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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm back!!!!

Just a quick note to let you know that the paper part of school is now complete! Graduation will be held on September 11 and for the first time, I'll walk with cap and gown. I'm excited, but have found the moments I'm not working have been quickly filled with things I've so long had to neglect to get through this.

The last few months have been more difficult than I can explain, but thanks to those whose prayers I felt, even when they didn't know what they were praying for. It's a new day now and I'm headed in a direction I never knew I'd be headed to do things I never knew I could do!
I've already started the process of agent hunting. It's the next step in this very long process.I haven't written a lick since January, but am writing down observations
again, which for me is the beginning of a story.

With that said, look for blog posts again....I'll be in touch.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Abounds Everywhere Even in Politics

Well I'm shaking off the pain and stress of a ugly winter. My final semester for school is just days away and I'm almost giddy in expectation of finishing. Changes are everywhere around me, inside and out. This past few months have driven me to my knees repeatedly and as always, God has never failed to lift me up and send people into my life to pray with me and send words of support.

Spring is flashing signs it has arrived everywhere, from the heads of the flowers that are poking through the soil to the sky to the blossoming bellies of so many women I pass in the airports. This always makes me give pause to the newness of this season and how God has created Spring to give us hope. It's a time of repentance and forgiveness and great joy!

Not to bring you down but its also the time when the politicians descend upon Iowa like we were sugar and they were bees. Iowa stands out in the nation as being the first to attract these odd balls. Then again, Iowa is a state filled with contrasts. We have the leaning left, the dozing right, the hacks, the wanna-be's and the down right, never been out of towners who all think they know what is best for the nation. I'm truly ready to move! But sadly this next week, Iowa will host the "Atheists" Conference which deeply saddens me.

For a state with opinions on just about everything, there is no outcry for the Lord. We have become so easily swayed by being political correct that God's truth has been lost. Funny how the devil never needs to hide sin. He just cloaks it in political correctness.

The Wicked by Ernest Larson

The wicked prosper, so they say.
As for being good, that doesn't pay.
It's said the wicked have more fun.
The good stay home when day is done.
Well, now, I doubt this is trus.
The wicked have their troubled too.
The daily paper tells me so.
I buy it so that I will know.
I read the paper page by page,
to learn what sin is all the rage.
and what evil destroys and kills
that fills that world with all its ills.
This about evil cand be said:
it causes newspapers to be read.

What God says:
Psalm 21:9

..."The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and his fire will consume them."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Need A Good Cowboy

Just a quick update. Thougth about John Wayne the other day, his larger than life attitude, his swagger, the way he smiled out of the side of his mouth. Made me think he could take on the world at any given moment and never failed. Not bad for a man whose mother had named him Marion!

As you can see I've been conspicuously absent from the blog and probably will be until I get my internship overwith in May. Then I'll be back on track, so watch for me! In the meantime, I'm busily wrapping up my project, travelling and trying to get through my days, (which have been brutal, I might add.) Thanks for all of the prayers I've been receiving. I feel their power. And trust that I know God has not abandoned me:)

Hang in there with me and somebody.....if you see a good cowboy out there that can take on the world the way John Wayne once did without ever failing....will you tell him to call?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

War and Rumors of War

I read USA Today on the airlplane as I returned from my weekend trip to Florida. The front page showed the faces of Egyptians and Libyans in turmoil and pain. The stock market gave grim news. Gas prices shot up seventeen cents while I was gone. In Mississippi, a court is deciding whether or not to issue a license plate in honor of a former KKK leader. Drug cartels are killing hundreds of people daily in Mexico. Labor Unions in Wisconsin are wreaking havoc while two police officers were killed in Florida just a week after two of their buddies were shot down in cold blood.

But in one small corner of life I heard about a twelve-year-old boy who donated his five-dollar allowance to Kyle Busch, NASCAR race driver, because he heard Kyle didn't have enough money to keep his truck team going in 2011. To some this might seem silly, but amidst all of the talk of war and rumors of wars this young man, Kyle Savoie, concentrated on something so simple that it drove away the thoughts that pound at us everyday. He thought of giving to someone else. A good thought to drive away bad things, isn't it?


Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money for the doctor's bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the money.

She heard Daddy say to her Mother with whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."
Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out of the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment.

Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster.

No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! "And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question. "Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick.. and I want to buy a miracle.

"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money".

"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents--the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. "That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle.

I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost.. one dollar and eleven cents ...... plus the faith of a little child.

What God Says:

Matthew 24:6
"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Monday, February 14, 2011

When is Love Real?

USA Today recently posted results for its online survey of 1,000 people that showed how easy it flirt, meet people and follow up with new dates on social media sites. Results showed more than a third (34%) of respondents believed it's possible to have a romantic relationship on the internet, especially men (41% versus 28% of women). It went on to talk about how the internet makes it easier to meet or break up with new partners as well as start an innappropriate relationship the way the married, former Congressman Chris Lee did when he shipped off a shirtless photo of himself and a flirty message to a woman he met on a dating site on craigslist.

Makes one wonder if there is any need to meet anyone in person any more. Can you tell if you love someone online? Is it the thrill of the hunt without contact? Or the fact that you might not want the pain that sometimes comes with love. Whatever the reason for utilizing social media to meet your "dream" partner, remember this Valentine's Day, nothing beats real contact with a real love that can span the test of time. Happy Valentine's Day!

Enjoy this classic sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

What GOD says about true love....

John 3:16..."For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON that whosoever believeth in HIM, should not perish but have everlasting life."

Now THAT's true love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Clubs

I read a wonderful article today about book clubs that are popping up like daffadils all over the country. These seemingly small groups of six to twenty people get together out of love for the written word. It's a social club filled with wonderful people who appreciate quality writing and good stories. It made me think of the Des Moines Book Club which consisted of several women who graciously read the first draft of my manuscript.

Just like the article in The Oregonian, (I'm in Portland, OR), the women of the Des Moines Book Club were brutally honest in their reading, which not only gave me a better sense of my story but made me totally rewrite parts of the book so the reader might better understand what was rolling around in my head. Lesson well learned.

So to book clubs across America, thank you for your honesty. Writers need it. Thank you for the generosity of your time as you make us better writers.

Here's a short tribute to those of you in book clubs whose importance cannot be denied.

by Beverly McLoughland

The biggest
On the library shelf
is when you suddenly
Find yourself
Inside a book-
(the HIDDEN you)
You wonder how
The author knew.

What God says:
Psalm 139:4 "Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Internship with Etruscan Press

For the next few months I will be an intern with Etruscan Press in an effort to finish up my MFA. Although this will again limit my time to blog, trust me, I will still be here. For now, I am asking for prayer. Fervent prayer. The kind that pulls God's amazing power to earth and shatters whatever the Devil is trying to do in and around me. Pray specifically that his will be done in everything I am aiming for and remember, I am praying for you too!

I love the people I will be working with at Etruscan. The work will be challenging but I swear it couldn't be worse than what I have just come through! Hang in there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

World War III?

A Catholic School in Bacup, England called a school assembly at the primary school and announced that London was being bombed and that World War III had begun. Herding the children to a school cellar amid air raid sirens and fireworks to emulate the sounds of bombs, the teachers sought to simulate explosions as part of a realistic lesson on what life was like during World War II.

What the instructors had not planned on was the terror the "lesson" had on the children, some of them having nightmares for several nights after the exercise and others not wanting to return to school fearful that what the teachers had told them was true.

Seems common sense is rare now-a-days, isn't it? Here's a short story written by a man whose name I only know as "kitosdad."


My position had been carefully chosen after hours of painstaking selection. From here I couldn't be seen. My camouflage was perfect.
My face was blackened and streaked with green and with a handful of the soft dirt that surrounded my position.
My long-range snipers rifle was similarly blackened and wrapped with the same grass in which I lay comfortably concealed.
I blended naturally into the thick grass on the crest of a hill that afforded me a wide vista of the terrain that lay before me.

