SPRING BEAUTY HAUL: MAY/JUNE 2017 – #amwriting #beauty #nonfiction


Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.


  1. MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal (Bright Blue Pink: Satin Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $27.00 CAN
File 2017-06-05, 11 47 48 AM
Credit: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Peony Petal

It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product


2. MAC Velvet Tease Thick Lip Pencil (Light Pink: Matte Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $15.00 CAN

To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have

MAC - Velvet Tease Lip Pencil Tease Me
MAC Cosmetics – Velvet Tease Lip Pencil (Tease Me) -$17.00 CAN

been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.

3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN

Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow Generose
Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow (Genrose) –

A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars. 


4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00  CAN

The hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no

Clarin's Eyebrow Pencil - Soft Blonde
Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde) – $27.00

longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five. 


5. The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew Highlighting Creamhttp://www.thebeautycrop.com- $16.00 CAN

 

Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream
The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew – Highlighting Cream – $15.00

I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter. 


6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.

I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me

ELF Matte nude and brown Eyeshadow palette
e.l.f. Matte Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (nude/brown colors) – $10.00 U.S.

@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds ) – http://www.elfcosmetics.com – $4.00 U.S.

ELF Bake highlighter in Pink Diamonds
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds) – $4.00 U.S.

My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.


8. Model Co. B.B. Cream: Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light) – http://www.modelcocosmetics.com – $24.00 AUSTRALIAN

This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in

ModelCo BB Cream in Light (True Pic)
Model Co. B.B. Cream Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum and SPF 30, Light)

my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizer these B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Day 4 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge: Poem – “A Secret Within A Secret” #amwriting #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge


Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo is to write a ” poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle . . .” As well, my GoodRead’s author quote will start with an author’s name beginning with the letter D, for the A to Z Challenge.

———

Credit: Abigail Keenan via UnSplash

——–

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” ― Diane Arbus

———-

On precious plush lips, she rests her hand, 

She’ll never tell you what thoughts she’s had. 

Preferring mostly, to let you wonder, 

To pillage her plunder, 

Yet to never understand who she is. 

The secret so hidden and complex; this —

Illusion she portrays, by and by, everyday. 

You can search through her closets array, 

Of clothes and shoes, or her jewelry gleaming, 

With her nothing is as it seems.

You’ll never find it hidden in kitchen drawers, 

Packed away in the cupboard’s coffee tin or —

When you find out her password to her page, 

Or look in private documents, bills or her wages.

It’s not in some box in the garage, 

And begging her won’t assuage —

What you can never seem to pin point, 

What you can never find in her poise —

The grace of her movements, her brilliant blue —

Eyes, searching yours, praying that you’ve a clue.

She’ll let you touch her how you like, 

She knows your confusion without spite. 

She’s hoping you’ll find it, but will you ever know? 

The truth it lies within her soul, 

And when you know — you’ll know. 

——-

———-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.


Interview With Jasminder Bains


Welcome to another biweekly interview on Mandibelle16. I’m hoping where ever you are the weather is nice and spring is on its way or summer isn’t too hot. This week I interviewed the impressive and talented writer Jasminder Bains from the United States. You can check out her blog here: Confessions Of A Reborn Girl


interview-jasminder
Credit: Jasminder Bains

1. Hi Jasminder. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

Where to begin…I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.

I’m two years clean and keeping it that way. Psychology fascinates me; hence, I’m majoring in it. You’ll find there is a lot of psychology based posts on my blog. I love to sing and dance to KPOP when nobody’s around, or at least when I think nobody’s around. I had to run up three flights of stairs because I got caught once.

Also, I’m obsessed with green tea and I like to meditate because it clears my mind. I prefer video games and Doc Martens to dresses ( I only own one dress) and makeup. The only makeup I wear is eyeliner and it’s about as good as my sense of direction. I get lost even with a GPS to help me find my way. I’m an aggressive middle-class minimalist who pillages anything I can get my hands on; this is why I have a ring of rocks sitting on my dresser.

