Thursday, June 26, 2008

Words Are Not Enough

I yearn to be more like this earthly man, this hero, whose love for his son knows no boundaries--this man whose love is more like Jesus than any example I have ever seen...This man is a poetic example of our awesome and amazing God .

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Writing Tidbits

Writer's block? Well, yes, I have to admit I have a touch of this dreaded writing dilemma. It's not that I don't want to write. Why just this morning I woke up with the sun shining in through my bedroom window, and I felt so inspired I took my handy dandy notepad and half cup of coffee out to my back patio to do some writing. I wanted desperately to pour my heart out onto the paper and write something eloquent and worthwhile! I couldn't get started. I think we all have days when writer's block gets us, so here are a few tips on overcoming it when it strikes:

Get up and move somewhere different. Writing from a new spot may help renew your creative juices and help you view things from a new perspective.

(2) Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Start out with fun writing--like freewriting or journaling. These are great opportunities to both come up with new ideas, and to get rid of the stuff that's cluttering up your mind.

(3) Get focused. After you've found yourself a new sweet spot, and gotten a chance to do some fun writing, direct your attention to what you really want or need to write and then, as that clever Nike slogan says, "Just do it!" Start writing and you will be amazed at what you can get accomplished!

What's your most useful advice to overcoming writer's block?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh My Gosh! Too Cute!

One day Baby Amara woke up feeling incredibly happy, "Oh! Life is so wonderful," she thought.

Suddenly, she became very somber. "Something's just not quite right here..."

...until Mama came along and plucked that white thing off of her head. She breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and thought, "Now life is truly good!"

You know, I often find myself wondering if Einstein's hair started out like this...Just a thought!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday's Writing Tidbits

You got me! It's not's Wednesday. I apologize. You know how life gets away from you sometimes? Well, life got away from me...but you'll be happy to know I got it back again!

Anyway, I thought that this week's "tip" would be about group writing projects. I participated in my first one last week and thought it was such a great experience that I really think everyone should give it a try. Here are several reasons why:

(1) First and foremost, I thought it was great fun, but most importantly, it was a wonderful learning experience. What a fun opportunity to learn something about myself and a life event that I might not have ever thought about again! Not only that, but there were many lessons to be learned from the other participants. Who would think you could learn so much from animals, but you can!

(2) The contest opened my eyes to new people and new blogs. When I read the other entries in the project, I also checked out their blogs. I found a bunch of interesting stories, talented writers, and tons of useful information. Bloggers tend to be a helpful bunch!

(3) It brought new visitors to my blog. I love seeing new visitors, and I enjoy their comments even more!

(4) It was a great excuse to write. I would even have to say that it brought me a little bit out of my comfort zone--probably because the story was a glimpse into a past that is very personal to me. But doesn't that stretch us as writers, and human beings?

So if you've never joined a group writing project, then give it a try. You might be surprised just how much you stand to gain! I know I learned much more than I figured on, and that's simply awesome!

Have a wonderful day, and see you next time!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Ordinary Park Pigeon!

For most 12-year-olds, summer vacation is a time of carefree play. Going to friends' houses, visits to the beach, and vacations to new and unexplored places were eagerly anticipated events that made summer even more enticing.

For me it was different. Most of my time was spent outside and I wouldn't change that for anything in the world. I roamed our 62 acres of land in all seasons, but summer held its own special beauty. Right about the time school let out, wild strawberries came in to season. I would wander through the meadow until their sweet aroma gave their secret location away—usually hidden among patches of orange hawkweed and wild mustard plants. I spent hours picking them so my Gramma would make us wild strawberry jam--an unbelievably delectable treat when spread on homemade buttermilk biscuits.

And for as many hours as I spent picking strawberries, and roaming the meadow, that many more (and then some) were spent at the little pond that I called "my special spot." It was there that I went to think, to be happy or sad, or just to watch the sun glisten off the surface of the water as it said goodnight to the world. It was magic to me.

Despite the joys I found in nature, I still often found myself lonely. I was denied the fun activities a normal girl my age got to participate in, and was even excluded from all family fun. Naturally, I yearned for companionship--someone I could talk to; someone I could love and who would love me back and value me for who I was and wanted to become.

I prayed for a friend and in the late weeks of July, God answered that prayer in a most unusual and unexpected way. He sent me a bird. A pigeon I named Millie to be exact. She looked like any other pigeon you might see while sitting on a park bench with some bread crumbs in hand, but believe me, she was no ordinary bird.

She came to me one day while I was singing and riding my bike around the yard. I noticed her right away because I always had a fascination for birds. I spent hours concocting ways to catch one, or at least convince one that I was safe and would find him lots of worms. So when Millie landed on a branch only a few feet from my bike, I was careful not to move too fast so as not to scare her away. Slowly, I got off of my bike, stood underneath her branch and continued singing to her.

It wasn't long before she moved to where she was low enough that I could almost touch her. While crooning my song, I gradually raised my hands up to where she perched and to my surprise she let me catch her. Excitement surged through my body like electricity, for cupped in my hands was the reward for all of my patience.

Little did I know at that moment that it was no fluke that Millie let me catch her. She became a fast friend, and as long as I sang to her, she followed me wherever I went. For a month, I was like the Pied Piper, and she my faithful follower. I was never so happy in my life, all because I had a little bird to love, and the best part was that she loved me back.

Summer ended quickly with a friend to spend my days with. My first day back to school was fun and exciting, but I couldn’t wait to get home to be with Millie again. I hopped off the bus, filled with the anticipation of seeing her and singing to her after a long day apart, but when I called for her she didn’t come.

I went inside and asked my mom if she had seen Millie. She told me she made a trip into town and hadn’t seen her since she got back. I went back out and began looking, calling, and singing for her to come. She never did. I found her sprawled out underneath the wheel of the car. My mother figured Millie must have been sunbathing in the driveway when she came back from town. She didn’t see her, and tragedy struck in our driveway.

My spirit was crushed when Millie died, but I managed to recover from my loss and even learn something from my little feathered friend. I learned that there is nothing better in this world than to love someone or something unconditionally, and to have that same love returned to you. I learned that death is a part of living, no matter how sad or difficult it can be. Most importantly, I learned that no matter how small the being, or how brief the encounter, if the situation is right, the impact on another’s life can be huge. Never underestimate the importance of the little things in life. These great lessons are proof that Millie was no ordinary park pigeon.

This post is my entry in What I Learned from Animals at Middle Zone Musings and High Callings Blogs.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday's Tips and Tidbits

Choosing a Topic

There are times when freelance writers don't have a choice as to what they are going to write about. Journalists, magazine writers, and even those who do web based writing are forced to write whatever their editor or client wants or needs. Of course, there is usually some amount of flexibility regardless, but what if you get to choose your own topics? This is often one of the many perks of freelance writing, but how do you come up with ideas and what should you keep in mind?

Pick a topic that is of strong interest to you and that you already know something about. This will help you in a few different ways. First of all, let's use a scrapbooker as an example. A "die-hard scrap-booker" is going to come up with ideas for a scrap booking article much easier than someone who has never scrap booked before. Maybe she has created a fun and easy page to record a child's first birthday and she would like to share that with her readers in a "how to" article format. Or perhaps she would like to share in essay form why she is passionate about pictures. Regardless of the topic, her love for scrapbooking will help her come up with a plethora of article ideas.

Not only will the ideas come easier with a topic close to your heart, but that first hand experience is only going to enrich your article. Our photo friendly junky is already going to know what tools to use to make her pictures look fancy, which glues work the best, and how to keep organized. All of this is useful and real information that is sure to give her article an edge--one that won't come quite so readily with a topic that's foreign to her.

Finally, what you already know gives you a head start in your research. The information foundation will already be there, and your job will be to build upon that, to learn more about a topic that interests you, and to write an eloquent article.

So go pick a topic that inspires you and write an article that people will be driven to read!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday's Tips and Tidbits for Better Writing

Word Choice

Choosing the correct words for your content is one of the smartest things you can do for your writing career. Proper word choice will make your stories and articles entirely more persuasive. Conversely, putting the wrong words in the wrong place will only help you to lose your credibility, and unfortunately your readers too. So here are three common mistakes to watch out for when you write.

(1) All ready, and already: Use all ready when all refers to things or people:

The writers were all ready to write the best story ever!

Use already to refer to "by this time" or "by that time."

I could hardly believe her book already made the best seller list!

(2) Can hardly, can't hardly: Can hardly means virtually the same thing as cannot or can't:

My daughter can hardly wait until the end of the week, and the beginning of her summer vacation.

Can't hardly is improper grammar and should never be used in any context!

(3) Moral, morale: A moral is an adjective meaning ethical or virtuous.

The moral of the story is that if you use good grammar your writing will be more credible.

Morale is a noun meaning spirit or attitude.

The coach's positive attitude kept up his team's morale.

I hope you found these tips and tidbits useful. I will be back next week with some more!

Have a wonderful day!