A Personal Update and a Poem: What’s Been Going on & Italian Sonnets –“The Race’s End” #poetry #amwriting #life #nonfiction 


Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

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I feel like I’ve been distant on here lately. But sometimes you need a break from the usual. I have always found it easy to pull a lot of inspiration from myself and those around me. From past experiences and from my friends and events around the world. Christianity too can be something encouraging as well as a vivid imagination.

I have been trying my hand at some freelancing but it’s been a lot of effort. It saddens me to see how little a writer’s words are worth be they for blog, article, or essay. But at least where I am now pays a better than where I started at which was doing short pieces of writing for experience only. So I have been trying to do some other writing as well as blogging. Some days it’s works and others not so much. I know I’ve had to cut back on my prompts recently so my blog schedule will be based on how much I have to do each week for freelancing. I’m not earning much of a thing but at least I feel like I’m contributing a bit more and learning new ideas.

I also continue to look for and submit poetry and some short story fiction to some different sites and magazines as well as edit my novel when I’m able to focus on a couple of chapters at a time. If anyone enjoys writing and is interested in being a beta reader for a paranormal romance please let me know. I would appreciate your opinions very much. My book is on Wattpad so you’d have to read it in their, but it has an app and allows a person to comment on each chapter after they’ve read it. Or you can go to the site on your computer HERE. Just check it out and if you’re interested in reading my book, let me know in the comment section below. I appreciate it! 💕❤ My user name is @mandibelle16

One thing I love about writing is that I am always acquiring more knowledge. Recently, I have been doing more academic writing and I have been relearning citation and rules for academia. At the same time I think about my novel and my other creative writing in the back of my mind, finding distance has given me a better perspective on my plots, characters, and stories.

Also sometimes watching your favourite TV or Netflix programs, reading books, and walking outside in the warmer weather we’ve been having, makes one feel well and helps me think things through and visit different angles. “Suits” is an excellent and entertaining legal drama if anyone’s interested in watching the seasons on Netflix. As I’m going through my own case right now, it drew me in but its characters are witty, charming, and funny except for the character of Louis. But you have to hand it to the actor, he does a superb job of being slimy and repulsing lol.

Additionally, I’ve also been drawing, working on portraits, and colouring using various mediums. Art very much  inspires me so it’s been fun to play around with that a while. I’m also working on a few technical glitches with my blog and the WordPress app, trying to figure some of those things out as well. I do want to make some changes to my blog. It’s only a matter of sitting down, figuring them out in the little time I have concentration well enough — along with everything else — and then doing those changes. Eventually, I’ll figure it out 🙂

As well, I’ve been working on my health. This year I have tried to learn a more basic healthy recipes and I’ve researched my health condition a bit more. I’m doing this 5:2 Diet which means five days a week you eat how many calories you would eat for your body and amount you exercise. It’s recommended for CFS/ME patients as medication can cause significant gain.  As I can do little beyond a small walk now and then and some weight loss yoga, I eat just over sixteen hundred calories a day but of course a woman who exercised more or was just out and about more would eat around two thousand calories or more on a normal day.

On a side note: I so recommend an online subscription to Gaia if you can’t make it to yoga classes at the gym always. They have all different levels and lengths of workouts. From beginner to difficult yoga of all types, to Pilates videos, meditation and breathing videos, and short little videos that relieve back or neck pain in around ten minutes which I love. Everyday new videos are added and you there is such an array of options that it is so worth the subscription about $13.00 (in Canadian currency)/month and I think anywhere from about $7.00 to $9.00 US depending on your subscription.

Anyways, two days a week on the 5:2 Diet, you choose which days you eat only 500 calories as a woman and only 600 if you’re a man. Once you get into it, it’s not so bad and you learn what foods are filling and healthy to eat. I haven’t been able to drop to five hundred calories but about to 600 on fast days. I do yoga of twenty to twenty-five minutes for two and sometimes three days a week and I’ve been able to lose what the diet promises, about a pound a week. So for me after three weeks, three pounds and today was the first time I noticed my clothes fitting better. That’s my hope honestly, for my clothing that I own and like a lot, to fit well. Also, to be able to continue purchasing future clothing in regular sizing. (P.S. I have plans for some spring fashion and makeup blogs so we’ll see how things go later!!).
Once a person gets to their ideal weight on the 5:2 Diet, they can keep fasting two days a week or drop to one day a week to maintain. Out of all the programs/diets I’ve tried I love that this is safe weightless and healthy because it’s four or five pounds a month and about making choices to eat better and to exercise instead just for a little bit at a time.