I have moments where I’m incredibly with the times and others I’m not. I set up a Twitter account recently. I have no idea what half the buttons mean. But I can give you Excel pointers and talk about ‘markdown formatting;’ I can’t tell you much about Facebook.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? What motivates and inspires you?

I started blogging last July, but I’ve been writing since I was in fifth grade. Poetry and blogging are how I vent as well as defeat stereotypes. I write because I want to heal other people and because I love doing it.

I find inspiration from my life because I’m an avid people-watcher and I overthink everything. I find new material is as simple as walking into the middle of a cafeteria and sitting down. I learned so much about human interaction by doing this. I make time for writing whenever I can.


“I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.” – Jasminder Bains


3. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Any Future Projects You Have In Mind?

I’m planning on participating in the 2017 Kindness Challenge! The link to sign up is here if you’re interested. I’m also hosting my own blogging challenge, it’s called the ‘Boundless Challenge.’ The premise of the challenge is to share a #boundlessmoment from the past week where you did something that you thought you weren’t actually capable of doing.

I started the challenge not too long ago so it’s relatively new. My goal is to inspire people through this prompt. Maybe they will believe they are capable of doing much more than they think they can do. Check out the sixth #boudlessmoment challenge on my blog HERE.


4. Can You Tell Us More About Your Blog and Why You Started Blogging?

When I founded @Confessions (Confessions Of A Reborn Girl) I had one goal and one goal alone: to teach others about human potential. Too many times I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise.


“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker


That being said, [my blog] would qualify as a lifestyle blog, though I focus more on mentality and mindset rather than fashion or food. My blog categories are different takes on that ‘boundless lifestyle’ if you will.

Life, as the catagory name states, revolves around my everyday thoughts and experiences. [As I noted above] you can also find my own blogging challenge, the Boundless Challenge, which is devoted to inspiring the WordPress community to achieve their full potential. At the end of each week, I share #boundlessmoments of my own and from across the internet. . . Who knows? Maybe next week you’ll be featured!

Writer’s Corner is [a segment on my blog] where I analyze social norms and American culture along with occasional philosophizing. DIY is exactly as the name states. I have this category because crafting opened up my thinking in a way nothing else could. I believe that it can do the same for you. [Lastly, my] meditation journal [catagory] stems from my adoration for — well — meditation. [Since I] over-think, meditation is the perfect counter to my habit and it helps me analyze my emotions and inner conflict. 


“Too many times, I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they just didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise” – Jasminder Bains


5. How Does Your Blog Tie-In With Your Stance on Mental Health?

I continue to challenge the stigmas and negative stereotypes surrounding the field of mental health. There’s so much more to psychology than depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disease; [these are] only a small branch of [what is called] abnormal psychology. In order to understand the abnormal, we must first understand the normal.

I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.


6. Do You Have Any Other Projects On The Go? What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Have Any Genres of Writing or Reading that You Prefer?

I’m planning on writing a fiction book called Project Rebirth. I’ve no details other than that because I hardly know what the book is about myself. 😛 For me, writing is painful.Writing is life. WHAT WAS I THINKING WRITING THAT?!! Editing is painful. Editing is life. Rinse and repeat.

Fantasy is my FAVORITE genre. None of this 21st-century teen smut fantasy romance. I mean classy fantasy like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or The Ranger’s Apprentice booksI prefer these types of books so much more than teen romance novels. 


“I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.” Jasminder Bains


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Tips for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share Pertinent to this Interview?

Keep writing. It’s the only way you get better (and shameless). Also, I want to fight the negative stigmas and stereotypes around mental health because it’s vastly misunderstood and generalized which is dangerous for everyone.


8. What Are Your Three Favorite Blogs You Follow Of Any Kind?


interivew-live-boundless
Credit: Jasminder Bain

9. Can You Please Share With Us Some Pieces from Your Blog?

“Pain”

By Jasminder Bains

August 26, 2016

*****

What’s this? My insides feel like they’re tearing apart. 

