Why Write? – Part Nine

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Please Note This Course is Completely Free of Charge

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.

Otherwise I have discontinued this routine for practical reasons.

Continue reading

Whiffle Golf

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Three young men waited for the club secretary’s selection of a fourth player to join them in the Wednesday Club Competition.

“Meet Roger Forsythe, he’s looking to join some young blood.” A smiling club secretary greeted them. Roger’s face lit up as he faced the group. “Love playing with young blood; won many a prize because of that strategy.” Watching the three young faces it was not difficult to see their disappointment. Who could blame them? Roger was in his late sixty’s and overweight. When he spoke there was a chesty whiffle to his apparent laboured breathing.

They pulled names out of a hat to select their teammate and after some discussion on handicaps they made their way down to the carts. Jason and Cuen, two of the team, who now became a twosome against Roger and James were selecting clubs a little way from the tee. “Providing he doesn’t drop dead on us, the old man is easy meat, so we need to stack up the bets.” Cuen smiled as he spoke in hushed tones to Jason. “Why not?” replied Jason.

On the first tee a measure of discussion took place on what the three considered friendly betting on the two teams. “Count me out on the bets, I’m happy enough to collect a prize.” Roger appealed in his wheezy tone. No one argued that one and they tossed a coin for first team out.

The young men were big hitters using drivers with bulbous heads; they were clearly in the 200 yard plus league, Roger on the other hand, trailed them in the  late 170’s. But in many respects the three were erratic. The young men’s shots were long, yes, and dry fairways with short brown grass, gave extra run to their strokes. Yet, probably one in five of these big hits took advantage of the favorable fairway conditions, as four out of the rest were either ‘hooked’ or ‘sliced’ and as a result the three spent a large portion of their game off the fairway in the rough. The fairway benefit was all Roger’s as his shots followed the fairway and rarely came anywhere near the rough. One might have said that Roger was consistent.

What was also consistent about Roger was his ever wheezing whiffle. He appeared to be struggling to breathe by the time he reached the greens. Fortunately for him he either landed on the green with his chip shots, or on shorter holes with his shot off the tee. Clearly though, Roger’s downfall was his putting. Often he landed within a few feet of the pin and then missed the hole by an inch or so when putting. Strangely, Roger never seem to be upset with his putting weakness. After a miss, he could continue a few practice swings, smile, and move on.

After the ninth hole the four moved to the clubhouse for some refreshment. It was hot and the young men did quick justice to a couple of beers each and a packet of fresh fries. Roger settled for tea. Jason remarked, “Roger, are you sure you up to another nine holes, sounds like your lungs were struggling over the last nine.” “I’m good; usually improve, both breathing and game on the second nine.” Roger smiled reassuringly. The three laughed, not taking Roger seriously.

“In that case Roger, join us in the betting; we usually sweeten the stakes on the back nine.” James said merrily. “Thanks James, but no thanks. You guys are hot-shots and all under par at the moment, it seems.” Roger responded defensively. “Think of it Roger, you have one of the hot-shots, as you call us, on your side, what can you lose,” persisted James.

Cuen joined the discussion, “Look Rog, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll give you ten to one odds; on individual play, if one of us wins it costs you one Rand, you win, you get ten. On the team event you stand a winning chance for the team prize; after all, you and James both playing well.”

Roger finally relented and agreed to Cuen’s offer.

They teed off the tenth and all were happy with their arrangements. As the game continued it became apparent that Roger’s whiffle had eased off considerably and his putting became more accurate.

By the fourteenth hole things were looking a little gloomy for Cuen and Jason with Roger toting up a mean score. As a team, James and Roger were doing well, thanks largely to Roger’s improved playing. When an opportunity presented itself and the two were near each other, Jason muttered to Cuen, “The old dog has come to life, we’d better pull ourselves towards ourselves, or this could be an expensive game. In fact Cuen, after this game, I shall be weary of your judgement.” “Stop whining Jason, you agreed to the arrangement didn’t you?

