Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Big Blue Screen of Death

That's right. My laptop died. The ancient computer I was using after that crashed too and we had to do recovery work on it. This has made being online for long difficult. The laptop, however, (my baby) has bit the dust. We are searching for the correct recovery disk but the outlook is not promising. It appears I will have to make weekly trips to use the library computer if this old PC doesn't keep up with me. We shall see--and some of my books will have to be re-written. Of course, I save in several formats often but this time, I had not gotten that far. I had tons of research on various subjects stored in my laptop. I should have learned from the crash I had two years ago where I lost most of a book. Well, there's nothing like a fresh start. God-incidentally, I watched a great Netflix movie this weekend called, "The Ultimate Gift". The concept related to losing the familiar to gain better, yet unfamiliar things. The timing of this was incredible. So I'm all ears to this.

Meanwhile, I'm rekindling some old loves and resting from some of my old obsessions. I've discovered a few things during this process. I will soon share them but for now, I simply write to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving (belated) and a blessed first week in December.
Pray for me to be able to fix or replace my laptop soon. I need it for several projects and writing commitments. For now, I will work on Plan B. Stay tuned for an update in a week or sooner. Thanks. See ya soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rather Be Writing Reviews JoJo Tabares' "Language of Leadership" Course

As you may well know, I am a friend and an avid fan of JoJo Tabares and her Blog Talk Radio Shows. In fact, I’ve been known to take my laptop with me to some strange places just to make sure I could hear her show or read articles from her Art of Eloquence blog and website.

After a mutual friend introduced us, I joined a yahoo group that was hers at the time-- Homeschooling With Humor. During this time, I participated in some contests. This gave me the opportunity to view samples of her books such as: Say What You Mean for Kids, FIMMology101-The Study of the Humorous Sins of Our Mouth and samples from her online articles. Later, after I became a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I read another one of her ebooks, Play What You Mean, the Playbook as recommended by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (a publication with which I contract to write product reviews on my Leaders in Learning Blog). In addition, I read articles by her that were published in TOS magazine.

Over time, I came to believe that JoJo is the #1 Communication Guru for business, Christian apologetics, homeschooling, education, public speaking, career advancement and many more avenues of daily communication. Her products are highly educational and a great bargain. She is very generous. In fact, she has given away many things during the years of her ministry. Additionally, her materials are very affordable. Right now, she has a contest going on that offers readers a chance to win a bundle of products worth $350, including a number of her own courses.

I recently received an opportunity to review her newest online AOE University course called, Say What You Mean, The Language of Leadership. This is a 51 page ebook (that I printed) with 18 lessons on the topic of Leadership. Each lesson begins with a Bible verse and ends with a homework assignment and a link to one of JoJo’s online articles.

Topics covered are: the definition of leadership--what it is and is not, the importance of communication skills for leaders, how to present yourself for success, a leader’s body language, using leadership words, how to deal with a confidence deficiency, direct sales leadership, accuracy, influencing others, leading your children, “How to Unbossy Yourself” and so much more!

The course contains resources for leaders in business but also many tips for youth leaders, church workers, homeschool leaders and aspiring leaders of all kinds. You will find other leadership gurus out there but JoJo’s books come from the communication aspect, which is very important if you understand its relevance to success in any area of life.

I appreciate the factor that her courses reference moral truths. Every page contains leadership skills that are necessary detailing how a lack of them can cause the downfall of both the leader and his or her followers. Relatable Bible characters or instruction from the Bible are used to demonstrate this, as well as historical figures and fictional characters.

Interwoven with that are wise advice and helpful hints for communication in leadership. I especially recommend the clickable links to her Communication Assessment Quiz and What’s Your Communication Personality? My favorite chapters in the ebook are “Chapter 7, Them’s Powerful Leadership Words” and “Chapter 11, How to Communicate Confidently Even When You’re Not.”

In addition, there is an accompanying audio course that links to the Art of Eloquence Online University. When you take the online course, you will receive a secret link to the weekly audio podcast that complements the ebook lessons. You don’t have to have the ebook to take the online course but they do work nicely together. New broadcasts open every Monday with a use-on-demand availability. This means you can take this course during the day or when your children are sleeping-whatever fits your schedule.

JoJo’s friendly and entertaining approach is unlike any other online course I’ve ever taken !

Using humor and an authoritative but approachable style, she shares tips and expounds on leadership.

Both the online and written course are excellent resources for learning communication skills needed in leadership. I recommend them to people who think they don’t have leadership skills or are afraid to use the skills they already possess and I feel these courses could be even more important for people who think they have mastered the topic but feel like they getting nowhere with their business or other endeavor.

After taking this course, you will have learned many tricks to boost your confidence and expertise in leadership. You will have learned to how to be a leader that people want to follow.

The ebook costs $24.95 for individuals and families. Even better, sign up for the online course and receive both the ebook and the audio classes to take better advantage of learning about Leadership. There is NO shipping and handling charge since your course is delivered via the web and email.

You may also join the online university to have unlimited access to this and other online courses. What a bargain to join her university at $29.95! Then you pay one flat fee per class title and you can attend for as long as you desire to take classes. The cost covers everyone in your household and more classes are being added ALL the time.
Contrary to popular opinion, communication is not only a skill used to give a speech. It is vital to every type of daily interaction whether it be in business or your daily life. Writers, this is also important to you. Writing is not only about writing. It's about communication and even after you have written your famous manuscript, you will continue to need communication skills to promote your work. Great leaders are great communicators...So learn how to communicate better through this and any of JoJo's courses.

To view samples and read all her awesome articles, visit this link:

Don't forget to buy a copy of Language of Leadership for your teen, family member, friend or anyone else who wants to learn leadership skills.

While you’re there, feel free to load your cart with some great items and then read how you can enter to win a prize bundle worth $350.00. You only have until the end of the year to enter, so hurry on over to Art of Eloquence now!

This is not a TOS review, but the eproducts of Art of Eloquence are endorsed by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and many of JoJo's customers and in my book, AOE receives a Two Thumbs up rating.

To learn more about what AOE offers, visit:

To hear her weekly podcasts, click on the TalkShoe link in the sidebar of my blogs. Thank you for reading my review of JoJo's Language of Leadership Course.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer's Wishlist

When I was a child, my parents asked all the children in our family to make Christmas lists.
We passed around our papers so that everyone knew what to get or make for each other. We tried not to ask for outlandish things since we knew that with involvement in the family ministry, finances were not plentious (Back then, ministry meant sacrifice not the glamour of Armani and diamonds, like some in modern ministry seem to think).
Although the wishlist idea sounds self-centered, our family already had a practice of giving to the community in abundance even when we had little ourselves.
Making a wishlist was a valuable lesson in assessing wants vs. needs and in honoring the needs and wishes of others.
The practice has stuck with me. Every year, I follow the family tradition and ask the people in my present day family to make their own wishlists. It sure makes shopping a little easier for me, too!
It wasn't difficult for me to get into wish-listing. I'm a list-maker by nature anyway. I love analyzing and keeping track of things.
New Years is another time to employ this principle. I make an annual list of resolutions to change old behaviors and to start new ones.
Periodic introspection and needs-analysis are beneficial because they keep us honest with ourselves.
As I approach the end of the year, I find myself going to that listmaking mode and crossing of the goals I've completed for the year as well as setting new goals as a writer. This includes a wishlist of tools that I think I need to continue as a writer. I never know how I'm going to accomplish or acquire them but I ask God in faith and trust that He will provide exactly what I need. Sometimes He gives me the desires of my heart in an ownership capacity and other times He provides the opportunity to borrow or share. It's a great lesson in faith and spiritual warfare, too. (By the way, God tells us we have not because we ask not or we ask amiss.
Prayer is a fantastic way to check the priorities of your wish list items and to see God work miracles on behalf of your obvious and seemingly hopeless lack.)
No warrior goes to war without preparing his armor and weapons of warfare. Neither does a writer jump out there without preparation and education. He or she also needs proper instruments with which to write and be published. He needs a battle plan and a map telling him where to submit and with what directions.
What tools do you need as a writer to make it on the Christian and /or secular markets? Here are some things I recommend putting on your wishlist (most are on mine; several I already have access to):
Sally Stuart's Christian Writers Market Guide
Writer's Market Guide for: poets, novelists, short story writers, songwriters, children's writers and illustrators, photographers, screen and playwrights, agents and everything you could ever want to learn as a writer or artist.
The Writer Magazine
Magazines, newspapers and books in genres which you want to become published.
What is on your writer's wishlist? Did I miss anything?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Write Sa Lot

