Photo Challenge: Fiction — “Sea Dragon” #amwritingfiction #flashfiction


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Photo Challenge.


Credit: sound-dream tumblr.


The freeway lights gleamed in the darkness, blending with celestial blurs of stars. Giselle drove home, bit by bit across the bridge. The air was tinged with sea salt, while impatient drivers honked their horns. Giselle was amazed that each night people never tired of the cacophony. A ship horn blew across the sky and she edged her car forward.

Then, a harrowed screech from the bridge had her and other drivers screaming. In another second, the bridge swayed and cars slid towards each other. Giselle bit her lip as a roar thundered and the bridge swayed.

A massive yellow eye blinked, and the ancients lizard’s tongue flicked against reptilian lips. Giselle lay her hand against her beating heart; it was only the local sea dragon. He’d swum under the bridge and his ridged form had scraped the bottom. Giselle stepped out of the car as did many others, to watch the monster swim on into the sea amidst the starry light.

She noted others stepped out of their scraped and battered cars. It wasn’t uncommon for the dragon to hit the bridge, it was built to handle his force. No one had more than minor injuries; the police and national guard kept him tranquilized.

Now and then, the dosage was too much and the dragon was woozy as he hunted small creatures in the sea. Giselle stepped into her vehicle, and the traffic moved again, quicker this time. A part of Giselle ached for the dragon, too prehistoric ( perhaps, medieval) for the modern world; the only sea dragon left.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 24/ Poem — Free Verse — “Bird Dreams” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 24: my own prompt again.


Credit: Coral Birds Pinterest


There was a bird coral flushed, torn in the Red Sea waves,

And she floated in the healing, until her wings were drenched in mineral salts.

She preened on a rock, wings coated in salt-dust;

But, one day a storm raged and she was drenched in the mud.

The healing earth, and brokenness beneath meant nothing.

Rain washed, and she spread her plush coral feathers — lunged for the sky;

The salt and mud weighed, not much had fallen-smooth away.

But, she flew anyways — some birds fly despite;

They rise, even if you hold them down;

If you clip their wings, their feathers still grow rapid.

If you hear not a squawk, don’t be surprised if you do — she talks, no moment is right, but there’s reasons beneath silence.

It takes time to soar weighted by sludge, to balance weights on your wings;

But she’s flying and she’s okay, she might send a squawk your way —

Depends if you’re a bird person, or weighted to cement delusions.

She might squawk, or she might fly onto the tangerine sunset,

Where the saltless waters are clean, and her wingspan for a moment’s graceful.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 24: Poem – Sevenling – “Choosing Right” #amwritingpoetry


For #NaPoWriMo Day 24 using the Sevenling form again.


The elements of the Sevenling are:
1. a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines made up of 2 tercets followed by a single line. metered at the discretion of the poet.
2. unrhymed.
3. composed with 3 complimentary images in the first tercet and 3 parallel images in the second tercet. The end line is a juxtaposed summary of the 2 parallels, a sort of “punchline”.
4. the poem should be titled “Sevenling: (first few words of poem).


Credit: DeviantArt

Cold tentacles, the octopus‘, beady eyes blink;

Forgiveness, understanding maimed, vermilion sky’s bruised.

Deep purple chills, I — sea witch, clamber in grim slime.

Wind screeches, gusts as glass spikes; no harm do I wish.

Confession –I stole her voice, her sweet tune’s mute.

At moments, we’re all witches, change calms the violent storms.

There’s power overcoming spite, choosing right.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 23: Poem — Free Verse — “Duck-Billed Platypus Thief” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 23 the prompt is:


“Taking a cue from Bishop, I’d like to challenge you today to write a poem about an animal. If you’d like to take a look at some other poems for inspiration, you might like James Dickey’s “The Dusk of Horses,” or Tennyson’s “The Eagle.””


Credit: http://www.wearessecondunion.com

Curious duckbilled thief, I caught you stealing time,

You peeped, squealed, rolled into corners where no one could peep.

Your black-eyes are wide, fluffy innocence peers back.

And your tiny lashes flick, as you hide within fur,

The jingle of coins jolts you, they roll ’round your tummy.

A Crown falls to the floor, you’re off running — to save what’s left of your treasure.

You’re sure no one will catch you– this time you’ve got us beat.

