Tag Archive | Writing

An Opinion On Writers Bias

Is biased journalism really journalism?

Bias from any side; isn’t that manipulation?

In my research for this post, I found even the a few articles about bias, could themselves be considered biased, some, but not all.

 →A really nice chart on journalism bias can be found here.

Not that “Left” is bad or “Right” is bad, only that ARGUING about either is bad.

Isn’t it a good journalist who’s “Side” cannot be told after being read?

Explore the possibilities, positive and negative from each, but without allowing the reader to know your own PERSONAL bent.

This idea came to the forefront for me mostly in the past week. (I’m switching over to regular, every day social media writers now)

Photo by William Iven on Upsplash

When words won’t come, I spend MUCH time reading.

On nearly all of the social media, and print journalism that I’ve read, and many the blog posts I’ve read, I’ve read some really well written stories, and then, out of nowhere, someone blasts either the “Right” or the “Left”, or makes derogatory statements about persons, by name, that they disagree with.

Disagree if you must, but if you resort to name calling, I’m out.

Your writing acumen is in question, for me anyway.

All this being said, I’ve been accused multiple times, of always thinking the best of people and giving people lots of chances.  

So, I’m not mad if this is you.

What I’m saying is this –

You can do better! I can do better! We can do better!

Let’s have conversation without the vitriol and venom,

without the name calling and nastiness,

without the rage and the hostility.

I hope we can agree to disagree sometimes, and not hate each other because of it.

I would sure love to hear YOUR opinion.

And we an still be friends even if we disagree.

Until next time …

Raw and Real #9 – Write

Looking back on the life I’ve lived has been a rich undertaking of good and bad, positives and negatives, highs and lows.

It has reminded me of joy and pain, happiness and sorrow, extreme faith right next to intense fear.

Being a hard core INFJ, I can’t always verbalize things right on the spot.

When I feel, or hear or read something, I must follow that with some quiet time for reflection.

Read more about being an →INFJ here.

There are a few ways that I can process my feelings and ideas.

First off is to sit quietly, daydreaming if you will.

This method can sometimes give my ideas time to come around on their own time.

So if you see me looking like I’m somewhere else, know that I could be processing something I read or heard.

Of course it’s also entirely possible that I am really somewhere else!

Another popular way for me to get things processed is to get with “my people”.

I have many friends, but a handful of “people”.

Talking deep, saying what needs to be said, asking questions; these are all things to do with “your people”.

Long ago my mom told me that most often, when I kept talking, I answered my own questions.

Now she – she was “My People”.

I paid attention after she said that and found it to be true.

The last way I’ll share with you here is writing.

Writing in a journal, or on a computer are my favorites.

Some say handwriting is their go to, but I find that either works for me.

Suffice it to say that with my admiration for lovely penmanship, and my lack of it, I often use my laptop instead.

It’s always a cinch that I’ll be able to read it at a later date.

That being said, I have over 40 journals.

40 journals of this and that.

40 journals that would qualify in the junk category.

But strewn throughout those 40 journals, some true treasure is hidden.

The treasures can be identified by the highlighting, the underlining, the circling, the arrows, the different colors of ink.

I actually began doing a Table of Contents for my handwritten journals, but alas, too late for some of my earlier ones.

(So if you decide to do a handwritten journal, my suggestion would be to do the Table of Contents thing at the beginning!)

On my laptop, I have an ongoing document that holds many of my thoughts.

This allows me to read them over, and move them all around until they make sense.

I used to forget more than I remembered.

Sometimes that processing of thoughts comes at the most inopportune time.

Mostly it is when you are doing something else; when you didn’t see it coming.

Enter napkin notes, post it notes, grocery list notes, written on the palm of your hand notes. (the original palm pilot?)

They all pulled together at the end of the day to write down somewhere permanent.

Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon to see me in the checkout line, tapping notes to myself in my phone for future reference.

Back before cell phones, I had a boss who would call her home phone, and leave herself messages she didn’t want to forget.

I always thought she was strange, but oh!

Now I see she was brilliant, and she got things done!

As mentioned →Here← and →Here← the process takes on different forms.

For me, writing is the most important way that all of those thoughts are managed.

During the life of this blog, thought life has been discussed over and over.

