Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Friday’s music challenge. It was based on the song ” Calm Before the Storm” by Sarah Ross.
“Calm Before the Storm” – Sarah Ross
Calm before the storm
Calm perceived, not real
Real quiet, crows flying
Real quiet, eerie silence
Silence is all you deserve
Silence before your fall
Fall from saving grace
Fall from your glories
Glories were lies
Glories were false promises
Promises fade, are taken away
Promise, the storm will be fierce
Fierce as the rain drowning your voice
Fierce as the thunder screaming
Screaming across the darkest skies
Screaming as lightening fires
Fires and hits you, sparks
Fires right between your eyes, terrified
Terrified of the calm before the storm
Terrified when I warned —
Warned you little boy
Warned you as clouds turned grey, too late —
Too late to hold your breath
Too late as water cleanses, drowns
Drowns your pleading voice
Drowns her cursed moans that flew
Flew freely, you cannot hide
Flew undisguised, I heard surprised?
Surprised the worst ain’t happened yet
Surprised the storm intensifies
Intensifies my thirst for revenge,
Intensifies my grief, you only see
See the calm before the storm
See the sky ominous red
Red as rage, passion emblazed
Red as my ripped apart heart
Heart of the storm rises
Heart of mine wishes you gone
Gone your presence
Gone, don’t let your presence be prolonged
Prolongs my misery
Prolongs, such hatred brewing
Brewing tornado in your trailer park
Brewing in the marsh, a wild storm
Storms create, deep dank of cruel life
Storms erupt in my tranquil ocean.
Ocean forms my monstrous storm,
Life, you paid the price in my maelstrom.
The Blitz Poem:
This form of poetry is a stream of short phrases and images with repetition and rapid flow.
Begin with one short phrase, it can be a cliché. Begin the next line with another phrase that begins with the same first word as line 1. The first 48 lines should be short, but at least two words.
The third and fourth lines are phrases that begin with the last word of the 2nd phrase, the 5th and 6th lines begin with the last word of the 4th line, and so on, continuing, with each subsequent pair beginning with the last word of the line above them, which establishes a pattern of repetition.
Continue for 48 total lines with this pattern. The last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47.
The title must be only three words, with some sort of preposition or conjunction joining the first word from the third line to the first word from the 47th line, in that order.
Goodmorning and welcome to my biweekly interview series. Today I have the honor of sharing with you the writing and blog ofIan Kelly. He’s a talented guy who has recently published a book of short stories. You can find Ian’s blog here: Ian Kelly Writing.
1. Hi Ian, Please Tell Us About Yourself?
Hi. My name is Iain Kelly and I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. I have lived here all my life and it’s where I write my blog from. My blog is called: Iain Kelly Writing.
Telling about yourself is always the most difficult question to answer, so I’ll keep it simple! I work as an editor of television programs for BBC Scotland. I’m married with two-year-old twins who take up most of my time. After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I first started my blog six years ago and spent a year doing film and book reviews. I neglected it for a couple of years and then took a fiction writing course online.When I had finished that I had a few short pieces that I liked and decided to share them on my blog. From there I have kept writing new short stories and flash fiction.
“After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.” – Ian Kelly
3. What Does Writing Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
When I was much younger I wrote stories. I have always enjoyed coming up with characters, letting my imagination wander with them and see what stories resulted.I used to play football (soccer) and would write stories about fictional football teams and players. As often happens, life gets in the way of dreams.
I went to university and studied English Literature, Film, and Television. My career took me down the path of television. Eventually, I’ve found the writing bug again. Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
I tend to write fiction based on real life, or perhaps a fictional future world rooted in reality. I don’t tend to write fantasy or science-fiction specifically. My inspiration comes from the world around us. It could be something happening in the news, events, politics, but also from looking at everyday people, the struggles and/or laughter they share with each other. My motivation may come from wanting to try and comment on events that are occuring. Writing is a way to turn frustration into something creative or to attempt to cope with a situation in life.
“Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.” – Ian Kelly
5. Is There a Time of Day You Prefer to Write?
My time available to write depends on my work schedule and my children. When the kids have gone to bed in the evening I try to fit some time writing in. Or if the twins go for a nap during the day sometimes I have a chance to write. The main thing is that I have to find the opportunities to write when I can!
6. What Are Your Most Current Writing/Blogging Projects? Any Hopeful Projects for the Future?
At the moment I am working on my first novel-length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft.I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.
