Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Final Walk Through

Starting from the top,
going room by room,
checking the closets, light fixtures, and floors.

Clean, waxed, and polished hardwoods, baseboards, and stairs.
The oven has been scoured,
the refrigerator emptied,
and the freezer defrosted.

The basement is spotless.
The last box put on the truck.
Everyone is ready to move on.

Time to say a final goodbye 2015.

Fin'a

Beep! Beep!


Monday, December 28, 2015

FRESH

Etymology

From Middle English fresch, fersch, from Old English fersc ‎(“fresh, pure, sweet”), from Proto-Germanic *friskaz ‎(“fresh”), from Proto-Indo-European*preisk- ‎(“fresh”). Cognate with Scots fresch ‎(“fresh”), West Frisian farsk ‎(“fresh”), Dutch vers ‎(“fresh”), Walloon frexh ‎(“fresh”), German frisch‎(“fresh”), French frais ‎(“fresh”), Danish frisk ‎(“fresh”), fersk, Icelandic ferskur ‎(“fresh”), Lithuanian prėskas ‎(“unflavoured, tasteless, fresh”), Russianпре́сный ‎(présnyj, “sweet, fresh, unleavened, tasteless”).

Adjective

fresh ‎(comparative fresher, superlative freshest)
Newly produced or obtained.

He followed the fresh hoofprints to find the deer.

I seem to make fresh mistakes every time I start writing.

Not cooked, dried, frozen, or spoiled.

After taking a beating in the boxing ring, the left side of his face looked like fresh meat.

I brought home from the market a nice bunch of fresh spinach leaves straight from the farm.

New, unaltered, or processed.
A glass of fresh milk not homogenized.
(of plant material) Still green and not dried.  [quotations ▼]

Refreshing or cool.
What a nice fresh breeze.
(of water) Without salt; not saline.  [quotations ▼]
After a day at sea it was good to feel the fresh water of the stream.

Rested; not tired or fatigued.  [quotations ▼]
In a raw or untried state; uncultured; unpracticed.
a fresh hand on a ship
youthful; florid  [quotations ▼]

Antonyms
stale

Start the New Year 2016 fresh, rested, and unpracticed. Change up your daily routines. Brush your hair before you brush your teeth. Eat breakfast before getting ready for work. Seek a new way of getting to work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do something in a different manner. Every once in awhile it is a good thing to change up routines.

Start the coming new year, fresh!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Prayer

Dearly Beloved,
If you are in a cold, dark period of your life, don’t be afraid—the Savior has come and He will save you to the uttermost! Believe in and trust Him. Hope, faith, and love to you this Christmas Season 2015.

Merry Christmas 
Praying for World Peace 
Peggy Jo

Monday, December 21, 2015

ADVENT

ad·vent
ˈadˌvent
noun

the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
"the advent of television"

synonyms:arrivalappearanceemergence, materialization,
occurrencedawnbirthrisedevelopment


  • the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
    noun: Advent
  • CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
    the coming or second coming of Christ.
    noun: Advent

  • What are you doing to prepare for the second coming of Christ?

  • Who is Jesus Christ to you personally?

I hope and pray that today you will take time to ask Jesus Christ into your heart and confess Him as Lord. Then find a church that preaches the gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ, lifts you up and encourages you in the word and spiritual psalms, songs, and hymns.     



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Moonlight

dew drops of light dancing through the leaves still on the trees
the old man in the moon smiling down upon the earth that sleeps
‘Tis fall and the full moon is clear, looming large and bright
I love gazing up at the moon at night

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flash Fiction: Gorgeous Simply Gorgeous!

“Oh the day is running long!” “Prattle, how much longer is this hairdo going to take?”

“Be patient Pritchard, beauty requires a little more time as one ages.”

Nonplused, Pritchard replies, “I must be gorgeous, absolutely dead drop gorgeous!”

Suddenly there is a screeching of tires and crunching of glass. A car crashes through the salon stopping just short of the dryers.

Not a word is spoken, as the two women depart the scene.

Prattle and Pritchard leave for Pritchard’s house for whiskey-laden coffee and a quiet place to unwrap the curls and finish the coiffure.


Image result for woman in curlers
Smiling, Pritchard says, "Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Old Man In The Tree


The old man in the tree has been around from the time John Chapman meandered through the area. Known as Johnny Appleseed to some he was a walking preacher man what some now call an Evangelist. As he wandered from place to place, planting apple seeds some in a patch, some of good size became groves, and some of great girth became orchards.
Image result for smiling face in carved wood
The patch the old man in the tree came from was part of a small farm parcel given to a farmer for his service during the civil war. No longer a homestead, a new subdivision was being built by a developer and the apple tree patch was being cut for smoke wood.  

