#NovemberNotes Day 30/Three Line Tales: Nonfiction – Breaking the Shell #flashfiction #3LineTales #amwriting


For November Notes Day 30, the final prompt song is “Break the Shell” by India Arie. I’m combining with the #3LineTale prompt by Sonya of Only 100 Words.


Credit: Hans Vivek via Unsplash


Break the Shell” by India Arie


Hard decisions are frustrating, such as spray painting a mural and wanting it to be perfect, then watching it painted over in white the next day; but we can’t let indecision and fear hold us back as shadows too make a person whole. We want to live a life without pain but that life doesn’t exist because life hurts no matter what and is meant to be felt; if we stay inside ourselves, then we’ll never accomplish our potential. I am certain that flying free means breaking out of our shells to thrive and take chances; and if we don’t decide to try we’ll remain trapped on the ground, always wondering, what if?


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Notable Quotes July 2017 Part Three #pinterest #quotes


Welcome to Notable Quotes for the end of July 2017. ——-


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Colin Chappell


Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m pleased to introduce to you today an interview with dog enthusiast, thoughtful, and entertaining writer, Colin Chappell. He is often accompanied by his friendly and energetic dog Ray. In fact, Ray is one of Colin’s favorite topics. You can visit Colin on his blog: A Dogs Life? (Stories of Me and Him).


interview-colin-and-ray1
Credit: Colin Chappell

1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

My name is Colin Chappell. When I was born, my parents were expecting a girl so, when I arrived, they showed great initiative by thumbing through the BBC Radio Times looking for male names. If Colin Yearsley (a classical pianist) had a second name, I would have probably had a second name also; my older sister did. I am originally from Peterborough (U.K.), and now live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (on the outskirts of Toronto).

I was born immediately after WWII and moved around the U.K. a lot when I was young because both my parents were in the theater. My Dad designed and painted scenery, while my Mum worked in the costumes area.

The introduction of television decimated the demand for theater and my parents had to make some major decisions. Growing up, my Mum held down multiple jobs and my Dad came home only on weekends. He was working approximately one-hundred-miles away from where we lived. My Dad eventually decided to build his own house. He learned how to do this successfully from library books, visiting construction sites, and asking a ton of questions.


2. What Kind of Affect Has Your Childhood Had On You?

I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.

I wanted to be a locomotive driver, but was told that I couldn’t do this job by my Dad. I went to college to pursue a career as ‘Master’ of a cargo ship. I achieved a 2nd Class Honors Certificate and was welcomed into the Blue Star Line. I was ready to join ‘Scottish Star’ in Glasgow; however, I failed a medical exam which blocked my first chosen career path. This was my welcome to the world of adulthood and the realities of the world.


“I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.” – Collin Chappell


3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?

I have always enjoyed writing short pieces and songs, but they were always private and I rarely shared my work. I cannot recall how I discovered blogging. But I had already been adopted by my dog Ray and wanted to share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to write publicly which was appealing to me. My blog was officially launched in October, 2014.

Later, my desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!


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

Writing is rewarding for many reasons. It allows me to express myself, to be as creative as I can, and to have some tangible evidence of my creativity and expression. No doubt there are psychological benefits to writing also. Poetry is a natural extension of writing because of my earlier days song writing; however, my blog is also my vehicle to present my poetry to the world.

Blogging is the corner stone of my literary endeavors because not only can I now share with the world, but I can receive feedback. I have access to links to bloggers and writers with similar interests and concepts. As well,  I am generally able to create a worldwide network of wonderful people. Over time I have developed friends around the world of all ages, cultures, religious beliefs (etc.) Now I have the pleasure of knowing many details about friends which go well beyond mere blogging.


” . . . [M]y desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!” – Colin Chappell


interview-colin-and-ray2
Credit: Colin Chappell

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Is There A Time of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?

Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.

