Planet Sonia

Where Everything Makes Sense — Thoughts, Musings and Tidbits
Browsing Writing

Relationship insights–best things learned from marriage counseling


Don’t discuss serious issues at night

Purple – Brett represented blue, and I represented red. When we became one, we became purple. You can’t ever turn purple back into red and blue. We’ve become something new.
Differences in dealing with conflict

Strengths taken to extremes become weaknesses

If you don’t read the Bible and pray, you will have relationship issues and will be less happy

Must focus on God

A cord of three strands is not easily broken

Learn about money management – read books by Larry Burkett if you think you know it all. Most marriage problems come from financial issues and bad habits.

If you are determined to stay married, also determine to be happy, not miserable. Don’t use the inseparable bond as an excuse for treating each other badly.

Find a solution that is win-win for both people.

You are on a team; therefore, if your teammate loses, you lose.

(From Sonia) Read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. You have no room to complain about any relationship issues unless you’ve read it!

Brett: Don’t throw things. Give backrubs often.

The list will never end–take one day at a time.

Arms Upraised


Arms upraised, eyes closed, she soaks in the music, letting it sooth her soul.

She sings with all her breath. The stress leaves her; the rock-hard muscles in her shoulders loosen.

Her mind floats, her thoughts pause. Others sing next, behind, in front, but she doesn’t notice them.

She is singing to God.

She is enveloped in His presence, His love, His kindness.

I wrote this in my fiction writing class in response to the escape scene of Shawshank Redemption. I guess I took the moment when he lifts up his arms in victory and tied this to the way I feel during worship to God.

Fiction Sketch: Fishy Banter


“Will you look at that sunset? Is that right off a calendar or what?” Mike said, twisting his body toward the horizon, enjoying the last rays of sun reflecting off the water onto his face.

“It’s amazing, alright,” Tom said, also turning his attention to the west. “I love the way the way the orange comes streaking out of the sun, like an orange dreamsicle that has melted into happy oblivion.”

“I love orange dreamsicles,” Mike said.

“Me too.”

“They are just the perfect mix of orange and crème; there’s nothing else like it.”

Tom turned from the sunset to Mike. “You’re making me hungry, seriously. If you keep that up, we’re going to have to go into this po-dunk town and hit every bait & tackle store until we find an ice cream cooler with orange dreamsicles. Knowing your propensity for getting lost and my uncanny ability to never find what I want in a store, we could be out all night.”

“Big deal. As long as we’re back for fishing at daybreak, that’s all that matters. Maybe we could meet other people to hang out with,” Mike said.

“Listen you may be single, but I’m not, man. My wife would have my hide if she thought we were out meeting anyone of the opposite sex,” Tom said, putting down his pole and picking up his lures.

“Even if we went to bingo with the old folks? You know there’s nothing to do here at night but sit around. There’s only one channel and that has such bad reception that you can’t even see what’s really going on.”

“We can play cards,” Tom said, making an offer.

“I’m tired of cards.”

“Well, we’d have fish to clean and eat if you would have lived up to your bragging. But then again,” Tom laughed, “I know we’ll never be able to count on that as a source of entertainment as long as you’re on the trip! I can only catch so many fish by myself.”

With that he pulled a stringer of three fish into the boat. They flopped around a bit, and Tom caught Mike’s eye. He smiled in superior silence.

“Maybe we had better take you into town and get you an ice cream,” Tom smiled again. “I wouldn’t want you to have a total bomb of a day.”

Mike crossed his arms and nodded his head, “Laugh all you want. Tomorrow I am unveiling the secret lure, and I think you’ll be the one needing an ice cream by tomorrow night.”

“Oh yeah?” Tom started the big motor. “You do like to tell tall tales.”

Before Mike could respond, Tom pointed the boat toward the shore and opened the throttle. The last moments of beauty were lost behind them.

This was a fiction sketch I wrote in tribute to my love for fishing. I do have a secret lure. And it works! Thanks to my dad for teaching me how to fish.

posted under Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on Fiction Sketch: Fishy Banter

A grammar error that drives me crazy


I write everyday at work. I edit other people’s writing often. And I read a lot as well.

The most common grammatical error I see — made even by professional writers — is the use of a comma before “and” when combining two thoughts.
People often don’t use the comma when its critically needed…or they stick it in when it’s unnecessary.
Here’s the scoop:

A. When you are joining two separate stand-alone thoughts (complete sentences), you need the comma.

Example: I love correct grammar, and I shout for joy when it is right!

Quick test to make sure you’ve got it right: chop the sentence in half at the “and.” If the clauses stand alone (meaning they have a subject, verb, and predicate), then the sentence needs a comma.

B. When you are joining two fragments, you don’t need the comma.

Example: I love correct grammar and hate sloppy stream-of-consciousness writing.

Quick test: When you chop the sentences apart at the “and,” you can see that the second phrase can’t stand alone–it doesn’t have a subject!

This is an easy thing to remember…I hope you’ll help keep me sane by following this easy grammar rule.

“Gone, All Gone”


He walked along the beach. The sand enveloped his feet, and when he paused, the wave pulled the sand out from under his heels. He loved the ebb and tide of the ocean, the rhythmic flow of the water. Soothing. Always new. Always the same but always different.

He wished the ocean would flow over his messed up life, smoothing out the mistakes of the past. He wished that he could have another chance to start over, to make things right. He wished he could wipe away people’s memories, their anger, and their mistrust—with the restoring flow of an ocean wave. Why couldn’t each day start new with the tide?