If you’re interested in more of my perspective on this, you can just put “Thought Life” in the search bar.

(Another reason I enjoy the laptop writing.)

Sometimes, during the process, the words get long winded, and that’s OK, because these words you write down are not for everyone.

I encourage you to give it a try.

This note taking, this writing it all down.

Once you have been able to connect the dots, you can decide on what, if anything, you want to share with the world.

(Like this blog)

Join me next time for Raw and Real #10 for – Travel.

Until then …

Just Notice

The last post I posted in 2019 was about three things that I have put on high priority for the year 2020 and beyond. Year End Ponderings

  1. Helping people
  2. Writing
  3. Photography

Notice. This word keeps coming back to my mind. Notice.

The official definition of the word was much more involved than I first thought.; Written announcement – Warning – Attention – Review – Observe – Perceive – Mention – Recognize – Discern – Detect.

Oh my goodness.

So much more than I thought, so much more than meets the eye.

So where do I want to go with this.

My original idea was to just NOTICE what is around me.

Hmm. I’m still there, but there has to be more, just by virtue of the scope of the definitions.  

The words that are most directly connected to my own thoughts on the word NOTICE, are the following; PERCEIVE, RECOGNIZE, OBSERVE, DISCERN.

*When I was growing up, I had very little if any ideas of my own.

I’m not sure I NOTICED much.

I did only what was expected (barely) and what I was told (I was afraid not to).

I was taught WHAT to think, not HOW to think.

When I had children of my own, a new PERCEPTION began to rise in me.

I RECOGNIZED that I actually had choices that I could make for myself, and I also RECOGNIZED that I could teach my children the value of making good choices.

(To this day, I can hear my daughter, sending her teenagers off to school, calling out – “Make good choices!)

Later on, I began journaling while I was reading my Bible.

Much of that was simply about what I NOTICED in my Bible.

It began simply by writing out, word for word what I was reading, if it made sense to me.

Eventually, I was able to begin OBSERVING I was having some thoughts about what I was reading.

I was RECOGNIZING how God’s word could apply to my life.

So my journaling began to look a little differently.

The bullet point OBSERVATIONS became more like real sentences.

Real sentences became more like real paragraphs.

And low and behold, I OBSERVED that I could help people with my words.

So those words turned into a blog.

A blog in 2012 that was very different from one in 2019 and beyond.

Here is where some DISCERNING came in.

DISCERNING what is needed, what to share, what will be the most helpful to the person out there searching.

I began to NOTICE along the way, that there are folks who need to be loved, honored, taught, and yes, NOTICED.

And I am happy that I can be capable of some of that.

*These are some of the same things I NOTICED when I began just taking photos on my phone a few years back.

I PERCEIVED that there is a lot of beauty out there that others never get to see.

I RECOGNIZED that all my years I have been a lover of sky watching, far away landscapes, and enjoying beauty in general.

I RECOGNIZED that by photographing things, I could lift my own mood, so DISCERNMENT came in right here too; why not use that enjoyment to help lift the moods of others.

The fact that a photographer often OBSERVES things in a different way than the general public looks strange to some, but for real, it is a gift to those who do not possess it.

It is just one of the myriad ways to help bring peace to an upset countenance.

*Finally, with the same process, I PERCEIVED that through all of my life, I’ve been able to RECOGNIZE those around me who have been somehow traumatized in their lives.

Not all have been able to find the way to mental or physical health.

DISCERNMENT helped me to NOTICE/REALIZE that not all PTSD is combat related.

I learned through study, that it can also be caused by multiple kinds of trauma; mental trauma, sexual trauma, trauma from an accident or loss, or a host of other things.

There is no end to the things that cause harm to people.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I OBSERVED that sharing my story, in whole or in part, can help some to find a step to begin on, and even a soft place to land, when things don’t turn out the way they should.

I can indeed be a “basket holder” while their pieces are flying off (because they will fly off).

When they stop flying, I can help in some way to put their pieces back together again.

DISCERNING when, where, and how, is a gift, and it can be PERCEIVED if I am quiet enough.   

In Isaiah 54 the Bible speaks of the Covenant that God makes with those that love Him.

My favorite verse is #17a KJV – No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.

