Animals/Pets, Fiction, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

‘Rewind Interview’ with Writer, Blogger, & Poet Ryan Stone #amwriting #interview #nonfiction #poetry


Welcome to another ‘Rewind Interview =” in my now weekly interview series. Ryan is a talented Australian poet, extremely amazing, so I’m excited to reshare his interview with you both on my own blog and now on the Go Dog Go Cafe. The Cafe is a writer’s hangout and you can even submit your work there for publication. Here is the link to do that here: Go Dog Go Cage Contact Page.

Originally, I was doing this as a bi-weekly feature, only on my own blog. So in order to do this as a weekly feature on both my blog and on the Cafe, I’m going to be sharing some ‘Rewind interviews” as I think these writers are equally due recognition on both sites. Just to mention, since this is a ‘Rewind Interview’ some of the info might not be current.

Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer, poet, and blogger Ryan Stone of ‘Days of Stone’. Please visit the link provided to read more about Ryan and read his superb poetry.


Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

The blood of the Irish runs deep in my veins but I’m an Australian born and bred. I was raised in a ‘man’s land’ of karate, fast motorbikesheavy metal guitars, and football with Aussie rules.

My love of reading and writing was not readily accepted. Instead, I was forced to indulge my interests under my bed covers by torchlight. But the poets Seamus Heaney, Kenneth SlessorWalt Whitman, and Maya Angelou  — all have a way of asserting themselves in my writing.

Although I have no real love of uniforms, I’ve worn a few in my life so far: the combat fatigues of a soldier in the field and driving a battle tank; the torn black denim of a metal guitarist; and the turnout gear of a firefighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plainclothes special duties team. When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains.

I have no formal credentials, only an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges, but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time. I love MetallicaTed Kooser, and with equal passion, my closest friend in the world, my German Shepherd (don’t tell my wife).


 “When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains . . . the right turn of a phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.” – Ryan Stone 


 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

The first time I considered my writing to be writing, was towards the end of high school. I was blessed with an incredibly passionate English teacher who managed to channel a teenage boy’s angst and anger into something less destructive. When one of my poems earned me a kiss from a pretty girl I had a crush on, I knew writing was something I’d stick with.

I’ve never been much of a social media fan. But I reached a point where I became sick of waiting several months for editors to respond to my poetry submissions; I turned instead to WordPress. Along with all the great writing and posts, I’m able to read from other writers.

However, I’ve developed a wonderful, supportive group of friends, and readers, who offer feedback and advice in a much shorter time frame than editors. While I still submit to poetry journals, my year of blogging has given me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.


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

To borrow from my favorite quote by Anton Chekhov: Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.

I love the way a poem can capture more than a photograph, can carry an image or emotion over time and space, and let me experience someone else’s worldview for a moment. I also like the way reading one of my own poems years after it was written can transport me back to a previous ‘headspace,’ for a moment.


” . . .Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.” – Ryan Stone (borrowing from Anton Chekhov)


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

Nearly all of my poetry begins while I’m running with my dog through the rain forest beside my house. Usually, a thought, a memory, or an observation takes root and nags at me until I jot it down. Sometimes, an unusual word or phrase will catch me the same way.

My dog has developed his very own here we go again’ face which he pulls each time I pause during a run so I can tap out a note or two on my phone.


 5. Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like To Write?

Predominantly, I write at night, when my boys are asleep, and the house is quiet. I am frequently awake into the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes. During these hours, I can most effectively explore and develop the notes I jot down during the day.


Writing Night Ryan Stone
Credit: Andrew Neel via UnSplash 

” I am frequently awake in the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes.” – Ryan  Stone


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have two fantasy novels I’m working on at present. One is about a princess who becomes a pirate queen after her parents are murdered, the other is about an orphan boy who becomes a magician and later, a king.

Both novels began as short stories which expanded and grew during a couple of National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo).  As well, both novels are over hundred-thousand words and in need of serious revision. As with everything, time is a killer.

Poetry wise, I’m writing a chapbook with one of my closest internet mates (Ajay) who lives in India. It is loosely based on flowers and cultural differences. I’m currently editing a collection of my Senryu (5-7-5) poems, with the intention of self-publishing a small e-book of one-hundred Senryu poems, in the next few months, unless a publisher comes along sooner.


