Animals/Pets, Children/YA/Family, Current Events, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality

Interview with Kathy Dunn for ‘Shepherding All God’s Creatures’ a Christian Animal Organization #interview #nonfiction #animalrights #Christianity


Welcome to another biweekly interview for my interviews series. I apologize I am behind with interviews as other projects have been keeping me extremely busy. Today I have a wonderful interview for you with Kathy Dunn, her team, and their blog for the cause of bringing awareness for animals in a Christian context. Kathy’s blog is called:  Shepherding All God’s Creatures


Credit: Kathy Dunn (From Left ) – Roselyne Smith and Kathy Dunn

1. What is Your Name and the Name of Your Cause? Where are you located? 

My Name is Kathy Dunn, and I love animals! Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in SAGC’s ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!  

My team includes myself, Kathy Dunn, from Minnesota, US; Roslyne Smith from Leeds, England; Marcello Newall from Italy; Jessica Lopez from Florida, US; and Philip Guyott from London, England. 


2. Please Tell Us About Your Cause and What You Are Trying to Accomplish?

We are Christians who love animals. I (Kathy) started a spiritual venture a few years ago that led me to blog. One day I was awakened to the industrialization and incorporating of animals into factory settings. I realized animals are exploited on every level by man for factory farms for food, the skin and fur trades, vivisection, puppy mills, hunting, and animals in entertainment. In the wild, animals face unprecedented pressure just to survive; many species are endangered and face extinction. In homes, some people mistreat and abuse family pets.

Our organization seeks to accomplish certain goals including: 

  • Using a Biblical approach, to share Christ’s love for us and all of creation, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and using the truth of scripture. 
  • To focus on animals and exploring their role in creation as well as to explore what mankind’s role is as a caretaker of creation and the earth in general according to The Bible.
  • To provide resources on our blog page so that readers have a place to find educational material on the topic of animal exploitation and abuse. They can also find information on how to become involved and take action against animal abuse. There is also information on diet and how to live a Vegan life-style.
  • To encourage others to speak out to church leaders about the need for Creation Care Ministries within the church.
  • To serve as a tool for people to take information to their church bodies, as churches awaken to their role of caring for creation. On our site, we hope to provide some material that leaders can use to help them create ‘Creation Care Ministries’ for their church.
  • To work alongside the animal welfare movement in their most important work, bringing the love of Christ and knowledge of scripture with us to minister to people who do not know God. For those who don’t know Him, we invite you to take a look and make an informed decision as to what this life all about!
  • Our ministry encourages people to have a heart for Jesus and for His truth, that God will show up for them (Jeremiah 29:13) and is real. He is there to comfort people and loves people and animals. His intent was not that mankind would exploit animals but care for them. We believe Jesus Christ is the answer to overcoming every kind of evil plaguing this troubled world.

 “Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in the SAGC ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn- Mercello
Credit: Kathy Dunn (Right) Marcello Newal

3. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging for Your Cause and Why?

I started our blog in December 2013, when I asked Roslyne to join me in my endeavor. In 2014, we asked Marcello to join us. As well, in 2017, we asked Jessica to join as an author and prayer event leader. We are in process of bringing aboard Philip as an author as well as our Information Technology blog and web designer.


4. Why is Your Cause Meaningful for You and Your Team? How Does it Help Other People and Animals?

Our cause is meaningful as it fulfills our desire to help animals according to God and His word in the Bible. It is a calling I have felt since the onset. I have heard from others who follow us, how our ministry is helpful for people in finding support and understanding through our faith-based cause, focusing on animal welfare. 

Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world to bring hope, love, mercy, kindness, and peace for all of God’s creation.


“Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another, in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Jessica Lopez
Credit: Kathy Dunn – Picture of Jessica Lopez

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue in Your Cause? Why Is Your Cause Important to You and Your Team?

I am motivated by my faith in Jesus Christ and other people whom I share my personal walk with Christ with. Reading The Bible and studying scripture – the written Word – as well as the spoken and Living Word of Jesus also inspires me. As well, sermons from going to church and other blogs add to my inspiration. Knowing about animal suffering and how it break the hearts of my team at SAGC and God’s heart, leads me to urgently want to share our message.



SAGC’s cause is significant because a lot depends upon it!  The spiritual world manifests itself in the physical world. War, hatred, bloodshed, and death, were never intended to be experienced by people or animals. One day, Jesus is going to return to the physical world as he says he will in the Bible. “Our reward,” Jesus says, “is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12) for following and believing in Him.

Our organization believes that all who entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.


6. How Does Your Blog and Writing Habits Fit with Your Cause? 

We hope and pray that our blog raises awareness of caring for animals and creation from a Biblical perspective. We want it to encourage people of faith to reach out to their communities and leaders, insisting that they take up animal and earth welfare issues. People are responsible for these issues such as any other social justice issue that affects people such as poverty and sickness.

We desire to bridge the gap between secular animal welfare and faith-based outreach, showing the world that Jesus cares about animals and the earth and  drawing people to Him so the can achieve salvation through Christ.