If he did change, if he did start over, could he ever be free? He looked back. The water flowed effortlessly over his footsteps, smoothing out the pits, over and over again. Until, just minutes later, his footsteps were erased. He also found himself in a hole. Just like in life—stay still too long, you go stagnant. He had to move forward. He took a step toward the ocean. The water lapped at his feet, cleansing him. He looked up at the sky, exhaled, and took another step. The water washed away the past. Gone. All gone.

*This fiction sketch was written for my master’s class in fiction. It was inspired by Kirk Franklin’s song, “Imagine Me.”

posted under God, Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on “Gone, All Gone”

“Voice Lessons,” A Short Fiction Story


By Sonia C., written in 2006 for Master’s writing class

“Wave your cell phones in the air…let me see you! Yea! That’s what I’m talking about!” Jake shouted into the microphone. Instantly he saw dozens of blue lights appear in the audience. Not quite the same as lighters, he thought, but times had changed. Too many bands were still shouting for lighters when no one carried them anymore. It didn’t matter anyway; it still had the desired effect. He could see all the people packed into the club. Their eyes were on him. He leaned into the mike again, “Are you having a good time tonight?”

The audience shouted, whistled, and hooted in response. He smiled, waved his hand in the air, closed his eyes, and listened. He basked in the attention, drinking it like a cool ice tea. These people loved him. Several girls on the dance floor swayed to the music, casting sultry eyes his way; he wondered what else they would do if he asked.

He struggled to see beyond the first few rows, but the spotlights blocked anything else from his view. The few guys that he could see looked up at him with a wistful envy. Jake was ready to play all night. Read the rest of this entry »

posted under Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on “Voice Lessons,” A Short Fiction Story

“Suspicion,” a fiction short story


By Sonia Coleman, written for Master’s degree class in 2006

Flashlight. Check.
Binoculars. Check.
Running shoes. Check.
Black stocking cap. Check.
Directions. Check.

Melanie nodded her head and smiled in satisfaction. She folded the list and tucked it into her purse. She slid into a puffy black parka and pulled the stocking cap over her head. She was ready.

Twenty minutes later, she reached her destination under the cover of darkness. Melanie turned onto the street slowly, looking for the best place to park. Tall trees lined the road like sentries. Wind blew their limbs, sending leaves dropping like rain to the concrete. She squinted, examining the mailboxes for 108. It was ahead on her right. She stopped in front of the house next door, about 50 feet from 108. Melanie scanned the front of the brick ranch. She could see light in both windows. Excellent. She turned off the engine and leaned back. She unfolded the blanket sitting on the passenger’s seat and laid it on her legs. It was going to be a long night. Read the rest of this entry »

posted under Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on “Suspicion,” a fiction short story

From Sickness to Health: Prescription History


I have posted my story of healing from chronic sinus infections. This is a follow-up.

When I was ready to throw away my prescription receipts, I noticed how well they also told the story of healing. From 2000 to April 2002, you can see the chronic sinus problems and resulting medicine. After that date, my need for sinus medication, specifically antibiotics, dramatically reduces. I still get sick, like all healthy people do, but it is no longer a constant dread in my life. I am no longer a sick person.

3/28/00 — De-Congestine (antihistamine & decongestant)
3/28/00 — Doxycycline (antibiotic)
6/01/00 — Amoxicillin (antibiotic) & Allegra-D (antihistamine & decongestant)
7/05/00 — Biaxin (antibiotic) & Albuterol (inhaler)
7/21/00 — Zyrtec (antihistamine)
8/22/00 — Rhinocort nasal (nasal spray)*
11/21/00 — Rhinocort (nasal spray)* & Allegra (antihistamine)
Read the rest of this entry »

Seeking Healing: A Story of Sickness to Health


This is a autobiographical story I wrote for my master’s non-fiction class of how I received healing for sickness I’d been plagued with my entire life.

I stared at the pattern of the dark wood on the restaurant wall; it was the only stimulus I could handle. My brain was fogged in a sinus infection. I was on day four of an experiment in faith, and so far, the experiment was looking pretty shaky.

A few months earlier, I had joined a church-sponsored Bible study about applying faith in God to everyday situations. When I showed up the first night, the leader asked us to write down a list of specific areas where we had a desire to grow our faith—not just the easy stuff, but the things that seemed impossible.

I quickly listed: finding a husband, writing a book, and then hesitated as I wrote what seemed impossible, healing for my sinuses. It was hard to write those words on the page. I felt vulnerable and exposed as I admitted my deep desire for God to heal me.

I had wanted healing so many times before, and it had seemed as if my prayers fell on deaf ears. Would this time be different? What if I was let down again? It was daunting to believe that I could be better because chronic sickness had been a fact of life for all of my 26 years.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Looks Like You,” A Poem


Young man playing a guitar on stage
He looks like you
He sings to God
I wonder, “Why did you stop? Why did you walk away?”

Why did you leave His way
Leave me
Leave what we believed
And leave me to believe
By myself

It grieves me
A hallow sadness
For lost potential
Lost dreams
Lost love
Lost hope

I look into your eyes searching
for an answer
But I can’t find one

So I go on believing…
Knowing that someday
Someday you’ll come back

I believe. I keep on believing.

posted under God, Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on “Looks Like You,” A Poem
« Older Entries