Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Travel, Writing

Interview of Writer, Blogger, and Photographer Yinglan Z #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.


Interview - yinglan
Credit: Yinglan Z

1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself? 

Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?

I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?


2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?

I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.

Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.  


“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z


3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging? 

I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.

Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.

When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You? 

A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.


“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z


Interview - Yinglan City
Credit: Yinglan Z

5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?

I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.

I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.


6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres? 

I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?

I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?


“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.


Interview - Yinglan Quote
Credit: Contributed by Yinglan Z

7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?

My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.


8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.


“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z


9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog? 

I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.

Change

By Yinglan Z.

*****

Your yesterday is gone
But your today is here sooner than you think
You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong
And you wish you can make all the bad go away
And you say

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going to be okay
Tomorrow
It will all change

*****

Your today is gone
And you have made no commitment
To bring changes
Oh and you just kept on saying that

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be bright

*****

Day and day went by
You just sat behind your table
Waiting for changes to come to you
You say, “It’ll be okay”
And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself”
And you say starting tomorrow

*****

Things are going to be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be right
It will all be bright
It will be the day when I set thing right

*****


Here are some of Yinglan’s short stories:


Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life. 

Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home. 

If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂


©Mandibelle16. 2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), My Thoughts, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Practical Juliet


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.


SPFJuliette
Credit: A Mixed Bag

*****

O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore —

Art thou Romeo?Why are you here?

I’m not interested in death for love, clear?

I’m a smart girl and you’re kind of boring.

You talk about love, I’m just passed fourteen.

I think that I’ll ‘live,’ a little more, dear —

Before I settle; I’ve no choice, you hear,

Dad will kill us both if you insist more.

*****

So leave me be, a young girl who is free

Keep your responsibility, see —

I’ll spend time with the girls and when —

I’m twenty, I’ll choose the richest guy known,

Who’s nice to me; there’ll be no bloodshed then.

Go play with your friends, be young, O Romeo.

*****


©Mandibelle16(2017). All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Etheree - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 syllable count, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Collage Prompt: Poem – Cascading Etheree – “The Inner Child” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s collage prompt.

——-

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie; Bottom Right – Jeremiah Morelli

———

You might think it peculiar to let kids,

Be small, to let them be silly, weird,

When most of their life is spent in,

‘Adulting,’ learning how to,

Be big, responsible,

I say as Auntie:

Let them be them,

Creative,

Full of,

Fun.

——

Let,

Them be,

Wild beings,

Think of stories,

Imaginative,

And implausible, but —

Believe them because you’re,

Playing along, taller tales,

Demonstrate creativity,

For kids, it keeps them young, growing older.

——

Think of tilting towers, Big Ben in blue –

Green prairie sky, a storm brought him here.

But he bends, tilts just because and,

Storm brought along a grand,

Gothic cathedral roof,

Pointed top I’m sure —

Missed somewhere; hot —

Air balloon,

Holds our,

Dreams.

—–

Where,

We live

With such rich,

Possibility.

Imagining,

Tall towers floating in,

Moon lit skies, princesses,

Saving themselves, jumping from,

Clouds, the moon indeed smiling so proud,

Girls and boys — escape from their own towers.

——

Locked fortresses floating, new challenge,

Escaping by flying pirate ships old,

Never turning back to the light,

Of a trapped home, wishing most,

To be little, secure,

Not worry about,

A dragon’s fire,

A port in,

Mid-air,

Light.

—–

Sought,

In night’s,

Binding grip,

All children search,

For understanding,

A hug and kiss when they’re lost,

Hurt, or at least a safe place works.

For home; mom’s gentle touch when,

Nightmares thrive; become to real, kids hide;

But parents are there, provide a haven.

——-

So encourage kids to harness their,

Creativity, to paint and draw,

To find their passions in life, so —

Maybe they can live them too.

Or find a haven in,

Their talents, their skills,

Urging away,

Stress; relief,

‘Cause life,

Hurts.

—–

So,

We teach,

Live your dreams,

Let them unwind

You; be as free as

Butterflies; don’t be tacked,

To a board on the wall kept.

Fly lovely, safe, remembering,

Humanity is indeed so —

Delicate at times; you’re not invincible.

—–

But in the power of the imagination,

You can always escape the threads,

Binding you to reality.

You can have liberty,

Smile, eat your cake too,

And hopefully,

Your partner,

The one who,

Loves you,

Most.

