Monday, July 30, 2007

The Writer Will See You Now

I transcribe Cardiology reports for a living. It is mostly a repetitious cycle of tests and jargon involving such terms as “hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidemia.” You would think that having these words drummed into my consciousness on a daily basis would make me change my ways, but on the contrary, I find myself consuming more caffeine, spending longer sedentary hours typing, consuming more salty snacks, and sometimes experiencing dizzying blood pressure spikes. It is not a glamorous job.

It occurs to me that the physician dictating is probably wealthy. Sometimes I picture his opulently appointed living room with its ruby walls and flat screen HD t.v. I see him brushing the cracker crumbs off the couch and shooing away his shitzu before sitting down with his files. And I wonder, does he do it because he wants to save lives or because he loves his extravagant lifestyle or has some other motivation? It surely must be the former, for judging from the amount of reports I transcribe, he has no life outside his profession, despite the background noise of “Dora the Explorer” and a toddler vying for his attention.

In some ways, he and I are the same. We deal in words. The words he speaks are life to someone else. To me, they are a measure of productivity and a means of payment. To him they are a means of evaluation and treatment, a plan for care. To the patient they are life and death—a measure of how many days they might or might not have. When I work, not only do I hear his words in my headphones, but I hear my inner voice. I see the patients sitting there in their paper gowns-anxious, listless and waiting. Waiting to be clothed with my words, my descriptions, my thoughts. Waiting for words to say from my pen and expressions to form in my mind. I give them the life I want them to have in my world, in my writing, in my stories.

Sometimes I see a wiry little man with glasses and suspenders and a coffee stain on his shirt—anxious, stubborn, and irritable. He is an immigrant with broken English and calloused hands. Other times, it is a jolly fat lady with flame-colored hair and a mole on her nose, relentlessly droning on about various myalgias and complaints—extending her heavy arm to be cuffed and squeezed, her blood pressure measured in millimeters of mercury. Her husband committed suicide last fall. Their entire medical history is encapsulated in the words this doctor says. They are reduced to a patient number, a date of service, and a medical format. But they are so much more.

As I type out their various diagnoses and treatment plans, their physical exams, their medical regimens, I map out in my mind their extensive family histories, which to the doctor may be a single statement: Family history of sudden cardiac death. I fill in these blanks in my mind, the story that the patient leaves unsaid, that he carries back to his home, a home I have decorated and painted, in the neighborhood I have constructed and landscaped. I write the reports that he gives to his family members, people my mind has given names and ages and quirks, personality traits, histories of their own.

My writing instinct kicks in as I birth colorful lives for them, some of unspeakable horror, others of bland domestic tranquility. Their stories are the stuff of my novels that I weave in the early morning hours. This report that I type is but a springboard for an entire profile to be filed away for future reference.

For although it is of great satisfaction to know I am doing the health professional a service, my motivations aren’t always altruistic, as you can tell. Sure, I wish the best for his patients. In the real world, I grieve with him as he dictates a letter of sympathy, regretting that nothing more can be done. And I am grateful that I am only the one to type the words, and not the one who has to say them.

But please do not crucify me if in my fictional world, some of them struggle to survive. Some of them face poverty and heartache and loss. Some of them are murderers, rapists, lawyers, bankers, housewives and cheating husbands with secrets. Sometimes, after all we put them through, “our” patients are just grateful to get out with their lives. And so, I must return to them, dear friends. There is an entire waiting room waiting to be seen and many, many pages to be filled about them. In both our worlds.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Organized

I'm always look ing for an easier way to do things. Lately I've been researching new technologies or systems of organizing my notes and thoughts. One new technique of researching and note taking and writing--well, at least it is new to me involves notecards. I bought 100 index cards and a plastic box with a snap on it. You can get them at Wal-Mart or Walgreens or any of the office stores. It fits in my purse well, and already I have several of the cards filled.

My original plan was to have something handy to jot down bibliographic information from books as I read and digested information, and make my notes accordingly while I was at the library/bookstore/etc. without having to take the hard copy with me. Many times I find reading material in doctor's offices or restaurants that I cannot take with me but would like to reference later. The cards serve as a mini-reference, so I can go back at a later point in time and remember where I read such and so forth.