This is a goofball post but I had to write about it. You see, as my son says about me, "She Writes Alot". Why? Because I write about anything and everything--even stuff that no one else would care about. Sometimes, I share it with my blog readers. Sometimes I don't.

What do writers write about anyway? The answer is "Write what you know."

If my family and I embark on a great adventure, the story ends up racing across my computer screen. If I'm present when the sun ducks behind a cotton candy swirl, I'm inspired and a poem ensues. When the sun peeks out again and glistens a kaleidoscope of colors in prisms on the wall or on the nearby lake, somehow it makes it's way also into a rainbow of words on my page.

Then there are the less glamorous subjects--like the daily grind of life. I write it down. I will probably also write about a new venture in becoming a health and wellness consultant. If I do, it will be on my Leaders In Learning blog and you may hear all kinds of useful facts that you never thought about -lucky you (tongue in cheek).

For me writing is a catharsis but for you, it's a pretty raw look at my thinking, too, so only the brave may venture onto my blogs. I'm not good at poker faces in person or in writing. It all comes out.

There are different reasons for writing. We all have them. We write for therapy or to express a valuable opinion. We write to persuade or entertain. We write to build a career or to build a following of readers with which to fellowship. We write just to write because it's fun and energizing. We write about everything.

Writers write because they love to. A few make money doing so. Some day, I hope to make the big bucks with this favorite occupation of mine but for now, I will make money as the opportunities arise and I will simply enjoy writing and share a laugh or two when I find one. Like this government page that told what average and lowest paid writers earn yearly. I laughed my head off at it. Let me know what you think. See also if you find any redunancy in this article. It's something I'm really good at. Maybe the government will pay me to write something like this for their site.

At least I have something to look forward to. Until then, happy tales to you until we write again.

Monday, November 2, 2009


More discouraging news came to me this month. One of the writer's groups I belong to is dissolving and another one is now meeting at a time that is more difficult for me to attend. How will I write without the encouragement and accountability of a group? With homeschooling one child and waiting at the bus stop morning and afternoon for the other, I find myself scrambling to figure out how to find time to write what is in my heart to write. Actually, if I could find the money to write, I would be relieved. I am in the job hunting process right now. I'm already busy. If I find a job, how will I find time to write? But then...

I ran into a lady who works for a local newspaper. We met at a Harvest Festival the other day and she encouraged me to take a leap of faith and look for another at-home writing job. The jobs I have done lately in the writing field have been re-reimbursed in products rather than money or have been done on a volunteer basis to help a cause. I don't mind giving of myself to others. This has been wonderful BUT I need to make money, too. It would be great if I could write and make money doing it! Writing is what I love to do and what I feel that I've been gifted to do. I know it takes time to make money. I will not give up but I can't hold out for the money I will make with writing later. I go. I'm going to take a chance.

Please pray for me that I will find just the right opportunity and that I will not give up hope through it all. I know many writers are struggling right now financially. So are a vast majority of people in other careers. I pray that we may not lose faith or hope through it all.

This reminds me of a song. Here it is. It's an oldie but goodie. It's called "Through It All." I hope it blesses you too.

Here's another great new one with a similar message.

No matter what, if you feel that writing is your calling or vocation, don't give up. Let's encourage each other along the way. Through it all, we can learn to trust God to bring us into our promised land.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Prayer

(This is not the best poem I ever wrote but it is a prayer from my heart. I hope you enjoy it and make it your prayer too.)

Thank You for dying on the cross for my sin.
Thank You for bringing new life deep within.
I long so to please You in all that I do.
So come, Lord, abide in me and I in You.
Everyday, I will open my heart and my ears
To listen to Your Word. Speak softly but clear.
I'll worship, walk close with You, stay by Your side.
Lord, please come and dwell in me. Come be my Guide.

Your daughter

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Characters from The Real World

It's been a while since I have experienced this but today, everyone I looked at became a character for a story.
There were the four pre-teen girls dancing down the sidewalk to the Big Band Music blaring out of the speakers at the Classic Car Show that I took the boys to today. The four best buddies were suddenly tap dancers on stage to me.
Then there was the old man who looked like a modern day John Wayne. He was sitting next to his car smoking a cigar, trying to look tough but you could read all over his face that he was really a softie in disguise. He was playing a part.
Next was the fifty-something year old lady dressed up for Halloween I suppose. She wore cat ears and striped, speckled knee socks with matching shorts and blouse that made her look like a giant piece of candy corn. She suddenly became this theatre actress in my mind. I almost heard her singing a show tune as she sprung past me on the sidewalk.
There is not much I don't notice about watching people. (No, I'm not a stalker, just a people-watcher. Writers do that sometimes.) I sometimes wonder what people think and what their stories are. I hope they don't mind me watching them. It's fascinating. I love watching children and seeing the joy of innocence and the delight of learning. I love watching them with their grandparents or an older sibling. There is so much to be learned about life and relationships when doing this.
Most of my writing has been non-fiction but I have dabbled in fiction a little too. My fiction has utilized a memory of people I've seen or known and incorporated it into a character. I don't write all my characters that way but take bits and pieces from people I've known or met and meld them into a character that interests me.
What do you do? How do you invent characters? Do you people-watch too? (Not stalk. That is weird. I'm speaking of a glance or two out of curiosity.)
It's kind of fun trying to match a shopper walking out of the mall with the car they are about to unlock. I guess. Sometimes I'm right. Other times I have been quite surprised. I've learned so much about people. For instance, I've seen an older man approach and unlock a sports car and try to act youthful. I've seen a well-built gentleman look around nervously as he climbed into a mini-van or beater (that's what New Yorkers call a beat up car). Human nature is revealed through the body language and facial expressions of the people around me. Of course one should be careful of becoming judgemental as well. Observation sometimes misses details because they are not evident at first glance.
As Christians we have someone watching us but it is not because they want to write a story about us. Or is it? God had plans written for our lives before time began. The devil would like to re-write those details. We need to portray what is true to our faith and be aware that we are being watched both by God and the devil. Our lives are in God's hands. The steps of a good man or woman are ordered by the Lord and He delights in them.
There are also other witnesses watching us. They may be other characters in the story of our lives. What do the other characters see about and in us? What do our actions tell about us?
I have lots of flaws. I have feet of clay. I know others do not see perfection in me. I don't expect them to. I share it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. Through it all, however, I hope that people see this frail body and weak will to be dominated by a spirit that loves God and people. Even in my people watching, I pray. If I see a sad face, an angry soul, a lonely heart or hear hollow laughter, I realize that although the people I am watching make good characters for my stories, they are also real world people with real world needs, just like me.
Maybe this sounds too wacky to you. I just had to give you a look inside my head for a minute. This is what I think: We can learn a ton about writing from life and piles about life from writing.
What kinds of things have you learned from your characters or even people from whom you created aspects of your characters? What do you think that life has taught you about writing or what has writing has taught you about life?
Leave a comment, please. I'd love to hear your opinions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Writing From the Shadows

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare of the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God and I am trusting Him.
For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.
He will shield you with His wings.
He will shelter you with his feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and your protection.