As the game continued, tempers were flaring with Cuen and Jason. The angrier they became, the worse they played. James managed to keep his cool, probably because he partnered Roger.

They walked off the nineteenth and into the clubhouse.

Sitting at the pub were three unhappy young men, shelling out wads of notes. Roger opted to shower and so the three sat bemoaning their loses at the bar, without Roger’s presence. “Well the old whiffler sure skinned us.” Moaned Jason. “Ag, he just had a stroke of luck on the back nine,” commented Cuen. “Well, be honest, he did warn us that his breathing and game improved on the last nine and we went and agreed to a ten to one bet!”

Just then club secretary approached, “Fine bunch you three are, I had my money on you – Roger did not look so well today, so I took a chance on you guys.” “We’ve lost a packet!” Jason spat. “You and I both, seems Roger will be collecting a stash today, especially from the caddies,” the secretary went on. The caddies?” questioned James. “Yip, about twelve of them backed you.” There was a fair amount of cussing from the three, but eventually, Cuen began to laugh and the rest followed suit.

The secretary, caught his breath, “Our Roger is a hectic gambler, here every Wednesday to collect his stash, never misses.

 Roger collected a packet full of notes and contentedly filled his pockets, after buying a round. “You are one sly old ba****ed Roger,” Cuen laughed, you sure took us!” “Night’s not over yet.” Quipped Roger.

Roger did not go home empty handed. Pockets stuffed with notes, he and James were runners up in best team of the day award and to boot Roger was awarded, “Most Improved Player.”

Opening his front door, Roger’s wife called, “Perfect timing, dinner will be served shortly.” He opened a bottle of bubbly and the two sat down to a scrumptious roast.

They chatted and after dinner went through to the living room, where a large table held Roger’s spoils.

Rosie, Roger’s wife sat down and not unalike a Father Christmas, Roger gave out their prizes. “For my wife Rosie: the runner up award for the best team of the day, a beautiful duvet cover, with matching pillow cases for our bed; next, an envelope containing one thousand Rand, a gift from those who thought they bet against a whiffley old man. For myself, a two hundred Rand voucher from the pro-shop for the most improved player of the week!”

Rosie beamed, “My man always bags the goose!”

All rights reserved©sirpeterjamesdotcom 2020

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

Why Write? – Part Eight

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Please Note This Course is Completely Free of Charge

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.

Otherwise I have discontinued this routine for practical reasons.

As discussed in part Seven, discipline is a vital characteristic for a writer. As discipline is a learned state, we can all, with no exception, develop the habit. If you are a competitive sports person, fitness of body and mind as well as honing the skills required for your particular brand of sport are all essential factors.

Competitive sports people set markers along the pathway to achieving their goals; by virtue of the fact that this system is used world-over, it is probably achieving its purpose.

Writing is no different.

As writers, each of us can use the system above to reach our dreams and I am sure many authors will attest its success.

Best selling author Paulo Coelho wrote that, early in his career, he set down to write at 8 am. Took time off for lunch then worked on to five pm. From what I recall, his wife was influential in helping him to apply this discipline. In more recent times he attests to first thing, spending time finding reasons to avoid starting his writing. Once he starts he will write onwards through the day into the night.

Setting a goal and then staging markers to the point of completion, did not work for me. This maybe something to do with the fact that I am a pantser and or the fact that I was officially diagnosed ADD.

What has produced results for me, so far, is at prescribed times I sit down and write for as many hours as I have available. This is my discipline. I think that I am extremely fortunate, inasmuch as I love writing so much, it is not difficult for me to start writing and continue for hours on end, punching out about 800 to 1500 words an hour. Thank God, so far, I have never had ‘writer’s block.’

