Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Making Scrolls from Papyrus Plants

by M. J. Joachim
I was watching this documentary the other night. It was about ancient scrolls, and one of the things that fascinated me was when they showed viewers how papyrus scrolls are made. Before you read any further, please note. This is not a research article. It’s a memory piece, where one draws on memory to share some information with others, like a story.

All of a sudden, I was looking at a papyrus plant on my screen. Having never really thought about papyrus paper coming from a papyrus plant, I stared intently at my screen.

Next thing I know, a tribe of native people (I believe they were in a rural part of Egypt), were crouching down, tearing the bark off stalks of the papyrus plant. Inside were all these fibers that they cut into thin strips. Then they layered them on top of boards, in a criss-cross pattern, and placed another board on top.

At least two people carried the boards over and placed the papyrus sheets onto a large cement block. Then they placed another large cement block on top. This process helps squeeze the moisture out of the papyrus plant fibers, and flattens the sheets in writing material.

Papyrus paper is extremely durable, lasting for centuries. Some of the oldest papyrus scrolls date back to ancient times – think Dead Sea Scrolls and Biblical Gospels. Archaeological digs have secured remnants of ancient papyrus scrolls, often making them available for public viewing in various capacities.

Other writing material from ancient days includes leather and pottery. Once again, I was fascinated. Writing of the past was limited at best. It can by all accounts be considered an ancient art form, and indeed people wrote with pictures, as well as words in their works.

Being a writer was not a simple matter of putting words out there, and marketing them to an eager audience. It was a tedious, time-consuming task that very few people bothered to do.

And yet, those that did created some of the greatest literature known to us. Perhaps the tools they used had something to do with it.

That’s all for now good people. Thanks for visiting my Writing Tips blog J

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons GNU Free Documentation License, Papyrus plants; Wikipedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution, The War Scroll – Dead Sea Scroll

Monday, November 12, 2012

Exploring Writing Venues

by M. J. Joachim
Different writing venues require different approaches, to accentuate our messages and deliver them adequately to our audience.

I found myself deeply entrenched in thought and meditation this past weekend. The work wasn’t difficult. It was intense. My purpose was to extract and share true meaning, with the ultimate goal of encouraging others to do the same.

You simply can’t rush writing like this. It takes time.

On the other hand, last week, I spent way too much time writing tutorials. Writing tutorials is a simple matter of choosing something to do, breaking it into a step-by-step process, taking pictures of each step along the way and writing a how-to guide. There’s no big secret to it, unless you over think what you are doing, or try to be more creative than these articles warrant.

Then there’s just plain old writing.

This is the writing that calls to us, and before we know it, we’re reading books, Googling topics, questioning people, getting exposed to new ideas and using every means at our disposal to learn and write about something that piques our interests.

Creative writing is a completely different animal than the ones listed above. No holds bar, good people. NO HOLDS BAR! ANYTHING GOES as long as you’re willing to put your byline on it…

If not, the round file sure does come in handy J

Just for fun, see if you can guess which of my blogs uses each different writing venue, and post your answers in the comments. 

That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting my Writing Tips blog!

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Papyrus plant, Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain by Arpingstone

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Branding – Negative and As a Writer

by M. J. Joachim
Branded as one of the most tedious task voters have to do before an election…

Studying ballot materials has to be one of the worst! That and listening to all those nasty commercials…

We all know the feeling of dread that comes, when we open our mailbox to pick up our voting guides. Pages upon pages of tiny print, hard to understand language and twisted meanings, followed by pages of arguments for and against, whatever is supposed to get voted on…

This is an example of negative branding, one I’m sure way too many of us can relate to.
Not all branding is negative, however.

In fact, some of it is really cool.

My latest article on SoWrite discusses the power of branding, and shares a bit of insight on how you can brand yourself as a writer. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to check it out and engage in the discussion there. Here’s a link to make it easy to pop on over.

Hey, after wading through and studying that big pile of election materials these past few days, I’m all about hitting the easy button J

That’s all for now, good people! Wishing you a wonderfully amazing day,

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: M. J. Joachim ©2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Sounding Board

by M. J. Joachim

Emails may be sent to

Hurricane Sandy is messing with my heart, kind followers. Rather than tell you about my feelings, I’d like to open up this blog to your feelings and experiences. Please write a letter and share how you feel, what you’ve experienced and anything else about this event that makes you want to express yourself. 

You don’t even have to write anything. You can simply send a picture. I’m willing to post it all, right here on this blog. Pure emotion, whatever you need to express. Makes no difference to me…this blog can be your sounding board.

Remain anonymous or tell us who you are…it doesn’t matter to me.

I don’t live anywhere near the East Coast, but this thing has touched my heart. This is your forum for however long it takes, to put it out there and express yourself regarding Hurricane Sandy. Tell us about the heroes you’ve met, or the hero you’ve become through this thing. Scream about the pain of losing it all, or freezing your ass off, because there’s no heat and electricity!

It’s not much, I know, but it is one small thing I have to offer. The discussions that may follow each post are anyone’s guess. 

Send your communication to: Put Hurricane Sandy in the subject line. 

That’s all I’ve got today, dear people. May God bless us and grant every grace to all those suffering on the East Coast.

M. J. 

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution