100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Free Verse – “Sing me a Melody” #amwriting #100WordWednesday #poetry 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday’s on August 16, 2017. Poem for Oneta Hayes of the blog: Sweet Aroma

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Credit: Bikurgurl

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Sing me a melody, 

Write me a song.

Songs of celestial glory. 

Of love that’s deep sweet. 

Save me from the dark, 

Inner demons disguised. 

Write for me, 

Crystal clear notes,

Ones angels simply respire. 

Sing me a melody, 

Calm and serene. 

Of the cereulan blue sky, 

Of hope in eternal life, 

And time past misery. 

Sing notes cascading, 

Sung lentement with —

Unbending trust; 

That those in “[D]arkness

Have seen a Great Light.” 

Sing me a melody, 

Tear drops on cheeks. 

Of joy, deliverance —

Of liberty, and grace. 

Sing harmoniously, 

Or in a caphella. 

With light’s pure —

Luminescent brilliance —

Never snuffing out. 

Sing me a melody, 

As light as air that trills. 

Glimmering with sunbeams, 

Ringing with care for hope. 

Simg of vivacity, 

Surpassing the dark of night. 

Sing me a melody, 

Of healing that restores. 

Sing songs of bravery, 

Of endurance. 

Songs overcoming shadows, 

And landing in the dawn.

Sing me a melody, 

Bring me sweet relief. 

Among beauteous architecture, 

For all those times gone by. 

Sing me a melody;

Surrounded by the skills, 

Of artists and writers 

So profound there work, 

Sings me alive. 

Sing me a melody, 

For all I wish for is peace. 

In sleep to hear, 

Sonorous songs. 

Transcendent, complex, 

Yet, utterly simple as —

Those words that say, 

“Be still.” 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Day 11 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Writing Prompt: Poem – Bop – “Peripheral Madness” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge #poetry 


Today’s NaPoWrIMo prompt is to write a poetry form called the ” Bop, a kind of combination sonnet + song. . In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain.” For the A to Z Challenge the authors name will begin with letter J from GoodRead’s quotes. Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for last week’s writing prompt and picture. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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“I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that man’s supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain’s capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.”  ― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

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Sight I think is amazing for what could, 

We see without vision, eyes to perceive? 

The world around us is intricate, complex, 

So our eyes make sense of the colours, shade —

Tints, tones, complementary colours, those —

In the same family, yet inside were sightless

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

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It’s fascinating to think how each of —

Us sees the same thing differently; by —

Sight and experience — the image changes. 

All see such varied pictures notice where, 

The colours blur, wind; how they can deceive us. 

How red, green, purple, blue, orange and yellow, 

Mix together, painterly dragons fly. 

Optical illusions nearly missed disguised. 

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

——-

Blended carefully the animals come —

To life; birds, unicorns, oxen, and some, 

Mythical creatures, pale faces turned down. 

See not only within the painting see —

Inside your heart, for the truth sits there, 

Ignore the blindness, learn to fathom more. 

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: An Adventure Alone #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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Credit: Sascha Darlington

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Six-year-old James was excited. He was at a giant amusement park with a fascinating complex modular domes. He tried to rush past his parents but his Dad grasped James’ hand firmly. 

They entered the first dome and there was a huge race track inside. James squeeled while driving with his Dad in a go-kart. The next dome had a mini-golf course. Half-way through the course James decided he was bored and that it was time for his adventure alone; he crept off when his Dad was putting. 

He spent his day playing in a giant indoor playground and then went outside to where there were rides for kids to go on. He made friends with another boy named Paul whose parents thought James had permission to ride rides with them. 

After a while James felt sick because he hadn’t eaten. He returned to the mini-golf course to wait for his Dad. He sat there for hours but he never saw his parents. He thought they had decided they didn’t want him.

