Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

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CREATING CRAP

November 4, 2021

I have been nurturing a little daydream. “What if I could write something truly meaningful.”  Most mornings, the dog and I sit alone with my coffee, Bible, and random thoughts. I write down whatever inspires from these solitary times with a sense that I have touched on something utterly profound.   I have been doing this for most of the year and the end of my journal is getting near. 

I have had a nagging feeling that something should be done with all the wit and wisdom that resides in this little journal of a book.  I thought of my children when I die; that they will appreciate the depth of my thoughts when they discover this little non-descript journal amongst all my clutter.  Then I was reminded about how life works. This journal might get saved for another drawer.  Maybe, handed down to another generation until at last a destiny as a recycled paper cup. 

I love the book, “Markings” by Dag Hammarskjold.  It is a collection of his diary reflections.  It was assembled and published after his death.  It is a wonderful collection of thoughts about God, the practicalities of life, and those intersections.  “Maybe, I could assemble something like that”, became my thought.  So, I have continued to put pen to paper in the morning hours, trying to think of something serious.  My plan became to write a book, a collection of prose and maybe some poetry, just like Dag Hammarskjold. 

I have daydreamed about this little book, throughout the year.  I have written consistently and most of the time I have been satisfied it was good.  “What would a publisher think?”’; “Am I brave enough to try?”; “What about the criticism, could I handle it?”;  “Maybe, an ebook on Amazon for $2.99”;  “A little extra income would be nice.”;  “What if it got popular?”; “Would I be viewed as a sage?” “Maybe, I will be ask to conferences and invited on stage?”

It is embarrassing to admit that I was concerned about pride from literary acclaim, before I prepared something for someone else to even entertain.

We are nearing the end of the year and my journal is three-quarters full.  I thought it was time to assemble a few of my profundities.  I had a plan of how I would organize them for ease of assembly, editing, and publishing.  I was ready to begin this historic pilgrimage.

I read a musing from earlier in the year.  I read one from a few days later.  I jumped around; months ahead and a few behind.  I was shocked in my conclusion, “they were mostly crap”.  “How can this be?” “I must be languishing in a morning fantasy.”

The confidence in my ability to write with quality evaporated in that little perusal. Mortified in my belief that I was creating something to sit alongside Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings. Clearly, I do not have to worry about pride in accomplishment.  My issue is more pride in delusional grandeur.   

I have lost my little daydream.  It is okay.  Obviously, it is for the best.  It was only a matter of time until reality killed it off.

It has made me reflect upon the reasons for striving to create.  I don’t do this for the money.  My ability to convey a thought in prose and poetry would be more important if it was associated with a paycheck.  I do it because I enjoy trying to write something in a way that is interesting (at least for me).  I do it because it helps me organize my thoughts.  I do it because, in many ways, it is how I pray. 

If we like to create, whatever that might be, why do we care what other people think?  It is irrelevant to the reasons that we do what we do.  I have created a lot of delusional crap.  I enjoyed every minute of it; absent any accolades.  It has been freeing to remember the joy of creating for merely me. 

Maybe, the greatest, purest, joy possible is the secret reward for those who create something that is never destined to be special.  The joy is in the creating not the creation.  That is what I need to remember.

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QUOTE (William Shakespeare)

April 23, 2016

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man know himself to be a fool.”
~ William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“God shall be my hope, my stay, my guide and lantern to my feet.”
~ William Shakespeare, Henry V 

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
~ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

 “Now, God be praised, that to believing souls give light to darkness, comfort in despair.”
~ William Shakespeare, King Henry VI

ShakespeareTo be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

In honor of William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, who is believed to have died on this day in 1616.

Resources:
No Sweat Shakespeare
William Shakespeare Quotes

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QUOTE (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

February 19, 2016

 

A_solzhenitsin“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In honor of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, noble prize winning author and Soviet Union dissident, exiled from communist Russia on this day in 1974.

Resources:

Goodreads>Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
This Day in History

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QUOTE (George Orwell)

January 21, 2016

George_Orwell_press_photo“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
~ George Orwell

In honor of George Orwell, British author of Animal Farm, who died on this day in 1950.

Resources:
George Orwell
On This Day

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Jan. 2

January 2, 2016

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves
from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.


 QUOTE:

corrie ten boom


FAITH:

I ran across this article through a link at Already Not Yet.  I appreciated 7 Ways to Become a Better Sermon Listener as a nice change from many articles.  I read a lot on how preachers need to improve but I don’t hear much advice about what we in the pews can do to get more out of what we are hearing.  This was a good reminder for me.


POETRY:

Today more than ever,
we need to be alert . . .
when with temptation
we begin to flirt.

We need to treat,
all temptation as a threat
so that we’re not filled
with remorse or regret.

We need to consider,
the warnings they create
our spiritual senses . . .
we must always elevate.

