Monthly Archives: September 2015

The First Word!!

September 28, 2015

It’s Monday Blog time, Everyone…Welcome!!

Well, I made it!! I finally got the first word down on paper!! Ya know, that first word is a real doozie, but you must have it—there’s no skipping it. No way out. It’s sort of like being at the bottom of the stairs and trying to skip your way to the top. Not a good idea and pretty much impossible anyway.

I’ve been struggling with the first word for my next book for a while now…so I’m thrilled to share this with you today: I GOT THE FIRST WORD!!

Also, I wanted to pass on some personal insights to any of you who have ever considered writing…anything— a book, short story, poem, even a letter. I remember when I wrote my first novel, “That Melvin Bray”,  I had no earthly idea what I was doing. But I found out one thing early on, like immediately, that I had to get the first word down on the page. You can’t hear me, but I’m laughing out loud right now as I’m remembering that day over five years ago when I realized this one requirement of me, before I could do anything else!

It was crazy, too. One word…short or long, big or little, however you choose to look at it, the first word has got to get on that page!! Tell you the truth, I can’t remember how long it took me, but in the end, my first word was “It”. Now that’s a short word, right? Well, “it” worked beautifully! However, short or long, makes no difference…the first word just HAS to be THE perfect word!

I’m no scholar or literary teacher of the “do’s & don’ts”  of writing. I had a story I wanted to tell and just decided to do it. It took me almost four years from the first word—my tiny little “it”…to the last word, which was “loose”…that one worked also! In all, the book has  290 pages filled with all kinds of WORDS—Hard to believe, but I did it!! Hallelujah!!

I have some interesting Quotes for you from some of the more renowned writers, in hopes of inspiring those of you who need your innate writer’s bone, tickled a little today…maybe!

I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.”  —Henry David Thoreau

“Writing is an adventure.” —Winston Churchill

“Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.”—Alan Gurganus

“…only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.” —Anton Chekhov

“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightening.” —James Dickey

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” —Robert Benchley

“You asked for the distinction between the terms “Editor” and “Publisher”: an editor selects manuscripts; a publisher selects editors.” M. Lincoln Schuster

“A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of the wonder of it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes”. —William Sansom

“What a writer brings to any story is an attitude.”—John Gregory Dunne

All this and the first word.

Try it. I dare ya…the first word!!

Now go and do something wonderful for yourself and others this week!! Be even more  courageous than you were last week!! …and my personal Prayer for us ALL today, is that we will be blessed in a way which will allow us to accomplish this!! AMEN!!

GOD is Good! GOD is Great!! Thank You, GOD!!

Love.

Margaret

“Jesus is not a religion, He is a Relationship. He lives in us and uses us to touch other people.”—Todd White

What’s WRONG With Manliness, Anyway?!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Blog Time – Welcome everyone! It’s another great day to be alive—Hallelujah!!

Over the years, my husband and I have discussed the growing deterioration of MANLINESS…I believe it started with the American feminist organization known as “NOW”…National Organization of Women, founded in 1966.

While I enjoy being a woman and honor the rights of women, for some reason I never felt compelled to join the “club”. I think way back in the mid-sixties, when I was of college age and very impressionable, one had to first be wiling to burn her bra…can you say Woodstock? What a party that was! And we know how that turned out. Then, as time went on, Gloria the Feminist Guru Steinman was the Leader of the Pack and a key spokeswoman for women’s rights. She did a humdinger-of-a-job recruiting women and frankly many of them turned into man-haters!! It’s a sad fact, but true, nonetheless.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for equal rights, equal pay…EQUAL EVERYTHING—I just don’t agree that either sex has to slay the opposite sex to change status quo. As time has moved forward, and rights have been “equaled”, the pendulum has again found its’ own equilibrium; however, what we have left is the obvious impression of the deterioration of manliness! Chivalry, Smilvary!!

i.e.: “No thanks, I can get my own door!”  “No, I can put my coat on, thanks.” No, I don’t need your help, I’m quite capable, myself…”

Frankly, I’m saddened by this notion that “All Men Are Bad”…a couple of weeks ago I read the following article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. YOU be the judge…

Manliness: It’s the unsung trait of the heroes on train (Mona Charen/Creators Syndicate)

“When a heavily armed man emerged from the bathroom of a European train and began what was clearly intended as a massacre of innocent, unsuspecting civilians, six men ranging in age from 22-62 sprang into action. A banker and a middle-aged academic, both French, were first on the scene. The sound of gunfire awakened three young American tourist: Alek Skarlotas, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler. In a moment evocative of the Flight 93 passengers’ shining courage on 9/11, Skarlatos saw Ayoub El-Ehazzaani struggling with one of his guns and leapt up, saying simply “Let’s Go” to his friends.

The three Americans, two Frenchman and one Briton who took on the terrorist were unarmed; their military training prepared them for violence. For the world to be safe for most people, good people must learn the arts of war to prevent bad people from ruling through terror. It’s true of individuals and it’s true of nations.

The Legion d’honneur is both richly deserved and a reminder that honor, so out of fashion in our time, is awfully handy in emergencies. Stone, already slashed in the face and neck by the terrorist’s knife and with this thumb nearly severed, nevertheless went to the aid of Mark Moogalian, who was bleeding badly from a bullet wound and  probably would have died without Stone’s assistance. The others, Sadler, Skarlatos, Chris Norman and an unnamed Frenchman, subdued and tied up the terrorist, while Stone saved Moogalian’s life.

There is more to say about the three Americans. They were childhood friends who met at a middle school. They are of different races, but that was irrelevant to their friendship. They also seemed to have been rambunctious boys —a trait that tends to be a pathologized in modern America. The Sacramento Bee recounts:

“Friends from age 7, they played with their siblings and neighbors up and down Woodknoll Way, favoring games such as Airsoft, in which participants shoot each other with realistic -looking replica guns that fire plastic pellets, said Peter Skarlatos, Alek’s older brother.”

I believe then and still do that violent urges cannot be completely quashed, but they can be channeled into virtuous expression.

There’s one more thing to be said of the heroes on the train. They were men. So-called “traditional masculinity” is a major target of feminists on college campuses and elsewhere. That, they teach, is what creates the “rape culture.” The Obama administration has joined in—naturally. A government website urges that colleges “promote an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault and other forms of men’s violence against women.”

In Aurora, Colo., in 2012, when a crazed gunman opened fire on a crowded movie theater, no fewer than three young men covered their girlfriends with their own bodies and lost their lives in the process. That and not the loutish behavior of some frat boys, is true  “traditional masculinity”—or better, manliness.

Men have been defamed and devalued in our society for decades. Their high spirits are punished  in schools. Their natural protectiveness has been scorned as sexism. The passengers on that French train are surely grateful that some manliness remains indomitable.”

The fact that men and women are different should be fairly obvious—they’re supposed to be!  Once again, God’s perfect plan at work. As for me, I choose to honor both, for their talents, their uniqueness, and most of all their differences…and AMEN to Men!!

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew    5:9

My prayer for us all this week is that we will respect, cherish and honor each other’s differences, while being conscious that none of us is perfect, and remembering that patience is a virtue.

GOD is Good! GOD is Great!!

Love,

Margaret

“LIFE” is God’s novel…let Him write it.

NOAH’S AWESOME PROMISE — THE RAINBOW

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hello, Everyone!

Welcome to my Monday Blog. This last week has been a pretty incredible week, hasn’t it? — and in more ways than one!! The most impactful event, though, which we ALL took part in, was the sacred tribute to all those who lost their lives on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York City. A day we will never forget, nor should we! Almost three thousand innocent lives were taken from us on that day. Why? Because here in our beautiful USA we have what we call The United States Bill of Rights and among these rights is the freedom of religion. That one freedom (among several) has caused unimaginable trouble from those around the world who would prefer the USA didn’t even exist. Sound familiar? The Bible tells us all about the tribes and hate-filled warring factions from beginning to end. We’re living the Bible, my friends. The sad truth of all this is that we’re not dealing with a handful of haters, as they are growing in numbers rapidly, and have been for many years now. Our freedom of religion is not the only right we Americans have that infuriates these hate mongers. They hate us for ALL of our rights: how we live, how we love, how we think, how we work, how we’re governed, and even how we look and dress. We’re different from them. That’s all…and that’s why they hate us so and want to destroy us any way they can. Period. The truth is though, is that we’re ALL human beings sharing God’s World.  He owns us, we don’t own Him! But, as a result of this growing hate, all around this world, God’s World, I’m reminded of what God did the last time His World was in such turmoil. Let’s think about it…

Did you know that the Bible begins with a Rainbow and ends with a Rainbow?