An added benefit of having the cards is that I have them with me at all times. It is much easier to sit and plot a small scene on an index card than lug a huge notebook or the laptop around. And the small size of the card takes the pressure off of writing a huge amount all at once. It's easy to fill one card. Maybe Two. And before you know it, you have filled several. The beauty is that you're able to move scenes around easily, just like when you did your notecards for your term papers back in college. Remember those?

As a result, I have a couple of scenes sketched out for a project. I'm thinking it will be a children's novel, but it could turn out to be only a short story. Too early to tell. But as you know, I never throw material away. I might chunk several rewrites or pages that have gotten stale, but the original idea or material I keep. You never know when you might be able to rewrite it and use it elsewhere. It might not work with a current project, but perhaps it was not meant for that project. If God gives it to me...then there is a plan somewhere, to be sure.

I have also been looking at the Neo by Alphasmart. It is a streamlined, rugged, small word processor that can run up to 700 hours on 3 AA batteries. If anyone has used one and has a review of it or can offer any insight, I would like to hear about it.

My hubby, CWG, Jr. has been listening to an online sermon by Mike Murdock entitled, "The 10 Technologies That Greatly Affected My Ministries." I know, it does not sound like a sermon, but trust me it will affect your productivity and you might learn a few tricks that will help you whatever your ministry might be. I think it would be worth your time to visit the link and glean from this minister's experience.

But whatever method you choose to organize your thoughts, scenes, plots, characters, etc., the important thing is to get them down before they are lost. If you're getting old like me, sometimes you can have that million-dollar idea and lose it with a 2-second distraction. Drop me a comment on what works best for you. I'm always open to new ideas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Known By Our Fruits

It has been said that great comedy has it's roots in the family stories of the comedian. I believe these experiences are the fodder for many great writers. Today's post may not rank with the best, but our latest family outing serves as it's inspiration.

The eight of us had gotten together at the Green's house and then gone out to eat. After wards we went back to their house to talk, play, and watch TV. What I meant to say is this; we girls talked, the little boys played, and the big boys watched TV. How the 3 of them did that with one remote is beyond me.

I had brought along some cantaloupe for those who liked it. As some of us began to eat it, my bil T said, "this is one of those Mennonite cantaloupes, isn't it?." Before I could answer my baby sister burst out in laughter and said, " a Mennonite cantaloupe! How do you know that's where it came from?" We both began to explain how we have seen enough of them to know. We recognized the color, taste and texture as being the type that was grown by the Mennonite folks.

Today false prophets are a dime a dozen. Some are so obvious it is laughable, yet still they garner a following. Others are slick making their message sound like it is straight from the throne room. Millions of dollars are mailed, wired, charged, and handed over to crooks every day. Maybe I should say, every night. That's when some of the worst ones are on for hours and hours with their double speak and big smiles.

We should not be taken in by these shysters. The Bible has warned us of their existence. It has also given us the criteria by which to judge whether a person is a true prophet or not. It is time for us to apply the Word of God and expose the works of darkness.

We are limited as to what we can do about the TV preachers, but we don't have to support them in any way. Local pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists should be open to inquiries. If they are above being questioned then they are suspect. I am not advocating we confront every member of the clergy. We should simply be observant. If we notice any improprieties then we should follow church protocol to report them. (That is another post for another day.)

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matthew 7:15-17,20 KJV

We are known by our fruits too. Do you have the look of LOVE? Are your hands HELPFUL? Are your words seasoned with GRACE? Are you FORGIVING and KIND? Do you have a GENEROUS heart? Are you COMPASSIONATE and MERCIFUL?

If you answered no to any of these questions, I urge you to call the Master Gardener. He knows just how to fertilize, cultivate, or prune you. I should know, I just got a trim myself.

Check out The Message version of our text. It really puts the pesticide on the trees.

The Message

Worship Wednesday has been brought to you by my older, wiser, and more learned sister, Sista Cala.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Team Blogger Test Post

You should get Worship Wednesday on time. (smile) I can now input direct. Thanks.

