising from the intellect or the constitution of the mind, rather than learned through experience: an innate knowledge of good and evil.

quiescent: kwee-ess-uhnt or kwy-ess-ent
being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless: a quiescent mind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poetry Sunday!

The Secret Garden

Bellflower bluebells basks in the meadow.

Thorny thistles lie in the ghetto.

Dancing dandelions run in the field.

Wilting wallflower sanity's shield.

Irreverent iris' play in the soil.

Wacky weeds burst without toil.

Victorious violets vie for attention.

Wanton will weakens perception.

Lilting lilies leap from the earth.

Doting daisies demand rebirth.

Panicky pansies parallel pleasure.

Lust is lost amid the treasure.

Rambling roses the trellis awaits.

A graceful gardenia gallantly gaits.

Towering tulips taunt the path.

Inner search sweltering wrath.

Ornate orchids ogle the sun.

Perpetual petunias pause for fun.

Dainty daffodils dally in the garden.

Fallacy feigns my heart to harden.

Lovely lotus lavishly stands.

Brilliantly borne of my own hands.

Intricately intimate my mind can create.

Bellowing blossoms in a garden of hate.

Behold the beauty of which I told.

Hidden meaning the garden does hold.

For every drop of rain that pours.

Poison purity; the choice is yours.

copyright © Joni Zipp

For Sweet Susan! She is one of the beautiful flowers in my garden, always there when I need her. Thank you Susan! ~~ Joni

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quotation Saturday

Find the writer within you waiting to come out. Paint a picture with words and become a brilliant artist.
~Joni Zipp

Our poems will have failed if our readers are not brought by them beyond the poems.
~Muriel Rukeyser

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
~W. H. Auden

Some people are making such thorough preparations for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.
~William Feather (1889-1981)Writer and publisher

The spirit of creation is the spirit of contradiction. It is the breakthrough of appearances toward an unknown reality.
~Joan Cocteau

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
~Joan Didion

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do - not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad.
~Stephen King

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
~Henry David Thoreau

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

It only takes one person to change your life – YOU!

~Ruth Casey

Friday, September 12, 2008

Freaky Friday

Funny Friday plows forward to tickle your funnybone!

A shy guy goes into a bar and sees a beautiful woman sitting at the bar. After an hour of gathering up his courage, he finally goes over to her and asks tentatively. "Would you mind if I chatted with you for a while?"
To which she responds by yelling, at the top of her lungs, "No, I won't sleep with you tonight!"
Everyone in the bar is now staring at them. Naturally, the guy is hopelessly and completely embarrassed and he slinks back to his table. After a few minutes, the woman walks over to him and apologizes. She smiles at him and says, "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you. You see, I'm a journalist and I've got an assignment to study how people respond to embarrassing situations."
To which he responds, at the top of his lungs, "What do you mean $200?"

Three men: an editor, a photographer, and a journalist are covering a political convention in Miami. They decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says "Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish."
The photographer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him on off to St. Thomas.
The journalist went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off to the Mediterranean.
Last, but not least, it was the editor's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.
"I want them both back after lunch" replied the editor, "the deadline for tomorrow's newspaper is in about ten hours.

Excellent Writing Advice

In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.
Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency and a concatenated consistency.
Eschew obfuscation and all conglomeration of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations.
Let your extemporaneous descants and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.
Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy and vain vapid verbosity.

If you are really interested to know, the above means: "Be brief and don't use big words."

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."
A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Enjoy your day and smile at someone...they'll wonder what you're thinking.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In memory of September 11

September 11

I cradled my morning coffee,

my eyes they struggled to see,

a horrific terrible tragedy,

unfolding in front of me.

Today’s background clutter,

seemed to take a second stance,

scrambling cameras everywhere,

gave rise to a deeper glance.

A plane had hit a building,I

couldn't believe my eyes,

the horror of a gaping wound,

of such an enormous size.

By now I'm jolted wide awake,

something was just not right.

I witnessed the impact yet again,

on the twin without a fight.

Billowing smoke and fragments

scattered all around.

People frozen in a spot,

as objects fall to the ground.

Reports of other targets,

were coming into view.

My tear-filled eyes wondered

what this world was coming to.

In merely a matter of moments,

my blurry eyes did see,

heroes rushing into the scene,

as workers fought to flee.

The crumbling of a building,

number two not far behind.

The crashing of plane three and four

had stupefied my mind.

I couldn't feel my fingers;

a wounded numbness arose,

I sat in total disbelief,

from my head down to my toes.

Longing to be shaken,

from this nightmare that is real.

My body shrouded in emptiness,

as I buckled to a kneel.