But, the chainsaw man thought he saw something in that big old apple tree and took home the trunk for carving. The old man was happy and the carver too, so he gave the old man in the tree a smile that made you feel warm inside and happy to see it.

Standing tall at the entrance to the carver’s barn, the trunk of the old apple tree stood living and being loved on, hugged by the young and old, a remarkable sight, the old man in the tree.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Siberian Winter

Sasha, stepping out into the cool of the fall morning breathing deeply of the damp crisp air. “Ahh a beautiful fall day, she quietly said to herself.” The sun shining brightly with water droplets of heavy dew glistening like jewels on the long grass. She hated the thought of having to mow the grass, but it would be the last time for this year, hopefully. 

Winter would be coming early this year. Nature throws us hints if we pay attention and this year she has. Wooly caterpillars are white with black bristles meaning a cold and icy winter. Geese flying several weeks early in formation have left south for the winter. The honeybees and hornets have battened down in their nests and disappeared early in this the second to last week in September.

The winters here in North America were nothing compared to brutal winters of Siberia. Sasha knew of Siberian winters and never desired to experience them again. Just the thought caused a shiver to run down her spine.

How she got to America, the land of the brave, was an audacious ordeal she tried hard not to think about and rarely if ever talked about to anyone, not even her husband who had no idea who she really was. At times, she hardly knew herself anymore.

Friday, October 2, 2015

She Had Moved To Russia For Love

In the cool of evening, the rain began to fall and the wind starting to climb, she felt the change of the seasons. She was ready for a change in her own life.

Battered by personal storms in her own life, a bad marriage, a nasty divorce, and the murder of her former abusive corrupt husband, she desperately wanted to move on. Pamela wanted to get above the fray.

Walking is a way for her to release the tension. When things would reach a certain tenor, Pam would simply put on her walking shoes and walk. She had put on quite a few miles on this pair of shoes and longed for a day when she would leisurely stroll for enjoyment and not just for stress release.

Feeling more like a punching bag then a victim she wanted this nasty mess to go away. Pam was now under investigation for the murder of her former husband. She did not murder her former husband, although the thought of murdering him had crossed her mind many times in the recent past.

Fooled from the beginning she had not really known who he was. Kevin Roloff was a monster, a tyrant glossed over in a false sweetly sick kindness façade. The social out and about public man put on a show that fooled everyone, but those closest to him knew he had a murderous bent of mind. Mean and cold hearted he could almost kill you will a look and his words could slice like a saber.

Intelligent and ruthless he was a mastermind of deception and wealthy beyond his imagination. With possessing money and irresistible charm, he took what he wanted and held everything and everyone in his grasp as tight as a nickel.

Pamela Evans did not know what she was getting herself into when she meet him, a man whom she thought was the man of her dreams, dark and mysterious yet charming and fun at times, turned into a nightmare on their honeymoon. Gambling, drinking, and being ill mannered on their wedding night, not to mention showing her off as a showgirl instead of a new blushing bride, she was crestfallen.

In the beginning, she tolerated his misbehaviors thinking it is was just immaturity and he that might change and grow up a bit and be more thoughtful of her and her feelings. But, putting up with his chicaneries was beginning to take a toll on her health and well-being. Pam would soon have to face the hard reality of who Kevin was, if she was going to live and not just exist under such an autocrat.

How would she ever divorce him? She had no money of her own, no family, no career or even friends. In the short time, she had met Kevin Roloff her life seemed to spin out of control. Her parents had been in a fatal car accident and died soon after they had married. She had left her career, and her friends, and moved to a place where she knew no one, not even the language.

She had moved to Russia for love.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

demise

there is a haunting in the breeze,
an orchestrating of the leaves into failing, falling, 
and fluttering in the wind rattling at the door of winter, 
demise

PJFARR
9/30/2015


PJFARR
10/5/2010

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hidden Stream


I have found the hidden stream on the eastern side of the mountain. 
Running with pure glacier water, it quenches the thirst of both man and beast.

Taking a sip of the clear water, finding refreshment at last on the journey.
 Resting in the knowledge that this adventure is nearly over. 

I will walk beside the stream until I am home.
PJFARR
2015
Inspired by Jeremiah 17: 7 & 8 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meandering In The Woods

Image result for fall images free download

Meandering through the woods, a lovely way to spend a fall day.