“We believe that all who believe and entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.” – Kathy Dunn


7. Have You Published Anything On Your Cause Outside of Blog Posts? Have You Held Any Special Events for Your Cause or Do You Have Future Plans to Do So? 

In 2016, the article, “God, Love, Peace and the Animal Kingdom” was published in the annual edition of Twin Cities, Veg Living, a publication by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA). They are a local animal welfare organization dedicated to building community and raising awareness to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and advocating for a Vegan lifestyle.

CAA also interviewed me for a Podcast, “Christianity and Advocating for Animals” This link is also found on the SAGC blog page under “Feature Podcast.”

SAGC hosts ‘Animal Christian Concern’ through Roslyne’s group in the UK. You can also check out this book compiled by Roselyne Louis Smith:A Collection of Animal Christian Concern Articles” which is available on Amazon. 

For Special Events:  We host Prayer Events Online and recently, SAGC absorbed “Christian Vegan Prayer Calls Group” and their membership which was led by Jessica Lopez. We will host the prayer conference call which was the main feature of Jessica’s prior group on a monthly basis (to begin with). Members can join in this call for prayer as the prayer leader (Jessica) leads them.

For the future, there are many considerations. After attending the’ Creature Conference’ hosted by Sarx in the UK (March 18, 2017), I have been feeling inspired to put together a similar event here in America. This event would be dedicated to bringing faith groups together to strategize on common goals of animal and earth care issues, while unifying, finding support, renewal, and encouragement for the cause of our blog as well as our calling as Christians in the world.


6. Can You Briefly Describe How Your Blog and Your Cause Began?

In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It led me on a journey seeking all the realities of our industries where animals are concerned; I wanted to know what was going on in our world. I discovered many of the various uses mankind utilizes animals for, treating them as “things” at their disposal. I kept asking myself “where is the church?” This took me on a spiritual journey to find that answer and the SAGC blog was born three short years later.


“In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Philip Guyott (right)
Credit: Kathy Dunn – (Right) Philip Guyott

7. What Is Involved In Supporting Your Cause and Blogging for It? 

Staying on top of the issues and current news around the world in regards to animal welfare issues is vital. I do a lot of this work by gleaning through other animal welfare organizations and what is happening with them. I also study the Bible and read the related material and educational books both from a faith/theological perspective as well as from a secular animal welfare venue. Networking with other people and other organizations with God’s guidance is also important!


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for other Bloggers/Writers who are Blogging/Writing for A Cause?

Follow your passion where God leads you! Read, study, don’t be quick to judge but find out as much about your cause and its background including: people involved, the culture, the history of the cause, and other particulars about your cause as to gain as much truthful knowledge and understanding as possible.You will find confidence approaching your cause this way, knowing you know the material thoroughly. 

A favorite piece of scripture of mine is:  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  (2 Peter 1:5-7) 

God has given us everything we need to work with for supporting causes such as animal welfare in a Christian context.


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share with Readers of This Interview, Pertinent to Your Cause or Your Organization? 

Always be ready to go the extra mile!  Causes are human made – all social justice issues are the result of a fallen world and man rejecting God. It is easy to fall under the influence of the powers and principalities of evil at work in this world.

Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly. 


“Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.” – Kathy Dunn


10. For Fun, Please Tell Us Your Three Favorite Blogs?

  •  Greg Boyd — A theologian, Bible scholar, and teaching pastor at Woodland Hills Church; he is the author of this blog. His wonderful teaching keeps me seeking and ever hungry for truth and knowledge of God
  • Swords To Plowshares — Craig Wescoe is a wonderful writer in his knowledge of scripture and our Biblical responsibilities for the earth and animal kingdom
  • Animals Are Feeling Beings Too — LeeAnn’s blog is uplifting with a serious side. I love all the photos and videos she finds and shares.  She is very creative and her posts are short and to the point.

11. Please Share with Us Some Favourite Link From Your Cause’s Blog:

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN:
Father, we come to you now in the midst of great division among the people in the United States and around the world.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
First, we honor you as Creator of all and PRAISE YOU for all that you have made! Without you, we can do nothing (Joh 15:5). We want to put on display the glory of the Father by bringing about the rule and will of God on earth – guide us in doing so and protect us as we work at it with the Spirit’s guidance.

THY KINGDOM COME:
In us and through us, with us and without us, because of us, for the animals the earth, the downtrodden, abused, voiceless, marginalized among us so that we are an example of Christ for those who live by the power of the sword, who are living by the patterns of this world, that they also might humble themselves and repent and find you, Jesus; shower your Spirit upon us, enable us to be that example of Christ the world needs to see, guide us in studying what that means and to apply it in ALL we do – You are the answer to ALL that ails mankind.

THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
When I think of your will being done on earth as it is in heaven, I think of the Garden of Eden and what a pristine, peaceful world would look like for ALL that you created. I think of how we would treat each other, the animals and the earth, under your complete Lordship and that love is the goal – may we all pray for our world according to this model and the visions he gives each of us. Help us use our imaginations when we pray and in how we live out what we see in as much as we can in this broken world by the power of the Holy Spirit; help us love as Christ loved. We are asking that your reign is accomplished now in us, through us, in spite of us, and without us!

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
We ask that all that we need daily to remain steadfast in a dark world ruled by Satanic powers will be supplied and that we will utterly rely on the Father to trust him for all that we will be needing as we work to bring about your kingdom on earth.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS:
Lord that we would extend the same forgiveness to others that you extend to us, unworthy though we all are. We are admonished by you to extend grace to all, including those we consider our enemies (maybe there is no love lost for animal abusers, or perhaps in light of the American election, a candidate who won the election that we may feel is our vehement enemy) – Lord not that we sway to and fro with the powers that be in every kind of wickedness or agree necessarily, but that we stand our ground on the basis of what Jesus taught, act like he did when he came against enemies, and that we leave the final judgment of a person’s character and any revenge for wrongs done up to the Father. As Micah reminds us, we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE:
Lord, please protect us from the hardships that accompany our kingdom work; yet when they come as they will in this war zone in which we live, strengthen us to place all our hope and faith in Jesus and to carry on, knowing that like Paul said, no matter the situation, whether well fed or hungry, with plenty or little…. we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12, 13); enable us to put on all the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) and having done all to stand; and Lord that we will not give up, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not! (Gal 6:9)

In the Holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN


For an excellent article on the Lord’s Prayer, go here.

Thank you for reading and following our blog, we hope you are blessed by it and will share it with others!  ~Kathy


Here Are Some More Links to Kathy’s Blog Here:


Thanks to Kathy Dunn and all the members of her blog and organization. The preservation of the earth and the ethical treatment of animals is an extremely important issue in today’s world so thank you for sharing your cause with us and from your unique Christian perspective as well. Here is the link to Kathy’s Home Page again: Shepherding All God’s Creatures.


If you would like to have your blog or writing featured on my biweekly interviews please reach out to me on my blog Contact Page. I am happy to interview writers/bloggers in most any kind of writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and any kind of blog theme including blog pages for causes such as animal welfare.  See You Again Soon!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Lists, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Travel, Writing

Notable Quotes April 2017 Part One #pinterest #quotes #books 


Happy April! Here are some more quotes. I think you’ll like them, they’re book quotes again for the most part 🙂

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Animals/Pets, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality

Interview with LeeAnn – Animal Enthusiast


Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing Lee Ann from the blogAnimals Are Feeling Beings Too. As LeeAnn’s blog focus is more on helping animals through her blog, the focus of this interview will be slightly different than past interviews.


interview-animals
Credit: LeeAnn – http://www.animalsarefeelingbeingstoo.com

1. LeeAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Blog? 

I have always been a quiet, deep-thinking, and observational person.Through deep-thinking and my tendency to observe, I noticed a lot of aspects about animals. Watching them, and paying attention to them, I fell in love with them.

As I am a quiet person, I feel I tend to get lost in the crowd much of the time. I noticed a similar thing often occurred with animals; they were getting lost in the crowd too when people didn’t pay attention and take care of them. Intrinsically, I felt their worth, their needs,  and I noticed the way some of them were not treated nicely. My passion for helping animals was born.


2. When Did You Begin Blogging ? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You?

I had taken classes for Web Design in 2013 and one of the assignments was to create a blog. My blog was my current blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too and I wrote on it occasionally over the next few years. However, in August 2016 I started blogging regularly. I have had different experiences with writing throughout my life.

Back in elementary school I first fell in love with poetry and writing (and my poetry teacher J). Since then, I have written several poems over the years, but only for my family and friends for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and other special events. Currently, some of my responsibilities at work include writing newsletters and social media posts.

Blogging means everything to me because of what I write about. I adore animals and feel passionate about helping them. I have been trying to figure out my entire life how to utilize my love for animals. When the assignment came up in my course to create a blog, my teacher told me she thought I should continue with my ‘helping animal’ themed blog.

I guess you could say a light bulb went off in my head. It took me a few years to apply myself, consistently blogging. But I think I had troubles because I was burnt out from being on a computer all day between work and school. I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.


”  I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.” – LeeAnn


3. Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer To Write?

Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there harming animals and not enough laws to protect the animals. This is where my inspiration and motivation comes from. I want to make a difference and ensure fewer animals are harmed. I also feel a lot of people are unaware of how much animal abuse exists and how few laws there are to protect animals (pets).I am hoping to bring light to these issues on my blog.

I am more alert and ‘fresh’ in the late morning after I have some coffee; however, because I have a full-time job, a lot of my writing and blog posts are done in the evening after work.


interview-animals2
Credit: http://www.animalsarefeelingbeingstoo.com – LeeAnne’s Cat Cino

4. Do You Have Any Current Pet-Related Writing Projects or Hopeful Ones? Are You Planning on Publishing Anything Related to Animals?

