Animals/Pets, Books, Current Events, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

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.


img_3996
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.

 

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.

Books, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Works Published

Interview With Ian Kelly


Goodmorning and welcome to my biweekly interview series. Today I have the honor of sharing with you the writing and blog of Ian Kelly. He’s a talented guy who has recently published a book of short stories. You can find Ian’s blog here: Ian Kelly Writing.


interview-ian
Credit: Ian Kelly

 

1. Hi Ian, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

Hi. My name is Iain Kelly and I’m from Glasgow in ScotlandI have lived here all my life and it’s where I write my blog from. My blog is called: Iain Kelly Writing.

Telling about yourself is always the most difficult question to answer, so I’ll keep it simple! I work as an editor of television programs for BBC Scotland. I’m married with two-year-old twins who take up most of my time. After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

I first started my blog six years ago and spent a year doing film and book reviews. I neglected it for a couple of years and then took a fiction writing course online. When I had finished that I had a few short pieces that I liked and decided to share them on my blog. From there I have kept writing new short stories and flash fiction.


“After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.” – Ian Kelly


3. What Does Writing Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

When I was much younger I wrote stories. I have always enjoyed coming up with characters, letting my imagination wander with them and see what stories resulted. I used to play football (soccer) and would write stories about fictional football teams and players. As often happens, life gets in the way of dreams. 

I went to university and studied English Literature, Film, and Television. My career took me down the path of television. Eventually, I’ve found the writing bug again. Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

I tend to write fiction based on real life, or perhaps a fictional future world rooted in reality. I don’t tend to write fantasy or science-fiction specifically. My inspiration comes from the world around us. It could be something happening in the news, events, politics, but also from looking at everyday people, the struggles and/or laughter they share with each other. My motivation may come from wanting to try and comment on events that are occuring. Writing is a way to turn frustration into something creative or to attempt to cope with a situation in life.


“Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.” – Ian Kelly


5. Is There a Time of Day You Prefer to Write?

My time available to write depends on my work schedule and my children. When the kids have gone to bed in the evening I try to fit some time writing in. Or if the twins go for a nap during the day sometimes I have a chance to write. The main thing is that I have to find the opportunities to write when I can!


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing/Blogging Projects? Any Hopeful Projects for the Future?

At the moment I am working on my first novel-length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.

After the first draft is finished I will re-write and edit. I’m aiming to have a finished novel by the end of the year and then decide what I want to do with it –- if it’s worth sending to a publishing company or self-publishing the novel.

Alongside that, I will continue writing short pieces for my blog. It helps to take a break from a long novel and focus the mind on something different every so often, before going back to the main project.


“At the moment I am working on my first novel length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.” – Ian Kelly


7. Can You Tell Us About Your Recently Published Book? 

At the start of this year, I self-published a collection of my short stories from my blog in a book called Collected Sketches. I decided to do this at the end of 2016. I realized I had a lot of stories, some with similar themes and dealing with similar issues, that I thought were quite good and worth collecting together as a compendium.

The other benefit of publishing theses stories was that it gave me a chance to try self-publishing out for myself which I hadn’t done or considered doing before. I’m pleased with how my book turned out. It’s available to a global audience through on Amazon: HERE, which is an amazing thing to happen to my writing. You can find out about Collected Sketches by Ian Kelly on my blog or through Kindle on  Amazon.com


interview-ian-collected-sketches
Credit: Amazon.com – ‘Collected Sketches’ by Ian Kelly

Buy it HERE

 


8. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process that You Went Through To Publish? 

I used Createspace online to self-publish. After looking around at a few online resources I went for this one mainly because it was free to do, and also it allowed me to do everything myself. Other sites offered help in editing and formatting and design, but at a cost.

If you’re confident to do these things yourself then Createspace is excellent. With the novel I am currently writing, I plan to try the traditional route of sending it to agents and publishers. But it is good to know that if all else fails I can self-publish and still have my novel out there into the world. Here is the link to Createspace HERE.


9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I think I’m still figuring my writing process out as I go through this novel. Most writers advise that the best thing to do is write the first draft as it comes to you. Whatever happens, keep writing! So I’m following that advice.

I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form, freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing. Doing flash fiction short stories is great practice for that.


“I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.” – Ian Kelly


10. Do You Have Certain Genres You Prefer to Write or To Read Books In?

I tend to stick to everyday drama or real world stories. But I also love to read and write spy stories, war fiction, and crime fiction. I might occasionally try other things too.

I spend a lot of time reading. Favorite authors would be John Le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy, Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Ian Fleming, and Terry Pratchett –- to name a few. I also like to try and go back and read the classics every so often such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and I love Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeer novels. I think that comes from my days as a student of English Literature. 


11. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like To Follow?

Just keep writing and getting your work out there into the world for people to read. Ninty-Nine Percent of people will be kind to you and give constructive criticism and feedback. If you love doing it, keep doing it. And read lots too.

 I follow loads of great fiction writers out there so rather than trying to pick from them I will pick three alternatives:

  • One for writing prompts is a relatively new flash fiction challenge called ‘What Pegman Saw’ which uses Google Maps as a prompt each week to give a location to inspire stories. It’s a great idea and means I learn a lot about various places around the world, as well as writing stories.
  • I don’t really do film reviews anymore, but one of the best blogs that I follow for all things film-related, including reviews is The Snooty Ushers at which one of my friends from University days contributes to. Great reviews and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  • Finally, Joanne Kelly Art and Design. I am biased but my wife Joanne has her own blog. She is a graphic designer and artist and has started creating works both by hand and on computer software. Some great stuff, so I hope people will check it out.

14. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog? 

Flash Fiction, I have always liked this one, to sum up being a writer:

 

“The Writer’s Spiral”

By Ian Kelly

***

interview-ian-joy-pixley
Credit: Joy Pixley

***

Mark met Bob from Accounting at the bottom of the stairs.

‘Another Monday morning,’ said Bob, as they began the trudge up to the office. Mark grunted in reply. Bob began every Monday with the same conversation.

‘Don’t you ever feel like we’re hamsters in a wheel, going round and round and getting nowhere?’ Bob continued. ‘There must be something more exciting in life than this.’

As Mark prepared to answer, the lights went out. Out of the window, they saw bright orange beams cut through the air. Aircraft buzzed around them, firing at one another. Buildings exploded as aircraft and missiles crashed into them. The sky darkened as a large spaceship loomed over the city. Mark ducked as a piece of debris crashed through the glass next to them. It caught Bob and sent him plummeting to the ground below.

***

The writer paused and read back what he had just typed. It all spiraled out of control too quickly. He sighed and pressed Ctrl+A and Delete. The cursor on the blank screen blinked at him. He started again.

***

Mark arrived at work at the same time as Bob from Accounting…


Here Are Some Of Ian’s Longer Pieces he wrote and favorited:


Thank you so much, Ian, for wanting to be interviewed I enjoyed your answers and you seem to have a solid idea of what you’re doing as a writer and how to achieve your set goals. Best of luck with the novel and future endeavours. 

If you would like to be interviewed please reach out to me on my contact page. I would love to tell your story as a writer or if you blog for a cause, I can also interview on that as well. See you in two weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Awards, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Quotes, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Blogger Recognition Award #awards #amwriting


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Thanks to Sascha Darlington for nominating me for this award. I think we both have only recently began following each other and I’m pretty obsessed with her short stories about Clare, Damien, and Dominic already. She writes them according to whatever the prompt is that day for each story. It’s a complicated love triangle for Clare. 

Check-out this recent piece here. I garuntee you’ll want to go back and read up on what happened before.  

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THE RULES FOR THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

For all the nominees for this award, here are the rules, if you choose to accept:
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1. Write a post to show your award.

2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

4.Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

5. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to them

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WHY I STARTED BLOGGING:

Well I’ve explained before, but not sure where. I was sick in 2008 to 2009. After a brief psychotic episode I had a depressive episode. I never had a psychosis again but the depressive episode meant I developed difficulties reading and writing (cognitive skills were impaired). I had to build both skills back up.

 I’m an English Major from back in 2007. I wrote well and wanted my talent back. I started the blog to improve my writing, editing, and reading skills and to write about my ongoing mental illness — depression with severe fatigue. 

I have worked so much on my writing, especially writing more creatively. I took writing courses online from WordPress and from certain extension programs at several universities. I have done years of Flashfiction and started writing poetry about a year or two after first blogging. Poetry is something I’ve wrote since I was small. I started learning and practicing different forms of poetry (sonnets, Tankas, Cinquins, Laurenells etc.) and doing not only free verse (which comes fluidly for me) but metered and rhymed poetry on my blog.

In January last year I began focusing even more on fiction and poetry so I could submit my work to different literary websites, magazines, and do guest blog posts; I continue doing this. I finished the first draft of a novel which took years to get past chapter four and now I haven’t had time to work on the second draft of late past chapter seven. 

I also occasionally blog nonfiction about movies, books, music, current events, beauty, fashion, or maybe a certain experience or memory. My blog has evolved a lot over almost five-years. My writing is much improved and I’m so grateful that as well as being able to write well, I read well too. I read books on writing, romance, adventure, fantasy, and the enjoyable books published by my Blogger friends along with reading many blogs whenever I’m able. 

