Interview with Carolyn Shelton Author, Writer, and Blogger #amwriting #nonfiction #interview #author


 

Welcome to another week of my interview series. Today I’m so excited to share with you an interview with my talented and caring friend, Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses)  who has been writing many wonderful tales for adults and children on her blog with Colin Chappell of A Dog’s Life (Stories of Me and Him). I interviewed Colin earlier this year HERE.

Many of Carolyn’s tales and her new book with Colin are about a Cat named Dewey, a Jackalope named Jaxon, an owl named Odessa, and a human helper for them on Moonbeam farm they live, known as the ‘manservant.’ You can also find Carolyn’s interview on The Go Dog Go Cafe, where I will be posting a writer interview each Tuesday (the same one here and on there). It is a wonderful writer’s community on WordPress so please come and explore.

As well, all watercolor paintings illustrating the characters from Carolyn’s (and Colin’s) book Odessa’s Chronicles, are done by Jodi of The Creative Life In Between. She’s such a talented artist and I would recommend following her blog for her art, recipes, poetry, and blog posts narrated by her dog, Charlie.  She also has an Etsy Shop, on break at the moment, but when it’s not, you can purchase cards, paintings, (etc.) of Jodi’s beautiful work. 

Carolyn’s blog can be found here: Nuggets of Gold: Helping You to Find the Gold Amidst the Dirt, Sand, and Pebbles of Life.


img_3996
Credit Carolyn Shelton

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself, Carolyn? 

My name is Carolyn Shelton and I live in Southern Pennsylvania. I am the Mother of two teenagers which explains why there are days that I feel like my brain is missing! I love having fun with my family and friends, whether we are just chatting or on an adventure together. I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.

Humor is a big part of my life! I have serious posts on my blog, but a lot of humorous ones as well. And there are days, where you may get more humor from the comment section. I have a good friend that likes to express his wit at times. I am always up for a battle of wits, do I win? Well…. onto the next question.

My biggest writing goal is to touch others with what I write. I want to make them smile, laugh and also ponder on deeper things at times. I am thankful for my gift of writing, but it doesn’t do a lot of good if I keep it to myself. This is why I share it on my blog with for everyone and anyone to read.


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Dewey the Spoiled Cat!

2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does It Mean To You? 

I began blogging in the Fall of 2014. It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing. I was browsing on the internet one day and I saw something that piqued my interest. WordPress was offering a free writing course. I loved to write and felt that this course would be fun to take and see what happened. I signed up for it and well, here I am. 🙂 I enjoyed the course a great deal and was excited seeing what I could do with a blog.
I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and interacting with them. I was still learning but felt as if I had found my niche in the wonderful world of blogging. My love of writing had been rekindled.


” I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – The Humble Manservant

3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Blog and Write? Why is it Important to You to Keep Writing and Blogging? Do You Have Writing Habits? A Time of Day It’s Easier for You to Write?

My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me, through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy because it is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not writing. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogging and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.

Writing is me letting my heart speak and it can be so freeing expressing my emotions through writing. Late at night seems to be my best time to write. The house is all quiet, the phone is not ringing, and it’s just me and my Sheltie who lays at my feet.


4. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects, on your Blog or Otherwise? Have You Published Any Writing? 

I am currently co-authoring a The Odessa Chronicles, with fellow blogger, Colin. I’m so excited about it! The process of writing it readying it for publication has been a true adventure! The front cover of the book has not yet be decided on and the book is not quite ready for publication and release to my readers but it will be available on Amazon when it is completed. Stay tuned to my blog for updates on Colin and mine’s book release


My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy. It is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I really wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogginh and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Jaxon the Jackalope with Magical Powers

 5. Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Writers or Bloggers Starting Out? 

I enjoy writing serious posts and posts written for fun.  I enjoy reading both as well. Also, I like reading stories in the genre of fiction and some nonfiction stories as well when I am choosing novels to read.

As for advice for new writers or bloggers: I encourage them to be patient with their self and write what comes naturally. Don’t think that your blog has to be like another blogger’s blog. Your blog is unique just like you. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog. Don’t push yourself to post every day if you cannot manage to do that. I didn’t post each day in the beginning and there is no rule that says you have to post every day. You need to write when it fits your schedule.


6. For Fun, Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs? Top Three? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh, my this is a hard question. There are a lot of blogs I enjoy! The blogs I have followed the longest though are Jodi’s, Ameena’s and Colin’s.