My blog is my current and ongoing project. I am only six months into regular blogging, so I am still new at blogging. I am working hard at ‘getting my writing out there’ on animal issues. My hope is to grow my traffic, not for my sake, but for the sake of animals and to make a difference.

So far, I’ve not published anything other than blog posts. I have considered writing a children’s book on empathy towards animals someday. I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc.) I may also turn some of my blog posts into a book someday.


” I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc).” – LeeAnn


5. What Is Your Writing Process Like When Focusing on Animals?

As I mentioned, there is so much animal abuse going on, so there is not a lack of topics to write about. If I see a story on the web about an animal that was abused, I start thinking and the writing process for a post begins.

For example, after going to the Renaissance Festival I noticed an elephant chained to a contraption which only allowed him to move around in a circle giving people rides. I started thinking and when I was home, I wrote about this event and how awful it was for the poor elephant to be so confined and probably abused.


6. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Bloggers or on Advice on How People Can Help Animals in Need?

I am not a  ‘professional’ writer, but as another blogger said: “If you’re writing on a blog, you are a writer.” Writing and blogging are skills I and other writers improve on with time. I am still learning and growing as I learn more about blogging, particularly for my significant cause. As well on my blog’s About Page I wrote this about how people can aid animals:


“Supporting animal organizations is . . . one way I help animals . . . I write about a wide variety of topics and types of animals, and I usually share links so you can check out the organization/topic being discussed.

There are many ways we can all help animals. Donating items to shelters, writing letters, signing petitions, volunteering time at an animal organization, sharing my posts to spread the word, and much more.” – LeeAnn


7. Do You Have Anything Else You’d Like To Share With Readers on Helping Animals, Yourself, or Blogging?

I am attempting to give my blog real purpose (a means to an end) that my writing and blogging actually result in animals at risk or already being harmed, not being hurt anymore. I also want people to know  I do have a large variety of posts on my blog.

Some of the posts I write include Pet Tales, Vegetarian Recipes, Pet Care Tips, and Serious Topics such as Animal Abuse Issues. I also use pictures from other bloggers and Facebook Page followers. I post them in my posts called ‘Tuesday Tales.’


8. Do You Have Any Favorite Bloggers You Follow?

I enjoy different kinds of blogs, but I think my favorite blogs are when someone writes about their pet(s). I think it’s fun to see all those adorable pet photos and learn about various animals and their personalities. Oddly enough, I do not necessarily like to follow blogs that are about ‘animal activism.’ I applaud them but I find these blogs usually too graphic for me to handle.


9. Please Share With Us Some of Your Animal Related Blog Posts:

The post below was written when a young follower of mine contacted me to let me know she was inspired by my blog. She wrote a poem called “Animals Are Feeling beings Too” which she published on her blog.


Hoping to Make an Impact

By LeeAnn

November 17, 2016

I have been blogging (well…serious blogging) for a few months now. I have played around with my blog, changing & adding things like the “Tuesday Tales” where I share animal stories and “Sunday Pause (Paws)” where I encourage everyone to kick back & relax. On my “Vegetarian Challenge” page I try to add recipes every now & then. There hasn’t been an actual challenge yet, but maybe in the future. Also, I have been adding my favorite cruelty-free products to the “Links” page, adding some pictures of my cat, Cino and “Pet Care Tips.”

I will continue to add to these pages and keep a variety on my blog. But one thing that will not change is where my heart is, and that is helping the fight against animal cruelty.

This means some of my posts will not be so uplifting or fun. If I were to only do “happy” posts I wouldn’t be spreading the word about animal cruelty and therefore I wouldn’t be helping animals.

do-somethingYouTube

Something I saw on Facebook (or somewhere) not so long ago was this sentence, “The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people who dedicate their lives to hurting them.” Sadly, a true statement!

There are a lot of people who tell me they can’t stand to read or see anything about animal abuse because it bothers them too much. It bothers me A LOT too, but I can not turn my back on them. I want to encourage others not to either.

I recently have received a few great compliments from fellow bloggers about my blog. This makes me feel so warm & fuzzy. I also received a message from a young follower, named Leona, that said me and my blog inspire her, and that she wrote a poem and named it “Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.” I was overjoyed by this! It makes me think maybe I AM making an impact out there for the good of animals!

I-am-important-to-animalsQuotesgram

Please read the magnificent poem here written by 12-year-old Leona.

Great job Leona! Keep writing and spreading the word about animals! Thank you for the awesome poem and sharing it with me!


9. Here Are Some Additional Posts By LeeAnn:

The following three posts are on serious topics that were my most  ‘Liked’  and ‘Shared. They have extremely important messages within them. 

The post below is one of my most ‘Liked’ posts from my ‘Tuesday Tales’ page where I share pet stories from the web and from other bloggers and Facebook followers.

Lastly, this post below is an adorable pet photo compilation from other bloggers and Facebook followers from over the holidays.


Thanks to LeeAnn for the lovely interview and sharing her passion for taking care of and helping animals at home and ones who are in need. Best of luck to her in her blog and spreading the word about animal empathy and the proper way to treat your pets and animals in general. Here is a Link To LeeAnn’s blog one last time: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.


If you would like to share your blogging or writing in my biweekly interview series, please reach out to me through my contact page on my blog. I will see you in two weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Current Events, Event, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), My Thoughts, Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Italian Sonnet “The Rooster’s Year” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction #BellLetsTalk


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: SingleDust

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Lunar New Year, this January coming, 

Falls on the twenty-eighth; each year changing. 

Two-days short each month, calendar arranged, 

Every now and then, extra month added some —

Years; sweeping out the bad luck, bring income —

Of good luck for the Rooster’s year; detained

With bad luck being born in Rooster’s year same. 

Chinese all celebrate — dragons welcome. 

Say Rooster’s confident, hardworking, honest

People’s person; then, firecrackers light —

Sky with brilliant red, ends old year; promises, 

Year of luck, decorated scarlet; fond —

Kids gifted with cash; all enjoy the night, 

Dragons, food, and firecrackers delight

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See: “When Is Chinese New Year 2017? How to Celebrate and What the Year of the Rooster will Mean” by Mickey Smith 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Flash Fiction, History, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Poem – Italian Sonnet “The Holiday Spirit” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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Credit: A Mixed Bag

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(Written Christmas Day)

Though times they change and we move on in life, 

We cannot say at Christmas, we’re not blessed

Food to eat, fine company, we confess —

To much chocolate, many sweets, little strife; 

Compared to the state of many a place ripe, 

With destruction, death, such hate which festers

To much is wrong, but be at peace nonetheless. 

His time draws near, have cheer; lasting hurt wiped. 

Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind, let’s —

Be kind to our neighbours and remember to share, 

Life is tough, let no one be in despair

Let us share the good news, for He is born set —

Healing broken hearts and pains of the past bled, 

Great physician who taught, love each other, care

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts

Poem: Free Verse – “Young and Beautiful” #music #poetry #amwriting 


Credit: Chemo Madoz – http://www.pinterest.com

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“Young and Beautiful” – Lana Del Rey 

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Such a wish have humans, 

For the fountain of youth. 

Retaining our vivacity, 
Twenty-something good-looks. 

To maintain an image of fresh faces, 

Yet carry the wisdom age gains. 

I think if we knew anything, 

We’d know it’s a curse to be young forever. 

For all such wisdom acquired in life, 

There’s a price to be paid. 

Experience taught and it —

Marked us with age spots, 

With wrinkles and scars, 

With under eye circles, 

Nightmares and inner trauma. 

Journeying through life we learned

 Our lesson, or perhaps we haven’t yet? 

When we are young, 

We are carefree and full of vigor. 

Not thoughtful in how we think or react,

No maturity, no flash of pain;

The liberty of youth suits the young. 

But to be a man or woman-child with —

The eyes of our great-grandparents,

Bearing several lifetimes of burdens;

I think, for a mere human, 

Would be too much grief to bear. 

For the older we become, 

We learn from birth we’re dying. 

Life is a quest and it’s meant to end

We’re meant for the heavens, 

Free of our lifetime of issues

Emotional, psychological, and physical decay, 

The exhaustion of life. 

The old realize when their time is coming —

That it is right. 

A lifetime of sorrows, to have so many years,

Would break a soul completely;

Nevermind a physical body. 

That’s why the young are beautiful,

Life hasn’t wounded them. 

They are too ignorant to see — 

Life isn’t meant on earth to be eternity —

The light shining to restore body, soul, and mind, 

In heaven shines for all,  

In timelessness we will be young,

All of us appearing how we ought;

No imperfections, 

Perfect creations.

Handling both knowledge and beauty,

Eloquent and graceful;

Gods children thankful

And only those who die young,

When life is torn by accident

By atrocity and ill health, 

(And the aged)

Understand this concept. 

As their grandparents did or do, 

Only the ill and dying, have vantage of this, 

Life is so frail;

A wisp of a veil torn, 

We’re all too busy living to see. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Current Events, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Colin Chappell


Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m pleased to introduce to you today an interview with dog enthusiast, thoughtful, and entertaining writer, Colin Chappell. He is often accompanied by his friendly and energetic dog Ray. In fact, Ray is one of Colin’s favorite topics. You can visit Colin on his blog: A Dogs Life? (Stories of Me and Him).


interview-colin-and-ray1
Credit: Colin Chappell

1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

My name is Colin Chappell. When I was born, my parents were expecting a girl so, when I arrived, they showed great initiative by thumbing through the BBC Radio Times looking for male names. If Colin Yearsley (a classical pianist) had a second name, I would have probably had a second name also; my older sister did. I am originally from Peterborough (U.K.), and now live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (on the outskirts of Toronto).

I was born immediately after WWII and moved around the U.K. a lot when I was young because both my parents were in the theater. My Dad designed and painted scenery, while my Mum worked in the costumes area.

