Photo/Music Challenge: Sunlight Too #shortfiction #amwriting #dierksbentley


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting PhotoChallenge 200. Also, thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this last Friday’s Music Challenge “I’ll Be the Moon” by Dierks Bentley Ft. Maron Morris.


Credit: Justin Peters


“I’ll Be the Moon” by Dierks Bentley Ft. Maron Morris


It begins innocently. A few words, a few texts that turn into a few hundred messages. A few phone calls and coffees. A few drinks, and late night conversations. My phone lights up in the dark. “Where are you?”

“Come meet me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Kier, meet for a drink. For an hour, maybe two, maybe three.”

“Baby, I’m in.” I speed towards our favorite restaurant bar. Our relationship has never passed conversation. Eyes locked for eons, long enough to drown in each other’s presence.

Jovial talk and laughter echo as I open the worn door. I find you in the bar area, in are usual place. My pulse thumps louder and your smile lights up my heart. Elation and a sense of tranquility rushes through my veins.

You take a sip of your beer then, saunter over to greet me. Grabbing my cold hands, you warm them, caressing them before grazing the back of your hand against my cheek. Its silkiness stokes a fire, igniting embers inside me.

“Girl, you can’t take your eyes off me, can you?”

You chuckle and lean into me, forehead against my chest. “Yeah, I’ve been missing the sight of you. I keep thinking about you.”

Your words are sweet relief, and our first kiss overwhelms me. I grasp your vanilla scented hair in my fingers. Your lips brush mine over and over. I nip your bottom lip, and the clammer of voices and TV’s in the bar fade.

I’ve dreamt of kissing you often. Is it even real? Then, you moan and the kiss elevates, lips melding, and tongues meeting faster; passion burns brighter in us both. We’re lost until a waitress pokes my shoulder. Her sharp nail bites, and breaks our fog.

“Hey, Kier.”

“Oh, Brandy. We’re kind of busy. I stare at your swollen lips, and prepare to dive back in for more.

You move away slightly, gripping my shirt, eyes wide. There’s enough room for Brandy to half squeeze and wiggle between our bodies.

“Kier, you want a beer? You haven’t ordered. There’s specials on tap or do you want your regular?” Brandy presses her red lips together. She. wiggles her chest against my side. Her scoop neck t-shirt leaves cleavage bulging. But I’m not interested in her and never have been.

I peer at you, your biting your lip. Your eyes narrow at Brandy. “My regular drink’s fine, Brandy.”

She peers at you and freezes. You roll your eyes and she flushes. Her lips form a practiced fake smile. Brandy sways her hips, teetering back to the bar on red heels.

You burst out laughing and snuggle into my checked shirt and chest. Then, you pull my my face down towards your lips. Your hands sneak around my back, and stroke my back beneath my shirt.

“Mmm.” I can’t help moaning. Our lips clash, the sparks between us explode. I lead you back towards the booth, where no one will bother us.

We converse, and make-out as if we’re both sixteen. We laugh for hour, and I never want the night to end. When your ringtone, “House of the Rising Sun” goes off, ‘his name’ pops up on your caller ID. I stare at the floor, hiding my disappointment.

You brush your hand through my hair. “I’m sorry, it’s time to leave. I need to go home. ‘He’s’ wondering where I am.”

I hate your excuses, but sigh against your neck. I place small wet kisses up your neck towards your velvet earlobe. You giggle and push me away half-heartedly.

I grasp your small chin. “Ain’t no one gotta know. Please, Mer, one more kiss before you go.”

As you walk away, I admire your toned legs, your skirt swishing around your knees. You stop, turning your head back, and flash your sweet blue eyes at me. Your coy smile lingers in my mind as you saunter out the door. You don’t know how sexy you are, even when you’re leaving me behind.

I grumble to myself, stretching out in the booth. What are you doing? She’s married and it’s going to get complicated. Then, my heart comments. It’s already complicated, Kier, and you know it. You might as well see it through and see what happens.

Brandy strolls up to me, sliding her hand down my arm. She’s young with glossy black hair and whisky-colored eyes, but she has no substance. Her beauty has nothing on your mahogany curls, sparkling green eyes, and your plush pink lips.

She lacks your ironic sense of humor and innate sweetness. I push Brandy off me and drink my third beer. I imagine your silk skin in my arms, that we’re in a place where no one disturbs us until we say so.

*****

A couple of days later you call me, distraught and weeping.

“I can’t do this to my husband, he loves me. We’ve ten-years together.” The weight of those years is in your voice. You’re audibly exhausted and frustrated; your tears pierce through me.

“So, he’s cheating, again?”

“Yeah, his fifth affair, that I know about.”

“Ten years, huh? I don’t wanna be a liar, Mer. And I don’t wanna be a fool, but I hate keeping our affair a secret. I’m sorry he’s cheating, but you deserve love too. Give us a chance. Leave ‘him.’ I would never cheat on you, and we’ll be so much better than you and ‘what’s his name.'”

“We are more. You’ve always been more to me than him, even when you left.” You’re whispering. I wander if you’re hiding in the laundry room, so ‘he’ doesn’t hear our call.

Your voice wobbles. “You’re all I have, ‘he’ doesn’t know me as you know me. He doesn’t love the me from long ago, or the me today. Kier, please always love me, and don’t let me go. Someday soon, this will all work out.”

I shake my head. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t care anymore. “Okay, Mer, for now our relationship can remain a secret. I will do this for you, if you want me to. Can you do this? Juggle your husband’s infidelities and us? Sometime soon you have to make up your mind. A man that treats you like ‘he‘ does isn’t worth your time.”

You cry louder. “I never thought I’d see you after all these years. I can’t let you go again. It ripped me apart when you left. It was the reason I married ‘him.’ I didn’t have to think about the hole in my heart from you, with ‘him;’ at least until his first affair.”

” I never meant to hurt you, but I had to leave, to see the world. Now I’m home, for good.”

“I’m glad. Are we going to meet tonight? ‘He’s’ going out to see her.”

” How about somewhere in-between where you and I live? If that’s what you want, we can meet as often as we’re able. I still feel as if you’re leavin’ me in the dark, accepting an affair. I want more. For now, he can be your sun and I’ll be your moon.”

“You’re so lyrical. I love that about you.”

“Sometimes I am. But, it makes sense. He has your days, and I have your nights, time permitting. But what happens when the two times intersect? He can be the sun and I’ll be the moon, for now, but not forever.”

****

It’s a lavish hotel with swanky modern minimelest decor. The bed is swathed in white, with a mattress so comfortable you could sink into it. You’re stretched out, our skin flush and our limbs tangled after hours of loving. I kiss your forehead, brushing my fingers through your mahogany curls.

Suddenly, ‘his’ ringtone goes off. Your phone lights up.

I kiss your cheeks and your sweet lips.

You bury your face in the pillow, moaning. “Gotta go. He’s wondering where I am.”

“I know, but it still ain’t easy. Just tonight, stay longer. Stay for the whole night. Say you’re at your friend’s place having a girl’s night after a hard day. Call your friend, Liz. She’ll back you up. Tell ‘him’ you forgot to phone or text him earlier.”

“I don’t forget to tell him stuff like that.”

“Maybe, you do, only this once.”

You giggle, “Someone’s creative tonight. You must really want me to stay. I want to stay too.” You smile, plush lips brushing mine, before placing your head on my chest. I wonder if you can hear how fast my heart beats when I’m entwined with you.

You raise your head, your green eyes alight. You kiss me hard, not soft but with need. There’s desperation in your kiss.

You climb on top of me. “One more time before I go.”

I grin. Our kisses and caresses multiply, tightening the cord of our connection. Later, you’re gone, but I’m lay awake in the early morning hours.

My mind won’t stop circling. Tomorrow, she’ll be waking up beside him. She’ll tell him that you loves him, but I know, Mer, doesn’t mean it. She loves me she told me so. She doesn’t love him at all, she never has.

****

For over five months now, we continue to meet whenever possible. Unexpectedly, we have the whole weekend to ourselves. ‘He’s’off on a business trip. You told me ‘he’ has a new mistress, affair number six. I don’t understand how he doesn’t know he has the best of all women in you.

You’re splayed on top of me and we’re both gasping for breath. You pull the blankets up around us as our sweat cools; your head fitted in the crook of my neck until you raise it.

You bite your lip, peering at me. “In my mind when I’m looking at him, and when I think of him, I don’t see us continuing on like this. We’ve had ten years, but ten years of what? Ten years of lies and deceit, now on both our parts.”

I rub your back. You talk about him a lot some nights. Thinking aloud, attempting to solve the riddle. How do you let your husband know you want a divorce, that there was never any love between either of you.

You kiss my neck, then my heart. “I’ve been lying about loving him for years. I can’t stand all his affairs, but are we any better? We’re having our own affair now? I feel so guilty, but at the same time, I don’t care anymore. He deserves it.”

“I hate this.” I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I have to tell you. ” He’s always the elephant in the room. No matter what you think, he’s never known the real you. He doesn’t see you for you, or the false life you both live. But girl, I see you and know the truth. I see you clearer than he ever will.”