 7. Have You Published Any Writing or Are You Planning To Publish Works Of Writing In The Future?

I’m fortunate enough to have had many poems published in a number of online journalsprint anthologies, and poetry magazines. I never thought anyone other than my mum would enjoy my writing and rarely submitted my writing anywhere until recently.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet,” which I thought had a chance of being published, so I submitted it to a couple of places and was rejected each time. On a whim, I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine (a magazine in the UK to which I subscribe).

I was blown away when my poem won first prize and £100 (quite a lot of money with the Australian exchange rate being what it is). That first win gave my confidence a much-needed boost and I’ve been submitting ever since.


“I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet” . . .I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine . . .and was blown away when it won first prize and £100.” – Ryan Stone


8. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Went Through To Publish or Are Going Through To Have Your Writing Published?

All my publishing to date has been by submission, so I’ll talk about publishing by submission. Whether it’s a print journal, online review, magazine, blog, or something else, the rules are always the same:

  • Read the publication first, to gain an idea of what style of writing they publish. While it doesn’t hurt to offer something fresh, I usually have a fair idea of an editor’s likes and dislikes before I submit.
  •  Read and re-read the submission guidelines before you hit sendAn improperly worded subject line can be enough for an editor to discount the submission without even reading the poem. Some publications request everything in the body of an email, others prefer attachments. Decent editors are inundated with submissions which meet their specific requirements and most, won’t waste their time with substandard submissions.
  • Take rejections gracefully. Analyze any critiques subjectively and apply critiques if you think they are warranted. BUT DON’T GIVE UP – submit, submit, submit. There are a million homes for poems out there and because a poem isn’t right for one editor or magazine certainly doesn’t mean it won’t be a prize winner for another editor or magazine. While I’m realistic about my own writing, I generally look at rejections as a case of a bad fitnot a bad poem.

 


 

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

Almost exclusively, my writing begins as a note or two on my iPhone (often while I’m running) and later develops on my iPad. My writing environment is incredibly vital to me and the Mac/iPad writing program — Ulysses — puts me in an excellent creative ‘headspace.’ I tend to write the first draft quickly once idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over…

I am incredibly fortunate to have found a brilliant first reader. She’s an amazingly talented poet in her own right as well as possessing editing skills second to none. For some reason, I’ve yet to understand, she seems to enjoy my writing and conversation and has nurtured and developed my poetry to no end. My first reader’s input is a huge part of my process in developing a poem from initial idea to finished piece.


“I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over . . .” – Ryan Stone


10. Do You Prefer Certain areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?

When I’m reading a novel, it is usually fantasy and almost always a seriesStephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favorite, as are Game of ThronesMagicianThe BelgariadLord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.

I also play a great deal of electric guitar which draws me to music biographies as well, anything rock or metal is fair game. Additionally, I love short story collections: Italo Calvino takes first prize there, and I read as much modern poetry as I can get my hands on.

Originally, my love of poetry was nurtured by Maya AngelouKenneth SlessorJim Morrison (The Doors), and Jewel Kilcher. When I first discovered Ted Kooser a few years ago, my own poetry made a huge leap.

Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, was full of ‘Aha!’ moments for me. Most recently, I’ve lost myself in the brilliant Buddy Wakefield and Richard Hugo’s: The Triggering Town.


 11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
 

I’m not really big on dishing out advice, as everyone writes uniquely. What works for one person, won’t always help another person; but I can certainly share what works for me.

  • The important thing is to write, write, write and keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good. I have loads of writing which will probably never see the light of day; however, once the first jumble is out of my head, the writing that follows is much better.
  •  I don’t edit my first draft as I write. I write it all down and worry about cleaning it up later. If I’m only editing a word or two, then I’ll delete and replace. If I’m editing a whole line or large section, I cut and paste in a new version – v1, v2, v3, (etc .) and keep each version in the same document. I find it’s much easier to revise without the fear of losing words or ideas I may want to later reinstate.
  •  Once I’m happy with a version of my work, I put it aside for a few days and return to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’ I find it much easier to spot weak pointssticky spotsdoubled up words, bad rhythm, (etc.) when I’m reading it fresh.
  • The poem is more important than the truth. When I’m writing a poem based on an actual event, I find it easy to place value on a thing because its memory is significant to me. Often, I don’t want to let the thing go from the poem. This can become a weak point as the particular thing doesn’t make the poem better and doesn’t hold the same value for the reader. Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.

“Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.” – Ryan Stone


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like The Share With Us Which You Think Is Pertinent To Writing or Yourself?

An honest first reader who will tell me what works and what sucks without worrying about my feelings is worth her weight in gold.


 13. Can You Please Share With Us Few Links Of Your Favourite or Most Loved Pieces?  
*****
“Unburied Hatchet”
by
Ryan Stone
*****
Axe
Credit Markus Spiske via UnSplash
*****

Until I saw those wasted hands,

brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought

how fast the years make ghosts.

*****

I heard them once called brawler’s paws.

For me, they were always more:

cobras, poised to strike.

*****

But his brawling days are gone now;

I could kill him with a pillow,

if I cared enough to try.

*****

Thin sheets press tightly to a bed

more empty than full, his body broken

like the promises of childhood.

*****

Haunted eyes betray last thoughts

of a dim path, spiraling down.

He hopes to make amends.

*****

“Forgiven?” he croaks,

barely there, as always,

and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.

*****

With the last rays of day as witness,

I turn my back with purpose

and hear the silence roar.

*****

In a late-night bar, I catch my reflection

swimming in a glass of bourbon;

but I’m staring at a ghost.

*****

First published in Writers’ Forum Magazine issue 163, April 2015 – first place

 


Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Ryan Stone for doing an interview for me. I appreciate his time answering the interview questions a great deal. I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing on my blog. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Awakening the Dragon #flashfiction #amwriting #dragon


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——

Credit: A Mixed Bag

——

Sophia hid in her closet, it was her only safe place. Hanging on a ceiling was a mobile with a handcrafted dragon. She remembered thinking the dragon was frightening, but whenever the darkness in her room swallowed her, the dragon’s eyes flashed; the shadows were obliterated. 

She also remembered when her mom first hit her. She scrubbed Sophia’s cut and it was excruciating as was the burning stringent liquid her mom poured on it.

 Suddenly, Sophia heard yelling and stomping. The closest door flew open — her mother was drunk again. 
Instantly, the dragon’s eyes above her caught fire. He grew into a monster with golden scales and the scent of fire and ash, spreading and filling Sophia’s entire bedroom. He blew a blaze of fire at her mom but only the bottle of Kirkland Tequila (1.75 Litres/$20.00) in her mom’s hand disintegrated. 

In words veiled in smoke the dragon hissed at Sophia’s mom who nodded; she understood the dragon’s warning. He breathed out his last plume of smoke and except for the acrid smell, it was if Sophie’s dragon had never awoken. 

She crawled out of her hiding place and petted the handcrafted dragon hearing him purr.

——- 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Poetry, Quatrain -- abab abba ccdc dddd., Relationship, Writing

Poem: Quatrains: “What Never Heals”


broken-heart
http://www.pinterest.com

“I know that’s what people say– you’ll get over it. I’d say it, too. But I know it’s not true. Oh, you’ll be happy again, never fear. But you won’t forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him.” 

― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

******

One day you promised me the pain,

Would eventually heal, I’d be —

Free from photographs and the shame.

While I am here, tears streaming.


Out of my mind, of my head,

Did you burn memories seething?

They never left my soul, they’re undead,

While I’m here, tears streaming.


You and her, it’s the cut deepest,

Never heals, it bleeds; you beaming

A baby’s breath; life makes me weak.

While I’m here, tears streaming.


At times, I’m over you completely,

Then, an image leaves me grieving.

Heart of the girl, a heart too sweet.

While I’m here, tears streaming.


Conversation wouldn’t aid, I —

Learn to sew up all broken seams.

Especially in sleep, where I cry,

While I’m here, tears streaming.


A few hours, a few days and —

I’ll be fine again —breathing.

Didn’t have much, nothing so grand.

While I’m here, tears streaming.


Let go, let me free, unburden me,

Stop snipping my wings, inhaling

The past’s ashes, it chokes me,

I was here, tears dried; now I’m free.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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

Sunday Photo Fiction: Nickel Dust #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

——-

Credit: A Mixed Bag

——

Tess held the torch in her dexterous hands, melting white-gold until it was workable. She shaped it until she formed a cuff for a woman’s wrist. Before the gold cooled, Tess placed in the center of the bracelet a pink diamond. Circling the pink diamond were tiny white diamonds. 