The introduction of television decimated the demand for theater and my parents had to make some major decisions. Growing up, my Mum held down multiple jobs and my Dad came home only on weekends. He was working approximately one-hundred-miles away from where we lived. My Dad eventually decided to build his own house. He learned how to do this successfully from library books, visiting construction sites, and asking a ton of questions.


2. What Kind of Affect Has Your Childhood Had On You?

I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.

I wanted to be a locomotive driver, but was told that I couldn’t do this job by my Dad. I went to college to pursue a career as ‘Master’ of a cargo ship. I achieved a 2nd Class Honors Certificate and was welcomed into the Blue Star Line. I was ready to join ‘Scottish Star’ in Glasgow; however, I failed a medical exam which blocked my first chosen career path. This was my welcome to the world of adulthood and the realities of the world.


“I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.” – Collin Chappell


3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?

I have always enjoyed writing short pieces and songs, but they were always private and I rarely shared my work. I cannot recall how I discovered blogging. But I had already been adopted by my dog Ray and wanted to share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to write publicly which was appealing to me. My blog was officially launched in October, 2014.

Later, my desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You? Why Do You Write?

Writing is rewarding for many reasons. It allows me to express myself, to be as creative as I can, and to have some tangible evidence of my creativity and expression. No doubt there are psychological benefits to writing also. Poetry is a natural extension of writing because of my earlier days song writing; however, my blog is also my vehicle to present my poetry to the world.

Blogging is the corner stone of my literary endeavors because not only can I now share with the world, but I can receive feedback. I have access to links to bloggers and writers with similar interests and concepts. As well,  I am generally able to create a worldwide network of wonderful people. Over time I have developed friends around the world of all ages, cultures, religious beliefs (etc.) Now I have the pleasure of knowing many details about friends which go well beyond mere blogging.


” . . . [M]y desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!” – Colin Chappell


interview-colin-and-ray2
Credit: Colin Chappell

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Is There A Time of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?

Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.

Ray is also hugely inspiring. He is unlike any dog I have ever known. Just by watching him (which I do a lot) I’m invariably provided with the basis for a blog post. I also inspire and motivate myself. I am retired so have the luxury of as much time as I wish to allocate to blogging and writing but I do have many other interests.

There isn’t a particular time of day I enjoy writing more. Although, mornings and late evenings tend to be my most productive times. This is due more to convenience relative to other day to day activities. It’s not that I feel more particularly creative during these times.


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I have two active projects at the moment:

My first priority is promoting my book: Who Said I was up for Adoption? All profits from this book go to the Humane Society whom rescued my beloved Ray. It’s hard to make the whole world aware of a book without investing large sums of money to market it. Self-promoting is more financially feasible, but a difficult and time consuming job.

My second priority is publishing a book of my poems. It is tentatively titled: Tina and Other Stories and could be available Spring 2017. My poetry book is ready to be published but some financial decisions have to be made.

I am uncomfortable making these choices until I have a better grasp of how Ray’s book is selling. Hopefully, I can make a decision within the next six to eight-weeks. I also have various other similar projects ‘on the back burner,’ but they will have to wait.


“Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.” – Colin Chappell 


8. Here is Colin’s book: Who Said I was up for Adoption?

interview-colin-book-cover
Credit: Colin Chappell

You can purchase Colin’s book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo, Google Play, Nook, and IBooks. Here’s another link to Colin’s page where you can find links to all book sellers noted: HERE.


9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Publishing Process? Will You Continue With the Same Process in the Future?

I researched a number of leads before publishing and just as life in general — you get what you pay for. The inexpensive route (a relative term) dictated I take responsibility for areas of publishing I knew nothing about.

If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.

My compromise was to have a contract with FriesenPress. They provided their expertise in cover design, book layout, proofreading, overall suggestions, legalities, and ensuring Ray’s book was available to all major book retailers. Regrets? I have none, although, what I learned during this publishing process will reduce the cost of publishing my poetry book!


10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?

Blogging – I write from heart to keyboard, and then read, re-read, re-read, fine tuning the piece. Sometimes I will leave a post for a few hours and then read it again to get a fresh perspective. I like to plan to create ahead of time, but more often I end up creating immediately prior to posting. I will not hit the ‘Publish’ button unless I am absolutely happy with my post.

Book Writing – I use exactly the same process, especially with poetry. Reading a poem can often draw attention to a bad line or difficult rhythm. My intended book of poetry is being reviewed, although, it was completed well over six-months ago. Who Said I was up for Adoption? was completed over a nine-month period, but took an additional eighteen-months to polish well enough to publish.


“If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.” – Colin Chappell


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Reading and Writing?

I have little time for reading fiction — JRR Tolkein being the exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction, but more that I want to understand more about people and the real world. I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with fiction.


12. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?

Write… write… write.

Be honest to yourself.

Write… write… write.

Use blogging as much as you can because there is so much support out there in the blogging world for novice writers.

Write… write… write.