After the first draft is finished I will re-write and edit. I’m aiming to have a finished novel by the end of the year and then decide what I want to do with it –- if it’s worth sending to a publishing company or self-publishing the novel.
Alongside that, I will continue writing short pieces for my blog. It helps to take a break from a long novel and focus the mind on something different every so often, before going back to the main project.
“At the moment I am working on my first novel length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.” – Ian Kelly
7. Can You Tell Us About Your Recently Published Book?
At the start of this year, I self-published a collection of my short stories from my blog in a book calledCollected Sketches. I decided to do this at the end of 2016. I realized I had a lot of stories, some with similar themes and dealing with similar issues, that I thought were quite good and worth collecting together as a compendium.
The other benefit of publishing theses stories was that it gave me a chance to try self-publishing out for myself which I hadn’t done or considered doing before. I’m pleased with how my book turned out. It’s available to a global audience through on Amazon: HERE, which is an amazing thing to happen to my writing. You can find out about Collected Sketches by Ian Kelly on my blog or through Kindle on Amazon.com
8. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process that You Went Through To Publish?
I used Createspaceonline to self-publish. After looking around at a few online resources I went for this one mainly because it was free to do, and also it allowed me to do everything myself. Other sites offered help in editing and formatting and design, but at a cost.
If you’re confident to do these things yourself then Createspaceis excellent.With the novel I am currently writing, I plan to try the traditional route of sending it to agents and publishers. But it is good to know that if all else fails I can self-publish and still have my novel out there into the world. Here is the link to CreatespaceHERE.
9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
I think I’m still figuring my writing process out as I go through this novel. Most writers advise that the best thing to do is write the first draft as it comes to you.Whatever happens, keep writing! So I’m following that advice.
I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form, freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.Doing flash fiction short stories is great practice for that.
“I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.” – Ian Kelly
10. Do You Have Certain Genres You Prefer to Write or To Read Books In?
I tend to stick to everyday drama or real world stories. But I also love to read and write spy stories, war fiction, and crime fiction. I might occasionally try other things too.
I spend a lot of time reading. Favorite authors would be John Le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy, Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Ian Fleming, and Terry Pratchett –- to name a few. I also like to try and go back and read the classics every so often such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and I love Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeer novels. I think that comes from my days as a student of English Literature.
11. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like To Follow?
Just keep writing and getting your work out there into the world for people to read. Ninty-Nine Percent of people will be kind to you and give constructive criticism and feedback. If you love doing it, keep doing it. And read lots too.
I follow loads of great fiction writers out there so rather than trying to pick from them I will pick three alternatives:
One for writing prompts is a relatively new flash fiction challenge called‘What Pegman Saw’ which uses Google Maps as a prompt each week to give a location to inspire stories. It’s a great idea and means I learn a lot about various places around the world, as well as writing stories.
I don’t really do film reviews anymore, but one of the best blogs that I follow for all things film-related, including reviews isThe Snooty Ushers at which one of my friends from University days contributes to. Great reviews and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Finally, Joanne Kelly Art and Design. I am biased but my wife Joanne has her own blog. She is a graphic designer and artist and has started creating works both by hand and on computer software.Some great stuff, so I hope people will check it out.
14. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog?
Flash Fiction, I have always liked this one, to sum up being a writer:
“The Writer’s Spiral”
By Ian Kelly
Mark met Bob from Accounting at the bottom of the stairs.
‘Another Monday morning,’ said Bob, as they began the trudge up to the office. Mark grunted in reply. Bob began every Monday with the same conversation.
‘Don’t you ever feel like we’re hamsters in a wheel, going round and round and getting nowhere?’ Bob continued. ‘There must be something more exciting in life than this.’
As Mark prepared to answer, the lights went out. Out of the window, they saw bright orange beams cut through the air. Aircraft buzzed around them, firing at one another. Buildings exploded as aircraft and missiles crashed into them. The sky darkened as a large spaceship loomed over the city. Mark ducked as a piece of debris crashed through the glass next to them. It caught Bob and sent him plummeting to the ground below.
The writer paused and read back what he had just typed. It all spiraled out of control too quickly. He sighed and pressed Ctrl+A and Delete. The cursor on the blank screen blinked at him. He started again.
Mark arrived at work at the same time as Bob from Accounting…
Here Are Some Of Ian’s Longer Pieces he wrote and favorited:
Thank you so much, Ian, for wanting to be interviewed I enjoyed your answers and you seem to have a solid idea of what you’re doing as a writer and how to achieve your set goals. Best of luck with the novel and future endeavours.
