Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Madness

Deut.28:28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

Well, since my friends are all talking March Madness, I think it is my turn for MY version of March Madness!

They went on and on about basketball, but me, I’m a March woman born and raised. So march madness is nothing new to me. Oh, basketball is because it’s one sport I don’t really care for, neither do my blogger friends who posted about it, but for some reason found b-ball a topic of discussion. *sticking my tongue out at them*

How silly.

I am in the throes of March Madness and I won’t talk sports either. To me MM is so much more than a sport, it is a way of life and living. We just ended an F2K course and April 7th a new one begins, I’m taking this 4-week WVU version of an MFA, (masters of fine arts course) and this week I’ve fallen behind because of the March Madness. My study group of critters is growing to a swell and I’m frazzled, and loving it I might add.

My birthday passed, a bill was signed by the prez, insurance was denied once again to my blogging madman, and I’m writing a lot these days as the spring air flows through the farm like a welcome relief as the winter’s wisp of icy air passes away, lost to the overtaking of a new season, March Madness.

Is March Madness a season?

It is to me. It is a rejuvenating of the senses, the bringing to life all that lay dormant, a walk in the fields of wildflowers as opposed to the crunch of the snow underfoot. The sounds of crane readying for their flight further North into Alberta Canada where quite a few of my virtual friends live these days. I wonder if they love the crane as much as I do.

I was sitting in church on Sunday and was talking to the elder gentleman next to me about the crane. Here in Nebraska, most find the birds annoying but some come to sit on the side of the road just to get a glimpse of the enormous amount of birds just setting in the field like a flower awaiting its water.

The man told me that the crane fly up from Texas, rest here, then head to Alberta Canada, their final destination. What a flight isn’t it? March Madness took on a new meaning when I experienced these birds! I found it hard to even concentrate on writing as they warbled and murmured in the fields, dancing a slow dance, flapping a new song, singing a new tune to my ear. What an awesome experience.

Then there was writing, inside, at my desk when time allowed. But the sounds could still be heard because it was so many darn birds! I wanted to fly with them!

March Madness to me is LIFE taking new shape, gathering new meaning, breathing new insight, praising, rejoicing in being alive. So life isn’t perfect, who cares! New life is about to surface and I’m going to be there to drink it all in! Whether in writing or in my world of dreamy fields, I’m going to embrace LIFE and March Madness as it leaves its footprints on my soul.

Godspeed one and all!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Winds of Change

Job 6: My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
[7] O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
You might ask me why I’m stuck on wind this week or why I keep going on about change. Wonder no more. Change is coming, change is inevitable, change happens when we’re not even seeking the little bugger.The wind reference? Well, it's windy here in Nebraska.

As writers we change and grow probably more often than we think. With every new word, new sentence structure, and new craft skill, our writing is changing. Have you noticed a difference in your writing? When you were a teen you wrote, you grew and learned, wrote differently, and now as you’re mature, there are skills you are still learning to implement into your writing?

I can see growth in my writing since beginning this blog. I’m no longer all over the place (some may disagree) but poo on them, I see the change and I’m aware of it with every written word! My sentences have meaning, my poetry has life, I may even have spring in my step.

Uh oh, Spring? Did I say SPRING? I sure did. With Spring, comes change, comes winds of change. Really it sweeps in like a tidal pool and pulls you along and by the time Summer arrives you look back at that Winter person you were and wonder how the heck did you arrive here at this point.

I think with spring in my step, words to carry me from point A to point B, I can shape my world into whatever I want. This week has a rising affect on me and no matter what color my reality is painted, there is no way of escaping the winds of change about to take place.

Can’t you feel it in the trembling soil? Can’t you hear it in the shivering stems? Leaves are bursting forth, grass is popping up, threads of life are everywhere to be seen with the naked eye, or to be heard with the trumpeting ear.

Always remember, change is for the better. To return to the old you is like putting the egg back into the shell; quite impossible, just ask Humpty Dumpty. You may not like the bumps along the way, the shifts or turns in the road, but it is all for the better, the best of the shaping of you!

Why not take the time to reflect this week? Reflect on the person you were, or used to be, the writer that was, to the writer that is, the living breathing entity that is now and yet to be. Come alive with spring. Allow the winds of change to shape you and carry you into a new dawn.

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Monday, March 29, 2010

When the wind blows...

Exodus 15: 10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
When I was young I used to sit on the sandy beaches of Ocean City Maryland, either late at night, or at sunrise, just staring out into nothing. The Atlantic seems endless, with its frothy yellow foam, rolling tides gripping the shoreline, ripples of sea continuously slipping and sliding.

The aroma of sea-salt gathered in the wind, carried to my nose as I inhaled all the beauty of life, living and God. The sand would squish between my toes and I could just fall back, gazing up at the infinity of stars in the sky, or watch the clouds make a shape-dance while the winds swept them away.

What I’m getting at is this, we never know when the tides will shift or when the wind blows. We are not supposed to know, that is what makes life such a wondrous mystery is that every day we wake up and have to realize, any way the wind blows, we must  learn to accept the ebb and flow.

Can you control the ocean? Can man? Of course not. Can you put the wind in a bag and carry it with you, only to release it on a hot summers day, right when you need it most? Well can you? You know the answer to that question without even blinking an eye.  But as any two year-old child wonders all the time is, why? We adults can surmise, but even sometimes we have to wonder, why can’t I control the wind, or cease the ocean from rolling? Why? Why? Why?

Okay, you want me to spell it out for you don’t you? You’re probably wondering where the writing lesson is in all of this mumbo-jumbo aren’t you? I’m here to say, that no matter where we think our novel is heading and no matter what we have in mind for the novel, the winds of change can always blow through and make us see something new or different.

Maybe you had a romance in mind and now it looks like it is shaping up to be a para-normal novel, perhaps a thriller turned into a love story, it may just so happen, that your non-fiction tale took a fictional turn. The winds of diversity swept in, cleared the cobwebs from your brain, and you swiftly accepted this change, moved on and it became a best seller. (Hey a girl can dream can’t she?)

Life can be like that too, you know. A complete about-face shakes your world and you wonder what happened? Where did routine and fixation go? Friends, allow me to let you in on a secret, the wonder of it all is placed right in God’s hands. Do you think He wondered what he was doing at creation? He never wonders! He created you and he was well pleased. Although we may not be happy with the winds of change, or the fluctuating shift in the tides in our lives, but HE and he alone sits and doesn’t wonder what is going to happen to you next. He already knows.

Just as the character you created. You know the end result.

As a family, we would eventually return back home to South Baltimore where the concrete and asphalt hugged you until you were about to explode. But every day of every year I always kept the wind in my heart and the flow glued to my life, and I never wondered, what next? :)

Job 27: 21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ The Walk

Matt. 5: 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Walk
He comes,
a lowly rider beneath;
people gather to feel
his presence.

He reigns
a moment in time.
His glory will cling
to mankind.

Showers of
palm leaves
laid before him
to praise his name.

He bows
his head in humility
for all the world
to behold.

He carries
the burden of sin
on his shoulder;
he wept.

He hangs;
prophecy fulfilled.
His life shortened
by duty.

He loves
you and I
to rise again.


Matt.21: 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Quotation Saturday

Gen.2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
"A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning." ~James Dickey

"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

"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

"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

"Use the right word and not its second cousin."
~Mark Twain

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

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

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm off learning the skill of writing.

When I have something to share. You'll be the first to know.

Now have fun amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just another cornstalk

Job 40: 10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Well I can’t let it pass without mentioning what a great birthday I had.

I arose at 5:30 in the morning not feeling  any older than I did the day before, but I knew it was a different day, it was my birthday; the day I was born on my mother’s 29th birthday.

I watched the sun rise, listened to the crane and their morning call to wake up, and I drank in all the beauty that the day was going to offer. I went shopping, like I always do on Tuesdays, and it felt different. It was different, “today is my birthday.” I thought, and proceeded through the store happily.

I arrived home, ate my lunch, a chili-cheese dog! One of my favorites. You’ve never tasted a hot dog until you’ve added chili and cheese with mustard and onions on it. Then I rested for the other two hours of the day before we went off to my mom-in-laws house where S. and his mom conspired together to have me a Strawberry Shortcake waiting.

Now this wasn’t the store bought kind that you see with little cakes, this was homemade patties, baked to a sweet crisp and chopped up strawberries with a dollop of whip cream on top. How awesome is that? I absolutely love Strawberry Shortcake. I’m not a big dessert fan, never was, but S.S. is my utter weakness.

We came home and I relished the joy of the day. All of my virtual friends who mattered, left me warm wishes on facebook and in my email. I was virtually blessed, pun intended, because they might all be virtual people in my life, they are my family in my heart. They are real people with lives of their own who took time out of the day to wish ME a happy birthday.

The crane were in the fields, lined up like little soldiers with their grey-blue bodies and bobbing heads. Lanky and awkward looking, they murmur in the fields, I imagine all singing happy birthday to me, or wondering what all these crazy folk are doing staring at them. When one takes flight they all decide, “Hey wait for me!” and in a rapid procession they all fly into the sky. The backdrop of an empty cornfield, with these beautiful creatures, all fleeing the scene, is wondrous to behold.

Back in Texas and Maryland, when I walked down the street, the cat calls, the ogling bothered me to no end. I felt like a piece of meat at the evening luau. Sure I may be good looking at five foot four, thin build, long blond wavering hair, and sea blue eyes, but I was meat for the man.

Here in Nebraska, the men don’t ogle, they nod respectfully with a gentle smile. Here in Nebraska...I’m just another cornstalk in the field of beautiful images. I’m finally where I belong, amid the singing crane, the cows with their calves, the mare with their foal, the fields that are alive with allurement. I celebrated my first birthday in Nebraska with grace and dignified beauty.

Thank you all for making my life a wonderful balance!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

Exodus 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my birthday
another year gone by,
a time of reflection
a time to cry.

A season of life
the reason to live
what makes a day
what makes you give.

I tend to mellow
as I get older
but life can be grim
a time to be colder.

There is a light
where no one sees;
a light to guide
set me on my knees

Praise and worship
if ever alone
I love my Lord
and all he has shone.

I show no shame
I spread the word
carried softly
like the morning bird.

I’m here to attest
that I live for Him.
without His love
my life would be dim.

Glory to Him
and sing his praise
I will yet see
more brighter days.

Happy birthday to me
as I enjoy the sun
always remember
to Him I’m  #1!

Author’s comment: On this day, something glorious happened many moons ago, an angel was born. My friends call me “Angel” a lot, although I’ve never really felt angelic. My one friend said I couldn’t possibly be an angel because they are spiritual beings, not born, created. So on this day, I was created. I honor Him throughout my life. Since He honored me, it is the least I can do, right?
My sister always disliked the fact that I  told everyone it was my birthday. I don’t say it to get cards or gifts, I say it because I want everyone to celebrate LIFE on this day. Spring is being ushered in and I am right on the cusp of its wings. How special is that?
Pretty special if I do say so myself. So special, I wrote myself a poem!
May you all have a blessed day and hold the sun in your heart. May the purity in your  mind and body shine through brighter than the noonday sun!
Angel always...godspeed my friends...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Run-on or Cumulative

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. ~Abigail Adams

A run on sentence can go on for what seems a long time, never really saying anything.
What makes up a run on sentence?