If you are pleased with what you write, then what other people think of it is secondary.

Write… write… write.

If you are not pleased with what you write, you need to spend time finding why you are unhappy with it. Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on the solution — Very logical!


“I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with a fictional piece of writing.” – Colin Chappell


13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Writing?

I have volunteered in numerous diverse places over the years, and every position I held was valuable education for me. It was valuable both because of the work involved and in the learning it provided me.

I support a number of charitable organizations which help people regain their self-respect and of course, I support animal rescue organizations. Life has been and still is, a wonderful education; however, one must always participate in life to see any results.


14. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like to Follow? What Do You Like About Them?

I really do not have favorite blogs, but I do enjoy more philosophical blogs as they are thought provoking. Dog related blogs are interesting simply because I can relate to the topics presented. Any post I read that promotes a positive mental attitude maintains my attention. In a world which seems to celebrate negativity, we need as many positive vibes as possible!


15. Here is a Piece From Colin’s Blog, One of His Favorite Poetic Verse Posts:

“Skeeta’s Legacy”

By Colin Choppell

*****

Skeeta was a Siamese cat

Of distinction so we thought

She was rather unlike her breed

Friendly and quite large

I had known a few Siamese

But none had traits like these

*****

She would ride in our car

On top of the front seats

Swaying whenever I braked

Forwards and backwards

Sideways on the turns

We would laugh until we ached

*****

Then one day she clearly had changed

Her clean toilet habits had gone

Something was wrong we were sure

She used to be meticulously clean

A test revealed leukemia

With no treatment. No cure

*****

After living with us

For only three months

Dearest Skeeta was put to sleep

But she left her mark

Indelibly on my heart

With memories that I would keep

*****

She went to a better place

To join her kind and be without pain

Where cats are happy and free

To be as I’d want her to be

But Skeeta left a legacy behind

Unbeknownst at the time to me

*****

Many years later when Ray moved in

He tested positive for heart worm

After only three months in our home

What were our options? What to do?

A very serious condition

And he could not fight it alone

*****

We could return him, put him to sleep

Or do nothing which would eventually kill him

What would make the most sense?

For such a short and unhappy life

An expensive course of treatment

Could we justify the expense?

*****

The treatment he may not survive

But shouldn’t we at least try?

For perhaps survive he would

Shouldn’t we give him a chance?

A chance for his life to fulfill?

To live out his life being loved?

*****

Euthanizing would give him peace

Not 3 years old with an unknown past

His early life seemed hard and alone

Surely a dog has a right

To fight for his life

In a warm and caring home?

*****

To return him to the shelter

Raised problems of another sort

Who would adopt a very sick Ray?

Who would want his vet bills?

Who would open their home?

Who would invite him to stay?

*****

During these dilemmas I heard a voice

Reminding me of Skeeta long ago

With no hope of a cure in sight

How she was put down

Her future sealed by a disease

That cheated her out of her life

*****

But this time was different

Ray did have a chance

If treatment started right away

The decision just had to be made

And then hope for the time

When once again he could play

*****

Ray will never know

What influenced his future

Or how it came to be

That a cat, of all creatures,

May have saved his life

That was Skeeta’s legacy.


16. Additional Posts:


Thanks so much to Colin for sharing with us his book, poetry, love for Ray, and his experience in life and writing. I loved discovering he both searches inside himself to find the right answers and also engages with the world to learn and discover the things he needs to know. His love of learning and passion for volunteering is something we can all aspire to.


If you would like to be featured as a writer and blogger in my bi-weekly interview series please reach-out to me on my contact page. Thanks for reading and see you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Animals/Pets, Current Events, Free Verse, Health, History, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Poem: Free Verse – “Prayer for the Small Things” #amwriting #poetry #prayer


Credit: Saatchi Art – Thank God For Women Legs by Thomas Saliot

——–

Oh Lord, thank God for the small things, 

The words and acts of kindness, 

Which help me through the day.

Thank God for the small things, 

Each day I’m fed, 

I’ve many clothes to wear.

Thank you that I too can be generous

That you gave me a Mother who taught —

Her daughter to be thoughtful, 

So I wouldn’t think only of myself. 

And even when I’m hurt and crying

I can see a silver lining in that cloud. 

*****

Lord, thank you for the small things, 

A life I’m given to live

No matter how battered or bruised

You’re my armour and you never leave. 

Your champions wage

Though the whirlpool may swallow;

You bring us through to the other side. 

New blessings each day, 

More than we need or want, or deserve

Thank you for the small things. 

For earnings, for caring friends, 

For a heart that doesn’t break when it’s bent

Thank you for love; however, small it was, 

For those who hurt me, 

So I knew then, what forgiveness was. 

*****

Lord, oh for the small things, 

That kindness could be formed in me, 

To kill the badness, the jealousy

Thank you for keeping him safe, 

For him not being my guy, 

Though I pray for him still, 

You keep him secure, alive —

I pray you give him faith

And draw us both close to you. 