Psalm 91:1-4
NOTE: I've not been writing on here everyday as usual because I am juggling many things at this time. But don't worry, I'm not far away. I am resting in the shadows for now. Until then, enjoy a few words that are not my own.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What Are the Words?

What are the words?
They won't seem to come.
All I can think of is ho-hum-drum.
I wish I could pen them but they run away.
What are the words that I could say today?

Okay, it's rather silly but you get the point. All of us get writer's block from time to time or we wish that we did so we didn't write something that ridiculous. Hey! Don't knock it. Dr. Seuss made a living from writing the likes of such nonsense!

My point? Christians and non-christian writers alike suffer from this ailment. How do you overcome this as a writer? Usually if I am unable to write, it is because I'm either too tired or too busy and can't slow down enough to formulate the words.

If that is the case, I take a break and do something fun (though I have to admit to being a little deficient in the fun-activity-finding category). After a brief enjoyable retreat I come back--relaxed enough to write.

If it is because I am too tired, then heaven help us! I am going to write something goofy. Some of my best writing has come when I had writer's block and just wrote whatever crazy thing came to mind. Other times, the product made a flight across the desk into the circular file.

Sometimes, spending a little extra time in prayer helps me bring to mind a spiritual truth or a new direction for my writing. I always ask the Lord to help me to write for Him. I figure that if I've done that and still have nothing to say, then I might be better off saying nothing at all.

Let's here some of your ideas. How do you cure writer's block?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Write Stuff-His Words Through Our Words

As Christian writers, we desire to reflect the image of the Author of Life.

Here is what His Word is to us.

Lord, make our words breathe life and bring light to our readers as well. Let us follow in your example. Use our words to bless our readers in this same way.

1. Make our words a lamp to light the way. Psalm 119: 105, 140 "Your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our pathway...Your Word is very pure..."

2. Let our words cleanse. John 15:3 "Now you are clean through the words which I have spoken unto you."

3. Make us mighty in word and deed. Luke 24:19b "...Jesus of Nazareth...mighty in deed and word before God and all the people."

4. Let Your Word dwell in us that it may come forth in our words and go forth with power and blessings. Colossians 3:16a "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wield Your Words Wisely

Words are powerful. I say that often because I believe it. Christian writers have an even greater responsibility to wield their word power and WORD power wisely.

Ecclesiastes 12:10-12 says, "The Teacher searched to find just the right words and what he wrote was upright and true. The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end and much study wearies the body."

Here, Solomon was not trying to say that it is a waste of time to write or study. If you read the passage, you will see that the focus is on making sure that your words and actions are guided by the Lord and that they are true to the Word.

Writers are a dime a dozen these days. Godly and good writers are not as plenteous. Mankind has a great deal to say-some of which is pure babble and of others, pure wisdom. Solomon reminds us that "... God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing whether it is good or evil."

I saw this quote on a fellow writer's blog. TIMES ARE BAD. CHILDREN NO LONGER OBEY THEIR PARENTS AND EVERYONE IS WRITING A BOOK. ~ Cicero, 53 B.C.E. (Written so long ago but so apropos).

Lest you run away discouraged, listen to this: Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught..." These words are Messianic prophecy but I think that they can encourage us as well to know that we who have the mind of Christ can be instructed of the Lord in what to write so that we may give sustenance to the weary, rejoice with those who rejoice, and teach truth and wisdom to the simple.

Not everything we write as Christians is inspirational or devotional. Some is entertainment, amusement, or catharsis. In all of this, God can use our words to touch the heart of another and speak His truth--yes, even through humor. All of these types of writing have a place in the world. The Christian writer is unique in that he or she can use any of them to weave in a mesh of truth which nails the truth deep in a reader's heart.

Sometimes, we get discouraged from a professional standpoint. The writing business boils down to sales at times. Sales are "feast or famine". In the dry times, we wonder if writing these words is really worth all the effort. I'm here to say to myself and others that "Yes! It will be worth it all when we see God using our words, even the words that we give out for free on our blogs and newsletters. None of it is a waste of time.

I pray that you and I will remember that we are not the ones holding the power of our words. If we exercise ourselves in skillful practice and open our ears to the guidance of God, He will make them like arrows carrying the message that our readers need to hear.

NOTE to our readers: I am not saying that we are as inspired as the Holy Bible; what I am saying is that God can speak to and through us as Christians who love to wield our words and His Words. That is what makes us inspirational writers.

A prayer for our readers:

Give us wisdom.

Unveil our eyes.

I nspire our ideas.

D irect our steps.

E ncourage us.

O verpower our fears.

U nwrap our dreams and

R epackage them how You desire.

W hen we're weary

O nly in You can we...

R enew our strength and

D aily breathe new life.

So let my words be wise.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Is the Shepherd in the Driver's Seat?

When you were a child, did you ever ride in a car with a trustworthy adult who suddenly took you on unfamiliar roads? Though it startled you, you knew and loved the driver enough to know that they were taking you someplace nice? Perhaps it was full of bumps and scary ravines, a lonely dirt road or even in a busy metropolitan area where they had to dodge traffic and take quick sharp turns. No matter how tough it got, you never tried to take the wheel. Why would you, anyway? You can't drive. You don't know the way.
"Where are we going?" you asked.
"Don't worry. You'll like it. Just trust me," came the reply.
So you sit, grinning ear to ear or staring out the window, trying to figure it all out and then finally give up. Either you sat there in peace, knowing that everything was going to be okay or you started up a conversation about something else, all the while thinking about where your journey would take you?
When you finally arrived, you found yourself at a sandy ocean beach or cozy restaurant with an ice cream parlor on the side. All the wonder and worry seem to fade away and you revel in your destination.
Well, life is kind of like that sometimes for a Christian. Sometimes we think we know the familiar way to go. We map it out. Plan our work. Work our plan and suddenly, we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.
If you are a Christian, you have moved to the passenger seat and trusted the Almighty to drive your life and your career path. You are His child and look to Him to take you where you need to go.
Psalm 23 says, "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me able to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name sake."
We know this. We quote it. But when the tough times come, what do we do? Quote and believe the rest? "Yes, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me..."
It's not often that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death but we do walk through grave situations. Financial struggles, stressful schedules, health issues, unknown futures--these things all overwhelm us. They tempt us to jump back in the driver's seat of our lives and careers. We try to take matters in our own hands and fix things. But we can't drive. We don't know the way. If we try to chart a course in unfamiliar territory, we will be lost or end up in an unpleasant place.
So what can we do? Look to Him. Do not fear. Trust and let go of the wheel. Remember that He is taking you someplace good--someplace with a hope and a future--somewhere unforgettable.
"...You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dr. Wordweilder Wonders

Dr. Wordwielder here with our weekly word and grammar exercises, an evening late, of course, because last evening I was tied up with grading papers at the university. I do hope you will forgive me and that everyone has been studying their dictionaries and thesauruses in my absence.

It has come to my attention that very few are actually answering the examination questions on this web log and so, I would like to ask a few simple questions to determine if I am gearing my tests to the general audience age and ability levels or whether I shall need to adjust the questions accordingly. What is it that Ms. JoJo Tabares says on her show? Oh, yes! "Know your audience." I affirm the veracity of that principle.

