Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: The Headless Horseman Returns #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

——


——-

The sky was black and the woods silent. Even the stars seemed not to glimmer. 

Rev. Jones was sweating hidden in the bushes. He could feel the shudders of fear coursing through his body. He held onto the cross at his throat. 

Swish. Right near Rev. Jones head, an axe swung. Rev. Jones didn’t bother to look and see who was trying to behead him, he knew and he ran for the covered bridge, stark terror overcoming him as he tried to surpass the headless horseman.

It was to no avail, the horseman in his armour popped down from the top of the covered bridge as it ended. He twisted his axe, showing off, letting Rev. Jones know, there was no way to escape him.

Rev. Jones screamed as the axe hit his throat and his head was lopped off his body, eyes blinking a few moments afterward.

The headless horseman picked up Rev. Jones’ head and placed it in his bag. His mistress had three more heads for him to collect that night, and so he would.

—–

Ichabod Crane stared at the headless body at the front of the covered bridge.It was really dark last night, (the stone mason who had found the body said). But he was sure this bridge was the place of the murder. Ichabod had done all the appropriate medical tests, and figured out Rev. Jones the Vicor, had been beheaded around 1:00 am last night.

It was no surprise, prominent members of the community were dropping like flies. But Ichabod wondered as he had before when this nightmare last occurred, who was controlling the headless horseman now? 

——-

Based off of one my all time favourite movies Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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Blogger’s Pit Stop #29 – The Blogger’s Lifestyle


Hey all! The flu has got me big time this week. I will catch up on reading and posting as soon as it’s gone. Mean while, make sure you share your blog on the link up!

 

Blogger’s Pit Stop #29 Bring a post and engage with others, share, learn, charge your blogging battery add some inspiration to the mix and it’s a good time.

Source: Blogger’s Pit Stop #29 – The Blogger’s Lifestyle

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem -Free Verse – “World’s in Books #amwriting #poetry


Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

——–

TJ Paris

——

Leave me here; I don’t want to go back yet, 

Gigantic and prolific library,

Please, I beg, let me stay the night, explore.

The windows are huge, light the entire room.

Let me stay as day fades, using candlelight to read.

I’ve spotted mint condition editions, Mark Twain.

On the otherside I found, several books by Jane Austin, 

I can hardly breathe, there’s so much literature.

Nathanial Hawthornes, Scarlet Letter,

D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, found, 

You’re angry; I understand, go back to the hotel, 

Let me read as the sunsets, in black night.

You don’t understand all the world’s I’ve discovered, 

I walked in a simple library, found glory.

Paging through stories, even modern,

Saul Bellow’s Mr Samler’s Planet, found,

Stephen King and Margaret Atwood her —

I never liked so much as Harlequins,

Dated back to the nineteen-forties, fifties, 

A treasure I’ve found, it’s priceless, worth so–

Much more than all the gold, which ever was and is,

Leave me read dear, let me delight, in lands, 

We can never see, outside this hallowed sanctuary. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Published Poem on www.spillwords.com: “Her Hair Is Falling Out”


Hey. Good morning. I wanted to share with you all a second poem I had published on Spillwords. Many of you have read it, but here it is again:

Her Hair is Falling Out

http://www.spillwords.com

Sunday Photo Fiction: Still Grins On #amwriting #poetry


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF


Skull
A Mixed Bag

Whose skull was this?

Painted with black,

Pagan man with Celtic designs.

Artwork of black paint done with care.

Celtic chains round the chin,

Eyes the deepest black holes,

Examining his head thinking,

Under every living human head,

Lies bones, a skull.

More chains around his forehead,

Celtic chains connecting what?

Fans of decorations highlighting cheeks,

And lines underneath hollow eyes.

Teeth broken, some full and functional.

But some teeth chipped,

Decayed from no tooth brush or paste?

What artist drew on a human skull?

Had he or she no respect for the dead?

But I think this skull we’ve found,

Designed with detail,

In the middle of the Ireland,

Tells a story of a time long ago,

No saying how gentleman skull died.

If he was sacrificed,

Or passed away from illness,

These decorations seem to tell me,

He died a man of a great respect.

I do know he was not so old,

And someone saw value in his bones,

To delicately, with care, design his skull rare.

Perhaps, frightening away the other dead.

Or with an artists eye,

Giving glory and tribute to this man’s remains.

