life

The outlook is better

How does one respond to recent events such as the last three years? One mustn’t blame. It was his fault or someone’s fault. But if one survived and can see an opportunity in the mess, then one comes out with a better outlook and attitude than without. Adversity can make one see life anew. If one finds trouble, one adjusts their temperament to survive. One does not give up but can turn over with a view to stay alive and live. One can even think about how they relate to the Creator: what is my relationship with the Creator of the world like? How can I draw closer to God during adversity?

notes--writing

It’s quite easy really

A Christian perspective is quite easy really when it comes to it. Sure, one can think of theological and sociological things to bring up, while the ordinary, everyday filmgoer bites into an ice cream, and popcorn flows all over the place, but a Christian perspective is just this: it is reacting or responding to a film as someone who is a Christian. It is just reacting to the material and if faith is important to a Christian then there is a reaction or response that kind of way. Personally, I give the film or whatever a chance until the end and thoughtfully respond. I just give my thoughts. If you want my Christian perspectives on films, in a refresh of my reviews, you are more than welcome here: www.xsandv.blogspot.com. I’d love to see you there. It’s not theological, sociological, but just how one reacts to the movie with a Christian view.

notes--writing

New venture

My experience at Vocal has been good thus far though there are some teething problems which are being sorted but nothing major as in major. I found my first article, before I submitted to the editors, prompted me to write to a certain word count and I found this good as it enabled me to try a little harder, think a little harder, and improve the article overall. If they accept the piece, I will be submitting more, until there comes a point that I should stop writing there for some reason, but for now, all is good. Continue reading “New venture”

notes--writing

Feeling right

I spent a few spare hours of writing a couple of interesting posts (if I must say) on my new ventures with Medium and Substack, but my initial feeling was to not start out with it. To leave it be and not do it. The initial feeling was confirmed when the response to my posts and marketing of them were minimal. It’s not encouraging going ahead. Yet I forced myself to think harder about what other kinds of material I could produce so this material may come to fruition someplace else or closer to home base.

notes--writing

On new posts

This blog has been various shapes and forms of which I think it has been a matter of experimenting with shape and form and content until coming to something satisfactory or a composite of all those. I trust that Talking Writing or peteswritingnotes.com is this, which brings back my notes on the writing life more to the forefront as well as keeping with positing old articles, etc, and new pieces when possible.

My aim, in the long-term, is to produce e-books (or some variation thereof) of articles and reviews, the kind of things I have been posting here for the last six months as well as include the material that did not get published here.

So, I am pleased to present Talking Writing…And Posting Writings which I trust is more in the form I find manageable. It means I can write freely about the writing life and publish writings when I like. A lot easier to produce and in turn brings more variety.

amreading

First Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past

The Tower Treasure

Released 1927

REVIEW. The first Hardy Boys mystery The Tower Treasure was in the words of your grandfather or great grandfather, who read the book when it came out all those years ago (almost one hundred years!), an “exciting page turner”. Continue reading “First Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past”

meditations

Genesis chapter one: God and creation

MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?

Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading “Genesis chapter one: God and creation”

notes--writing

Saying it without having to explain

There can be a difference between writing a review and giving a view. A review stays within the parameters of review: explain your reasons for accepting or rejecting a piece. But a view can state the view without necessarily having to explain things in detail.

Although there are two kinds of views: one which can be explained and the other is like being asked a question about what you thought and answering without explaining why. You just say it. So, I intend to write more of that kind, where it is like someone asks me, what I thought, and I say it. These are typically short.

stories

Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning

Recovering “village values”

2003. Pictured above: The Hutt City Council. A community charter initiated by local churches and adopted by Hutt City Council aims to support Lower Hutt as a safe and connected community, what Lower Hutt Mayor John Terris calls an effort to recover “village values”. Continue reading “Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning”

music diary

Some moments to write about

My listening post session for September 30-October 6. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.