We need to be sober,
to the flags that are red
unless unto temptation
we might fall into bed.

Today more than ever,
we must not be ignorant
temptation must be treated
as a threat imminent!

Deborah Ann Belka, Red Flag Warning


RUNNING:

While How to Stay Motivated to Run this Winter had some good motivation to stay running, it was trumped by the 12 lbs that I have gain during this off-season.  So, I found weight loss to be the motivator that actually got me back to pounding the pavement.  I love the motivational stories in 15 Incredible Stories of Weight Loss Through Running

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A winter run – I actually did one!


CYCLING / TRIATHLON:

Good advice to change my bike trainer attitude:  Make Peace With Your Bike Trainer

However, I will take a ride in the cold over a ride on the trainer any day.  This article has a lot of good advice for those who are willing to embrace the cold: Why I Bike in Cold Weather–And How You Can Too

Best Motivation for Winter Cycling - The Beardcicle

Best Motivation for Winter Cycling – The Beardcicle


GARDENING:

I can always get my garden fix from FLORATUBE.ORG.  As I am surrounded by white snow, I was contented to see all the green from this video which FLORATUBE.ORG linked to.  So, I will do the same:


SCIENCE:

I have a new excuse – my tapeworm made me do it.  This article freaked me out.  Hidden Epidemic: 
Tapeworms Living Inside People’s Brains gives you all the reason you need to make sure your pork is cooked properly.

People forget that science is a process pursued by fallible people.  I was dismayed by the number of retractions cited in The Top 10 Retractions of 2015 due to shear fabrication of data.  It is always good to remember that many scientist have motivations other than pure science.


ART & CRAFTSMANSHIP:


FUNNY/HEART-WARMING:

You have got to love someone with a style all their own.


 

 

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Dec. 26

December 26, 2015

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves
from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:
newton

 

FAITH:

Never underestimate what God may use to draw the lost to himself.

 

POETRY:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
~ Christina Rossetti, In the Bleak Midwinter

 

INSPIRATION/ENCOURAGEMENT:
This article by Derek Rishmawy was a very encouraging reminder, “to strive to become Spirit-empowered readers who are disciplined in the interpretive virtues.”  Admiring v. Flying Boeing 747

RUNNING:
Since I still haven’t done any running this winter, this article was truly needed.
How to Stay Motivated to Run this Winter
cold run 1

TRIATHLON:
A lot of good reasons to get a coach…we’ll see if this advice is enough to shell out some cash.  Why Did You Start Using a Coach

The article was encouraging to remember that the primary aspects of triathlon are mental.  11 Traits of Top-Notch Triathletes

GARDENING:
I love the power of gardens!

 

SCIENCE:

We live in amazing times.  I was once again amazed by our Creator and the incredible nature of DNA.  The concepts of using DNA to store data is more than a few science classes beyond my understanding.  Data Storage on DNA can Keep it Safe for Centuries

Molecules Arranged in Double Helix --- Image by © Imtek Imagineering, Inc./CORBIS

Molecules Arranged in Double Helix — Image by © Imtek Imagineering, Inc./CORBIS

The contrast of God’s hand in the molecular and the macrocosm (Hubble Snaps Breathtaking View of Colorful Veil Nebula) can be summarize as simply astounding.

This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.

This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is in a region known as NGC 6960 or — more colloquially — the Witch’s Broom Nebula.

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

FUNNY/HEART-WARMING:

 

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WHAT I’VE LIKED – Nov. 28

November 28, 2015

next waveThe following are some of my favorite waves from my web surfing over the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:
“It’s nice to be great, but far greater to be nice.”
~ Joe Newton

FAITH:
I appreciated this article of strategies to help enjoy continuous communion with God.  Nancy gives 10 very practical aids to help set our minds on God.  I particularly liked her reminder, “our all-gracious God chooses to bless us when we seek to bless him.”  Ten Ways to Keep Mindful of God

POETRY:
“And then one day He wasn’t there –
no voice, no touch, no sense
that He was watching over me,
the heavens just seemed dense.
And then I knew just how it felt
to be an afterthought.
To not be top of someone’s list,
the first thing they sought.
It took some time to make it up,
I learned to make amends.
But now I guard it preciously
that God and I are friends.”
~ Ann Marie Thomas, Neglect, My Stroke of Inspiration

INSPIRATION/ENCOURAGEMENT:
This article by Tim Challies was very encouraging as he exhorts, “You can be far holier, far purer than you ever thought possible.”  A Simple but Life-Changing Realization

RUNNING:
It is a familiar story –
I am seeking inspiration to run;
maybe some running movies will help.
12 Great Running Movies

CYCLING:

Tri-Bike Trainer

I hate it when the weather gets too cold and I am forced onto the indoor trainer.  I just can’t take long trainer workouts so that is why I liked this article.  The author recommends short, hard efforts to build our aerobic energy system—in less time.  Work a little harder but get it done in less time – I like that.

