Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quotation Saturday


Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.
~H.L. Mencken

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
~Simone Signoret

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.
~Barnett R. Brickner

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.
~Robert Sexton

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
~Pliny the Younger, Letters


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
 ~Sicilian Proverb

The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
~Elbert Hubbard

If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
~Edgar Watson Howe

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
~Henry David Thoreau


The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.
~Margaret Carty

One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamites.
~Jin Kwon

Team means Together Everyone Achieves More!
~Author Unknown

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
~Andrew Carnegie


There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder.
~Charles Morgan

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
~Mother Teresa

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Do I love you because you're beautiful,
Or are you beautiful because I love you?

~Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Poetry Sunday

The Souls Descent

Plummeting downward I watched it fall.
The deep abyss the shadowed wall.
Gripped by pain and tidal emotion.
Wrought with fear an inner devotion.

In this fissure of my being,
analyzing all I'm seeing.
The foulness of vengeance lurks throughout,
seeds of hatred sprinkled about.

Where once there lay a fluent stream,
drought and hunger fuse a team.
Lust it lingers in this pit.
I try to flee...but here I sit.

Liquid anger claws at me,
my very essence squints to see.
Howls and screams~~a wailing sound.
crimson walls melting 'round.

Fires racing torments edge.
keeping me from realities ledge.
I struggle within this master's plane,
as wilted red walls fall down like rain.

My soul has found a resting place,
torrents of tears stream down my face.
Trickling along like glistening sand,
I hold my pain in the palm of my hand.
Copyright ©joni zipp

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quotation Saturday


Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.
~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1860

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.
~Antoine Rivarol

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.
~Rita Schiano

Tears are the silent language of grief.


You can as easily love without trusting as you can hug without embracing.
~Robert Brault

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.
~Lemony Snicket

Never trust a husband too far, nor a bachelor too near.
~Helen Rowland

Trust until it is broken. Then beware the man with a broken smile!
~ Joni


“Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

“It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.”
~David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

“He, who had done more than any human being to draw her out of the caves of her secret, folded life, now threw her down into deeper recesses of fear and doubt. The fall was greater than she had ever known, because she had ventured so far into emotion and had abandoned herself to it.”
~ Anaïs Nin

“If you're betrayed, release disappointment at once.
By that way, the bitterness has no time to take root.”
~ Toba Beta

“Do you believe a man can truly love a woman and constantly betray her?Never mind physically but betray her in his mind,in the very "poetry of his soul".Well,it's not easy but men do it all the time.”
~ Mario Puzo

Betrayal is common for men with no conscience.”
~ Toba Beta

Our faith in the present dies out long before our faith in the future.
~Ruth Benedict

We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.
~Charles F. Kettering

The past can't see you, but the future is listening.
~Terri Guillemets

I have seen the future and it is very much like the present - only longer.
~Kehlog Albran

Friday, June 22, 2012

Links, Files, Writing! Oh my!

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~Scott Adams
In the world of writing there are many useful toys in our body of arsenal that we use on a daily basis. I myself like links! Links to many different writing sites to where I can stick them in my favorites file and thank goodness for a history link in my browser because if I begin something on Monday, surf through some sites, get busy doing something else by Wednesday, I can check my history and find the sites that I was perusing and all is right with the world.

Unless your a delete freak who deletes the history daily. Sure, deleting the history on a weekly basis keeps your machine running smoothly but does doing it daily really need to happen? I’m not as young as I used to be (well, are any of us really?) and by Wednesday, I forget where it was on the net that I was reading from and doing my research on. I need the history intact! I need the history button to let me know where on Monday I visited, to get information, so on Wednesday, I can finish what I started!

Now if you live in a household on a shared computer, I can see why when you accidentally type into the google search, Naked Asian Women, you might want to delete THAT, but seriously, you, the writer, need to inform the other users of the computer to leave your writing links history intact or you’re going to be faced with a challenge of a research do-over.