I prayed for love-torn strangers,

whose faces were racked in fear.

I longed for welcome solace,

through the shedding of a tear.

The aroma of terror lingers,

as I'm trembling to the core.

I long for the taste of freedom,

which I sense will be no more.

A sleeping nation awakened,

by trumpets sounding in heaven.

Altering our lives forever,

on the day of September eleven.

Copyright© Joni Zipp

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Making Money

Are you making money from your writing? And why is that?

In today’s world of fast paced cutthroats, writers need diligence to get them to make money from their writing. A good writer makes little money from all of their hard work whereas a great writer makes an income. Now an excellent writer is, well, you know, sitting around his pool drinking Mai Tai’s basking in the glory of all his/her published works.

No, I don’t really believe that is what the excellent writers are doing. I believe they are writing. They continue to write their hearts out no matter how much money they have garnered from a previous published book. It’s a tried and true method for them to keep on writing.

Now before you can start writing for money, you are going to need material that is publishable. And it must be good enough for somebody to WANT to pay for it. Ask yourself a question. "Would a publisher be interested in spending money on MY work?"

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 08, 2008

Funday Monday

Alliteration ~ The repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words.

Alliteration can be a fun form of free-form writing. Fanatical and in a frenzy of thought, thinkers normally noisily tap on the keys to make a monstrous sound. Creating a conundrum of calamity in their wake, the writer wriggles words of the same sound onto the page before them.
Poets use alliteration to make their words sound fluid. Writers use them in prose to make their words flow effortlessly off the page.

Wordsworth wrote: And sings a solitary song
------------------->That whistles in the wind.

Tennyson wrote: The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
---------------> And murmuring of innumerable bees.

Joni wrote: Bellflower bluebells basks in the meadow.
---------> Thorny thistles lie in the ghetto.

(remind me to share the entire poem The Secret Garden with you. It is full of alliteration AND meaning.)

Some might deem alliteration a tongue twister but I personally feel that alliteration has more to offer than the old saying, Sally sells seashells by the seashore. We’re talking a mild flow of repetition, not an annoying anomaly. When used in writing the writer has a tide of thought behind his/her skill of the written word. Use alliteration sparingly and watch normal words turn into poetic prose.

From Joni’s work:
I try to be all I can be
Sometimes more than I should
Should I be less than I could?
Or could I be what I should?

a-nom-a-ly ~
1. a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
2. an incongruity or inconsistency.
tongue twister ~
a phrase or sentence that is hard to say fast, usually because of alliteration or a sequence of nearly similar sounds

prose ~
The ordinary form of written or spoken language, without rhyme or meter; speech or writing, sometimes, specif., non-fictional writing, that is not poetry
id-i-om ~
1. the language or dialect of a people, region, class, etc.
2. a phrase, construction, or expression that is recognized as a unit in the usage of a given language and either differs from the usual syntactic patterns or has a meaning that differs from the literal meaning of its parts taken together (Ex.: not a word did she say; she heard it straight from the horse's mouth)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Poetry Sunday

Sight of the Night Soul

The stars have splashed my blinking eyes

Blinding me with its disguise

Now the light may crystallize

All that I have seen

The tree bears fruit of every kind

To thee I wish to be defined

For all the light now has me blind

Senses nearly keen

Confused by sight and sordid sound

Truly lost what I have found

Kneeling on the trodden ground

From thee I must be weaned

I hide behind the night lights shower

Not to frail I will not cower

Safely under the bridled bower

The storm clouds thus convene

Lofty soul these things I seek

Strengthen me when I am weak

Of this earth among the meek

Grasping sights unseen

copyright © joni zipp

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Quotation Saturday

Through every cloud that shields the light, there is a brilliant ray of sunshine waiting to touch you. ~joni
All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
~William Wordsworth

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.

There’s a difference between writing for a living and writing for life. If you write for a living, you make enormous compromises, and you might not even be able to uncompromise yourself. If you write for life, you’ll work hard; you’ll do what’s honest, not what pays.
~Toni Morrison

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
~Ray Bradbury

"By far the greatest thing is to be a master of metaphor.It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others.It is a sign of genius, for a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of similarity among dissimilars."

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
~Logan Pearsall Smith, "All Trivia," Afterthoughts, 1931

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
~Mark Twain

Friday, September 05, 2008

Freaky Funny Friday

With Freaky Funny Friday I try to bring a smile to the board. Everyone needs a smile in their life otherwise life might look too serious. Keep smiling and enjoy your day! TGIF~ joni

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.
When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"
He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

Ode to the Spell Check ~~author unknown

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It cam with my pea sea

It plainly marques four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee fore two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer tolled me sew!