Ray is also hugely inspiring. He is unlike any dog I have ever known. Just by watching him (which I do a lot) I’m invariably provided with the basis for a blog post. I also inspire and motivate myself. I am retired so have the luxury of as much time as I wish to allocate to blogging and writing but I do have many other interests.

There isn’t a particular time of day I enjoy writing more. Although, mornings and late evenings tend to be my most productive times. This is due more to convenience relative to other day to day activities. It’s not that I feel more particularly creative during these times.


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I have two active projects at the moment:

My first priority is promoting my book: Who Said I was up for Adoption? All profits from this book go to the Humane Society whom rescued my beloved Ray. It’s hard to make the whole world aware of a book without investing large sums of money to market it. Self-promoting is more financially feasible, but a difficult and time consuming job.

My second priority is publishing a book of my poems. It is tentatively titled: Tina and Other Stories and could be available Spring 2017. My poetry book is ready to be published but some financial decisions have to be made.

I am uncomfortable making these choices until I have a better grasp of how Ray’s book is selling. Hopefully, I can make a decision within the next six to eight-weeks. I also have various other similar projects ‘on the back burner,’ but they will have to wait.


“Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.” – Colin Chappell 


8. Here is Colin’s book: Who Said I was up for Adoption?

interview-colin-book-cover
Credit: Colin Chappell

You can purchase Colin’s book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo, Google Play, Nook, and IBooks. Here’s another link to Colin’s page where you can find links to all book sellers noted: HERE.


9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Publishing Process? Will You Continue With the Same Process in the Future?

I researched a number of leads before publishing and just as life in general — you get what you pay for. The inexpensive route (a relative term) dictated I take responsibility for areas of publishing I knew nothing about.

If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.

My compromise was to have a contract with FriesenPress. They provided their expertise in cover design, book layout, proofreading, overall suggestions, legalities, and ensuring Ray’s book was available to all major book retailers. Regrets? I have none, although, what I learned during this publishing process will reduce the cost of publishing my poetry book!


10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?

Blogging – I write from heart to keyboard, and then read, re-read, re-read, fine tuning the piece. Sometimes I will leave a post for a few hours and then read it again to get a fresh perspective. I like to plan to create ahead of time, but more often I end up creating immediately prior to posting. I will not hit the ‘Publish’ button unless I am absolutely happy with my post.

Book Writing – I use exactly the same process, especially with poetry. Reading a poem can often draw attention to a bad line or difficult rhythm. My intended book of poetry is being reviewed, although, it was completed well over six-months ago. Who Said I was up for Adoption? was completed over a nine-month period, but took an additional eighteen-months to polish well enough to publish.


“If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.” – Colin Chappell


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Reading and Writing?

I have little time for reading fiction — JRR Tolkein being the exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction, but more that I want to understand more about people and the real world. I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with fiction.


12. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?

Write… write… write.

Be honest to yourself.

Write… write… write.

Use blogging as much as you can because there is so much support out there in the blogging world for novice writers.

Write… write… write.

If you are pleased with what you write, then what other people think of it is secondary.

Write… write… write.

If you are not pleased with what you write, you need to spend time finding why you are unhappy with it. Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on the solution — Very logical!


“I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with a fictional piece of writing.” – Colin Chappell


13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Writing?

I have volunteered in numerous diverse places over the years, and every position I held was valuable education for me. It was valuable both because of the work involved and in the learning it provided me.

I support a number of charitable organizations which help people regain their self-respect and of course, I support animal rescue organizations. Life has been and still is, a wonderful education; however, one must always participate in life to see any results.


14. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like to Follow? What Do You Like About Them?

I really do not have favorite blogs, but I do enjoy more philosophical blogs as they are thought provoking. Dog related blogs are interesting simply because I can relate to the topics presented. Any post I read that promotes a positive mental attitude maintains my attention. In a world which seems to celebrate negativity, we need as many positive vibes as possible!


