Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Lonely Christmas~

Psalm 34: 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

Lonely Christmas?

Where are you Christmas?
My heart is hanging low.
Like a tattered worn out ribbon;
a frayed old crumpled bow.

Tinsel has lost its luster;
lights have all drawn dim.
I cradle my lonely Christmas.
My tree I just won't trim.

Where do you hide, my Christmas,
this joyous festive season.
Shine your light upon me,
give my life a reason.

Swaggers all set astride,
ready for the day
while all alone I sit and cry,
for love to come my way.

Underneath the velvet stars;
the cratered moon so high.
I wonder what the sheer night holds.
I scan the open sky.

Where is my treasured Christmas,
a Rockwell theme of yore;
family gathered all around,
glistening lights galore.

Want and greed have sold you out,
your nothing but a show.
No longer lighting up my life,
my Christmas holds no glow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quotation Saturday

I can't think of anything to write about except families. They are a metaphor for every other part of society.
~Anna Quindlen (1953 - )

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~Jane Howard, "Families"

No matter where you live, brothers are brothers and sisters are sisters. The bonds that keep family close are the same no matter where you are.
~Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

Family isn't about whose blood you have. It's about who you care about.
~Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park

The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.
~Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
~Ettiene De Grellet

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

That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
~William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

Author’s comment:
As I passed through the shadows of the week frozen in pictures and memory are that of a great family get together. My family is back home in Maryland, but I have been welcomed and loved by this family, Steven’s family. They embrace my quirkiness, delight in my smile, and care for me in depths unimaginable. I have to admit, they are forever entrenched in my life. They give my life new meaning and it is through them I retain strength to go on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What to do Wednesday

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:5

Well today is Wednesday, the day before the big feast. But already my week has been full with family and food that I think I might take tomorrow off and have lasagna!

I am soooo kidding! I have to have turkey on Thanksgiving like everyone else. It’s as if the tradition was set in stone many moons ago and anything other than turkey for thanksgiving is just another day, right?

I do digress. I think Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful. Not just for turkey and food, but all things present in your life. A day to give thanks to Our great Lord and Savior for the blessings that He and He alone has given us.

Sure we can go out and buy food, we can enjoy a feast, but isn’t it great to take this one day and focus on The One? Many people will not eat a meal today, many will wander the streets searching garbage bins just for a crumb of food that will hold them over to the next trash bin.

See? As we sit here, tapping on our keys wondering what we’re going to write, there are people with so much less than what we have. So tomorrow and possibly every other day, take the time to THANK your God, your Allah, your Savior, whoever you choose, but thank the very being for making all of this in our world possible!

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving! “Give thanks, for it is who we are that makes us become who we want to be.” ~joni

I’m thankful….

I’m thankful for that one warm ray,
That shines on me to lighten my day.
I’m thankful for the dewy grass
That tickles my toes as I pass.
I’m thankful for the fragrant air,
That wafts on by without a care.
I’m thankful for the torrents of rain
That soaks my skin; releases my pain.
I’m thankful for the budding flower.
That blooms in glory, a scented shower.
I’m thankful for every timeless season,
new bark; new bough with endless reason.
I’m thankful for all the joyful bliss,
that graces my cheek as a gentle kiss.
I’m thankful for being allowed too touch,
that one lost soul whom needs so much.
I’m thankful for every little thing,
that has no worth, but smiles they bring.
I’m thankful for the minuscule,
for that is where my soul can rule.
I’m thankful for all my eyes can see,
breathless beauty from God to me.
I’m thankful for all of this and more,
The love of life, the chance to soar!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Monday...

1Chron. 29: 11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Well yes, today is Monday.

Had a nice weekend, rich with family and church. Now today is Monday my rest day? ha ha ha, as if. Cleaning, trudging, working, preparing, that’s what’s on today’s agenda. But I couldn’t go on with this week without giving you something to do in your writing life.

Have you been sending out your work? Have you made it a priority? Don’t worry, I’m the procrastinating type too. Maybe next week my vision will be a little clearer as to what on this God’s green earth I’m supposed to do!

Here’s a market or two from Funds for Writer's, (one of my favorite sites) to keep you busy writing AND submitting!


Pays three cents/word up to $30 for short fiction.
Submit genre or literary stories between 100-2,000
words. Our preference is between 500-1,000 word stories,
but we will happily accept longer stories. See online
for defined categories.


In dire need of submissions. A Twitterzine for optimistic,
near future prose poems. They're flash length, and look ahead.
Looking for: prose poems of optimistic, near future SF that
fit within the 'tweet' limits (check out Twitter); i.e.
maximum 140 characters long. Pays $5 each. Limit one submission
per week. Only pays through PayPal.


Beginning January 1, 2010, Whispers Publishing will host
the "Make it Quick" writing contest. The contest is open
to all writers published and unpublished. Looking for
Erotiquiks which are hot, steamy stories of 2,000 words
or less. These must be complete stories with a hero, heroine,
and a plot. Be creative and don't limit yourself. Any genre
or time period is acceptable, but the story must follow all
of Whispers guidelines and can not include any of the taboos
listed on the submissions page. So whether it's the West you
long to write about or a futuristic world of your own
creating, challenge yourself by tightening your story into
2,000 words or less. Deadline January 31, 2010.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $25, an award
certificate, a contract for publication, and a promotion
package upon publication of the work.

First Place Winner: $15, an award certificate, and a
contract for publication. Second Place Winner: $10, an
award certificate, and a contract for publication.
Third Place Winner: $5 and an award certificate with
consideration for publication at editor's discretion.
Two Honorable Mentions will receive award certificates.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poetry Sunday~ Give Thanks!

Romans 14: 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Giving Thanks...

For all we are and all we do
we give our thanks each day.
We live, grow, change and mend
I give my thanks and pray.

I thank my mother and father
for all the things they gave.
Within their hand they held my life
but only One could save.

I led the life He wanted for me
although the road was rough.
I never look back with any regret.
the unpaved journey was tough.

The path was laid before we were born
the forks were all in place.
Which we chose was a cosmic bend
that altered time and space.

I found a cross in my walk
as I wandered through each year.
Whimsical times and frenzied mind
He made it all come clear.

The crystal shell lay in shards
glass was torn to pieces.
He put them all together again
My love for Him never ceases!

I thank the Lord for carrying me
through life’s seasoned highway.
I’m mended now because of Him,
No longer are things done my way.

It’s His way or No WAY!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quotation Saturday~ Thanksgiving!

Lev. 22:29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.
If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.
~Phillips Brooks(1835 - 1893)

One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.
~G.E.Lessing (1729 - 1781)

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
~Chinese Proverb

You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act.
~Barbara Hall, A Summons to New Orleans, 2000

In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.
~Ellen DeGeneres, (attributed)

Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light.
~Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), The Republic

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

Proverbs 16: 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

How do I write a writing post when so much is going on in my physical world that I feel like my head is in an ice bucket, frozen in silent animation?

The holiday’s are fast approaching and while I will be surrounded by family, I feel alone. Alone because my family is back in Maryland and could use the strength that I brought to the family and instead they are struggling on their own, alone also.

My hectic week will begin on Saturday and probably won’t give me a breath until the following Sunday when I’m sitting in Church thanking God for all of the blessings He has put in my life. Should I sit here and pout? Throw myself a pity party? Nah, that’s not who I am. I like to find the positive and run like the wind through the trees or harvested cornfields, and feel exhilarated for the things about to take place.

The clock is ticking, I’m wondering who this woman is, where is she finding the strength? Oh, yeah, GOD! You see, I should be in a frenzied, panicky mode, but I’m feeling ...what am I feeling, who knows? Weird? Strange? Yup, that’s Joni.

I am just going to take it One Day at a Time like all those anonymous groups say, and see what the Lord puts in front of me to handle. I know He only gives you what you can handle so I’m thinking, “He must think I’m a pretty strong chic to give me all of this!”

This came in the mail last week when I needed to hear/see/feel, “Joni, I’m here.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness joy.

O Divine Master grant that I
may not so much seek to
be consoled; as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying, that we, are born to eternal life!!!

These words resound in my life as I face this week. May you carry them with you also.

Amen? AMEN!

Angel always...godspeed...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Psalm 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
Intel has debuted a text reading device in the UK. A friend found this interesting enough to share with me, since he’s from them parts. Thanks Q.

This text reading device, to my knowledge is not as smart as the Victor stream but still, the way I see it, is that technology is finally catching on that there are people who can’t see or have the ability to read.

