Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Sunday’s Writing Prompt Challenge. I’m still playing catchup from NaPiWriMo and A to Z, a month later. Oloriel has given us some detailed names of colors to use in a story of some ‘peculiar ‘ kind.
Amaranthine clouds covered the sky as nighttime faded suffusing the morning with clouds of titian and vermillion. Jacob gazed up looking for the curulean sky, he’d even settle for a griege sky. But against all hope the curulean sky never arrived and erythaean red mixed with aubergine llfusing with a sickly viris blackening the sky and ocean.
The vibrant erythaean red came with a warning Jacob the fishermen could not ignore. The quote his great- grandfather used, that his Grandpa used, and his dear father also mimicked, flickered through Jacob’s mind: “Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at mourn, sailors be warned.”
The ocean was churning now, a deep dank lovat and zinnobar. The waves crashed against Jacob’s tiny boat. He felt most insignificant in the myriad of colors he’d witnessed this dawn and in the vastness of the angry ocean. A crack of lightning had Jacob jumping, hurrying to bring the fishing boat to harbor before the storm came closer. He pulled on ropes and adjusted his sails, steering the boat towards land that appeared close but was too far away.
He mumbled ‘Hail Marys’ and hoped above hope, soaked to the bone, as the ocean threatened to capsize his fishing boat. Then, brilliant xanthic lightning hit the boat and Jacob bumped his head, falling unconscious the waves battered his ship.
The next thing he knew, he was lying on a sandy beach, his boat mostly undamaged sitting further up shore. He didn’t know how he or his boat had managed to survive but he gazed up at the clear azure sky and thanked God for his good fortune. His favourite color was a sunny azure blue it meant tranquility and a good day’s catch. It was quiet hope being strengthened after the horror of a storm.
Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.
1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself?
Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?
I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.
At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?
2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?
I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.
Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.
“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z
3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging?
I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.
Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.
When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You?
A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.
“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z
5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?
I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.
I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.
6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres?
I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?
I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?
“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.
7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?
My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.
8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them?
Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.
“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z
9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog?
I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.
By Yinglan Z.
Your yesterday is gone But your today is here sooner than you think You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong And you wish you can make all the bad go away And you say
Tomorrow Things are going to be okay Tomorrow It will all change
Your today is gone And you have made no commitment To bring changes Oh and you just kept on saying that
Tomorrow Things are going be all right Tomorrow It will all be bright
Day and day went by You just sat behind your table Waiting for changes to come to you You say, “It’ll be okay” And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself” And you say starting tomorrow
Things are going to be all right Tomorrow It will all be right It will all be bright It will be the day when I set thing right
Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life.
Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home.
If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂
Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays. Today is the last NaPoWriMo prompt “to write a poem about something that happens again and again . . . It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story (etc.).” I will add a quote but it’s pretty much any quote I want as the A to Z Challenge is finished as well.
“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” ― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write, “an elevenie. An an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is.”
Today’s NaPoWriMo is to “write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds).” For A to Z Challenge the GoodReads quote is from the letter L. As well, thanks to Pricless Joy for hosting FFftAW.
“The thing about love is that you will never run out of it. It’s an ever-flowing river. So go ahead and LOVE. What are you saving all this love for — death?” ― Kamand Kojouri
The river she flows fluent, flourishing in her mad descent,
Rapids, water reeling past rocks leading her to a path of providence.
Fast, and fleet, a river rivaling; I’ve experienced —
On the weary trail, the river cutting, crushing the rocks.
She carves her path, ploughing silt to the shore,
Debris of dramatic, erosion deciding on the the crooked carved path.
The water, she must flow, finding her fabulous spark in the light of —
Lumionous sunlight, searing in the afternoon heat.
For this river runs through the desert, the orange, organic trails,
Mixed with red-rock, rizing in the Arizona afternoon.
Cliffs creating a canyon so deep and wide, where the water dances through.
No one to stop her destruction of rock, her pounding so hard it hurts,
But the river rivals all, keeps on carving her way —
Through the canyon cringing, when she chops off more silt.
Off its brilliant fire, she finds a place where the —
River rests in waterfalls crashing and carniverous,
Then she wanes as she reaches shore and and lays back breathing,
At ease, she is pleased and settles,
Against the sand of some beach, somewhere; she’s oblivious —
“A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that preceedes the refrain. Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should refer to the authors pen-name… The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.”
“And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet I would remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore
The dragon boats arrive, the sea pulling them into shore,
Watching remotely from a distance, will he be on shore?
For many months they wandered, the boat their prized shelter,
Now they are home, the boat still floats, they’re at the shore.
I’m afraid to see them, brothers, their friends, so dear to me changed,
I wave, my kin they come forward their eyes remote, onto shore.
They’re gaunt, they’re battle worn, they need food, steaming hot baths to soothe,
Once they settle, they talk, thick coats warm them on the shore.
My brothers, my childhood friends, have lost part of themselves,
On the ocean suffered, in baren lands they smote on the cold shore.
They’ve treasures, furs, they’ve jewels, silver, gold — they lost their life spark,
Gazing at my love, his face coated in grime, eyes dead on shore.
The days pass by, the village returns to normal almost,
Except the men who left; returned forever remote to shore.
I talk to him, I talk to my brothers, hearing how each piece,
Of their self died, no matter we doated on them on shore.
Time passes, I think I’m seeing things when his eyes alter,
Warmth returns, he takes my hand, away from the boat on shore.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view.” The corresponding GoodRead’s quote for the A to Z Challenge is the letter E.
“It’s one of those things a person has to do; sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” ― Edward Albee, The American Dream & The Zoo Story
Down in the swamp, down in the bogs there’s —
Mud sucking at my feet, at my soul.
Everyday I journey here and fight,
The elements, the giant rocks, gnarled trees,
Worst of all the swamp, pulling me in.
There are days I believe I shall let it,
But my wife she sees, working here means,
In such a short while, we shall both be free.
She says, we’re educated, we have more —
To us than meets the eye, we’ve wisdom,
To work in horrible conditions,
Because we know two years from now we —
Can leave this wretched bog behind, with all —
The tortures of the tormenting tree limbs,
Nightmares left, there’s better; we’re going —
To the City, where education’s worth —
Something and I won’t have to hate each day.
Mining for fuel, this coal coating my lungs,
My wife’s happy, delighted, she is life,
So I listen to my fathers last words:
“Don’t stay in this town all your life, move on.
Take your girl, your college education,
Leave this foul place behind, don’t be me,
Coal dust in your lungs is misery and —
A cancerous death is what awaits you.”
So, I worked and she and I, we left here,
To the bustling city, with peaceful parks,
We breathe, ‘neath blossomed trees, reading in light.