 Then he heard his Mom’s angry voice: “James William, where have you been?” He hugged his Mom and cried into his Dad’s shoulder when he picked James up. It appeared his adventure alone was more than James had bargained for. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


miichelle-interview-4
Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


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

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

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

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

The Complexities of Red #thoughts #amwriting #nonfiction


Credit: Giovanni Licea – YouTube

I considered the colour red. How I’m equally attracted and repelled by it. How I pass by a red v-neck sweater in the right shade, but mix my acrylic colours, blend them until my instincts say stop; stop sign red. No wait . . . a bright cool startling red appears on my canvas. I think this is passion and passion is the boldest red. I think of how I not only crave to paint in vivid red, but in many vivid colours and textures. How I trace the feeling of layered paints with my fingers, and hunger for other colours with my eyes – blue, green, and purple. Though I adore all these colours, my favourite paintings are all in red.
 As with my love for sexy heels, which I adore in red too. If red is passion, what more can I say about women and sensuality then red shoes. They’re expression and fierceness. Like Kelly Picklers song “Red High Heels” — “I’m about to show you just how missing me feels, in my red high heels . . .” Red for revenge, red for moving on, red for love. But I hate red for love, it’s memory is sickening. He looked good in that colour – almost the best. 

Credit: Sam Roloff – “The Big Red One”
Yet red is so many things more. It’s anger, hate, rage, hurt, demons dreaming — the beast inside who does not die. Red is sinful, delicious, and deadly. It’s sex and power; a primilness. It’s royalty and blood, red blood spilled for in the body it’s blue (hence bluebloods). I love how classic red is — nothing more classic then a cat eye and red Bridget Bardot lips. Nothing as classic as red Mustang. 

I don’t wear red, the colour outshines me and doesn’t fit with such pale skin and blond hair. Please no red dress – I’d rather blend in and be a classic black or navy dress cut perfectly. But I seek out bits of red and cling to them, not wanting red to blind me. Only some sparkle and razzle dazzle to hold in my hand. Red nail polish is beautiful, with a bit of bling  Red as some of the lights in Las Vegas and red fireworks; red stoplights. 

Red is perplexing because it’s complex, not simple at all. Red is nationalism and red is internationalism. It’s a proud Canadian colour and I don’t mind wearing it on our Nation’s Birthday. Or cheering on our Canadian hockey teams in the Olympics and junior hockey. 

As well, roses are so divine, so deadly pricking your finger. Red, passion and pain. Together swirled these colours of red, of love, and hate collide. There are many shades of grey, but even more shades of red. It’s more than a primary colour it calls as a siren, “Look see me.” No one hides in red. Red cars are often caught barely speeding and Red is a theme of many songs albums as in “Red” as T. swifts song and album and the Beatles album “Redone.” Red as “My love is like a red red rose.” Some choral song I cannot recall. 

Credit: Jeannette Mattson – “Red Rose” – Fine Art America

But I’m sitting here, music blaring trying to decide what to paint. I’ve that special shade of red and it’s mixing and melding with other colours. Shades and tones. I see, red on my canvas and it bleeds. Red blood, blood . . .life, the most prolific association. Red is blood. Blood is life. Red such as poppies, that we must always remember. Red for anger, red for hate, for war. Red to hurt, poor the droplets down a crystal glass. Red red wine. To drink away the blood and crippling thoughts. Red to forget. I like a Malbec with bite. A Zinfandel to make me chatty. A Merlot or Cav-Sav with some friends. Red sangria is delicious. Red strawberry margaritas because there’s real fire in tequila. Red is too many things, too symbolic, too self-contradictory. Red is life. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

November Notes: Day 8 – Poem – Musette – “No Worries” #amwriting #poetry #novembernotes


Today’s song prompt is the song “Perfect Strangers” by Jonas Blue.

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“Perfect Strangers” – Jonas Blue

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Credit: Zazzle

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We’re here,

Right now it’s safe,

No fear.

—–

No waste,

Spending our time, 

We’re great

—–

Does not —

Matter what is,

We’ve got —

—–

Us both,

Together and —

Don’t loath.