 Her buyer named Adrianne, had been specific about the quality and karat of raw materials used. She had been malicious to Tess as well, bruising her arm with a forceful grasp and spitting in Tessa’s face saying: 

“This bracelet must be your most perfect design yet or else. I’m not paying you so much money for nothing.” 

Fortunately, Tess knew Adrianne had a horrible allergy to nickel. Tess had procured the finest dust of nickel. When she packed up Adrienne’s bracelet she threw in silver and black glitter in the cuff’s box for decoration; the nickel dust hid well in the glitter. 

“You’ve out done yourself,” Adrianne admitted giving Tess a surprised glance. She paid Tess for the remainder of the bracelet and walked out the shop door scowling at Tess on the way out. 

She noticed Adrianne scratching her wrist and arm where she’d tried on the bracelet; Tess smiled. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interviews, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Interview with Ryan Stone


Welcome to another interview in my interview series. Originally, I was going to make this a monthly feature, but I had a great response from other bloggers and writers who wish to be interviewed, so I will try it as a series which occurs every two-weeks.
Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer and blogger Ryan Stone of ‘Days of Stone’. Please visit the link provided to read more about Ryan and read his superb poetry.

Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself.
The blood of the Irish runs deep in my veins but I’m an Australian born and bred. I was raised in a ‘man’s land’ of karate, fast motorbikes, heavy metal guitars, and football with Aussie rules. My love of reading and writing was not readily accepted. Instead, I was forced to indulge my interests under my bed covers by torchlight. But the poets Seamus Heaney, Kenneth Slessor, Walt Whitman, and Maya Angelou  — all have a way of asserting themselves in my writing.
Although I have no real love of uniforms, I’ve worn a few in my life so far: the combat fatigues of a soldier in the field and driving a battle tank; the torn black denim of a metal guitarist; and the turnout gear of a fire-fighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plain-clothes special duties team. When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains.
I have no formal credentials, only an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges, but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time. I love MetallicaTed Kooser, and with equal passion, my closest friend in the world, my German Shepherd (don’t tell my wife).

 “When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains . . . the right turn of a phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.” – Ryan Stone 

 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
The first time I considered my writing to be writing, was towards the end of high school. I was blessed with an incredibly passionate English teacher who managed to channel a teenage boy’s angst and anger into something less destructive. When one of my poems earned me a kiss from a pretty girl I had a crush on, I knew writing was something I’d stick with.
I’ve never been much of a social media fan. But I reached a point where I became sick of waiting several months for editors to respond to my poetry submissions; I turned instead to WordPress. Along with all the great writing and posts I’m able to read from other writers, I’ve developed a wonderful, supportive group of friends, and readers, who offer feedback and advice in a much shorter time frame than editors. While I still submit to poetry journals, my year of blogging has given me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.

 3. What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
To borrow from my favourite quote by Anton Chekhov: Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.
 
I love the way a poem can capture more than a photograph, can carry an image or emotion over time and space, and let me experience someone else’s worldview for a moment. I also like the way reading one of my own poems years after it was written can transport me back to a previous ‘headspace,’ for a moment.

” . . .Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.” – Ryan Stone (borrowing from Anton Chekhov)

4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?
Nearly all of my poetry begins while I’m running with my dog through the rain forest beside my house. Usually, a thought, a memory, or an observation takes root and nags at me until I jot it down. Sometimes, an unusual word or phrase will catch me the same way. My dog has developed his very own here we go again’ face which he pulls each time I pause during a run, so I can tap out a note or two on my phone.

 5. Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like To Write?
Predominantly, I write at night, when my boys are asleep, and the house is quiet. I am frequently awake into the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes. During these hours, I can most effectively explore and develop the notes I jot down during the day.

” I am frequently awake in the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes.” – Ryan  Stone

6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 
I have two fantasy novels I’m working on at present. One is about a princess who becomes a pirate queen after her parents are murdered, the other is about an orphan boy who becomes a magician and later, a king. Both novels began as short stories which expanded and grew during a couple of National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo). Both novels are over a hundred-thousand words and in need of serious revision. As with everything, time is a killer.
Poetry wise, I’m writing a chapbook with one of my closest internet mates (Ajay) who lives in India. It is loosely based around flowers and cultural differences. I’m currently editing a collection of my Senryu (5-7-5) poems, with the intention of self-publishing a small e-book of one-hundred Senryu poems, in the next few months…unless a publisher comes along sooner.