So, today before I post our usual questions, let me post the following questions. Perhaps this will provoke some new or returning readers to take a chance on answering for the first time.

You may feel free to either answer via the comment box at the end of this post or email Ms. BeckyJoie at . Mark the subject line "Dr. William Wordwielder's Survey," please. Another way you can contact me is to write to: RATHER BE WRITING, P.O. Box 1183, Tavares, FL 32778-1183. Address the letter inside to Dr. William Wordwielder c/o BeckyJoie. Thank you.

Answer the following questions either in a comment or a three by five card.

1. What age category are you in?
a. elementary school b. secondary school (6-12th grades) c. college and career age
d. retired e. parent or educator

2. Which part of my weekly posts do you enjoy the most?
a. the story b. the examination questions c. just reading both d. reading both and answering

3. What types of writing do you wish to hear more instruction about?
a. magazine or non-fiction b. poetry c. fiction d. other genre (name it)

4. In what state or country are you located?
a. U.S. if so, tell the specific state b. Canada c. Another country.

5. What do you find the most challenging about writing and language?

6. What do you find the most interesting about writing and language?

Since I have asked you so many extra questions, I shall only ask two of our usual exam questions in the event that I might have some participants who wish to answer both sets of questions.

Here they are:

1.Hectic or Helpful Homonyms. Select the correct homonym. They are hectic when used improperly and helpful when fitly used.
The library aide climbed the ___________ a. ladder or b. latter (choose one) to retrieve Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from the top shelf in the resource room.
2. Ideal or Idiotic Idioms. One feels like an idiot unless he or she uses these idioms correctly.
Because Wilbur wanted to be popular, he competed to prove he could do as well as anybody else in everything he did. Unfortunately, his_____________________ a. one track mind or b. one-upmanship (choose one) backfired on him and he lost all of his friends.
Answer the second set of questions in the comment box at the end of this post AND please answer the first set of questions via comment, email or regular mail. I shall return later to tell you who answered the most correctly. Don't forget, there is a prize in a few weeks for the reader who answers the most questions and for those who participate. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dr. Wordweilder will return tomorrow. He was delayed at the university-grading papers. :>) He asked me to send his apologies.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Old Grooves and New Moves

Returning to Palm Writer's Group was the highlight of my evening. During the previous two months, pre-occupation with family matters rendered me unable to attend. As usual, there was a fair balance of humor and banter at the round table (rectangular but still hosts a meeting of the minds.) There were a few awkward moments where topics included in writers' manuscripts became the butt of wisecracks making some of us blush.
As I sat there tonight, I began to realize how much I missed this group of people for the year or so when I had moved away and not attended the meetings. The group has changed so much over the years but it is still colorful and diverse.
The former president of the group was back and shared a story which told of a recent spiritual experience. I enjoyed reading his work and seeing him again. Faithful, long-time members along with newer members-- a few faces I didn't recognize--all contributed to a wonderful experience. Fellow word-lovers of varied perspectives agreed together to help one another improve the writing ability of each individual. There were mystics, Catholics, Christians, agnostics, atheists and people from various lifestyles spread around the table each smiling, laughing and critiquing the others' works without animosity. It's just the sort of place for a Christian Writer to be.
To top it off, I made a new friend, thanks to a mutual friend, Barb. Our testimonies and choices of a life verse were similar. (A life verse is one chosen to be used somewhat like a mission statement given to a person by God.) We shared a wonderful conversation after the meeting. I was familiar with books by authors with whom she is associated and have used them to help church members who have been hurt by various offensive things in the church (not my church, per say, but the universal church in general). I am interested to see where the Lord takes this "God-incidental" meeting as I really connected with this guest on many levels. I look forward to interacting with her and seeing the input she brings to our group. I'm sure that she has much to offer us in the line of constructive criticism.
It was good to see my writing colleagues and to be back in the grove again. Now I just need to get signed up for the web activities connected with the group. It is time to be diligent about this once more. Palm Group helped me tremendously over the years with improving my writing skills. I also became good at editing and critiquing as well as receiving critiques. This is the group that John, the former president used to call "The Carnivores". I was on the receiving end of a few of those man-eating critiques. It sure did sharpen my skills (after I picked my fragile ego up off the floor!) I'm thankful that I've been a part of this fantastic group of writing critics and writers. There are so many new members that I am excited about getting to know. (I'm reading their awesome stories, too.) This it the group I like best for their editing and analyzing abilities.
Clermont Christian Writers Group will be starting up again Monday at 1pm BUT they will not be in the old library downtown. The library has a new groove--a brand, spanking new building near the college in Clermont. (Did you know there was a college in Clermont? I had no clue.) Well, I am anxious to meet up with these writers again after the group went on a summer hiatus. I've missed the crew there which included members from Africa, Clermont, Leesburg, Tavares and surrounding areas.
One writer is a missionary in Muslim territory. She shared ways that Christians can invite Muslims into their homes to show them Christian love. Her writing is fantastic! She writes vignettes about her experiences in Africa. They are cute little children's stories with a gently-woven-in moral. I love them.
Another lady grew up in a Circus family but she is so mellow, sweet and kind. Her stories are very spiritual and show the relational side of walking with God. She writes devotional material as well as skits and has a large novel in the works. I found an immediate connection with her as I also grew up in a family that traveled and performed, though for different reasons.
Too there is a former sports writer who writes prophetic books and stories that evoke deep emotional responses toward the faith and toward helping others. He always has a unique perspective on things.
The leader of our group is a many-time published Chicken Soup for the Soul writer. She does a marvelous job of keeping us updated on market opportunities, providing accountability for members in our writing goals. Her most helpful talent is the ability to encourage everyone to be the best writers that they can be.
There are several other writers that I enjoy reading in this group as well. They write to comfort those with long-term illness or personal baggage and/or for entertainment as well as their own person enjoyment. A couple battle disabilities and illnesses but continue toward their writing goals, blessing us all with their words.
I'm excited to return to our next meeting Monday. I just hope my directional disabilities don't kick in too high gear on the trip. I will have to take advantage of both Map Quest and MS Streets and Trips. I might even beg my friend, Lyssie, to let me borrow her GPS in addition. Can you tell I'm Geographically Deficient?
So, now that I've rambled on and on about my writing groups, what does this have to do with you, the readers?
Well, I've ranted periodically on Rather Be Writing about the need for writers to attend a writers' group of some sort. The reason why is because I believe that it is difficult to be a good writer and stay on top of the game without cheerleaders to spur you on further on the journey. I feel that the challenge of submitting to a group of critics prepares you for the possible rejection you might receive from a publishing editor. In addition, reading the work of other authors teaches you things about writing that you can't learn if you only write and read one genre. There is a great deal to be learned from the analysis and discussion of all types of writing.
Much of the writing I read and critique in Palm Group is material I would never otherwise read as it is secular (nothing wrong with it, just not my personal choice for everyday reading.) Some of it comes from an absolute opposite viewpoint spiritually or politically. Reading it, gives me an understanding of people unlike myself and an opportunity to develop a relationship with the same. It can help, as well, when I am writing about a character, to know how real life people from real life situations might word things or act. It's a free education, if you will. We all learn from each other. It's an experience I wouldn't trade for the world and that I would highly recommend to all writers. (No hyperbole here. LOL).
When it comes to Christian Writer's Groups, it is obvious that the group often contains more of a spiritual focus which can sometimes even reach outside of the writing topics. If all writers feel that they march to a different beat from the rest of the world, then Christian writers feel it in even more profound ways. This market is not as widespread with opportunities and often has limitations that other markets do not. those who read this genre may not be as willing or able to purchase what is offered. Being in a Christian group can also help understand the picky sticky areas of the genre. It is so helpful to receive tips and info on other Christian Writers' marketing experiences as well as to feel the genuine care over the spiritual leadings on: how to write, what to write an where to submit. We've held meetings that included prayer when someone felt discouraged or needed direction. As a Christian writer, that is a unique experience. I want to be led by the Lord in anything I write, whether it is for the secular or Christian markets. Christian Writer's Groups understand the need to be spirit-led and yet still prod you toward publication goals you may choose for yourself.
But what if you don't have a writers group in your area? There are many wonderful online communities for both secular and Christian writers. I've posted about some of them under the labels marked "cheerleaders". If you know of any, please post your comments so that other readers may benefit. To quote a popular musical, "We're all in this together."
If you aren't able to join an online community of writers nor a local critique or writing group, then I suggest praying for God to send you online writing friends with whom you can connect. I've met some of the best writers and editors online! I believe they were heaven-sent to my life for the purpose of mutual encouragement on many levels as well as professional improvement. If you don't have connections with other writers, you know the One who can make it all happen for you. Ask and you will receive. God is good about answering specific prayer!
When it comes to business connections, trust Him also. Trust and obey and let Him make the way! Remember you are writing for a purpose. He is the provider and we are the distributors. Look to the Ultimate Navigator for direction! He will not lead you astray but will move in and through you to new and old grooves.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Author of the Most Important Words