If you would like to be interviewed please reach out to me on my contact page. I would love to tell your story as a writer or if you blog for a cause, I can also interview on that as well. See you in two weeks!
“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.
Good Morning! I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile as part one was done before Christmas. I have an interesting selection of beauty products since the Fall Beauty Haul and I hope you find this post useful in your own Beauty Product selection.
1. Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $31.00 CAN
I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. I adore Make Up Forever products in general so I was excited to try another of their mascaras. As usual, since my mascara never stays on my lashes unless the mascara is waterproof, I put on a coat of a waterproof L’Oreal mascara after applying the sample mascara. I like this Make Up Forever mascara, it’s quite black and the brush does a good job of creating volume for your lashes, but I’m not thrilled by this mascara. It’s a middle-of-the-line mascara and I think if you bought it you would like it, but not be overly impressed. There isn’t a wow factor to it. Honestly, there is not much difference between The Make UpForever Excessive Lash Mascara and the L’Oreal one I put over top. The brush is the same, the opacity of the mascara the same, and the only difference is the L’Oreal mascara is waterproof. I’d say this rates about a three out of five stars for a mascara.
2. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil – (www.sephora.ca)- $29.00 – Two Pencils: One in Stingray (Jet Black) and Lion Fish (Deep Bronze Sheen)
For the longest time, I always used pencil liners because they were easier to apply than the liquid ones I tried; however, then companies such as Lancome led the way coming out with liquid eyeliners which were easy to apply, they had great foam tipped applicators. I have especially used waterproof eyeliner since makeup brands such as Stila and well everyone else, has come out with wonderful liquid eyeliners which are like fine-tip markers for the eyes (pens). Once you learn to apply these awesome liquid eyeliners, they are usually much more vibrant and remain on your eye better than pencil eyeliners.
Nonetheless, during the Christmas season, I was searching for my trusty Stila liquid eyeliner pen in black and Sephora didn’t have any left except in a Christmas Gift Set that was $44.00 CAN and included Jet Black and Lion Fish eyeliner pencils as well. These eyeliner pencils aren’t’ exactly pencils such as the ones you sharpen. Instead, they’re roll-up, which means the tip remains small and pointed. I love them so much as everyday makeup products, enough to permanently add Jet Black pencil liner to my regular makeup purchases when it runs out.
The reason I love these roll-up pencils so much is that they are similar to smudge pot eyeshadows. They glide onto your eye line smoothly and they leave behind pigmented and rich color which is also waterproof, so it doesn’t rub off as many pencil eyeliners do. They are excellent eyeliners especially if you have trouble lining in your upper water line. The roll-up pencils do a fantastic job coloring in waterlines when you need, and remaining on your waterline, which is an extremely difficult feat for a makeup brand to accomplish.
I love Stila’s Jet Black for use on my waterline and sometimes for regular eyeliner. Lion Fish is a bronzy color which is a great change up for a daytime look from using a black liner. Lion Fish also has a bit of shimmer in it instead of being merely being a matte brown liner.
This gift set was completely worth the purchase for $44.oo because I received both these pencil liners and my black liquid eyeliner pen, a cost of about $96.00 regular price before tax. A definite five out of five stars for the Stila Smudge Sticks.
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Luster Liner in Liquid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – $23.00 CAN
I cannot say Stila is the only pencil eyeliner I was recently impressed with. I had seen that gold eyeliner was a trend for the holiday season. Watching a Pixie Woo’s makeup tutorial on YouTube, I loved how the one Pixie Woo used this Anastasia eyeliner to line her lower waterline and corner of her eyes, it looked fantastic.
But the Anastasia Luster Liner in Liquid Gold was extremely versatile and is a product and I think I will buy again. It works great on waterlines and the liner stays on with a couple of coats, and it appears beautifully on top of black eyeliner as a bit of a fancy touch. But my most favorite use for this eyeliner pencil was using it on Christmas and New years to fill in my entire eyelid area, then blend it out with other eyeshadow.
I had to be careful doing this as once this waterproof liner sets it remains put. It`s not moving except with eye makeup remover. So if you use the Anastasia liquid gold eyeliner this way, put on most of your eyeshadow before applying the gold liner on your lid. It does take a while to blend other eyeshadow colors into the gold eye pencil if you choose to use it this way. I loved this festive product and think it could be used for special occasions or if you want to add a bit of glimmer to your daytime look in the corner or your eye or your bottom waterline for instance.