His skull the most valued,

For there sat his brain, where he thought,

Ruled kindly and wisely, a leader,

Before death took his life.

And the painted skull through time,

Still grins on.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction: Reading On Sunday


Thanks to Nortina for hosting Moral Monday’s prompts. This week’s moral is any moral our Dad taught us.


Little Girl Reads Bible Verse
http://www.teachinghelp.org

The eight-year-old girl was crying. When a bulletin had come around church asking for people to read Bible verses once a month, the girl thought she could do it.

It was time for her to read the first lesson. She forgot how full the pews were on a Sunday.”I don’t want to do this Daddy,” said the little girl tearfully.

Her Dad comforted her and said: “I’m sorry but you said you would.”

The girl bowed, and stepped up on the alter.She started reading the first lesson into a mic. She was crying, but as she neared half-way, her tears calmed.When she was done reading, she felt peace pass over her.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Tankas – “Semi Colons in Tattoo Inked” and Thank You to my 1000 Followers! 


Hi happy Tuesday. Thank you! Thank you to all my 1000 followers, I appreciate you all a great deal and am so honoured to have you follow me on my writing journey. I received the badge which says 1000 followers but ashamedly, I haven’t figured out how to do a screen shot on my IPhone 6 or IPad Mini 4. But, you guys are amazing!

——-

The summer flu has hit, so lucky I had some posts mostly, ready to go . . .

There is an interesting trend happening concerning the use of semi-colons, that bit of punctuation our English teachers told us, we dont need to use.

Mental illness and suicide have given the semi colon new meaning. An article from the online tool Grammerly states from project semi colon’s website:

‘“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life . . . ”’

Please see here for the Grammerly Article: Why A Semi Colon Tattoo is the Most Beautiful Tattoo.  Also you can read about Project Semi Colon here.

———

http://www.upworthy.com
http://www.nymeta.co

——-

It’s such a little,

Mark of punctuation, 

And all difference,

Makes; those desperate choose life;

Have semicolon tattooed.

—–

Life washing over, 

As rolling waves, drown us deep;

Force within us break, 

Desiring pain of life stop,

New chance; life doesn’t cease.

—–

The semi-colon,

Says, the story isn’t over, 

Soul keeps on living, 

Body keeps on struggling.

Living life; there’s no period.

—–

Life isn’t a simple, 

Sentence written, controlled by us, 

Life has complexity, 

Harsh and wonderful–

Aches; but never choose end game. 

—–

Countless stop their life,

More live to see second chance.

A semi colon —

Inked; life goes on they didn’t —

Cease to be; their pages over —

——

Flowed with more writing, 

Characters transforming,

They lived through darkness, 

Writing more and more, living, 

Not ending themselves. 

——

Begging others please, 

Don’t chose an empty passage, 

Live until you’re —

Dying; and don’t let the page,

You’re on, become a blank space.

—–

Tattoo it in your arm,

On those wrists you sliced —

Or somewhere else —

Holding meaning; your story —

Starts again; breathe life and live. 

——

http://www.upworthy.com

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interviewed by Mandibelle16


Reblog from Ryan of his interview 🙂

days of stone

The lovely Amanda from Mandibelle16 sent me some really interesting interview questions a little while ago for a new feature she’s running on her site.

I’m not really a big fan of talking about myself but, after reading a brilliant interview she conducted with Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, I was keen to participate.

My interview has just gone live. If you’re interested, please follow the link to Amanda’s site. It is full of great poetry and many other interesting posts.

Read the interview here

View original post

Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #87 | Mostly Blogging


Share a link to your blog post on the link up and read some other blogs 🙂

 

Welcome to the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party for June 20. Thank you for joining us. Weekly Wrap Up On Tuesday, my guest author wrote How To Best Use Medium to Easily Get New Traffic and Subscribers. The post offers such an ingenious idea for getting blog subscribers from Medium to your blog, I have a […]

Source: Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #87 | Mostly Blogging

Interview with Ryan Stone


Welcome to another interview in my interview series. Originally, I was going to make this a monthly feature, but I had a great response from other bloggers and writers who wish to be interviewed, so I will try it as a series which occurs every two-weeks.
Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer and blogger Ryan Stone of ‘Days of Stone’. Please visit the link provided to read more about Ryan and read his superb poetry.

Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself.
The blood of the Irish runs deep in my veins but I’m an Australian born and bred. I was raised in a ‘man’s land’ of karate, fast motorbikes, heavy metal guitars, and football with Aussie rules. My love of reading and writing was not readily accepted. Instead, I was forced to indulge my interests under my bed covers by torchlight. But the poets Seamus Heaney, Kenneth Slessor, Walt Whitman, and Maya Angelou  — all have a way of asserting themselves in my writing.
Although I have no real love of uniforms, I’ve worn a few in my life so far: the combat fatigues of a soldier in the field and driving a battle tank; the torn black denim of a metal guitarist; and the turnout gear of a fire-fighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plain-clothes special duties team. When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains.
I have no formal credentials, only an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges, but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time. I love MetallicaTed Kooser, and with equal passion, my closest friend in the world, my German Shepherd (don’t tell my wife).

 “When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains . . . the right turn of a phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.” – Ryan Stone 

 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
The first time I considered my writing to be writing, was towards the end of high school. I was blessed with an incredibly passionate English teacher who managed to channel a teenage boy’s angst and anger into something less destructive. When one of my poems earned me a kiss from a pretty girl I had a crush on, I knew writing was something I’d stick with.
I’ve never been much of a social media fan. But I reached a point where I became sick of waiting several months for editors to respond to my poetry submissions; I turned instead to WordPress. Along with all the great writing and posts I’m able to read from other writers, I’ve developed a wonderful, supportive group of friends, and readers, who offer feedback and advice in a much shorter time frame than editors. While I still submit to poetry journals, my year of blogging has given me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.

 3. What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
To borrow from my favourite quote by Anton Chekhov: Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.
 
I love the way a poem can capture more than a photograph, can carry an image or emotion over time and space, and let me experience someone else’s worldview for a moment. I also like the way reading one of my own poems years after it was written can transport me back to a previous ‘headspace,’ for a moment.

” . . .Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.” – Ryan Stone (borrowing from Anton Chekhov)

4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?
Nearly all of my poetry begins while I’m running with my dog through the rain forest beside my house. Usually, a thought, a memory, or an observation takes root and nags at me until I jot it down. Sometimes, an unusual word or phrase will catch me the same way. My dog has developed his very own here we go again’ face which he pulls each time I pause during a run, so I can tap out a note or two on my phone.

 5. Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like To Write?
Predominantly, I write at night, when my boys are asleep, and the house is quiet. I am frequently awake into the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes. During these hours, I can most effectively explore and develop the notes I jot down during the day.

” I am frequently awake in the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes.” – Ryan  Stone

6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 
I have two fantasy novels I’m working on at present. One is about a princess who becomes a pirate queen after her parents are murdered, the other is about an orphan boy who becomes a magician and later, a king. Both novels began as short stories which expanded and grew during a couple of National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo). Both novels are over a hundred-thousand words and in need of serious revision. As with everything, time is a killer.
Poetry wise, I’m writing a chapbook with one of my closest internet mates (Ajay) who lives in India. It is loosely based around flowers and cultural differences. I’m currently editing a collection of my Senryu (5-7-5) poems, with the intention of self-publishing a small e-book of one-hundred Senryu poems, in the next few months…unless a publisher comes along sooner.

 7. Have You Published Any Writing or Are You Planning To Publish Works Of Writing In The Future?
I’m fortunate enough to have had many poems published in a number of online journals, print anthologies, and poetry magazines. I never thought anyone other than my mum would enjoy my writing and rarely submitted my writing anywhere until recently.
A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet,” which I thought had a chance of being published, so I submitted it to a couple of places…and was rejected each time. On a whim, I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine (a magazine in the UK to which I subscribe), and was blown away when it won first prize and £100 (quite a lot of money with the Australian exchange rate being what it is). That first win, gave my confidence a much-needed boost and I’ve been submitting ever since.

” I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet” . . .I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine . . .and was blown away when it won first prize and £100.” – Ryan Stone

8. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Went Through To Publish or Are Going Through To Have Your Writing Published?
 
All my publishing to date has been by submission, so I’ll talk about publishing by submission. Whether it’s a print journal, online review, magazine, blog, or something else, the rules are always the same.
  • Read the publication first, to gain an idea of what style of writing they publish. While it doesn’t hurt to offer something fresh, I usually have a fair idea of an editor’s likes and dislikes before I submit.