You don’t receive that instant ‘wow factor’ as fast-diets promise but I believe this is healthier for you because it takes place over months and is doable for ‘life.’ If you mess up, choose another day that week to fast and after the first week you honestly are used to the fasts for the two days. Two days are easier than dieting for an entire week all the time.

I didn’t think it would work as I had read about it before with caution. However, the plan worked for a family member first who showed my some YouTube videos on it and they were quite convincing. He has lost the weight and maitained his level of exercise. So something to check out if you’re interested. I borrowed the book from the library and it’s a simple diet to be sure.

Also, I’m afraid my biweekly interview is going to be a day or two late this week as I’ve got to finish a project first. So apologies there. As for my lack of writing and commenting, I will do as much as I’m able.

So without further ado, here’s a poem I wrote a while back. It’s comforting but also sad. It’s based around, knowing a loved one is facing the end. It’s difficult for the person and their loved ones, but at the same time, relief because that person will never feel pain again in Heaven.

Thanks for reading!

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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

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” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)

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One last mile, one more Christmas comes to pass,
Praying for ages, memories and lifetimes.
The quicksand buries, but light still yet shines,

A beacon, slowly immersed — death’s paid wrath,

We don’t know how long the present will last.

Keep wide the door, heaven’s gate you’ll enter,

All time converges, earth isn’t center.

We’re a blip, nothing’s linear, we’re the past;

Before glory, laud, and honour shown,

Is to God, in our eternal rest and home.

Someday you’ll go, tears mark your finish line,

But these days you run, pray you’re unconfined;

To be free of your burdens, what you dread,

Your time with us not taken — not the end.

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You’ve run the race my friend, endured the course,

And all our memories are so dear, of your face —

Brightly lit, your smile, a fighter’s proud grace.

You kept it up, as long as you could, and would —

Have had a runner’s chance, enduring pain, stood —

Humbled but kept striding in all you faced.

Every hill with vision, pose, setting your pace;

Life, your race, needed winning; without fear —

Embrace the end engaged; approaching so near,

Throw yourself into battle you’ve waged,

Never to be a victor, not to be caged;

Instead found eternal rest, your end page,

Last word fin, your Lord called: “Come home dear one.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

A List of Hobbies


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for this week’s list prompt of hobbies.

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Unknown – Google
 

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1. Writing – This hobby is a hobby most of you understand. The drive, the need to write. You do it like you breathe, and if you can make money while doing it, you’re extremely lucky. I started blogging about four-years-ago to improve my writing skills and to do what has always come naturally to me, to share through my writing. 

It’s my hobby but it is also work too. I write stories to obtain prizes and publication. I try to contribute a guest blog here and there. I’ve done editing and creative writing courses. I have a BA in English. I want an MFA in Creative Writing. I write, write, write, even when I’m trying to take a break from it. I suppose such as many things, writing becomes addictive. But whenever I do it, I enjoy it. There is peace in my heart.

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http://www.pinterest.com

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2. Reading – Usually, I read many books for a few months, then I become tired of reading books. Then, for awhile I don’t read much at all in novels, but end up going back to get my fix and read my favourite books over and read new books written by a particular writer or in a certain writer’s book’s series.

I also spend a lot of time reading other blogs on improving writing, pieces of writing, books, beauty, and an entire assortment of things. I’ve been reading since I was five-years-old and I have never stopped. 