—- 

Spend time,

No hate, it’s good.

We’re fine

— 

You look,

I see, gaze back,

Let’s nook.

Lie next,

To me, cuddle.

Complex —

—-

What we,

Share; but simple,

We see —

—–

Life’s short, 

Live it breezy,

Support.

—–

We’re here,

It’s safe, no fear, 

Life’s clear. 

—–

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Maydays: Poem – Free Verse – Erin Hanson – “People Are Not Poetry” #Maydays



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Thank you to K.L Caley of new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is about loving your flaws. 

I’m going to cheat a little today. There is this poet, whose poems I often find on Pinterest. She is talented and writes wonderful poems about loving your flaws and being satisfied with who you are. I hope you enjoy this piece by E.H. or Erin Hanson. 

To follow Erin on Instagram go into the link. 

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http://www.littlewishingstar.wordpress.com

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http://www.pinterest.com

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

3 LineTales: Directions in Life


Thank you to Sonya for hosting 3 Line Tales. I took the quote route this round:

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Sonya
 
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1. ” Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex . . . it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction” – Albert Einstein

  • Going against ‘the heard mentality,’ is difficult. We learn from a young age to ‘conform’ to others, so we fit in and don’t get beat up. When we’re older I think our differences, the aspects of us that are special and unique, are vital to our success as adults. It is easy to maintain pace with the heard, to want to be like other people, forgetting your own talents and abilities. But as Einstein says, it takes courage and genius to take the direction, you’re meant to go in life, to go against what other people are doing or think you should be doing.

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2. “Sometimes the greatest act of love is to walk away, so that the other person can find their true self and direction again.” – http://www.feelmylove.org

  •  Sometimes you are with someone ‘romantically’ but you know in your heart you’re not meant to end up together, even though you are comfortable as a couple. Comfortable is not amazing, and you should want amazing for both your partner and yourself. I learned comfortable is not the best situation, even when the other person doesn’t see it. You have to be the one to leave and let them find their self and the direction they’re supposed to take in their life. You need to find that for yourself as well.

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3. “I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his (her) dreams, and endeavours to live the life he (she) has imagined, he (she) will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

  • We all have dreams and things we want to accomplish in life. Sometimes it is a challenge to see those endeavours through because while you try to complete your goals, life happens. I think Thoreau has a point that we need to with confidence approach our dreams. Hopefully, what we’re meant to do in life includes our dreams or what we end up doing becomes our dreams. It is my hope we have success in life, that we can experience it in the the hours we are granted.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

February: Please Be Good to Me!


February Please be good.
http://www.quoteswallpapers.net
 I’ve been feeling pretty great lately. I never feel I’m one-hundred percent, but I am feeling better than I have in a couple of years. The medication change for me I went into hospital in July 2015 to complete, was effective. Although, it is difficult for me to wake-up earlier then 10:30 am on my best days, I am able to do activities around home until midnight. 

Sometimes, I do still have a particularly, tiring day, and I need to sleep most of the day. But I feel I am at my best in the night and can achieve many of my daily goals. This drug I am on, clozapine, is supposed to heal your brain and help you improve each month you are on the drug. I hope it continues to help my health improve. There are many activities in life I would like to have the energy to accomplish. But I am sleeping well, and when you have insomnia sleeping well is always a plus.

Before Christmas, I did not feel I could go out at night. I didn’t have the energy for it and making the effort to get ready at night was extremely hard. But I have found since I am doing better at nights, I have been able to do more activities with friends. I attended my my friend K’s surprise 30th Birthday a couple of weeks ago ( I think I mentioned that in a poem) and I was at the hostesse’s house from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am and I felt fine. I expected to regret it the next morning but I felt alright. I was a tad tired but nothing a nap couldn’t fix. The party was a fun time with lots of wine and interesting conversation. It is crazy to see friends from university ( and friend’s of friends) as adults, with husbands, and children of their own.

I have also been feeling much better in the day time. When I wake- up, it takes me awhile to feel myself, but after an hour at most, I feel normal. I am able to write, research, scrapbook, do chores, go for a walk, or go out for an appointment or a date — whatever I need to be doing that day. I still time my outings so they occur every two-days and it helps me not become worn out. But I am also finding that my motivation has increased as well as my ability to mentally concentrate. I can concentrate for I’d say five hours or so writing, reading, and/or working on a project for school.

I am also interested in doing things I haven’t done in awhile. Over Christmas I started scrapbooking photos again. I do them the old fashioned way, by hand. But I enjoy it and I have fantastic scrapbooks full of memories. I have this tradition where I make mini – scrapbook albums for my friends who have recently gotten married. Unfortunately, I wasn’t motivated to scrapbook in two-years so I am behind. I have more pictures of my own to scrapbook but  I have completed two wedding albums for my friends T and J.

I am also working on the PopSugar Booklist, sort of . . .I find I do not have enough time or energy left in the day to read, especially when I am inspired to write a great deal. I am still half-way through reading ‘a book with a blue cover’ and I don’t know that I will finish the book I chose. I started another book I enjoy reading. It is the final book in a Romance/Action set of five books. The story moves along quickly and I feel more into this book. The other one is a little blah. So we’ll see how the list goes but I’m kind of thinking I will read what I like and I have a new book with a blue cover. I have always been a person who hated to have specific books assigned to read, if the books were not about a topic I was interested in. I am always surprised when a book I am assigned to read is fantastic these days. I read to escape and have fun so it is better to read what I feel like in the spur of the moment. I pre-order a few of my favourite writers on iBooks but mostly I read a book I feel like reading at the time.

Hard Love Book
Hard Love #5 OF Hackers Series http://www.amazon.com
Writing is time consuming. Especially now that my novel is planned out. I am half-way through writing the book. Thanks to those of you who have been giving helpful and encouraging comments. The book is at a point where I have to start building towards the defeat of the antagonist and provide resolution for my protagonist Nina. I’m excited to do write more but each chapter is a lot of work. Even after I post a chapter, I see so many corrections which need to be made. I leave it for a few days and sometimes I still miss obvious mistakes and areas of the chapter which don’t sound quite right.I know after I’ve done corrections (sometime in the near future)I’m going to be going back and taking out parts that are unnecessary and adding in parts that are needed. I will be combining chapters, moving parts around, and breaking chapters a part.

Writing a novel is a long process I am learning, one which I have only begun. But my goal as I have said in some of my comments, is completing a first-draft. After the first-draft is complete I can start to look at helpful and constructive comments more closely and complete a better second and/or third draft.  I want to have my novel edited professionally eventually. 

If you know of any talented editors or you are one, please send me a note. I’m looking for someone who has experience but who is not too pricey. Might be impossible! But I am looking for the kind of editor who will look over the book as a whole. I can’t remember the title used for this kind of editor, the name escapes me. I will need this editor to be someone who will honestly tell me what works in my novel and what needs rewriting. After,  I will look at obtaining the services of a copyeditor. But I amthinking too far ahead. Those steps are a long way off. For now, I’m aiming for a complete first-draft.

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I had the pleasure, of having brunch at one of my bestfriend’s condo yesterday. I haven’t seen her in months so it was exciting to see her and her new fiance and hear all about their wedding plans and their other plans for their future together. The fiance cooked a wonderful breakfast. I was sorry I had to make them wait in the morning. My cab took off  when I told him to wait one minute for me to put my boots and coat on. He was already fifteen minutes late, so I guess hanging around was too much for him. Luckily, Co-op cab is awesome most of the time and the driver who came at 11:30 am was excellent. I am grateful I got to visit with S and her fiance A for awhile. And I am looking forward to their wedding at a warm destination in 2017. I will be saving my money in hopes I will have the health and wealth to be there.