We sighted people take advantage of our ability to see. Only recently have I come to understand the nighties dilemma when it comes to not being able to see.(I lovingly call my blind beau a nightie so take no offense, please.) There are also people with low-vision who can’t see the screen even with visual enhancement tools. I’m glad to read that some, in the tech world, are showing signs of developing things for the blind, visually impaired, or the dyslexic folks of society.

I’m thinking, they are not doing this for money, they are doing this for human beings and that in of itself is remarkable because how many big-wigs out there care for something other than their pockets?

Speaking of pockets, this little device is the size of a paperback book? In the picture on their website, it shows the device looking smaller than a paperback, but I’ll take their word for it since the creators know what size they made it.

I wonder also about the publishing world. When we get our work published into a book, do we have any say whether we want this made available to the blind? I see all kinds of books available for download but what warrants ‘available for the blind’ or MP3 usage of our stories?

I’m thinking we should make it a clause in our contracts with the publishers. Sure we want our work in Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etcetera, but maybe we can also say, “I want this to be made available to the blind!”

Are the techno geeks the only ones going to step up to the plate and offer devices to the blind? When can we as writer’s make a difference also?

Now there is food for thought!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Follow me...

Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

You know, it hit me yesterday as I read a comment from someone on ‘another blog’. Thanks R. I might only see 22 followers in my following box, I have a bunch at the blog catalog too and R made me see that there could possibly be thousands reading my work.

Talk about intimidating. Me, a writer, being read by thousands? ha ha...every writer's dream.

When I was a kid, a writer is what I wanted to be. Only in the past six years have I been following my dream, studying the craft intensely, learning all I can and starting a blog where I can help other beginners follow their dream. I’ve been writing for twenty some odd years but never took it seriously, life happens, until a few years ago.

I don’t claim to know everything there is about writing and sometimes the technical stuff gets to me too. Whew, there is so much to learn here! A lot of other writing blogs take you down that technical road; they dissect every adverb, adjective, noun and clause for you. Me, I never liked Biology. haha

One thing is for certain. I love sharing! It is the life of me. I love sharing writing, I love sharing my fries, friendship,hospitality and a number of other things. If I can reach one person on this journey of mine, then I’ve accomplished what the Lord set out for me to do.

(Chorus) Today we follow, tomorrow we lead, and we’ll bring to the world all we are. A new world is dawning that we can help to build for tomorrow is our gift to you.

That’s an old school song. Don’t know who wrote it, or I’d give them credit for planting in my mind that I am a seed that has been nurtured and watered over the years and now I’m in the blossoming stages of my life where I can now release seeds into the world.

I think it was in eighth grade that we learned that song and today..I can still remember it word for word.

Song continues. We live and we learn. We change and we grow, we laugh, we cry and we share. But ours is the task to become what we try and live what we learn. Repeat chorus... for today we follow...

I like having followers, I like people commenting and saying they grasp what I am writing. I like knowing how many people follow me as it signals to me...the thousands out there that I know are there.

Thank you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Poetry Sunday ~ Seasons

Acts 1: 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp***
There are seasons that come
and seasons that go
seasons of essence
where we all must grow.

Fall for the foliage
we shed our past
silent sorrow
that never last.

Winter, the snow
will shelter our pain
blanket our soul
with granuled rain.

Spring’s the time
for life to bloom.
sprout through the season;
a fresh soul to groom.

Summer the season
renewed growth surges.
the year now complete
the new you emerges.
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quotation Saturday

Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
~Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.
~Dorothy Day (1897 - 1980), The Long Loneliness, 1952

You ask me why I do not write something....I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.
~Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910), in Cecil Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale, 1951

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
~Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
~Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), Dialogues, Phaedo

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
~J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973)

To believe in God or in a guiding force because someone tells you to is the height of stupidity. We are given senses to receive our information within. With our own eyes we see, and with our own skin we feel. With our intelligence, it is intended that we understand. But each person must puzzle it out for himself or herself.

~Sophy Burnham

It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
~Katharine Butler Hathaway

In fiction, we need to follow our instincts, tell the truth, and give the reader honesty!~joni

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Using the Flashback

Flashback Friday...

Flash back to a point in time. Last night? No, thanks anyway. The day is done we go on and we flashback to a place in time where we’re going to add to the story, enhance what you’ve written and give the reader more insight into your character.