In grade three I was reading The Hobbit and working my way through Lord of the Rings. In grade six I had a big thing for Michael Crichton books such as Jurassic Park and it’s sequals, and when I was about sixteen I went through a big phase of historic romance novels, and the romance novels that are sappy such as some of Nicholas Spark’s first books such as The Notebook. And I go through many other reading phases to this day. My last book was an audio book on Networking Marketing, it was interesting, informative, and a pathway I’m considering. 

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Jamie Dornan Colouring Page in Artist Pen Brushes and Pencil Crayon (Amanda Eifert)
 

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3. Drawing/Art/Colouring/Painting – Art is the only hobby I believe makes me feel more at peace than writing. My hands have always known what to do most of the time during painting or drawing, even before I realize I’m directing them. I’m not as good as I used to be, an effect of my initial psychotic episode. But I have become much better at drawing through some courses I took in my Residential a Design Certificate, focusing on drawing. 

I also adore acrylic painting. There is something so freeing about mixing colours and different gels to create texture on a painting. I haven’t done this in a bit I admit, but it’s something I find I have to be inspired to do. Lately, writing and other parts of life are running this well dry, but someday soon I promise to pick up my favourite paint brush.

Additionally, I have been colouring in colouring books for adults. Not the ones with all those small spaces, but ones with a general outline that you can be creative on. I find that hobby relaxing and use various mediums on a page.

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Nikki giving her Evil Eye (Amanda Eifert)

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4. Scrapbooking – I have done this for years, since I would go out with my girl friends in university and we would take many pictures each weekend. I think the pictures are becoming less and less, but I make an effort to take some and I’ve done a few photo shoot type things. I do scrapbooking the old fashioned way, not online. I’ve been doing little wedding albums for my friends who get married, of pictures online that they might not otherwise have. Also, I will do them of the pictures they put up. It’s an ‘ I’m thinking of you guys,’ type of gift that will last for years to come. And when I had a pet, well there were more pictures of the dog then anyone. Funny how that works.

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http://www.artofliving.org

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5. Yoga/Pilates – I began Pilates in grade eleven. I did it faithfully through university and even when I was going to the gym and weight lifting, I would go to the odd Pilates class. I also started to do yoga at this time. 

Pilates is an excellent workout using your core and strengthening it, using your own body weight as weight. It was designed by Joseph Pilates who came up with the excercise based off of yoga and other excercise types for soldiers in WWII; to improve their muscle strength while recovering from injuries. Honestly, it’s some of the best exercise you can do because it’s a bit cardiovascular, improves flexibility, and improves muscle tone.

After I became ill, and I wasn’t physically able to do harder exercises I did Pilates for a bit but found I couldn’t keep it up. I started doing yoga because it was easier and it helped with stiff muscles, while being a form of beneficial exercise. The challenge in yoga is holding your pose for the right length of time. It can be difficult but also makes you feel relaxed afterwards, while stretching muscles you didn’t know you had. When I’m feeling super great I do a DVD that is a yoga and Pilates combination routine. Mostly, I do ten to fifty minute yoga sessions from a yoga application on my IPAD. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Graffiti – “Art Without Subterfuge.”


I could paint you a brilliant picture in so many vibrant colours; I don’t know if you’ll like it, but it will still be art. And it might only be words. 

Art has such varied definitions. I’ll give you every kind. The tattoo  of a woman hair blowing, she flies across  your back and chest — one of my favourite species of art. 

Graffiti of the skin is truly sublime. Graffiti on the wall can be merely a mural. When I was in high school Art,  I painted murals across the school. I learned the texture of a  wall.

Michelangelo and Adam touching fingertips by the stairs. And a leafy haven enfolding items of art and drama. We viewed them both as art, glimmering and sublime. 

But the building changed functions and they painted over the murals. To them they were just tasteless high school meaningless graffiti. They weren’t works of art to liven up the solid, boring, white wall paint. Some people are boxed in by definitions of what art is and is not.

When I visited San Diego, under all the bridges was this fantastic and beautiful graffiti. It was art out loud and it was allowed to beautify a dirty place, under a bridge. It was enlightening, let them do graffiti. 

And I’m always wondering when an artist paints a mural to make an area prettier, why some kid has to ruin it spray painting orange profanities.