When a person ends a sentence to quick, it is considered a fragment.

Johnny went.

Where did Johnny go?

Look at the following sentence.
I saw a teacher who cares.

The author of this sentence may have wanted to write:
I saw a teacher. Who cares? A complete sentence followed by a question.

Using periods (and other forms of punctuation) and knowing when to end a sentence are very important. If you don't end a sentence appropriately, the intended meaning can be changed, or it can be misunderstood. Sometimes the meaning is simply incomprehensible.

When a person learns to write English sentences and compositions, one common problem is writing sentences that are too long. When a sentence ends too quickly, it is called a sentence fragment. When a sentence has too many ideas and runs on too long, it is called a run-on sentence. If you have this problem, don't worry. It is quite easy to fix.

The first thing you need to do is identify when a sentence is a run-on. A run-on is a sentence that really has TWO sentences (or complete ideas) INCORRECTLY combined into one. It is okay to combine two sentences into one, but you must follow some rules.

You might be wondering: "What is a sentence?" A sentence consists of 3 things:

1) a subject (the noun or proper noun that is performing the action.)

2) a verb (that would be the action)

3) a complete idea (we’re not left waiting to read another word. It is complete)

The run on is not a complete idea. Too many words later you realize there is no complete thought in the sentence turned paragraph.

Timmy went to the store for his mother and bought a loaf of bread and he came back home and got ready for the dance that evening and then he felt queasy because he was unsure if his date would really like him and he passed out.

There is really a complete idea here with:  Timmy went to the store for his mom.

A cumulative sentence has a different meaning.

An independent clause  followed by a series of subordinate constructions (phrases  or clauses that gather details about a person, place, event, or idea. It gathers. The sentence doesn’t run on and on.  It is building into a complete a sentence; a complete thought.

To me, a writer, this seems like both the sentences are the same, but with further study they are different in the flow and fluid feel when they come from your lips.

If you read out loud, (and I advise everyone to do this with their work) or at least HEAR it spoken, you’ll see the difference in the sounds of the sentences.

Timmy, in his youth, went to the store one day to get him mom a loaf of bread, only to return and realize he had to get ready for the party of which he was unsure his date would like him.

Complete thought. Cumulative. It builds into a sentence and gives you a complete thought.

Now you try and practice. Take a kernel sentence like, Jane ran. Now run with it! Make it a cumulative sentence and not a run-on!

Get to work writers!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Emergence

 Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
by: Joni Zipp

What’s this I see beneath the snow
ever so green and lush
stately blades of grass I glimpse
with sun-dripped grains of blush.

The buds are beginning to burst
right forth from branches bare.
Soon will be an abundance of leaves
with twigs and arms to spare.

The fields are dancing with life right now
the squirrels they run and play.
Scampering about from tree to tree,
enjoying the expanded day.

Approaching are the winds of Spring,
the season will emerge.
The final day of death occurs
when mind and soul converge.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quotation Saturday

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life.


“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”
 ~Albert Camus

“I think I’d like to be remembered as someone who beat the odds through just plain determination… that I persevered. Because I think that being somewhat of a pest to life, constantly plaguing and pursuing, will bring results.”
~Sylvester Stallone

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
~Ella Fitzgerald

“Have the dogged determination to follow through to achieve your goal; regardless of circumstances or whatever other people say, think or do.”
~Paul Meyer

A realistic assessment of my strengths usually turns up several weaknesses also. Becoming more self-accepting involves not only awareness of strengths but also the acceptance of my weakness not in the sense of not wanting to do something about them, but in the sense of not letting them block the use of my strengths.
~David G. Jones

I grew up in very difficult times. I observed and learned. Nobody was preparing me, I was preparing myself. I was trying to get the most out of life.
~Will Robinson

~Perseverence ~

I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
~Christopher Reeve

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
~Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933)

~Journalism ~

To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter. ~Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947)

But what is the difference between literature and journalism?...Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all.
~Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Critic as Artist, 1891

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
~Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nit-pick or Critique?

Psalm 129:3 The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

 Nit pick or critique?

This week the Sentence Structure course is gathering in intensity. As we plow through the sentences, find kernels to expand on, write a 500 word piece to show that we’ve learned something in the way of writing a structured sentence, we are then asked to critique all the people’s lesson’s that we’ve read.

What is the difference between a critique and nit-picking. For me, a critique is going to be an overall view of the work, how it is perceived by me, the reader, and little things that I might change to make it stronger for the reading public.

A good critique will also garner you a response to how it made the reader, me, see through the eyes of the writer, you. I might go from point A to point B picking out all the highlights that made me want to keep reading, and maybe touch on the weaker points that seemed awkward and made me do a double-take.

A critique is only for you to peruse if you wish to use the thoughts of the reader, but never under any circumstance is it a must do sort of thing. You are the master of your writing and although you have suggestions placed before you, it is never a situation where you have to re-write and use what the critters advised. As you retain creative control, the suggestions are for you to use or lose. Nothing is written in stone.

Now if you are paying for a mentor’s critique, I might even go as far as pointing out grammar and punctuation. To me, all of this should be worked out before you ever post your work on the boards for your peers to see. Do you really want your critique group to see all your typo’s and errors and nit-pick and point them out to you?

Nit-pick. That is when someone finds the simplest things. A comma here, a semi-colon there; typos glaring you right in the face. Since I’m a mentor, I often have to nit-pick too so that you, the writer, can see what it is that you’re doing wrong? Maybe try a grammar course so that the the punctuation mistakes become less visible?