—–

Has,

Their own,

Inner child,

Understands and,

Knows, love is gentle,
Love is fiery, bold,

Love and creativity,

Both hold; let you be dauntless, free,

Full of life, security to —

Be held; be wild both as adult and child.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Exception #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

—–

Credit: A Mixed Bag

——

In their years of friendship, Alise and Janelle never fought except over Chaz Monroe. He dated Alise in high school causing a huge argument between the girls. 

“I liked him first you know that Alise,” Janelle had said. “Why are you still seeing him?” 

“We’ve been going out three-years Janelle. We’re planning a life together.” They’d been drinking vodka and Janelle threw hers on Alise. 

Then Chaz left for university and broke up with Alise. He dated another girl and Alise and Janelle reconciled over their disgust of Chaz’s tart

Ten- years later, Chaz came back to town. He was still handsome and Alise and Janelle had both secretly been in contact with him.

 Chaz visited Janelle first but when he came to Alise’s he told her, “I missed you so much, Alise. I’m sorry I ever broke up with you. Would you consider giving us a second chance?” 

Alise agreed, she loved Chaz. But when Janelle found out about Alice and Chaz she invited her friend over under false pretences of congratulating her. 

Janelle mixed neat vodka’s for them both and threw candied cherries in their drinks. Alise took a few sips, choking on the weird tasting cherry. She was shocked to see Janelle slumped over dead as she too succumbed; Janelle had poisoned them both. 

They had always been bestfriends except when it came to Chaz Monroe. 

—–

©Mandibell16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Lauranelle - aba bcb cdc ded efe fbf ggA(1)A(2), My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Lauranelle – “The Best Wait Ever” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

—–

Credit: Dawn M. Miller

——-

Painfully stuck in airport for hours wait, 

Sitting here staring the clock ticks slowly. 

Here with you life’s perfect –it doesn’t grate. 

My arm falls asleep, your heavy head rolls, 

Further onto my chest; I need to get up. 

Legs start to tingle, I’ve sat too long so —

I gently moving your head; my ‘buttercup,’ 

You hate when I call you that but you make me smile. 

Happiness, tranquility; I’m drugged. 

Departure board reads, plane is still awhile. 

Walking for coffee, some lunch, magazines. 

You’re awake when I return, you beguile;

Your grin makes you quiver and I preen. 

Unaware we stare, our stare held timeless.

You appreciate me (and food); your eyes gleam. 

We’re both stuck here all night, it’s liveable, 

We both forge a tighter bond insurmountable. 

Painfully stuck in airport for hours wait. 

Here with you, life’s perfect — it doesn’t grate. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Quatrain -- abab abba ccdc dddd., Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Quatrains – “Tale of The Floating Bride” #poetry #amwriting 


Thanks to NEEKNERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge prompt. 

—–

Credit: Zhangjinga.com

—–

Enchanting child in slumber keep, 

Red hair surrounds you as you sleep. 

I wait for you to wake from your dreams, 

No longer a porcelain doll preened. 

*****

A wedding gown white lace so frothy, 

Mother hoped your match was lofty.

That you’d found your life partner, 

Your prince, your man, for life to start.

*****

But day by day you grew sad, 

When pressed with his kisses ran. 

Empty feeling inside you grew, 

Like a butterfly away flew.

*****

Mischievous child, pain grew, 

His fist at your face straight-on flew. 

Hiding the bruises with powder,

Not even concealer shrouds

*****

Pride vital to you, tiny doll, 
Escaped; no one to catch your fall.
Fly in dreams with delicate wings, 

Winter ends, it’s soon your spring. 

*****

Gather your courage –call it off;

Don’t marry him, don’t be soft.

In front of the crowd, show each cut, 

Let them see bruises, you must. 

*****

So they know an abuser, 

Isn’t good enough, he’s a loser. 

He broke your velvet wings, 

Your sanity held by strings. 

*****

But it was too late even then, 

The lake too close; so your end.

Now you float, butterfly who swims, 

Eternity of light your win. 

*****

We tried to save a doll of glass, 

But on death she shattered, passed. 

Down below the water’s dark depth,

She’s tranquil, free; although, she leapt. 

*****

Mind too distorted, destroyed, 

Lover’s hands threw her like a toy.

World tough; his madness changed them both, 

In Heaven she smiles free to float. 

*****

He mourns her death each day, each drink, 

Pretty soon his rage him too sinks. 

Accidents happen to the unaware, 

She pulled him in, drowned his despair. 

