Interview with Carolyn Shelton Author, Writer, and Blogger #amwriting #nonfiction #interview #author


 

Welcome to another week of my interview series. Today I’m so excited to share with you an interview with my talented and caring friend, Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses)  who has been writing many wonderful tales for adults and children on her blog with Colin Chappell of A Dog’s Life (Stories of Me and Him). I interviewed Colin earlier this year HERE.

Many of Carolyn’s tales and her new book with Colin are about a Cat named Dewey, a Jackalope named Jaxon, an owl named Odessa, and a human helper for them on Moonbeam farm they live, known as the ‘manservant.’ You can also find Carolyn’s interview on The Go Dog Go Cafe, where I will be posting a writer interview each Tuesday (the same one here and on there). It is a wonderful writer’s community on WordPress so please come and explore.

As well, all watercolor paintings illustrating the characters from Carolyn’s (and Colin’s) book Odessa’s Chronicles, are done by Jodi of The Creative Life In Between. She’s such a talented artist and I would recommend following her blog for her art, recipes, poetry, and blog posts narrated by her dog, Charlie.  She also has an Etsy Shop, on break at the moment, but when it’s not, you can purchase cards, paintings, (etc.) of Jodi’s beautiful work. 

Carolyn’s blog can be found here: Nuggets of Gold: Helping You to Find the Gold Amidst the Dirt, Sand, and Pebbles of Life.


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Credit Carolyn Shelton

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself, Carolyn? 

My name is Carolyn Shelton and I live in Southern Pennsylvania. I am the Mother of two teenagers which explains why there are days that I feel like my brain is missing! I love having fun with my family and friends, whether we are just chatting or on an adventure together. I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.

Humor is a big part of my life! I have serious posts on my blog, but a lot of humorous ones as well. And there are days, where you may get more humor from the comment section. I have a good friend that likes to express his wit at times. I am always up for a battle of wits, do I win? Well…. onto the next question.

My biggest writing goal is to touch others with what I write. I want to make them smile, laugh and also ponder on deeper things at times. I am thankful for my gift of writing, but it doesn’t do a lot of good if I keep it to myself. This is why I share it on my blog with for everyone and anyone to read.


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Dewey the Spoiled Cat!

2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does It Mean To You? 

I began blogging in the Fall of 2014. It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing. I was browsing on the internet one day and I saw something that piqued my interest. WordPress was offering a free writing course. I loved to write and felt that this course would be fun to take and see what happened. I signed up for it and well, here I am. 🙂 I enjoyed the course a great deal and was excited seeing what I could do with a blog.
I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and interacting with them. I was still learning but felt as if I had found my niche in the wonderful world of blogging. My love of writing had been rekindled.


” I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – The Humble Manservant

3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Blog and Write? Why is it Important to You to Keep Writing and Blogging? Do You Have Writing Habits? A Time of Day It’s Easier for You to Write?

My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me, through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy because it is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not writing. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogging and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.

Writing is me letting my heart speak and it can be so freeing expressing my emotions through writing. Late at night seems to be my best time to write. The house is all quiet, the phone is not ringing, and it’s just me and my Sheltie who lays at my feet.


4. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects, on your Blog or Otherwise? Have You Published Any Writing? 

I am currently co-authoring a The Odessa Chronicles, with fellow blogger, Colin. I’m so excited about it! The process of writing it readying it for publication has been a true adventure! The front cover of the book has not yet be decided on and the book is not quite ready for publication and release to my readers but it will be available on Amazon when it is completed. Stay tuned to my blog for updates on Colin and mine’s book release


My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy. It is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I really wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogginh and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Jaxon the Jackalope with Magical Powers

 5. Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Writers or Bloggers Starting Out? 

I enjoy writing serious posts and posts written for fun.  I enjoy reading both as well. Also, I like reading stories in the genre of fiction and some nonfiction stories as well when I am choosing novels to read.

As for advice for new writers or bloggers: I encourage them to be patient with their self and write what comes naturally. Don’t think that your blog has to be like another blogger’s blog. Your blog is unique just like you. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog. Don’t push yourself to post every day if you cannot manage to do that. I didn’t post each day in the beginning and there is no rule that says you have to post every day. You need to write when it fits your schedule.