The royal jewels are in your fur-folds somewhere,

You’re a petty pad-foot, harmless, too snuggly for words;

You’re an armful of trickster; you hate being caught.

When I demand my wallet, my cash, and watch,

You cock your coal-dark head,

Perhaps, you didn’t know they were there at all? (You imply).

Tucked under belly rolls, in corners, and squishy edges,

I sigh, take back my treasure, hold out my hand, you chirp —

Duck billed platypus, creature of mole (some other beasts I imagine too).

Your thieveries a whimsy, but no ones fooled,

All you love is gold, silver if you must . . .

You’ll catch it in a sec, a poof of magic dust.

Your duckbilled lips smile, as you scamper down the stairs,

Yet, the things you hold dear, are the most worthless wares.

You need a lady friend,

For her thievery includes not just gold,

But, your platypus heart too!


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Fiction – Perpetual Hunger #amwritingfiction #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 300 Words for hosting #3LineTales.


Credit: Sam Lloyd via Unsplash


Lilly was 18-years old and despite turning a year older, hated she wasn’t able to leave their house on the lake for a city university, not the prep-college in town; Lilly’s family had for generations owned a winery near her current university in Napa. After a dull birthday party she swung to-and-fro on her treasured porch swing, and scowled at the lake — her charcoaled eyes brimming tears; Lilly wondered how much criticism she’d have to endure until she could attend any university she desired in Fall. She had achieved the SAT grades for a scholarship far from the winery and her Aunt’s persistent nagging and constant mention of Lilly’s waistline; she longed for the days could attend school far north in Canada without perpetual hunger.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo Day 4/ Saturday Mix: “Koala Dance” #amwritingpoetry #SaturdayMix


For OctPoWriMo Day 4 the Prompt is strange animals. Also, combining with Sarah from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Saturday Mix Prompt using a Jeffrey’s Sonnet.


According to Shadowpoetry.com, ” A Jeffreys Sonnet has 8 syllables per line. And includes 2 sestets with a cross rhymed couplet (the cross rhyme is in the 2nd to 4th syllable in each of the two lines of the couplet). Also there is a cross rhyme in the first line of the 2nd sestet (between the 2nd to 4th syllable), tying the 1st sestet to the 2nd. So the rhyme scheme would be: aabccb, (b)ddeffe, (e)g (g)e. The letters in ( ) are the cross rhymes.


Credit: Google

Your eyes they glare, mud pupils flared;

Furry ears edged with white-grey hair.

What do you see with such dauntless —

Eyes peering, shifting; are we gone?

Your sleek body quivers; pondering —

Us, odd strangers — hairless, jaunty.

Are we to be feared as we taunt?

Clueless kids tapping glass, so brash.

Mama Koala bear, have you sass?

Energy to climb from your branch?

For we can’t hear your tired moans,

Your yearning for forest’s of Home.

Would you leap, run, given the chance?

Or, would you clutch your tree in stance?

Hugging your young, a mother’s dance.

Yet, in paces your claws advance;

Higher than we below would chance.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 1/ Sunday Writing Prompt/ #PhotoChallenge: Poem – “Death’s Twilight” #amwritingpoetry


For OctPoWriMo Day 1 the theme is surrender. I’m combining with MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt on the poem, “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. Also, using a photo prompt from NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.


Credit: Natalia Ruka

She rises, you think she’d shrink,

Lose her footing with knobby bones, bloody footprints;

But, she’s a miracle and survives despite —

The annihilation of her heart.

No surrender, no train cars full of the sick and dying;

No camps of death will kill her.

She won’t surrender, she’ll paint you a dream,

A masterpiece of despair and scribbled features.

A portrait or less, no seashell rocking shut;

She rasps, vapours of her lost innocence.

Herr who?

With battered purple sockets.

Herr who?

A dream or nightmare trawling.

I have no dreams of innocence, only a suffering spitefulness for your hate.

Words that shattered the cracked mirror,

Seventy times seven bad luck.

Herr who?

Miss Plath, your words are riddled traps.

Herr who?

She fakes death, blood and bone snapped;

Flesh from hands shredded.

Your terror camps and eyes of sunken sin,

Can’t make her alive, though she’s not yet, dead.

Be on guard for those caught in-between;

Those who aren’t afraid as the breath in their lungs rattles.

Beware of those who see death and leave life;

The exact meeting of one leaving the elevator, while the other travels home.

Beware of hair as hellfire, she the angel of death;

No surrender, for none was given her.

Beware her yawning grin,

And hollow eyes as she devours men like air;

Destiny with her twisted wings,

Her opalescent fluttering, a sheen that hides the bitter.

Her charcoal hands twitching as they sketch the twilight of death.


“Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath

*****

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it——

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin

O my enemy.

Do I terrify?——

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?

The sour breath

Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh

The grave cave ate will be

At home on me

And I a smiling woman.

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.

What a trash

To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.

The peanut-crunching crowd

Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot——

The big strip tease.

Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands

My knees.

I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.

The first time it happened I was ten.

It was an accident.

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying

Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.

It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.

It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day

To the same place, the same face, the same brute

Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’

That knocks me out.

There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge

For the hearing of my heart——

It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge

For a word or a touch

Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,

The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.

I turn and burn.

Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—

You poke and stir.

Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

A cake of soap,

A wedding ring,

A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Beware

Beware.

Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Pre-order Jennifer Calvert’s ‘Polly’ Today! #writers #authors


Pre-order Polly Today! By the talented Jennifer Calvert.



Photo Challenge/Saturday Mix: Poem – Wrapped Refrain (2) – “The Fighter” #amwritingpoetry #photochallenge #SaturdayMix


Thanks to Nekneeraj of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge. Also, thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix opposing forces. This week’s opposing pairs are: whisper and shout, and humid and dry.


Credit: CityVarcity


“And Though She Be But Little, She Was Fierce” – William Shakespeare, A MidSummers Night Dream (Act 3: Scene 2).


The Champion” by Carrie Underwood Ft. Ludacris


I’m no faceless void, I’ve been granted reprieve to barriers break,

Discovering my mind, my body healing slow now awakes.

I’m trying to live in short moments,

Dreams won’t fade, no shouts or groans;

No weeping or fearing fierce blows.

Nor shivering in a cold few know,

A champion, I can fight my foes,

They but perceive whispers of woes;

Woes experienced by those who know not how a mind shatters;

Of lost clarity, aching sickness that still batters.

*****

It’s a shock when you notice healing; when your hurts lessen,

When you’re not forever jaded, aching or questioning.

You forgot life’s joyful details.

Skills, hopes, your ability maimed;

Daily routines to avoid what hurts,

Became your normal to subvert —

But now, your reborn hopes anew;

Seeing the lost isn’t askew.

Whirling in hope’s return, less chocking humid shame and pain,

Released from your cocoon, joy-de-vivre once more regained.

*****

All you who are broken, whether trapped or quivering afraid,

Gaze to the Heavens, your family, your friends, unashamed.

They’re your rocks, they carried you;

Don’t forget them, their aiding through.

Remember it’s okay to need —

People’s help, when your hurt, demeaned.

To need is to serve when unseen,

Brittle and dry or slow healing.

You’ve a purpose; nothing’s impossible, suffering’s a strength,

Keep pushing, keep living, keep yearning, keep praying; hope waits.

*****

Life’s never stagnant, we’ve all ‘ups’ and ‘downs;’ no one’s quite safe,

From changes, illness, or heartbreak; but keep achieving great.

Accomplishments can be little or —

Leaping giant steps towards doors;

Those that open — those we must pry,

That we knock, break down as we cry.

Be thankful for what you have, but strive —

To live your life joyous and alive.

Keep knocking down doors, but help others survive their drought too;

You’re no faceless void — I think you’re fierce; vibrant fighter through.

*****


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Interview with Writer, Published Author, and Blogger: Lynn Love #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to another writer/blogger interview. I’m so pleased to share with you an interview with Lynn Love the talented and published writer, author, and blogger. Her Blog is called: World Shamble: Exploring Fictional Worlds in a Blast.


Lynn Love
Credit: Lynn Love

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself Lynn: 


Lynn Love, I live in Bristol in the South West of the U.K. If you want to conjure the accent, imagine a pirate speaking and you won’t be far off.  I’ve lived in all four corners of England, though, so my accent is truly mongrel. I blog at Word Shamble: Exploring Fictional Worlds in a Blast.

I’ve also worked as a florist for most of my adult life, so if you need a bridal bouquet — I’m your woman. I’ve been married for twenty-five years this year – which gives you an idea of how old I am! And, also I have one cheeky, funny teenage son. Last summer we moved into a 1930’s terraced house. There is a primary school in the street behind us and a family of six live next door, so I can always hear children laughing – or crying!