Something’s wrong, I should take some medication.

Something’s wrong, it’s 3 A.M. and I’m awake again. Did I ever fall asleep? I feel like I’m dying. 

I’m frozen, I feel like screaming, is this really real?

Maybe this is the dream I have to wake up from, I don’t remember falling asleep so maybe I never woke up. 

Something’s wrong, it’s 4 A.M. and I’m still here. I should just close my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if it was appendicitis….would I?  

Something’s wrong, it’s only 7 A.M. and I’m already awake. No, mum, don’t leave for work just yet. There’s a patient lying here in bed who needs to be seen.

Mum is gone. My brother needs my phone for school. It’s low on battery because I stared blankly at music videos and funny vines for half the night unable to react thanks to the burning sensation in my stomach.

Dad wants to know what’s going on so I spill my guts on him. It’s time to try another medication, stay hydrated, and ride things out.

Mum says book an appointment if it doesn’t get better. I wonder if it will get better.

I’m a statue, unmoving and emotionless. I thought today was yesterday. Guess my brain didn’t register that I ever went to sleep.

Should I feel crooked that this pain is now who I am? I don’t want to do anything let alone go the hospital. It could be nothing. Just like me.

Dad wants me to make him lunch if I’m able. Fine. The pain is mostly gone and I can wait 10 minutes to pass out.

There are two types of naps: the kind that make you feel worse than before, but you know you had no choice, and the kind that make you feel energized. Mine was the latter. Maybe it’s because I slept two hours instead of 20 minutes. Oh well. At least the pain’s almost gone.

All I’ve had to eat today is half a bagel and a tin of Chobani yogurt. I should eat something else. A salad sounds divine only I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to eat the croutons and leaves yet. Only one way to find out. Verdict: I can chew a crouton. I can’t chew a spinach leaf. I’ll just have a burrito.

Something’s wrong, it’s been 18 hours since I laid awake in bed screaming in my head and I’m doing it again. Except this time in a chair with a plate of food in front of me. Forget it. I’m not eating if it’s gonna sting this bad. Time to take some more medication. 

I don’t want to be a physical embodiment of pain, I want my life back. I want to feel joy again, I want to listen to music that lifts me up again, I want to write a blog post ahead of time again, I want to have faith again, I want to feel healthy again, I want to have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I want to be me again.

~Live Boundless.

*****


Here are Some Additional Posts By Jasminder: 


Thank You Jasminder for sharing so much about yourself and your blogging. You’re an incredibly inspiring and motivational thinker and writer. 

If you would like to be interviewed for my biweekly interview series, please contact me HERE on my Contact Page. Once more here is the link to Jasminder’s BlogConfessions Of A Reborn Girl.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Music Prompt: Poem – Joseph’s Star – ” Timeless Love” #amwriting #poetry #music 


Thank you to Sanaarizvi of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s music prompt, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. 

——

“A Thousand Years” – Christina Perri 

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=32xAgiUFMLI

——-

Credit: Fine Art America: Couple Kissing by Giuseppe Cristiano

—–

Scared, 

Falling is,

Never easily —

Done; it’s aggravating ’cause, 

I’m helplessly facing, 

My soul’s connection for —

A thousand,

Years. 

—–

I, 

See before —

Me; you’re standing close,

Darling, don’t be afraid ’cause, 

I’m not letting go, loved you —

For a thousand years,

Always for, 

More.

—–

With,

Each breath I —

Take, every hour meant, 

Was closer to you; our time —

Drawing near; ending my fears;

A thousand,

Tears. 

—-

Please, 

Don’t be scared, 

Everyday I knew you were coming. 

Time neared, stepping closer to —

Loving you starting, 

Thousands of, 

Years.

—–

Time’s

Frivolious.

Because forever, 

We’ll love for a thousand years;

Love you milenias more,

Our love is timeless, 

Together, time —

Stops.

—–

Knew, 

Believed the —

Day would arrive I’d —

Find you eventually, we’ve —

Thousands of years being us;

Life to share, to keep —

Our future, 

Warm.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: New Beginnings #flashfiction #fiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting.

