Sunday Photo Fiction: Ruthless #amwriting #flashfiction #chess 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

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“I’ve learned some interesting things about chess lately,” Karley said. 

Tyler smirked and made his first move, the frosted glass pawn advanced, “What did you learn?” 

“Well, way back when there was no Queen. Beside the King was an Advisor.” 

“That Advisor must have had a lot of power if in chess he could move any direction on the board, diagonal or straight. Why did the Advisor become a Queen?” 

Karley grinned, “Well, for one, Queen Elizabeth I. But around her time and after, there were many powerful Queens. The Advisor becoming Queen was meant to please Queens, rulers who weren’t male.” 

“Do you think Queens in the monarchy were as ruthless as Kings?” Tyler asked watching Karley bring out her Bishop. 

“Of course. Queen Elizabeth I had no trouble executing those who opposed her. She also never married. I think power was her raison d’être,” Karley said placing her finger on the clear glass Queen. 

“But yet the Queen still protects the king?” Tyler mused. 

“He doesn’t really get to move much, though, does he?” 

“No, just a space here and there.” 

“Checkmate,” Karley said. 

“What, what does that mean? How’d you do that so fast?” 

“It comes from Arabic and French. Literally, it means, ‘He is Dead’ or ‘The King is Dead.’ I did it so fast because I’m the Queen.”

” The Queen?” Tyler said confused. 

“Yes, we’re ruthless.” 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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NaPoWriMo: Poem – Prose – “Poker Face”


Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information.

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There are memories and memories inbetween memories, things you shouldn’t know. But I write and I say, what naturally comes to flow. Spending a day building raw story into characters who have flaws and appeal. Characters who are relatable and show affection, lust, a special connection with each other.

 I am building story from the ground level, thanks to a friend, who tore my story down line by line so I am able to build. I’m grateful for everything he sees that I do not. How the story doesn’t flow and how the characters actually appear.

What’s believable in real life? I think an interesting situation because the story involves magic and in real life we don’t believe in curses and the power of magic. We write of it extensively wishing for such power, such talents, such super-human abilities. Probably because we’re human, and sometimes being human makes a person feel mighty small. 

Today’s memories are about editing and refinement. Answering questions I wouldn’t know how to ask. I’m learning. Digging deeper, past the simple, into the complex. I don’t want a one-dimensional story. Though it has magic I want the characters to be real people and I want their flaws and likes/dislikes to show. I want what they’re good at, their occupations, their speech and actions, the people they have around them, to demonstrate their characters.

The minds of people are endlessly fascinating, especially the minds of those who say everything or say nothing. My Grandpa said little, his mind was complicated. He was a Pastor whose smoking habit ended his life at seventy-three -years-old. He would ask questions which made one think and consider alternate routes as he taught me the games of cribbage, chess, and when we attempted cryptograms and crossword puzzles. Grandpa’s questions always hinted at digging deeper, searching for another method, and missed details.

But my Godfather, he says everything. And what he says is thought-provoking. He is always thinking of other people, how to help. He is the bestfriend to his friends and he has many. He can listen but mostly he talks and he’s wise with his words.

I miss him and the second place I call home, his and my Godmothers charming house. His wisdom and continual thinking, his belief in God solving all problems, and finding answers from an omniscient God are well expressed; he gives me such peace after we’ve had a conversation or I’ve listened to him talk.

 And I’m thinking about a paint night I’m doing with friends at the bar Sunday night. Painting, did you know I love it? I will need a couple drinks to merely do as the instructor says, but I know what my hands and mind will do.

 I will mix the paint, either ruin or add to the design. I desire creativity. I’ve said it before, creativity cannot be boxed in its true form. But with a drink or two and two good friends, the evening will pass and I’ll come home, painting in hand.

 Also, finding a good guy — one whom you enjoy being with and talking with is difficult. You need to be attracted to their looks and their intelligence. You hope they such as you, have plans to do ‘something’ with their life. Finding a guy with all these parameters, is it asking too much? I’m not sure. I’m not extensively experienced here.

But time after time I’m disappointed when a date becomes, “come over to my place,” usually at night but sometimes in the day. There is no dating involved. There is no understanding of, ” I’m not interested.” And certain men keep messaging or calling. 

I’m not adverse to sleeping with the right guy. I haven’t found a right guy lately. I don’t know if I’m such as Alice’s friend at tea I’m, ‘mad as a hatter’ to believe there are good guys out there who want to have fun out of bed and when a woman trusts them, in bed too. Laying that foundation of trust is vital.

 I don’t think this thought of mine is right accordingto God but I’m trying to find a happy middle. Maybe my happy middle won’t make me happy? 

I’m tired of guys who only want a night here and there. That was university, I’m going to be thirty-one in July. I’m not twenty-one and even twenty-one year old me would have smacked a guy who kept after her after she repeatedly told him to back off.