  • In the Book of Genesis it says: “The Rainbow of God’s promise shines across the world.”
  • In the Book of Revelations it says: “The Emerald Rainbow shines around the Throne of God in heaven.”

A very long time ago, God could find only one honorable person on Earth, Noah. So God asked him to build a large boat, we know as Noah’s Arc. Noah was to load it with his family and pairs of every kind of bird and animal on Earth. Then God sent rain for forty days and nights until the Earth was covered with water, in a great flood, and all the people and animals outside drowned, even the birds. After the water dried up, Noah built an alter and worshiped God and God spoke to Noah and his sons. God promised Noah that the Earth and everything on it would never again be destroyed by a flood.

We see this story as evidence, one more time of the grace and goodness of a God, who makes  solemn promises, and God gave us something to remind us of that solemn promise — He gave us The Rainbow!

A Rainbow is an arch of light exhibiting a wide range of colors. It’s caused by drops of water falling through the air. It’s usually seen in the sky at the end of a rain shower. Because of this, God said every time we see a Rainbow, it would remind us of His promise to never flood the whole world again and remind us of His love for us. These are the Colors of the Rainbow:

  • RED represents the blood Jesus shed for us.
  • YELLOW is for God’s perfect light, the Sun so bright.
  • ORANGE is coming from night into Life thru Jesus.
  • GREEN reminds us that God created the Earth and trees; like the grass in spring, it represents the new Life we have in Jesus.
  • BLUE represents the color of water. God created the oceans and seas, this reminds us of the baptism that identifies us with Jesus.
  • BLACK represents our sins and God’s darkest day.
  • PURPLE is for Jesus’ hours of sorrow, so we can gain the Crown of Life.
  • PINK is for the new tomorrows.
  • WHITE represents God’s purity and the cleansing of our sins thru God’s grace.

Rainbows appear after mighty storms, when things look their worst. Just when the sky is the darkest, out of heaven a Rainbow appears. God first sent the Rainbow to Noah, as a sign that His word is true. The Rainbow’s message still speaks to you and me. The Rainbow is a sign of God’s promise  that He will guide us through any storm. When you feel battered by Life’s storms and you’re filled with doubt, just remember God’s Rainbow is coming and He’ll be there for you! And to all those who hate us in our beloved Country, I’m hopeful this prayer will help as in…

**Dear Lord, help us ALL and have mercy on us, as so many are lost and need to be found and washed in Your holy blood. As we move forward in these most frightening and troubling times in Your World, we thank You Lord Jesus, Son of God for Your undying love for us ALL, regardless of our differences, and for the Rainbow and the promise made with each color. Help us to remember that You love us and You will see us thru each storm.**  Amen.

It is my strong belief that we ALL need to do some serious PRAYING FOR PEACE, so let’s use the almighty power of prayer this week!

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

God is Good! God is Great!!

Love,

Margaret

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts the Lord.” —Psalms 32:10

Note: “Thank You” to my Friend in Christ, Sue Barthel, for her contribution to today’s Blog.

Happy Labor Day!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Welcome Everyone, to my Monday Blog!

It just so happens that hopefully most of us get to take a little break today for some well-deserved (I’m sure) R & R!! So, just what does Labor Day represent, anyway? Let’s see…

NOTE:

La.bor Day, noun – A public holiday of festivities held every year in honor of working people, in the US on the first Monday in September.

US Department of Labor: “This day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”.   

Congratulations to us ALL and let’s keep up the good work! AMEN!!

HAPPY LABOR DAY and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

GOD is Good! GOD is Great!!

Love,

Margaret

My prayer for us all this week:

Dear Lord, this week, I pray You will have mercy on us all and cleanse us of anything that breaks Your heart. Amen