We use flashbacks to reveal something in our characters, the antagonist or protagonist, that the reader doesn’t know about. I remember reading The Haunting of Hill House and being led down multiple parts of Eleanor’s personality through her flashbacks and insight to what she was experiencing in the here and now. (That’s an excellent book by the way.)

Some writer’s use the flashback tool without the reader even aware that they are using it. The flow is effortless, the flashback keeps the pace with the rest of the story, and it is never over-used to where you’re reading nothing but flashbacks.

Have you noticed in movies, the way flashbacks are used? They can be a tool for screenwriters too. How about in the movie The Sixth Sense, we get a glimpse of the character and through the use of Flashback we get a darned good ending to the whole story.

I understand that the flashback is sometimes necessary to the movement of the story, but over-done and you lose the reader. You need the FB like you need your morning coffee, and it will taste just as fresh and creative to the reader.

Writer’s Digest has an excellent article on the Flashback and how to use verb tenses, to shift the scene. Be careful though because you have to know the POV (Point of View) that you are in as a writer and which tense you began the book with.

I remember a time in my childhood when things were simpler, I never worried about bills, actually I never worried about life, it flowed for me without me even being aware. Then the time came I ventured out on my own (at 17) because I was a big girl and then all hell broke loose. Life happened, spun out of control and segued into my future. Nuff said.

So what are you, writer, going to write about? Are you going to tell a story without a flashback? Making everything clear from word one? Or are you going to tease the reader a bit with a dangling piece of chocolate and carry him down memory lane so he/she can see where the character has come from, where they’ve been and where they’re going.

It’s all up to you. You are in the creative driver’s seat and you need to head down the highway of bringing a story alive! I only hope that I’ve helped in some way of getting the points across for you to begin!

Write on writers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Worthwhile Newsletter?

One extends one's limits only by exceeding them.
M. Scott Peck

Thoughts for Thursday

Well today is going to be a long day. Is it Friday yet? I want this day to be over so I can move on and breathe again and maybe, just maybe, feel normal again. ha ha Me normal?

My thoughts for Thursday are about the writing industry. I receive tons of newsletters from the writing world and sometimes I wonder why I’m even subscribed. They’re chock full of tidbits on the industry, some have markets and some just go on and on.

I can tell you who my favorite Newsletter is from, Hope Clark. She has a website too and dagnammit, it is full of info too! And she doesn’t speak down to a writer, she speaks as if we’re all on the same page of our journey.

Some of the newsletters sound as if they are all speaking to well published authors in the industry. As if everyone has hopped on the publishing train and is going to ride off into the sunset while reading their newsletter on their laptop. Come on people, well published authors are off in some far away tropical location basking in the sun,frying and wrinkling their bodies while waiting for the next check to come in.

The reader who reads the newsletters are people who are still in the learning phases and the hunting for markets phase. Some writers don’t even bother with newletters (egads!) and they just make google their best friend.

My advice for the writer today is this: Peruse those Writing Newsletters. Make the most of them and allow them to become a valuable tool in your inbox. Don’t be inundated with spam, the newsletters are not the spam in the industry, they are the wielding tools in the biz. Remember that.

Funds for Writers ~ an extremely helpful site for the new writer and the old shoe.

Is today over yet?


I’m off to drift through the day like a carpet out of the realm of Aladdin.

Thanks for dropping by...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Blah Day

No blog today, I’m just not in the mood. Read HIS word. It is my comforter.

Job 15:31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.

1 Cor. 33: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Titus 3: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Psalm 18:1: I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

Psalm 31:[1] In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
[2] Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
[3] For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
[4] Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
[5] Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
[6] I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
[7] I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
[8] And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
[9] Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Because you are in control of your life. Don't ever forget that.
You are what you are because of the conscious and subconscious choices
you have made. ~Barbara Hall

Talk talk talk...that’s all I do is talk. So today’s post will be about Freedom of Speech.

I’m all for Freedom of Speech, but when people abuse this right I begin to wonder if the whole freedom of speech is worth it. Take for example my blog. I am allowed to say and post whatever I want. I choose information for people to learn and grow in the writing world.

I leave the comment option open for a reason. So that the screen readers (the blind and visually impaired) have easy access to making a comment because the word verification doesn’t allow the blind to see. I want them to have access to leaving a comment whether with a name or anonymously.