Guys don’t get it, they scar women. This is stuff I cannot believe I’m writing but eighteen-year-old me was extremely naive at the bar. Her friend ditched her for some guy. She was all alone and trying to get away from this guy who followed her around the bar. She didn’t have the confidence a girl three or so years older had at the bar, batting away and shooting down idiots before they became stalkers for the night. 

She was so stupid. It’s effected her sense of trust ever since. He didn’t stop for a long time; it only felt like eternity. The repeated “No” in his ears, he was deaf to it until she cried wet tears. There were different guys after that, few who she didn’t mind getting close to.

But always, I have this disgust for men who treat women as if a woman’s existence is for their pleasure, because she wants or needs sex too. Should she have to sleep with a man after she has deliberated and said, “no?” No she shouldn’t, it’s always a woman’s choice, it’s her body after all.

Guy’s scar with their repeated advances boardering on harassment. They scar bruising you badly where they should be gentle. You look to see how purple your bruises are. Not understanding how he didnt comprehend, “don’t be rough.” 

Enough. To much info. But this poem is prose; it is memories past and to come — some awful and some exciting. Building memories writing and living in a world that can be cruel at times. 

But I think if you’re building if you’re working towards a goal you can be proud you’re using your talents despite the cards life and your stupid self may have dealt you playing poker.

Cheesy analogy but ever since I learned to play poker — Texas Holdem — in the basement of my Pastor’s house with friends I’d grown up or met in church at that time, I always think back to poker seeing such a carry over for life. 

Each day, place your bets and see what the ‘river’ holds, and how the cards in your hand can be played. Ask for another card if you dare, trading one in . . . 

We’d drink beer and play poker. We’d watch NFL football and play video games. I never entirely got why some days my poker playing was terrific, while other days I could fold most hands and end up broke. We paid twenty dollars in a pot at the beginning of each game. At times my one brother and I would play with the other players until 3:00 am or 4:00 am in the morning.

I didn’t play much poker after those years ended. But I feel sometimes as if I’m placing my bet, and trying desperately to hold onto my poker face. Tomorrow, more building. It keeps me going.

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“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

A List of People, Living or Dead, I’d Like to Meet


Thank you to La Duchesse D’erat for her prompt for a list this week.

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1. My Grandpa Eifert – My Grandpa died on my fourteenth Birthday. He had been in hospital quite a few weeks and they were preparing to move him into a senior’s home for assisted living. He smoked a lot when he was younger and didn’t stop until his fifties. By then, it was almost too late. On the Eifert side of the family, there are ‘bad lungs’ so it’s especially stupid to smoke but when my Grandpa started most everyone smoked. 

He had emphysema from smoking and that early July 16th morning he died, the nurses said Grandpa’s heart had been working at a pace of someone running for twenty-years.

I miss Grandpa a lot. I talk to him sometimes. I don’t know if he hears me. But I wish we could play a game of chess or I could share with him a good book I’ve read. I would like to be with him for even an hour, and we wouldn’t have to say anything. Only, being with him again would be enough.

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2. John Donne – He is simply one of the greatest and best poets whoever lived. Maybe, that’s debatable but his poetry is so vivid, full of imagery, and he seems like he was a genuine person. I liked his poetry, how in his youth his poems are about his lady friends and he grows up and eventually becomes a Cleric in the Anglican Church. I would love to discuss his poetry with him and his thoughts on the time. He was a Renaissance man, and the relationship he has with his wife, is one I would like to have with a guy someday. Check-out some of his poems I love below:

– A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Love’s Alchemy

– Song: Go And Catch A Falling Star

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3. William Shakespeare – How could you not want to meet Shakespeare? The author of so many wonderful plays that even today we still have performed, laugh and cry over. We love his comedies, his tragedies, and even if we must his historical plays. One of my favourite activities to do in June and July is to go to Hawerlack Park with my friends and see Shakespeare’s plays performed. You can grab an ice cream or some of our famous Alley Kat local beer and watch the show from the amphitheatre outside. I would have so many questions about Shakespeare’s plays, why he did this and that. What was his most prized work? And yes, you can read Shakespeare, it only takes practice. Rearrange his lines as you read them, they often make more sense. Here are a couple of my favourite plays below: 

– Anthony and Cleopatra
– A Mid Summer Night’s Dream

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4. My Mom on her Wedding Day – Yes, Mom is fine. Nothing happened. But I have always wondered what she was like before she had kids. She sewed her own wedding dress, and she was so pretty in it. She was so young and skinny. I would have liked to know her then. To know what her dreams and aspirations were. I would like to know what made her choose to marry my Dad ( he’s a great guy, I’m just curious). I would like to know how she felt at thirty with three young children and how she did it. It would be educational I think and interesting.