 

  •  Read and re-read the submission guidelines before you hit sendAn improperly worded subject line can be enough for an editor to discount the submission without even reading the poem. Some publications request everything in the body of an email, others prefer attachments. Decent editors are inundated with submissions which meet their specific requirements and most, won’t waste their time with sub-standard submissions.

 

  • Take rejections gracefully. Analyze any critiques subjectively and apply critiques if you think they are warranted. BUT DON’T GIVE UP – submit, submit, submit. There are a million homes for poems out there and because a poem isn’t right for one editor or magazine certainly doesn’t mean it won’t be a prize winner for another editor or magazine. While I’m realistic about my own writing, I generally look at rejections as a case of a bad fit, not a bad poem.

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
Almost exclusively, my writing begins as a note or two on my iPhone (often while I’m running) and later develops on my iPad. My writing environment is incredibly vital to me and the Mac/iPad writing program — Ulysses — puts me in an excellent creative ‘headspace.’ I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over…
I am incredibly fortunate to have found a brilliant first reader. She’s an amazingly talented poet in her own right as well as possessing editing skills second to none. For some reason, I’ve yet to understand, she seems to enjoy my writing and conversation and has nurtured and developed my poetry to no end. My first reader’s input is a huge part of my process in developing a poem from initial idea to finished piece.

” I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over . . .” – Ryan Stone

10. Do You Prefer Certain areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?
When I’m reading a novel, it is usually fantasy and almost always a series. Stephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favourite, as are Game of Thrones, Magician, The Belgariad, Lord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.  I play a great deal of electric guitar which draws me to music biographies as well, anything rock or metal is fair game. Additionally, I love short story collections: Italo Calvino takes first prize there, and I read as much modern poetry as I can get my hands on.
Originally, my love of poetry was nurtured by Maya Angelou, Kenneth Slessor, Jim Morrison (The Doors), and Jewel Kilcher. When I first discovered Ted Kooser a few years ago, my own poetry made a huge leap. Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, was full of ‘Aha!’ moments for me. Most recently, I’ve lost myself in the brilliant Buddy Wakefield and Richard Hugo’s: The Triggering Town.

 11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
I’m not really big on dishing out advice, as everyone writes uniquely. What works for one person, won’t always help another person; but I can certainly share what works for me.
  •  The important thing is to write, write, write and keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good. I have loads of writing which will probably never see the light of day; however, once the first jumble is out of my head, the writing that follows is  much better.

 

  •  I don’t edit my first draft as I write. I write it all down and worry about cleaning it up later. If I’m only editing a word or two, then I’ll delete and replace. If I’m editing a whole line or large section, I cut and paste in a new version – v1, v2, v3, (etc .) and keep each version in the same document. I find it’s much easier to revise without the fear of losing words or ideas I may want to later reinstate.

 

  •  Once I’m happy with a version of my work, I put it aside for a few days and return to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’ I find it much easier to spot weak points, sticky spots, doubled up words, bad rhythm, (etc.), when I’m reading it fresh.

 

  • The poem is more important than the truth. When I’m writing a poem based on an actual event, I find it easy to place value on a thing because its memory is significant to me. Often, I don’t want to let the thing go from the poem. This can become a weak point as the particular thing doesn’t make the poem better and doesn’t hold the same value for the reader. Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.

“Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.” – Ryan Stone


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like The Share With Us Which You Think Is Pertinent To Writing or Yourself?
An honest first reader who will tell me what works and what sucks without worrying about my feelings, is worth her weight in gold.

 13. Can You Please Share With Us Few Links Of Your Favourite or Most Loved Pieces?  
“Unburied Hatchet”
Until I saw those wasted hands,
brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought
how fast the years make ghosts.
I heard them once called brawler’s paws.
For me, they were always more:
cobras, poised to strike.
But his brawling days are gone now;
I could kill him with a pillow,
if I cared enough to try.
Thin sheets press tightly to a bed
more empty than full, his body broken
like the promises of childhood.
Haunted eyes betray last thoughts
of a dim path, spiralling down.
He hopes to make amends.
“Forgiven?” he croaks,
barely there, as always,
and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.
With the last rays of day as witness,
I turn my back with purpose
and hear the silence roar.
In a late-night bar I catch my reflection
swimming in a glass of bourbon;
but I’m staring at a ghost.
– Ryan Stone
First published in Writers’ Forum Magazine issue 163, April 2015 – first place

Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Ryan Stone for doing an interview for me. I appreciate his time answering the interview questions a great deal.

I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing on my blog. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.