Animals/Pets, Fiction, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

‘Rewind Interview’ with Writer, Blogger, & Poet Ryan Stone #amwriting #interview #nonfiction #poetry


Welcome to another ‘Rewind Interview =” in my now weekly interview series. Ryan is a talented Australian poet, extremely amazing, so I’m excited to reshare his interview with you both on my own blog and now on the Go Dog Go Cafe. The Cafe is a writer’s hangout and you can even submit your work there for publication. Here is the link to do that here: Go Dog Go Cage Contact Page.

Originally, I was doing this as a bi-weekly feature, only on my own blog. So in order to do this as a weekly feature on both my blog and on the Cafe, I’m going to be sharing some ‘Rewind interviews” as I think these writers are equally due recognition on both sites. Just to mention, since this is a ‘Rewind Interview’ some of the info might not be current.

Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer, poet, 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 motorbikesheavy 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 SlessorWalt 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 firefighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plainclothes 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.

However, 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 favorite 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.


Writing Night Ryan Stone
Credit: Andrew Neel via UnSplash 

” 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).  As well, both novels are over 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 on 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 journalsprint 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).

I was blown away when my poem 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 substandard 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 fitnot 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 the first draft quickly once 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 seriesStephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favorite, as are Game of ThronesMagicianThe BelgariadLord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.

I also 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 AngelouKenneth SlessorJim 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 pointssticky spotsdoubled 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”
by
Ryan Stone
*****
Axe
Credit Markus Spiske via UnSplash
*****

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, spiraling 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.

*****

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. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Beauty, Current Events, Fashion, Health, Luxebox, My Thoughts, Writing

SPRING BEAUTY HAUL: MAY/JUNE 2017 – #amwriting #beauty #nonfiction


Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.


  1. MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal (Bright Blue Pink: Satin Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $27.00 CAN
File 2017-06-05, 11 47 48 AM
Credit: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Peony Petal

It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product


2. MAC Velvet Tease Thick Lip Pencil (Light Pink: Matte Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $15.00 CAN

To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have

MAC - Velvet Tease Lip Pencil Tease Me
MAC Cosmetics – Velvet Tease Lip Pencil (Tease Me) -$17.00 CAN

been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.

3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN

Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow Generose
Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow (Genrose) –

A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars. 


4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00  CAN

The hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no

Clarin's Eyebrow Pencil - Soft Blonde
Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde) – $27.00

longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five. 


5. The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew Highlighting Creamhttp://www.thebeautycrop.com- $16.00 CAN

 

Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream
The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew – Highlighting Cream – $15.00

I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter. 


6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.

I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me

ELF Matte nude and brown Eyeshadow palette
e.l.f. Matte Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (nude/brown colors) – $10.00 U.S.

@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds ) – http://www.elfcosmetics.com – $4.00 U.S.

ELF Bake highlighter in Pink Diamonds
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds) – $4.00 U.S.

My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.


8. Model Co. B.B. Cream: Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light) – http://www.modelcocosmetics.com – $24.00 AUSTRALIAN

This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in

ModelCo BB Cream in Light (True Pic)
Model Co. B.B. Cream Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum and SPF 30, Light)

my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizer these B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interviews, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

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.

Quotes, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: Day 16 – Twitter Poetry Advice 


Hope is a life line, you just have to grab hold and never let go.

You inspire my inner serial killer.

Freaky lightening strikes in Australia – surely heralds the end of days.

Exercise is like telling your body : “You’re gonna hate me for this, but you’ll thank me later.”

That’s how I feel. Your writing is beautiful and you create beautiful characters.

Love your enemies. It makes them so damned mad!

Those leopard bottles are so shot! Grab your’s now.

Get out of your comfort zone. It just might #changetheworld.

Sometimes when you innovate you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with your other innovations. (Steve Jobs.)

A story of a devastated Britain ruled by a ruthless military.

I took a Date Night out of the Budget and almost ruined my marriage.

Go to bed with dreams. Wake up with plans.

Just be good to people, get to know them.