Here I had lain for hours in No Man's Land; that area between the two advancing armies.
I idly wondered how many lives would be lost over the battle for this worthless piece of scrub-land.
Land on which shepherds had grazed their flocks for centuries, now a prized possession to both countries.
How many sons would never be returning home to their families after this skirmish?
How many wives and children would be without a husband and father, alone and lost, left to struggle for their very existence.

I shook my head to clear these unwelcome visions.
I'd a job to do, and I had to do it well.
There could be no time allocated for maudlin thoughts to cloud my judgement which was just as well, because I'd just sighted the first of the advancing scouts.
He moved quickly and deftly, using every inch of cover he could find.
My orders were to let the first three pass unharmed.
My colleague, suitably concealed about two-hundred metres behind me, would take care of them. I was to take the next three out. A proficient sniper should be able to kill three targets before being detected.

Lying stock-still I watched the first three pass close to me.
They looked so young. The sweat was running down their faces, and they were being driven by fear.
They were scared! They had been well trained, but the fear in their eyes showed that they were novices in this war game.

The next group appeared in my sights and I had a good field of fire.
Now I'd only to hear the crack of my colleagues rifle to commence my own onslaught.

Yes, war was hell when you allowed your sensitive side to struggle to the surface.
Will it ever end?.

God's Word tells us.....Matthew 24:6 "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (New International Version)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seeking Help in the Right Place

A 42-year old woman with more than 1,048 Facebook "friends" wrote the following message on Christmas Day. "Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone." USA today reported that most "friends" did not respond, but when a few did they posted mocking statements or did not take her seriously. There were reports that some did try to find her contact information, no one local came to her physical aid. She died. Alone. With 1,048 online "friends". A sad commentary on the shallowness of our society.

Following is a Walt Whitman poem that even though written in the 1800's is still relevant to the news posting above!


You do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

What the Bible says:
Psalm 34:4
I sought the LORD, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.

Are we seeking help in the right place?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Something a bit different

Just returned from my last residency at Wilkes University. It was fantastic! The MFA students worked through two tracks, Publishing and Teaching. The days and nights were long, the homework pertinent to our careers. I'm home and recovering for a day or two, but I'll now be busy looking for an agent for my NOW COMPLETED MANUSCRIPT!!!!!!!

During this last semester I will be an intern for Estruscan Press and will be tackling a project that should benefit the press and its authors as well as the educational community. I'll be privileged to work with Phil Brady and Starr Troupe who will be my directors. Very exciting!

Secondly I will begin my search for an agent. At residency I met with two agents who, although they do not represent my genre, have given me leads and permission to use their names with friends of theirs who do work in the genre in which my book fits.

In between all of this, I am going to keep creating short stories and submitting portions of my book for publication. I will be submitting an educational srticle along with an interview (if I can get it) with Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Harding. Lofty goals for this year, but I know God has a plan and I'm just plugging on.

The last bit of news is that I'll be changing the focus of my website. I'm going to post twice a week on something a bit different. I'm going to search the newspapers for current events, good and bad, and respond to them, not with my comments, but with exerpts of prose and poetry. I will finish with a scripture that I hope may give you hope! The goal is to encourage you to read!

So, don't judge me, just read and enjoy. The world may seem better through the eyes of a writer. Have a good day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Last Residency at Wilkes University

It's both exciting and sad to be back on campus at Wilkes University for the last time. My buddy, Gail Martin of the www.operatoonity.wordpress.com blog finished her degree in June, so I'm left floundering a bit this semester. Though my cohort is so supportive, I still feel like I've lost an arm. But, there's lots of work to do yet and I'm plugging on!

One of the things I've really learned to understand through this program is the way writers reach out to each other and give, unconditionally. People share ideas, read each others works, comment, give hints to make it better, offer to share publisher's names, agents names, etc., in an effort to help another writer succeed. Just a week ago, I found myself in the midst of a total rewrite of my book, The Edge of Redemption,with just a few days to go before I had to be on campus. I was able to call my friend Gail, and ask for her help in reading the rewrite to be sure I hadn't missed anything. I sent her the book in three sections for a total of 283 pages. She had corrections and suggestions back to me in hours. For those of you who write, you'll understand the monumental task! Without thought for her own life, she helped me with mine. For that, I will be eternally grateful!