—– 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Florette - aaba 8,8,8,12 - Line 4 - 8th syllable rhymes with b., History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Florette – “My Daisies” #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

——-

Credit: Mike Vore

——

Daisy your coat is rough, rusted;

I’d restore your coat true, trust me. 

It used to shine an apple-red.
You’re engine won’t start; words unsaid they’re frustrating. 

——

Daisy May you had your days like, 

The woman I named you for, my wife.

But she is gone now, you’ve decayed

Both of you leave me so dismayed; inside I’ve strife

——-

Daisy, I wonder should I send you —

To the scrap yard, or sell you? 

Should I restore you to glory? 

So those I meet know your story and my wife’s too? 

——-

Nostalgia overwhelms, memories —

Cloud my mind thinking too plenty —

Of back in the day of youth’s glow

When I had both Daisies, I drove through life, with them. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for The Purposeful Practitioner: The Open Road


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.


road
Credit: Roger Shipp

The open road can take you anywhere. There are many places to go, its so difficult to decide precisely which road you will take. On one hand, you have opportunity and potential before you. You’re bursting with aspirations and a chance to discover a new or familiar place and make it your own. You’ve a desire to create lasting and meaningful memories.

But on the other hand, there’s the downside of open roads. Roads aren’t always safe. You believe the road ahead is empty, but you never see a speeding car whipping out, when you both crash. You aren’t paying attention when you see a moose in the middle of the road, directly in your path. You may have the SUV but he’s huge and more likely to kill you.

Journeys aren’t what we think they’ll be. Some of them lead to misery and pain.Some of them lead to mistakes and learning the hard way. But it’s the price of travelling the open road. As you’ve little idea if you’re playing the correct card in a Black Jack, you have little idea where that open road will lead, or end.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Shadorma - 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Poem: Shadorma – “Woman War Not Alone” #amwriting #poetry #women


http://www.fatiguestofabulous.com
—– 
Such times as,

The ones she lived through.

She conformed, 

Wanted More.

Saw how hurt perpetuates;

Never healing whole.

—-

Self-harm, self-

Hate common;  inside –

She is hurting, 

Inner pain.

Gossip and judgement used.

She never thought to —

—–

End the pain

Close hateful doors tight.

Lock malice, 

Outside her.

An unforgiving night, reminds —

Her, fight gently.

—–

Keep working; 
Her inner battle. 
It’s as old,

As the earth.

Woman who fight for, 

Equality.

—–

A dream, 

She thinks having both,

Pax, and rest.

She is wise,

For seeing tomorrow’s pain;

Unburdens those lame.

——-

Light in the,

Darkness, shines, provides —

Glimmer of,

Hope, assured —

Fighting, with her words and sword;

Hoping for happiness.

——

Good prevails.

Light’s glow permanent.

Good’s older.

She drinks wine;

Thinking of mornings, sunrise —

Reminds her she’s loved.

—–

Leaves on tree,

Dusting her path yet,

Leaves mark the —

Passing of,

Seasons; on each she shines light,

Earth keeps turning while —

—–

She worries,

Weeping in bad times,

She doesn’t

Forget what,

Was fought for at heavy cost,

She lives; others fought —

——

For her now.

Because in their time,

They had few —

Rights at all.

Doing wife’s duty despite,

Desire for freedom — rights.

——

She looks for,

Light in the tunnel,

At the end–

Of the war.

She fights not alone; she holds —

Strength in her faith, bold.

——

For her God,

Never forgets her, 

Woman so —

Precious; God–

Created Man and her, equals —

Partners; she’s not less.

——-

Complement,

She smiles because she —

Knows inner —

Completeness.

Remembers God’s son best knows,

Inequality.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Minute - 8,4,4,4 aabb ccdd eeff, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Word High July, Writing

Poem: Minute – “Bestfriends and Lovers” #wordhighjuly #amwriting #poetry #kaulayau



——–

http://www.matchiie.com

———

Feeling peace; in my life you’re a balm.

My body is calm;

Mouth softly turns, 

Together we learn.

———

Gazing in your eyes, reflecting.

Smile love inflects.

Your eyes gleaming, 

Both us we dream.

——-

Magnatism, hands entwining, 

Thoughtless combine.

Despite small fights, 

We talk; no flight.

——–

Sometimes you need your space, and I mine.

Eyes know our signs.

Always meet each —

Other; hands reach.

——–

A gaze, a grin, our language known, 

We both intone, 

Stories we share,

Affectionate, care.

——-

Knowing each other; intimacy.

Made intricately, 

Life together, 

Us forever.

———

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.