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5. I would like to meet a whole bunch of actors, to know what they dream of, what they value, to understand why they work how they work, before they are huger stars then they already are. Or, if they are big stars, I’d like to hear their stories about their lives. I would like to meet Jennifer Lawrence, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Theo James, Orlando Bloom, Nina Dobrev, Kerry Washington, Patrick Dempsey, Kiera Knightley, George Clooney, Ian Somerhaulder, Hugh Jackmen, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Meryl Streep. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Looking Back on My Dad’s family.


I knew there was a prompt I forgot about this week! How could I forget the wonderful Jacqueline’s Echoes of My Neighbourhood? So, I haven’t taken any recent pictures lately but I have some more pictures looking back to the past.  

 
This wonderful warm women was my Great Grandma Kendal. She lived in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan, where my Grandma grew up. I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she died but she was in her early to mid-nineties. I have longevity in my genes. I remember visiting my Great-Grandma’s house a couple of times as a child and teenager. When I was 5-years-old and My Great Grandpa Kendal was still around, my Great Grandma Molly sang to me How Much is That Doggy in the Window and gave me some fabric and buttons to sew little pillows with, for my Barbie dolls. 

When I was about thirteen-years-old, we visited Great Grandma (her name was Molly) again. One time on the visit when everyone else was gone she told me to come and sit with her. She told me when my Grandpa Willard Eifert married my Grandma, my Grandpa had a bit of an attitude. He thought my Grandma’s farm family was a bit beneath his own family who were all highly-educated pastors and nurses. She told me it took time for my Grandpa to get over this. She also told me my Great Grandpa Phillip Kendal had a dream about heaven shortly before he died; in his dream God showed him heaven and it was beautiful in a way he could barely describe. The last thing she told me was not to cry for her when she died because she would be in heaven and happy. I didn’t cry for her, I knew better when she passed away.

  
This is my other Great Grandma on my Dad’s side, her name was Ida and she was an interesting woman. She liked to dress well, and would save up for one expensive suit, rather than buy a few cheap suites. She married my Great-Grandpa Carl Eifert who came from around Leipzig, Germany when he was a little child. Carl became a Lutheran Pastor and Ida gave birth to many children, sons who also became Lutheran Pastors and daughters who married Lutheran Pastors or became Nurses. My parents helped Great Grandma Eifert out a great deal when she still lived in her house in my home city. Later, her children moved Ida to White Rock, BC, closer to her daughters,and we visited Great Grandma Eifert there when I was a young girl. I have a memory baking cookies with her when I was three or four-years-old too.

Ida lived a long life, into her nineties as well. In fact, she passed away when I was almos fourteen-years-old, in July. When she died my family viewed her body at the funeral home. It was disconcerting to see that our hands looked exactly alike. So, I know who I inherited my hands from.

  

Two-weeks later, after Ida’s death, her son, my Grandpa Willard Eifert passed away exactly on my Birthday. It was a terrible birthday spent at the funeral home, helping Grandma pick out caskets (etc.) My Grandpa Eifert was young when he died, seventy-three-years old. I miss him so much to this day. I think his funeral was the first funeral I openly cried at. 

I was close to my Grandpa. I often slept over at his and Grandma’s house in the city. I spent time out at their parsonage near Wataskiwen when my Grandpa was still a Pastor, before he retired. My Grandpa smoked a lot until he quit in his fifties but the damage had been done. On the Eifert’s side, we have bad lungs and my Grandpa had emphysema which resulted in him having an oxygen tank eventually. When he died it was due to his smoking. His heart had been beating at a runner’s pace for twenty-years and it finally gave out. It still makes me sad because you never think the last time you see someone alive, is the last time you’ll see them. Last time I saw Grandpa he was in hospital and he said he wasn’t doing to well. We didn’t stay long.

What I remember with my Grandpa the most is all the time we spent playing chess and cribbage. I learned cribbage when I was seven-years-old and only beat my Grandpa three times at Chess ever. Twice he was tired so I don’t count those times. We played Yahtzee and Uno and deciphered cryptograms and crossword puzzles. In the mornings when I was over, I would wake up early and help Grandpa make breakfast. At the parsonage, there was tractor rides and VBS to go to at Grandpa’s Church in the summer. When Grandpa died my Godfather told me the greatest gift I could have received was my Gandpa going to heaven on my Birthday because he was no longer in pain and with his Lord.

My Grandma also pictured here, is a special lady. She is about eight-six and slowing down but doing well. I played games with her when I was younger. We also did all these fun crafts such as making our own Christmas ornaments. I helped her bake items such as Apple stroudal and homemade donuts. She was in her house until recently and is in a seniors place now. She is a kind person who loves to talk and be social. She was a great Pastor’s wife and is involved in Church to a great degree still. I need to visit her soon, she came back from a vacation seeing her sister with my Dad. Having an adult relationship with my Grandma is different from having a relationship as a kid. I wish my Grandpa hadn’t smoked so he could be here too, and I could have an adult relationship with both my Grandparents. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Monedy – ” Grandpa.”