It may have looked good this week in ’72, at best. But nothing to write home about. Billy Preston put out an album in 1982, his last for Motown, and his back story makes for interesting reading. R.E.M looking strong with another album, but not up my ally. Life Goes On, for Le Ann Rimes in 2002; the song felt quite visceral, not the rest of the album though. What did you say? 2022 music? It must have escaped me.

stories

Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand

Compassionate response to unemployment

2001. While watching a slide presentation of underprivileged children from India at a house group meeting, Ken and Wendy Fraser were impressed that God wanted them to help unemployed people in the Hutt Valley (in New Zealand). Continue reading “Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand”

stories

Penalising approach not welcomed

Backing for beneficiaries

2005. A church agency representing the views of the national representatives of four mainline churches (in New Zealand) is concerned that a government bill at select committee stage will unduly penalise domestic purposes beneficiaries who do not establish paternity of their children. Continue reading “Penalising approach not welcomed”

poetry

The echo

Time makes such amends

For what’s missing in time

Just when life seemed hopeless

Along came time to soften wandering through the pages

 

Maladjusted by my unravelling

Depth and meaning were the challenge to my soul, but

Time had a way of healing,

For relief from superficialness.

I found soothing in an echo from time

The breeze blew toward me,

A grace I was assigned

Misaligned, I was, but saved despite the swirl of agony

In a moment of time

music diary

The forecast wasn’t as grim

My music listening session that covers a week of releases September 22-September 29. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.

The verdict: What do you do when even the classics don’t speak? Catch Bull at Four, remember it? Why does Christian music from 2002 sound two note? 2012 just sounds a little bit fuller. Just commercial enough to satisfy the intended audience? Costs less to make? The oldies are just sounding above mediocre with their new releases. Two picks this week.

stories

“They were coming because they wished to meet with other people”

Loaves & Fishes only community meal

2001. The Community Outreach Mission for the Salvation Army Crossroads Community Church in Lower Hutt (in New Zealand) runs the only regular community meal in the city. Continue reading ““They were coming because they wished to meet with other people””

music diary

A quiet week overall

August 29th—September 5, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022. My session at the listening post produced music that is almost acceptable then you listen to the second track on the album and it’s all downhill from there. Yes, there were one or two stand out tracks and on another one something like noise.

YungBlud seems to have the release of the week in 2022. This self-titled album sounds good but it’s something I would pass on not only for the lyrics I have reservations on, but the sound just did not resonate with me personally. Christian music is sounding quiet this week in 2022.

meditations

Humans and creatures exist side by side

MEDITATION. Genesis 1:20-31: God created the creatures of the sea and the earth, and then God created human beings in God’s likeness.

I look at this passage and see that God does not let the creatures roam and the human beings to exist by them uninvolved. I see that humans and creatures are always in relationship somehow. In this, God does not take for granted how we interact, be that creature to creature, human being to creature and human to human. Continue reading “Humans and creatures exist side by side”

poetry

Praise

Taking the sheen off the praise

When what was delivered was good,

I got to get away,

Get back to the place where I am understood.

Many years ago, an utterance of certainty,

Which I forsook,

Could they be so right,

When the praise is so good,

And delivers in ways that are wonderous.

I lift my soul and hand go up, the arms raise

Wonderful release,

No more the exercise of pain,

Inflicted by something unseen,

The shine comes back,

And I’m found again.

notes--writing

A vow of poverty to write

DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…

Continue reading “A vow of poverty to write”

notes--writing

One or two in the mist

Had a flurry of writing over the Easter period and beyond for some devotions I was trying to get through and published. Those ones were safely rejected I think all of them, but I am not counting, so I have an idea there is one or two that are on their list to publish at some stage. Wait for the cheque in the post. The rejections when they come don’t hurt as much as they used to. I am not counting.

poetry

A life giving word

As crude as the priest put it,

The answer he gave made sense,

Although I questioned the expression,

The answer resounded in spirit

I knew he was right.

I knew its truth.

I, myself, did.

The woman he was talking to listened

Wondering if this is the answer to

The dilemma in her life

(Her fatal suffering)

Albeit God was with her and

God was in the solitary voice –

Even when it’s not the prevailing wisdom.

The water flowed tranquilly,

To rescue her on hearing.

If she took it.

stories

Beautiful churches with “great acoustics, cool pulpits and loads of leadlight”

Church used for acoustic concerts

2004. New Zealand recording artist Bic Runga is on her one-month Acoustic Church Tour playing at 10 churches on a 16 date tour.

Bic Runga is a 26-year-old singer songwriter, signed to Columbia Records in New Zealand, and with two albums to her credit, Drive and Beautiful Collision.

Continue reading “Beautiful churches with “great acoustics, cool pulpits and loads of leadlight””

notes--writing

Writing in anger

A reviewer assumed a screenwriter/director was driven by anger to make a work, but being driven by this emotion seems a stretch too far. How does one manage that emotion while working with it? Wouldn’t anger get out of control and interfere with the person doing the work, effectively disabling the person from thinking straight?