Monday, September 21, 2015

'Tis a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

The weather is sublime! Cool temperatures and light zephyr breezes. Leaves dancing on gusts of wind. Fall is my favorite time of the year and this year it has arrived early. Winter will not be far behind and is throwing hints of an early arrival as well.

But today, today is a lovely day to be out and about in the woods.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dreaming The Impossible Dream

In the early morning she writes. Hoping that this time it might be worth something. Penniless and hoping to change her circumstance. Dare she dream to write like J.K. Rowling?

Poised and at the ready. Where are the muses? Alas, they are gone, on vacation it would seem. Just when she has the time to write they make a get away. Otherwise they torment her when she has no time to write. They whisper and shout scenes and characters from the sidelines like a coach during a football game, but she has no time to write!

Frustrated and tormented but hopeful tomorrow is another day to dream, to write, and to dare the impossible dream to be published and read.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Listening, Hearing, Heard

What does it mean to listen? 

The dictionary.com defines the word listen as follows:
lis·ten [lis–uhn] verb
1.  To give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing
2.  To pay attention; heed

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.  Yes, it means to hear; but it also means to pay attention—with our ears, our eyes, and our hearts.

Listening to others a key life skill, it can also have a tremendous impact on building trust in a relationship. When we take the time to listen, we show the other person that we care—that we are interested in understanding their perspective. That can go a long way toward building, or rebuilding, a relationship.

Fred Rogers once said, “The purpose of life is to listen to God – to yourself, to your neighbor, to your world and, when the time comes, to respond in as helpful a way as you can find …  from within and without.”

Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.

If there is one communication, skill you should aim to master then listening is it.  I ask this question of myself, “Am I really listening to others?” “Do I communicate clearly?” The following is a link to a life skill website that will aide you in becoming a better listener. http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-skills.html.

Are you a good listener? On the other hand, are you reactionary to everything you perceive you are hearing?

I think we all need to START listening more! 

Maybe it is not too late for change.

Be the change you want in the world...be a better LISTENER.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sophisticated Narration

“In some ways, subtext—the workshop term for the unspoken aspects of fiction—is the craft element that separates immature writing from more sophisticated narration.”   JACOB M.APPEL


This quote comes from and essay written by Jacob Appel about Dan Chaon: Master of the Sinister Subtext in Fiction Writers Review.  It is an excellent article about a writer, whose writing is multi-layered and rich, and who shares with aspiring writers the art of accessible archetype for mastering subtext. A must read for any writer looking to advance in his/her writing skills. Master analyst and writer extraordinaire Jacob Appel shares Dan Chaon gems of nuance and subtle undercurrents, subtext writing techniques. Any aspiring writer looking for information about writing sophisticated narration must need to read this essay.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Flash Fiction

I enjoy reading “Flash Fiction.”

flash fic·tion
(noun)
 1. fiction that is extremely brief, typically only a few hundred words or fewer in its entirety. 

It is great for those moments you dislike, like waiting for the doctor or dentist, or stuck in traffic that has not moved for fifteen minutes. A few hundred entertaining words that can make you laugh, cry, or be terrified, with flash fiction you do not know what you are going to get.

The following link is to a fantastic literary site called http://www.wordriot.org.  Check it out and enjoy the musings.   No One Here Knows a Damn Thing About Birds by Chuck Strangward.

If you have a favorite flash fiction site, please share it in the comment section and I'll share the information.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dead Man Walking

Dead man walking doesn’t even know it.
Blinded by his own arrogance and pride, he does not see it coming.
He is a whitewashed sepulcher.

Man makes plans for the future.
Relying on mediums and futurist.
His development halted, building on dead man’s corpus.

Thinking God does not see, nor pay heed to his deeds.
The façade will collapse.
Hollow graves sink beneath the weight of bones.

The second death is inescapable for the damned.

     PJFARR
September 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quotable Neil Gaiman

Start Telling the Stories That Only You Can Tell 

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that, but you are the only you. 
NEIL GAIMAN 

Check out AdviceToWriters.com.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Grand Dame's Loss of Her Dignity

Rumor said,
 The principal was running out,
 Robber barons lie. 

Build it and they will come, 
Pigs at the trough. 

Casting your pearls before swine, 
Rendering your gems into the mud. 

Trading your soul for sport. 
Bouncing the orange ball. 

What do ignorant men know? 
Money cannot solve all problems!

 Pursuit of what? 
Happiness. 

 Misery of a Grand Dame’s loss of her dignity.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pam Houston Quote

"We have to be smarter than the lies designed to pacify us.

