Please vote for MY LITTLE BOOK OF POETRY AND PRAYER in the poetry category on the Goodreads Choice Awards. At the end of the list of poetry books nominated, there is a box (“write in vote”) to write in the name of my book (above) by Virginia Martin…my book should appear and you select it and vote on it. #Goodreads #Goodreadschoice
For the last two years I have picked a word that I wanted the year to be about. 2018 was the year of Balance. I wanted to balance my life to include not just work, but more things I like to do. 2019 was the year of Freedom. Freedom from past hurts, regrets, feelings of inadequacy and lack of self esteem. So, the word for 2020 is Abundance.
What ABUNDANCE am I seeking?
Below is my list:
God’s grace and favor
Gratitude and Thankfulness
God’s use of me as His instrument
Love: Romantic and for others
Writing to touch hearts
Understand God’s word and obey it
Embrace God’s confidence in me to be who He designed me to be
Mindful and minimalistic living
Positive Money management skills
Appreciate everyone and everything
Do you have a word for 2020?
This inspirational book will encourage you in your walk of faith.
My Little Book of Poetry and Prayer is filled with Christ-centered poems of faith that bring comfort, encouragement, and healing to the soul. Let these poetic prayers speak to your heart, as we journey together as one with the Father of Love, through His living Word and His life-giving Spirit.
Use this book as a daily devotional, meditate and reflect on one poem a day for the span of forty days, or read the book straight through. May these heart-warming, transformative words help give you a more positive perspective on prayer, as a means of growing closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is my first collaborative effort with Poet and Author, Chad Joseph Thieman.
This is my second attempt in writing fiction. I was inspired to write the excerpt below, and I am not sure where it will go. It is the beginning of something that I hope turns into a novella, which is my goal. No working title yet.
“It started as a joke, plain and simple. He was in jail with lots of time on his hands. He was there because a woman put him there, unfairly, yet she had gotten away with it. And now, all women were going to pay the price, no matter the cost or how much their hearts broke. Vincent scrolled around, found several attractive women, and hit “friend request” on Facebook. One of these women, Virginia, looked innocent and sweet, the perfect target to start his plan; he lost everything and had nothing to lose. He did not care anymore about anything or anyone.
He heard the beep on the computer, that was fast, Virginia accepted, boy was she in for a ride. Women, he thought, so gullible and vulnerable, it was pathetic. He hardly had any information on his profile, and somehow someone had thought him worthy of being a “friend”. Vincent looked at Virginia’s profile page but was stuck on the profile picture. Those eyes, kind, yet mysterious at the same time, and the shape of her lips looked inviting. What was he doing? He was out for blood, not romance. He got his eyes away from her face. Focus he said to himself, he had to show no mercy, he hardened his heart, a heart that once was loving, full of trust, but shattered at the hands of a ruthless, cynical woman.
He sent Virginia a message and went on to the next one. He had 5 chat boxes open. He was curious to see which one would fall for his lies first; his charm would work to his advantage. Vincent dozed off while waiting for one of his victims to respond. It was getting late, and he had to shut down the computer before the guards called lights out. Before shutting down the computer, he had the urge to look at Virginia’s picture one more time. Why he didn’t know, but her eyes drew her to him. Just for that, he would work extra hard to twist her heart and make her fall in love with him. She would regret accepting his friend request, he would make sure of it.”
To be continued….
Guest post by author B.J. Tiernan
The question is: How do you know what your writing voice is? Does voice lead to writing ability and writing style or vice versa?
First, we need to understand what our ‘writing voice’ is. Your ‘writing voice‘ aka ‘writer’s voice‘ is as personal to you as your fingerprint. It is a direct reflection of your personality and what makes you unique and different from all other writers.
Each one of us has a unique style of speaking, a personal attitude, and a certain tone or inflection when we speak. When it comes to tone, you can hear it in two ways – the tone of your voice when you speak out loud and the silent tone you hear in your head. Both of these tones can vary, depending on the situation you find yourself in. Listen closely to both tones, for they make up your ‘writer’s voice.’
When you write, you want to allow your personality to shine through and write what feels comfortable and natural to you. In other words, you want to write the same way you talk.You don’t have to go in search of your writing voice, you already own it. It is within, but you must listen for it carefully. Pay attention. You can even make it a wakeful meditation to consciously hear the way you talk to others.