S gave me a wonderful belated Birthday and Christmas gift. It was so thoughtful. I received loot from David’s Tea, including some lip balm which I needed because my lips are dry. The lip balm is like this lip balm (in the picture below) only a different flavour. It is infused with Tea for flavouring and is hydrating for your lips. S also got me some chocolate flavoured Tea from David’s which I was introduced to yesterday at her house. It’s yummy! I also received a wonderful tin of strawberry flavoured tea bags to make real iced tea in the summer so I am anxious to try that tea when the weather is warm.

David's Tea Lip Balm
David’s Tea: Tea Infused Lip Balm http://www.davidstea.com
S also bought me this awesome face mask from Sephora which was very moisturizing. It was called the Sephora Rose Sleeping Mask. I woke this morning with the most wonderfully hydrated skin. I thought there was a lot of mask in one package at first but I layered it on and it all sunk into my skin by morning. I recommend trying one of Sephora’s sleeping masks. The rose mask, if nothing else, is perfect for dry winter skin.

Sephora Rose Mask
Sephora Rose Mask http://www.sephora.ca
One of my favourite actors is an Irish actor named Jamie Dornan. S managed to find me an adult coloring book of Jamie Dornan. I thought it must have been a completely random find, but I love it and will attempt to colour in it and make Jamie look artistic. It is the perfect activity to do when I am feeling like not doing anything too stressful, just relaxing.

In case your interest is peaked, here is some basic information on Jamie Dornan. If you are wondering where you’ve heard of him, he used to be a famous Calvin Klein model and dated Keira Knightley early in her career. He was Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and will be in both sequels. He is also in a mini series in it’s third season with Gillian Anderson from the X-Files, called The Fall. Season 1 and Season 2 can be found on Netflix. I have also seen Jamie in a few other random movies; he is a talented actor and I think his career is only beginning. And I did like him as an actor before Fifty Shades, so we’re clear. I think he is incredibly hot as well, even when he wears a beard which he often does. But he is happily married to an actress named Amelia who is pregnant with their second child. Nevertheless  I believe I’m allowed a movie star crush.

Additionally, when I was on YouTube today watching the Pixiewoo’s in some of their latest makeup tutorials, I found a great Youtube video on how to do a polished chignon. It seems a bit complicated but it’s not. The video is easy to follow and the style is perfect for medium to long hair. I think you would have to do this Chignon on first day hair as the look you are trying to achieve is not messy but neat.

Chignon YouTube Video (You have to go into my blog on WordPress to see the video.)

 

I also was excited to replace my trusty original Ipad Mini. I saved up from Christmas and received a hundred dollars for my old one, and replaced the original mini with the Ipad Mini 4. This Ipad 4 Mini is faster, plus it has 64 GB of memory compared to my old one which only had 16 GB. It is great to write blog posts on and to slip into my purse if I’m going to a coffee shop because of it’s size. It holds my entire music collection and book collection with plenty of space left. I did not opt for the Ipad with a possibility for a SIM card as I can find excellent WIFI for my Ipad 4, most places. Glad to be able to use an Ipad again. My only complaint would be is Apple hasn’t managed to increase the battery life in four models.

One last topic to cover: I have been doing Weight Watchers online for about a month. I find it hard to stay inside the number of points you have available to eat, despite the fact fruit and veggies are worth no points. To bad they are so expensive right now! But I have lost about four pounds, that is what I put on at Christmas. I am continuing on with Weight Watchers trying to lose twenty-one more pounds. I’m not sure it’s possible. I am also looking into diet, energy, and weight supplements a friend is trying from a company called XYNGULAR. I did a lot of research on Xyngular’s products today. I am undecided on whether the products will truly work or not. I have read mixed reviews. I am going to an event with more information this Saturday.

The products are quite expensive so I would only want to do the products I want, not a package of products. Also, I think I have to be careful being on medications. A pharmacist did say the list of ingredients was okay for me but I have taken supplements before which  didn’t work because of their interference with medications and because they didn’t work. I might try a few products at the end of February. It is money back garuenteed for thirty -days, but that always comes with it’s problems. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!