I would like to add this link to tomorrow's post. Since she had already put my draft in cue, it wouldn't let me edit it. And it appears I can't make it publish either. So much for an early post tomorrow. (smile) I guess the set up allows you to only edit what you drafted. Don't know. Take me a little while to learn the ropes.

Side note: Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as you partake of the blogosphere. I do a bit of reading around the "Christian" blogosphere, and it is not all biblical. Learn to glean the good and not get caught up in the rest. Another note: I may not necessarily agree with all of the viewpoints of those that I link: but that is the beauty of being many members of one body.
The toes might not like the color of nail polish on the fingers, but they will still appreciate the fingers that paint them.

I was going somewhere with that. Oh well. This is just a test post. God bless.

Poetry Anyone?

Pop Quiz: What famous poet appears in the image above?

I stole an idea from Delia and created a spinoff blog for my poetry. I've been meaning to open up a new place for that purpose alone, since some people aren't poetry buffs. If you're interested, you can mosie on over. If not, I'm content to sit and visit with you here where you're more comfortable. I might warn you first though, I sometimes tend to be brooding and dark over there.

Also, and I know I don't need to mention this to some of you, but all material is copyrighted, and therefore permission is required from me before reposting. You are welcome to link to those pages, though, if you like. Critiques are also welcome. Read with an open mind and remember that a lot of the things posted originally may have been written at a different time in my life and do not necessarily represent my thoughts, feelings, or actions at the time you are reading. It is a literary blog. And as with a lot of my writing, the elements of fiction are present at times. Unlike this real time, real life stuff you are reading now. But as we all know, our creative works are a reflection of us and our experiences in totality. So whatever you find, good or bad, it's all me.

Also, some of the poems have been posted here already. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, it may be a few days before you come across anything new. And for those regular readings who don't give a flip about literary and poetic waxings and wanings, I totally understand. I will not be offended in the slightest if you don't go by. As long as you keep coming to see me here, I'll be content. Smiles. I love my bloggy friends.

P. S. Sista Cala has posted a pic on her blog, Timeless Text Messages, but I rather prefer this one:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Soapbox Time

Something's been bothering me. I'm sure I'll get conflicting comments about this, but I have to get it off my chest (pardon the cliche). It's this Harry Potter business. The more I find out about it, the more it makes me sick to my stomach. Perhaps you find JK Rowlings venture into the spirit world innocuous, imaginative, and cool. I don't. It is nothing more than planting evil seeds of witchcraft in our children. I have never read one of the series. I have never been to one of the movies. But I have seen enough in the media to know it is not something I want any part of, nor do I want my child to have any part of. In a couple of weeks when my son returns to school, I plan on questioning his curriculum. And if necessary, I will take steps to ensure that he is not exposed to this. I shudder to think what impact this she-devil has had on the futures of our children.

Lest you think I'm blowing this all out of proportion, investigate it for yourself. But I beg you to cover yourself with the blood of Jesus before you enter some of these sights. Just exposing yourself to such wickedness could open the floodgates. I will not have my child watching or reading something that invokes any power other than that of God Almighty. If it does not proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, then it is against Him. There are enough imaginative, creative fiction in the world without delving into the dark spirit world. Yes, I want my son to be aware of evil and things like demonic possession. They are all too real. But the spirits are not something to be tampered with. It is not a game. It is not for the faint-hearted. And if you listen with your heart, you will know I am speaking truth.

Please friends, I beg not invest your time or money in this!!! Our children can't read the Bible at school. They can't use the word, "Christmas" in their musicals or celebrations. They can't wear religious symbols. But Scholastic books will flood your child's classroom with this garbage. What is wrong with us? Why do we allow this? My heart is stirred today. If you take issue with me, then so be it. Pray about it friend. Let God lead you. We have an awesome treasure in our children...and an obligation to them. We can't let Ms. O'hare --or whatever her name was--to dictate our religious freedoms. They are slowly being taken one by one.

