Sunday, January 30, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ Silent Slumber

1 Cor. 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
Silent Slumber
(c) Joni Zipp
The fields they sleep
awash in snow
man in slumber
a tale of woe.

Mark the line
of night and day
into a realm the
soul does sway.

Often sought
but never found
Heavens light
with earthly sound.

All the while
he is caught up
the fields erupt
to fill his cup.

Over flows
ones own being
never grasp
all he is seeing.

Bind the love
within your soul
breathe it in
and be made whole.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni  Zipp

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quotation Saturday

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
--Henry David Thoreau

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
--Harriet Tubman

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
--T.E. Lawrence

We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.
--Samuel Smiles

One who fears failure limits his activities.
Failure is only the opportunity to more
intelligently begin again.
--Henry Ford

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
--William Shakespeare

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

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

Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moving Write Along

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
No friends it’s not a typo! The free creative writing course, F2K , is moving WRITE along. Writers are all writing, friends are being made and the creative juices are flowing in an endless stream of thought and consciousness.

We’re on Lesson three and this is the tell tale lesson. This is the lesson where the folks either give up or keep on trekking in the writing course. I like to see everyone complete the seven week course but life happens a lot of times, people get sick, they get sidetracked, and a writing course becomes second in line to the more important things in life.

I’ve noticed that a lot in life. People become so absorbed with ‘other’ things that they forget what is most important and right in their faces. They question the path, doubt their beliefs, place materials above the one thing that needs to remain constant in ones life, and that is your faith.

Without faith, you’re path is going to be a miserable road to nowhere, full of pebbles, rocks and sometimes boulders that will hinder you from going anywhere. I like to think that when someone enters a writing course, that something deep inside was guiding them to take this path and that they would listen to the inner call to take on writing as if it was handed to them from the Divine One that leads them.

I watch as a lot of writers lack the faith and confidence in themselves. I see one woman stray from writing because she fears sharing her work with others. I watch others after years of study and hard wok, still doubt the very gift that they have within their clutch. An excellent writer, but her lack of confidence has shattered her dream of ever becoming a success in the writing world.

Isn’t  it enough for you to write, receive accolades from your peers, be lifted up by their words of pleasure and joy in reading your work? Why would anyone doubt their own work with all of this positive influx of feedback? Because faith is what is going to carry you.

Trust in your ability! Have faith that you were meant to do this. Not this-that-and-the-other thing! Writing is a God given talent. One of my sons, so called friends, mocked him when he said he was a writer, “Anyone can write!” she taunted. I’m here to clarify and verify for you, that NO, not ANYONE can write. A writer writes! Others spell correctly (possibly) and form sentences but it takes a writer to bring those words and sentences alive!

Moving right along... Writers WRITE RIGHT!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


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

Over the years, my following has grown; I’ve been spammed, I’ve been approached to do reviews or maybe even a pay-per-click to garner money, and by and by, I keep coming back to what inspired me to start this blog to begin with.

I’m a writer and have been one for many a year now. I’m also a Christian, and I pray that you, my following, doesn’t hold that against me, because I love you all no matter what you believe in or what inspires you to live each and every day. 

Often times something traumatic happens in my life and I have to share it with you, or maybe something miraculous (like Sassy, my dog, surviving being hit by a truck) happens where I just feel compelled to share the event with you.

Yes this is a writing blog, one where I give tips on writing, teach you a few techniques, but woven in my words are, and probably always will be, the inspiration that moves me. Inspiration is like a warm rise of the sun. It bubbles up within you, feeds your energy, then slips you into a gentle calm, where you are moved into action.

Inspiration can’t be stolen or borrowed but it can be released to where another individual feels totally inspired within themselves and in turn, inspires someone else, and so on and so on. We can all become a chain link of inspiration and we can slowly change the mindset of the world but only if you have the best of intentions, the joy to pass it on, and the legs to stand on when it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

Strength will guide you, you’ll find that the flaming shroud of inspiration has reached right through the screen, reached out by the clutching of two hands, been expelled by the warmth of a hug, shared by a kind word, embraced by the open mind, cherished by all who come in contact.

I can display a picture and immediately your mind is flooding with other images, words that want to jump onto the page, feelings that run through your veins like an IV hooked up to the emotional stem of love. Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere and it may just cause you to write something brilliant, or inspire another person to write something amazing.

Whatever the case may be...find inspiration in every waking moment, glorify Light and Love, praise the day you were born and Inspire someone today!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ Orb of the Night

Job 31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

Orb of  the Night

(c) Joni Zipp
The moon is full this quiet night
lending the snow a glistening light.
Trees stretch out their arms in praise
shadows dance in the moonlight haze.

