Sunday, May 27, 2012
--- A young girl also an online friend who regularly visits the blog asked me this question . She was quite persistent in her request. Oh boy! But I like her.. wonderful person and friend. Well, I think she meant creative writing. Defined as...
"Creative writing is writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way." (Sil.org – What is Creative Writing?)
"Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information." (Creative Writing 101)
To answer it better, let me put down things I have learned as far as my writing experience is concerned and if it be of service to young girls and boys (have been asked the same question through the writing years I can hear it still :-) ..) wanting to pursue this passion and god-given gift. Although still not a complete list because the learning continues as the writing does. We should remember that there certainly is so much more to learn and that speaks not only of the writing but as well as life is concerned too. Learning is a life-long experience and activity. When you stop learning, everything else in your life stops growing.... you stop growing!
Here it goes.......
-- USE SIMPLE WORDS. Using big words unnecessarily doesn't really impress your readers. It will only muddle up their brains trying to figure out what you mean. And people don't really bother to look it up, as a rule. If they can't understand you, they won't read you.
-- PAY ATTENTION TO CORRECT GRAMMAR. Simple does not mean being sloppy. If you are in doubt about a certain word or its usage, consult Mr. Webster.
-- DON'T CRAMP IN A LOT OF IDEAS IN ONE SITTING. If the piece is about i.e. 'how to fix a lawn mower', then write about fixing lawn mowers; no need to include anything else about fixing the washing machine or the dryer or about installing a car battery. Stick to one subject, focus on it, develop it, finish it.
-- WRITE SHORT. Unless you have to explain or need to include research on the topic you are writing about. Organize your material, organize your thoughts, and don't write more just to lengthen the piece to make an impression. If you have to write long there must be a point - goal - reason to the length. Essence, not form, is what matters.
-- KNOW YOUR SUBJECT. I have come across a quote which in essence goes this way .. 'If you want to write about a garden..... be in one or have one." 'Don't remember who wrote that but it sure makes good sense. There is no excuse for not knowing. You can always find out in ways accessible to you online or in real time. Write about what you know.
-- BE GUIDED BY CLARITY AND CONSISTENCY. Inconsistent and erratic writing reflects a sloppy thought process. Respect your readers so take the time to make yourself clear and easily understood. That would make your readers enjoy your writing more.
-- HAVE OR DEVELOP YOUR OWN WRITING STYLE. People are unique in each respective way or ways. Show that uniqueness in the writing. Your readers will appreciate you more for that.
-- CARRY A NOTEBOOK WITH YOU. Make it a habit to carry a notebook with you everywhere. There are many things to write about. But can be seen only by the observant eye, mind, heart, and soul. Write down your observations.
-- MIND WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU WRITE IT. Be appropriate at all times whatever the subject you are writing on. There is no excuse for bad behavior, bad language, bad writing.
-- REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. Whether it be one, ten, or a hundred.. consider them in every writing you do. Understand that there is a diversity of interests, opinions, beliefs, differences out there but these are the very things which lend color and interest to the writing, for or against. Write and handle with care.
Well, that's all for now. There will be more as the writing continues and I will make sure to keep you posted. To my young friends and budding writers at that, keep writing ---- keep the talent and passion alive. I look forward to reading your work soon.
Blessings to you all!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
By a friend's request, I'm bringing here an old post in the blog written way back when I was yet new in the blog world. She further added that she's hoping that the insights she had gained from it then would resurrect itself once more. Cos somewhere there through her life journey she had lost it. A simple request I couldn't turn down and won't. So here it is, dear friend, and whatever it is you're going through.... hang in there.
THE GRAIN OF SAND IN YOUR SHOE
'Shoe…shoe…’ cried out the little boy to his mother. She immediately took the little one to the safer side of the pavement; bent over to his shoe unlaced it and peeked inside to see what the problem was. Out poured grains of sand! As what mothers would naturally do, she got rid of it made sure there was nothing left inside the shoe and then helped the kid put his shoe back on again.
I was watching the whole thing a few meters away from where I stood at the bus terminal waiting for my ride. The scene brought to my mind this thought....... what is it about small things that they can make you cry and stop your world for a moment?!