I guess to him his graffiti is a greater art. But to anyone who knows beauty, a terrible sin was created when he sprayed over a mural which told a story in paint already.

If you are going to do graffiti, you should do it at the right place or atleast do it well. 

I love it at the skateboard park when all those skinny skaters, bring their spray paint and go wild on the places they do flips and ollies. 

Graffiti can be outstanding a burst of skittle colors on blank pages of a building. Like the tattoo artists who create images of meaning on our body, there can be so much meaning behind Graffiti.

And it should be allowed because art is a personal freedom. If you have the skill to electrify and colourize any white surface professionally or learning, let the artist work. Let them rain beauty. 

As a girl who has done some art and knows something on the subject, I can tell you the kind of tools and subject matter is different with every person for any drawing or painting done in art. 

And you can see the varied methods of art when we explore collages, or twisted metal sculptures. Rooms of installations with the sounds of birds chirping and flying.

You can see art in the artists who stand still for many hours, when we light up a bridge or tower, when the sky springs with pride on our country’s birthday with fireworks.

You can’t fit art in one place. It is everywhere and everything. Art is people kissing and the way the sunlight hits their faces. Art is old men walking, and the heart and effort it takes to walk with a healing hip.

Art is graffiti. It is any kind of inspiration that can be found or can be given. It is crazy thoughts we think will never work. But one day they do. In a starburst of evolution art is created.

So give me more graffiti, as long as it’s quality. As long as for me, it’s beauty. Art is central to the individual as the butterfly tattoo on your hip. Or the poppy tattoo you can’t quite convince yourself to get.

Put Graffiti on white spaces. Like the little guys who put crayon and felt tips on their mother’s walls. 

Spray paint a glorious vision of passion and reality; the metaphysical delusions that only make sense to you.

Spin for me a radiant vision of a catastrophe honoured or a special day realized. Make your art poetry, make poetry graffiti.

You can spray the truth and I’ll write it without subterfuge. I’ll give you a blast of colour, shape, line, form, and design with my words. 

My words are the spray paint and I’m painting your soul. A spectacular illusion of light and space that alludes to deeper meanings and all the colours celebrate. 

The beauty that is Graffiti. 

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©Mandibelle16.All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 7 – A Writing Space


Let me paint a picture for you: I am in the living room at home. The walls are seashell beige on the wall opposite of me where there is a grand picture window with wispy white see-through curtains. Behind me the wall is a darker beige, with a slight green tinge to it. To the right is a corner cabinet in oak, furniture  my Uncle built, displaying a few trinkets. Beside the corner cabinet to the left is a side-table stained in a darker wood with a butter yellow corrugated place mat on it. Beside it is a deep dark red-orange sofa with a sheet covering the seat and back. The sheet is off white with brown and copper leaves. In front of the coach is a french provincial coffee table with a cream runner on top. The left corner of this coach is usually where I sit and write. It is quite comfortable, a place to sink into words.

The side table is where I pile various textbooks I’m using for school: Furniture in History 3000 BC – 2000 AD, and papers about applying for a Masters in Fine Arts. There is a little leaf green binder for portion sizes of food you eat; I try to follow the guide. It’s from when I was doing Herbal Magic. There are tabs of varied colours you can write on to make a divider for your binder or mark a chapter in the textbook. There is lip chap, pens of blue and black, paper clips, and a  binder for my Furnishing’s Course –thick with printed out slides and notes. In front of me is the IKEA catalogue. And to the left of me a framed vertical drawing of a bench and buildings in Ottawa, it’s matting is forest green. There is a lamp that’s tall with a cream lamp shade, providing light to me as I write on my lap top. I am resting my right arm on a multicolored brown, orange and red pillow, a muted knitted purple blanket covers my legs. Usually it’s nice and quiet during the day, everyone is at work. But lately, there is a loud truck across the street and it runs and makes the most horrible rumbling sounds. I’m trying to ignore it and I can’t do anything about it. But I wish the people would hurry up and leave already or get their truck fixed.