I guess anger in writing can smolder underneath, under layers one has built up to protect oneself from exposing the driving, motivating force behind a work or works.

The problem with writing in anger is that anger may be seen in how one treats the subject they are irritated about. An exaggerated treatment may reveal a bias towards a certain institution, but it isn’t the way it is. This is when things become unfair.

I think it is best to avoid those writings that are driven by the emotion of anger. There are other emotions to write with, and these can be negative ones. For me at least, anger is detrimental to getting on doing the work properly.

In the end one may be misrepresenting something or some group entirely and perhaps regret doing so afterwards.

notes--writing

One word says it

As I am progressing my sentence, and stuck for the right word, I try and use two words. Why use two words when I could use one? Two words tries to expand on the meaning in my mind — but it sounds clumsy and awkward. It just does not flow well. One word may say it much better. Just got to find the right word. That’s where words with similar meanings come in (synonyms), since one of those words may just say it better than two.  I google for a synonym and  I find the right word that replaces the two words that just did not sound right.

poetry

Bittersweet to hunger

Kind of nice, but bitter

The taste of convenance

Easy.

Homemade.

Over there, not.

Nowhere to find.

In the place I call home.

Kind of nice, but bitter,

Going cold, always sour.

My Sweet,

You never complain,

Alternatives, what?

I wouldn’t change a thing!

Except if it was mud cake in the face.

I am glad you are here

You will not go

For this is bitter to a hungry man,

And it tastes good.

 

When will thou arrive?

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

poetry

Strait through

A straight line I go alone

Steps along the way

The spring is infectious

Buoying me every day

Veering not to the left or right and not by design,

The course I am is full and sublime.

 

Remember me? Shouted a boy by other means a man

Are you still who you are,

Or have you gone lame?

I was who I was, I said.

And that is all I said.

 

Wanting to probe some more,

I anticipated a shock,

A meeting of no mere reunion,

A rude interruption.

 

I kept on going

Not fearing what lies ahead.

A bit maimed and bruised,

But I must cruise

Just get me to the other side.

Even if I die, alive.

 

A straight line I go alone

Steps along the way

The spring is infectious

Buoying me every day

Veering not to the left or right and not by design,

The course I am is full and sublime.

 

poetry

Feeling today

I better write this

While it is not compelling me, but

Impelling me to.

While not knowing why,

I have an idea,

What it’s about.

The day only comes once a year,

The smell of it, I know.

What it’s about I don’t.

So, what does today mean, to me?

A rather lonely sojourn?

While everyone’s in the know?

Why should I bother?

But I do. The day is another beautiful day

Isn’t this why we are free to celebrate,

Because it is another beautiful day?

Unhinged, unfettered.

Unleased with light.

Since that day many years ago.

 

poetry

Alive

The rain is about to fall.

So, they told us.

But it didn’t come.

They all breathed a sigh of relief,

So, did I.

I enjoyed the sun, while it was there,

On a day,

Of heaven spent joys.

The rain might have fell,

But was kept back for more,

More of you, the sun,

Love of the rays flowed through

My heart rejoiced, for the sight,

Not blinding,

But alive,

And death did not gnaw.

poetry

We

Weatherboards, straight across—

A roof, four walls.

I see.

Over there, I see you.

Close and near.

Not in that house they built.

You are to me,

A person.

Not etched in a wall

In the pew

The one who gave or did not

You are not a plaque.

But you are you

And I do

See you.

That’s all I see.

poetry

Looking up

I looked up.

peace overcame the dreary sky.

the clouds left behind,

a ray of light broke through

Shining bright over the heads of us

as I looked from the window,

inside the room.

I was watching the change,

I was looking up.

I remembered God,

the Father’s light shines on the

righteous and unrighteous alike.

He remembered me,

Just then.

He can send the rain,

For now, the light he sends.

poetry

Ways

The plan is this.

That it goes to plan.

What is the plan?

No pain in the game that’s lived in this life to get to where I need to be,

The need is great, no doubt I feel it strong,

Needy me, needy me,

Needing to get there,

Abide by the plan,

On hand,

Focused and dry,

No doubt in my mind

Got to do it do it do it

There is no turning back

Going forward, on track

Cannot stop, got to go,

Get in that place,

Where I want to go,

All obstacles I will put asunder

Until my life has got to where it wants

Then will I be?