To make us silent.

We are the word-users so let’s use our words.”

Pam Houston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Heart Wants, What The Heart Wants, To Grow Old Together


Art Journaling 
Page number 5
The Heart Wants, What The Heart Wants...
To Grow Old Together.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Steeler Training Camp 2015 Begins This Weekend At Saint Vincent College Celebrating 50 Years

Steelers Training Camp 50 Logo


Steelers begin 2015 summer training camp this weekend at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe Pennsylvania. This is the 50th year the Steelers have been training at Saint Vincent College. Click on the links for more information about the Steelers, Saint Vincent College, and Latrobe Pennsylvania. Football season is around the corner. Let's get fired up and join in the fun and celebration!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mr. Stan Standish

It was the middle of the morning and the funeral director wondered, "Where is Frank?" "He should have dug the hole by now."

Frank, the mortician’s assistant, the groundskeeper for the cemetery had not called to inform Mr. Stan Standish, that the grave had been dug and prepared for this morning's burial.

Frank, a punctual man, who pays attention to details and rarely, if ever misses a day’s work, had not called as of 9:00 am. The funeral starts at 10:00 and Mr. Standish was starting to get nervous.

This is the exact reason Frank was hired in the first place so that he would no longer have to check to see if the hole had been dug. With Frank, all the details including the gravesite chairs and tent covering were always ready.

For the first time in as many years, Mr. Standish now had to drive up to the cemetery before the funeral to make sure all was in order. After all, the man being buried today was once the town's main benefactor, Mr. Wellington.

Pulling up the drive of the cemetery, he came to a sudden stop; the gate was closed! “Where is Frank?” 

Fiddling in his pocket, Mr. Standish was hoping he still carried a key to the gate. “Of all days not to come to work, Frank sure picked the wrong day, he thought to himself.” “Ah, he breathed, as he slid the key in the lock and then pushed open the gate.”

Rolling up to the gardener’s shed, he was relieved to see Frank’s Ford truck. He must have come through the back gate and not unlocked the front.

 “Frank! Frank! Where are you my good man?” But, there was no reply.

Looking up the hill, he saw where the gravesite was being prepared, so he got in his car and drove up the hill. “Whose idea was it to put the town’s cemetery on a high hill, he thought to himself.  What a precarious place for the living to bury the dead.”

Getting out of his Lincoln, Stan was perplexed. Everything seemed to be in order. The tent was up, along with the chairs, and the hole seemed to be dug from the pile of dirt hidden behind the backside of the tent. “But, where is Frank?”

Peering over the rail of the newly dug grave, he found his answer. 

Frank, lay flat out at the bottom of the grave, like a chalk outlined body of someone who had been murdered.  

“He must have fallen over the railing and broken his back.” "Sigh!"

With much, too much, to do today, Stan shoveled enough dirt to cover Frank’s body.  Then getting back in his car, he drove to the funeral home, conducted Mr. Wellington’s burial. 

Finally, collapsing into his black leather custom office chair, he thought, "Dead men tell no tales. Frank’s story will have to wait." 


Flash Fiction June 20th, 2015, Mr. Stan Standish, By Peggy Jo Farr

Friday, June 19, 2015

Writing The First Chapter

When beginning the first chapter it is a good idea to think like a filmmaker when it comes to creating your stories setting and background.  What would you put in front of the camera? How would you clue in your reader to where the story takes place? If your story has cataclysmic shifts be sure to paint the before and after scenes clearly, muddy or vague settings or backdrops confuse readers.

Choosing a backdrop is important so choose one that helps you tell the story. Remember a backdrop will carry expectations, moods, and increase suspense, which will help your story move along. When you create a background, you are setting the tone of the novel. 

Creating your background gives your story voice, shares a message, and a theme. Work to be consistent. What are you intentions? Where is the story heading? Build your ending into the beginning of your novel by purposefully structuring or framing the world in which your characters come to life and live.

Whatever your tone of the story is, be clear and consistent from the beginning. The tone you set in the first chapter must percolate through your story to finish well.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!





Thank you dad for serving, we miss you, we love you, 
we remember and honor you today and always.

Thank You Armed Forces For Your Service!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

BUREAUCRACY

A brilliant essay on how bureaucracy breeds violence for what is bureaucracy if not the supreme institutionalization of helplessness? By: 
   On Violence  BY: Hannah Arendt

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Twist On An Old Quote

I read a quote today that struck me funny. It is a new twist on an old favorite. 