With that in mind writers, is there some way you might be able to help a fellow writer? Maybe it's just a phone call or email of support. Maybe it's an offer to read and respond to a writing. Maybe it's a cup of coffee or a prayer. Writing is such a lonely life. We need our family and friends to remind us that what we are attempting to do is not a waste of our time.

So thanks to those who continually send prayers my way or call to let me know you care about this journey! I'm trying to pay you kindness forward!

Got to run! Homework:)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My new article!

Sorry about the long hiatus, but the vacation was sorely needed! We got back from Hawaii and I found my article had been published by Hope Clark of www.fundsforwriters.com! She is a gracious and kind editor and a writers best friend!

Here's the full article! Now go on out there and sign up for your own newsletter which is filled with everything a writer needs to be successful!


Living the Dream

By Ginger Marcinkowski

Something happens to women as they age. It's not just about
hair that sprouts out of unnatural places, nor the waves of
heat that wash over our sagging flesh. No, it's something much
more exciting. It's the chance to live out a dream.

It happened to me at age fifty-five. A tiny hope I'd harbored
most of my life surged to the surface like a volcanic eruption
one night. My husband and I were both picking at our dinner,
half-watching a television sit-com.

"I want to be a writer," I blurted.

"So what's stopping you?" my husband said, never taking his
eyes off the television.

I'd been expecting some sort of protest, some awkward glance
that would pooh-pooh my little dream. I hadn't thought of a
comeback if he'd actually said, "Go for it." I had no plan. For
days, I walked around in a fog, wondering what I should do next.

One evening my husband pushed a stack of paper at me, data on
all of the MFA programs around the nation. My mouth went slack
in surprise. "Here you go, Honey," he said, pulling four papers
out of the stack. "I've researched them all for you. I've
narrowed them down to what I think will work for you, these
four are your best bets. You can still keep your job AND do
these programs online."

"But. . ." I protested.

"No excuses Honey. It's time you did what you really want to do.
Besides, I'm retiring in a couple of years and I need you to keep
working." A wide smile cut into his face as I threw my arms
around him.

I chose the Wilkes University low-residency MFA program, because
it offered the flexibility of two eight-day residencies on the
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania campus each year, and a chance to
interact with staff and students in person and online. Students
choose from five tracks of study: poetry, fiction, non-fiction,
screenplay and play writing. Tuition costs are $610 per credit
hour. Thirty credit hours are required for the Master's Degree
and an additional eighteen hours for the completion of the MFA.

The quality of the instructors and the outlets provided for a
student's completed work surprised me. Students work with mentors:
published authors, screenplay writers, stage playwrights and poets.
I work with the very talented, Sara Pritchard, author of the
threaded short-story collections, Crackpots & Lately. Having a
professional writer, as well as a skilled instructor available
online and by telephone has been invaluable to my learning the
craft of writing well. During the June 2010 residency, an agent
from New York read and gave an honest verbal and written critique
of my work, all part of the Wilkes program. I then got to enjoy a
one-on-one meeting with her during residency, an opportunity I'd
not heard of in other MFA programs. We "pitched" our work to
several agents and editors. Playwrights had off-Broadway readings
by professional actors. Wilkes's relationships with authors,
agents, editors and publishers have given me opportunities I'd
never dared to think about before this program!

I'm at a crossroads now, somewhere between ecstatic and afraid,
one semester away from receiving my MFA. I've completed my first
book and will be shopping it to an agent with the help of
professionals I've met. Other writers in the program have
encouraged and supported me the whole way; friends I'll never

Was it worth it? Every last harried minute of it! I'm living my
dream and writing like crazy!

Visit http://wilkes.edu/pages/412.asp for more information!

Ginger Marcinkowski is an aspiring author who's recently
received her Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Wilkes
University in Wilkes-Barre, PA and is currently pursuing her
MFA there. She placed in the Smoke City Narrators Novel Pitch,
and the Phillip Mangelsdorf Competition in Writing Excellence
and has received numerous Honorable Mentions in various
creative writing contests. She is an active blogger and is
in the editing process of her first complete manuscript.