It seems there are vultures everywhere we turn this day and age and recently I’ve been hit by them swooping down on my informative blog to leave their ads of drugs and porn. Don’t get me started on what I think of these things because my rant will last for pages.

Luckily the stupid people don’t realize I, and I alone, have creative control as to what is posted on my blog and as soon as one of these perverted messages pop on my site, I immediately remove it so no one who is here to learn will have access to such crap!

I just wanted my followers to know that I don’t mind you leaving a comment anonymously but a name helps me to see that you are here to learn, like what you see, and enjoy my blog. You are my friends even though you are not seen, your voice is heard, or at least your words are read.

I look at it this way, maybe my blog is so popular that this scum of the earth sees it as a place to leave their junk because they’ll get hits? Ha ha ha! We laugh at them, right people? Right!

I would report this abuse but the higher ups will just tell me to limit my comments to a certain crowd. God forbid! I want all of you to have access, not a select few. This is what freedom of speech is all about, the freedom to tell me what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong!

Recently I’ve learned that there really is no way to contact the people of Blogger because millions inundate them with emails. We’re on our own people. I just wanted to let you know that I’m always keeping tabs on my blog and the content and most importantly the comments.

I appreciate you visiting and I hope you find something from this blog besides a place to place an ad. I HATE ads! I have an ad muncher installed just so I don’t see the disgusting things that people have to offer. There is enough strife in the world, do we need ads too?

Okay, I’m done talking. *smile* Thanks for visiting!

Here are two links to more audio books that I found:

simply audiobooks


Monday, November 09, 2009

Manic Monday

It’s just another manic Monday.

You know, Monday is the day of the week you wake up and realize it’s not the weekend and you must face another week of work. My work consist of writing, teaching,cleaning, washing, folding, scrubbing,vacuuming, cooking, raking, and that is just the beginning.

That is why I say it is a manic Monday because the whole week begins again with the notion, “What’s on the agenda for this week?”

On my blog my work is lessons of the written word, or spoken word, or just Thee Word.We’ve come a long way in learning the proper etiquette in writing. You know some people strive at the craft for years and never get anywhere, when some people who don’t even aspire to write, get published?

It’s not a freak of nature my friends, really. It’s a blessing.

On manic Monday my post must remain short so I can get to the gazillion other things that I must get to.

First on my lesson for the week is the period! No not the monthly type, the period at the end of a sentence. Okay maybe it isn’t even the period or other punctuation, it’s space, not outer space mind you, it’s the space after the period.

I was taught that on the written page, one space after the period is sufficient but last night I had a discussion where someone else was taught that two spaces were sufficient. This led me to wonder what is correct in the writer’s world. I sure wish June would pop in because I consider her to be a grammar pro and a very reliable source of information.

Anyway, this is what I’ve found on the subject. One versus two is a place where the discussion was mainly about on the web page spacing then it turns into an English grammar lesson. He said to “use as you wish” the info on his page, so here is the gist of the discussion.

Kathy Gill told him that the current typographic standard for a single space after the period is a reflection of the power of proportionally spaced fonts.

"The only reason that two spaces were used after a period during the 'typewriter' age was because original typewriters had monospaced fonts -- the extra space was needed for the eye to pick up on the beginning of a new sentence. That need is negated w/proportional space type, hence [it is] the typographic standard."

The design and Publishing Center went on to say:

"In the days of typewriter manuscripts the extra space was necessary to separate the ends and beginnings of sentences. The space character never changed. With the advent of electronic typesetting, the software attempts to 'fit' the type to specific line lengths, it both expands or contracts the available space to make the type fit. Word spacing is where most of this space 'play' takes place."

and they went on:

"With two spaces, there is 'more' space to play with, and if space is added (which is most often the case) the results are white spots, and in some cases "rivers" of blank spots in the body of text. This makes the body both unattractive as a visual element, and distracting to read."

Now it’s your turn writing friends. Which is proper? I know what my editor friends will say, “one space”. But I want my grammar friends to tell me what is right!

Deep sigh here...I will continue to dig this one six feet into the ground until I find something concrete that I can give you!