 7. Have You Published Any Writing or Are You Planning To Publish Works Of Writing In The Future?
I’m fortunate enough to have had many poems published in a number of online journals, print anthologies, and poetry magazines. I never thought anyone other than my mum would enjoy my writing and rarely submitted my writing anywhere until recently.
A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet,” which I thought had a chance of being published, so I submitted it to a couple of places…and was rejected each time. On a whim, I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine (a magazine in the UK to which I subscribe), and was blown away when it won first prize and £100 (quite a lot of money with the Australian exchange rate being what it is). That first win, gave my confidence a much-needed boost and I’ve been submitting ever since.

” I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet” . . .I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine . . .and was blown away when it won first prize and £100.” – Ryan Stone

8. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Went Through To Publish or Are Going Through To Have Your Writing Published?
 
All my publishing to date has been by submission, so I’ll talk about publishing by submission. Whether it’s a print journal, online review, magazine, blog, or something else, the rules are always the same.
  • Read the publication first, to gain an idea of what style of writing they publish. While it doesn’t hurt to offer something fresh, I usually have a fair idea of an editor’s likes and dislikes before I submit.

 

  •  Read and re-read the submission guidelines before you hit sendAn improperly worded subject line can be enough for an editor to discount the submission without even reading the poem. Some publications request everything in the body of an email, others prefer attachments. Decent editors are inundated with submissions which meet their specific requirements and most, won’t waste their time with sub-standard submissions.

 

  • Take rejections gracefully. Analyze any critiques subjectively and apply critiques if you think they are warranted. BUT DON’T GIVE UP – submit, submit, submit. There are a million homes for poems out there and because a poem isn’t right for one editor or magazine certainly doesn’t mean it won’t be a prize winner for another editor or magazine. While I’m realistic about my own writing, I generally look at rejections as a case of a bad fit, not a bad poem.

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
Almost exclusively, my writing begins as a note or two on my iPhone (often while I’m running) and later develops on my iPad. My writing environment is incredibly vital to me and the Mac/iPad writing program — Ulysses — puts me in an excellent creative ‘headspace.’ I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over…
I am incredibly fortunate to have found a brilliant first reader. She’s an amazingly talented poet in her own right as well as possessing editing skills second to none. For some reason, I’ve yet to understand, she seems to enjoy my writing and conversation and has nurtured and developed my poetry to no end. My first reader’s input is a huge part of my process in developing a poem from initial idea to finished piece.

” I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over . . .” – Ryan Stone

10. Do You Prefer Certain areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?
When I’m reading a novel, it is usually fantasy and almost always a series. Stephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favourite, as are Game of Thrones, Magician, The Belgariad, Lord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.  I play a great deal of electric guitar which draws me to music biographies as well, anything rock or metal is fair game. Additionally, I love short story collections: Italo Calvino takes first prize there, and I read as much modern poetry as I can get my hands on.
Originally, my love of poetry was nurtured by Maya Angelou, Kenneth Slessor, Jim Morrison (The Doors), and Jewel Kilcher. When I first discovered Ted Kooser a few years ago, my own poetry made a huge leap. Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, was full of ‘Aha!’ moments for me. Most recently, I’ve lost myself in the brilliant Buddy Wakefield and Richard Hugo’s: The Triggering Town.

 11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
I’m not really big on dishing out advice, as everyone writes uniquely. What works for one person, won’t always help another person; but I can certainly share what works for me.
  •  The important thing is to write, write, write and keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good. I have loads of writing which will probably never see the light of day; however, once the first jumble is out of my head, the writing that follows is  much better.

 

  •  I don’t edit my first draft as I write. I write it all down and worry about cleaning it up later. If I’m only editing a word or two, then I’ll delete and replace. If I’m editing a whole line or large section, I cut and paste in a new version – v1, v2, v3, (etc .) and keep each version in the same document. I find it’s much easier to revise without the fear of losing words or ideas I may want to later reinstate.

 

  •  Once I’m happy with a version of my work, I put it aside for a few days and return to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’ I find it much easier to spot weak points, sticky spots, doubled up words, bad rhythm, (etc.), when I’m reading it fresh.