Dr. Wordwiedler has nothing on the Author of Life. I'll be happy to give the exam questions for Dr. Wordwielder's Quiz later, but for now, I had to share these words from the Author of the Word of Life, the Bible. It's a worthwhile but lengthy video filled with the words of wonder and awe at the majesty of our Creator. While, we, the writers toil late into the night or arise early in the morning to write our meager words, the Author of Life has written many words for us to read and follow. Our words will fade, but His Word lasts forever.

Please watch it when you have some time. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dr. Wordweilder's Communcation Carol

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Dr. William Wordweilder here.

This has been a wonderfully productive week for me. The majority of students in my classes at the university are adjusting well to their routines and schedules. In doing so, they make our time together work like finely-oiled machinary. Their wise use of study time frees me from having to round up late papers and reports from the students. I am abundantly proud of them. They are putting forth a great effort to learn the materials and become excellent users of English grammar and speech.

I would also like to give a word of appreciation to Ms. JoJo Tabares, a regular web log commenter here at Rather Be Writing. Not only does she ace the examinations the majority of the time but also she is owed gratitude for offering her talk show contest participants a copy of her book, FIMMology 101, the FIMMportant and Funbelievable Study of the Humorous Sins of the Mouth. Ms. BeckyJoie participated in the game show that Ms. JoJo held at Communication Comedy Network and just for participating, won a free copy of the ebook.

I must admit to difficulty adjusting to the idea of a book that is read in an electronic format. I made it apparent to Ms. BeckyJoie who then printed it for me to have in hand. She did ask that I return it after a brief look and purchase my own copy so as not to infringe on copyright laws. (You can do the same by clicking on the side link of this blog that is titled Communication FUNdamentals.) Ms.BeckyJoie has spoken to me of its superiority for applying humor to teach appropriate communication skills. It was her thought that I might be interested in using it at the university. And that, I just might. Nevertheless, I would like to provide you with a brief review of FIMMOLOGY 101.

First of all, Mr. FIMM has a very handsome name—Franklin Ignatius McMiller Possible but he soon earned the nickname of FIMM, the Foot in Mouth Man. I shan’t spoil the story by divulging too many details but suffice it to say that FIMM has a reputation like none other.

After a brief introduction, the ebook takes the reader along on a ride similar to that which Charles Dickens’ character, Ebenezer Scrooge, took with the spirits of Christmas past, present and future. The author, Ms. Communicator (JoJo) herself took me on a tour of FIMM’s many faux pas from birth to his mature years.

First, FIMM loses his source of employment at Balfurd Cleaners because of appearing to have a dirty mouth. (Never you fret, my friends, things are not always as they appear. After a bit, we discover that all that does not glitter on his sign is not fifth, but some poorly placed words. )

After this, FIMM cleans up for a job interview and makes his resume elaborate. In fact, he elaborates so much that I sincerely doubt that the manager receiving his resume has any questions whatsoever to ask him.

FIMM does eventually obtain employment but not without contorting like a yogi first (Foot In Mouth). I must say that I agree with Ms. BeckyJoie’s husband, Douglas, who believes that FIMM must have chocolate feet. He is always inserting them into his mouth.

Next, FIMM finds himself in a mite of legal trouble but manages to fudge his way out of it—barely—and just in time to change residences. First, though, he has to sell his dog without scaring off all the neighborhood children. A dog like his would not be allowed in his new place of abode.

The ebook shares quite a variety of snapshots of FIMM’s life from his single adulthood to dating dilemmas and church volunteer work, right up through his marriage, even giving a glimpse of the family man that FIMM has always wanted to be. This is where I find FIMM most relatable.

I’ve been a bachelor all these many years and must confess that I do so long for holidays with loved ones as FIMM finally finds. His many years of searching were eventually satisfied, which is more than I could say for myself who I think an old codger set in my ways. (I determined an eon ago that I would settle for nothing but the best. Being married to a poor communicator would be the bane of my existence. But the woman of my dreams is a figment of my imagination, I suppose. Why, she would be lovely and well spoken, a bit more flamboyant than I, since I’m what many might consider to be a boring professor.

She must bring a little spark of color and comfort to the home and yet, still accommodate my stacks of research without resenting the small areas of clutter. I am neat nick for the most part. My books are alphabetized, my closet already arranged by color and my shoes lined in neat rows on the floor beneath the hanging clothes. But my library—well, it is clean and orderly other than banquet tables assigned with works in progress, and, of course, some of the books that I consult on a frequent basis never make it back onto the dusty bookshelves. And the Mrs.—well, she would need to turn a deaf ear to my external processing of information during research AND to the oral reading of my own manuscripts. I’ve heard that one ought to read his or her own manuscripts aloud in order to make sure the flow is natural for the reader or for dialogue.)

Well, here I go again on a rabbit trail. It’s just that I feel in my heart that my future wife is out there, somewhere wandering and looking for her soul mate but cannot find me because I am buried deeply in my work. Not many women turn my head. But one, a red head I think, wearing a velvet hat and gloves breezed past me one day when I was at the booksellers establishment looking over a published magazine article of mine. Her voice sent shivers down my spine and I had to raise my head to see whom this eloquent and elegant lady might be. But like an angel, she was gone in an instant, as if appearing with an iridescent corona and then vanishing into thin air. She had a familiar accent, as if I had known her in another time and another place and yet she was estranged from me.

My friends, please accept my sincere apologies. It appears that I have been sidetracked by a daydream once again. My intention is neither to gain sympathy nor to lead you to conclude that I am unhappy as a single adult. No, it is merely that I have found FIMM relatable and sympathize with his years of “single-itude” . I shall have to pay closer attention to how he overcame this malady (though I think singlehood a gift at times).

Alas, you shall have to purchase a copy of his adventures at Ms. JoJo’s website at Art of Eloquence, in order to read about his travels on the road of life. His story has been told and continues. My biography is yet to be written, even at this age. I’m a youth at heart-at least like a youth who lived in the fifties. Anyway, you didn’t come to hear all that; you have come to take the examination.