But for now I must go. Autumn beauty awaits as manic Monday beckons me.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tree of Life
In the vision of my eyes,
I see the world in a disguise
playing with the human emotion
like a child without a notion.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Quotation Saturday

The first snowfall clinging to a tree
"... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things."
~Anton Chekhov

"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

"A writer is working when he's staring out of the window."
~Burton Rascoe

"The secret of popular writing is never to put more on a given page than the common reader can lap off it with no strain whatsoever on his habitually slack attention."
~Ezra Pound

"You must write every single day of your life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads….may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world."
~Ray Bradbury

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

"In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give to your style."
~Sydney Smith

"…your reader is at least as bright as you are."
~William Maxwell

"…you have to develop a conscience and if on top of that you have talent so much the better. But if you have talent without conscience, you are just one of many thousand journalists."
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

"I write the first sentence and trust in God for the next."
~Laurence Sterne

Friday, November 06, 2009

Flashback Friday

Psalm 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

Flashback to a day in your past of peace and harmony. What? You can’t remember any? Well let me tell you... I can’t think of any either. ha ha

A flashback in the story is the one place where you will connect with your reader. Either they will relate to an incident or be blown away by the illusion. But we need the flashback so the reader will become one with the character. We can’t overload our work with flashbacks or we’ll lose the reader. They’ll get bored stiff if your character lives too much in the past.

We need to move on and by showing flashbacks and the here and now we can show how the character has moved forward in life. Fiction is a lot like real life and this is where you will drink your knowledge from the pool of reality. Sure we’ll embellish our fictional tale but if we’ve had no experience in such an event then we need to dig into the pond of research.

I like the non-fiction tales also. This is where we drink from our fountain of the past. Your past may be haunting, it may be a testament or it may just be like the guy next doors. Whatever the case there is a story there somewhere.

I myself have a strong testimony to my faith, but I think I might bore you stiff with it, so I won’t go there. The road of drugs and alcohol, the drowning in the abyss, the saving hand reaching down for me to pull me from the depths of hell, the death, the dying, the defeat all wrapped up in one life. Maybe Friday's will be my stories in flashback form? *wink*

When I read or hear others stories, I think mine was way off the boards of the norm and it comes across as fiction. But the flashbacks continue, the memories soar, the past haunts and the future awaits. The one thing I have is my Father in heaven’s arms wrapped around me, consoling me all the way, comforting me and carrying me.

I like for people to feel Him themselves because my words are just that, words. I won’t preach, I will only be a presence...hence the terminology Angel...always...godspeed.

Flashback...there was a time I floated in the midst of all encompassing love, soaring to heights forever unseen. In a display of arcs and wondrous colors, there I was immersed in the rippling waves of the universe only to find in an instant I could breathe air. My birth, oh what a glorious day.

Remember the flashback in a story. It will take the reader places, trust me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday...

The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.
~Stephen Nachmanovitch

I was thinking, Thursday should be a day of thoughtfulness.

Did you read yesterday’s blog? And I bet you got out of the house and did something with your day besides just sit here in front of your screen typing. I sure hope you did get out, because when you get out and move around this is where story ideas come into your thoughts.

I had a real nice long walk down this road out here. I think it goes a half mile to the back of the farm and boy do story ideas pop into my head. Isn’t it funny how we can look at an abandoned old barn, and a story idea pop into your head? Usually I come up with a scary story, I don’t know why, but a creepy farm with stalks of dried up corn reaching out to grab you, and squeaky metal doors clanging off in the distance, leaves and dry brush crunching underfoot. Geez, give me a dark night and a full moon and I’ve got a story!

Then as I watch my dog as she prances miles ahead of us, okay not miles but yards ahead and I think of the crazy thoughts that must be running through her mind and how she is loving the freedom that she has been given out here in Farm Town. Puppy story there, especially as she jumps on the crickets, prowls for animals, stalks the birds in the bushes only to pounce and scare them out of their trees and the squirrels, don’t even get me started on my crazy dog and the squirrels.

Although my son has a tendency to talk the entire time we walk, really I zone out and conjure story ideas in my head. Although, since exploring and a mile walk is part of his physical education, I take this time to just drink in all of the beauty that the good Lord has blessed me with.

Sure there are many pots on the stove and lots of things to think about, stressful things, but I’d much rather delve into the mystery of a story to be told. Thoughts are our best story ideas. They are harmless, most of the time, and they can lead to in-depth characters being born along the way.

Now keep your thoughts pure and you’ll have an inspirational tale to tell. I love a true life testament of faith story, know of any? *wink* Shameless plug here --> (The Drums in the Deep)

Okay now...have a thought-filled Thursday and may it lead you to the nail-biting, teeth-gritting good story that you’ve just been dying to tell! So why are you still here? Get typing!!!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Word Up!