It does not say there will be no weapon – like depression and sadness, or trauma and PTSD, bad physical or mental health – it says they will not prosper.

Until next time.

Friday Favorites #4 – Blogs

Greetings!

It’s Friday, and a holiday week, but don’t let that stop you from visiting some amazing bloggers.

These bloggers are making a difference sharing what’s on their minds.

They are contributing to waking us up to thoughts we might not have thunk!

If you can’t read them now – Save then for later!

It will be well worth your time!

Stuart M. Perkins – Storyshucker

BE KITSCHIG

REASONS@STAY

THE ALCHEMIST’S STUDIO

Until next time …..

Marking the Ages

I am writing this post today in response to a post I read yesterday.

It was a post written by Stuart Perkins, and you can read it here; 1. magic marker

Anyway, it reminded me of a few things.

Like when I grew up, the best gift I could have received, was something to write or color with.

I don’t remember markers; maybe they were too expensive, or maybe they were too PERMANENT!

It could be ink pens, new pencils, or crayons; but in my mind, nothing but nothing could beat the smell of a new box of crayons.

Mom had her own box, and it was forbidden for us to use HER crayons or her ONE coloring book.

It had a bride and a groom on the front.

She had a way of rolling her crayons as she colored that kept them sharp; not flat or broken like ours.

It also made them far more appealing to use than my own.

The second best thing I could receive was that yellow, smooth, wide ruled paper from the school, or what we called back then “manila paper”.

It was art paper and was very coarse, but a delight to draw on.

Thanks to Stuart, these memories came flooding back, with a few more in tow.

My love for writing utensils and paper was passed along to my daughters and as it turns out, my granddaughters as well.

They are always drawing, writing, or coloring, somewhere.

This brings me to my story.

When daughter number one was moving to a new home, it came time to move the kitchen table.

She turned it over to remove the legs, and to her surprise; there were crayon, pencil, pen and yes, marker letters and art covering the bottom of the table!

Instead of anger, she felt endeared that her offspring had felt that was a safe place to leave their art work.

Cleaning it off was never even an idea, because it was like finding buried treasure.

Then a few years later, when daughter number two was moving, to a new home, it came time to move the kitchen table.

To her great surprise, she found the same thing!

There were crayon, pencil, and pen and yes, marker letters and art covering the bottom of her kitchen table also!

Being a lover of writing and art and markers, she thought of it like a time capsule, documenting their innocence and imagination.

What stressed her out was the fact that the SAME GREEN MARKER used on the bottom of her table, was found all the way around the kitchen and down the hall!

Well that was long ago.

The children were very young then; two, three, four, five.

That has turned into thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen.

Neither mom has any intent of trading in their tables for new ones.

A bit like archaeology; once uncovered, never forgotten.

“Sacred History” I’d call it.

It warms my heart that neither daughter has any thought of getting rid of those tables; those archives.

Like many things, they will be passed on to the children, as documentation of moments gone by.

I never did check the bottom of my table for treasure – but then I haven’t moved in ages!

Perhaps you should consider checking yours?

Just like in Stuart’s story, it could become a very important part of your very own “Sacred History”.

Do you have any stories like this to share?

Please take a moment to do so in the comments.

——- * Ages may be off – math is hard ——-

See you next time!

100 Days of Something….

There many kinds of challenges all over the internet.

Recently a friend told me abut a 100 day challenge for writing poetry.

Her encouragement/challenge to me was to do 100 days of …. something. Anything.

Well they don’t call them “Challenge”s for no reason.

With every valid reason; like a very full calendar,

And every excuse that I can come up with; like I just don’t have enough brain cells,

There is one thing I can say for sure.

That is; No matter how much you think you have to say, and/or share,

There is much more to it than just saying you will do it.

I am learning the art of the scheduled post.

You know, the one that is out there before you are?

Well, on that day any way.

You still have need of being there well before the date.

Mass amounts of ideas and writing that seem to float away as soon as I sit to write.

It’s the age old problem right? Experienced by writers far better than myself. 

But here I am, as one of my favorite bloggers says, “Punching the d__ keys.”

And for my current and future followers, I’ll keep on punching.

My challenge to you ; Will keep keep punching too?

We can do it together; you and I. 

Will you receive this challenge?