I decided to assist readers in winning a prize by giving some them options for participating in the quiz. In a few weeks, there will be a prize for the most faithful examinee. There will also be an award for all those who participate. Return again for the next four weeks to join in and have a chance to win the prize. The winner will not only receive a free blog or business advertisement on Ms. BeckyJoie’s blog, but also a small token of appreciation that writers and word-lovers of all kinds will enjoy.

I am certain that you will want to take up the pen and begin now so here are this week’s questions. Don’t forget to leave blog comments.

1.Hectic or Helpful Homonyms. Select the correct homonym. They are hectic when used improperly and helpful when fitly used.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: The students who wish to attend my lectures but live too far away may send (a. Correspondents OR b. Correspondence) along with a SASE requesting the lessons be sent to them weekly.

2. Ideal or Idiotic Idioms. One feels like an idiot unless he or she uses these idioms correctly.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: The young man who “cried wolf” too many times could not get anyone to believe him when he was in real trouble demonstrates that:
(a. Chickens always come home to roost OR b. he was a cold fish.)

3. Wise or Wacky Words. Sometimes I shall share a wise word for your use. At other times, it shall be a strange or wacky word that you, the readers shall help to define.
THIS WEEK'S WORD. This word is of Yiddish Origin. Glitch or Glitsh. Usage. A well-prepared lesson and presentation should proceed without a glitch.
This word means to “skip” or “nose dive”. Americans have adapted this word into everyday vocabulary.

4. Comical or Cute Coinage. Step one. Terms that I find cute or comical. Step two; you share a word that you find fitting in either category as well. We shall sharpen each other’s intellect.
THIS WEEK'S WORD. Inblogtrinated. The act of being persuaded that social media is an excellent means of communicating ideas and promoting business. USAGE: Though I prefer to write with pen and notepaper or an old fashioned typewriter, I’ve become inblogtrinated into the modern ways of writing and publishing.

5. Spelling Slips. This shall include words that are commonly misspelled. You will need to select the correct spelling.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: The children’s church song lyrics for “I’m in the Lord’s Army” say that “I may never ride in a (a. calvary OR b. cavalry.)”

6. Pun Fun. Here I shall share a pun and I would like you to share one also.
THIS WEEK'S PUN-LINER. If you dispose of an old chalkboard sponge are you ex-sponging (expunging)?

Send in your puns, coined phrases and answers to the exam. Ms. JoJo’s friend, FIM uses some great puns. For instance, he frequently catches athlete’s tongue by sticking his foot in his mouth. Let’s see if you can send in some puns this week.

In fact, I’m going to make it easy for you all this week and allow you to choose two of these questions to answer on this week’s examination. I shall extend free credit for the unanswered questions if a new quizzer will answer only two of the questions. I shall look forward to reading your witty answers very soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award

Wow! I'm so amazed and blessed. I was nominated for another blog award. Woo Hoo! I would like to thank Rebecca from Living a Life of Writing at for nominating me for this award.

Now it is my turn to nominate people. Here are the rules:

The Super Scribbler

1. Each Superior Scribbler, must in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving bloggy buds.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and name of the blog from whom he/she has received the Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the Award on his/her blog and link to this post which explains the Award.

4. Each blogger who wins the Award must visit this post and add his or her name to the Mr. Linky List at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins this prestigious Award!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Here are my nominations.

1. JoJo Tabares at Her purple blog won the "Kreativ Blogger" award last week but she is better known for her Christian ministries and business at Art of Eloquence and Communication Comedy Network, a weekly blogcast of comedic proportions based on communication. You can listen to her very funny show on Thursdays weekly at:

2. Terri Tiffany also won a "Kreativ Blogger" Award last week on her personal blog but this week, the credit goes out to her for another blog that is always packed with market leads and great ideas for Christian writers in her Clermont Christian Writers Group (of which I'm blessed to hold membership. )

3. Olivia from Inspired By Grace, She always has amazing photos, heartfelt, inspiring words and poetry. Be sure to check out her professional photography page as well. She is an award winner. Anyone can also see that she is a genuine Christian!

4. Of course, I would re-nominate Rebecca who referred me, even though she has had two nominations already. See the link above. She has the amazing ability to carry on writing about the same topic for days and keep it interesting and educational. Great job, Rebecca, and thanks also for nominating me. :>)

5. Last but not least is Ray Thombs. He is a songwriter/singer turned blogger. He writes short and concise blogs but there is always something good in the posts. Check out his website and blog. (Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage for the blog link or listen to the lyrics he wrote on his main page-he has some mystery woven through here and there that one must ask him about to find the full meaning. It's "evoktional" as he puts it.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dr. Wordwielder's Wise Warnings

Good evening, Ladies and Gentleman, I am pleased to make my weekly appearance here at Rather Be Writing. I'm ever so indebted to you my astute audience, for being such faithful participants in my written English Grammar examinations. I have been ruminating about a method of thanking you for your involvement through the means of some material compensation for the time and effort you have put forth. As a result, I will soon announce the rules for a contest to win a resource to assist you even further than our weekly lessons. Be sure to appear here at Rather Be Writing in the next few weeks for more details.
Presently, I would like to reveal a tidbit of information that one might find useful in preparation for studying grammar. I have read the abstract of recent studies in the scientific community regarding the correlation of nutrition to the acuity of the brain. It appears that neuroscientists have discovered that cerebral health and functionality are enhanced by the ingestion of certain supplemental capsules and dietary choices which include: Omega Fatty acids which are found in fish, eggs and some nuts and seeds as well as phytonutrients and amino acids found in micro algae, fresh fruits and vegetables. Augmentation of these into one's diet, may increase the ability of the brain to connect the synapses used by neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine which promote well-being and the ability to develop and increase cognition. Another nourishment which enhances cerebral functioning is drinking optimum quantities of water. Though one might not benefit from drinking too high amounts of water, insufficient levels of water intake can be detrimental. The average person's body requires 6-8 glasses of water per day in order to prevent dehydration.
One symptom of dehydration is mental confusion. When a person is not drinking enough water, he or she will have difficulty thinking clearly and will be unable to learn effectively which makes the creative process of writing difficult to say the least.
I have noted that my students in these past few years are drinking more and more soft drinks then in years past and also less water. I've heard rumor that carbonation in soft drinks does not allow proper hydration and may actually dehydrate the brain. I have also seen, at least at my university how the class schedules are becoming so tight that it might make one unable to drink enough water during the day due to a dirth of transition time between classes for drinking and eliminating (I do apologize for the graphic content, but one must realize that with input there is certainly going to be output and a healthy person needs to have output approximately 5-6 times per day. Anything less indicates not enough liquid intake.)
Please excuse my digression. I fear I must sound like a walking health encyclopedia. But I must encourage you lovers of pen and ink to ensure for yourselves adequate nutrition and hydration. I do so enjoy a good cup of English tea daily but do try to keep my limit of one or two so that the caffeine will not act as a diuretic. I want to be sure that my thought processes are sharp as well so I do chose green tea often although it is not Earl Grey. It took some adjustment on my part as it will for you as well, but I'm sure that you will desire to nourish your cerebral health and be the best writer and grammatician you are capable of becoming. I pray that you will humor me for this bit of grandfatherly advice. I do get carried away on tangents from time to time but it is because of my deep concern for your well-being and the decrease in scholarly writers that I've seen in the last decade.
Consequently, I shall proceed without much further adieu to present this week's examination.
Your assignment shall be to read the instructions and answer the question that correlates to it below. Put your answers either here or on your own weblog and create a link back to this examination so that others may see your skillful and well-thought answers.