  • Jodi’s blog makes my taste buds tingle when I see pictures of the wonderful recipes she is cooking up. She is a wonderful cook and there are sometimes I attempt her recipes, though I am sure she does them better. She also does beautiful paintings and puts lovely poems to lovely photographs she takes together in a post. I enjoy reading her blog because of her cheery outlook on life.
  • Ameena (Randoms by A Random) is a gifted poet and her poems tug at my heartstrings. She has put me at a loss for words more than once. You can read the interview Mandibelle16 did of Ameena HERE
  • Colin writes about life with Ray, his wonderful Rescue Dog that he adopted. He also has “Just Thinking” posts that give you things to ponder. It is always interesting to read his perspective. He includes some poetry on his blog; in fact, he has a book of wonderful poetry coming out soon. His dry wit comes through in his posts as well. A blog that can make me laugh will be one I keep going back to.

Most importantly all these blogs do have something in common. Although they post about various topics, they all have become special friends of mine. That is what I feel is at the heart of blogging, the friendships that are formed from a mutual interest. 


” Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Odessa the Wise Owl Whom Carolyn and Colin’s book is named after.

7. Can You Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Blog Posts? 

Here are some of Carolyn’s posts that she and I like a great deal. I hope you enjoy them too!

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend

Written April 2013, by Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

JoyRoses Ocean 2
Credit; Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

Good Morning! Today my husband and I will bid a final farewell to a dear friend of ours. His body was ravaged with cancer and now he is free from pain. Though we are happy that he is now at peace, there also is pain, as he will be dearly missed!

Pat always had a smile for you and could make you laugh with his wit. Even when his wit was at your expense, you couldn’t help but laugh. Shaking your head, trying not to smile, as your mind was racing for a comeback.  No joke was ever old. We had met over 20 years ago, and there was something that had happened to me in that first year that Pat and Sherry were dating. Something that he still loved to throw out there whenever he would get the chance, and yes it still had a way of heating up my cheeks. His humor is something that stayed with him, even as his body grew sicker. He kept his spirits up and fought hard. He was an inspiration.

In yesterday’s post, Dewey and Jaxon Follow Their Hearts, I told about when we heard the news about cancer and how Dewey took over my pen. Took over my pen for my broken heart.  Today I am sharing a poem that I shared before. A poem that seems fitting for today. It has been revised a little to help it flow more smoothly, thanks to a friend.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for my friend and the tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak to my precious friend and his wife? How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

JoyRoses 2
Credit: Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean, my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

*****


Here are more of Carolyn’s Blog Posts:


Thank you so much to Carolyn for allowing me to interview her for this week’s blogger/writer interview. She is a wonderful and kind hearted person and I’m so excited for the book she and Colin will be releasing on AMAZON soon. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Nuggets of Gold.


If you are a writer, blogger, author, or someone who blogs for a cause or special organization and would like to be featured in my interview series here and on the Go Dog Go Cafe please reach out to me through my CONTACT PAGE on my personal blog. Thank you and see you next week!


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Fall Beauty Haul 2016 Part One


Happy Friday everyone. I’ve been meaning to do a beauty haul for a while for those of you who appreciate makeup and beauty products. This will be the first half of the new products I’ve tried since spring and I will do the second half either on the weekend or early next week.

In my opinion when you buy makeup, you often get what you pay for. This does not mean a $300.00 beauty cream is better than a $75.00 cream. But I do find a difference between drugstore brand makeup and skincare and higher-end beauty products one might find at Sephora or in a department store. Sephora makeup for instance, is often better quality depending on the brand and ingredients. The makeup lasts longer, works better, and depending on the product, can save you money in the long run.

However, there are always cheaper products which break the rules. And drugstore makeup products are improving in quality and have improved a great deal in quality since I first used them as a teenager around eighteen-years-ago. I do have a bit of variety in price point for products I’ve been trying lately.


  1. Kat Von D – Shade + Light Contour Quad – In Plum – Matte Finish – (www.sephora.ca)$34.00 CAN (three additional colour pallets to choose from).
fall-beauty-haul-kat-von-d-eyeshadow
Kat Von D Eye Shadow Quad In Plum (www.sephora.ca)

I was searching on Sephora one day, for that perfect palette to create a pink and purple eye. I was concerned mainly, that the palette have a light purple-pink colour.

It’s a colour which appears great on women with blond hair and winter skin colouring. I also wanted the pink to be in a palette because individual eyes shadows alone can cost $25 dollars and up so I feel if you’re going to use even some of the other colours in a pallet, it’s usually a better deal to buy a palette.