I'm finished now. Enough said.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Delia over at Gatorzskunksnmudcats has honored me by putting me in some elite blogging company. (Blushes). Thanks for the vote of confidence, my friend. I'm passing the award onto Sista Cala. Who knew she would turn out to be such a rockin' gal blogger??

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Five

The Revgals posted these Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?3.Money is no object and so you will.....4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?5. How important are your roots?6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?

1. Meeting all the Christian women online when I started blogging, especially Diane. She is part of my support system. We share one another's burdens.
2. My dreams are currently to find a venue for my writing that will bless someone. My dream for my family is peace and health.
3. If money were no object, I'd give a bundle to my favorite missions and churches, pay off everything, and begin a trust for my son.
4. What keeps me going is knowing all my trials are temporary, that I have a home above where Jesus is waiting, and a whole lot of my family.
5. Roots determine your stability and ability to stand in the wind of crisis. It is important to have a proper foundation.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Snow White

We've only seen it once, about a week before the 4th. We had headed out in the Fry Baby (That's my hubby's veg oil Mercedes) to find where the huge fireworks were coming from. You could hear the booming inside the house, but when you walked out you couldn't see them. Odd, we thought, and so we decided to investigate. Turns out the fireworks were over three miles away. The Country Club was doing a show.
On the way out of our subdivision we saw three deer grazing under a tree in our neighbor's front yard. We thought at first that the moonlight was playing tricks on us. We looked again. It had to be an albino. How unusual. Finally two of them skittered off into the trees with the ghostly one following. A shame we didn't have a camera with us, I thought. Not that any of my photographs ever turn out anyway.
It has become a game for us now every time we are out at dusky dark to look for Snow White. But so far she hasn't ventured into the open again. But then again, night before last Maggie barked for two solid hours starting at 3 a.m. Maybe she couldn't believe her eyes either. I'll be sure and have the camera handy from now on, just in case the 7 dwarves show up with her. Nite Y'all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time for a Check Up?

I apologize for not posting more the last few days. We have had an in-law crisis and houseguests since Saturday. Things are improving a little. My neice is having surgery on her wrist Friday. It is broke in two places. Please pray for her. As always, Sista Cala has been faithful to send her Worship Wednesday post, and I actually got it posted in time! I will get back to my regular posts soon.

The other day I received a brochure regarding a Health Screening that would be available in the coming days. It was addressed to my late mother, but it was "junk mail" so I trashed it. Not long afterward, the idea for this post came to mind. I retrieved the brochure and began to read. It went something like this: Dear Mrs._____, Family Friendly Church in your city may not be the location that you typically think of for administering life saving screenings. However...

Then statistics were given as to how many people had participated in these screenings. The numbers showed a certain percentage of folks that had no symptoms yet the tests had revealed life threatening problems. The closing statement on the brochure was one encouraging the recipient to talk to their physician about these life saving screenings.

Well my friend, it touched my heart to know that these folks were interested in the well being of a woman that had been deceased since 2001. Really, I used to get upset when this sort of mail came. I would reply with a sarcastic, "if you are so interested in my mother's health, you would know that she is 100% well and walking the streets of Glory."

Now, I am sure that didn't send a good witness to them. I have asked the Lord to forgive me. It just goes to show that they really want to serve people regardless of their address. lol.

Seriously though, the local church a place for valuable life saving screens? What better place to be screened for the clogged arteries of doubt, the aneurysms about to rupture from concealed bitterness, the deep vein thrombosis of envy or greed, and the many other ravages of sin? Yes indeed, untold millions have been saved by taking advantage of these services. Many with no outward symptoms have come to know their true conditions and sought out the Surgeon of surgeons.

They have undergone life saving procedures as they have gone to the Great Physician with their test results. They have received additional instructions to prevent any recurrence of their ailments. The Doctor is always in should they need further counseling. No appointments are necessary to see Him. BTW, He is a heart doctor specializing in transplants. He is also a brain surgeon, neurologist, orthopedist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, and is an expert in all the disciplines of medicine. No wonder His references can fill the pages from Genesis to Revelation.

Do you need a check-up or a complete exchange transfusion? See the Great Physician today. He can do what no other doc can do.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prayer Request!!