2.  Can You Tell Us More About Your Writing Experiences and How You Began Blogging? 


I’ve won writing competitions and had my short stories published in magazines, but my ultimate goal is to leave floristry and write.  I’d love to be a full-time novelist but realistically, there is only a tiny percentage of authors who accomplish that hallowed goal. I’m also taking a copywriting course at the moment, as a way to achieve a more reliable income stream.

For years I kept reading how writers needed an online presence but it was something I never got around to doing. I didn’t know what to write about, and how to pitch the tone of the site. I began one site that was soon abandoned for precisely those reasons.

Then in 2015, after I’d had some short stories published in a writing group anthology, I thought it was time to try blogging again. This time, my approach was to be less self-consciously ‘writerly,’ and more light-hearted. Perhaps, I’d developed my writing style by then.

I love blogging and have met wonderful people from all over the world online – people who love reading and writing as much as I do. But also I think blogging has helped me as a writer.

I’ve produced over 750 blog posts – that’s at least 225,000 words and a lot of writing practice. I’ve written in a range of styles, from book reviews and opinion pieces to flash fiction and a serialized novella. Word Shamble is my online home, my space.


“I love blogging and have met wonderful people from all over the world online – people who love reading and writing as much as I do. But also I think blogging has helped me as a writer.” – Lynn Love


Nick Morrison Unsplash
Credit: Nick Morrison via Unsplash.

3. What Motivates You to Write? 


Motivation is easy – I love the process of writing. I love sitting at a keyboard, plucking an idea from the air and spinning a plot and characters from it. When I was a child, I disappeared into books and into my fantasy world for hours. Now, I create the worlds for myself.

Inspiration comes from everywhere – from dreams, from misheard song lyrics, from picture prompts online, from watching people on the bus, wondering what their story is, and how they’ve become who they are. Sometimes I begin with a setting, sometimes with a character, quirk or a plotline.


4. Where Do You Prefer to Write on Your Blog and as an Author? 


I can write almost anywhere – cafes, public transport, at work on my lunch break – but my most productive times come at home in front of my laptop on my days off. I can write from very early morning until mid-evening if I get the chance. Sometimes in the evening as my brain shuts down as the sun sets!

Moreover, I love disappearing into a world, creating places and people so that they live in my head. A YA novel I wrote was largely set at my local museum and for a while each time I passed it, I wondered about my character — what she was doing (etc.). I just love how characters in books can become so real. 

Also, I take part in a couple of writing prompts a week particularly Friday Fictioneers and What Pegman Saw. Both writing communities are talented and have taught me so much. We are all terrifically supportive of each other. Away from the blog, I’m rewriting my Urban Fantasy novel after feedback from my Alpha Readers. Right now my brain is filled with ghosts and demons and Hell mouths.


“Moreover, I love disappearing into a world, creating places and people so that they live in my head. A YA novel I wrote was largely set at my local museum and for a while each time I passed it, I wondered about my character — what she was doing (etc.). I just love how characters in books can become so real.” – Lynn Love


Tyler Nix via Unsplash
Credit: Tyler Nix via Unsplash. 

5. What kinds of Connections Have Helped You As a Writer and Blogger? What Inspires You to Write?


I was lucky enough to be involved in a very proactive writing group early on and we had an anthology of short stories and poetry published a few years ago. I’ve been published online many times, won and been shortlisted in magazine competitions and this year had my first serial publication in a British magazine called The People’s Friend, which was terrific. I hope to have more published through them and to have my novels published eventually. Writing is my passion and earning money through it just means I get the chance to do more.

Sometimes I’m inspired by a photograph, sometimes people-watching, and other times by filling in someone’s fictional backstory. Sometimes inspiration comes from a ‘what if’ – ‘What if that alleyway isn’t only filled with rubbish and bad smells, but opens to something wondrous?’ ‘What if I could use this Tudor sixpence to take me back in time?’ Then my imagination sparks off and I’m away, trying to hammer a plot, characters, and arcs (etc.).


6. Please Share with Us Your Experiences Publishing Your Serial in a Magazine?


For my recent serial publication, I entered a competition the magazine was running to discover new writers. I developed a plot, wrote the first part, and sent it off. I didn’t win and chalked the whole lost-effort up to experience.