 

  • The poem is more important than the truth. When I’m writing a poem based on an actual event, I find it easy to place value on a thing because its memory is significant to me. Often, I don’t want to let the thing go from the poem. This can become a weak point as the particular thing doesn’t make the poem better and doesn’t hold the same value for the reader. Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.

“Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.” – Ryan Stone


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like The Share With Us Which You Think Is Pertinent To Writing or Yourself?
An honest first reader who will tell me what works and what sucks without worrying about my feelings, is worth her weight in gold.

 13. Can You Please Share With Us Few Links Of Your Favourite or Most Loved Pieces?  
“Unburied Hatchet”
Until I saw those wasted hands,
brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought
how fast the years make ghosts.
I heard them once called brawler’s paws.
For me, they were always more:
cobras, poised to strike.
But his brawling days are gone now;
I could kill him with a pillow,
if I cared enough to try.
Thin sheets press tightly to a bed
more empty than full, his body broken
like the promises of childhood.
Haunted eyes betray last thoughts
of a dim path, spiralling down.
He hopes to make amends.
“Forgiven?” he croaks,
barely there, as always,
and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.
With the last rays of day as witness,
I turn my back with purpose
and hear the silence roar.
In a late-night bar I catch my reflection
swimming in a glass of bourbon;
but I’m staring at a ghost.
– Ryan Stone
First published in Writers’ Forum Magazine issue 163, April 2015 – first place

Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Ryan Stone for doing an interview for me. I appreciate his time answering the interview questions a great deal.

I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing on my blog. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Writing

Maydays: Flash Fiction – Broken. #Maydays



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Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is something breaking.

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http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com

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He’d given me them on my birthday. “Oooooo, Crystal wine glasses. They’re exactly the glasses I wanted, the qualities exceptional. It will be great to have actual wine glasses to drink our wine out of each night.”

“I’m happy you like them Francine, but there only part of your gift.” Collin said pulling me out of my chair and kissing me. 

Our lips met and sparks exploded and collided between us. He started to remove my shirt and kiss his way across my chest.

As he kissed me I was thinking about the Crystal wine glasses. 

Many woman might think receiving wine glasses as part of a birthday present from your guy is too functional. But Collin had given me a gift card for a place I liked to shop too. Although, I adored the Crystal wine glasses the most.

I brought myself out of my thoughts back to Collin, kissing him back and undoing his belt.

——

(A Year Later)

“Such a beautiful time of the day. I love dusk, the sky is a purple haze. And we get to sit out here and drink our wine. This Malbec is delicious by the way. It has the right amount of sharpness.” I felt happy but Collin was in an off mood.

It’s good you like the wine, what did you do today?” 

“I’m trying to finish another novel. Sorry, if I’ve been distant. Sometimes I feel caught in my literary world while I write, ” I said.

“You’ve been more than distant Francine. You’re always writing no matter the time of day, and when you’re aren’t writing your distracted. It’s as if a part of you isn’t there.” Collin said angrily.

” I’m trying to spend more time with you but there is only so man hours in a day. I’ve been having lunch and breakfast with you nearly everyday and we always sit out on our porch with our wine at night and talk. It’s our thing and I’d never miss it.”

Collin gazed at me with ire. “I’m a hundred percent into this relationship and you’re only investing fifty-percent because you are too busy writing.”

“What do you mean? You work late all the time at the office? Writings my job, my passion.” 

Collin sat up suddenly. “I deserve better.”He was upset and with a swoop of his hand, swept the table between us free of wine glasses and wine.

The Crystal glasses shattered on impact but the bottle of wine was fine, albeit, some of the wine had poured onto the porch. I kneeled down, picking up a bigger piece of Crystal.

 “Don’t touch that Francine, you’ll cut yourself.” Collin warned.

I peered up at him. “It’s too late Collin, it’s broken. Everything’s broken.” 

I walked into the house and locked the door behind me.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Beauty, Daily Prompt, Free Verse, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Poem: Free Verse – ” Silver and Gold “


http://www.studio.e-picasa.com

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You can say it in as many ways, 

As it comes to your mind, 

You can try to convince me otherwise,

But I have drawn a line.

Cross the line, I’ll tell you how it goes,

My answer, you’ll probably hate.

But scars run deep, criss-crossing,

Battle wounds which don’t completely heal.

You only see a slight raised line,

White and long —

 But I feel the pain of the wound.