I’m burning a candle on the coffee table it smells like heavenly vanilla, I love that smell. And I just keep on writing. I wish I had a quiet room with a  desk and a comfortable leather chair to sit in, where I was looking out the window at the river valley full of orange and red in Autumn. A place I couldn’t hear this rumbling noise, it’s like a tractor. But you write where you write and create your “room of your own” wherever you can find the space. This will do for now.

creative_writing1
http://www.pacejmiller.com

Of Art and Architecture


Learning or relearning to draw can be a difficult thing. One must learn line, shade, mediums, design, placement of subject on the page, choosing a good subject, and most importantly, one must learn (or relearn) to be talented. For me, drawing is a skill ( well art in general) that has flowed from my hands as if I were Harry Potter and it was some magic I possessed. But such as magic with Harry Potter, drawing and art must be practiced and refined to be kept up. When I was 23 taking a drawing course at the U of A that magic still flowed from my veins, it circulated through out my body as blood and what was left behind by my hands was beautiful. Art was relaxing and after 3 full days of work I would spend Wednesday nights easily learning and relearning drawing techniques.

Flash forward 4 years later. I have suffered from a psychotic episode 4 years earlier that has effected the right side of my brain because I became too Depressed. I have slowly recovered my artistic skills starting with a pepper I painted when I first started to recover, followed by an attempt to paint some sunflowers in between; then a year ago, my drawing really began to improve drawing interior design textures for a class spent mostly drafting. My first real art class though since 4 years ago has been an option for my Interior Design Certification called Architectural Drawing.

And truly, from that class I have restarted the magic, from some awful sketches to some drawings that have actually been quite decent. And the girl who got the top Art 20 and 30 awards in high school has begun to return. It is true what they say practice, practice, practice. But can I guarantee that I will keep up the practice drawing after this class is done? I am not sure; the hectic pace of homework including three large drawings a week plus sketch book work is a bit of a gruelling routine when one has other work that must also be done. And art, it is not the relaxing hobby it used to be; rather, I must squeeze my drawing into the little time my mind has to concentrate and put to paper what I imagine, or what is in front of me. I still love art but I have found now that it comes with exhaustion and often, frustration. What used to flow so silkily from my hands sometimes becomes lost in translation. Three dementional prospective drawing is giving me that issue; capturing the birds eye view or worms eye view has been hard. I am waiting for that moment of ‘a ha,’ that moment of understanding, but it has yet to come.

But I have been quite happy with a lot of my other drawings. I have been ecstatic to draw with charcoal again, to feel its black smoothness coat my fingers and palms as I work. I have also loved to work with just the charcoal pencils, which give me more control when I draw and are excellent for adding line to the shading and blending common in a charcoal drawing. I like to work quite dark and I am learning to leave the paper as the lightest places on the drawing, rather than just erasing or adding in chalk or conte in white. But those methods still have merit. I also enjoy these markers that come in various colors made with Indian ink, which in itself is an interesting drawing tool. But these markers create soft wet colors that blend so brightly together, the ends as little paint brushes; beats Crayola markers any day!

For our final project in this class we need to come up with two things: an architectural statement of belief and a fully rendered, multi – medium drawing of some type of architectural building. Thank goodness, I can do two point perspective! I think I will research some classical architecture from my old Jansen’s Art History text book and draw one of those type of buildings. Or perhaps, some early Byzantine or early Gothic buildings; I do not know yet. What I do know is that I need something beautiful and artistic, something that will stand out in my own style. I can get more than a B in this course, which has been par for the course for Interior Design, so the rendering must be excellent.

What is of more interest to me currently is my architectural statement. What is the purpose of the architecture and why is it so important? Does architecture serve it’s program, its functionality? Is it aesthetic enough, how’s its structure, is it safe? Who is architecture for, for the architect, for the builder, for the people who live and use it? What style of architecture is right – should it be ornate or should it be simple or organic? All these things are important when I consider my statement.