As you meander through a course, you should only do a repost if, 1) It is totally necessary. 2) It is within the time constraint before the next lesson and 3) It is allowed.
Sometimes you might want to ask first if the others would like to see your redo. There are busy people out in this world and getting through tons of critiques is hard, but even harder when 10 out of twenty decide to redo the lesson and there is only a minimum amount of time before the next lesson begins.

Be considerate of your classmates. They’re in there plugging away just as you are. Give a considerate feedback, not just saying ‘good work,’ but really think about what you liked and what made sense. What worked for you? This helps the reader as much as the writer!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What did she say?

No blog post to day!

Just remember, I know that the Lord loves me and that is all I need to sustain me. Everything else just is.

Looking forward to the last snowfall of the season tomorrow. The first day of spring is crawling upon me, and I still relish the snow.

You all have a glorious sun-filled day. I'll try and do the same.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Matt. 12: 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Well, I’m taking this course at WVU and as much as I love to learn, I can’t seem to take my mentor hat off. I mentor, which means aid and assist other writers, in the course. I’m not mentoring this class and I have to be able to take my hard hat off because some people don’t want to hear that a sentence was not good, or it didn’t work, or that they exceeded the word count.

There’s that issue again, word count. Well when the course calls for 500 words and I see people posting 600 words, 700 words and even 800-1500 words, it irks me to no end. I say, CUT IT people! This is a lesson, not a marathon to see if you can get your point across. If you can’t make your point in 500 words, then guess what, you didn’t make your point at all.

The second lesson was about a rose. (Don’t ask.) I wrote the lesson and it went to 589 words. SNIP, CUT, CHOP. I got it down to 507! Much closer to the word count called for and a lot tighter too. Not the awesome imagery I’m used to, not the free feeling of just let it go and let it flow, but guess what, I wrote it, got my point across, and I’ll post it today to see what others think. Wish me luck. :-)

My lesson one grew from a mass of kernel sentences. He was lean. He had stubble. It was gray. And so on and so forth. We were to make one sentence, and quite a long sentence, to make the kernels sentences one. I did it, I hope. All the writer’s had different takes on the sentence and I didn’t see many foul ups, so my mentor hat said good job. It’s amazing to see how one kernel can grow into a whole bowl of popcorn!

On another note, some people commented and asked me to use the words HIS and WAS instead of the stronger word choice I used. Thank you for the great critique but guess what? WAS is passive and an excess word in writing. I try to cut those words out and use them to a minimum, if at all possible. If it became the stronger word choice, by all means I would use the suggestion.

From one kernel grew a 507 word piece for the next lesson. I don’t even care if I got it right. I wrote, didn’t draw a blank, and got it all in, in 500 words. kibble kibble. I mean, good girl Joni, now write some more.

On that note I’m off to inspire myself. Hey, I can only inspire all of you once a day, I need some time to inspire myself. :-)

Write people! No matter what, writing is in you and you need to fulfill your destiny.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Psalm 57:7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

To have a friend is to be a friend.
To receive love, we must give love.
To want to be cared for, is to care for someone else.
Psalm 61: 8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
Matt. 5: 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Luke 7: 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
I love,therefore I will be...loved

Monday, March 15, 2010


Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

What? No blog post today?

That is what happened on the way to my scribbling pad this morning. I sauntered in here, only to be empty of anything to write. So I decided to look for inspiration.

Where does one get inspiration to write, you might ask? Well it is not too hard if you go looking in the right places. Say, someone’s facebook page? I’m finding writer’s links everywhere in that place. My friends write some really good stuff and post it for everyone to see, then I find myself inspired to write!

One word can trigger a heaping helping of inspiration for me to work with. I saw the word ‘bling’ today, and not only did it draw a giggle but it had me thinking of days gone by, in my past when I was young, wild and carefree. The whole comment went like this, “You can tell the cool cattle, because they got the bling.” It was a comment on the cow pics I posted.

There I go, off on a cruise of my past thinking of when I ‘thought’ I was cool but really, I was just fitting into society. Then I grew up to be not so cool but I became an inspiring person, one who shares all the positive things that there is in life. “Keep going on,” I say.

As I read a friends story titled “Colors” I immediately wanted to write a poem on the colors of life. It is just amazing to me to realize how one word can trigger inspiration in the mind. My mind is like an ocean, thoughts come in waves, sometimes they crash on the shore only to be pulled back out to sea, while others keep lapping the shoreline frothing until it becomes one with the sand.

For inspiration, all you need to do is drink from the sea of life. The sea is never empty, never half full, it is always at a continuous flow. That is what inspires us to write, the continuous flow.

Go out today and look at the sky. Allow the funny shaped clouds to inspire you to write. Listen to the different birds playing on the lawn or in the yard, they’ll bring the song of inspiration to your heart. Run your fingers along the bark of a tree, taste the cool moist air playing like a feather on your cheek.

What I’m saying is this, the simplest things can inspire you to write, to feel, to love. All we need to do is be an open air wave ready willing and able to pick up the reception. It is there, my friends, allow life to inspire YOU!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ Time Stands Still

Matt. 15: 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
 Time Stands Still
(c) Joni Zipp
Time stands still
for mother and daughter
as she grows to be a woman
she remains, the baby
her mother held.

Time stands still
as daughter grows
and mother sees in her, the child
that she raised and wonders
where all the years have gone.

Time stands still
and both become women
doing their own thing
believing their own thoughts
no longer one, bound by youth.

Time stands still
as the waters of time
carries both forward and the sands
creep on the shore as a reminder
that love never passes away.

Author’s note: I always write my mother a birthday card. Her birthday being on March 23rd, this is her present. Besides me of course. :-)
Psst...We share the same birthday. ;-)

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quotation Saturday

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.


“Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people’s lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.” —Stephen R. Covey

“It is wonderful to be in on the creation of something, see it used, and then walk away and smile at it.” —Lady Bird Johnson

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.” —Mary Lou Cook

“If we fail to nourish our souls, they wither, and without soul, life ceases to have meaning. The creative process shrivels in the absence of continual dialogue with the soul. And creativity is what makes life worth living.” —Marion Woodman


“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” —Mary Tyler Moore

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” —Sir Winston Churchill

“If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man, it is the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.” —James A. Garfield

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” —Eddie Rickenbacker


“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” —Peter Marshal

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” —J. Donald Walters

“Given the chance, a person will create more exciting and challenging goals for himself or herself than parents or company managers could ever dream of.” —Denis Waitley

“The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.” —Lewis Grizzard


“Many people like to think that they’ll find balance AFTER they find success. But in reality, achieving balance IS success.” —Brian Koslow

“Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” —Robert Fulghum

“Through the years I have found it wonderful to acquire, but it is also wonderful to divest. It’s rather like exhaling.” —Helen Hayes

“Life is part positive and part negative. Suppose you went to hear a symphony orchestra and all they played were the little, happy high notes? Would you leave soon? Let me hear the rumble of the bass, the crash of the cymbals, and the minor keys.” —Jim Rohn

Friday, March 12, 2010

10 Reasons to Blog

Job 13: 6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.

1. Because you want to tell your story in all forthrightness, truth and honesty.

When you have a blog your mind is like a conduit and the page is where all your  
thoughts flow. The written word is a healing tool (can’t say that one enough)and as you tell your story, you are releasing any emotion attached.

2. Because you can?
There is a blog about almost anything. Not almost anything, ANYTHING! Do you have toes that look like a deer? Well let me tell you, somewhere out there, there is a blog on that subject. We blog because it’s free, we can, and because we grow.

3. To reach out to lost souls who need something to read. Preferably  problems and ways of dealing with life, other than their own.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own problems, just to sit down and read how others are getting through, say, the recession, cancer, or any struggle, we connect through a blog.

4. To teach someone something that they might not have learned elsewhere.
The blog is a way of teaching others new ways of writing, new recipes to try, new ways of healing. The blog is a teaching tool.

5. To learn something that you might not have been taught elsewhere.
With the advent of the internet, we have chosen not to use the library. We can search anything we want, right from the comfort of our homes. I’ve learned more about the Hubble project on the internet than any book could have possibly taught me. (And I get to see pics!) Blogs can be learning tools.

6. To give back to society what it has taken away from you.
From the comfort of your home, in your PJ’s, you can write and release all your feelings that you felt were inadvertently taken away by someone saying, “You can’t do that.” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” A blog gives back.

7. To share
All of the above can fit right here in this spot. We blog to share. Why be selfish, when you can share with the world? The WORLD!

8. Enlighten
Maybe someone is going through the same thing as you. Maybe there is another writer who is looking for something. To enlighten a person, we have to be willing to post all the examples as stated above. It might enlighten someone, somehow.

9. Encourage
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all!” People feed off of encouragement while they use a shell when it is reversed. I encourage everyone to have a blog, even if they are not writers.

10. Inspire!
If there is one thing in life I would love, that is to inspire someone! This is the greatest gift to mankind that I could give. Through my blog, I try (and mostly succeed) in giving you all ten of these here tips. Not because I have to, because I want to be a part of your life and shower you with blessings. Through my words, my job share,encourage enlighten...inspire!

godspeed my friends!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blank Day

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

Have you ever awakened in the morning, stretched those arms out, maybe even let out a small grunt, and said to yourself, “This is going to be a glorious day?”

As you shuffle to the dark kitchen, you run the water for the coffee. Weighing a ton, you go to pour the water in, only for it to miss the target, and go all over the counter? You plow ahead wiping the mess up, humming to yourself a favorite hymn from church “Holy, holy holy...” The coffeepot gurgles to life, now in the process of being made and you’re all set to go and write.

You have promising thoughts in your mind, especially after singing praises. You continue on only to plop down in the desk chair. The big black vinyl chair lets out a squeak that would wake the dead, marking train tracks across your brain causing miserable pain. You look around. Dog is dead to the world,  eerie silence throughout. Nothing popped out any doors or holes peeking at you in a rippled lined forehead screaming, “Keep it down!”

You start the computer. It hums to life like a newborn babe being smacked on the buttocks for the first time. Your mind begins racing with thoughts of what you’ll write, and as you rub your sweaty palms together in anticipation, the computer freezes.

“Maybe it’s the weather,” you say to yourself.

After a shutdown and a restart, you’re as ready as a race car! Your engine has been startled to life and you’re revving your engine thanks to the gas, I mean coffee,  that you gulped down. “Ready. Set. Go!”

You really need to do something about those sweaty palms. Look at those dry hands. Too much cleaning in dish water and scrub water I bet.

“Um, the screens alive. Hellooo. Stop looking at your hands and type.”

Fingers perched over this mixed up alphabet. “Ready? Tap!”


“What? You were ready when you woke up! You sang hymns, inhaled the fresh, crisp, damp morning air. You were all ready to sit and write. What do you mean, you got nothin’?”

Do you hear that? The birds are singing. Oops, I think I woke the kid up. The dog is whining. I think I’ll wash clothes today, clean and vacuum, get some spring cleaning done. Clear this clouded mind of all the clutter.

“Mom, is it my turn?”

“Sure honey, just after I...” 