Can we help each other to keep the challenge alive!

Are You Hearing Voices?

I’ve gotten out of the habit of hearing His voice.

I have some questions here;

First of all – Who is “He”?

Nehemiah 9:6 from the Holy Bible says this; “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

If that’s the case, and I believe it is, then that is a voice I really want to hear!

Why do I want to hear His voice?

Beginning to hearing His voice, for me anyway, began with an intense longing inside of me to find out what more there could possibly be to my life.

You know, the life that goes through the same cycles of disbelief, low self esteem, caring so much what others think, at my own expense.

Expensive, because the voices I was hearing were telling me just how worthless I was. I had a longing to hear just one good thing about myself that I could hang my hat on. Something I could believe and hold on to.

That longing wanted to know who I was; all the while knowing that I could believe a lie, just as easily as I could believe the truth.

To avoid the lie, I had to find the right voice. There are cacophonies of voices out there just trying to be heard. Which one is the right one?

I believe it’s the maker of heaven and earth!

How do you hear His voice in the first place?

In order to sort through that longing, there has to be quiet.

Now MY quiet, will likely be different than yours.

When I want to get to this place of hearing, I require three things.

  1. Absolute quiet.
  2. My Bible.  
  3. A pad of paper and a writing utensil.

The absolute quiet is to get my mind off of everything that distracts. Even lovely music can be distracting. (I’m finding that now even while writing this)

I need my Bible. It has a great concordance (an alphabetical list of the words present in a text, usually with citations of the passages concerned.) in the back, so I can look up scripture by words or topics. I can search out any topic that is on my heart.

Then I can meditate on this word.

This meditation is not the same as emptying the space between my ears. Instead, it fills up all the empty space inside, by telling me the truth; about me, about God, about my life; past, present and future.

The pad of paper? My brain is notorious for running me off in a different direction while I’m trying to concentrate on being quiet. Anything that pops into my head and interrupts gets written down.

It’s safe on that paper, I won’t forget. I’ll pick it up later.

It’s calming, when you know you won’t forget every little nuance at it passes by your brain.

How do you continue to hear His voice?

I hear his voice by being quiet enough to let the words I’ve read roll around in my heart and mind.

I let them roll until they make sense. Until they become real to me.

I really dislike the way the word meditation is used in some forums. I’m speaking of the meditation on God’s word, and what it means to me. Not meditation that is emptying my mind. That is a whole different thing.

Instead, I prefer a meditation that asks; What do these words say? What do they mean to me? How can I put them into practice?

Once you have hear His voice, you will recognize it when you hear it again. John 10:27 says clearly; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Wow. He knows me – I want to know His voice!

How do you get back to it again after being away?

The dangerous part is in the drifting away. You release the habit for a day, and then a week, and then a month. No big, drastic changes.

You still hear His voice. But here’s the catch; after a month, the voice gets quieter, and you realize (maybe) that you have been going on memory, and that you haven’t “heard” anything new for quite some time.

Memory, like muscles, can get flat after periods of not being used.

Notice, the first thing I said was that it is a habit. It is most definitely a habit.

The first step to take is to get back to your DAILY reading. It need not be chapter upon chapter. Just a few paragraphs maybe.

We used to have a pastor who told us to “Read till you burn.” That sounds funny coming from a pastor, whose job is to insure that you don’t burn 🙂

But what he was trying to tell us, was that we needed to read the word until something came alive in our heart; until our heart caught that spark.

When that happens – You’re hearing God’s voice. He is speaking to you.

I’ve read the same thing several times over my lifetime, and then one time I will read it, and it is like the words jumped right off the page.

They bring something to life in me. They spark a realization in me about _________________! Whatever it is I’m reading about.

When I begin to roll those verses around in my heart and mind, they become a part of me. My soul and my spirit; my insides; are renewed. I can see an action that needs to be taken, or a mind set that needs to be tweeked.

James 1:22-25 (ICB) says this; Do what God’s teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. A person who hears God’s teaching and does nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. He sees his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. But the truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does this, it makes him happy.

This quiet time, this hearing His voice; it gives me peace, and it carries with me throughout my days.

It makes it so that even the harshest of circumstances can be faced with some sort of calm, peace and joy.