Diane and her family need urgent intercessory prayer for their son, Curt. There is strength in numbers. Let's bombard heaven for their needs today. I'm sure you would do the same for me and have throughout my own trials. She is family. Leave her some encouragement on her blog and let her know we are here and we care!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Flies in the Ointment

Worship Wednesday provided by Sista Cala.
Dead flies in perfume make it stink, And a little foolishness decomposes much wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 The Message

King Solomon has been called the wisest man that ever lived. Even before he asked the Lord for wisdom, he was a man with some sense. A foolish man would have asked for gold, silver, land, and many women to satisfy his carnal appetites. The unwise would have no restraint in his use of these acquisitions. His contentment would be short lived.

Solomon wound up with wisdom and all the trimmings. He was also known as the wealthiest man of his time. There was no shortage of women in his life either. Scripture records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Just how could one man handle 1000 women in his household????? Men today would like to know. lol.

He may have married some for love, but many were little more than political pawns to advance his objectives. Others he acquired as booty (no pun intended) from his conquests.
Still others were gifts from neighboring kings and magistrates. These women became the beginning of the end for him. In the following verses we see that God gave Solomon some strict commands concerning women. Verse 4 is the sad outcome of his poor choices.

2Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
4For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. I Kings 11:2 - 4 KJV

You see my friends, even the gifts of God can be marred by their misuse or neglect. Solomon had every advantage as long as he was using the wisdom God gave him. As long as he was obedient to the Lord, he acted responsibly. No doubt he began to worship idol gods to appease the foreign wives. He probably funded many pagan feasts and activities. Perhaps he helped many with solid advice. Certainly he left a cache of help for future generations.

Look at the books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. They are insightful, educational, powerful, and proven. But they are of little value to us if we do not take heed to them. If we are disobedient we will miss out on all the God has for us. Even our offspring can suffer from our lack of commitment.

11Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
12Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. I Kings 11:11, 12 KJV

"There’s no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba. Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands! I will not accept your burnt offerings. Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me." Jeremiah 6:20 NLT

Don't let anything dilute your fragrance!

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Husband the Song Writer

I've been busy this week creating my husband a myspace artist account. You can now visit Charles Green and listen to some of his music here. He is writing some new songs and working on a project that hopefully he is going to let me record some piano solos on and even have Chase do a solo on. We hope to have that done by this fall. I am very proud of his accomplishments. Actually he recorded this project, "The Trade" in 1996 and we have just now had it remastered and put in CD form, as cassettes have gone the way of the dinosaur practically. You can leave him comments on his page or here. Let me know what you think. My favorite one is "He Gave Me Everything."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Prayer and Purpose

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Posted by Sista Cala over at Timeless Text Messages.

Play time was always a good time until I got tired of being chased and caught. Then I would suggest a game of hide and seek. When I wearied of playing with my little sisters, I would hide in the crawl space under the house.They would not dare enter there. The part where I hid was about 4 feet tall and had a concrete floor. It doubled as a cellar for wonderful home-canned veggies.

They would holler and scream, "we give up", but I wouldn't come out. It was a cool sanctuary; peaceful and quiet. I didn't mind the spiders; they were just doing their job, cutting down on the insect population. The smell was earthy and strangely comforting. Although the possibility of snakes was real, I wasn't particularly worried about them either. They too, served a purpose in keeping the rodent population at bay.

Even the scary places in life serve a purpose. If we were never afraid, we would never learn to lean on the Lord. The dreary places cause us to search for the Hope. Dry times force us to call out for the rain of the Holy Spirit. Flooded emotions necessitate a petition for the Standard to be raised. Even in a furnace of fire, He is there.

Many of our service men and women are in frightening places. Some may be in the heat of the battle. Others may be bound and imprisoned. In convoys, planes, ships, or foxholes; the Christians are calling on the Lord for help. Others are without faith and need the Savior in their lives.

Please pray for all the men and women of the United States Armed Services. Whether home or abroad they are a vital part of our defense system. Pray for the families of of those who are serving. Pray for President Bush. Pray people pray.