So you get up from the chair without penning a word and realize, this is going to be a GLORIOUS day!

moral of the story: Just when you think you got nothing, 400 and some odd words later, YOU DO! :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's in a Name

Psalm 45: 17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

Have you ever surfed through Amazon, the library, bookstores, looking for a book to buy, read, or borrow, or in some cases, download? My next question is this: What made you pick that book up that your holding in your hand? The title.

The title of a story or book can have some real lasting affects on you as a reader. It also can make or break you as a writer. If you’re not catching readers with a title, then you need a really good picture on the cover, and if you have a lousy title, so-so picture, you’re gonna need a daggone excellent review of what your book is about.

Short stories don’t have the luxury (most of the time) of a pic to pull you in. Your title is going to need power behind it. There’s that word again. POWER! You see, I said in a previous post that words are power and I meant it in every way shape and form.

Today I was at a Short Story site. I lingered through the titles and found that the ones I read had a really cool title. I’m wondering if Stephen King’s book Carrie, got rejected numerous times because of the simple title. A whacky title, by a whacky author, may have gotten the story accepted much sooner.

Before you submit, check to see if you have a powerful enough title, or quirky enough title to get you accepted. Look at Chicken Soup for the Soul and how successful that series has become. Had it just been titled Soul Stories, it may not have had the draw and pull that has readers across the world diving in for a swim.

My son pointed out the other day, that my blog might have had better success had I had a stronger name. Now as I sit here three years after starting this blog, knowing a lot more than I did back then, I think he’s right. He has a blog titled Poems Have Hearts, and my fiancĂ© has one titled, The Drums in the Deep, and I’m thinking, a title is everything.

Now keep in mind also, that I’ve read some books because the title was luring, the review interesting, only to read the book, get half way through and find it an utter disaster. I like quality writing and I can usually tell right off whether the story is going to work or not. I’ve even been known to read an entire story of bad writing, just to give an author the chance to be read. But, I would never read from that author again and that’s a shame.

Also, I was always taught that it is in bad form to start off with dialogue. As I was going through the short story site, many of the writer’s used dialogue to drag me into their story. It was through the dialogue that interested me in their characters and to keep the writing consistent, I kept reading. Maybe in short stories it is acceptable to start with dialogue because people don’t have much time to invest in the character. Good dialogue between two characters makes you stand up and read.

So, the title that I read today? Why not a Duck? There’s another tip, ask a question in your title. You know why? Because it is human nature for us to be inquisitive, and we as readers will want to know the answer!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Ah the fresh rejuvenation of inspiration. Is there anything better?

What inspires you to write? Sometimes I’ll be laying in bed and thoughts of what I’ll write the next day will linger in my brain and I’ll go off on an imaginary trip of wonderment and by morning, I have dreamed and forgotten what inspired me to begin with.

Okay, I know that happens to you too, don’t try and deny it.

Anything can inspire me. Here lately, it is the elements that trigger something for me. Take rain or fog or snow and wind for example; these things can set you off on a whimsical tale and if you don’t write them down real quick, you might lose the idea.

My poem Layers, was inspired by the arrival, or soon to arrive, Spring. So much activity out there how can one not be inspired to write? I know a lot of people are so tired of the cold and snow and are just sitting there waiting for the layers of winter to be peeled away to expose spring time and all its glory. Just so you know, I’m not one of those people. ha ha

I’m one who actually likes the cold. It warms my heart knowing that there is a blanket of snow covering the ground hiding the grass and whatever else has burrowed into the ground for winter. I love wrapping a blanket around myself, cuddling, listening to the howling winds, protected and shielded by four walls, or walking in the brisk wind. I love it.

I know the hustling bustling cities don’t care for winter too much because in their need to get somewhere faster than the next guy in front, they lose sight of what inspired them to even wake up in the morning. I know, I was a city gal for a long long time. (No, I’m not old, I’m just saying, city life was years too long for me!)

But in defense of the smog laden places, there is an inspiration waiting to be tapped into. Sitting atop Federal Hill, overlooking the Inner Harbor, it inspires tales of boating, water, overpopulation, maybe even a dome wrapped over the city locking everyone inside? Oh, that was taken, sorry Mr. King. It also inspires tales of the ones who may have walked in that very spot, eon's before you, or, who may be floating by you as you sit on the bench. Baltimore is a very historic town, mind you.

That is also another form of inspiration. History. The groundwork laid out before us, our past, our present and our future, are all elements that will inspire a story. Don’t ever think there is a lack of inspiration because even in the slightest of things, animals, people, places, words, there lies a story just waiting to inspire you to write it down!

Be well, be safe, and most of all, be inspired!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Words are POWER

John 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Did you know that words are a powerful force of emotion. They can hurt, heal, maim and destroy. They can express, release, sit and fester.

When someone says, “You look nice.” Didn’t that make you feel good? Even if you feel like crap? Those words emitted a force of emotion that brought you a positive flow of energy and might possibly carry that feeling all day long, dishing out words to others.

Now when someone says, “I hate you!” What do those feelings emit? A negative energy? And as such, you will carry the painful feeling throughout the day also. You might even lash out at someone else, just to release the anger you felt upon hearing those words.

Words are a force and each one will convey something whether verbally or written. The written word carries the same force and this is what we need to know and remember as writers. This is the very reason we need to choose our words wisely, so we can craft a sentence that is suitable for the force you want to convey to the reader.

I know as writers you don’t wish to inflict pain on your reader, but let me tell you, if the sentence is not structured properly, it can become very painful to read. What do I mean by sentence structure? Well it means to get out of every word that you write, the force that you wish to impart.

In this sentence:
The dog walked down the street, looking every which way he could to relieve himself.

Let’s put power in this sentence!
The big hairy gray dog strutted down the street, eyeing the fire hydrant up ahead.

