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

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


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

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

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


Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

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

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

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

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


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


 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


Writing Night Ryan Stone
Credit: Andrew Neel via UnSplash 

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


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

 


 

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Until I saw those wasted hands,

brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought

how fast the years make ghosts.

*****

I heard them once called brawler’s paws.

For me, they were always more:

cobras, poised to strike.

*****

But his brawling days are gone now;

I could kill him with a pillow,

if I cared enough to try.

*****

Thin sheets press tightly to a bed

more empty than full, his body broken

like the promises of childhood.

*****

Haunted eyes betray last thoughts

of a dim path, spiraling down.

He hopes to make amends.

*****

“Forgiven?” he croaks,

barely there, as always,

and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.

*****

With the last rays of day as witness,

I turn my back with purpose

and hear the silence roar.

*****

In a late-night bar, I catch my reflection

swimming in a glass of bourbon;

but I’m staring at a ghost.

*****

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

 


Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


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


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

100 Word Wednesdays, Flash Fiction, Free Verse, History, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Free Verse – “Wings Broken” #amwriting #100WordWednesday #flashfiction #poetry 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting this edition of #100WordWednesday. 

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Credit: Bikurgurl

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She valued it, 

Above all. 

Elaborate China, 

Not pretty or delicate. 

Gaudy-patterned, 

Indigo Wedgewood. 

Peach, gray flowers. 

Frail bone China, 

No value to him. 

Displayed in a cabinet. 

Pieces and —

Place settings, 

Gifted for —

Wedding presents. 

She dusted them,

Each week.  

Paid him no mind, 

Humming hymns. 

Ignored him when, 

He talked. 

She never used to, 

She’d laugh, 

Join in. 

And when they, 

Used the China, 

At Easter, 

Designs of indigo, peach —

Made him sick. 

Dizzying, he wanted to —

Wretch. 

Just as when , 

He saw her, 

With him. 

The one she said, 

She’d forgotten. 

Accepted he’d married, 

Moved on.

But his aftershave, 

On her skin, 

Made him ill,

So he stood, 

Starring at the China, 

She’d taken out, 

To clean. 

Piece by piece, 

It hit the wall, 

Smashing, crashing. 

Splinters of it, 

Drawing blood. 

Until shards of, 

Tacky dinnerware, 

Only remained. 

She screamed, 

Wounded like a fledging, 

Who fell, 

For the first time, 

And couldn’t arise, 

Never again, 

Wings broken. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Bop - 6 lines, refrain, 8 lines, refrain, 6 lines, refrain, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Writing Prompt: Poem – Bop – “Breaks Your Bones With Mirth” #poetry #amwriting


Thanks to Pat of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Sunday’s writing prompt. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie (Pat)

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There’s something about love decidedly,

Painful, heart twisting, leaving jagged lines.

While once you functioned on your straight path, 

You struggle to be separated, unclasped, 

From your lover caught such sweet endorphins,

Feel good moments together, love morphed. 

Love breaks your bones with laughter and rich mirth. 

There are times you beg to be left alone, 

Marking out your space, a millisecond —

Of time to yourself wished, without cleaning, 

Tidying up the mess, dealing with mean, 

Gestures of agonized perfection you’ll, 

Never live up to, with nagging so cruel.

If only it was easier to both be, 

More easy going, he and you pleased. 

Love breaks your bones with laughter and rich mirth. 

Back under the covers hide you both, 

Yourselves, to frantic lovers never clothed. 

When you can forget your petty squabbles, 

When skin and touch are both arrows, 

To passion and renewal, to time spent, 

Lounging and loving close, you both relent. 

Love breaks your bones with laughter and rich mirth. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 


Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Lists, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Writing

Notable Quotes March 2017 Part Three #quotes #pinterest #writers #books


I’ve found such a treasureful of quotes this month so you all get a part three. Enjoy, a lot of these are book quotes which I truly loved 🙂

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, LaCharta - aaaaabb ccccdd etc. - 8 syllables, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Collage Prompt: How Edges Are Smoothed #amwriting #poetry #LaCharta


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Collage Prompt. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Obscured by flowers she slumbers;

In restless sleep, dreams and wonders. 

Of every place she could be stumbling. 

She’s on a bus; she’s left and coming. 

Engaging, discovering the world, 

Hands in the air, gives happy twirl. 

—–

She knows she’s one of those shattered

Those broken people, hearts scattered. 

All she lost hurts her, still matters, 

She’s travelling, her soul battered

Wherever she feels she goes free —

Never having felt mindless glee. 

—–

In parks she discovers nature’s gifts, 

Rain falling down in healing bliss. 

Frost on the pine trees, light snow drifts;

Fall’s leaves hanging with an ice kiss.

Dew drops on the pine needles caught, 

Icicled and splendid shots. 

—-

Shuttering Nikon bright photos, 

Numerous, exquisite, with notes —

Written neatly underneath rows. 

Photos printed, memories wrote. 

Publishes first book from afar, 

Remains here; she’s seen lucent stars. 

—-

Gleaming, brilliant lights overhead, 

New home to heal, words yet unsaid. 

Forgets past, hangs laundry instead, 

Milk in jug for children, she’s wed; 

Life remoulded into her dreams, 

Someone loves her, he teases. 

——

They laugh with each other love spun; 

Knows her well but she’s cut him some. 

Yet he heals, heals her too; he proves —

Love is the balm, steady, true. 

Whenever her edges spike through, 

Holds her tight until she’s smooth, soothed. 

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LaCharta

“The LaCharta, created by Laura Lamarca, consists of a minimum of 3 stanzas with no maximum length stipulation. Each stanza contains 6 lines. The syllable count is 8 per line in iambic tetrameter and the rhyme scheme is aaaabb ccccdd eeeeff and so on. “La” is Laura Lamarca’s signature and “Charta” in Latin, simply means “poem”.”

Please see Shadow Poetry for further information.

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Free Verse, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “A Nightmare of Ink” #amwriting #poetry #nightmares


Thank you to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the his week’s Photo Prompt chalkenge.

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Credit: Reylia.deviantart.com

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She holds the flowers teaming with a life force all their own, 

Knowing the ombré blue blossoms will escape; 

Flutter into the world carried on the wind, 

Pettles and fluffy white seeds blown across the land. 

Messengers of hope and artistry, a beauty undefinable. 

Her hands tightly grasp the stems, no thorns to prick errant fingers. 

She can’t let go, however, she she tries, 

Hands entrapped on rough stems holding too hard. 

So rigid are her hands, blood comes forth, 

The pressure of her grip too intense;

With great thought, he watches her, observes her reactions, 

She doesn’t understand why he’s hurting her; she needs help. 
She’s dressed in her navy dress and in life he loves it, 

In her dream, he picks at the fabric of her sleeve in disgust. 

Mumbling to himself, then struck with a thought, 

He’s found a thin fluted vase in blue to match her flowers. 

She doesn’t conprehend the symbolism or the reason, 

When ink he pours onto her flowers from the vase. 

He stains her hands until they appear black, 

The flowers are ruined and slicked with ink like oil. 

The streaming ink is everywhere, 

Her beloved smiles at her, he chucks her chin and winks, 

Takes the flowers and places them in the vase. 

The ink is all over her hands and arms;

Hers and his, and he’s laughing. 

Saying how difficult ink is to remove from one’s skin, 

So he cradles her face and he kisses her long, 

But then she awakes in her dream, 

To permenant ink stains all over her face and hands.

He smirks at her, walks away no care for the ink staining him. 

The moon gleams in the sky and it rains — buckets of tar black ink, 

Caressing her body, covering as sludge, dripping and spilling. 

What value is ink if she has no pen’s cartridge to put it in? 

She’s not able to use it to write. 

The world around is flooded by this precious commodity, 

And when she finally awakes for real, all is forgotten. 

Yet, the hands she holds up to the sunlight, 

Are stained dark black;

She’s tattood in the memory of a dream, 

Nightmares and reality never giving way to truth. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Finish Off Fridays/Saturday Mix FlashFiction, Flash Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Writing, Writing Challenges

#FinishOffFridays Flash Fiction: Shadows Are Beings Too #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Lorraine of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting: 

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Credit: Lorraine

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Great green leafy trees are reflected on the lagoons glimmering surface. High above the actual trees dance in the breeze, drooping, almost as if to kiss the water with their branches. On the shore are large rocks which I take and skip across the lagoon. The mermaids will love me for this.

I continue to skip rocks until a few lovely mermaids pop their heads out of the forest lagoon and give me dirty looks. They hope it’s Peter, but when they see it’s only Peter’s shadow, they roll their eyes diving back under the water beneath the lillypads and floating flowers.

No one anywhere thinks much of a shadow and they don’t realize shadows are beings too. So the mischief in me has unsewn myself from Peter Pan. He’s been chasing me all day but I’m quicker and smarter than he. It’s why I decided he should take a trip home to a little girl I fancy; she is called Wendy. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction, Friday Fictioneer, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Friday Fictioneer Flash Fiction: As Orchids #flashfiction #amwriting #nonfiction 


Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff Fields for hosting FF.

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Credit: Roger Bultot

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I love orchids, especially purple ones. For me, orchids stand for resiliency and strength. One reason for this is that orchids need little care. A cupful of water every few days, leave them in the sun by a window, and they will continue to bloom and put out new shoots. Kindly, remember not to water them more, it’s how they die and orchids are notoriously difficult to kill. 

Season after season orchids put out shoots which turn into buds and burst out as soft petaled flowers. I think as orchids, humans are built to last. Though we are all moving towards our eventual death, on the way we are continuely putting out shoots and if we’re careful, growing beautiful flowers in the lives of those we touch. We are people who can grow even in harsh conditions. It doesn’t take much to fuel us, to keep us going, demonstrating our kindness to others. 
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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: Words Of Daisies #3Linetales #quotes #pinterest #goodreads


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

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Credit: Bruno Nascimento via UpSplash

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“Behold

the azure sea in front of you,

the turquoise sky above you,

the amber mountain beneath your feet,

and the golden daisy in your hands.

How are you not the richest person on earth?” 

― Khang Kijarro Nguyen (Good Reads) 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.