I flip you over, resting on top of your sweet body and my forearms. “Don’t let this be a secret any longer. I don’t want to only be the moon; I want to be sunlight too.”

I kiss you tangling my lips and tongue with yours, channeling my will into our loving making. Between gasps you whisper, “Tuesday, I’ll see my lawyer.”

My eyes widen and you giggle, kissing my joyful grin. I tickle you, then my hands make the familiar journey down you alabaster freckled skin.

Before you leave I try to encourage you. “I’m no longer the moon, but sunlight too. I’m every time of day with you.”

You kiss me, holding our heads nose to nose. ” You’re the sun and the moon and everything in-between.”


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction:  The War to End All Wars #amwriting #nonfiction #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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Credit: C.E. Ayr

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What was it like back then? To finally be home? To say the war is done, the enemy is defeated. Hitler killed himself and the Russian’s have taken half of Berlin. The U.S. navy is done island hopping and Japan surrendered after two giant atomic bombs. There’s a Time Magazine cover of a small Japanese girl running, her skin peeling off. Was the message affective? There will always be new enemies and consequences of war. It’s masked beneath the happiness this man feels grabbing some girl he didn’t know, to kiss her in the streets. 

But how many millions were murdered in Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Austria, and the Ukraine? What about the Japanese internment camps and the humiliation suffered there? Think of all the soldiers who were victims. It I said there’s about 6, 000, 000 soldiers alone, who died in WWII; the war to end all wars? 

I wish I could be as happy as this young woman, kissing this soldier and kicking her foot up into the air. There is joy in the end of war but there is never justice and although there are times we ‘must’ go to war, I have learned war is not ‘just’ for anyone. We’re human so we war. It has and will always be. But I fondly wish to be this girl kissing the handsome soldier, innocent, excited, and not realizing no war ends all wars — not until eternity. 

Word Count: 179

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved 

Three Line Tales: Poem – Synchronicity – “Worth Teeth” #amwriting #poetry #3LineTales


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

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Credit: Carson Arias via UnSplash

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It’s called a Lego graveyard,

A container full of beheaded,

Small men —

—–

A variety of pleasant looks,

Others with face’s of ire,

 No heads.

——

The girl and boy they build fast,

Tear bodies from heads not knowing, 

Bad thoughts. 

—–

—–

A pile of joy for building kids, 

A sight of horror for parents;

Gold teeth. 

——

As Nazi’s removed in death camps, 

Nothing dulls pain of Jewish soul; just —

Worth teeth. 

——

A few years ago I saw an excellent movie made by and including George Clooney and some of the regular actors found in his movies — Matt Dameon (etc.) called The Monuments Men. “The film follows an Allied group from the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program that is given the task of finding and saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before Nazis destroy or steal them, during World War II (Wikipedia). 

One of the aspects of the film that overwhelmeingly struck me as awful was as these men went into underground mines and other places the Nazi’s hid priceless artwork, were barrels full of teeth with gold fillings that had been pulled from Jewish Concentration camp prisoners. This is just one mote terrible act of numerous actions done to Jewish prisoners slated to die by Nazis in death camps. Upon researching this, I found the practice by Nazi’s to be accurate even within the context of the movie.  I read that in some cases, the Nazi soldiers forced other prisoners to do this job form them and no pain numbing drugs or even alcohol was provided. 

As well, the movie is based on a fictitious novel but the story itself is based off of real life events that are to some extent historically accurate. In the film, these American men who reclaimed the art work left the gold filled teeth and of course that was the right thing to do. Anyways, in my warped mind, those barrels full of gold teeth fillings are what these lego heads reminded me of — sorry for the imagery! 

This article The Monuments Men (2014) compares the movie and the real life Monument’s men. It answers some interesting questions about WWII Nazi History and Hitler’s reasons behind stealing such a wealth of art.  

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reseved. 

Day 6 -NaPoWriMo/ A to Z Challenge/ Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Blank Verse – “Coal Dust for Sunlight” #poetry #amwriting #flashfiction #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view.” The corresponding GoodRead’s quote for the A to Z Challenge is the letter E. 

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Credit: Yarn Spinner
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“It’s one of those things a person has to do; sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” ― Edward Albee, The American Dream & The Zoo Story

——–

Down in the swamp, down in the bogs there’s —

Mud sucking at my feet, at my soul

Everyday I journey here and fight, 

The elements, the giant rocks, gnarled trees, 

Worst of all the swamp, pulling me in. 

There are days I believe I shall let it, 

But my wife she sees, working here means, 

In such a short while, we shall both be free. 