Now we know he is big and a force to be reckoned with. He’s strutting, which gives this dog attitude. Now we also gather that this dog is a HE, as he’s eyeing the hydrant. He didn’t pass it, because we know, it is up ahead of him.

By restructuring a simple sentence we can glean so much powerful information and in our readers mind, they are forming a picture.

The raggedy gray dog paraded down the street uneasily heading to the hydrant.

Now we know he’s raggedy and he still has an air of confidence about him because he’s parading. The uneasily might mean he really has to go.

Train your brain to restructure your sentences ONLY in the revision stages. See if you can muster power out of them. It is the force you want to project to your readers and the force your readers want to carry with them, when reading!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ Layers

2 Samuel 23:4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
~ Layers ~

Blankets of snow peeled away
uncovering the grass beneath;
wherefore moss and worms cavort
under the last seasons leaf.

Robins bounce back into life
the cardinal’s song is heard.
Blue jays gather twigs and things
our days no longer blurred.

Cranes are flying overhead
heron gather together.
Geese are moving to and fro
to announce this glorious weather.

The sky it quivers full of sound
birds are making their way;
abundance of life hovers over me
as song sings out this day.

The sun stretches out its arms
a baby calf is born.
Spring has sprung back into life
this early mid-March morn.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

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

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged... I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.
~Erica Jong

Friday, March 05, 2010

Chop Shop

Don't explain why it works; explain how you use it.
~Steven Brust
When is it too much?

When is too much cutting during revision, too much? Yesterday we talked about how important revision is, whether a short story, a poem or a novel; whether it is fiction or non-fiction.  But is there a point where you chop it to pieces, then read your work and wonder, “Who wrote this?”

After you’ve cut out too many adverbs and adjectives, you’ll move on to the modifiers and prepositions and then your left with, gibberish? You can’t cut a piece to bits. You need to keep the voice that you, the writer of the work, intended.

Around the writing circles, questions are asked and sometimes I need more than a brief email to say, “Don’t cut the dickens out of it! A revision is fixing what is broke, not tearing a piece up only to try and put it back together again.”

We can not dismantle our work of art and then try to re-form it. That is like painting over an already dried painting. You’ll see right through. You’ll see something magical underneath but facing you is abstract nothingness at the surface.

This is why it is so important to have others read what you’ve written. Okay, lets say you’ve written your piece, have let it settled and came back to it to revise. Does it read the same? Did you keep the vein of your story? Did the voice come out as you intended?
If you answered yes to all three questions, you’re on the right track.

If you’ve answered no to one of the questions, then you may have chopped too much off. This is where a writing group comes in handy. You put it out there and LISTEN to their advice and critique! If they say, “You know, this story just didn’t work for me. There were some inconsistencies, and you lost the flow here, at such and such a place.” Then you as a writer have to rethink what they are picking up on. Like a mental telepathy, you need to weed out the good crit with the bad.

The next person might say, “I loved this story, you’re an awesome writer.” Now honestly, is that what you wanted to hear? You may have wanted that stroking of your ego, but guess what, it isn’t HELPING you find out what the last person meant! Sure you want to hear you’re great, loved it, but ask, what did you like? What worked for you?

Announce your uncertainties of where you think you might have missed the boat and ask if they picked up on that too. Now take all the crits you have gathered together, and think really hard on who was right and what works for YOU as a writer when revising your artwork.

Notice how I call writers artists all the time? That is what I think we are. We create masterpieces of fine art. We’re not butchers, so don’t chop your piece up until it is no longer the art that you intended, okay?


Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Revision Decision

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

Lately among my writing friends I’m hearing about revision. This one is revising this, the other is revising that. What is so important about revision anyway? Only the biggest necessity in your writing journey, without revision, we get nowhere.

Revision is a necessity because, as I’ve stated so many times before, our job is to get the story out on paper, with the internal editor off, tapping keys playing a tempo, chapter after chapter until we have a completed novel. Revision is where we’re going to go back and read what we wrote.

Look for inconsistencies in the time line, people, places, and things. Read with both eyes open, or in some cases, the sight impaired, need to listen with both ears. Revision is going to take us down the path of really seeing what we wrote. Many times we’ll see something we missed, or skipped over, or maybe we’ll see so many grammatical errors, we’re ready to toss the work out.

No, don’t do that. After your first revision, you need to just let the piece settle for a week so when you come back for a second revision, your ready to really dig in and see what doesn’t work, maybe what does work and maybe even how refining it will make it better.

Sometimes we add a chapter, sometimes we slice and dice words like they were yesterdays scraps. My dog ate my homework takes on new meaning. I give my dog table scraps so when my words are scrapped, I have to blame the dog. We see things that should or shouldn’t be there. We’re in the drivers seat but wait, this might be the time to say, I want my colleagues to take a look at my work, to see what they think.

Place your work in the hands of a password protected site, and post chapter after chapter for review, critique, suggestions, anything they want to add or take away, allow them to reign in and put a spin on the artistic work that you created. It’s nice to have that extra set of eyes, then revise it again and again.

Do you see what I’m saying here? Revision is important. Just ask Stephen King, he goes through 22 revisions! Well that’s what he has said anyway in his book On Writing. 

Write Right folks. Take your passion to new levels and blossom like the wildflower I’ve known you to become! You’re on the right track if you see revision as a necessity, not a hindrance.

It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.
~Will Shetterly~

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Creating Tension

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Creating Tension
Guest Author: Steven Brandt

Okay, how many times has this happened to you: You start reading a book that sounded really good to you, but halfway through, it gets boring and you give up on it.  Most of us have experienced that frustration, and probably more than once.  Why does it happen?  Well, obviously, the author didn’t keep us interested.