1.Hectic or Helpful Homonyms. Select the correct homonym. They are hectic when used improperly and helpful when fitly used.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: The young cook learned to pick the (a. flower OR b. flour) that was whole-grain because it was healthier for her body and brain.

2. Ideal or Idiotic Idioms. One feels like an idiot unless he or she uses these idioms correctly.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION. The university student (a. beat his brains out OR b. became an egghead) trying to write a literary analysis without eating or drinking all day but he was unsuccessful due to mild dehydration and low blood sugar.
3. Wise or Wacky Words. Sometimes I shall share a wise word for your use. At other times, it shall be a strange or wacky word that you, the readers shall help to define.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION. Malapropism. Is it: (a. the inability to prop one's book up at an appropriate angle OR b. the act or habit of misusing a word.)
4. Comical or Cute Coinage. Step one. Terms that I find cute or comical. Step two, you share a word that you find fitting in either category as well. We shall sharpen each other’s intellect.
THIS WEEK'S WORD. Gadabout: A person who runs about aimlessly seeking entertainment. A social butterfly. Now send us one of your favorite words or coined phrases. Let us see if anyone in addition to Ms. JoJo can come up with something cute or comical. (But feel free, Ms. JoJo to play as well.)
5. Spelling Slips. This shall include words that are commonly misspelled. You will need to select the correct spelling.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION. (a. Nuerotransmitters OR b. Neurotransmitters) are the body's Morse code or communication system.

6. Pun Fun. Here I shall share a pun and I would like you to share one also.
THIS WEEK'S PUN-LINER. If you join a group of your colleagues at McDonald's Restaurant for dinner and do not eat but pray instead, is the fare there still fast food?
Send in your puns, coined phrases and answers to the exam. I shall look forward to reading your witty answers very soon. But for now, I shall sip a cup of decaffeinated Green Tea, cream and sugar of course. Perhaps I shall be successful in duping my gustatory senses into believing it to be the familiar Earl Grey tea I oft drink.
Until next time, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with one request. Guard your cerebral health and exercise your brain cells! Tut tut! Good bye for now.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blog Awards

I would like to thank my friend over at for nominating me for this award. I was quite surprised to receive it and consider it an honor to be chosen as a creative blogger. I hope that Rather Be Writing is a blessing to you and your family as a resource for entertainment, education in writing and grammar as well as encouragement as a writer and/or Christian business person. I, too, have been inspired by a few creative bloggers/writers and would like to nominate seven more people to receive this award. I have not chosen randomly but for my faith and gratitude to these people for being either high quality writers or inspirational bloggers. Some of my nominees fit both categories. All are highly creative people who I respect and admire.

Here are my choices to nominate for the Kreativ Blogger award (Sorry, I just have to add that I'm a really bothered by the spelling of the award. I'm a bit OCD I suppose.) Anyway, here they are, not in any particular order.

1. Terri Tiffany. http://http// Terri is an excellent writer who inspires me in so many ways. A many time published writer, her stories have been in Chicken Soup for the Soul and several other anthologies and Sunday School publications. She is also a great friend who I have mentioned several times on my blog. Terri's creativity shines through in her topics and the way she interacts/provokes comments on her blog. Kudos, Terri!

2. Next is Dawn Gregg, of Attaching Hearts. Her blog was one of the first and best blogs I found of Christian parents of adoptive children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Whenever I need some encouragement, I just go to her page and the music and posts lift me up. One of the creative things she does is to take pictures of heart shapes that she finds and post them as signs of God's love to us. I love it! Dawn, you're a creative blogger. I admire you!

3. The next one is my friend, Debbie Hannan, who is a strong woman who knows how to nurture the people around her and she writes about it in the most unique ways--so transparent yet mysterious. Debi, you are also a great writer! You have a gift. Your blog is not just a way for you to document your healing process. I think you have a book in you. You are a shining star!

4. Of course, I cannot leave out JoJo Tabares, who is one of the most creative blogger-writers I know! I love all of her websites and products but this one takes the cake. Congratulations, Purple Princess! You are tops on creativity! (Hugs, Purple Power and all that Purple Jazz!)

5. My dear friend, Gidget Blunt is another creative blogger who writes in a way that I wish I could-concise. She is also a fellow TOS Crewmember who reviews products for vendors who have an agreement with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She writes about this, that and everything and is certainly one of my favorite creative bloggers and the name of her blog fits. She is a gem! Garden of Gems.

6. Next, is Tiffany at Hillside Hollow. Talk about creative! She makes new jeans out of old ones, creates unique recipes, blogs about lapbooking, sports, outdoor adventures, homeschooling, chocolate and a myriad of other topics. She always has eye-pleasing layouts and is apparently more tech savvy than I because she can always get her photos to line up perfectly and even wraps the text around it with textboxes for the outline of the words. Did I mention, I adore her? Tiffany, you are definitely a creative blogger!

7. Last, but not least, is a friend I am just getting to know. She is part of our homeschooling group and is also an adoptive parent. I "met" her via the web after some kind ladies from the group told me I should connect with her because we had some commonalities in our lives. She was a great help to me and still is. Her blog is very, very interesting and she writes tactfully about incredibly unique experiences, even some I would be too shy to discuss with my close friends if they were my experiences! (And I'm not shy in most people's opinions.) Melissa is a wonderful, organized person who is very creative in her blogging. I always look forward to seeing what new thing she is going to write about! So, Melissa, you are my 7th and final nominee.


Here are the rules for the award (and I quote):

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

OKAY: so here are my seven things that you might find interesting about me:

1. I grew up in a family that sang and performed music, puppetry, ventriloquism and traveled across the New England States under the name, Victory Messengers. We also had a small television program.

2. I have taken acting classes and love performing arts. I met my husband while we were teamed up as singing/dancing partners in a musical at Family Life Ministries in Bath, NY where he worked.

3. I can't dance. But I want to try. I am just afraid to do it in public so I borrowed videos from the library two weeks ago and I'm planning at some point when my schedule eases up to bust a move in my living room. I will first hide all camcorders and digital cameras.

4. I really want a daughter. I'm praying about a situation that might bring one into my life. I'm not pregnant either.

5. My secret desire is to upgrade my education and I want degrees in multiple areas of study: Psychology/Counseling, Secondary Education with concentrations in English and History (I took Elementary Ed prior), Special Education, Music and Journalism. I'm not ambitious at all am I? Maybe I will finish when I'm eighty.

6. I hate to cook, but don't mind baking.

7. I never eat when I'm writing a big project. I'd rather drink my meals or order an I.V. ! My poor family. Good thing hubby cooks. Your turn now.