The article has workouts to do two to three times a week.  I am going to give these a go this off-season.  How to Ride Inside:  Indoor Trainer Workouts for Cyclists

GARDENING:
I will warn you – if you like great gardens, it is hard to watch only one episode.

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

AMAZING:

 

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ADVICE – The Three Stages of Editing

February 26, 2014

Writing

In my ADVICE – How to Become a Better Writer blog post, I initially had a spelling error in the title.  It was just a slightly more public reminder of my continuing struggles with editing.

Long ago, my wife noted my struggles and merciful took upon herself the task of being my editor.  It is not an easy task.  She surely did not realize what she was getting into when she agreed.  In bewilderment, she regularly calls me over to read a sentence I have written.  I will read out loud a sentence of pure literature only to have her point out that the words I spoke were not the words I had written.  My brain simply compensates, substituting what I intended to write, despite what my fingers might actually type.  If the world could only hear what things sound like in my head, I would win a Pulitzer.

English: Hands collaborating in co-writing or ...

Given my propensity for writing errors, my wife is not very sympathetic when I embarrass myself by going rogue and publishing a blog prior to her editing.

That is what happened with “ADVICE – How to Become a Better Writer”.  It was short, I reasoned, ‘How could I messed that up?’  Evidently, I don’t even require a full sentence to make an editing mistake.  I can do it in a title.

My wife and son are out-of-town at a NCFCA speech and debate tournament so I am without my beloved editor.  I could refrain from publishing anything until she returns but what is the fun in that?  Therefore, I apologize in advance because it is going to be a rough couple days.  I did some research in anticipation of my impending difficulties and went looking for some advice on how to improve my editing.

I thought I would pass along some of the good advice I found from The Three Stages of Editing .  We will see how it works over the next couple days…starting now.

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ADVICE – How to Become a Better Writer

February 9, 2014

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I am still a little self-conscious about my writing since I  stumbled into this whole blogging thing.  Therefore, I am always looking for advice on how to become a better writer.

I do not know if I have seen any clearer piece of  advice than “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer,” by Brian Clark, founder of  Copyblogger.

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WHAT I LIKE – Mar. 30

March 30, 2013

The following are some of my most favorite internet waves from my surfing the web the last couple weeks.

QUOTE:
 “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” ~ John Bunyan

FAITH:
I appreciated this article on what the Church should be based on the Priesthood of the Christ.  You need to follow the links and get a cup of coffee because it is a bit long but well worth it.  Mission and the Priesthood of the Christ

We have such a special gift in our Bibles.  This post is a reminder of ten things the Bible tells us it will do for us.  10 Things the Bible Can Do

POETRY:
This is a wonderful reminder that Jesus did not seek a home for himself while in this world.  He Had so Little in this World

Such an encouragement from Psalm 73:28 to see our Lord on each new day.  Each New Day

This is a poem that I like so very much for speaking of the truths of stumbling along the narrow path.  Stumbles and Skinned Knees

INSPIRATION:
Beautiful photograph and reminder from Psalm 91:1-2 that our best protection and shelter is in Christ.  Gods Shelter

I smile every time I read the opening lines, “Don’t be a well that withholds, Be a well that overflows”.  A needed reminder from Numbers 21:17 to be the wells that we were created to be. An Overflowing Well

RUNNING:
I want to get my running speed up.  I had my first real outside run of the season and realized that speed is not my issue.  When I get back to that point, these are some really good tips for getting back home quicker. 5 Tips to Run Faster

SWIMMING:
Swimming can get a little monotonous.  So I am always looking for new combinations of workouts.  These two sites are great about mixing things up and have a wide variety of workouts.

Chino Valley Masters

PTS Sports Coaching 

TRIATHLON:
I am not even remotely close to overtraining; particularly after this last week of only two workouts.  However, the indicators of overtraining discussed in this post are really good to be aware of.  Overtraining are you a Victim

GARDENING:
Dinner in this garden has to be a unique experience.  I just hope the salad course is not self-serve.  Outdoor Living Garden Table

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Makes me want to go to Alaska.  Ocras Surfacing in Alaska

CRAFTSMANSHIP:
I thought the mechanical man from the movie Hugo was made up.  I guessed wrong.   Just watch everything that has to happen to draw a simple picture.  I am unconvinced that a single cell could evolve to match this mechanical man, which is much less than all the amazing things that the human body can do.  Alexandre Pouchkine by François Junod  

I did not even know that people were allowed to carve with ivory.  This is about the world’s premier ivory carver.  The detail is amazing.  You have to see the tiny ship rigging that he makes from ivory.  David Warther Carvings Museum

AMAZING:
So you think you can fly?  Well I guess you can.  The best wing suit /skydive

Andy McKee amazes me by the amount of sound that he can get out of an acoustic guitar.  Andy McKee – Guitar – Drifting

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