6. For Fun, Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs? Top Three? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh, my this is a hard question. There are a lot of blogs I enjoy! The blogs I have followed the longest though are Jodi’s, Ameena’s and Colin’s.

  • Jodi’s blog makes my taste buds tingle when I see pictures of the wonderful recipes she is cooking up. She is a wonderful cook and there are sometimes I attempt her recipes, though I am sure she does them better. She also does beautiful paintings and puts lovely poems to lovely photographs she takes together in a post. I enjoy reading her blog because of her cheery outlook on life.
  • Ameena (Randoms by A Random) is a gifted poet and her poems tug at my heartstrings. She has put me at a loss for words more than once. You can read the interview Mandibelle16 did of Ameena HERE
  • Colin writes about life with Ray, his wonderful Rescue Dog that he adopted. He also has “Just Thinking” posts that give you things to ponder. It is always interesting to read his perspective. He includes some poetry on his blog; in fact, he has a book of wonderful poetry coming out soon. His dry wit comes through in his posts as well. A blog that can make me laugh will be one I keep going back to.

Most importantly all these blogs do have something in common. Although they post about various topics, they all have become special friends of mine. That is what I feel is at the heart of blogging, the friendships that are formed from a mutual interest. 


” Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Odessa the Wise Owl Whom Carolyn and Colin’s book is named after.

7. Can You Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Blog Posts? 

Here are some of Carolyn’s posts that she and I like a great deal. I hope you enjoy them too!

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend

Written April 2013, by Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

JoyRoses Ocean 2
Credit; Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

Good Morning! Today my husband and I will bid a final farewell to a dear friend of ours. His body was ravaged with cancer and now he is free from pain. Though we are happy that he is now at peace, there also is pain, as he will be dearly missed!

Pat always had a smile for you and could make you laugh with his wit. Even when his wit was at your expense, you couldn’t help but laugh. Shaking your head, trying not to smile, as your mind was racing for a comeback.  No joke was ever old. We had met over 20 years ago, and there was something that had happened to me in that first year that Pat and Sherry were dating. Something that he still loved to throw out there whenever he would get the chance, and yes it still had a way of heating up my cheeks. His humor is something that stayed with him, even as his body grew sicker. He kept his spirits up and fought hard. He was an inspiration.

In yesterday’s post, Dewey and Jaxon Follow Their Hearts, I told about when we heard the news about cancer and how Dewey took over my pen. Took over my pen for my broken heart.  Today I am sharing a poem that I shared before. A poem that seems fitting for today. It has been revised a little to help it flow more smoothly, thanks to a friend.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for my friend and the tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak to my precious friend and his wife? How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

JoyRoses 2
Credit: Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean, my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

*****


Here are more of Carolyn’s Blog Posts:


Thank you so much to Carolyn for allowing me to interview her for this week’s blogger/writer interview. She is a wonderful and kind hearted person and I’m so excited for the book she and Colin will be releasing on AMAZON soon. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Nuggets of Gold.


If you are a writer, blogger, author, or someone who blogs for a cause or special organization and would like to be featured in my interview series here and on the Go Dog Go Cafe please reach out to me through my CONTACT PAGE on my personal blog. Thank you and see you next week!


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Three Line Tales: The Cat Came Back #3LineTales #nonfiction #music #memories


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales 

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Credit: Timothy Meinberg via UnSplash

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If you grew up in Canada you knew who the children’s entertainer Fred Penner was. Everybody knows and loves Fred Penner and his singing of our favourite kid’s songs such as “The Cat Came Back.” I was thrilled to have seen him live from about ten meters away on stage at a TEDTALK’S conference where I live in 2013; his message — music can save and change lives! 

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“The Cat Came Back” by Fred Penner

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“The Cat Came Back” by Fred Penner

*****

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own

He had a yellow cat who wouldn’t leave its home

He tried and he tried to give the cat away

He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.

*****

But the cat came back the very next day

The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

*****

Now the man around the corner swore he’d kill the cat on sight
He loaded up his shotgun with nails and dynamite

He waited and he waited for the cat to come around

Ninety seven pieces of the man is all they found.