——

Credit: Roger Shipp

——

(Hello! Just noting this piece had a mind of its own and is somewhat longer than the usual 200 words. Cheers!) 

——-

Closing time / One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.” The mellow lines Semisonic floated into Tyrelle’s ears. 

It was 2:00 a.m. and his friends, Jordan and Simone, were trying to shut their house party down, arranging places for closest friends to sleep and for others to catch a cab home. Tyrelle nursed his last drink for the night. As per usual, he was upset these days. 

His beautiful Cleo should’ve been with him here tonight, ensuring he didn’t feel like such a recluse at his friends’ party. He hadn’t been in the mood for a party but since Cleo had ended things three-months ago, he knew he needed to move on. 

More Semisonic lyrics played through from an IPad:”Closing time / Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” 

Tyrelle watched as Simone finally locked the front door. She peered at at him and moved to give him a short friendly back rub. “You still miss Cleo, huh?” 

“Yeah, everyday. Does it get easier?” Tyrelle asked her. 

Simone sighed, “Before Jordan, I was with Blake and I thought he was it. Then he broke my heart and for months after, I didn’t function well.” 

“After a while I stopped thinking about Blake as much. I realized I resented the hold he had had on me. Then I chose to become involved in life. I volunteered and I saw more friends and family. Not long after, I met Jordan,” Simone said smiling.

Tyrelle smirked. As if what Simone said could ever be possible for him. Then he remembered the last line in the Semisonic song. About how other things had to end for better and new things to begin. So that’s what he decided to do — to begin anew. 

He picked up his phone and blocked Cleo’s number. Tyrelle unfriended and blocked her on every social media. Tomorrow he would start going to a different gym location then Cleo to workout and he would go to a different grocery store by his condo to shop as well. Finally, he grinned, he would get a new haircut.

 Yes, it was time to live again. 

—–

“Closing Time” by Semisonic 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Melinda Kucsera


Welcome to another edition of my bi-weekly writer interview series. Today I have interviewed the fascinating and lovely, science-fiction and fantasy writer Melinda Kucsera. You can visit here blog here: www.melindakucsera.com


 

Melinda Kucsera
Melinda Kucsera

1. Melinda, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

I’m an IT project manager for an academic journal publisher by day. By night, I write fantasy books, science-fiction books, and short stories. Then, I post them to me blog: www.melindakucsera.com


2. When did you start writing and blogging?

I started building my own world, when I was small and fleshed out a fantasy world for my characters to live in. Originally, my world only had one country called Shayari. But my world grew to include other countries as well as extensions into other worlds and realms.

I used to tell stories about Shayari and its people to my siblings, the kids I babysat, (etc). But I didn’t write my stories down until I was in middle school and even then, I spent more time writing about my created world and its peculiarities than its people.

Around the age of sixteen-years-old, I came across the bookThe Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey at my local library. It was the first fantasy book I’d ever come into contact with and it gave me the idea to write down the stories I had been imagining. I thought, if readers liked Lackey’s fantasy world, then they’d like mine too. So, I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather write than do anything else.

I started blogging a year ago in 2015 because everyone kept telling me I should do it. Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.


” . . .I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather writer than do anything else . . . Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.” – Melinda Kucsera


3. What Does Writing Mean to You? Why Do You Write?

I write for the joy of it and because I can’t not write. There’s an ever expanding number of characters walking in and out of my imagination, demanding that I capture their life in words. I want to write these character’s stories. Their stories are compelling and they always show me tantalizing bits which make me want to know more!


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

Writing is the first and last thing I think about every day. In fact, every other thought I have is about a story in progress, or a character, or an idea for a character for a story. My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.


“My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.” – Melinda Kucsera


5. Do You Find There is a Time of Day You Most Enjoy to Write?

No, I steal time for writing whenever and wherever I can. I have a demanding day job which keeps me busy for eleven to twelve hours-a-day, five-days a week, if you factor in my commute time to and from work. Additionally, I’m a fitness and health nut and I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones, they allow me to write, edit, and walk at the same time.