Will I be settled within?

Calm and collected?

There will always be room for the break –

Into something new,

Jump right in.

I’ll stop what I do.

And go that way, the way

For it’s as fresh as new.

poetry

Help me see

You think you know it all. I got to help you, son.

The other guy is coming with a message you better here,

It will help you, I’m sure, son.

You are missing a few brains of that I have no doubt.

A bit dumb around the corners:

You sprouted wings like cauliflowers and cabbages on the sides of your brain.

But I am here, to help,

Unless some other together guy would get at you first:

The head guy. Amateur.

Bar the humble guy.

Who asked you,

Help me see.

For you see better than me.

stories

Annual appeal and rebranding church website

“Together we can help Kiwis in need”

2004. The Salvation Army’s theme this year is “together we can help Kiwis in need” elaborated in a breakfast presentation with a series of short messages about the work of The Army and their annual appeal. One hundred and twenty years serving New Zealanders was celebrated at Booth House in Wellington, April 16, which also looked forward to Salvation Army Week, to kick off on April 28 until May 4.

Continue reading “Annual appeal and rebranding church website”

stories

“A decision was made to go contemporary”

Brethren church goes modern

2001. It was do or die for a small Brethren church in Petone that was vulnerable to losing members, especially youth.

After approximately four years of soul searching and seeking God on their situation, a decision was made to go contemporary and be a place where people find reality in community.

Continue reading ““A decision was made to go contemporary””

stories

A house for pregnant teens

Home to grace pregnant teenagers

2003. When Treena and Marcus van Rijssel purchased a house in Wellington last year for the purpose of housing and supporting pregnant teenagers, two pregnant girls approached them to use the facilities which were not furnished or decorated. One of those girls has gone on to appear on Kids – a TV 2 documentary about teenage mums.

Continue reading “A house for pregnant teens”

stories

Creating good families

Impacting Christians and non-Christians

2000. “We exist so that God, working in and through us, will use us, to help people know, apply, experience, embrace and proclaim God’s truth on marriage and family. The result is godly families reaching others with God’s truth”, explains Andy Bray, Director of FamilyLife (in New Zealand), a ministry that encourages a variety of couples at various stages in life in their marriages and roles as mothers and fathers.

Continue reading “Creating good families”

stories

Retired widower remarried

Doubly successful in marriage

2013. A retired New Zealand vicar who’s been blessed with two long, happy marriages knows the secret of success.

Cecil Marshall, now eighty-six, was married to Barbara for 40 years. After her death 18 years ago, he was devastated but remarried and has enjoyed another 17 years of marriage to Margaret.

Continue reading “Retired widower remarried”

stories

Outreach on

Calling Kiwis to the Olympics!

2000. Blood, sweat, and tears is going to flow from thousands of people worldwide at the Olympics this year. And it will not be just the athletes. The YWAM 2000 Games outreach in Sydney, where the Olympic games are being held in September, will be well underway with an estimated three thousand people. Lots of travelling, little sleep and battling crowds is the order of the day but promises to be one of the most memorable and exciting times in someone’s life. The NZ organizers are looking for 250 New Zealanders to take part.

Continue reading “Outreach on”

poetry

Integrity

Whetting my appetite on a diet of malnutrition things I am supposed to not eat but eating them anyhow no one will see my diet of mental malnutrition but nevertheless I go ahead and hope for the best making sure no one sees me and I die a death, losing myself, my integrity, did I even regret the impulse that came over my brain in a haze of momentary lack of mindedness set on just one thing and forgetting I said it was mental malnutrition. The death of my soul, now a hole, and no one knows, but I die, alone. I jumped from thing to thing and the desire grew and blew and blew until it flew, and I’m left with the residual hue nothing like I wanted.

stories

Circa 2001: Renewable energy generation in New Zealand – State of the nation

2001. New Zealanders will be consulted this year on climate change and related issues, initiated by the Government.

According to the Cabinet paper, early decisions and directions, more public education about energy efficiency choices and actions available in the residential, commercial, and other sectors, is to be considered.