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
Ernest Hemingway

So whats the word...the word up!

Sometimes I read blogs and wonder how all these people keep it up. Do they just fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way? I like to maintain my blog where there is information that people can use and where the posts only go to not more than 500 words. Imagine a thousand word post of nothing, uck! Now if it is coherent, that's a different story

My time is precious to me and although I don’t get done the million things I’d like to, I do like to think that my blog is something worthwhile where readers,writers and passers-by enjoy their visit. Whether it is for educating themselves, (tons of links to dip into over to your left) whether it is for the pictures, ( I have tons of those too for the visually unimpaired), or whether you just come for inspiration, (lots of poetry to scan through also.)

A blog is not a showcase like facebook, where you announce you have to go the bathroom, be right back sort of thing. A blog is a tool to illuminate your world. To allow people to peek in your window in a voyeuristic fashion, so you better give that person the best of you (you know, don’t be caught with your hair in disarray?) Or better yet, don’t be caught babbling about nothing or the people might move on to peek into the next window.

In the windowed world of information, I think peeping toms have gone out of fashion. We can all, in the living room or dens of our home, peek into peoples world, and get caught up in the fascination of, doing absolutely nothing. What would Jesus do? I personally think he’d give a ‘shout out’ to all the wandering sheep and give them an enlightening parable so they can see their way into the light, via understanding.

So this is what my blog is all about. Not a joyride through neighboring communities. Its not a playground where we meet and throw sand in each others face. This is a place where words run into punctuation and somehow form a sentence. Thus this is a tool of understanding.

To you my fellow bloggers, live and learn grow and love. To the voyeurs, there is a life out there and it is happening, whether you live it or not! It’s happening people!

Matt.9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Luke 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

Learn Out Loud...

Audiobooks are not just for the blind and visually impaired folks of society. Audiobooks are the new workout groove. People walk the treadmill, all the while delving deep into a book on tape and they get so lost in the book that they’ve forgotten that they have trudged a mile on the darned thing.Long hours in the doctors office are not so long with an audiobook. Or how about plane rides? Whew this little gadget will take the angst out of the flight for sure.

What I didn’t know about audiobooks and have learned since my beau went blind, (read his story on The Drums in the Deep) is that there is a difference in narrators. He tends to like the professionals in the business. Did you know there were professional narrators? Well you do now.

The free books that he gets from the Nebraska Commission for Blind are narrated by unprofessional’s and he notices the difference. Sometimes a pro narrator really makes a story come alive where a non-pro gives a bland telling of a story. I’m sure they do their best and hey, they are volunteers so we can’t knock their storytelling skills. Read reviews of some audiobooks on Reviews in the Deep, another of my beau’s blogs. What can I say, he’s a busy blind man.

There are also different venues to listening to the stories. MP3 players, podcasts, and you can even listen to them on your computer! Technology is relentless isn’t it? I’m not a fan of audiobooks but I imagine when the love of visually reading words is taken away from you, you’re happy that there is a venue that allows you to still hear the written word.

I’ve found some really cool sites that offer free audiobooks for download so if you’re interested in running a mile with a Stephen King novel blasting in your ear, or the classics of Robert Frost and his friends, click a few links, maybe you’ll find something. *Note- audiobooks are not just for the blind. I don’t know if these pages are blind friendly, so surf at your own risk. Screenreaders, get back to me and let me know if they are easy to access/follow.

learn out loud

open culture


freeclassic audiobooks - Fair warning here, these are digitally narrated.


Monday, November 02, 2009

To market, to market...

Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.
A. A. Milne

So you want to market what you write? I have subscribed to hundreds of Writing related newsletters only to be let down. I’ve canceled most of them because the links to a market was either useless because it went nowhere, or the link took me to something to buy, like a BOOK on markets.

I find that in a world where every dollar counts, even the Writer's Marketing industry is trying to make that buck too. Here’s an example: I get the email, open it to find an authors note, oh he or she is so sweet when they use my name like we’re friends from way back.

Joni, how would you like...etcetera. Here comes the sales pitch. To keep our newsletter FREE we’re making this offer to you at no charge. Link link link. Free market database this is not!