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Do You Have Any Hopeful Projects?

I have too many projects! I love working on multiple projects at the same time, hence, my day job as a project manager.My most current projects are:

1.Curse Breaker: Enchanted, which is on sale on Amazon at http://bit.ly/CurseMK. Sarn must find out why a child was murdered in the enchanted forest before the same fate befalls him or his son. (It’s a heartwarming fantasy tale). I’m finalizing the Kindle version and will start the print edition hopefully, the week following.

 2. Curse Breaker: Faceted, which is the sequel to Curse Breaker: Enchanted, (Dec 2016/Jan 2017 release). It’s already written and I only need to edit the novel. In this book, odd events happen around an old tower which only Sarn can remember seeing. These occurrences are building up to something and Sarn wants nothing to do with it. But he can’t escape what’s coming…

3.Curse Breaker: Jousted, book three of the Curse Breaker Saga (March/April 2017 release). Sarn and his family take in a joust which takes a deadly turn when extinct creatures show up. Who will survive the hunter’s game?

4.Curse Breaker: Trapped, book four of the Curse Breaker Saga (June/July 2017 release). Sarn’s luck has finally run out. The silence that hid his son for the last four years now dooms him when an old enemy shows up to even the score. Sarn’s two lives collide and his son hangs in the balance.

5. I’m also working on several other novels and extensions for the short stories readers have requested. And I publish a short story a day on my blog so yeah, I’m also working on blogging short stories as well.


” . . . I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones. They allow me to talk, edit, and walk at the same time.” – Melinda Kucsera


7.  Are You Planning to Publish More Works of Writing in the Future? Do You Have Other Published Works Besides What You Are Currently Working On?

Yes, I am planning to publish my stories. My sister asked me to publish my stories before her death in 2014; it is one promise, I intend to keep.

I published Stars and Angels Sing in January of 2016 as well as Curse Breaker: Enchanted, is on sale right now on Amazon. (See the second link to purchase Melinda’s first book in Sarn’s journey.)


Curse breaker Enchanted Melinda
http://www.amazon.com

Additionally, as stated above, I plan to publish the first four books of the Curse Breaker Saga: Curse Breaker: Enchanted (9/27/2016); Curse Breaker: Faceted (December 2016/early January); Curse Breaker: Jousted (March/April 2017); and Curse Breaker: Trapped (June/July 2017). I haven’t figured out which book will follow book four, possibly a book book five; but I’m not sure yet.


8. Can you Briefly Describe the Process You Are Going Through to Publish Your Curse Breaker Series of Books?

Sure, though I’m making this up as I go along. Consider yourself forewarned. I couldn’t afford an editor so I’m doing all editing myself. For me this means:

1. I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool. It highlights uses of passive voice, wordiness, hard to read sentences, adverbs, words that can be simplified,(etc). I edit my chapter based on The Hemingway App suggestions and until I’m satisfied with my editing.

2. I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader. It essentially, reads my word document of my manuscript to me and I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.

3. I spell and grammar check my entire manuscript in MS Word as well as double-check the meanings of words to ensure I am using them correctly. To ensure I’m using words correctly, I use:  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

4. After completing the appropriate steps to self-edit a group of chaptersI send them to my beta reader and wait for feedback while I work on the next group of chapters requiring editing.

5. Once, everything is edited to my satisfaction from self-editing and the comments of my beta reader, I will listen to the entire book one last time, to be certain I’ve caught any missed mistakes.

6. I designed the covers for the Curse Breaker Saga since I know my way around Photoshop. But first, I researched. I browsed audio books and ogled a lot of book covers. I may have bought a bunch of those books. I asked my cube-mate fro, work, who is the web designer from my day job, for feedback on the covers but she didn’t have any.

7. Next, I formatted my book for Kindle which required me to apply some styles in MS Word, slap in a hyperlinked TOC, and I was done.

