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INside Scoop January, 2008

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Characterizing From The Inside
Is the real Rowdy Rhodes now standing up?
By  Rowdy Rhodes

Finding yourself within your journal is the simplest way to discover your own voice.
Before I start this month's column I want to sincerely thank Writer's Digest for the recognition that they have bestowed upon the Freelance Writing Organization-International by way of placing our site on their Top 101 Best Writing Resource Site List.

To be recognized by not only the writing industry, but also by whom we consider to be our peer group is an overwhelmingly emotional experience and has now become part and parcel of who I am and what has been accomplished here.

Over the years I've been asked, and I've asked myself, Who Am I?

Where do I come from? How did I get here? Obviously the answer's not simple. The definition of who I am has changed considerably since I was born and continues to do so daily.

When I was a child I was my parents' son, as I grew older I was my elder brother's brother, in my teens I was a shadow of who I am today. By young adulthood I became the master of my domain without knowing the domain's location, but knowing irrefutably that I was its master.

Time passed, I matured into my 30s, then my 40s. I became an uncle, a brother-in-law, and the clock ticked away, eating up the time left to do the things I want to do in life. The question remains though -- who am I?

Most recently, walking into a dentist's office, I was recognized as my younger brother's older brother, a positive, most delightful experience.

Looking back at my life, my identity is sometimes associated with my work: salesman, sound engineer, computer consultant, small business advisor, market researcher, software designer, editor, publisher, entrepreneur, a web site manager and a writer.

I've often been labelled, and I've identified with many of them. Some of the words I can't write here {smile}, but those I can include; fisherman, pool shark, alcoholic, roadie, wheeler-dealer, a mix of Klinger and Radar, video game junkie and really nice guy. This last one I hold dear. I like being a nice guy.

I'm also defined by things I've done, or continue to do, as; General Manager of IN, Site Director of the FWO-Int'l., voracious reader, crossword puzzle buff, card player, world traveller, mile high member, computer guru, hiker, home-care worker, teetotaller, cigarette smoker, musician, artist, carpenter, painter, electrician, handyman, even garbage man.

Surviving life-threatening experiences have become, as well, part of my persona; a head-on car crash sans seat belt, pancreatitis, knife fight, bar fights, cross-bow fight, even an LSD OD.

In the past 10 years it's my belief that I am the sum of my experiences, plus a combination of my father and mother thrown in for good measure.

I don't believe I am typical though, nor do I know if I'm a "normal guy" (my shrink says so, but he does go on about me). I know that I hear a different tune than most and I've always felt outside, not inside, society's circle.

The very notion of a nine-to-five, suit and tie life, or a blue-collar, nose to the grindstone job I have avoided to the best of my abilities.

Recently I have channelled my energy into The Freelance Writing Organization-International and consequently, Inkwell Newswatch, where I fill far more than a standard 40-hour work week.

To that end my destination, seemingly, is here with you, operating in a world where creativity thrives and imagination runs wild. Where it's acceptable to daydream and talk to non-existent characters, to express our souls and our thoughts through the power of words and the wonders of technology.

It is a virtual, international, never-ending, ever-expanding home where I will always be welcome no matter the circumstances of my arrival.

So who am I?

I am all of the above and more by the minute. I'm a character in a massive play, standing on stage in front of a live audience, most days knowing my lines, sometimes ad-libbing, sometimes falling mute in the face of overwhelming applause or crippling disaster.

If I had to create a character or two in a short story, what better place to reference than parts of who I am to give birth to a credible fictional person of passion, depth and experience? It's something you, we, as writers, can do from within.

Just ask the question, "Who am I?"

So what do you think?
Am I real or am I a character?
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Rowdy Rhodes
General Manager
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."