Bottom line though, is disciplining myself to write at prescribed times. Disciplining myself to set about my home-based business, in order that my bank balance stays out the red. Assisting my wife wherever and whenever she allows me to do so. Fortunately, my wife’s passion is to see me achieve – for this I shall be eternally grateful.

I have discovered this discipline has allowed me to accomplish without goals and markers. Discipline has kept me in that place where my passion is allowed to drive my creativity and send me across the finish-line of accomplishment.

In short, get down and do it – consistently.

That behind us, let us touch on two important writing points:

  1. Over Used Words.

These words I tend to overuse: ‘that, and, so, was, then, also, great…..’the list is endless. Visit this link: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/common-adjectives/

In my opinion overused words water down our creativity. Diluted creativity bores our readers and is a sure sign of immaturity. You would be quite surprised if you went over your recent writing efforts and see how many of these words you use sub conscientiously.

Try this exercise: Without giving it any thought write a quick seventy-five words; you should be well equipped to do this by now. Take the completed article and see how many over-used words you can find.

Rewrite the article removing these words and replacing them with more imaginative one’s. In many cases this will require a change of layout in your sentences. You may even have to completely rewrite certain sentences.

Once you have completed this, you will be surprised at what a far more interesting article you have written.

  1. Use of dull unimaginative words, especially adjectives and verbs.

Take your rewritten piece above and now set about changing as many words with others. Try this link:  https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/. You will find interesting synonyms here.

On finishing this exercise, compare your present article with the first and you will be pleasantly surprised.

All rights reserved©sirpeterjamesdotcom 2020

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

 

 

 

 

Lockdown – Day Seventy One.

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“The Giant Arises’

‘Humanity plans, but the universe orders the outcome of these plans.’

It is a most wonderful thing to realize that irrespective of what our governments put into place, only the universe will allow what is beneficial for all humanity, whether this is for today, tomorrow, or forever.

I live next to an airport; I think, as an ex pilot, that’s a cool place to have a home.

Continue reading

Why Write? – Part Seven.

Tags

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Please Note This Course is Completely Free of Charge

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

I am now going to change the system. In future you will not send in submissions, but I will publish my version of the assignment a week later and that way you can compare what you have done with what I have written.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started. Continue reading

Lockdown – Day 46

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‘Snollygoster’

Politics is the breeding ground of the snollygoster politician.

Such breeding ground is not new to the universe, having originated in biblical times; its tentacles reach all over the world, no countries excluded.

It is driven by greed; but worse, it is the lust of humanity to exercise power and control over fellow humans. It is the worst and most dangerous virus in the world, having killed more humans than any plague in history.

Via the fear of a virus pandemic, we have been blinkered from seeing the real killer virus – a global economy ruled by snollygosters!

Continue reading

Associations and Memories


Something Different for my site, but I thought you might appreciate it. Excellent piece of writing, kudos to Jimmy.

Bubbles from the Swamp

For me, more than anything else, music stirs them up. From warm and fuzzies to mild embarrassments, all the way down to jaw clenching regrets – most songs I hear deliver memories and the emotions that are stapled to them. Song baggage.

When I was about ten years old I bought my first record. A 45 single called ‘The Hustle’ by Van M’Coy and the Soul City Symphony. At the time, a band called The Stylistics was another hot favorite of mine and ABBA were getting ready to release ‘Dancing Queen’. I’m not sure, but I think this sort of stuff was largely responsible for the deadly disco epidemic that followed. In fact, ‘The Hustle’ might have been patient zero.

Musically, the mid-seventies were strange times. It seemed there was no dominant genre and things were getting a little bit messy. Glam Rockers (The Sweet, Queen, Gary Glitter, Slade) were…

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Birds

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As something different this week, I am posting the work of two of the WhyWrite? course participants –

This is Vivi’s contribution – enjoy:

When I look at birds – I just KNOW that they were designed!  They couldn’t have ‘just happened’ – their ability to build nests, their songs, their colours, their lightness of weight and ability to fly are all wonderful proof of their Designer!

I did not know much about birds, except for a little budgie I had as a child, so I was pleasantly surprised when my oldest son, John, kept mice in a box, made a mask and jesses for the feet of an eagle he planned to catch!  He also made a bow with a strong net, to spring over the bird if and when it landed on the box of mice- and then he waited, every day, to catch his bird.

Suddenly, one day, not long after the mice were outside a yellow-billed kite came down to feed on the mice and John let down the bow!  Then he put the mask onto the kite’s head so that it wouldn’t be able to see to escape and also the jesses onto its feet.  He was so excited and overwhelmed that he had caught his own bird, a young yellow-yellow-billed-kite-5billed kite.  He held the bird up on his hand and the bird hung on, not being able to see how to get away.

Every day when he arrived home from school he would give his bird fresh meat and it was well fed and healthy.  He continued to spend his allowance on the bird’s meat until he felt it needed to fly away and find a mate, so with love and sadness, he let it go and at first it did fly away and then, every day when I drove John home from school, we would see his ‘yellow-billy’ waiting for him on the roof of the house!

When he was married and living in Cape Town he was able to help reinstate injured birds back to their natural habitat, by taking care of them until they were ready.  He was given a falcon as a token of thankfulness for his kindness and he and his falcon were inseparable, very good friends!

However, when his wife’s family invited them to Empangeni for a week’s visit, he had to get a bird-sitter and he asked a neighbour to feed his falcon every day.  She gladly helped by feeding it, but the falcon was unhappy that John was not there and managed to get out of the cage and flew away to find him!!!!

John was devastated when he was told that his falcon was gone and made a special trip back to Cape Town to find it!  Although he drove around the area he could not find it and it had not come back, apparently still looking for him!  He phoned me because his return flight to his wife and family was the next day. He told me that he was praying and asked me to pray as well and we did.

The Lord is compassionate and merciful and not only heard our prayers but wonderfully guided John to drive past a fence on which a falcon was perched – and he slowed down and stopped the car in case it was his falcon – and it was!  The falcon was just as pleased to see him and actually jumped into the car!

We are still overwhelmed and grateful for that wonderful answer to our prayers and we know that all of creation did not ‘just happen’ it was designed by the Creator of heaven and earth, our loving Lord whom we can call Father.  Aren’t we blessed?!

All rights reserved vivi©2018-01-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

Serengeti in Africa….

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As something different this week, I am posting the work of two of the WhyWrte? course participants –

This is Jingaling’s contribution – enjoy:

Ecosystems anywhere, are worth going to. Why? You may ask yourself.

Let me tell you about my experience.

Being confined to a routine of work and home, a visit to the Serengeti brought me back to earth, showing me an amazing way of communicating and enjoying life by “just thinking”.

I always say “thinking is essential” to achieve what you want in life, both in your personal and business lives. This is common sense, I know, but I promise you, common sense does not always prevail in life today.

I learnt a little Swahili, as this is the official language of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. Learning this taught me how to stay humble and also to never ever judge anyone that walks with you. By speaking the home language, ISwahili gained so much respect from Tanzanian people, that I felt like a visiting queen, however, I was anything but. I only managed to speak a few sentences to ensure that I could make myself understood and not talk myself into trouble.

Before the Lion King, hakuna matata was used in a well-known Kenyan song “Jambo Bwana” by ‘Them Mushrooms’. I was not aware of this, but people told me, and I found it interesting.

You must wonder why The Serengeti?

Well, it is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve, renowned as the site of the annual Great Migration, this is really no joke, but an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest — migrate here. This in itself is amazing and somethingwildebeeste 3 to see. Which now that I have seen this with my own eyes, I have developed a love for this place.

In the Serengeti, the focus is on the big predators, of course. The lion is the star of the show, the animal that everybody wants to see.