Blogs are fluid things and they become whatever you’re focusing on at a certain time or place in your life. That’s my opinion 😉.
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MY ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS:

When you start blogging, pick a theme that looks professional (easy to read from and visually pleasing) and ensure you complete putting together your blog as much as you’re able including contact page, about you, and any social media links, so your content will be automatically shared to Twitter for instance. You can put links to other social networking sites on the sidebars of your blog such as a directly to your writer/blogger Facebook Page or Instagram page on your blog. 

My most hated thing to do on a blog is to have to search all over for a ‘Follow Me’ button. Put that at the top of your page and the bottom. You want people to follow you even on a whim so make it easy for them to do this. Also, when you’ve started posting, make sure we can see your other posts which are relatable or recent on the bottom of your blog or side – somewhere. If I like a blog, I want to read more. Also, pop-ups are annoying and unneccesary. 

As for writing, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and in your writing. Honesty and authenticity shows through and is attractive to readers who seek to relate. Edit well but remember you can always edit more after you post –happens to me all the time. 

Cutting your word count and doing Flashfiction is a great way to learn how to edit well and make each sentence count. Do prompts and challenges and write everyday, even if you don’t post on your blog. Keep your anonymity if you like, but I have found with blogging, through writing more personal pieces, you can help many people through their challenges in life with your own.

Make it a habit to follow and read other bloggers. WordPress is an awesome community and it helps everyone and their writing to comment on their pieces and in return make friends and gain followers. You can even reblog posts you love or Press them as a new post, share them via social networking, email, or print them out. Allow your readers to have these options as well, when they read your blog. 

Also, be kind in your comments. Concustructive criticism is helpful for many but it doesn’t always come across as positive. So be careful how and when you use it and with whom. 

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BLOGS I NOMINATE:

If you want it the Award is yours! 


Beauty, Books, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: What I Do When I Don’t Write #everydayinspiration


Today’s Writing 101 Prompt is:

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?


 

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I’ve let this prompt sit a few days. There is not to much I can tell you which isn’t on my About The Author page or on my Gravatar Profile on the side menu of my blog.

What I do the most when I’m not writing is read. I read other blogs, trying to stay up to date on other people’s writing and posts, making comments, and exploring new blogs.

I enjoy reading and looking at fashion magazines. Instyle is my favourite fashion magazine. Magazines are an interesting source of media as you can read it paper format and on your tablet, and receive varied information for each method of reading the magazine. I like how on the tablet you can go into all the websites of the various clothing, makeup, and accessories advertised or shown. I go on Pinterest and I pin interesting outfits I like. Often, the clothing is priced way out of my budget but finding similar pieces of clothing in my budget range is interesting to me.

I’m also into reading books when I’m in the mood. I read fast as I’ve said before so often, I’m waiting in-between book releases for the next book in the series to come out. Most of my library is now on IBooks but I do have some books on Kobo and Kindle. Every once in a while if it’s a classic book, I will read and buy the book in paperback.

Watching videos on YouTube on makeup and doing hair is also fascinating. I’m a girly girl and I like to stay on trend in makeup. I try different products out if I think I will use them.

Shortly, I plan to have a couple of makeup pieces out. One post on products I’m using having to do with eyes and another on products not associated with eye makeup. Additionally, I never knew how to put my hair up growing up so I figured a few years ago that it was time to learn. Now I know several styles and ways to put my hair up or half-up. I try to go for elegant in both hair and makeup. Not sure it always works.

I also watch a few of my favourite TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire, and off and on The Big Bang Theory and The Blacklist. Sometimes I watch hockey and football. In addition, I watch movies and various TV series on Netflix and I love going to see movies in the theater.

The most cost effective way to see a movie with a friend or relative is to buy a movie pass at Costco (or other places you might now of) for either Landmark Cinemas or Cineplex Odeon where I live, and then you can buy two movie passes, two medium/large popcorns, and two drinks for about $25.00/pass. You save yourself $25.00 at least when you go to see a movie using a pass.

Whenever I have energy and often even when I don’t, I do yoga. It stretches sore muscles out and it gives your body flexibility. I live right next to a couple of parks so I also enjoy walking in and around the park area a few times a week.

When I have money to do it, I enjoy shopping in-store and online. It depends on what I am looking for as to whether I buy it online or in-store. Often, online shopping is cheaper but it isn’t cheaper if you end up with items you don’t wear or don’t use.

Once or twice a week I see a friend and we do something such as have wine, coffee, see a movie, go for dinner, etc. At times I go out to a coffee shop to write in a different setting on my own.

