Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Nasty Courtyard Neighbours #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW,

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Credit: Yarnspinner 

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Our condo building has many square courtyards that can be purchased with a high rise condo so that a family can have their own place to garden and have barbecues. Parallel to us was another courtyard, higher up, and we detested the people who used it as they were loud, obnoxious, and cooked a great deal of smelly seafood. 

You cannot exactly complain to the landlord about this, although, I tried unsuccessfully. The garbage and beer bottles they threw on our courtyard when we weren’t there proved they had to be breaking some bylaws as did their noise pollution extending beyond 10:00 p.m. 

Nevertheless, our twelve-year old daughter, Jeseme, up late on a Saturday and gabbing in the courtyard with her friend, finally had enough of these neighbours and as I am told, screamed bloody murder and more to them in a way as adults, we only wished we could have done earlier. Apparently Jeseme was so frightening the nasty neighbours sold their courtyard and a lovely retired couple purchased the ill kept space. They also have a granddaughter who is the same age as Jeseme and her and April have become fantastic friends. A win win situation from my perspective. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Finish Off Fridays: The Summons #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting FOF. 

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Credit: Lorraine

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“I had never been summoned to Number 208 [by the park] before; I nervously adjusted my coat . . .” A person could book a pick-up online or by phoning into FedEx but you couldn’t summon a particular delivery person, could you? 

“April, it means what I said,” Becky from the warehouse told me on the phone, “I’m not being rude, the lady who lives there wanted you, specifically, at her home.” 

The door was open when I arrived. “I’m here,” a frail female voice rasped. 

Walking into the house I heard the respirations of a woman on a ventilator. She was all hollows and sallow skin. Her hair was whispy white and thinning. Eyes the color of blue-bells greeted me but they were bloodshot. 

The woman grasped a yellow envelope with a trembling hand. She shook the envelope and a key dropped out. 

Her shaking fingers held it out, “For me?” I asked. 

I took the key staring at it in confusion; it appeared ancient. As I examined it I heard the woman gasp something. I moved closer to her and held her hand attempting to hear her strained voice. She shook her head with a ragged sigh and breathed her last.

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Finish Off Fridays Flash Fiction: Small Miracles #flashfiction #amwriting #fiction 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this prompt:

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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“Overnight, giant snowballs of hay appeared in the field.” Ed was absolutely shocked. There had been little snow last winter and summer and fall had been abnormally dry. 

Martha’s blue eyes were huge when Ed came into the house. “Eddy what’s wrong? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an expression on your face. Did something happen?” 

Ed gazed at his young wife, noticing how pretty she was. He hadn’t told her so in many months.”You’re a beautiful woman Martha. I knew I was lucky when I married you. You are my miracle.”

“Eddy, what’s come over you?” Martha said pleased. 

“Hay, giant snowballs of hay all over the barren fields. More than enough to feed the animals so we don’t have to remortgage the farm.” 

Martha peeked out the door and gasped at the sight of hundreds of hay bails in every direction. Then, as of life couldn’t get any better, it began to rain. It rained every second day for two-months. Then as December approached, the rain became snow and it snowed until April. 

Everyone else in the area, including in the nearby city, were appalled by the weather and constant precipitation. But all the farmers who had mysterious bails of hay in their fields celebrated because next harvest there would be plentiful crops. 

Ed attributed these continued miracles to Martha; she was his first miracle. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Where I’m At: Catching Up in March


Healthy-eating-2-small
http://www.adigaskill.org
Every so often, I try to update you with the details of my life, beneath the writing, and the subtext behind poems. I don’t think I’ve done this since the end of February, so I’d like to share a bit about my life lately.

One of the biggest areas in life I’m working on is my health. Those of you who have been with me a while know I suffer from a mood disorder (depression) and from that depression,  excessive amounts of fatigue.

 

Psychiatric drugs are evil little pills. I started with Invega which stopped an initial psychosis (which has never occurred again) but also made me ‘flat;’ caused a great deal of pain in muscles of my back, shoulders, and neck;  as well as resulted in a weight gain over ten pounds. After switching to risperidone, I gained another ten pounds and using a medication to help me sleep called Gabapentin, added twelve pounds or more. The antipsychotic I’m on now works a great deal better for me then any of the ones I was on before, but as usual, I gained another ten pounds.

Experiencing fatigue most of the time makes it difficult to exercise and do cardio. I have been feeling well enough to walk for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. And on off days, I have been trying to do yoga for twenty minutes.

My big change lately has been a diet and supplement overhaul. I use supplements from a

Heart Vegetables
http://www.adigaskill.org
system called the  ‘redbox.’ It is a system of health focused not only on losing weight but living a healthy lifestyle. Different supplements in the system have helped many people lose weight; stop feeling chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or arthritis; given people a ton more energy; and aided people in maintaining a fitness level at the gym or otherwise.

Using the supplements you start with an Eight Day Ignite, a detox in which your body gets rid of bad toxins and resets your metabolism so you can lose weight and function better. In my first Eight Days, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches. I was pleased with my initial result, especially losing inches in my hips, waist, and thighs. Many women lose much more then I lost initially. I’m continuing on the ignite plan for the rest of the month (the detox part is finished) and I’m hoping to be able to lose 9 lbs by the end of this month, to reach my first weight and health goal. After, I will continue on some of the supplements on the weight loss plan.

A meal plan is provided, and the plan includes eating well in small meals throughout the day focusing on eating protein and green vegetables. One day I get to eat carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, whole grain bread  (etc.) and on Sunday I can eat what I like, it’s a cheat day. The plan also includes exercise of about thirty minutes a day and using some of the supplements. Many people have had great results on these products. So I’m excited to see where they can take me, especially since losing weight without significant cardio has been a challenge.

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pen writing
http://www.fanpop.com
Besides my health, I have been up to many other things. I have been working a lot on developing short stories and other pieces for submission. I was excited to submit one of my first short stories developed off a Flash Fiction piece I wrote in the past. And I’m looking also at submitting some pieces of poetry in the future.  I keep discovering new ideas and new topics that I would like to write short stories to submit. It’s a bit of a challenge as many of you probably know because each place you submit to has different submission guidelines and wants stories of specific length. Short story for instance, vary widely from 800 words to as many as 40, 000 in some of the places I’ve been looking at.

Work on my novel continues, albeit, at a slower pace then I have been doing. Working on

Writing Once Upon A Time
http://www.tribecomics.com
the novel and working on pieces in-between, often results in the novel being left for a week or two. I do plan to write up a couple of chapters this week if possible. The book is at an exciting  part  so I have to move onward. I thought initially, I was writing long chapters and would have plenty of length for a full book. But PJ asked me if I was doing a novella or novel, and I thought about it a bit and I think I might have to add some parts into the novel, or weave in a second storyline. I will see where I am at the end of the first draft which is rapidly coming to a close. I’m thankful to have a blogger friend Martin, offering to go through and help edit my book once I have all the chapters together on word, and I will do the same for his book. Then, I suppose I will be doing a whole bunch of rewriting.

Blog Words
http://www.linkedin.com
My blogging schedule has been hectic. Since I’m not in a course so I can write, I don’t mind it at all. Although, sometimes commenting and writing takes a great amount of time. So you know, my blogging schedule is as follows: Sunday Sunday Photo Fiction with Alistair Forbes,  MondayMoral Monday’s with Nortina S from Lovely Curses and La Duchesse D’erats Lists, Tuesday Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer with Priceless Joy, WednesdayLiterary Lion with Laura from I Smith Words ( every second week) and 3LineTales with Sonya from Only 100 Words, Thursday Echoes of My Neighbourhood with Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales, FridayFlash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner with Roger Shipp at It’s All In Finding The Right Words, Saturday – Free Day.

In-between this all I’m still working through different forms of poetry, doing the one word prompts provided by The Daily Post , as well as my novel. I will not be doing The Daily Post prompts in April due to National Poetry Writing Month. But, you will still find I do the odd beauty post and other topics that come to my mind.

I’m not sure how completing the POPSUGAR booklist will end up. I read here and there but have only been able to get through two or three books lately. I know when spring finally arrives (in appearance), and I can see the flowers and not see it snowing outside, I will be in much more of a reading mood.

In addition to writing and health, I’m going to movies, catching up on my favourite shows such as Scandal (my favourite right now), watching movies on Netflix, seeing friends whenever I can, doing a bit of dating, and fitting everything else in when I can. Hope all is going well for you.

napofeature2
http://www.napowrimo.org
I know there is an A to Z challenge going on with some bloggers in April but I also wanted to bring up another fantastic challenge I’m doing in April. April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo. It is similar to Blogging 201 Poetry except for you’re writing a poem with a prompt provided on the website, everyday for the month of April. You can check it out and add your blog to the list of bloggers participating here if you want to join me for the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: A Night at Home


alone girl
http://www.pixhome.blogspot.com
On a lonely Saturday night she sat at home, turning textbook pages. She was supposed to be reading but the words blurred before her.

Like any other night she was at home, no place to go when you have limited energy. No place to go when your friends are coupled up.

The night outside was peaceful, and it was warm for November. When the darkness rolled in, it was fast a midnight sky.

And the stars twinkled down on her, she hadn’t seen them glimmer in ages; she felt as if they knew her secrets, that she longed to be strong again.

But the stars had heard billions of pleas for change and prayer to prevent suffering. They reigned down supreme as many begged to Him ‘on high’ for relief.

The snow lit the ground so it was slightly easier to see. When you drove home it shone, a white neon sign that was to remain until April.

And the houses with their lights off were slightly alarming. The world was out celebrating that the holidays were here. But some people were just stuck, marinating in their chairs.

But not everyone could party on warm nights. Some such as her, had things to do and places to be tomorrow.

But what she wouldn’t trade to be as most everyone, to not have to worry when the clock struck midnight. Not to have to feel a sickening in her stomach.

To not feel a terrible exhaustion hit her and feel herself fading away while the people around her move like puppets, never knowing that for her something isn’t right

The sound becomes to much, her ears are hurting. There are too many people here now. And she runs for the door only to be stopped by a woman she knows little, slurring her words on Bourbon.

Yes, better to stay at home and have a glass of wine. Better to stay at home and ace the exam on Tuesday. Better to be well for tomorrow and do some Christmas browsing. Better to be well.

But she can’t stop from wanting what she knows she can’t have. She prays every night but He ‘on high’ keeps whispering for her to go on, how she is. She’ll be fine.

And for her, that’s not an option. That’s not a choice. That is a sentence given and she lacks the power to change her direction.

Flipping pages is alright some of the time. But some nights are for party dresses, and high heels. Some nights are for music and a fantastic meal.

Some nights are for friends and staying up until dawn. Some nights are for memories that keep carrying you on.

But some nights are for typing and writing a poem. Writing on the screen what she is thinking and wondering if anything will change.

Or if the world will keep on spinning endlessly, ignoring her prayers. But she keeps on writing because it’s an escape from her mind.

Where the wheels are turning and the clock won’t go round, wondering when she can again begin; to begin anew, does that take until New Years?

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.