*****

But the cat came back the very next day
The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

*****

He gave it to a man going up in a balloon
He told him for to take it to the man in the moon

The balloon came down about ninety miles away

Where he is now, well I dare not say.

*****

But the cat came back the very next day

The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

*****

So he gave it to a man going way out West
Told him for to take it to the one he loved the best

First the train hit the curve, then it jumped the rail

Not a soul was left behind to tell the gruesome tale.

*****

But you now what?

But the cat came back the very next day
The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

*****

Now the cat was a possessor of a family of its own

With seven little kittens till there came a cyclone

Blew the houses all apart and tossed the cat around

The air was full of kittens, and not a one was ever found.

*****

But the cat came back the very next day

The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

Sing it all again!

*****

But the cat came back the very next day

The cat came back, they thought he was a goner

But the cat came back; he just couldn’t stay away.

(Give me a miao. Miaoooo!)

Louder Miao (Miaoooo!)

Louder (Miaoooo!)

Little quiter

Quiter miao (Miaoooo!)

quiter (Miaoooo!)

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: A Hideous Bench


“Oh what a tacky bench,” Violet complained to her husband Wes. “Who would put such an outrageously coloured bench in Hewitt Park. We have to walk by it when we take Snuggles for his walk.”

“Meow,” Snuggles said, struggling in his harness and leash.

Wes sighed as his wife continued to moan about the red bench. The bench was in an ideal spot for him to seat his aching bones and red was his favourite colour.

“Oh my, Wes! Why are you sitting on that hideous bench. I was just saying what an eye-sore it is.” 

“I’m eighty-four-years old Violet and the red bench is a perfect place to rest.” Snuggles meowed and sat on the bench in agreement.

Violet was starting to complain when she noticed Snuggles sitting on a plaque on the bench seat.

Wes moved Snuggles and both he and Violet read the plaque which said: ” In honour of our Grandson, Corperal Jonathan Crest, who died under enemy fire in Afhganistan. Lest We Not Forget.” 

 Violet sniffed and her eyes went wide as she read the plaque. 

“Pretty good reason to have a red bench here, don’t you think Violet?” Wes said.

Violet was speechless.

—–
 

Ady
 

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Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

A Little of This and Some of That.


  
Well it’s American Thanksgiving already, so soon. It means that Christmas is upon us in full swing. I have my list items I want to purchase Black Friday. Some of it is presents and some of it’s personal. I like to do most of my would be ‘Boxing Day’ shopping now because the deals and selection of items is better. Items tend to be picked over at times after Christmas. So, I have an order for Indigo,  with some cozy throws and Christmas gift bags. I have to send two more boxed gift sets from Lush to two of my close friends. I need to do an order to Purdy’s online for chocolates for everyone. I need to purchase a gift card for my Mom. I was hoping Loft, but I can’t get the gift card buying option to work online. So, I’ll have to see about what I buy for her. Maybe, Cleo’s ? And quite importantly, I need stamps  for Christmas cards. Then for me, there are a few items of clothing I would like from Banana Republic

In Residential Interiors, I am half-way through the furnishing slides I need to know for my Final on Modern Furniture. Starting with Frank Lloyd Wright in 1909 up to a few prolific modern designers in 2013. I need the notes from tonight’s class fast. Then once I have those, I can transfer that information onto the paper copies I am using to study the exam slides. Some of the slides I will have to go look up more information on as the note taker didn’t provide good notes for some pieces of furniture. Then I have to read the remainder of the textbook, three or four chapters I think. Followed by me going through all the modern day slides and comparing them with the notes so I know about those slides incase they are on the Final. Then I need to memorize the information on the final exam slides. So, that is going to be a lot of work. Thank goodness I write in the afternoon next Tuesday. I am looking for a course to take next semester, but so far no such luck. I would like to do something in Winter because it gets so dark outside and you feel stuck inside so it is great to keep busy. I applied for graduation so I will receive my Residential Furnishings Certificate in June 2017. 