Continue reading “Circa 2001: Renewable energy generation in New Zealand – State of the nation”

poetry

Appeal

No, not laughable

Breezy, uplifting and touching

A hint of how much I love you

She’s rich but not annoyingly so

No self-indulgent phony

Sounds the most honest

Apt considering her title (she’s not channeling a future divorce)

She’s surprising

How is she really feeling Mostly sentimental gut feeling

Don’t ask if I think this is better or an embarrassment Her appeal outstanding

life

Television program induces fears

2017. Autopsy is a television series from Britain’s ITV studios that analyses the events around the untimely deaths of famous people. Dr. Jason Payne-James looks at the cause of death that is on the celebrity’s death certificate but looking closely at the evidence he concurs with the certificate or comes to another conclusion.

The subjects of the series are people well-known in film, music, and sports. The days leading up to the deaths of actors Robin Williams and Heath Ledger, and others, are analyzed.

In the episode I am looking at today, the life and death of the Irish-born, Manchester United footballer George Best is scrutinized.

Continue reading “Television program induces fears”

poetry

Porridge and poetry

Free verse is all porridge and poetry

Mixed and thrown together like a whirlwind of expressive rage

Hot in the pot and bubbling away

An orator who’s been told life is poetry and anger swirled all together,

Sounding like a dear old bird chirping,

Not so. Beaten into life by the wordsmith’s device

Heated words used in free verse candor

Sounding like he’s got a grip

Dying on the inside, the boy’s got lip

When a wind is getting closer

The poet dives for self-respect

The free verse expresses regret.

poetry

Illusion

It is this way, so the illusionist said to the one he called the magician.

The illusionist saw it no other way in the vision of the magician he seen

There was no grey ground and no questioning He had it right

And woe and before him the magician came creeping back who he viewed in a suspicious light

There was only one way of looking at her, and this way was right:

The magician was a wicked old willy.

Who happened to be a loved one gone by,

Never seen the same again,

The love he had was broken,

As the magician was seen through the illusionist’s eyes,

Never to be blown.

poetry

Smelly

Commercial intent, he said.

They said his nose was out of joint,

Because he smelt commercialization.

“You just hate anything commercial.”

But he grimaced at the candy smell in the foyer of a cinema

That was in the shop of a petrol station.

It was the smell that made him bark “Commercial intent”

And the manager was there to hear it.

The candy smell was smothering and moldy

No wonder he cried out

As life was choked out and inseminated with artificial popcorn, but

Could this be a matter of sour grapes?

As just the day before he had been given white bread for dinner.

Like the times he had been at the cinema he brought down curses on the place he was now standing.

In the shop of a petrol station.

There was such a mess.

poetry

Understanding “The Persian Rug”

How does one understand today’s poem “The Persian Rug”. Although it may sound like red carpet service for politicians despite their misdemeanors, it does not mean that at all. I can imagine a politician’s flaws being overlooked, though, and life goes on as normal, but this has nothing to do “The Persian Rug”. Quite simply the poem is spiritual. I am not using a strict religious metaphor from the Bible. I could have used another idea than the one I did, but I use “Persian rug” because it sounded like something exotic and transcendent which fitted in with my meaning. It is about how Jesus treats a person despite their flaws and sins. He died for sin but is not condemning someone for their sins. In a way he is treating the person in my poem like royalty even though he does not deserve it. This is God’s goodness to that person.

poetry

All I need to know

In moments, words were said,

Were they two divergent things expressed about the same thing?

One moment straight as an arrow that pierces the soul

Another moment as cheerful a schoolgirl chatting

Two divergent things expressed about the same thing? What’s the point, my friend?

She says one day coffee’s the killer

Next day asking if I’m getting a coffee — with a light touch of fun.

One day it’s one

One day it’s another

And the same

And the last day sinks the nail: you drink too much coffee.

Coffee is the cheerful killer she so wants to rid me of.

Dare I ask for more explanation, other than her innocent smile.

All conceived in love.

poetry

Intent

The previous ‘poem’ I wrote, “The Friend”, was written out of more a matter of intent than designing something artistic. There is a debate that says one should always write or create something excellently or this does not matter as much as what one is saying. Well, “The Friend” is inclined to be in the latter camp. I had intent with my idea and the art was second on my mind. I don’t think this poem is really that artistic as there are uneven spots; sometimes it rhymes and then it sounds cheesy in a way. But I trust the intent gets through and that’s felt in the poem’s effect. I was wanting to show that Jesus respects women after hearing the song “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Jesus never came with a iron fist, but was gentle. I was reminded that Christianity can be regarded as an oppressive religion but this isn’t so when you read how Jesus related to women in the gospel.