So what can you, as an author, do to keep your readers interested?  You add some tension!  Turn up the heat a little!  Tension creates an air of suspense, and suspense is what keeps readers turning pages.

There are lots of little ways you can create tension in a story.  Foreshadowing is a good one.  Consider the following:

Mark kissed his wife good bye and left for work.  That was the last time he ever saw her.

That’s what I call "extreme foreshadowing.”  In my opinion it’s a little on the blunt side, but hey, Stephen King does it all the time, and it works.  It almost seems like that is giving away too much information, too early in the story, but is it?  Why do they never see each other again?  Does one of them die?  Does she pack her things and leave while he’s gone?  There are lots of things that can happen here, and the reader will be dying to know more.

Since Stephen King is my favorite author, let’s talk about him a little more.  It seems to me that King’s favorite method of creating tension is using the weather.  He just loves to put storms in his stories.  Take "Bag of Bones" for example.  As we begin to approach the climax of this story, the main character sees thunderheads building on the horizon.  The storm clouds slowly come closer and closer, then thunder begins to rumble.  We know the storm is going to hit, and it's going to be a big one.  The plot reaches its crescendo just as the storm breaks.  Thunderclaps seem to echo the gunshots as one of the main characters is brutally gunned down.  King does this better than anyone else I’ve read.  The approaching storm is an excellent way to create tension in a story.

It doesn’t have to be a thunderstorm, though.  King has also used snow storms in several of his stories, most notably "The Shining."  Jack, Wendy, and Danny are the only three people at the secluded Overlook Hotel in the Colorado mountains.  As the snow, and Jack's dimentia, grow deeper and deeper, you just know something bad is going to happen.  Stephen King also uses snow storms in "Christine", and "Dreamcatcher" in similar fashion.

Let’s look at some other popular writers.  In Dean Koontz’s "Odd Thomas" series, the main character has a sixth sense that allows him to see the spirits of dead people.  Odd’s unusual ability also allows him to see bodocks.  Bodocks are wraith-like spirits that gather around people or places where death is imminent.  Koontz uses the bodocks the same way King uses storms.  As Odd Thomas begins to see more and more bodocks, you just know that something great and terrible is going to happen.

Storms and bodocks are great ways to increase the suspense in a story, and there are probably lots of different variations on that theme.  It doesn't have to be anything quite that grand, however.  Friction between two characters can add a lot of tension to a story.  Louis L'Amour favors this method.  Two characters start out as friends, but then maybe they argue about something.  Maybe one of them finds a bigger chunk of gold in the stream, or one of them gets a prettier girl.  In L'Amour's stories, this almost always ends in a gunfight.

These are only a few examples of how you can create tension and suspense in your story.  I really like King's storm method, and I like Koontz's bodock variation.  Give it some thought, I bet you can come up with a great method of your own.

About the author: Steven has recently gone blind and is finding joy in writing of his journey. Overcoming many obstacles he is a true inspiration to everyone who thinks that their life is horrible, or that they can't overcome anything. You can read his blog at, The Drums in the Deep. 

Thank you and God Bless

Monday, March 01, 2010

Writer...heal thyself

John 10: 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Our writing is a healing tool and just as recently as today, I realized it even more from a comment on this here blog and another one, The Drums in the Deep

I know I’ve written about it before, I may have even hammered it into your brain that writing is a form of healing. To those of you writer’s who swear that they only write for the sheer joy of it, I’m wondering if you’re kidding yourselves?

I mean, maybe you had the perfect childhood, the best education handed to you, a loving mother and a father but in the inkwells of your mind, you might be writing because of the angst that it took to get you where you are today. I don’t know for certain, but I still believe writing, whether fiction or non-fiction is a release of inner energy that was subdued all these years.

If you didn’t get the words, whether imaginary or truth, out onto the page, you would feel like a caged bird waiting for the flight of a lifetime. Writing is carrying you on the wings and a prayer. Release it. It will do your heart and soul good.

I want to tell my story, all its pains and ugliness, but sometimes I think, “Will my family like what I write?” Of course not, who wants to read that a brother was allowed to molest his sisters and that, the father, being an alcoholic knew nothing and when he did find out, lived in denial. A mother and father who clung to one another, overlooked the welfare of their six kids, all in the name of love.

How about having six kids who all turned out to be alcoholics and all found healing in their own way, whether through A.A. through the healing of the Lord, or sadly through denial. Imagine kids going through life with no parental support at a baseball or football game. Imagine a brother becoming a kung- fu master and never having his mother there at the winning tournament. Imagine a writer being born but never set free.

In the story, do I lay blame? No. I give hope to those out there that might suffer also. I listen daily to my mother as she says, “I was a good mother. You kids always had food and your father worked every day of his life.”  This is true, but ask any one of us, if we ever really knew my father. He lived in the house, but he was a stranger until we grew up and his health issues made him see what he missed with us. Mother and dad will be married, I think it is 56 years now.

Mother always said this, “Your husband will be with you for life, your kids will grow up and leave home.” Yes mother, that is exactly what we did. Now as she sits in a retirement community with my father, she wonders, “Where have my kids gone? Why aren’t they visiting and calling me?”

Change my past? Never. I am who I am because these instances shaped and molded me to the woman I am today. I am a God praising, Jesus rejoicing woman who lives day by day grasping the truth of all that has gone on before.

In essence, my gift, my talent, was given to me to heal as I grow. I’m not perfectly healed, maybe never will be. But through the grace of God, I am SAVED.

Why not use the tool that you were blessed with and find your healing today. Maybe your family won’t like it, but your soul will. Which is more important? Is your family going into eternity with you? Think about it.