Answers To Dr. Wordwielder's Wisdom Quiz

1. Floridians are fond of “yard (a. Sailing OR b. saling)”. B. Yard-SALING though technically it is yard sales not saling.
2. Under His Wings Womens Center held a vigil for domestic violence survivors; the gentleman brought a candle and attended because he: a. realized that actions speak louder than words OR B. wanted to add fuel to the fire. A. Actions speak louder than words. He certainly would not want to add fuel to the fire.
3. Abecedarian. Define it. Is it: A. one who uses an abacus to teach Mathematics OR B. a beginner or learner of the alphabet? B. An Abecedarian is one who is a beginner or learner of the alphabet.
4. Blogstruck. Being enamored with a topic about which one of your colleagues has posted via a weblog or social media device. Ms. JoJo, I liked your coined word. Thank you for playing.
5. The misspelled word was suppose to be "friend". One would shudder at the thought of having a fiend stick closer than a brother!
6. “When a medical professional starts poking and ribbing you, it is not a good idea to command ‘Cut it out, sir”—the accidental appendectomy patient. Saying cut it out to the doctor is not a wise idea if he is a pun person. One might also end up with a missing organ!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dr. Wordwielder's Words of Wisdom

Dr. Word Wielder here. I trust that in my absence, you’ve all been brushing up on your grammar. Ms. BeckyJoie has been teaching her children about root words and prefixes. They seem to have adapted fairly well and are developing an affinity to stretching their vocabulary by using words that they have never heard of nor understood prior. In fact, I think one of them has decided that he shall take up a hobby of the same ilk that Ms. BeckyJoie has chosen for her career. He has begun writing stories and making up sentences using the words from his lessons. I do believe that he was found using a cardboard box turned tablet to do so because he wanted to pen the words quickly and illustrate them himself. Ms. BeckyJoie was estactic, to put it in the common vernacular. I too, congratulated her on the successful passing of the torch. With a bit of mentoring, the young chap might actually become skillful at the craft. Perhaps, someday, he shall develop a desire to pursue a career in communications and enroll in my university classes. But for now, I think that it is a good idea for him to engage in Writing Workshops and critique circles of his peers. Perhaps, I shall talk his mother into beginning a Workshop in the new umbrella school in which he partakes. I shall not have the time to teach him myself.

I’ve been busy from top to toe with preparations for the new semester at the university. My classes are at an abundance of attendees, which is excellent for the sake of our educational institution in this era of global financial crisis about which we hear ad infinitem. (Regardless of the financial situation, I assume that I shall fare fine with my collection of rare, antique books though I wouldst die a thousand deaths of starvation before parting with them).

Nevertheless, the flurry of life’s whirlwinds shall not prevail this evening as it has in the past week or so. I do believe Ms. Oakes has repaired her technical issues with people who cough too much (hackers). Now I shall deliver my weekly lesson. I would like you also to add a word on an area of English, Grammar or Writing about which you have questions. Then leave your answers in the box marked “comments” and I shall return later to grade them. Thank you so much for your faithful participation. I am delighted to have you in my correspondence class hosted via the Internet.

DIRECTIONS: I shall post one or more of these weekly. Sometimes I shall include them all. You will need to understand the rules and definitions.

1. Hectic or Helpful Homonyms. (Select the correct homonym. .They are hectic when used improperly and helpful when fitly used.)
2. Ideal or Idiotic Idioms. (One feels like an idiot unless he or she uses these idioms correctly.)
3. Wise or Wacky Words. (Sometimes I shall share a wise word for your use. At other times, it shall be a strange or wacky word that you, the readers shall help to define.)
4. Comical or Cute Coinage. (Step one. I share terms that I find cute or comical. Step two, you share a word that you find fitting in either category as well. We shall sharpen each other’s intellect.)
5. Spelling Slips. This shall include words that are commonly misspelled. You will need to select the correct one.
6. Pun Fun. I do relish a bit of dry, English or New Englandish humor. Puns are a way of life for some of Ms. BeckyJoie’s family as well. Here I shall share a pun and I would like you to share one also.

Are you prepared sufficiently to attempt the examination?
Learning Language is the sharpening stick for the scholar's sword.

Here are the questions. Remember to consult the rules above. Choose the correct answer and post to the blog. Each category is numbered and defined above.

1. Floridians are fond of “yard (a. Sailing OR b. saling)”.
2. Under His Wings Womens Center held a vigil for domestic violence survivors; the gentleman brought a candle and attended because he: a. realized that actions speak louder than words OR B. wanted to add fuel to the fire.
3. Abecedarian. Define it. Is it: A. one who uses an abacus to teach Mathematics OR B. a beginner or learner of the alphabet?
4. Blogstruck. Being enamored with a topic about which one of your colleagues has posted via a weblog or social media device.
5. What is this misspelled word suppose to be? “A Fiend is someone who sticks closer than a brother.”
6. “When a medical professional starts poking and ribbing you, it is not a good idea to command ‘Cut it out, sir”—the accidental appendectomy patient.

Well, it is time for me to retire for the night. I hope that you enjoyed yourself while taking my examination and that you were able to guess the correct answers. Re-read the rules, please, ladies and gentlemen, and then post your answers here and also on your own blog, giving a link back to my grammar lesson. Once, again, I think Ms. BeckyJoie for allowing me to have time and space on her webpage. Until next time, my companions….
Dr. Wordwielder, signing off. Writers: take this to heart. Teachers, tell your students: Use wise words when working and writing this week. Wield them well and wisdom will walk with you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kind Kids

A little over two years ago, I was a co-writer on a Kind Kids Curriculum written for children in daycares and preschools from Birth to Age Five, preposed to pilot in Lake County schools and/or VPK. The program is extensive and includes parenting help for teenage or young mom's in how to nurture and teach kindness to their children as well as opportunities for people in the community to encourage acts of kindness in society in general. It will include puppetry, cartoons, games, stories, songs and more. It's still in the development stage as it was put on hold due to funding issues.
This week, I received an email informing me that the project is back on the front burner as we are working on the filming of videos for corporate funding of the pilot. At this time, we are looking for local families with three year olds who would like to be filmed as part of this volunteer effort to create a kindness curriculum that will help combat the violence and apathy of today's society and turn the hearts of parents toward their children.
The organization with which I work that is founding this program is Kindness Works International. My initial involvement with this project was in co-creating characters, skits, and games to help promote kindness. I also wrote and recorded a song that was filmed for an introductory video. Feeble, mind you, but original, LOL. I have not been super-involved with the project over the last few months but I do know of the original intent. If it has stayed true to it's original track, then I support the cause-whole heartedly and expect to be involved again soon with more curriculum writing. It's very exciting.
Although KWI is a secular organization, there are many people of faith working cooperatively with them to promote the traditional values to future generations through this curriculum and other ventures, such as college scholarships they handed out based on Kind Acts and more. A spokesman for the organization is contemporary Christian singer named, Norman Lee. You can view one of his KWI videos and listen to his music here.
Another wonderful participant in KWI is my friend, the very kind-hearted painter/photographer, About two and a half years ago, he painted a portrait of Rachel Scott (Columbine victim) for her mother and helped KWI launch it's One Act of Kindness project. His actions did cause a giant ripple and we were touched by it's reaches.
It was through his project that our middle son was brought to our attention as a young person who needed an adoptive family. To sum it up, one act of kindness led to another which led to another and here we are with two teen boys we didn't know we were going to adopt. That happened after I became involved with the curriculum-writing end of things. It was a beautiful story. While writing the scope and sequence for the courses, my son's public school teacher, a Christian who had been praying for God to bring her student a family, came in to the room and the shop owner where we were meeting asked her opinion of the curriculum. Then she told us about this boy who needed a family. She described him and I began bawling. I knew she was describing my future son. My husband and I had prayed for specific things and God answered by dropping in our laps this boy with his list matching our prayer list. Wow. When we finally saw a picture of him, we saw our other son as well and began praying about him. We adopted the first child by himself and then a while later, after months of prayer, we adopted the second son-not related. Now we have a house full. We have an opportunity to show kindness to those who've not known it much in their lives. It is our hope that our acts of kindness to them, spurred by the acts of kindness by which we found them, will also ripple into more kindness and love from them to others. And who knows how our adoption of them will affect those around us and them? Only God knows. Now you have a part of our story of how KWI touched our lives.
Meanwhile, if you are a local family who wishes to contribute to KWI through filming, donations or volunteer hours, please contact me via email at Thanks. Help start a ripple in your life and that of others today.