The lions of the Serengeti reminded me that every person should adopt a lion image; Lions make themselves safe and are respected by other animals. Each of us should place ourselves where we can succeed and achieve our goals.

The African predators also remind us about the issue of conflict, which is something we all have in our lives and must learn from each experience in order to equip us in dealing with conflict when it comes around again.

Whilst the great predators of the Serengeti are responsible for strategy and seeming conflict, it is the more numerous hoofed creatures, populating the plains, that cheer the Serengeti’s remarkable setting.

The Serengeti is composed of stunning geography; the landscape is formed of rocks that intrude into the plains, which are like a sea of grass.

But the Serengeti’s setting is more complex than geology, because it includes life itself, a setting packed with the smaller creatures that enrich the landscape with drama but also with detail.

This is life, and seeing these animals do what they do, made me realize that life is a gem in itself.

In the end, it’s up to us, as humans, to preserve the structure of nature’s tale, the flow of our world’s story, and the significance of the creatures that share our world; for we are also part of the story, hence we must nurture and protect what we have been given.

I want to leave you with the following acronym, by which I live: “R.A.P”

R – Responsible

A – Accountable

P – Proud

As humans, we are responsible for our own actions, and we are accountable for those actions, at all times; but it does not end there, after being responsible and accountable , one must always be proud of one’s actions.

Stay safe and mentally healthy,

jingaling

All rights reserved jingaling©2020-04-08

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

Lockdown – Day 32

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Day thirty two is upon us and we are now not certain of how much longer we have yet to go.

Our government has drawn up a five-stage lockdown process of which we are presently in stage five. May 1st. we move into stage Four, which conditions are less severe than stage five.

We are not certain of when we will move into the other stages, each being a little less stringent than the preceding. That, we are told, will depend on the progress of the Covid-19.

The principle of the extended and multi-phased lockdown is to allow our county’s commerce and industry to reactivate on an incremental basis.

Considering where we have been the last few weeks, I am sure most of us see this as, ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

Aside of a fear of the contagion, there is the fear of how we are going to cope, as individuals, with the unexpected financial crisis created in our lives?

Worse that this is the question; will commerce and industry to able to recover the effects of lockdown from an already ailing economy, even with the promise of government funding? Will we still have employment?

Then there is the question that I am sure must have at least crossed your mind; is Covid-19 lockdown, necessary at the expense of the world economy? Is it perhaps another conspiracy theory, with media suggesting that there are those that have deliberately organized the spread of this disease?

The media, in all its forms, is having a field day in seemingly spouting anything and everything, truth or not, to a confused and fearful world.

Apologies, but I cannot offer you any answers or suggestions to the above boiling points.

What I can say, from my personal point of view is this:

  1. On a global basis, or for that matter, even a local one, I am helpless to do anything except obey the rules our government has laid down and encourage my fellow citizens via the means I have at home for contacting them.
  2. I have no fear for my own life, as my philosophy is that, each of us has an allocated time in this world. If my time has come, so be it. This philosophy, accepted by others or not, allows me to sleep well every night. Good healthy sleep creates in me an attitude that is able to encourage my fellow humans. This attitude is genuine and therefore easy to pass over to others.
  3. I do not live my life on a fantasy of what might happen in the future, nor do I have any regrets for how I lived my past, however wise or unwise I might sense that past to have been.
  4. I am grateful for my present reality, who I am, what I am, where I am. grateful for what I have, what is. This is the fullness of my life, as it is, in this moment now. I accept that I cannot look to the future for this state to come about in my life, as all I have is this moment now. What I do see is that as I live in this gratitude today, manifestations of joyful living and peace appear each day in my life. (Most of the preceding are the words of Eckhardt Tolle and is a reality in my life.)
  5. To remind myself of this fact, I maintain a gratitude journal, daily. Why don’t you try it? It will not beat the lockdown, but it will most certainly make it less painful.

All rights reserved©sirpeterjamesdotcom 2020

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).