Quivering branches lend a clutter
to all the snow-capped fields aflutter
The orb shines down in wedded bliss
to the ground it gives a kiss.

Stars they’re hiding from the glow
of the moons showering show.
Animals tucked safely in homes
sound asleep while moon glow roams.

I raise my voice the echo sounds
off the billowy cotton grounds.
Inner cry for welcome release
into His hands I find my peace. 

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni  Zipp

Pss. 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quotation Saturday


Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
--William Shakespeare
Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.
--Napoleon Hill
Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.
--Newell D. Hillis
They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.
--Thomas Bailey Aldrich

There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
--Henry Ford
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.
--Burmese Saying

Where beams of imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away.
--Alexander Pope
Believe that you have it, and you have it.
--Latin Proverb
The imagination is the secret and marrow of civilization.
--Henry Ward Beecher
Imagine every day to be the last of a life surrounded with hopes, cares, anger, and fear. The hours that come unexpectedly will be so much more the grateful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What a prompt will do...

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you’ve been to WVU or have taken f2k, you know that somewhere along the line, you’re going to run into a prompt. What is a prompt? Well a writing prompt is just that, it is used to get your muse flowing and start writing.

Some days, as writers, we get blocked for things to write about. Our story closet has been picked dry and so we need to dig into that storage bin and find something, ANYTHING to give our muse a lift.

Does an old smelly sock do it for you? No, What about a shoe? Aha an old shoe you haven’t worn in years. An old faithful shoe that has memories tied to it. Ahh, now we’re getting somewhere. What kind of memories? Good or bad? Oh I think I went digging and struck gold!

Do you realize there is a prompt waiting for you around every corner? Just walking out the door, the odor in the air can elicit a writing prompt, as well as the sights of a barren street or empty parking lot, slamming doors, bouncing balls on a basket ball court? All of these sights and sounds can trigger a writing prompt.

Julie likes to dish out the ‘Three Word’ prompts. Name three random things, tie those three things together in a story. It takes a little practice but sometimes you get some of the best unblocked writing ever. Why? Because you were not really thinking about writing, you subconsciously had those three things in your mind, you wrote about them and tied them all into a nice little ball of yarn and you shared it with your writing friends.

Some will look at you, (not knowing what the three things were) and think, “What is this story about?” A writer will give them a clear picture hopefully and they won’t have to ask that question.

Now some writing prompts are Picture Prompts. This is the one where you look at a picture and from what you see, you write a story. This one is tough because you have to dig into your memory pool and pull out some really creative writing. A picture is worth a thousand words, literally.

Then there is the Sentence Prompt. This is where a partial sentence is given and you finish it and spin it into a webfully woven tale. Take for example: “Clarice walked into the store and could not believe her eyes. What did she see?” Just something as simple as that can help you unblock the block and have you writing until your fingers pop off your hand.

As you journey down the writing road, always remember that there is a prompt that will bring in the shovel and start digging you out of the slump that you might be in. Don’t take writing for granted, use it to your advantage of being the healer that it is meant to be.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Poetry Sunday ~ Destiny's Call

Ps. 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Destiny's Call

(c) Joni Zipp

Oh gentle flowing whispering stars,
Guiding my shaking hand.
Echoing through my body and soul,
I fight to take a stand.

Angelic points of light behold,
My eyes can see your glory.
Quaking in my tattered shell,
Beseech me with thy fury.

I want forever more to taste,
Thy golden drips of sight.
To bask amid your glorious rays,
So still throughout the night.

Carry me in thy humble embrace,
Into the brilliant realm.
Where no man breathes a flux of air,
As destiny mans the helm.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni  Zipp

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quotation Saturday


When I quote others I do so in order to express my own ideas more clearly.
- Michel de Montaigne

One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well.
- Amos Bronson Alcott

The maxims of men disclose their hearts.
- French Proverb

To select well among old things, is almost equal to inventing new ones.
- Nicholas Charles Trublet

A well-cultivated mind is, so to speak, made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only one single mind which has been educated during all this time.
- Bernard de Bovier de Fontenelle


No possession can surpass, or even equal, a good library to the lover of books.
~J. A. Langford

Me, poor man, my library
Was dukedom large enough.
~William Shakespeare, The Tempest

How still and peaceful is a Library! It seems quiet as the grave, tranquil as heaven, a cool collection of the thoughts of the men of all times. And yet, approach and open the pages, and you find them full of dissension and disputes, alive with abuse and detraction— a huge, many-volumed satire upon man, written by himself. . . . What a broad thing is a library — all shades of opinion reflected on its catholic bosom, as the sunbeams and shadows of a summer's day upon the ample mirror of a lake.
~George Gilfillan


Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself.
~Theodore T. Hunger

We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is, the more he is inspired to glory.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
~Robert Collier

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.
~Vince Lombardi


It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
~Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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

Years teach us more than books.
~Berthold Auerbach

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Miracle Dog

John 6: 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
Do you believe in miracles? You’ll probably say, “Yeah sure.” But maybe with some apprehension you’ll try hard to remember seeing the last one or you might wonder what really was a miracle or just pure luck.

Let me tell you, there is no such thing as luck, they are all miracles and blessings, whether you like to believe it or not, the Holiest of Holies, rains a blessing on you, he doesn’t shower you with luck and money; blessings and miracles are so much more explosive than sheer luck.

Remember I told you my dog Sassy was hit by a truck last Tuesday? She walked around pacing and yelping in pain. Not a constant yelp, it was only when she went to open her mouth. Money hindered all possibilities of getting her to a vet, so prayer was our only source. A lot of you might say, “That’s foolish.” Well, not in my shoes. When you’ve been in my shoes, then you can judge for yourself.

For now all I live on is prayer. Seems to be working. Saturday evening the snow started to fall. Not just an inch or two, by Sunday morning there was easily six inches of the white stuff, enough to hinder us from going to church. Then throughout the day, six or seven more fell stopping all activity on the roads, causing hazardous conditions throughout the state, school closings and the like. Cancellations of all kinds were being posted on TV.

Early Monday I HAD to get out and shovel some kind of path for Sassy, so she could get out there and do her business. She was yelping minimally but she also had confined herself into the back room of the house where it is very cold. I read somewhere that the cold eased pain for dogs, and she instinctively knew this because this is where she lay, curled in a ball for days on end, never coming into the warmer portions of the house.

We all kicked into mothering Sassy. Beau, Adam and I all took to hand feeding her, making soft foods that we knew she liked and took with apprehension but still she ate and drank water on occasion. A tough week to say the least, then the snow to top it all off, what an amazing fete that lay before us.

On Tuesday, yesterday, something strange took place. As I sit here tapping on the keys, movement out of the corner of my eye. Sassy peeking around the corner at me. She was looking for food. I rose to make her two hot dogs which she devoured. Then I found her laying in the bathroom all snug as a bug on a rug. I moved her to the hallway on a towel, and later she came into the living room, with coaxing and hasn’t returned to the cold cave since.

She’s feeling better! A  living miracle! Still healing but definitely on the road to recovery. A neighbor came with a plow truck last night, unburied our truck and made a path for us and our neighbors behind us. Sassy almost barked full throttle, but a little *woof* was let out and I sighed in relief. My dog was now in the throes of a miracle. Something money can never buy. A miracle is prayers answered!

Praise be to God, and no other!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Poetry Sunday~ Transcendence

Pss. 108:4 For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
Pillars of smoke cloud my being
hinders the light to which I’m seeing.
Trails of ringlets reach  the sky
I watch them float wondering why.

Portions of me float in the air
I bask amid the sky bound lair.
Dangling on the edge of mist;
love entangles my weakened wrist.

Life it dances on a nimble thread
past and present mingled dread;
where has all the promise gone,
lying with the earthbound spawn?

Buoyancy carries my spirit away
I visit the place where souls can play
No corruption; nothing to deceive
In this place my heart will cleave.

Returning now to the Earth I roam
nestled in the place called home.
Joyous light surrounds me now
I give to you a solemn vow.

Light and peace is what we seek
for the humble and the meek.
The Lord is there by your side
always longing for you to abide.

Drink this in; take what you will
it’s up to you, your soul to fill.
Don’t allow a weakness to win
forgetting LOVE is the grandest sin.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Quotation Saturday

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
--Harriet Tubman
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
--Pamela Vaull Starr
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
--Lanston Hughes
The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a young man ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.
--Hamilton Wright Mabie

A man should have any number of little aims about which he should be conscious and for which he should have names, but he should have neither name for, nor consciousness concerning, the main aim of his life.
--Samuel Butler
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
or what's a heaven for?
--Robert Browning
Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.
--Aldous Huxley
It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them.
--Henry David Thoreau
First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Walking Mad

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
Henry David Thoreau
Today, six days into the new year and already I’m fighting mad with myself. I thought this was going to be a good year and the start of something good. But the other day, my dog was hit by a car.

I heard the truck, I saw how shaken Sassie was with blood on her face, her body trembling, and panting like a mad dog when coming back into the house. Instincts said, ‘the truck hit her’ but it looked like a bite of some wild animal, I just wasn’t sure.

She yelped as if something hurt, I just didn’t know. She paced around the rooms, tried hiding in spots, frantically searched for something that was nowhere to be found. I put her on the leash and took her outside, maybe she could give me a clue as to what happened, and I saw the red truck still parked over at the empty neighbors house.

He got in his truck, trailer following, bouncing with a rumble and he pulled up to where Sassie and I were standing. He got out, “Is she okay?” My response, oddly enough was, "Did you hit her?"

He went on to say how she came out of nowhere, he didn’t see her but he heard her yelp, a little too late. He stopped to see if we ‘Needed to put her down.’

“No way!” I said adamantly, “she ain’t going nowhere.” He reached to pet her and in Sassie fashion, she licked his hand. (Never bite the hand that hit you?) A little yelp left her mouth and he got back in his truck saying how sorry he was. Also that we should get her to the vet.

The vet ~ just to walk in the office can run hundreds of dollars, money we only dream of having. I took Sassie back in the house, where she paced, let out a few more yelps, then finally settled down. I put ice on her face for the entire day, she slept in my room (a rarity) and the night broke into morn where we all scurried to take care of the wounded dog.

Instincts are vital instruments in our psyche’s. Sometimes I listen to mine, other times, the voice of reason gets in there and smacks me around a bit, leaving me confused and thinking my instincts were all wrong, but in the end, my instincts have a pretty good percentage rate of being right.

This week has been a mad week of newcomers into f2k, the free writing course. As I mentioned earlier, this is a new site, but a course that is twelve years old and still going strong with hundreds of wannabe writers scrambling to get in and get writing. They don’t read the tips from the mentors, they don’t read the rules and regulations, they just want to write. “Where’s the lessons?” one says, another shouts, “I can’t find the classrooms!”

Over and over again throughout the week, I’m telling them READ THE TIPS! LEARN to maneuver the site!  But again and again they scream, “Where’s the lessons? Where do I post?” I understand that a new site, a new forum can be intimidating to a lot of people, but if only they’d take the time to read the tips, they would not be lost.

The point of this whole post is this: Sometimes we need to listen, either to what others are trying to help us with, or what our instincts are trying to burn into our brains. We can’t be neglectful of the help that is given us and think that in some way, that WE are in control of everything. Step off your high-horse! You don’t have all of the answers to everything. Sometimes you just need to trust and obey!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

F2K Begins

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed. ~Ray Bradbury
The exodus has begun. People flocking to the Social Scene, f2kers all lined up outside waiting for the classrooms to open so they can make their way in to begin the writing journey of a life time.

F2K is the free writing course that I’ve mentioned over and over throughout the years. Monday was the last day to register, so if you’ve missed registration, I’ll have to see you next time around. And since the course happens four times a year, the likelihood that I’ll get to read you and your writing is pretty good.

F2k Stands for Fiction 2000. It is a free course offered by R.J. Hembree and is a child of Writer’s Village University. Some are afraid to sign up because they think there is a hidden fee? There is no hidden fee. Free means just that, FREE! I had quite a few people from here (my blog), and Face book friends take the course, and they loved it.

Can you imagine a writing course making a writer out of you? I’ve seen people who have never written a thing in their life take the course, and come back time and time again because of what they learned the first time around. They were never writers before but they loved the course so much, that they came back to learn and seek out that writer hiding within.

The lessons never change so if you take it once, you’ll get to see the same lessons the second time around, but they are so flexible, you can have numerous characters and plenty of story options to work with, with each session. Don’t be afraid of opening a vein to a new character, or peeling back layers of yourself and finding that you’ve always wanted to be a writer. And most of all, never tremble at the sight of writers who’ve been here before you, plunging into the course right along with you.

Sometimes it can seem intimidating working with long time writers, but soon you find out, that we are learning and growing with you. We don’t know everything and there is always a portal of knowledge that we need to climb through to make us better writers.

You can join the F2K Social scene, free, but you won’t have access to the classrooms if you didn’t register. But you can hang out and learn, what with all the discussions on the board, blog entries, fun and camaraderie, you’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Poetry Sunday~ Cimmerian Morn

2 Sam. 22: 29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

Cimmerian Morn
A cloud descends
like a brick of gold
a new year begins
memories unfold.

Snow it glistens
steadily falling
no sounds to hear
but my heart calling.

Goodbye pain
so long to sorrow
may intimacy fill
my longing tomorrow.

The winds strong gust
it steals my heart
loneliness holds
a poisonous dart.

Fate will lay
its palm on me
carried off
by destiny.

The Lord will fill
my veins with bliss
Ascend my soul
to happiness!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Quotation Saturday ~ Happy New Year


“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
 ~ Bill Vaughn 
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ”
~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights 
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie 

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~ T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul”
~ G. K. Chesterton

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas”
~ Author Unknown

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~Hal Borland

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!
~Edward Payson Powell
Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~ Martin Luther

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~ Edgar Guest
Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
~Oscar Wilde