So I start with simple statements: Architecture is the creation of buildings for people to shelter ( live), store, work, shop, entertain, eat, play, and appreciate culture in. Buildings of architecture can be ornate, plane and functionally built, or organic. I believe that architectural buildings should have a program and functionality for people ( and their animals)that is fulfilled in its design but that that design should have some sort of aesthetic quality to it for the architect and/or the people going to be using the building inside and out. There is no use in designing something simply for functionality ( although it is extremely important) as when nature was designed it was not created simply to be functional but to be aesthetically pleasing as part of it’s purpose; so should architecture be. I also think that it is important to be environmentally responsible when we are building and deconstructing are buildings. That we should focus on reuse, recycling, and using strong but environmentally friendly materials to build our architecture and dispose of it.

There is the beginning of my statement. A first draft if you will. As for me I will continue to practice my drawing skills, to finish the unfinished drawings for my portfolio, and to work on my final project. Maybe you can think of what architecture is to you, what design is to you, and how you can be an artist of your own in this world we live in.

Enduring Towards The Finish


Lately, I have been thrilled to tell people, that I actually have a life; stuff I need to get done and things I must attend to. For along time all I could say was ‘well I keep busy.’ Long term illness is like that – do you realize how much time you actually spend doing your job and/or taking care of your kids. I had read somewhere that it would take 17 things to do to actually replace the amount of things the average person does at work. For this reason I think you lose a lot of your identity when you are not out working on whatever is you work on; hence, a lot of your identity comes from your job. The first two questions you are asked when you meet someone are what is your name and what/where do you work?

I have not been able to go back to work yet but I find that I am keeping busier and busier. So busy that about the time I am finally able to rest I just drop, like there is no energy left inside me and this is taking into consideration the fact that I can barely work part time and others can do full time. So the big things in my life are finishing up my Residential Design Certificate – right now a drawing course on architectural design, writing for Flurt magazine, doing yoga, and planning out the two 15-20 page documents I will need to get into a Master’s in Creative Writing for next July. I am ambitious but I know somehow I will get done what needs to get done.

What is the problem you do not foresee when you are completing your goals? The hard and often repetitative work it takes to get to where you need to be. In writing, in art, and in life things take a lot of reworking to get to a presentable never mind exceptional, state. Take for instance, my drawing course. I used to be quite a talented artist but it has been 4 or 5 years since I have drawn much. I am finding I have to relearn old methods and that objects I am drawing do not exactly turn out the way they used to, or the way I want them to. For example, when doing a self portrait the amount of time one must spend blending, drawing, redrawing, switching pencils, and erasing etc. for each part of the face is phenomenal. The detail it takes you from the point you first sketch out a basic face until it is finished is a lot of work. Maybe I just did not notice before but this is just about the way everything is in life – rechecking and refining any work you do into perfection. Writing is like this as well, continually spellchecking, rewording, checking grammar, erasing sentences, reading aloud, leaving something be so you can better rewrite it – all of that takes time. So I have really been recognizing how much work goes into projects and goals lately. Kudos to you who work hard, to get your work to that finished product, it is not an easy thing to do.

I believe for so long I have just refused to do things and have not had the stamina to complete things when they get to hard; endurance is a key factor in life. How long can you push through the reworking stage, what is your patience, for enduring onto the end. Maybe this speaks for life in general. I was reading some post on Facebook that said meeting the right person to spend your life with was not the problem. Everyone can make it through that lovey-dovey pink clouds phase that is not the problem. The real work comes when you commit to a person and work through and put up with those quirks that were once endearing, annoying habits, having nothing to say to each other, getting upset at each other (etc.) that is what endurance is needed for. The post on Facebook ended by saying that God brings different people into our lives for different reasons but we must decide how long they stay and what those reasons are. Who will we endure for?

Getting back to what I was saying – it is good to have goals and things to achieve and if you are like me you are goal driven. Maybe finding that right person in your life is one of those goals. But what we must accept is that whatever we do in life it is going to take reworking, refitting, and reforming. We must adjust to our surroundings and to whatever we face next; life is not static and we cannot just stand still, unless it is a method of moving forward.

So I hope you achieve your dreams in the coming months and have the strength within you to succeed. If I’ve learned anything it is that what seems to break you, will make you stronger once you gone through it.