Almost two years later, I was about to delete the story from my hard drive when I got an email from one of the fiction staff at the magazine asking if I would still be interested in writing the story for them. Usually, rejection means just that, but sometimes magazines and publishers can throw you an unexpected lifeline.


“Usually, rejection means just that, but sometimes magazines and publishers can throw you an unexpected lifeline.” – Lynn Love


Mattias Diesel Reading Magazine via Unsplash
Credit: Mattias Diesel via Unsplash

7. Do You Have Preferred Reading/Writing Genre? What is the Best Advice You Can Give New Writers and Bloggers? 


I read the same genres as the ones I read as a child including historical fiction and fantasy, though I’m more drawn to Urban than High Fantasy. These genres are also what I write. In fact, if I can read or write an amalgamation of the two, then I’m most happy, which probably explains my YA time-travel novel and the Urban Fantasy peopled with ghosts from all eras of history.

As for good advice, an old piece of advice but a good one I follow is to write, write, and keep writing. Only practice will get you where you want to be as a writer. Well, that and robust feedback from fellow writers who love your work and want you to succeed.

Oh, also don’t let rejection letters/emails send you scurrying back to your study, swearing never to venture out. Every single number one author has been rejected more times than you can count. It’s people who bounce back from multiple rejections who become writers.

Also, you just have to love writing or it will become a chore. Let it become part of who you are in a quiet way. You don’t need to tell people what you’re writing and how great it is. Just be quietly satisfied with what you do when you’re alone with a keyboard or your notebook and pen.


8. Who or on What Sites Are Your Favorite Bloggers and/or Prompt Sites Found? 


There are far too many wonderful blogs to mention – can I do five? I’ve taken part in the Friday Fictioneers prompt most weeks for two-years and it feels like a home away from home. Also, the flash fiction prompt What Pegman Saw comes a close second for providing me with inspiration.

As well, I love Joy Pixley’s Tales from Eneana, a fantasy blog with a rich mythology and depth-of-story. Also, I recommend Jane Basil’s Making it Write for her wonderful poetry and blistering honesty. Lastly, Bill Pearse at Pinklightsabre  is a sight I love because of Bill’s skillful life-like writing. As a whole, bloggers are the most inspirational and supportive group of people I know. 


“Also, you just have to love writing or it will become a chore. Let it become part of who you are in a quiet way. You don’t need to tell people what you’re writing and how great it is. Just be quietly satisfied with what you do when you’re alone with a keyboard or your notebook and pen.” – Lynn Love


Ana Tavares via Unsplash Writing


9. Lynn, Can You Share with Us A Most Loved Blog Post? 


 

Friday Fictioneers: One Amber Night.

By Lynn Love

February 27, 2018.

*****

J Hardy Carroll
Credit: J. Hardy Carroll for Friday Fictioneers

*****

There’d been a fresh dusting of snow in the night, coating the grimy icebergs of the last fall, the one before that.

Sid edged along the sidewalk,  past the boarded-up liquor store and Cal’s Gym, ‘Waterloo’s Oldest Boxing Establishment’ until the receivers came in last October. He and Cal had sunk a bottle of Macallan that night, glass after amber glass till they were snoring on the folding bed, overcoats as blankets. Cal left for Kansas the next day to live in his sister’s garage apartment.

All his old friends were gone now. Just him and the cold left.

*****

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers.  As the great Russell Gayer said: ‘The key to building an audience is reading and commenting on others’ work’.


I write a lot of flash fiction. Some short pieces open themselves to a longer write, such as Gideon keeps a secret, The fate of the flower seller, The scarlet net, and A single man who can sew. One recent flash fiction I wrote is from the Three Lines Tales prompt, called The Midas Touch.

Although it felt onerous at times, last year I completed a Gothic Horror SerialThe Devil of Moravia. It includes devils, demons, and blood-soaked London streets, and drew quite a following. I hope to develop this serial into a novella in the near future.


Thank you to Lynn for filling out the writer/blogger interview questions and my apologies the interview took so long to post. Here’s the link to Lynn Love’s blog one more time: Word Shamble.

It’s been a busy year, but there are more interviews to come shortly. If you wish to be interviewed as a writer/blogger or because you blog for a cause, you can reach me on my Contact Page. 


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.