Certainly having grains of sand or a pebble in my shoe would surely be quite prickly and hurt my foot, just like the kid. More so would it would irritate, vex, anger me, and potentially turn my otherwise happy frame of mind askew.. out of kilter. That in itself would take care of the rest of the day for me – ruined for sure!
Let’s take that over to the bigger picture of life.
What are those things which bog you down, divert you from your destination, annoy you, or make you rage with fury? What is it that makes you stop dead on your tracks or take you up to an immovable block that suddenly shows up? What would upset you so much and make you want to give up?
Plenty and you would be surprised to find out that a good number is made up of the small irritations or vexations of the day. How much more with the bigger issues of life and living which could keep you from moving forward or sometimes take you down to a full stop.
Altogether these can absolutely wear you down. No doubt about it cos no one can stay on tough and punching hard 24/7 through it all. Chaotic for anyone there for sure. Well, nobody said it was going to be easy. Instead we have been distinctly forewarned by those around us that things may even get tricky, tougher, risky, thorny, uncertain, and vague. True enough life is truly everything that’s been said about it... and even so much more.
I had my share of it just like everyone else. I battled issues and concerns, big and small, and have cried buckets. I got beaten and tired, worn-out ... thinking I can't go on.
But Mom would insist that it is at this particular point that one must pull one's self together and stand up mighty, strong, and tall. And I replied obviously hurting 'with what?'. She replied with her usual quiet wisdom...... -- With a clear understanding of this …..
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out,
it's the grain of sand in your shoe."
.. a quote she plucked out of somewhere (she was a voracious reader). And she was right; it sure is wisdom that hits you straight to the core -- It’s the nitty-gritty business of’ pursuing or chasing a battle -- goal or -- dream that almost always shakes us hard. Yet hard as it may be, one must push one's self even harder --- deal with it, cope with those vexations, fight back with everything that one is and with everything one has. And somewhere there is revealed the strength which one thought wasn’t there at all..... nor seen before.
And last but certainly not the least, remember that we have been fully equipped for tough jobs by a wise and loving Benefactor. So then what to do? Simply dig deep within yourself and retrieve that power just waiting to be called forth to do its job. It's right in there. Give it life! And start living.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Gosh, that does sound so gloomy and depressing. I sat there listening to all her woes; she needed to get it off her system or I would guess she would explode. But she's still here standing and waking up every morning maybe without the smile that we should be giving the start of the day.. but she's up just the same. To face her battles once more I suppose.
That's courage, whether she knows it or not. And maybe somewhere there inside her small frame is a tiny spark of hope... maybe still believing that someday she will find relief to all her troubles. She won't tell me, but when I see her look out afar with her sad eyes I can sense the faint ripple of hope in those otherwise sweet brown eyes.
Because she believes in God. She prays maybe harder than we do. Probably shedding buckets of tears alongside it. But she prays. I love her for that, admire her even more.
This brings to mind a beautiful song by songwriter Thomas A. Dorsey in 1932....
"Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand;
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home."
You know in truth, we're all so much like my friend at some point or another.
May I request you to include a tiny prayer for her... and for every person on this planet who is going through the same challenges and troubles of life... for us all... to put their hands and our hands in the Lord's --- "The God Of All Comfort".
Blessings and do have a blessed day.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Whenever a dear friend says I have you in my thoughts (we're not talking of love or romance here.. lols ) ... my heart does a double-take. And when he or she says that I'm in their prayers ... now my heart tumbles over with huge delight. I consider that a wonderful privilege, honor, and gift for such a lovely friendship. Immediately I tuck it into my treasure chest of friendship gems and jewels. And along with other gems inside I pour out tons of prayers over it out of the joy and gladness bursting forth from the heart.
Because you see that's just the place where I want to be... in someone's thoughts and prayers. There can be no better place. It does more than a dozen greeting cards on occasion or treats on occasion or Hi's and Hello's when you happen to bump on each other at the mall. Because it warms the day with good thoughts that someone out there thinks of me with kindness or fondness. It boosts my energy to move ahead despite a mound of obstacles because I know that someone out there is praying for me too. It sets wings to my soul as it soars up high where the angels glide. It keeps me safe wherever I travel on all the highways and journeys of life and even in the mundane rituals of my day.
So my dear blog friends (with some of you we've never met) ...... thank you for your thoughts and prayers..... as you are in mine.