15. Here is a Piece From Colin’s Blog, One of His Favorite Poetic Verse Posts:

“Skeeta’s Legacy”

By Colin Choppell

*****

Skeeta was a Siamese cat

Of distinction so we thought

She was rather unlike her breed

Friendly and quite large

I had known a few Siamese

But none had traits like these

*****

She would ride in our car

On top of the front seats

Swaying whenever I braked

Forwards and backwards

Sideways on the turns

We would laugh until we ached

*****

Then one day she clearly had changed

Her clean toilet habits had gone

Something was wrong we were sure

She used to be meticulously clean

A test revealed leukemia

With no treatment. No cure

*****

After living with us

For only three months

Dearest Skeeta was put to sleep

But she left her mark

Indelibly on my heart

With memories that I would keep

*****

She went to a better place

To join her kind and be without pain

Where cats are happy and free

To be as I’d want her to be

But Skeeta left a legacy behind

Unbeknownst at the time to me

*****

Many years later when Ray moved in

He tested positive for heart worm

After only three months in our home

What were our options? What to do?

A very serious condition

And he could not fight it alone

*****

We could return him, put him to sleep

Or do nothing which would eventually kill him

What would make the most sense?

For such a short and unhappy life

An expensive course of treatment

Could we justify the expense?

*****

The treatment he may not survive

But shouldn’t we at least try?

For perhaps survive he would

Shouldn’t we give him a chance?

A chance for his life to fulfill?

To live out his life being loved?

*****

Euthanizing would give him peace

Not 3 years old with an unknown past

His early life seemed hard and alone

Surely a dog has a right

To fight for his life

In a warm and caring home?

*****

To return him to the shelter

Raised problems of another sort

Who would adopt a very sick Ray?

Who would want his vet bills?

Who would open their home?

Who would invite him to stay?

*****

During these dilemmas I heard a voice

Reminding me of Skeeta long ago

With no hope of a cure in sight

How she was put down

Her future sealed by a disease

That cheated her out of her life

*****

But this time was different

Ray did have a chance

If treatment started right away

The decision just had to be made

And then hope for the time

When once again he could play

*****

Ray will never know

What influenced his future

Or how it came to be

That a cat, of all creatures,

May have saved his life

That was Skeeta’s legacy.


16. Additional Posts:


Thanks so much to Colin for sharing with us his book, poetry, love for Ray, and his experience in life and writing. I loved discovering he both searches inside himself to find the right answers and also engages with the world to learn and discover the things he needs to know. His love of learning and passion for volunteering is something we can all aspire to.


If you would like to be featured as a writer and blogger in my bi-weekly interview series please reach-out to me on my contact page. Thanks for reading and see you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Poem: Rondel – ” Thoughts too Deep” #wordhighjuly #poetry



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http://www.magique.com.au

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Contemplate and speculate, 

Absorbed in careful thoughts explore.

Searching within, why am I torn?

Decisions difficult await.

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I’m no philosopher ruminating,

Wonder without, within my core.

Contemplate and speculate.

Absorbed in careful thoughts explore.

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Thinking, wears one out, unsated, 

Answers true or some folklore.

Scientific explanation, something more?

Faith and the heart have their say made.

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Contemplate and speculate 

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What is wrong and what is done right?

Consumed by such thoughts of inner voice.

The problem: always, forever, having choice

Sometimes the wish to never think fights.

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Float away, grace whirlpool, without sight.

Easier to be blind than make your choice.

What is wrong and what is done right?

Consumed by such thoughts of inner voice.

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Is there strength in your heart, might? 

Or do you follow whoever’s voice? 

Let others think for you, make choices.

Choosing right, requires foresight.

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What is wrong and what is done right? 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

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Writing 101: Poem – Wrapped Poetry- “Life Rope”#everydayinspiration


Today’s Writing 101 prompt is a piece of writing using the words or one word from this list:

  • HOPE
  • REGRET
  • HOME
  • CHOICE
  • SECRET
  • ABUNDANCE

hand Rope
http://www.thebounceblog.com

 

I have hopes for a life with choice,

To make decisions with my voice.