I ended up choosing an eye shadow quad in plum by Kat Von D. Outside of her foundation, I have never tried products from her brand before. I know she is an extremely artistic woman with many beautiful tattoos and had her own tattoo show and I’m pleased with her makeup brand so far.

The pigment of each eye shadow colour in the Plum quad is excellent and there is not a lot of fall-out when you’re applying the eyeshadow to your eyelids and eye area. I also liked how the colour you are supposed to apply all over your eyelid and above, is bigger than the other eye shadows. This makes sense because you use more of that colour than any other colour.

My only problem is this bigger-sized eye shadow in the plum palette is not a good colour for me. While the other colours are more wintry colours, this shade is a fall colour and too orange for my complexion. It didn’t appear that way on the Sephora website — this is a reason its sometimes good to see the products you are purchasing in store.

Nonetheless, this didn’t bother me because all the other eyeshadow colours in the quad are colours I will use and have used a lot. I put a different lighter colour underneath which is more of a cool light-brown.

The idea of a contouring palette is that having a darker crease area and highlighting in certain places on your eye, will make your eyes pop and be a defining feature on your face. For the most part, I’m impressed with this eye shadow quad and would be willing to try other Kat Von D products in the future as they are also reasonably priced.


2. Joe Fresh Lip Gloss – In Fresh Glass – (Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore) – $8.00 CAN aprox.

beauty-haul-fall-2016-joe-fresh-lip-gloss
Joe Fresh Lip Gloss in Fresh Glass – Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore (in store).

So in Canada, are main drugstore is Shoppers Drug Mart. They carry drugstore brands as well as high-end makeup. They were bought out by Superstore a grocery store chain. This hasn`t changed anything except that brands from Superstore, are now appearing in Shoppers Drug Mart such as Joe Fresh and President’s Choice.

My local Shoppers isn’t great in terms of their variety of beauty products because it’s in a poorer neighbourhood and people tend to steal. They did, however, start carrying Joe Fresh Make Up which is inexpensive and from the women I`ve talked to,  decent makeup.

You can always use a lippy so I decided to choose a Joe Fresh lip gloss from Shoppers Drug Mart in a darker rose-pink tube. I thought the gloss would be coloured but it’s clear. In fact, whatever name or colour the tube of lip gloss was, I found they were all the same clear colour called Fresh Glass. I think it’s deceptive to name each tube a different colour and then only have clear lip gloss.

Another weird thing about the Joe Fresh makeup line is it cannot be bought online. Shoppers Drug Mart does feature the products on their website, but you have to go in store to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada or Superstore to buy Joe Fresh makeup.

Over all, I`m pleased with this Joe Fresh lip gloss. It’s extremely moisturizing and not sticky at all. It stays on your lips a long time. I`m disappointed I couldn’t buy a coloured lip gloss but for around $8.00 CAN, I`m not complaining. It was a great purchase.


3. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation – Waterproof and Longwear – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free – Shade 0.5 (fair porcelain) – (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca) – $49.00

urban-decay-all-nighter-waterproof-longwear-liquid-foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Longwear Liquid Foundation – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca)

I lucked out finding this foundation. I loved my Make Up Forever Matte Foundation but I kept running out every month and a half. It’s not a bad lifespan for a foundation for me but the All Nighter Foundation by Urban Decay lasts much longer for around the same price.

All Nighter is a brand new liquid foundation from Urban Decay and Shoppers Drug Mart also carries it in store or online at http://www.beautyboutique.com. What’s even better about this foundation then the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation (which I would still use) is that my shade o.5 is a bit lighter than the my Make Up Forever shade and it blends into my fair skin better.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s difficult to find foundation when you’ve such pale skin but still need some coverage. Sometimes, you have to use the lightest foundation shade you can find and later upon wearing it in daylight find, it isn’t light enough or appears too orange for pale skin. For winter, this is a better foundation in for me, but I might go a shade up for in summer time.

All Nighter also lasts even longer than the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation — a full 24 hours. Both foundations are waterproof and have a matte finish so on that account, their equal. As well, neither foundation since they are matte and oil free, are better for oilier skin types and don’t make me break-out. The Urban Decay foundation sure does last longer by far.

Literally, two dots of foundation from the pump on the back of my hand and I dab the foundation over my entire face and into my neck and blend with my foundation brush. The All Nighter foundation blends even better than its Make Up Forever counterpart and I need to use so little of it. I have to be careful I don’t make the dots of foundation on my hand too big or I will put too much of the Urban Decay foundation on my face. I totally recommend this foundation, it’s so worth it and there are twenty-four foundation shades to pick from.