I remember how the scar came to be,

I know how I screamed inside,

Trying to be brave, 

As the cut ran red with blood,

Gore and trauma, degradation.

A scar such as this doesn’t merely heal,

It can reappear and open-up,

A wound that flares with blood-red drops.

Underneath the skin is pink marble,

And  you can see how deep it went,

Layers pealed back as I cried with pain.

It’s my scar on my body;

Apart of me for life.

A mark that lives on my skin and —

I have curves, I will not lie.

But my curves aren’t perfect creamy white,

 Scars and nicks lie here and everywhere.

Disfigurement remaining there, 

I’m imperfect and I’m flawed.

Don’t you know strength was born from such scars?

Curves are real and they reflect,

A body blessed with shape and allure.

But what I want you to notice,

When my skin is bare,

The scars angry red, left there.

For those scars are what will always be,

They are me, and I am them.

If you can accept them,

You can love me too, 

For on my body they are silver and gold,

Worth what I’ve been through.

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Thanks to The Daily Post for the word prompts Scar and Curve.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Relationship, Writing

Day 12 – NaPoWriMo- Descriptive Paragraph Dismembered – “Mother”


Sitting with bright blue-grey eyes, cheery and smiley. 

Small and thin like a tiny bird, she’s only a size four and 5’2″. 

Her hair is of the lightest brown with blond highlights streaking through.

Pretty, petite, and classy. 

Laughing  gregariously when something on TV is funny. 

Working especially hard sacrificing hours on the weekend and after work. 

In a job where she’s the one who knows.

Detailed, meticulous, and to the point. 

Loving and caring, the one to make all things better. 

Practical , knowledgable; she hates being treated unfairly.

 Wearing small dark jeans from the Gap and a navy and off-white sweater. 

Shopping carefully for the right fabric, cut, and shape. 

Telling me everything will be alright.

 I’m not sure how I’ll ever leave her or live without her. 

She is my mother and part of me too. 

She is in my soul like buds bursting into bloom, she blooms in me. 

Poetry

Poem: Sugar Scrub


With a sugar scrub I exfoliate with homemade cosmetics.
Sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice – scrub your legs twice.
In-between shave – these are the doldrums of the summer life.
Think twice, there is no glory in the little ways I get through the day.
And trampled down with elephant feet I slide through the year in mud.

Drudge, sludge – I am overwhelmed by typing and paper, the slice of cutting knife,
Make the cut, so the board is straight, a sharp edge and endless matte finish.
Paper cuts, the cutting wheel, slipping through the papers middle.
Make it true and make it right so that I might have peace this night.

“This,” that word, never start a sentence with it, this and that, not this is happening, just say what’s happening be clear and concise; the writer’s knife from the designer’s grip.
Demonstrate which words are sacred, those words which fit the pages just right.
Make a rhyme, or make a rhythm, form the sentence that all will understand and see the point, the big idea, the grande scheme of idealization.

These are the doldrums of my day, stretching forth into cat pose, back to happy cow
Yoga will slimline the time it takes, to cut the day with words and blades, with design and words.
Add in the time it takes to visit a friend and keep up on life.
Pay attention, look forward, listen – ignore the fog on little rabbit paws as it passes close and flows away back into sunlight, the break of day.
You are still in the conversation and bad at listening after a time has passed…
Then achingly awake and bursting forth into life for just a moments bliss.
Wipe away the blurry picture and make it shining clear.
These are crisp, crystal moments in your life – snatch them before they disappear

Sugar scrubs lead to legs so smooth a model would desire them.
Perhaps, these insignificant things in my day have cause to bigger things.
The idealization – the presentation – the humanization – of important ideas.
They represent who we are as people and form the cradle of civilization.
That a thousand years from now they all will say, ” I cannot believe they lived this way!”
Our lives the theatre in the museum, what was once the leading edge – a half hidden mystery that no man alive that day will understand but for the little things, we do day by day that his wife does too.

Write the letter, seal it blood red wax, slice the blade and see the history, the archeology in these dry bones like poison seeping into times ahead.
The ethereal future of the man and his lady, the possibility my everyday has a unique sort of meaning.
The blades of grass crisp and green swaying in the present time, the breeze floats airy whispers and I wonder if they will have grass, sugar scrubs, and the colour of clean air – words and the familiar slice of knife through paper.

The assimilation of tomorrow and today.