Blessings to you all!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Just a thought. Apple pies are the same everywhere give or take a few ingredients according to whose version it is. In the same manner that beef stew, carrot cakes, rib steaks or whatever gorgeous dish put together comes out. Most likely the basic ingredients are the same. Well, almost.
But I'm more inclined to believe that it's not the apple pie per se that's special, no matter how scrumptious it is to the bite. But rather the person who took the time, trouble, effort, and passion to make or create it .... in this case, greatgrandma who believed in her old gentle heart that it's s-p-e-c-i-a-l.
So that's how it all begun..... somebody there from where it all started believed that it was special. And so it is! Maybe that was what God had in mind when He created us. Oh boy, that makes us SPECIAL -- what lovely thought!
Another line from the Kung Fu Panda says it beautifully........
'TO MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL ...
YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT'S SPECIAL.'
-- Mr. Ping, Po the Warrior Panda's goose father
Monday, May 7, 2012
And that is correct. I once heard someone ask another 'what's your secret to your success?' or 'what's your secret to your young looks?' or 'what's your secret to raising good children?' ----- I don't wait to hear the answer ..... all those contrived answers pang showbiz (showbiz style) with the end effect of wanting to make it look special or intriguing or having one's ego sated.
Because all that is unnecessary ---- they don't have to or need to gild the lily any further. It already stands beautiful and exquisite by itself. If only they understood that.
What do I mean? It's this. Everybody knows that............
There is no secret to success; it's simply hard work, consistency, dedication, high ideals, courage, believing in one's self, and the willingness to succeed.
There is no secret to youthful looks (let's not talk about genes here, we know what it can do too); it's simply adhering to good healthy choices and regimen and the attitude of positivity which is the sole beautifier of one's mental outlook, heart, and soul.
There is no secret to raising good children; it's being the person of high values, good breeding, and god-centered. These are the things which are transmitted to the children unawares. Live your values and your children will certainly live off it in their own.
And many more.
So you see, it's just like what Po, the Warrior Panda, said in the movie......
'There is no secret..... it's just YOU.'
Be the best of what you can be. It's as simple as that.
That's God's blueprint for your life too.
Blessings to everyone.
Friday, May 4, 2012
When I saw this piece I knew I had to have it here in my blog. Here's why.....
In memory of my mom.... who sacrificed her world so that her children could have theirs. My comfort is knowing that she has her just reward sitting happily at the foot of the Almighty Throne.
A mother's love is beyond measure - timeless - grand - It's what stands strong when all else has fallen apart. It's this beautiful magnificent love that keeps your world together..... that helps you become who you hope to be and who you were meant to be, by God's design.
Here's the piece, to quote...............
(from Spring in the Air)
Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:
"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day...
The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. " --- Unquote.
The most beautiful MOTHER'S DAY you can ever have is that one spent with her..... up close when you can look into her eyes and see the greatest love of all.... just for you!
(My thanks to Fernando Vega Delgado who shared this piece and exquisite picture on his fb page.)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
That's so simple. It operates on the premise of a wonderful verse in the bible --- 'whatsoever you shall sow, so shall you reap'. And sometimes it can come back to you with even so much more. Because God loves a giver..... a cheerful giver.
The reason why we don't usually have our expectations met is because we fail to operate on that divine rule. We set down such high expectations from people, from things, from life. But what do we do to insure that we receive it in the measure we expect? How are we also ever to receive anything at all if we have our palms closed.... and tightly at that.? Nothing can grow out of nothing. Only a miracle but that is not the point of this post.
Everything comes from a seed. And this can be an idea -- a course of action -- a thoughtful gesture -- a compassionate display of care -- a good grasp of genuine insight and understanding towards others -- a belief that is held strongly when others try to bring it down -- and others more. These are the seeds which we are supposed to plant in our daily mundane lives.. in our relationships... in our social structures.. in governance.. in ministering to others.. in our homes and neighborhoods... even to our self.
Plant the seed and then wait for God to bless it. And He will! When He does, you will see blessings pour out in the same measure of your planting.... and sometimes even so much more. All because you have pleased and delighted your Heavenly Father who always loves a giver.... a sincere serious giver who simply and humbly understands what it means.
After all HE started it all..... GAVE His only SON for our sakes.
Blessings to you and your day.