I started this post on Monday, all my links were deleted so I had no idea what I was researching. I often go to writing sites because I’ll be reading about the structure of a story, or outlining a novel, and I’ll start tapping at the keys with an idea for a blog post. But when the history is deleted, all my ideas went with it and I have to start over.

I was going to do a blog about this being National Audio book Month, but lo and behold, my links were deleted, I lost my train of thought of where I was going to take the post, and I wound up scrapping the idea altogether. We writers are not image searchers. We don’t surf through pages and pages of images in hopes we don’t get snagged by the nudity bug. We search through words! Writing words and anything to do with writing. Now I have fallen upon sites with picture writing prompts, but that is not for me. I am a woman of substance who hangs on the written word.

What am I trying to relay in this post? Hold onto your writing links for at least a week. Delete around them if you must; if you’re hiding something or unscrupulously doing nasty searches of the Geisha Girls on Mars, by all means delete them from the computer, because many-a-times along with the nasties, comes a virus or spy into your computer that eats all your hard work anyway! But the writing links, leave intact so you’re already fried brain knows exactly what it had in mind, and where it was going!

*DEEP SIGH* Did you get all that? Good. Now get back to writing, researching, and hold onto those links! They DO help you as a writer.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ Lighthouse of My Life

Job 29:3 When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
The Lighthouse of My Life
There comes a time in ones life
that changes do occur.
One foot in front of the other
we tread as life's a blur.

We turn to strength and guided hands
to show us where to roam.
We look to our father for his armor
our haven; a stable home.

He stands in the shadow of silence
giving advice when we seek.
He lends to us a pillar;
a beacon when we are weak.

On the shore of stormy oceans
his kids all out at sea.
The lighthouse of my youthful years
was all he gave to me.

He gave me courage to stand afoot,
to be strong when seas were rough.
To ride the ebb and flow of life,
while always remaining tough.

At times when tears begin to flow,
to him I would never bother.
I'll stand ashore and see the gleam,
of the eyes of my loving father.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quotation Saturday


Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
~John Ruskin

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
~Langston Hughes

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.
~Terri Guillemets

It is one of the secrets of Nature in its mood of mockery that fine weather lays heavier weight on the mind and hearts of the depressed and the inwardly tormented than does a really bad day with dark rain sniveling continuously and sympathetically from a dirty sky.
~Muriel Spark, Territorial Rights, 1979

During a drought, you look forward to rain. After the rain you look forward to sun. After a storm you look forward to a rainbow. In any kind of weather, you are always looking forward to something!
~ Joni Zipp


I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.
~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit

I question not if thrushes sing,
If roses load the air;
Beyond my heart I need not reach
When all is summer there.
~John Vance Cheney

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable


I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.
~Steven Wright

To lose one's self in reverie, one must be either very happy, or very unhappy. Reverie is the child of extremes.
~Antoine Rivarol

When ideas float in our mind without any reflection or regard of the understanding, it is that which the French call revery, our language has scarce a name for it.
~John Locke

Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie.
~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.
~Samuel Butler

The age of a new era is upon us, it is the Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse. While life is imitating…I won’t say ART because nothing about zombies is artistic; the writers who write about, the readers who feast, or the cannibals scouring the planet.

If you’re a reader/writer of zombies and are fascinated by the flesh eating ghouls, then there is something wrong in your brain that turns you on with cannibalism? A fascination with the unknown perhaps? The wonder of death, but with a sickly spin?

Recently in the news, body parts are being found missing from corpses, people have been arrested and confirmed that they ATE the organs. Fiction couldn’t do much better than the gruesome news of todays headlines. Zombie Apocalypse!

From Wikipedia: “The zombie apocalypse, the civilised world brought low by a global zombie infestation, has become a staple of modern popular art. By 2011 the influence of zombies in popular consciousness had reached far enough that government agencies were using them to garner greater attention in public service messages.”

Art? There’s that abuse again! I cringe when art is associated with the zombie lure. Is it just me? Or do many of you feel that way about zombies, witches and vampires? Zombies and vampires are folklore but that doesn’t stop humans from eating brains and drinking blood. Wicca is a very real religion and to me, MY OPINION, to get caught up in the likes of witchery you are selling yourself short of your faith. Gods, mythology, folklore, astrology, all pull us away from the belief in ONE God. (opinion not judgment) Or at least fill our minds with things OTHER than God!

You’ll tell me it’s ‘just’ fiction, no harm/no foul, but really? You believe that? When people are taking ‘fiction’ to new heights and actually devouring brains and organs for dinner, you see no foul in that?

Yes even I have had nightmares where the dead are coming out of these here cornfields, brought on I imagine by all those early horror shows like Night of the Living Dead, Children of the Corn, etcetera etcetera. But now that I’m an adult, I understand that there are some people who will take what is written in fictional tales and think it reality, and make it happen, thus bringing about the new era, Zombie Apocalypse.

Yes my friends, your fascination with the undead has brought the creeping ghouls back to life to haunt and taunt the living like in all the (humorous) fictional tales you’ve read and loved. The collective conscious of you, who think there is no harm/no foul have thought the very things you feared and were fascinated by, into existence. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

Maybe I’m the one insane, thinking loving God and writing about all the miraculous things He has done will bring about a change in the conscious of the planet and the universe. “I think, therefore I AM.” Attributed to Rene Descartes. Simply put: THINK it and it becomes so!

A great philosopher who also wanted to change the thinking of a downed society. And now you zombie freaks, I mean fans, think them AWAY! Come on, you can do it. Not as fascinating or adrenaline rushing for you folk, but hey, save the world, and you save yourSELF!

Is the Zombie Apocalypse real or fiction?

Now back to your regularly scheduled program, “and so are the days of our lives.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Writing: Talent or a Learned Skill?

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare
Well this turned into an interesting discussion in a writer's forum.

Is writing learned or an inherent trait (talent)?

P. said: "I suggest the answer is "yes and no". I don't accept that the skill is innate. It is an art, and like any other form of expression, has to be learned. No one can be a good writer without learning the craft, but one can have the mechanical skills and still not be a good writer. But we have to try."

How many of you agree with this?

I personally don’t feel you can force yourself to learn how to write skillfully. Sure you can learn the skills, you can learn until your face turns blue, but to carefully and skillfully pull off a tale of art? Can you learn that?

R. said: “Writing is an art and, as such, it can be improved. Practice without talent won't work, however, since you have to have a minimum of culture and preparation to write something that makes sense.”

B. wrote: “You have to want to be creative and have a love for the writen word. That's the talent part. The learned part is pracitce, practice - write, write, write, read, read, read and always invite and accept constructive criticism.”

I like B.’s response. A talent innately, but it falls on wood and not paper if you don’t practice writing itself, read a lot of books, and be strong enough (criticism) to be told your work stinks! Just like a musician. He may have the talent to play an instrument, but if he never plays, will his talent heighten or lessen?

This response was almost comical in my eyes from M.: “It would be very difficult to determine, because an infant cannot contribute in words or writing, we must assume it is a learned ability, but by that I would shy away from a person's ability to gain that skill without being prone to do that. Because the experiences in a toddler's life are not related very well, but early impressions may influence a later leaning toward writing.”

This person must not of had kids for he could not witness the intelligence that newborns exhibit! Yeah, it was ‘impressioned’ upon me to be a left-handed person. I mean really? Listen to this; All (three) of the J’s out of six kids are left handed in my family. Each one of us has excellent cursive writing, drawing abilities, and we can write very well, as writers. They didn’t pursue a writing career and only I showed an interest in becoming a writer, but it was not impressed upon me from any form of well-bred functional familial upbringing. I just knew, innately, that writing was within me, and have been writing poetry since I can remember!

I like this woman M.’s response: “Intriguing question and intriguing answers! I lean towards those who say "both," but also believe that without a spark -- elusive and wondrous -- neither talent nor training produces good writing.”

So that sums it up for us, ladies and gentlemen. It is a talent, when nurtured, can become a great tool in your path of pursuing your writing dream.

One final comment from K.: I dreamed of being a writer since the first grade. The desire to write has driven me to aquire the skills needed to achieve my dream. A person can learn new skills, but I believe we're born with the determination and passion that drives us.

Born with the determination that drives us. So all in all… if you’re choosing writing, be determined and the dirt road will become a yellow brick road that you can follow all the way to successville!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My 1000th Post!!!

 (pic from the internet)
Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

A smorgasbord of words!

Okay, many colorful imaginary balloons have been set free to the sky, an unending beautiful array of fireworks are going off, a ten foot cake and every flavor of ice cream abounds, this is my 1000th post!!!

My very first blog post was in 2005 at which time I was not really diving into my writing yet. I had no idea where I was going to go with my blog and it looks like 2006 and 2007 were left alone for me to figure out things, ie: goals, what I wanted to achieve with my blog and new learning curves.

It wasn’t until 2008 that I found my niche and decided it would become a blog on writing! At first my intentions with the blog was to be one voice among many on the distasteful upheaval of a society gone mad. (a few of the ’06 and ’07 posts were deleted) But as I got deeper and deeper into my writing, I knew that my One Voice would become one of many in the writing world.

The rugged path was laid and five years later my blog has a life of its own and people find my words comforting and insightful, in a world of blur and chaos. I’ve watched as followers added up, new sites were added in the field of writing, friends have come and some friends have gone, but at this juncture, all is right with the writing world.

I have written about editors and publishers, publishing and plagiarism (been plagiarized), all the way down to adverbs and adjectives, plot and structure, to forming a story. Yesiree, it’s all in this blog and a five-year span!

A lot has happened in these seven years, from 2005-2012. I have seen, heard, listened, taught and brought you many aspects of the writing world. And as I write this, I know many more insights will be shared as I go on in my writing journey.

I’ve given you my poetry – via Poetry Sundays (what a perfect day to share my inner musings) and I’ve shared quotations via Quotation Saturday that I feel just might be the words that you, my reader, needs to hear/read wherever it is you are on this wondrous journey called life. I’ve posted 99.9% of my very own (and beaus) pictures that were taken back in my days in Texas, and some are from here in Nebraska. But this blog has been and always will be me sharing the journey that I’m on, whether in writing or in life.

You have walked this uncharted road along with me. I’ve made new and long lasting friends, and have lost a few along the way. You’ve read my highs and my lows; we’ve laughed, we cried, we have learned right from wrong. I’ve even shared scripture that is pertinent to MY being and you’ve stayed without judgment! What awesome people I’ve surrounded myself with!

Not many people comment and a few have passed by. My regulars like Alyssa, Sue, Von, June, Benning and Stormcrow (among others) haven’t been seen in a while and a few new folks who comment while visiting is Beth and sometimes Sandy, Tom and Deb. But all is okay! While I don’t post for comments, they’re nice to have; I post mainly for YOU, my reader!

As I continue down the warbled road that is laid before me, I will continue to do my best in sharing with you my musings, a smorgasbord of words!

Join me for the next 1000 posts, won’t you??? I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making One Voice…a place that YOU turn to! Thank you!

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. ~Terri Guillemets

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Quit?

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
~Lanston Hughes
I hear many writers saying they are giving up on writing, and I’m not excluded from this club. Sometimes writing can be so exhausting, unfruitful, and downright grueling. There never seems to be a reward or payoff so it just seems easier to give up and quit.

Quit writing? But why on earth would you do that? My reasons were because people had attacked me and made me feel less of a writer and my health concerns took front-and- center stage while I went off the board and healed.

So off I went! Did I really stop writing? Well that is just silly. Writing is/was a major part of my healing. Just because I backed off from view and didn’t share all my writing, I didn’t quit and know better than to give up. Giving up is not something I would be proud of down the line.

I can see my son, many years down the line saying, “I give up. If Mom can do it, so can I.” Is that what I want my son to walk away with? That it is okay to just give up? No way! I want him to see me as an example of endurance and perseverance. Well, he’s getting a full scope of what it all means to persevere. Through thick and thin, sickness and in health, we must all persevere in what we love the most and never give up or give in.

I tried giving up on writing, but deep within me it ate away at me like a termite gnawing on dry rotted wood. It kept eating and eating until I fell apart, gave in to the pull and I wrote and wrote as I found a healing spot. Unlike dry rotted wood that never mends, I mended and am coming back to the writing world full force.

Am I giving up on my gardening; and all the other things that occupied my time these past five or six months? No not at all. I see now they are all a part of me and right here inside me dwells beauty I never knew I had.

So when you decide to give up writing, you need to do a deep soul search of all the things good in your life, even if the bad outweighs the good, you need to SEE all the good in your life and hold onto that as you’re falling. Hold onto the friends who are there supporting you; encouraging you to keep going on. Embrace the love (even if it is small increments) that is tugging at your heartstrings. You need to sink into your writing, pouring out all the mixed emotions that come with giving up and try to visualize a life with no writing in it; pretty dismal picture, isn’t it?

When you rise from bed the day after you announce to the world you’re quitting, ask yourself this one simple question, “WHY quit?” And slide into your lil bunny slippers, scoot over to the computer and without one ounce of hesitation, get writing! Persistence pays off.

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

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.
 ~Marsha Norman

Well here I am nearing my 1,000th post. As many of you know, I took a little break from writing, but lo and behold, the writing bug is still in me and here I am, back in the saddle again.

I’ve had a few post here and there to keep my blog alive, but my writing came to a complete standstill and thinking I never wanted to write again due to upheavals, I’ve realized NO ONE can make me stop writing but me! People can sling mud, disassociate with me, toss me overboard, but writing is within me, not just an outer shell that people can peel away from me, in hopes of destroying my dream.

My dream is still alive and kicking; it just needed a rest. My muse needed to take a step back, drink in all that has happened over the many months of intimate soul searching, healing and growth. And healing and growing is what I’ve done. By the grace of God, my beau has gotten his sight back after being blind for two and a half years; my dental issues have been resolved, and my back issues are still on the mend, but all in all, HEALING is going around.

I didn’t do it alone, mind you. I have a church family that came through amazingly; I had a few internet friends that heard my cries, actually sympathized with me, and reached out to me. Without that cluster of people, whether it was monetary, or prayers, I would not be right here today writing to you telling you of my healing. I would still be in intense pain, and no healing would have taken place. Each one of you knows who you are. You have my undying gratitude, love and appreciation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Now with a new understanding of ‘friendship’, knowing who and who is not my friend, I can move forward in my writing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll shout it out to all of you again; writing is within! When I hear people whine (yes, I whined!) about giving up on writing, or that someone hurt someone so much that they wanted to give up writing, I have to chuckle a little. NO ONE can you hurt you so much, that you can give up writing.

From experience, I’ve learned people can hurt you! They can be downright mean and cause you to go into isolation, but giving up writing? If you are a REAL writer, nothing and no one can take that away from you. Want some sage advice from this whole experience? It is better to pray for those people who caused your pain, isolate yourself from THEM, but never, and I mean never turn your back on your writing!

I knew my writing was there waiting for me like a warm blanket on a cold night; just sitting on the back of the chair anxiously awaiting my hands to embrace it and to envelop me in warmth. So to you my friends I say; when you fall off the horse, you definitely cannot watch Bullseye ride off into the sunset, you need your hand firmly on the reigns, and get yourself back in the saddle again! And don’t forget your blanket, it gets cold out here in this world and it is your source of heat and passion! Wink

That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it.... We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ The Weed the Seed

The Weed the Seed

The swift wind blows the summer seeds
Some will say they are but weeds
But I see beauty in every hour,
bursting color in each new flower.

All the little remnants float
to shield the green in a coat.
Yellow here, orange over there;
they come to life with little care.

The wildflower is in its own mind
a thoughtful gem for you to find.
It plants itself with little toil,
a shortened life because you foil.

You bite the dandelions beauty
as if God gave you this earthly duty!
The reason they keep coming back
to haunt the lawn with truth you lack!

See the yellow, the blazing gold
embrace the beauty that will unfold
Allow the drizzle of God to rain
upon your lawn in a blooming chain.

1 Cor. 15: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Quotation Saturday

I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.
~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.
~Gertrude Jekyll

In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.
~Aldo Leopold

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.
~John Lubbock

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable


I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
~Theodore Geisel

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.
~William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night's Dream, 1595

The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.
~Frank Barron, Think, November-December 1962

Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life.
~Simone Weil

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
~Albert Einstein


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

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

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

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

Tis the month of June, where blossoms bloom and all is right, the world’s in tune!
~ Joni Zipp

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Drama Writing ~ Ray Bradbury

Here you have it, the secret to all good writing, and that is drama! “I’m leaving, it’s personal.” That’s a statement trying to drum up drama but not being skilled, the person loses their mark. When drama happens it is important to show, and that means details. Telling someone something is not drama. You can tell someone you’re leaving but without the details of showing, you just come off as a whiney drama king or queen. Your character musters no sympathy when they TELL, your reader wants details and showing them is the only way.

Yesterday we lost a great writer, Mr. Ray Bradbury; he was 91 years old. This man knew the art of drama and if anyone is a reader of good works, you’ve read at least (at least) one of his books. They called him an iconic Science- fiction writer, but really, can you put a name on art like that? He was an artist who knew the written word, period! With such titles as “The Martian Chronicles”, “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked this way Comes”, he showed writers the edge of humanity and took them on a ride through wondrous worlds.

The writing world is in mourning for this artist that taught us a little about the way the written word is to be received. When I read a book, so many times I’m dissecting the way it is written; the plot, theme, the drama of it all; I lose pertinent elements of the story. Mr. Bradbury had a way to make me forget that I’m a writer and made me a reader of his words. I’d dive in, become entranced by the story, and by the end of the book I was sighing thinking, “Why did it have to end?” So I’d begin reading it again as a writer, dissecting sentences, fishing for structure, and finding all the points that made this a wonderful read.

My point here being, that Ray Bradbury had a way with words. We as writers would do him justice if we learned from him and anything he wrote. Sure he was pegged a sci-fi author, but he was so much more, just as Stephen King is more than a horror story master. They are masterful writers of drama! Any way you read it, the drama is spilling out of the pages, and it is with that, you finish reading with a sigh.

Drama can mean a play or screenwriting, but today’s blog topic is more about intense, in your face drama that a reader connects with. It might be considered conflict, but that is more physical action in your writing. Drama is the intense feeling you get as a reader of what will happen next. It’s the ability to bring home a page-turner for the reader, like Ray Bradbury had the knack of doing for us.

So when you want to be a drama queen, don’t just tell people, “I’m leaving, it’s personal.” Give the reader something to be intently involved with. “I’m leaving this place because Burt has abused me for the last time! Bruises and hospital visits are over, and so are we!” NOW you want to know…the rest of the story.

Rest in Peace Mr. Bradbury! Long live your words!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Steampunk? Setting a Scene

Tension is wonderful for making people laugh.
~ John Cleese
Well this post was going to be about setting a scene, but I ran across the term steampunk and thought I’d dig in and see what this genre, if you will, is all about.

From wikipedia: “Steampunk is a genre which originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements science fiction, fantasy, alternate history,
horror, and speculative fiction. It involves a setting where steam power is
widely used—whether in an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain
or “Wild West”-era United States, or in a post-apocalyptic time —that
incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of
steampunk often feature anachronistic technology, or futuristic innovations
as Victorians might have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective
on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. This technology includes
such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and
Jules Verne, or the contemporary authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld
and China Mieville,of  Wikipedia.”

So there you have it, Steampunk is a genre and almost the same thing as setting a scene! That was a pretty cool find to my eyes, seeing that this post was about setting a scene, and basically steampunk is about, the scene. Setting a scene is vital to your story, whether it is a short story or novel. The scene is what is going to reel your reader in, whether it's the streets of San Francisco, New York, or a newly discovered planet that you will be inhabiting with your characters.

Had Tolkien been alive when this steampunk term came about, his Lord of the Rings might be considered steampunk, and I’m so glad he lived in an era where it was just termed fantasy, because to me, steampunk is beneath Tolkien’s high quality of writing. Although his world of Middle Earth was not a new planet or space vehicles flittering about the universe, he did create a world where creatures and flying vehicles were not of THIS world. I mean seriously, when was the last time man and eagle connected and flew humans to new heights? Seen any hobbits running around lately? Visit Mordor recently?

Jack M. Bickham, in Scene & Structure, How to Construct Fiction with Scene-by-scene Flow, Logic and Readability, describes a scene as a segment of story action, written moment-by-moment, without summary, presented onstage in the story "now." He also portrays a scene as having a fundamental pattern: Statement of a goal, Introduction and development of conflict, Failure of the character to reach his goal, a tactical disaster.   

The scene is a pivotal element in writing in which the writer needs to set up. Here, Setting a Scene, you can find more info on setting the scene, and this should help you as a writer in making up your mind whether you want long descriptive scenes or short cut and dry. As a writer, you have the imagination to soar with the eagles and bring the new world to your reader in a manner that is believable and riveting enough to become a page turner that leaves people wanting more and more of your work.

Welcome to the world of writing. Welcome to the Steampunk era!

Don't mistake a good setup for a satisfying conclusion -- many beginning writers end their stories when the real story is just ready to begin.
~Stanley Schmidt

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Poetry Sunday ~ The Storm

The Storm

Thunderheads mount the darkened sky
Rolling clouds pass on by.
Lightning rips right on through
Searing with an emblazoned hue.

The earth it rumbles underneath
stirring trouble in the heath.
The land is desolate and bare,
it washes over without a care.

Biting trees like sharks to blood
hitting the ground with a loud thud
Can you hear the brisk winds howl?
The mask of clouds they form a scowl.

Safely tucked and hidden away,
no words will come for me to say.
I feel the presence hanging low
As the booming sounds move to and fro.

I’m in the arms of God above
cradled in His warmth and love
To those who earth has left no home
here in Heaven I’m free to roam!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quotation Saturday


God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
~G.K. Chesterton

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard

Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.
~Kak Sri

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
~G.K. Chesterton

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all. ~William Temple

It is always the secure who are humble.
~Gilbert Keith Chesterton
When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.
~Bernard Baily

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves.
~Benjamin Whichcote

A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it.
~Father Strickland


The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. ~Sigmund Freud

If the mind, that rules the body, ever so far forgets itself as to trample on its slave, the slave is never generous enough to forgive the injury, but will rise and smite the oppressor.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The mind is like a trunk: if well-packed, it holds almost every thing; if ill-packed, next to nothing.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sometimes it's harder to attain inner silence than outer silence. The dog stopped barking and the kids have gone to bed, but your mind has a lot to talk about and it knows you can't pretend you're not at home.
~Linda Solegato

The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside....
The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As Syllable from Sound.
~Emily Dickinson