I used most of the pencil up over two-months and only have a bit left, but it`s not a product too high priced to purchase again. I`m impressed with how well it works for multiple looks for a waterproof gold eyeliner with such bold and vivid gold color, and not a yellowy gold shade (if you know what I mean). The Anastasia eyeliner also comes in the color Liquid Silver. It was easy to sharpen and it never broke even though the pencil was soft and the color bright.I would give this eyeliner pencil five stars.
So it’s Winter which means for many of us in colder climates, we are experiencing dryer skin. I usually have skin oily enough that it doesn’t seem to require much extra moisture, expect maybe applying my Clinique moisturizing gel twice every few days. This year I had a bit a different experience and found at night, I required a solid moisturizer but one that would not cause me to break out. So I used some of my Sephora points and received a large sized sample of the Origins Night cream and it lasted about a month, so I think the product itself even though it’s $55.00 for the smaller size, would last a person the entire winter.
I had tried eye creams and other one or two day samples from Origins and I have always liked their products and how my skin reacts to them. They are great to moisturize dry skin and even though it was a night cream, I did use it in the day sometimes. It felt wonderful and smelled great. As well, I like that the cream is made out of plant minerals. I have always found these type ingredients to be fantastic indicators of a quality cream/lotion/or gel. I completely recommend this product for dry skin, especially at night. I would give the Origins Night Cream four our of five stars. I can use this in the winter, but not in the summer or spring when the weather seems to indicate I need less moisturizer.
5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (Eye Shadow)- 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – $4.49 US ($6 or $7 CAN at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada)
I’ve heard good things about NYX as a cheaper makeup brand. I adore their matte setting spray for makeup so I thought I would try something else from their line. I wanted a base color that I can put on before my other eyeshadow, which is the reason I bought this pencil.
Unfortunately, I bought the wrong shade, it’s a bit too yellow for me and I should have bought a similar shade with more pink in it. But it’s not bad for a shimmery base color and I’ve worn it a few times. The only problem is, I’ve worn the eye pencil down and would think you could sharpen it, but I do not own a sharpener which can fit the jumbo pencil in.
The eye pencil color stays on your eyelids well and doesn’t come off easily. You can blend other eyeshadows of various types into it as well, and the color is easy to cover up if you don’t like the shade but are using it as a base.
I’m not sure where to find a sharpener which fits the NYX jumbo pencil, or if it even can be sharpened? If you know let me know. I think as with most products in the makeup industry, you get what you pay for and the NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil is an example of this with only a two-star rating.
6. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract – Sensitive Skin – MakeUp Remover – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – $16.00 CAN
My last product to share was part of a gift from a friend with many lovely Body Shop Products. They definantly have some nice products and not only lotion and body wash. I was really thrilled with this cleansing balm I received. I wasn’t sure what it was at first.
But, it’s an awesome makeup remover and is also extremely moisturizing at the same time. I have doubts about using it in spring and summer, but right now it’s exactly what my skin needed. I usually use cleansing clothes to remove my makeup and right now I use both. I put the balm all over my face with my hands, including my eyes — it’s awesome at removing any and all eye makeup especially waterproof makeup. The balm feels as if it might be a bit greasy, but it’s not at all. It cleanses your face completely of makeup and works well with the cleansing clothes you can throw away.
The cleansing balm leaves your fast moisturized and feeling great, not to mention, it smells fantastic. If you can get your hands on some I recommend it. Four stars our of five.
If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Beauty Haul it was in December and can be found HERE.
I was sitting on a ferry boat, on my way to a speciality grocery store, when I heard yelling and screaming from behind where I sat. A fifty-some couple were engaged in a physical and verbal sparring match with Peppy the dachshund literally in the middle.
Margo, refused to give Peppy up to her ex-boyfriend, Simon.”He was my dog before we started going out, and he’s my dog now that we’re breaking up.”
“That’s not fair, he’s part of my family now. Peppy sits by me most of the day because I work from home. He should be with me in the week. You can have Peppy on weekends,” Simon countered.
Margo scoffed and was about to jab Simon in the chest when Peppy managed to squeeze his way out from between both owners.
They chased him down the steps and down to the plank where people walked onto the ferry. Peppy jumped in the water, the plank in the process of being removed, and swam to shore before running away.
Thank you again Ameena for nominating me. The third and a day early, quote comes from Robert Frost “The Mending Wall”:
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
I don’t nominate anyone in particular, rather, if you have not done 3 Quotes/3 Days please participate because I know so many of you have done it.