8. After, I created a new MS Word document and set it up for print. I cut and pasted chapter by chapter, following basic design rules (chapter heads always start on the right hand page etc.) I always chose the ‘paste as plain text’ option AND THEN  I applied the new styles. If the document is set up right this process is boring but painless.

9.  I submitted two documents using self-publishing, one to Amazon and one to a printer to proof and print/put up for sale.


9. How Does Your Writing Process Work? Do Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Writing and Reading?

I write whenever I can steal a few minutes to do so. I always have pages of my writing, clawing its way out of my head. Also, I love audio books. They are the only books I read anymore. As for genres, I love fantasy and science-fiction. Reading science-fiction, I especially enjoy military, speculative, and hard science-fiction. I also like to read whatever else catches my eye when I feel like reading.


” I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool [for editing] . . . I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader . . . I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.” – Melinda Kucsera


10. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers Or Anything Else You’d Like To Share Related To Writing or Yourself?

Write because you love writing; write for yourself not for others. Read a lot and if you’re busy, listen to a lot of audio-books while you do other work. Hearing great writing in your ear and thinking about it in your mind is vital. So read, hear, think, about writing, however, you can.

Write On!


11. Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blog With Some of Your Favorite Pieces? 

Curse Breaker: Enchanted blurb:

“SARN indentured himself four years ago to pay for his brother’s education. It was a desperate bid to help his brother escape the cycle of poverty. For him there was never any hope, not while his body brims with illegal magic that just so happens to fuel the perpetual glow of his green eyes.

THE BARGAIN…The terms of his indenture landed him a stint with the Rangers who patrol the enchanted forest until a party of travelers is attacked in the forest’s midst and killed. Everything changes when that first drop of blood is spilled, waking the forest’s ire.

THE MYSTERY… Sarn tries to stay out of sight and trouble but one of the Rangers has plans for him. And the ghost of a child murdered in the forest haunts him—a green-eyed child just like his own son. Who killed this boy and the party he traveled with and why? The answer might cost his sanity but to find it, he risks losing the son he’s kept a secret for four years. Not finding the answer might damn his son to share that murdered boy’s fate.

As conflicting plans collide beneath enchanted boughs, one thing is certain. If Sarn can’t get his magic under control, he’ll never find the answers that he seeks. But how far is he willing to go to find those answers? The search might cost more than his sanity; it might cost his life.”


12. Here are Some Short Excerpts of Curse Breaker: Enchanted Below from Melinda’s Blog:

1. Queen Of All Trees

2. Curse Breaker: Kaulayaw

3.The Trouble With Marahuyo


Thank you so much Melinda for agreeing to be interviewed and providing such a thorough description of your publishing process and the exciting book series you are publishing. Here is the link to Melinda Kucsera’s Blog again and the link on Amazon to purchase her amazing first book!


Hope you enjoyed today’s interview. I know I did 🙂 If you would like to share about yourself and your writing in my bi-weekly interview series, please reach-out to me through my Contact Page here. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Poem: “Words”


Thanks to the Daily Post for yesterday’s and today’s word prompts Refresh and Voice.

—–

The right words to write, don’t happen each day,

When you only want to lie on the couch and let,

Each and every word in your head drift away.

It’s not as if what you write has to be set.

—-

That the lines all have to be one length.

That all lines have to be the correct amount of syllables.

Some days there is no power in your writing voice –no strength,

And your rhyme isn’t on, rhythm too is dribble.

—-

I write and half-way through I feel a need for a refresh.

Wipe the page clean, type something later when life makes sense.

It isn’t as if life is especially pressing,

It’s only that right now — I don’t make sense.

—–

Maybe life needs to feel refreshing again,

Maybe, your spirit needs to feel alive,

Before you can say exactly, what you mean to gain,

By writing these words down, and to let them thrive.

——

We need only find our writing voice in the everyday world,

Searching for a place we can be heard.

I don’t know why but my thoughts are awhirl,

I’m still searching for the right words.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.