Freedom can be costly but I’m —

No afraid to chose my path line.

Regret is something tragic and I never want,

To say later, I regret: what was was; so flaunt.


Engage in life and say regret

Nothing; always chose my very best.

Tried to help people in life find home.

Rest from the nomadic ways roamed.

Find home in people, in those you’re blessed to reach-out,

Find abundance in your home, with people you don’t flout.


In home there is hope and joy which,

Makes a solitary being wish,

For personal time, secrecy,

Not bad secrets, but privacy.

This is my why it’s good to have choice because we need both.

Home and choice, to be alone when needed, not to loath–


Our families but to live; be content.

Not to say I had no choice; was sent —

To have abundance of blessings,

Thankful for everything, joy rings.

No dark secrets among us, only time alone needed.

Recognizing each person needs a few freedoms.


 

Keep hoping you’ll see, I’m honest.

Gaze into my eyes, hear our song.

Our secrets are safe between us,

You and I, abundant life trust.

We’re provided for in our home, no fear, merely hope.

I have hopes our happiness lasts; you’re my life rope.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Poem: Wrapped Refrain – “Memory Made Reality.”


 

http://www.s1147.photobucket.com
 
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He’s a memory, her calm heat,

With his beating heart, she’s replete.

Stars align, she’s within his firm grasp,

Moonlight fades, she sleeps on his lap,

The future arises, calamity waiting, 

Willing her, choose without decisions she’s hating.

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Reminisce, a salty kiss, breathed — swim.

Happiness, bliss, she seeks him, 

Noticing absence —  can’t resist,

Hoping, their closeness bought her a kiss.

Dreams, echoeing serenity, sharing two grins.

Silkly, embracing softness , across, sweet skin.

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Momentarily, caught napping,

Her and him, resting, gasping.

Infinity of time, not clear.

And hearts of lovers burn and sear,

Scintillating caresses, two lonely hopes,

He’s a memory, reality, her life rope.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Grounded


 

Train Tracks
All these thoughts unraveling inside. I don’t know how to make sense of them all. To find peace within a meaning or a person.

It goes to show, where you can go if you let your mind run away. No, epiphanies tonight. I’ll just sort through everything that is making my head spin.

I’ll tell you when I’ve unwrapped these tiny pendant chains that always knot.These strings here, there all crossed.

The tiniest strands of gold, are the ones that are most difficult to unravel. They are wound about each other in the most intricate of ways.

I don’t know much of anything I believe. When I can’t sort out my life. Plan things the way I need them to be planned. I do my best but it’s not enough.

And I get myself into situations. I know I’m headed for a train on the tracks. But I couldn’t stop myself from walking on the train tracks. It’s the feel of the wind beneath you in ignorance, before you smash.

And collisions are solid, damaging, and hurtful. I want to make the right decisions,  but I’m drawn towards the wrong ones. I want to let everything be, but I’m at loss for certainty.

How can you make the right choices, when you want songs of experience; instead of songs of innocence. There is something wonderful about the light, refreshing and tranquil.

But the blackness hides in a corner waving gold chains that entice you with their gilding and glimmering. The wrong thoughts call to you and set themselves in your mind. They make their desires known.

I’m only the age I am and the experience I have. I look to others, but still I do not know. They say experience is the worst teacher. But where have I to go?

So, that train keeps on coming and I am blinded by the lights and the moment before misery when I think I’ll be okay. But everyone knows train wrecks kill, and flying is for fools who didn’t think to wait at the train crossing.

Crash, bang! If you don’t make up your mind you’ll get hit from the otherside. Between a rock and a hard place. But for peace, I just want to sleep tonight.

The train is a metaphor for life. You can’t sit on the sidelines. Choices are here to be made. But you have to choose carefully.You can’t step out infront of an oncoming train.

You have to wait for the moment the train pulls up to the station. Buy your ticket and hope that your travels lead you to make choices with grace, and never let your feet step off the ground. Flying is for the dead. The intelligent stay grounded.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.