*****

Thank you my almost love, 

Is not in the big picture. 

I hope he sees his wealth, 

His privilege comes, 

Not only with acts of goodness

But faith in God, in Jesus —

From his heart

If I see him again —

Help me to not turn away but to repair

So much is your power, 

You could change a man’s mind. 

Help him see he is lost in the law, 

He needs your grace to believe

*****

Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

My family, my friends, those I detest. 

My lost pets, my forgotten foes. 

Every man I felt something special for,

For the ones who hurt me deep and cut in;

I didn’t bleed out and die inside. 

I moved on, survived

I’m doing okay. 

*****

Thank you I was born in this day and age

Not one-hundred something years ago or more. 

For medical advances, social programs, 

And people more understanding, 

At least I hope

Thank you that one day, I’ll see you face to face,
Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

For to me they’re very big.

My prayer I give and keep in my heart

For your omniscient presence, 

For your healing,

Oh Lord, I ask and give thanks. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Lists, Music Review, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Quotes, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Writing

Three Line Tales: Mad About Yellow #amwriting #3Linetales #yellow


Thank you to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting this week’s 3LineTales.

——

Source: Wolf Schram

——–

1. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do — Yeah, they were all yellow.” 

(“Yellow by ColdPlay)

———-

2. ” So we sailed up to the sun, till we found the sea of green. And we lived beneath the waves in our yellow submarine.” 

(“Yellow Submarine by The Beatles) 

———–

3.  ” I’m just mad about Saffron, Saffron’s mad about me. I’m just mad about Saffron, She’s just mad about me. They call me mellow yellow (Quite rightly).They call me mellow yellow (Quite rightly). They call me mellow yellow.” 

(“Mellow Yellow” – Donovan)

——–

So I decided to go with a theme of the colour yellow and use song lyrics about yellow. These are my choices and hopefully, you recognize them and can watch the videos as well! 🍋🍌📒

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Daily Prompt, Free Verse, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: Poem – Free Verse – “A Day is A Life Time.” #everydayinspiration


The prompt for Writing 101 today is to write about an event that takes place in a single day. Also, I will be including The Daily Post word prompts Phase, Dream, and Grain. I’m trying something with poetry and I hope the result isn’t tedious.

——

It started in the morning ending at —

Evening; children who were born with —

A scream on their lips, removed from —

The womb; swaddled in blankets.

——

Life is a day and each day we spend —

One single day, representing —

A lifetime; not knowing each day —

Could end in a moments glance. 

—–

Babe once born, phase into toddler, 

Sucking on bottles, weened off.

Already, personality —

Forming; individual who tantrums.

—–

Couldn’t get her way playing in her —

Pre-school; no hitting allowed there. 

Prepares her for kindergarten, 

Where she better know her typing.

——

To write her name proudly with her,

Markers scribbling future —

Artist; parent’s dream but she’s holding —

Building blocks; then she’s finished–

—-

Being a kid, now screaming to —

Her brother, ‘stay out of my bed —

Room;’ texting her friends, their all —

Nearly sixteen, appearing twenty-one.

—–

She’s been drinking since thirteen-years, 

Not weird to her; she’s been there before.

Degree in engineering of —

Structures; dreams building stream-lined.

——

Caught the eye of a man where she works, 

He’s ten-years her senior at his —

Prime; another engineer, they’ve —

Two kids, girl and a boy, on their —

——

Own journeys; and she’s divorced.

Only thirty-five, raising teenagers, 

Tiring of her career; her daughter–

Pregnant; along comes grandchildren.

—–

She’s only forty and remarries, 

Her true soul mate she says, kids hate —

Him; replacing father they never see, 

Grandma raising baby of her daughter.

——-

Mom is forty-five; son marries girl,

A beautiful blond, into fine art.

Mom doesn’t like her; girl’s a phase.

Son has three kids and stays married.

——

Daughter won’t talk; sends home one more —

Squalling infant for Grandma to —

Care for and work too; step-Opa glad, 

Never had kids, he loves his grandbabies.

——

The grandbabies grow and she’s pushing —

Sixty-five-years; grandkids moving —

Out; hoping they do better than her —

Sweet daughter; dead, needle marks proof.

——

She wants to travel, she’s been all —

Over the world but only for work.

So Oma and Opa see the —

World divine; slowing down in life.

——

She teaches, a class or two for —

Dumb first-year engineer students, 

Doesn’t know how they’ll fill her shoes, 

But they’ve all this technology.

—–

Eighty-six and she’s alone; her soul —

Mate, he passed away; time speeds through, 

She has a dog that keeps her happy, 

But she out-lives the dog as well.

—–

Grains of sand sifting, her time comes, 

In hospital they can’t believe she’s, 

One-hundred-and-one; she dies with —

Great-grandkids crying for their Oma.

—-

This, is a lifetime you say not —

One single day, but you don’t see,

How with such quickness, a lifetime —

Is reduced to one significant —

One magnimounous little, 

Day before God; finally, wandering home.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.