A monody is a poem in which one person laments another’s death, as in Tennyson’s Break, Break, Break, or Wordsworth’s She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways. (Also see Dirge, Elegy, Epitaph)

Please see Shadow Poetry here.
 

http://www.thenota.deviantart.com
 
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Dear Grandpa, you’ve been gone so long,

I was a teenage girl when you sang your last song,

I didn’t know all the things I know today,

I’m scared to know the things you knew when you went out of play,

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Grandma cries every year on my Birthday,

She’s weaker now, but she still has her cheerful way,

Remember when we last played chess?

I don’t either, I suppose I could guess.

—–

I only beat you three times, once if I’m to be truthful,

Because the other two times you were having trouble getting a breathful.

It’s hard to remember your face, your eyes, the wrinkles on your hands,

But sometimes I want to cry because we had this connection and you and I, we understand,

——

Through reading books and playing games to challenge the mind,

That’s what you do when your not physically able to find,

Much way to be physically active how you want in life,

How I wish there was a life to live without strife. 

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But ages past, I’m thirty now. I’m all grown up,

While you drink up your heavenly cup,

Life is hard some days Grandpa –you knew,

I wish it was something neither of us had to go through.

—–

Someday I’ll see you again when you’re young,

You’ll appear how you did when you had great lungs.

You won’t smoke, you won’t need nicotine carcinogen drugs, you’ll be fine. 

And I will see you there as the steps I take lead me closer to my end of time. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 1 – I Write Because…


Prompt: Why do you write? This is a question you can answer again and again, as your response might evolve over time. You may have already addressed it in a previous blog post. Some bloggers also use this question, and variations of it, to shape their bios and About pages. Why am I here? Who am I? Why do I blog?
Sorry, I’m a bit late starting Writing 101, but here is Day 1.

Writing is as breathing. It happens without me being fully aware of it. An idea strikes across my mind, something is triggered. And I go onto my blog and I write. I often write a poem. I think for me that is my most free writing of all. But I like writing about picture or word prompts. I enjoy it when I am prompted by some experience I am having in life, or an idea I read about in the paper or on the Internet, or what I see on the news. I am prompted by other writers and their exquisite pieces or blogs. 

I love that in writing you are always learning. Learning to make connections to your audience, to reach out to them on a subject. I love what you perceive from their responses to your writing, and I love how with time one’s writing improves. I have learnt when to cut my writing to a couple hundred words or less in flash fiction. Often, this is difficult because you have to make every word you write mean what you want it to mean. I have learnt to “show” not “tell” my reader what is going on. I still struggle with that. I have learnt to be descriptive, to widen my vocabulary. And I just love to play with words as if they were puzzle pieces you are desperately trying to make fit into a puzzle. Words are also like chess pieces and only you know how to move your pieces to reach your final masterpiece and take the King. 

Writing is living, it’s a way to see a situation clearly. It’s a method of purging myself of sorrow or frustration. It reminds me of times past when I read over it again. It inspires me to try out things in life because with writing you need experiences to talk about it. Writing has allowed me to meet people all around the world. Writing is how I make it through the day and what keeps me up at night. Writing is truly breathing. If you want to know what’s in my heart, see what I wrote, it’s more apparent then my spoken words. I am the fire, and the written word fuels me. 


Writing 201 – anaphora/epistrophe/concrete poems – Concretely Arranged


There is no shape for a poem; I cannot tolerate poems that are concretely arranged.

In such way that they take the form of a rhino, a sports car, or the Eiffel Tower; I abhor poems that are concretely arranged.

The thing about words, they have no form, except to work upon a line, not to be changed; they should just be able float and be words that are utilized, not concretely arranged.

Maybe, I would think it alright if it were for a children’s book, or on some souvenir I guess; but I confess, I hate writing poems that are concretely arranged.

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I like to play with words, to search for their place in a line of poetry; to reverse the word order, and add similes, metaphors, anthromorophism, assonance, alliteration, and personification. 

I like to play with meter, to count the emphasized and unemphasized words with ticks and dashes; I like to make an Italian or an English sonnet, a ballad, a haiku, heroic couplets, blank verse, and every form I do not remember from English in University. 

I like to just play with words as if they were chess pieces and I am deciding their every move, but I’ve developed this hate of concrete poetry. It just never works for me.

I do not like, will never like my poems in any form that is the shape of Canada or the United States; no trees or alligators; no martini glasses or bottles of wine; no note cards or pictures of women. I’m not a girl who forms shapes with her poetry; the poetry should speak for itself — and thus not be concretely arranged.