Okay where is the free market database? You click the link and it takes you to sign up pages, offers of purchasing a market data base, or our site is under construction.

I don’t know, people. I think I’ll just stick to blogging since the writing industry is so overwhelmed with competition. NOT! As a writer we need to persevere in this dangling economy and dig until our nails bleed!

So without further adieu, here is some legitimate markets that might look good to you!

p.s. excuse the blood smeared page. *wink*

A Cup of Comfort
Frequency: 4 books per year
Circulation: 60,000-250,000 (depending on book)
Accepts Email Submissions: Yes
Website URL:
Description: Best-selling series of books featuring inspiring true stories
Editor(s): Colleen Sell
Phone: 541-942-3405
Fax: 508-427-6790
Guidelines URL: for writer's guidelines information.
Address: P.O. Box 863
Eugene, OR 97440
Needs: Stories must be true, original, inspiring or uplifting, written in third or first person, and in English.

Preference given to anecdotal and emotionally evocative creative nonfiction stories and narrative essays. Please, no poetry, journalistic articles, commentaries, profiles, eulogies, letters, journal entries, diatribes, composition papers, book chapters, or fiction.
Length: 1000-2000 words

Payment: $500 grand prize per book/contest; $100 each for all other published stories. Upon publication. Contributors receives byline and free copy of book.
Length: Up to 6,000 words

Art/Photo Needs: Accept artwork (typically photography) for cover, no inside artwork.

Payment: $5 and contributor's copy

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
Publisher: Penny Publications
Established: 1956
Website URL:
Description: Alfred Hitchcock Mystery is a monthly publication that presents stories packed with suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
Guidelines URL: for writer's guidelines information.
Newsstand Listing: Subscription Information
Address: Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
475 Park Avenue South
New York , NY 10016
Needs: Because this is a mystery magazine, the stories we buy must fall into that genre in some sense or another. We are interested in nearly every kind of mystery, however: stories of detection of the classic kind, police procedurals, private eye tales, suspense, courtroom dramas, stories of espionage, and so on. We ask only that the story be about a crime (or the threat or fear of one). We sometimes accept ghost stories or supernatural tales, but those also should involve a crime. You might find it useful to read one or more issues of AHMM; that should give you an idea of the kind of fiction we buy.

Length: We prefer that stories not be longer than 14,000 words; most of the stories in the magazine are considerably shorter than that.

Christian Science Monitor
Established: 1909
Frequency: daily
Accepts Email Submissions: Yes
Website URL:
Description: International, general-interest daily newspaper published as a public service of the Christian Science Church. Pulitzer-Prize winning; est. 1908.
Guidelines URL: Click here for writer's guidelines information.
Address: One Norway Street
Boston, MA 02115

Needs: The Home Forum is looking for upbeat, personal essays of from 400 to 1,100 words. We also publish poetry (25 lines is a long poem, for us). Every Tuesday we publish Kidspace, feature stories (main story and at least one sidebar) aimed at children ages 6 to 12.

Payment: Personal essays: $75 to $150, depending on the way it's used, length, and the editor's subjective assessment.
Poetry: $20 (haiku) to $40.
Kidspace articles: $150 for main story of 750 to 900 words, $50 to $75 per sidebar. We like to have at least one sidebar per Kidspace, ideally two.

You want more??? More markets? Don’t let me do all the work. Try and find some on your own. You’re welcome to come back and share with me!

Have a gracious glorious day! And remember... always find something within every single day that you live, to be thankful for. You’ll be better off!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Poetry Sunday ~ Autumn

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

Autumn Glory
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

I live alone inside my head
no one home, I’m left for dead.
Where have all the flowers gone
must I see the mornings dawn?

Shattered and shamed my life is only
but a waif wandering lonely.
Family is gone; no one to care
not a soul with words to share.

I’m like the leaf on an autumn tree
dangling waiting to be set free
from all that binds me to this earth,
perchance my seed will give new birth.

Maybe the Lord will have compassion
hold out his hand in a delicate fashion
He’ll catch me as I fall to the ground
into his hand with nary a sound.

He’ll show me that I’m never alone,
give me strength as I’ve always known
Lift me to the highest tower
rain on earth in a dandelion shower.

I’ll sprinkle love, wisdom and words;
the barren trees lined with birds.
Someone will feed off what I have to give,
The tree in autumn continues to live.
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp