Sunday, March 31, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Hosanna! Hosanna!

Matt. 28: 19 - 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Hosanna! Hosanna!
He gave life to the dead, cleansed the impure
healed the sick, became all lepers cure.
Fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind,
revealed the innocence of a child’s mind.

If you were thirsty, He gave you to drink,
Washed away sins with nary a blink;
Of His eyes we shined while light was dim
righteousness filled our cup to the brim.

Turn your cheek from the one that maims
seventy times if you burn with flames
Forgive, forget, move on I say
I’m reaching out to show you the way.

Disciples slept, while Jesus pleaded
to let him live unless he was needed.
Crying out He returned to die
while all looked on, not batting an eye.

They rejoiced and sang; praised his name
Hosanna! Hosanna! Into town he came.
Fronds of palms were laid at his feet.
All glory to Jesus our Savior we greet.

But lo and behold this man betrayed,
was scourged and beat but never swayed!
“My Father, My Father why have you forgot,
I gave them all that you said they’d have not.”

With one last breath he gave up the ghost,
shedding blood where man needed it most.
Our sins forgiven our God came as man
In a wondrous fete generations will span.

Will we remember the sacrifice made?
Can we ever honor the price that was paid?
Do we respect all things that He taught
our souls are free for sins his death bought.

My Glorious redeemer, Savior and King,
I bow with honor my soul shall sing.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Matt. 27: 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

As I said yesterday, to anyone that read my post, I’m in a reflective mood this week.

I consider myself to be a prayer warrior seeking out people who need prayer and praying for them. Often times more than not, that is my entire experience on facebook.

No one visits my wall except two or three stragglers, just as no one visits my blog except a few here and there. Things WILL change come Monday but for today I’m discussing my prayer vigilance.

Today I received an email with sad news. I raced right into facebook to offer up my prayers. It seems that one baby, in need of prayers for the past year or two, passed on to his Fathers kingdom and my heart was saddened.

All I ever knew was that his name was baby Adam. He had some sort of cancerous tumor on his brain and month after month as he won one battle, another would surface. A little tiger fighting the ravages of illness; this child touched my heart on a daily basis because I continually kept him in my prayers.

I watched him grow via pics, I saw him smile, I saw in his eyes a fighter. I saw his mom and dad struggle with decisions to be made, I became elated as I seen him growing and doing things, bounding hurdle after hurdle, then finally succumbing to his illness. I really thought that this little baby was going to beat this. How wrong I was. So this morning as I read my mail, I cried. Tears of sorrow for his passing but also tears of joy knowing he is no longer going to suffer yet another operation.

I went into facebook and visited my friend Sue’s wall to see numerous prayers being lifted up for baby Adam’s family as they have to be hurting enormously. Many prayers of peace for baby Adam, many more for his family and loved ones.

I kept thinking in my mind, “Why this little baby? What was the purpose in keeping him alive as a fighter, only to take him out of this world?” I’m sure we all think this when someone we loves dies, but I don’t know, this baby became special to me since I lost two of my own children. Yes, mine were still-born, but the pain was still there, nonetheless.

I say still-born because I was nine months pregnant with my son and seven months pregnant with my daughter when they were still born. Labor, pains, the moment of seeing and holding an infant that didn’t move, not even getting the chance to breathe one breath. They are Angels always holding a piece of my heart. I saw in baby Adam as a living breathing Angel on this earth.

A purpose. I had said in yesterdays post that God had called me to do something, and as I thought of baby Adam today, I thought of what God had called him to do. I know as a Prayer Warrior, prayers are answered, just not always as WE selfishly want them to be, but as God Himself sees. Therein lies a purpose for everything under the sun.

This little precious child brought together thousands and thousands of people in prayer. With each triumph, we triumphed. With each setback, we prayed harder and more diligently. We were uniting in prayer for this one child among many, and giving all the Glory to God, He heard us. We had hoped for a miracle and in a sense, we got one.

Baby Adam breathed for two years on this earth, uniting total strangers in prayer, and the miracle was that he even lived that long. It was/is an amazing feeling knowing that as a prayer warrior, your prayers are always heard and responded to. Baby Adam is at peace, running and playing, never feeling pain ever again. He is singing with the holiest of Angels and he is walking with the Lord.

I will continue my prayers for his family and loved ones, as God knows just where the prayers are needed the most. I will continue doing God’s work and remain a Prayer Warrior for those in need. It is the LEAST I can do, for a God who died for me!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Week ~ Holy Life

pic taken from the internet
Ephesians 5:8 “But be filled with the Spirit”

It would seem I am on a Sabbatical. This is the time I am reflective as my New Year is coming on Easter Sunday.

I’m strange that way, you know. I never celebrate the New Year on January 1st because really all that is, is a calendar change. A man-made calendar no less. Easter on the calendar is a man-made holiday, but spiritually it is so much more to me.

I know many of my readers are not Christians, per se, and whatever you believe is fine with me. Don’t judge me and I will surely not judge you and your faith/beliefs/religion.

When I was a child, I was being raised as a Catholic. We were in no way devout Catholics, we went to Church, not as a family, but to put our little envelope in the offering plate, so we’d have reduced tuition for our Catholic school upbringing. Is THAT where I found God? I’m sorry to say, no. It is where I was introduced to Him, but not where I FOUND Him.

Later, when I was about 13 years old, I was sent to a Christian school for my high school years, this is the place I FOUND not only God, but Jesus, in action. I turned myself over to Him and became a born-again Christian, a foreign term to my family. They assumed it meant I was going to be weirded out and a ‘Holy-Roller’ in the process. By no means is that what being born-again means!
(Author’s note: I use the term Holy Roller loosely because we lived across the street from a Church of God, and the people of that church worshiped nightly, praising God.  To each his own.)

Being born-again, means turning your life over to Christ and allowing Him to live in your soul, via the Holy Spirit. In a sense, I did get weirded out, because I was no longer bound to ‘mans’ law, I was bound by God’s laws.

Did becoming a Christian make me a sinless person? Again, by no means. Instead it made me aware of being a sinner; awakened me to my sins. I call myself a Spiritual Christian, only because the Spirit lives and dwells in me, making me aware of all of my surroundings, my actions in life, my mistakes and most clearly, my sins.

I have found inner peace, I am one with nature and the universe, but note I believe that God is the driving force of inner peace, nature and the universe. These truths can be found in the Holy Bible, Old and New Testament, and while many will retort, “The Bible is man made.” I will reply, yes it is, man made, God inspired. Can you deny that? I mean really, I’m a writer with a creative mind, but even I couldn’t come up with the stuff in the Holy Bible and have ancient artiFACTS to back up the testimony, no less.

Matt. 13: 9 “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

That means, since the formation of Earth and before, there has been something out there divinely inspiring us to be better people, to be aware of our surroundings, to be awake in a world that sleeps in the closet called materialistic/consumerism/media-driven life.

So where did I find this ‘Jesus’? I didn’t find Him in a school, a church or even a book, I found Him in…my soul. He was there all the time, I just needed to awaken that spirit, to come alive in me, and practice all that He was showing me.

“…you have to be willing to sacrifice everything to follow God and to follow what He’s called you to do.” ~Patricia Heaton

Ten years ago, I did one of the scariest things in my Christian adult life. I gave up everything: my home, all the materials in the home, my husband, and many cherished belongings. I kept my most precious gift and that was my son and I swept him away because God was calling me to do something. Something against my nature and everything I had been raised to believe, and put my entire trust in Him and where He was leading me.

I could not see where He was leading me and it took a few years to grasp what it was He would have me do, but as I sit here now, ten years later, I have clarity and celebrate the New Year this Sunday as a continuation of my faith, beliefs, and trust in the only being that trusted me, 100%, no questions or doubts.

Throughout the ten years, I was brought into a church, I rejoice with like-minded people, and God’s grace showed me that not ALL churches are built on hypocrisy. Each Church, He chose for us, we attended, and found Spirit-led people, who loved and honored Christ.

In 2007: Roundgrove United Methodist Church (Lewisville Texas), Grace United Church (Lewisville Texas), to the place we praise and worship now, 2009-present: Efree Evangelical Church

As many of you will celebrate Easter in dressy dresses, new shoes, beautifully done hair and accessories, I will walk into church with the same clothes I always wear. Why? Because God accepts me as I AM!

I have changed a lot since I was fourteen and coming to Christ, but one thing that hasn’t changed has been this; I live by the Spirit and will die by the Spirit. Whether you believe or not, we are all interconnected and EVERY-THING happens for a reason.

May the Spirit that lies within you be awakened and guide you through your life. It’s a journey worth living.


Luke 11:9  "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Cleansing


I feel a peace wash over me
as snow falls from the sky.
Each flake falls down all around
like my God beginning to cry.

One by one His sorrow mounts
the drifts are formed by wind
Cleansing all my spirit
for that which I have sinned.

He blankets my soul as the fields
in warmth His arms surround.
A little wayward shepherd
who was lost and now is found.

I gather all the wandering sheep
mere shadows in the dark.
A shower of unconditional love,
igniting their inner spark.

A soul absolved of impurities
the snow now turns to rain
Restoring you to innocence
now freed from all your pain.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Quotation Saturday ~ Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy Birthday to ME!
~ ~ ~

“On this day I was born

Not yet ragged, not yet worn.

Like and endless fruitful sea.

I wish a HAPPY Birthday, to me!”

~ Joni Zipp

God asked me, “What would you like for your birthday? Health, Wealth, Joy, Happiness?” I replied, “Snow!” 
This morning I rose to, you guessed it, SNOW!

Thank you, Lord for finding me special!! Sorry Groundhog, you were wrong!

~Joni ~ who loves SNOW and Snowmen!

“Deep down I believe my year was a special year: it produced me.”
~ Ned Vizzini

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
~ William Shakespeare

“I grabbed a pile of dust, and holding it up, foolishly asked for as many birthdays as the grains of dust, I forgot to ask that they be years of youth. ”
~ Ovid

“The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating.”
~ Jarod Kintz

“There is still no cure for the common birthday.”
~ John Glenn

 “Jarod Kintz Day—it’s not just my birthday, but it should be a holiday that’s mandatory to celebrate, punishable by death if you don’t. It’ll be a holiday that honors freedom.
~ Jarod Kintz

“You were born, and with you endless possibilities - very few ever to be realized.  It's okay.  Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do. ”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

“a happy birthday…
this evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride the day down into night,
to sit alone, and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand”
― Ted Kooser

The cake had a trick candle that wouldn't go out, so I didn't get my wish. Which was just that it would always be like this, that my life could be a party just for me.”
― Janet Fitch

AGING ~~  “Hey, it’s inevitable.”

“Most people don't grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
~ Maya Angelou

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”
~ Audrey Hepburn

“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.”
~ Sara Gruen

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.”
~ Yoko Ono

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”
~ Mark Twain

“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

~ Margot Benary-Isbert

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Revamp

This picture was taken at the early stages of my blog in 2006
All Rights Reserved

“I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.”
~ Jack Clifford Smith

Well friends, it is time for an official revamp once again. While no one will catch this anyway, you’ll see little change in each click of the posts.

While I have my friends ‘links’ on my page, I don’t see my link on their page. That’s sweet isn’t it? So I’ve decided to keep the ones that are ‘active’ and do away with the ones that might be using me to get hits from my page. In other words, no friends links will appear in the sidebar. Lol I'd prefer they stay, visit me and comment, but such is life, a writer's life.

It’s not only about the ‘friends’ links, it’s more about the active and useful links provided for writers. My purpose in this blog was to help writers and I think that is going to be my main focus.

I know my poetry and quotations are well liked, so I might find a new home for them, all together. A new blog? A separate page, just for poems and quotes? I’m not sure what I’m going to do, and I’ll try to make the transition as easy as possible, but know, I am the creator of my blog, MY TITLE NAME and it is within my creative control to do with it what I will.

I have met a lot of friends from my blogging. Some close and some not so close, but acquaintances none-the-less. I considered closing my blog down completely, but that wouldn’t be fair to the beginner writer who might use a lot of what I post to learn about writing.

I thought of giving up writing all together and embark on a new journey, but that is not an option either because that would be giving up my GOD GIVEN talent. It’s bad enough when we let ourselves down, but to let God down? No way momma!

So, in looking at my page, I see I need a serious revamp. In my eyes, I see too much clutter and not enough info! To you writer, I’m finding more info! To me, I’m finding some sanity.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Is Nothing Sacred ~ Tears

Pss. 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

 Is Nothing Sacred
While walking down the streets alone,
I take in all the sights.
My how life has changed and grown
All is vain in lights.

Where is respect for ones self worth
Where is inner love?
Where has chastity gone from birth?
Closed is the door above.

We force upon their innocence
All vanity which is false.
Lending them free preference,
Betrayal with a pulse.

Children want to be all grown up
Exposing all their skin,
Losing purity the youthful cup,
For pathways led by sin.

No one holds a key to his soul,
In ashes shall they fall?
Never once will they feel whole,
When the reaper makes his call.
*  *  *

Like icy clouds that form in the sky,
drops of pain creep from my eye.
Weightless they form a fluid stream;
life has forced a layered seam.

Tears are like capsules, of liquid release.
Hidden by lids they secretly cease.
The eye a doorway of repressed emotion
that drops a brew of poisoned potion.

Salty tears run evermore
softly sounds pound the floor.
Dripping echoes of seated pain;
seeping slowly a fluid rain.

The tear is weightless in its stand.
Lapping forth like waves on sand.
Going alone down the wrinkled aisle,
seeking to ride the sorrowful mile.

What will stop this rippling river?
Depths of joy I must deliver.
I raise my eyes to the skies above,
my tears become His kiss of love.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Quotation Saturday

“It should surprise no one that the life of the writer--such as it is--is colorless to the point of sensory deprivation. Many writers do little else but sit in small rooms recalling the real world. This explains why so many books describe the author's childhood. A writer's childhood may well have been the occasion of his only firsthand experience. Writers read literary biography, and surround themselves with other writers, deliberately to enforce in themselves the ludicrous notion that a reasonable option for occupying yourself on the planet until your life span plays itself out is sitting in a small room for the duration, in the company of pieces of paper. ”
~ Annie Dillard

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
~ Charles Dickens

“Writing is like hunting. There are brutally cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart. Then the moment when you bag something big. The entire process is beyond intoxicating.”
~ Kate Braverman

I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.”
~ Jack Clifford Smith

“If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.”
~ Madeleine L'Engle

“We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.”
~ Cornel West

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
~ Timothy Keller

“Let today be the day that you become committed in being, in doing, in getting, achieving, in experiencing. Let today be the day that you are committed to being the change you wish to see. To living the life you wish to live.”
~ Steve Maraboli

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,

Love like you'll never be hurt,

Sing like there's nobody listening,

And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
― André Gide

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
― Albert Einstein

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”
~ Sylvia Plath

“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
~ Milan Kundera

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
~ Louisa May Alcott

“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 15, 2013

Grammar Rules to Pay Attention To

7 grammar rules to pay attention to

Written by: Ben Yagoda

Used without permission giving him full credit and promoting

his book: How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them

Everyone has grammar issues and I myself am not exempt. I could probably use a refresher course and will more than likely take one, but I’m sharing this article with you because I found it very informative for the writer. ~Joni

Semicolons should be used rarely, if at all. And beware dangling modifiers!

I recently wrote an article for about bogus grammar "rules" that aren't worth your time. However, there are still plenty of legitimate rules that you should be aware of. Not following them doesn't make you a bad person or even (necessarily) a bad writer. I'm sure that all of them were broken at one point or another by Henry James , Henry Adams , or some other major author named Henry. Moreover, grammar is one of the least pressing problems when it comes to the poor state of writing today. In my new book, How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them, things like wordiness, poor word choice, awkwardness, and bad spelling — which have nothing to do with grammar — take up the bulk of my attention.

Nevertheless, anyone who wants to write in a public setting has to be aware of grammar. (And I'm concerned with writing here; talking is a whole different ballgame.) If you make these errors, you're likely to be judged harshly by an editor you want to publish your work; an executive who, you hope, will be impressed enough by your cover letter to hire you; or a reader you want to persuaded by your argument. In each case, there's a pretty easy workaround, so better safe than sorry.

1. The subjunctive

This one is pretty simple. When you're writing about a non-true situation — usually following the word if or the verb wish — the verb to be is rendered as were.


* If I was were a rich man.

* I wish I was were an Oscar Mayer wiener.

* If Hillary Clinton was were president, things would be a whole lot different.

If you are using if for other purposes (hypothetical situations, questions), you don't use the subjunctive.

*The reporter asked him if he were was happy.

* If an intruder were was here last night, he would have left footprints, so let's look at the ground outside.

2. Bad parallelism

This issue comes up most often in lists, for example: My friend made salsa, guacamole, and brought chips. If you start out by having made cover the first two items, it has to cover subsequent ones as well. To fix, you usually have to do just a little rewriting. Thus, My friend made salsa and guacamole and brought chips to go with them.

3. Verb problems

There are a few persistent troublemakers you should be aware of.

* I'm tired, so I need to go lay lie down.

* The fish laid lay on the counter, fileted and ready to broil.

* Honey, I shrunk shrank the kids.

* In a fit of pique, he sunk sank the toy boat.

* He seen saw it coming.

(The last three are examples of verbs where people sometimes switch the past and participle forms. Thus, it would be correct to write: I have shrunk the kids; He had sunk the boat; and He had seen it coming.)

4. Pronoun problems

Let's take a look at three little words. Not "I love you," but me, myself and I. Grammatically, they can be called object, reflexive, and subject. As long as they're by themselves, object and subject don't give anyone problems. That is, no one who's an adult native English speaker would say Me walked to the bus stop or He gave the book to I. For some reason, though, things can get tricky when a pronoun is paired with a noun. We all know people who say things like Me and Fred had lunch together yesterday, instead of Fred and I... Heck, most of us have said it ourselves; for some reason, it comes trippingly off the tongue. We also (most of us) know not to use it in a piece of writing meant to be published. Word to the wise: Don't use it in a job interview, either.

There's a similar attraction to using the subject instead of object. Even Bill Clinton did this back in 1992 when he asked voters to give Al Gore and I [instead of me] a chance to bring America back. Or you might say, Thanks for inviting my wife and I, or between you and I… Some linguists and grammarians have mounted vigorous and interesting defenses of this usage. However, it's still generally considered wrong and should be avoided.

A word that's recently become quite popular is myself — maybe because it seems like a compromise between I and me. But sentences like Myself and my friends went to the mall or They gave special awards to Bill and myself don't wash. Change the first to My friends and I… and the second to Bill and me.

5. The 'dangling' conversation

In a class, I once assigned students to "review" a consumer product. One student chose a bra sold by Victoria's Secret. She wrote:

Sitting in a class or dancing at the bar, the bra performed well…. Though slightly pricey, your breasts will thank you.

The two sentences are both guilty of dangling modifiers because (excuse me if I'm stating the obvious), the bra did not sit in a class or dance at the bar, and "your breasts" are not slightly pricey.

Danglers are inexplicably attractive, and even good writers commit this error a lot … in their first drafts. Here's a strategy for smoking these bad boys out in revision. First, recognize sentences that have this structure: MODIFIER-COMMA-SUBJECT-VERB. Then change the order to: SUBJECT-COMMA-MODIFIER-COMMA-VERB. If the result makes sense, you're good to go. If not, you have a dangler. So in the first sentence above, the rejiggered sentence would be:

The bra, sitting in a class or dancing at a bar, performed well.

Nuh-uh. The solution here, as it often is, is just to add a couple of words: Whether you're sitting in a class or dancing at the bar, the bra performs well.

6. The semicolon

I sometimes say that when you feel like using a semicolon, lay lie down till the urge goes away. But if you just can't resist, remember that there are really only two proper uses for this piece of punctuation. One is to separate two complete clauses (a construction with a subject and verb that could stand on its own as a sentence). I knocked on the door; no one answered. The second is to separate list items that themselves contain punctuation. Thus, The band played Boise, Idaho; Schenectady, New York; and Columbus, Ohio.

Do not use a semicolon in place of a colon, for example, There is only one piece of punctuation that gives Yagoda nightmares; the semicolon.

7. Words

As I noted in my previous article, the meaning of words inevitably and perennially change. And you can get in trouble when you use a meaning that has not yet been widely accepted. Sometimes it's fairly easy to figure out where a word stands in this process. It's become more common to use nonplussed to mean not bothered, or unfazed, but that is more or less the opposite of the traditional meaning, and it's still too early to use it that way when you're writing for publication. (As is spelling unfazed as unphased.) On the other hand, no one thinks anymore that astonish means "turn to stone," and it would be ridiculous to object to anyone who does so. But there are a lot of words and expressions in the middle. Here's one man's list of a few meanings that aren't quite ready for prime time:

* Don't use begs the question. Instead use raises the question.

* Don't use phenomena or criteria as singular. Instead use phenomenon or criterion.

* Don't use cliché as an adjective. Instead use clichéd.

*Don't use comprised of. Instead use composed of/made up of.

* Don't use less for count nouns such people or miles. Instead use fewer.

* Don't use penultimate (unless you mean second to last). Instead use ultimate.

* Don't use lead as past tense of to lead. Instead use led.

I hesitate to state what should be obvious, but sometimes the obvious must be stated. So here goes: Do not use it's, you're or who's when you mean its, your or whose. Or vice versa!

Ben Yagoda is the author of How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Errors and the Best Ways to Avoid Them and nine other books. He is a Professor of English and Journalism at the University of Delaware. His website is

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Commit to Writing

As we begin our writing journey, oftentimes we lose sight of our obligations and fall prey to the things that are important in our life. We find ourselves distracted and get carried away with everything else BUT writing. That is not a writer.

Writer’s need to learn commitment to the craft. So many times do I see writers, old and new, (admit it) lose interest in writing over and over again. Even I myself have lost interest a few times but when I commit to a course I see it through to the end, just to satisfy myself and no one else.

I recently signed up for a five-week course that I had wanted to take but fear of so many no-shows kept me away. This one showed promise as about six people all signed up for the course. Sure the first week people conversed, by the second week it had slowed and by the third week I was alone, losing interest myself from the inactivity.

Week four I went in and asked if everyone had bailed. I got a response a few days later. There you have it, I bailed on the course too. I see this all too often at the free seven-week writing course. People saying they have always wanted to write, can’t wait to get started, and soon afterwards, the site is left with a few determined hangers on.

So you want to be a writer, but you are not willing to commit to the craft? When you decide to become a writer, it is a relationship not much different from a committed relationship you’re in with a man/woman.

It takes dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and work, lots of hard work, if ever you expect the payoff in the end. This day and age people are so ready to just throw in the towel and give up. I think this generation has the highest divorce rate ever. Why? Because people think giving up is easier than hanging on and suffering a little to reap the rewards!

If you want to be a writer, fight for it! Commit to the craft, the lessons, the learning and the growth.

  1. Walk the walk and talk the talk – When you say it out loud and to others that you want to be a writer, DO IT! Do everything in your power to BECOME a writer.
  2. Stick it out – There will come times when you feel like bailing, but look at quitting as a non-option! There is no quitting. You either go full steam ahead or do nothing.
  3. Commit – I know it is hard; I’ve been there! But commit to seeing it through.
  4. Dedicate – Dedicate time out of your day to commit to the writing course you signed up for. If you’re going to be an absentee student, don’t sign up for the course.
  5. Don’t give up – I know sickness happens but whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP! People are depending on you, and YOU are counting on you to see this writing bug through!

This is the time to take the bull by the horns and stay in this relationship you’ve committed yourself to. This is not the time to give up and run away. This is the time to commit! Persistence pays off!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~~

On The Mend

Often times I felt reclusive
My wandering thoughts very elusive
I needed something, a zest to live
I wax poetic, my heart I give

In my vocal words you'll see,
A glimpse of light shine forth from me
I see a ray shine from the moon
Dancing crystals my soul to commune

Wading in fragrance, I want to smell
Behold a beauty my heart to quell
Tis' not a negative light I seek
The glory I find in the quiet meek

My soul is dancing as moonbeams glare
A sigh of relief, I breathe the air
Inhale all that life has to lend
My soul now finds a way to mend

Tidal Flow
Parted lips like parted sea,
The frothy crest calls out to me.
Singing praise of haunting lure,
Thrashing on the tidal shore.

Words I speak, no one will listen.
Thrust upon the sand to glisten.
Washed out to a vacant throne,
Here I stand on the beach alone.

Silhouette by moonbeams glow.
Stars that dance in a rapid show.
Addled by the echo within,
Silent tone, a barren bin.

Bitter salt rings on my lips,
Throes of pain at my fingertips.
Casting out the abysmal stand,
The soul of me clutched in my hand.

A parody of life’s own quest.
Stretched on sand as sea-foams guest.
Alone am I in the ethereal night,
A simple grain amid the flight.

Life abounds, the mystery awaits.
I sit astride the wavy gates.
Grasping all that I have been shown,
Muted now the truth is my own.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Quotation Saturday


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

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”
~ Paulo Coelho

“When I look in the mirror, I know I’m looking at someone who isn’t sure she deserves to be loved at all.”
~ Nicholas Sparks

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all.”
~ Rita Mae Brown

“Was it hard?" I ask.
Letting go?"

Not as hard as holding on to something that wasn't real.”
~ Lisa Schroeder


“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred, and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.”
~ Wil Zeus

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.”
~ Leo Tolstoy

“Happiness does not come from without, it comes from within”
~ Helen Keller


“The life of less, one bent on simplicity, and not needing or wanting anything other than what God has deemed good for you turns out to be all you could ever need or want.”
~ Hayley and Michael DiMarco

“What we all want, really, is to be loved. That craving drives our worst behavior.”
~ Jodi Picoult

“What do I want? What kind of question is that? I want what everybody wants. I want someone who has my back. I want someone's name to put in the space after "in an emergecy please call." I want someone who will drink the other half of the bottle of wine so I don't. And someone to make it worth sitting down at an actual table to eat. I want someone who's dying to get home after a long day because I'm going to be there.”
~ Claire Cook

“Sometimes, I think we're afraid to admit we want certain things. Especially things that contradict the image we have of ourselves.”
~ Debbie Macomber


“If Christ has been given us, if we are called to his discipleship we are given all things, literally _all_ things. He will see to it that they are added unto us. If we follow Jesus and look only to His righteousness, we are in his hands and under the protection of Him and His Father. And if we are in communion with the Father, nought can harm us. God will help us in the hour of need, and He knows our needs.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“When I save, I lay something aside for future need. If I sense God's leading, I will give it away to meet greater needs. When I hoard, I'm unwilling to part with what I've saved to meet others' needs, because my possible future needs outweigh their actual present needs. I fail to love my neighbor as myself.”
~ Randy Alcorn

“You won't discover God is all you need until God is all you have.”
~ Reverend Claude Nicholas
“First you find out what you have, Dad would say. Then you figure out how to make it work for what you need, 'cause you don't get what you want. You get just what you have and no more. ”
~ Lilith Saintcrow

Friday, March 08, 2013

A World of Words

World of Words

In this world we fight between good and evil. In this universe we have light and dark. In writing we relish the world of words.

Have you ever tried de-cluttering your writing world? I mean, taking words out of a piece of work to make it a tighter paragraph? I’m often called a drama queen and don’t worry, I don’t get offended because I know it means that I drive home a point. Whether in words verbally or written words, I drive a stake in the heart of the reader so they get the emotional gut wrenching point I’m trying to make.

I’m often telling writers to ‘tighten their work’ but by that I mean take out all the unnecessary words that I, and other writers call, fillers. I remember reading a friends work, and I told her, you have too many ‘ands’ in a single paragraph. She removed them, then showed her ‘editor’ the work and the editor told her the ‘ands’ worked.

To ME, the filler words bogged the story down, had me skipping through it like stones on water where I basically skimmed the story never really finding interest. She eventually went on to get the story published. I’ve never read the finished work, and I hope she is doing well in selling the book.

This is where I found myself less and less interested in writing. I was being asked my honest opinion, but no one really wanted it and didn’t like what I had to say. So why ask an opinion to begin with? Sure that extra set of eyes gives light to what you need to fix and work on, but if you’re going to shrug it off and think the person is wrong, then don’t ask. Find someone more trusting and stroking then I because I’m not going to stroke your ego, I’m going to be truthful and honest.

People read my work and are truthful and honest, sometimes even harsh but a lot of the times they were doing the butterfly stroke (easy) when I needed them to do a harder backstroke.

This is a world of words out here. I/we write. Let’s keep in mind that extra baggage in your writing is no different than a clutter-filled closet! It and your writing needs to be cleaned up and de-cluttered. This week’s posts was all about cleansing your spirit, cleaning up your environment and now de-cluttering your work.

Here are some tips in freeing your work so the sun can shine through the filtered words.

1. Take out a lot of the adverbs. I’m sure there is a more solid word for all those –ly words and such. If you absolutely need the word, then keep it, it might mean that it is a needed word.

2. AND makes a sentence run on and on. Use the comma, periods and semi-colons. They are there for a reason. If the word ‘and’ is a necessity, then keep the word, but don’t make run on sentences what your work is all about.

3. BUT is another overused word. I find myself using it a bit too much and am working on eliminating it from many sentences. Again, see words that are over used and eliminate them.

4. Use a thesaurus regularly! This is a must have in your writing arsenal. Most of the time an overused word can be repeated with a similar word found in the thesaurus. There is no need to repeat the same exact word over and over as long as you have a thesaurus.

5. De-clutter your writing. I can’t say it enough that cleaning up your work, tightening the paragraphs, cleaning up your workspace, cleansing your spirit all go hand in hand in the World of Words, remember that.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Encouraging Words for the Writer's Soul

Well folks, it’s time for some encouragement and you came to the right place. I’ll dish it out and you adhere and help yourself and honestly, you’ll be all the better for it.

Have you looked at the calendar? Did you know spring - the first day - is less than twenty days away! Can you believe it? And have we done any spring-cleaning? Well, with aches and pains, some may find it hard so I’m here to encourage you to get it started!

We’re closing in on Easter and we need to be ready for the rush of warm weather, possible rain showers, and more days OUTSIDE the home. So during these next few weeks as we embrace the chill that is keeping us inside, get to de-cluttering before the warm sunny days keep you from spending time inside.

I know how I am, once Spring arrives, I’m out in the garden raking old leaves, ridding the lawn of what winter has left behind, then my days are spent out there in succession, pain and all. This year, I might set me up a little place for my laptop out there, so all of you can be kept up to date with my activities. Oh you know you’d like it, admit it.

But first, before we can spend endless days outside, we need to get the place inside ready. You can do it, just take small steps each day and in less than twenty days, besides it being my birthday on the 23rd, we’ll be ready to face spring with a bounce in our step.

Our 1st baby step is realizing that the work needs to be done. So we’ll start small, say, with the desk drawers, and move onto the kitchen drawers. Rid yourself of all those saved pens and pencils that probably don’t even work! The kitchen drawers are probably filled with old papers and receipts from Christmas shopping. How about old utensils? Toss them if you see any rust, wood splinters, or worse, anything you haven’t used in a years time.

2nd – Clean out those drawers with some spic and span or your soap of choice. After scrubbing them out, return only the things you NEED and USE!

3rd – We’re going to get a broom, or a wooly-monster (that is what I call my furry TV electricity charged duster) I turn on my TV, run the wooly-monster over it and it charges the thing so it collects, you guessed it, DUST! Take your time! You’re in no marathon here to get it all done in a day.

Are you feeling ready now? These are small tasks (unless you’re a hoarder) and may even be done sitting in your desk chair or kitchen chair. The broom and wooly monster are for standing only; you’ll need to walk around the house, poking in corners at the ceiling to get any remnant cobwebs that linger.

By cleaning just these small things for starters will motivate you for the bigger chores done during spring-cleaning like ridding all closets of clothes not worn for five or ten years.

By this time you should now feel like a cup of coffee, and a nice seat at your desk to do some writing. Why not tell your tale of how glad you are spring-cleaning only comes once a year, and what motivates and drives you in getting it done.

Sure you’d rather be shopping, spending money you really can’t spare at the moment and sure you’d like to be lying on the sofa watching TV accomplishing nothing but remember by not getting these things cleaned up and organized, you’re really not helping yourself finding a cleansing spot to heal your soul.

I always took the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” literally. You see, when you clean up your soul, you’ll feel the need to clean up your house, desk, computer, etc. so your cleansing feels complete.

I’m with you on the back aches, knees hurting and such but we must push our aching bodies to move through the smaller steps and hopefully we’ll be up to the bigger steps.