I read a book called Wallbanger a chick -lit book by Alice Clayton, last year. Clayton wrote a sequel to this book called Rusty Nailed and a short novella sequal to that called Last Call. In the same series, there are also some other books about different couples. But the three books I have fallen for are about Simon, Carolyn, and Carolyn’s cat Clide. They are hilarious books especially the first one concerning how Simon and Carolyn and their friends meet and end up coupled off. The next two books are about Simon and Carolyn getting together despite the issues of the past, the issues of their friends (who are also in each book), career issues, and cat issues. I’m not a cat person but when Clayton writes at the end of each book from Clides view point it is so funny. So, if you are into literature for women that makes you laugh and you like love stories, check out this triplet from Alice Clayton. If you’ve read her books before, what did you think? 

  
So, starting to plan into December already. I am meeting my friend for coffee Thursday and going on a date Saturday. After my exam, I will be going to lunch with a friend and later to see Mockingjay Part II with my youngest brother and his girlfriend. I also want to see the new Starwars: The Force Awakens it seems more interesting then the last set of movies they made about Starwars. Need to make it to a wine store sometime in there too. Going to get my haircut in December too, so it’s nice for Christmas and all the festivities involved in that. Also, who can forget holiday baking. There is just my parents at home and I now so I’ve cut down a lot but I’m thinking shortbread, spice cookies, turtle squares, and some chocolate chip cookies. We’ll see how much I get made. 

Have a lovely week. 

  

Day 28 – NaPoWriMo- Bridge – ” Crossing”


I stand at one end of a bridge formed from majestic oak. 

You stand at the other, staring me down with the clearest aqua eyes. 

If I could get to you — Boy, there would trouble;

I reach tentivly across to you and you hold on to the bridge and try to grasp my hand.

But there’s no way your getting to me –I’ll burn this bridge if I have to!

I sit at one end as moonlight lights the dusk.

You sit at the other as the sky turns black and the nighttime noises of the forest creep in;

Time passes slowly now, you’re out of ideas of how to get to me, past this wall we’ve created.

Then picking up speed you leap across the planks and bowl into me like I am your hope in life. 

A dog walks slowly, followed by a cat.

If cats and dogs can cross this bridge together, perhaps, it’s okay you lept and now keep me. 

I am shackled by your hand as we go on our way —  we crossed a real bridge. 

What’s more we crossed the bridges of our hearts. 

We crossed the bridge that forms through petty thought. 

And now I’m bridged to you, I quite like it that way. 

Say you’ll never unattach, say you’ll hold the waters back;

With my hand in yours, we cross to greater shores;

To a wild and green and lovely place where we are bridged forevermore. 

Kittens


English: A black kitten at full sun against a ...
English: A black kitten at full sun against a white background. Porto Covo, Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All around my house are wild cats. Cats with bushy tangled fur and some with one eyelid completely closed and covering their one eye. They come in all shapes and sizes, all colors of fur – tawny, black, grey, blond, mixed – , and they all have kittens throughout the year. Now this is not a problem when the weather is warm and sunny like today. The cats and their kittens hide in the bushes, strut about ours and our neighbors yards mingling with the domestic cats with collars. They play and hunt for mice running occasionally from my dog who will never catch them. When our cat infestation does present a problem is when the weather turns cold.

Coyotes start to pick off the smaller cats. Once healthy and fat cats become so thin you can see their ribs. Worst of all cat mothers who do not mother their kittens well enough leave us humans to peel their kittens from the frozen ground. I was particularly horrified to find one such kitten this past winter. So thin and so cold I could feel his tail unstick from our patio as I picked him up. We brought the kitten inside fed him milk from a dropper and watched him just try to stay warm, watched him be grateful to be inside a nice room temperature kitchen. We took this kitten to the Humane Society but I do not think he made it.

This is when wild cats running around becomes a problem. When they run around leaving their poor dying young to fend for themselves, because they have kittens in fall and winter, and when they use the neighbour’s flower beds as bathrooms. For this reason, our neighbour Linda started to take kittens and sometimes their mother’s into a place who will adopt these kitten’s out. The city will not do anything about the plague of cats so we are left to take care of them. Linda waits until the kittens are old enough to be weaned off their mother, then they go hopefully to their happily forever homes. If you have a similar problem in your neighborhood you can contact the Edmonton Humane Society and take kitten’s there as my dad and I have done: http://www.edmontonhumanesociety.com at 780.471.1774 or you can research on the Internet places such as my neighbour Linda goes, to take wild pets and have them adopted out.