"...choose the road less traveled. Now I don't know where the hell I am."

In case you are new to Robert Frost and his poetry. Here is the original poem. Can you find the line? 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Happy travels to you on the journey of life!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I Must Confess

I must confess that I have a favorite author, Anita Diamant. She is mysterious, layered, and truthful. She is an intriguing storyteller, who shares and invites us along on the journey of discovery of a story, characters, places, and even ourselves. 

In her latest book, The Boston Girl,  with a farmhouse building from the 1800's  located ninety miles north of Boston.  A two story, white clapboard, and a sign, “The Rockport Lodge,” looking like a dozen other bed and breakfasts in town but unique in its clientele and history. 

"I must have driven past the place a hundred times; without giving it a thought, but pulling the car over when I saw a friend walk out the front door." "She told me that Rockport Lodge was not like other inns. Only female guests were permitted, a policy that started in 1906, when it opened to give inexpensive—and in the early days chaperoned—holidays for city girls of modest means." 
The philosophy behind the inn was to provide a bit of recreation and leisure for girls who would never have been able to afford it, if not for their wealthy patrons. 

Thus, begins the adventure and a story that is unforgettable, The Boston Girl.

Friday, March 6, 2015

What is Hot in the Writing World? Narrative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is the latest old, but new genre in literature.  Narrative nonfiction is in more demand now because of it entertaining and educational value. Laurie Abkemeier explains it this way, “There are many forms of entertainment vying for our attention, and the ones that give us the highest returns for our time and money investment are the ones that we gravitate toward.”

The more creative one is in telling a story whether it be fiction or nonfiction the more likely, it will be received.  Middle school authors especially are in need. We get kids reading early, but often lose them in middle school. The classics are great, but a modern twist on them might help retain readers in the middle grade years. Other topics like memoir, history, science, travel, and essay collections may inspire young readers if integrated into their curriculum in a dramatic exposition.

Storytelling with rich characters, textured scenery, and pacing that moves the story along should fully immerse us into its world. A good storyline with an arc based in fact is like a climax in a novel.

The market for narrative nonfiction books is hot. For more information about writing narrative nonfiction, check out Writer’s Digest March/April 2015 edition.

Check out the interview with Brad Meltzer, who has success across all genres and age groups. Not only does he write bestsellers, produce historical narratives for the History Channel, he also writes children's stories as well.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Tis Too Early and Too Cold to Write: A Poem

'Tis too early and too cold to write, but the fire within stokes the brain for thought.
Dare, I touch pen to paper and spill forth what is in the mind?
No, I had better get a cup of coffee first and contemplate before marking the paper.

PFARR 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Love of Language

There are many things my parents have passed down to me and every member of the family from recipes to a corny sense of humor. One thing that I am reminded of today is the love of language, words. My dad loved to look up words. He had a dictionary that he and mom bought one section at a time, when they were first married. It is a grand old thing, which is thick, weighs a bit, and is leather bound. 

I took the dictionary to college with me because I knew I needed a dictionary. Upon my arrival, I called home to say, "I had arrived safely."  My dad was glad and just had one question, "Had I taken the dictionary from the bookshelf?" "Yes, I said." "Okay, bring it home at Christmas break; I'll get you a dictionary of your own for Christmas." I got a bonus with the dictionary, a thesaurus as well.

My loving father passed away this past March, but today I know he was smiling over me as I happily looked up a word that lead to a search for more words and where they came from.

Thank you dad for the gift of loving to learn new things.

Monday, February 2, 2015

It is cold and gray outside with a blistering wind to boot, but I am thinking of daisies and an early spring!

Flowers, Marguerites, Oxeye Daisies

I could care less what Groundhog Phil has to say! I am anticipating spring! I am so over gray, cold, blustery days.  I can smell spring in the air; not really but I have a good imagination and it will save me from the doldrums of winter and cabin fever. Looking at the lovely, inviting photograph of daisies will help as well.  I am also making some homemade chicken noodle soup. I could eat it every day. Delicious!

Well, if you have sunshine where you are enjoy!


The rest of us will have to use our imaginations.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2015! 

Yes, I know this is late. But two days after Christmas our household got the flu. We were faithful in getting the flu shot and mom even got the pneumonia shot, but it was to no avail. Mom ended up in the hospital and then a nursing home. At 92 getting the flu is hard on the body. Happy to report she is improving. Two days after mom went into the hospital I came down with the flu. Now I am battling sinusitis and bronchitis.

None the less, I want to wish you and yours a Happy 2015!