The only issues I see with this foundation are if you aren’t looking for full coverage foundation, this isn’t the foundation for you. Also, if your skin is dry you probably want to choose a creamier foundation, something that is has more moisture in it. You could apply more moisturizer under this foundation but I do think it is better for women with oilier or combination skin types.


4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Blonde or Cool Taupe – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

Since I started to define my brows, I have used the Benefit Brow pencil which cost

anastasis-beverly-hills-perfect-brow-pencil
Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil In Blond (www.sephora.ca)

$30.00 CAN, the same amount as the Anastasia Brow Pencil. The brow pencil shade I used was pretty much the same colour as well. However, Benefit decided to change their brow pencils and make them thinner in both options they carry. This isn’t good for me as the Benefit brow pencils are soft and in a thinner pencil, I would use it too quickly.

The lady who helped me at Sephora said Anastasia was one of the first makeup artists to care about brow appearance, beyond filling them in a bit if you had sparse brows.

While the Benefit pencil looked the same as the Anastasia brow pencil it was a much softer pencil and I used it within about two-months. I didn’t like how soft the Benefit brow pencil was at first but I grew used to it because a softer pencil meant you didn’t have to use as much product.

Since I have switched to the Anastasia brow pencil, I find it much harder than Benefit’s discontinued brow pencil. It may mean it will last longer than the Benefit brow pencil did but, on the other hand, I find I use the Anastasia brow pencil differently. I use it to fill in my brows and trace around my brows. Since the pencil is harder, it does not spread over my brow as easily as the Benefit brow pencil did.

I do need to fill in my brow to get a fuller appearing brow with the Anastasia brow pencil and then blend it with the spooly on the end. With the Benefit brow pencil I traced around my brow and blended it, no need to fill in my brow because the pencil spread easily.

I’m happy with the Anastasia Perfect Brown Pencil and becoming used to working with a harder brow pencil.  I’ll let you know if this one lasts longer than two-months. I’m positive so far, it will last longer than two-months which is always easier on the budget. The Anastasia brow pencil comes in eight varied brow shades.


5. NYX Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray – MSS01 – (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store) – $10.99 CAN or $8.99 on sale ($7.99 US)

nyx-cosmetics-matte-finish-makeup-setting-spray
NYX Matte Finish, Long Lasting MakeUp Setting Spray (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store)

This is possibly my best purchased cheap product. I’ve heard good things about the NYX makeup brand even though it is a cheaper drugstore brand. I had tried an Urban Decay setting spray earlier in the year which was about $17.00 CAN in Sephora for a small-sized bottle (1 oz.). Like he NYX Matte Finish Spray, it was oil free and set my makeup so it did’t run or come off on a pillow case (much) if I napped. Both sprays also never let my makeup melt in the day. For most occasions, using a finishing spray on my makeup means I do not need to wear a primer underneath.

A couple of other beauty bloggers I recall reading, raved about the NYX Setting Spray which is available in both Matte and Dewy finishes. As I have combination oily skin, I chose the Matte finish. Some girls who were looking at the spray in store, expressed concerns about it causing them to break-out more.

I did find I had to let my skin become used to wearing the NYX setting spray. I broke-out a tiny bit but not a lot. Now I don’t break-out wearing it at all. I bought the spray at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $8.99. I have had it for over two-months and there is still setting spray left in the bottle which is 2.02 oz and a much better deal than buying a small Urban Decay Setting Spray for $17.00. I have used the NYX Setting Spray daily as I did the Urban Decay one.

Urban Decay originally came out with a makeup setting spray. They have several kinds you can choose from in a larger bottle that is $38.00 Can (4 oz) at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart (www.beautyboutique.ca).

The smaller version they offer only lasts one month (1 oz). I would like to test to see if  the $38.00 (4 oz) Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray which is almost twice the size of the NYX spray (2.02 oz), might be a better option if it lasts double the amount of time. It would need to last at least four or five-months.When I have some Optimum points from Shoppers Drug Mart, I might try the bigger version of the Urban Decay Setting Spray in Oil Free.

For now, I’m extremely satisfied with the NYX Matte Setting Spray for Makeup. If I can buy it on sale for $8.99 CAN, I think it’s similar or the same product as the Urban Decay sprays for a better value or less money spent at once. Has anyone tried both products and has an opinion on whether they like the NYX or Urban Decay Spray better and why?

That’s it for today’s Fall Beauty Haul. I’ll be back with a Part Two later.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.