 I do stuff with my Mom as well and we have lunch, visit my Baba, go shopping, or go to an event such as The Women’s Show, or a Craft Show at the Agricom. I went to Make It Edmonton a couple of times this year and liked it a great deal.

Most of the time, I spend a lot of hours writing. For as long as I can concentrate, I write.


©Mandibelle16. (20106) All Rights Reserved

Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Writing 101: NonFiction – Today’s Perfect Writing Spot #everdayinspiration


Today’s topic is the perfect writing spot.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk

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I vaguely remember writing on this topic before, or maybe I read other people’s posts on it but I will give it a try nonetheless. 

Many of you know I suffer from a depressive mood disorder which has caused me severe fatigue these past eight-years. I only mention it because I have experienced great improvement with my mental energy levels especially, and a bit with my physical energy levels this past year. Particular supplements have also aided my increase in energy levels.

But I always have bad days now and then. When I was worse I had more bad days than good days and now I would say I only have a bad day one or two days every couple of weeks. What makes a bad day a bad day varies but often means I’m too mentally and physically worn out to do much of anything; I wake up this way.

Today, I found until tonight, I could not concentrate well on writing or reading blogs or books. I would try going through my email to read through some of your posts and I didn’t have it in me to pay attention and give thought to what I was reading or what to comment. I also found myself glossing over pages in books where I regularly would be intent on what was happening to the characters.

I decided to catch up on some TV shows I’d missed the finales of and a show I miss because it’s on in the morning. I like Fashion Friday on a Canadian morning show called Cityline so I watched that as I often sleep through it. Additionally, I watched The Vampire Dairies’ grizzly season Finale and the season Finale for Grimm. I loved both finales and I’m eager for next season’s storylines for each show.

But today mostly consisted of me sitting and watching TV and even after awhile I went to my room and I laid down, needing to sleep a couple hours, feeling as if I needed the nap today. It’s odd, usually I don’t need to nap. I tried to put effort into healthy meals and I thought about walking, but I didn’t have a walk in me.

Most often, I’m up untill 11:00 pm or 12:00 pm but tonight I’m lying in my comfy bed in a sleep shirt, tucked into my cozy duvet and fresh sheets and it’s only 9:00 pm.

 I cleaned up my room on Friday and Saturday, completely organizing everything. It’s a nice feeling being in a clean room, no dust, no papers in piles, everything organized, even my clothes and shoes. 

At this moment, feeling drained as I have most of the day, I’m writing to you in my perfect writing place in bed on my iPad. I invested in a newer version after Christmas as the old model didn’t have enough GBs. This has 64 GB, enough for ebooks, a large iTunes music collection, and many applications. It also a thinner tablet which is lighter to hold.

The light the iPad gives off in my dim room is fantastic for writing and being comfortable lying down. So, even though this isn’t usually where I write, tonight in bed, is my favourite and ideal writing space.

Tomorrow it will change, but then, tomorrow’s another day and I will have energy to write more and read more again, to take a walk in the warm May weather, maybe even write on the patio. For now, everything is as it should be. 

Sorry, I don’t know how to explain a bad day better then I did; it is what it is. It is too difficult to explain unless you’ve experienced it or something similar. Most people are able to keep going in life despite hiccups such as feeling energy-less. But this is a fatigue which stops you in it’s tracks. Nothing can make your body draw on more energy; there is no energy to draw from. Which is why this is severe fatigue I experience and not only being sleepy or tired.

Thanks for reading. Back to fiction, poetry, likes, and commenting on your blogs tomorrow.

Daily Prompt, My Thoughts, Writing

One Piece of Advice for New Bloggers – Network


 Prompt: Give your one best piece of advice to new bloggers in the blogging world.

http://www.theblogmaven.com

Blogging, such as anything you are learning that is new, is a process. Each time you write, each comment made on your blog, and each comment you make on another person’s blog, will build your strength as a writer and blogger. My best piece of advice for a new blogger is about the same advice you receive upon entering a first job or a new job: network, network, network! 

Make the effort to respond and get to know the people who are commenting on your posts. If you are followed by a person and you look at their blog and like it’s contents too, follow the person back. Read random blogs on WordPress to start finding other blogs which interest you and receive your favourite blogs sent to your email. Comment on and like the blogs you follow. Maybe you don’t have time to do this for every blogger you receive a blog from, but do it at least every few posts a blogger you like makes.The more blogs you can read, like, or comment on, the more people you can meet through blogging. Check-out blogs, bloggers you know, mention in their post. Look for bloggers who have commented a lot on blog posts you already enjoy reading. Reblog blogs that really touch your heart and/or you find meaningful. Remember to give constructive feedback when commenting.

Participating in writing challenges such as Flash fiction, six word stories, poetry challenges and WordPress courses, is also a fun way to meet people. Flash fiction for example, is a fantastic way to see how various people create a different story from the same words/picture. It is also an excellent way to learn how to write a story only using necessary words. Every word and sentence has to count when you only have two-hundred words to tell a story in. 

WordPress courses in writing, photography, and blogging are excellent in helping you improve the readership of your blog but also to make your blog appear more professional, and improve your writing skills. All WordPress courses are linked to a place all students in the course can go and share and read their own and other people’s work. It is a great way to meet people through these courses. More experienced bloggers/writers often have many pearls of wisdom to share. Best of Luck! 

Beauty, Fashion, Health, My Thoughts

We Are Just Who We Are and Can’t Be Anyone Else


20140321-142213.jpgI wanted to write about a topic I’ve written on before but it seems to receive a welcome response every single time I write about it. The topic is being satisfied with our bodies and maybe even more than that, who we are as a person.

Recently, I avoided running into someone I knew who made the comment that I was 30 lbs heavier than the last time they saw me (university I think) and that even though I was still pretty I didn’t look very good. I thought this was a completely rude comment to make especially as you were walking right past me and come on, did you actually think I wouldn’t recognize you? And to be fair you weren’t so thin yourself mister, but that’s not what I’m here to do, make those types of comments, because making those comments would lower me to his level.

I could go onto explain to you (and him) how psychiatric medications put a great deal of weight

www.eastsidefriendsofseniors.com
http://www.eastsidefriendsofseniors.com

on a person either by increasing your appetite or I have found in my case, simply by taking these pills. I could say that I have Chronic Fatigue and that it’s extremely hard for me to put the energy into exercising I need to lose weight. I could tell you how carefully I eat at home and how I have tried programs such as herbal magic and tried all kinds of herbs to aid me in keeping my weight down. I could tell you that the most current thing I am trying is something called Plexus. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it for a full month even because I have had other health issues though. And I could tell you even though I try these diet supplements, medications work against me to hold the weight on my body and that for all the medications I’ve tried I’m actually doing well.

www.plussizemodelsunite.com
http://www.plussizemodelsunite.com

I could say all those things but the truth of the matter is it doesn’t matter why I put weight on, I simply did, and I put enough pressure comparing myself (when I go shopping with someone who is a small size) dealing with the fact that I’m a size 12 or 14 and a size L in the top while a friend is a size XS and fitting into size 26 jeans.

It’s not her fault she is small she was born this way, tiny; but I find that there is a certain distance between two people when one of you barely fits the sizes that are available because you are too small, while the other of you barely fits the sizes that are available because you are too big — you don’t quite get each other when you shop or shop the same way. But then I see other women who are taller and bigger than I and I wonder what size do they fit? Or is for them only fitting into clothing at stores such as Additionelle and/or Ricki’s, what they do, when the rest of us have the utmost variety on most items of clothing. This scares me, that I could become one of these people next time I try new medication.

What I am trying to say is that I think the fashion industry has to have some mercy on the average

www.returnofkings.com
http://www.returnofkings.com

sized women who is a size 12 to 16 and give her and those who are larger than her more variety to wear and show more models that are not 16 or 17-years-old and not fully developed. Some of us have just reasons for not being able to be a smaller size whether it was because we are women who had kids, have health problems, or were simply born bigger. Slowly, we are getting there, but too slowly I think, if a trip to the mall into all the stores that I like, makes me feel like I am large and don’t belong there. The same must go for extremely tiny women, where do they shop? How do they feel when the emphasis in fashion currently is to be a “curvy” 4,6, or 8. And do those who design stores do something to the mirrors at the mall because I swear I look fatter there, then in any of the mirrors I have at home?

www.nicholasfergusan.org
http://www.nicholasfergusan.org

My point is, as before, we should love our bodies and be happy with them, however, they are. And we should not be ashamed of them because other people can’t keep their opinions in to themselves or because we are comparing ourselves to someone who is smaller or bigger than us. Yet still, we are people who are conditioned to think a certain way and that is bigger = bad and thinner = good so I think we need to be reconditioned so that just like we don’t judge people on ethnicity in Canada we don’t judge people on the size of their bodies; rather, we leave it up to the person to love and manage their own body and we be supportive of them in all stages of their body, in all weights and sizes. We can’t be anyone else other than who we are at this moment! So don’t expect us to be someone else –let us be comfortable and unique — let us be whoever we are in whatever size we are.