If you want to embellish your writer’s voice or change it in some way, you can read more. This way you can hear other author’s writing voices. Sometimes, you will find that you relate to or are drawn to a particular author’s writing voice over others. This may very well be because their writing voice is similar to your own. Reading other author’s can stretch you and move you in the direction you want to go.
When I wrote my first novel, I wrote in first-person and my main character was a male. Since I am female, I made it my occupation to sit in different coffee shops and restaurants and eavesdrop on men’s conversations. I wrote down their dialogue as I was hearing it in my Writer’s Notebook. This gave me some of the best samples of natural dialogue amongst men. It really helped. Don’t worry, I never divulged any of their secrets.
I believe that our writing voice does lead us to our writing ability and writing style. No matter what voice you decide to take up, yours or a combination of yours and someone else’s, you can be sure that your unique inner voice and personality will always shine through – in spite of you. Embrace it! That is what makes your voice different from everyone else’s.
“B. J. Tiernan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Florida in 1972 and has been following her passion for teaching ever since. She is a retired sixth grade World History teacher who has also led various seminars, workshops, courses, and classes on writing for adults. She writes contemporary fiction to create a dialogue that gets her readers to ponder and question aspects of life, including living and dying and the merging of our dark and light sides. B. J. Tiernan dedicates her writing to all of her students who are hungry to tell their own stories through the written word.”
I am currently working on my new book of poems and quotes. The two things I love most to write. The cover photo is by David Kaston. Scheduled publication date: Fall, 2019.
Virginia Martin‘s collection Love Without Borders (published in 2017) is the third volume in a six part series. Readers will immediately discover that Martin’s poetry is full of encouragement, optimism, and sweetness, served with a heavy Christian influence. Though these pieces do toe the line of falling (and actually do cross over a few times) into the realm of mawkish or sentimental work, their unabashed zest for life is undeniably cute.
Many of Martin’s poems could also be interpreted as prayers, which lends itself to a question still hotly debated today by such poets as Kaveh Akbar–what exactly is a poem? Martin posits her own theory, “Poetry is… / led by feelings and raw emotion / That rise from the innermost / Part of the heart.” Her definition is just as valid as any.
She also delivers some decent life advice through the poem, “Slow Down.” The speaker urges the book’s readers to “slow down, take in life, breathe / Notice a bird flying in the air / Hear its chirping in the wind / Find beauty in the simple things.” Her optimism continues to glow on the page through the words of “Rainbow.” In the poem, the speaker gazes upon an awe-inspiring rainbow, “wishing it would stay / But hopeful it would be back / After another rainy day.” In addition to spreading messages of hope, Martin pays homage to an invaluable part of human life–friendships. She declares that “the confidant, memory maker, partner in crime / Supporter in the good and bad” are “…indeed the essence of life.” She sweetly extols the virtues of friendships, and the immense impact these relationships can have.
The poems are generally easy to breeze through, but readers may find themselves stuck on “Happy Housewife.” In the piece, Martin describes a homemaker whose constant mantra is “Hurry, hurry,” as soon as she wakes up. Springing into action by “making coffee for my honey and bringing it to bed” before continuing on with a litany of chores. The poem then ends with a line of inquisition which could only be assumed to be coming from “honey”: “What do you mean you are too tired for intimacy?”
It is clear that Martin means to use that line as a wry joke to illicit a chuckle from other hardworking homemakers, but it also highlights the extremely unbalanced distribution of labor that many couples find themselves taking part in. While there is nothing at all wrong with being a ‘stay at home spouse,’ reading about a stay at home spouse who becomes so inundated with tasks and chores that they are unable to carve out any time for themselves, and witnessing the other spouse appear to be oblivious as to why their counterpart is tired at the end of the day is cringe inducing. Was it Martin’s intention to highlight this inequality issue in the home? Or is she continuing to naively participate in it? The answer is one that must be found out by the readers.
While the formatting of Martin’s poems is not particularly inspiring, the setup of her poetry collection is, in fact, rather unique–not in its ultimate construction, but in the addition of providing what is called a ‘Poetry Bonus Section.’ Here, instead of Martin’s own work, readers can discover the poetry of her friends and family. This addendum reflects the friendly attitude, which radiates from Love Without Borders.
The language of Martin’s poetry is uncomplicated, which allows it to be enjoyed by a broad audience; however, due to its religious foundations, this collection may not appeal to all readers. Though it is nice to note that Martin’s poetry is unabashedly optimistic, and does not try to be anything other than what it is.