She says, we’re educated, we have more —

To us than meets the eye, we’ve wisdom

To work in horrible conditions, 

Because we know two years from now we —

Can leave this wretched bog behind, with all —

The tortures of the tormenting tree limbs, 

Nightmares left, there’s better; we’re going —

To the City, where education’s worth —

Something and I won’t have to hate each day. 

Mining for fuel, this coal coating my lungs, 

My wife’s happy, delighted, she is life

So I listen to my fathers last words:

“Don’t stay in this town all your life, move on. 

Take your girl, your college education, 

Leave this foul place behind, don’t be me, 

Coal dust in your lungs is misery and —

A cancerous death is what awaits you.” 

So, I worked and she and I, we left here

To the bustling city, with peaceful parks, 

We breathe, ‘neath blossomed trees, reading in light. 

——–


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weavers: Poem – The Blitz – “The Maiden and The Dragon” #amwriting #taleweavers #poetry


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Tale Weaver’s prompt about a quest, such as the ones JRR Tolkien writes about in his famous books. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Dragons are here, I know it

Dragons beware, my sword is sharp

Sharp as the knives hid on my body

Sharp as the tongue of my wife

Wife said, “Do not go” 

Wife begged, yet I went 

Went through the haunted forest dark 

Went through the storms, muck, and mire

Mire as quicksand, sucked in my body

Mire that almost swallowed my life

Life burnt a flaming hole so wide

Life’s flame would not flicker out

Out of the muck and mire pulled

Out of certain death to rescue a princess

Locked in a tower for my Lord, my King 

Locked in a tower and languishing

Languished she did for centuries

Languished as a spell had been cast

Cast, so she would always sleep

Cast, because evil always hates

Hates beauty and goodness

Hates who this princess is said to be 

Be afraid though, I warn you, friend 

Be vigilant in your task to save 

Saving the princess isn’t the challenge

Saving her, I wondered, where is the dragon? 

Dragon she rose from the depths of beauty 

Dragon was the the princess herself 

Herself screaming, “I am the dragon”

Herself shouting, “I will eat you whole” 

Wholly she transformed in that fiery beast

Wholly she was a scaled, sulphereous demon

Demon who cried, “I am no damsal in distress”

Demon who seethed, “I protect me” 

Me, I gazed upon the languishing beauty 

Me, my eyes met the dragons yellow-eyed stare

Stared into my soul, saw I was a ruin 

Stared into my heart, saw I was wretched

Wretched cursed princess, the dragon? 

Wretched as the princess waiting 

Waiting and no one came so she grew tired

Waiting as she wrecks her vengeance 

Vengeance because no hero is true 

Vengeance, she can depend only on herself, no heroes 

Hereo, the archetypal kind who abuse poor maidens

Heroe, is there such a man who ever existed? 

Existed a hero she once did love 

Existed her hero but he never came — she remains cursed 

Cursed though she be, I could not destroy the beast

Cursed, she knows not why she is punished, cursed. 

Beast but still a girl, so I left, ashamed I could not save her. 

Cursed, she lingers on my mind, the maiden, the dragon as one

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Sacrifice #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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Credit: A Mixed Bag

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Ellie stared at her teddy bears. She collected them and these three were her favourite. She didn’t much play with them, but they had a place of pride on her daybed. 
Truthfully, Ellie played with other stuffed animals, she didn’t care if she wrecked or ripped them a part. Sometimes she even gave a stuffed animal to her family’s dog dog Artic.

But Mom said she had too many teddy bears and because she didn’t play with these three teddy bears on her bed, she could only keep one of them. 

“But I snuggle with them at night, they keep me safe from the monsters. Even a monster can’t defend himself against three bears, ” Ellie told her Mom who laughed and ran her fingers through Ellie’s curly brown hair.

 Ellie stared at her three soft bears, unable to choose who would go. 

Suddenly, the solution came upon her. If Ellie couldn’t have all three bears, the only solution was to get rid of her Mom. She really loved her Mom a whole bunch, but she thought if she sacrificed Mom to the monsters, she would both be able to keep all three teddy bears and the monsters would leave forever too. 

It was a scary thing to give up her mother, but Ellie thought it was for the best. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Alouette – “A Scare” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s photo prompt:

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Credit: Natalie Deprina

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She’s only twelve, bright —

The only girl separate from,

Her brothers four.

Parents her adore,

Their last child, girl comes, 

For Mom she’s a sight.

—-

A surprise one spring;

Thought there’d be no more kids born.

They so much wanted,

Girl so undaunted;

By elder brothers‘ scorn.

Bird fluttering wings.

—–

She laughs so cheery,

Going about her day, she’s teased

By family with love. 

Animals adore, 

She’s the darling who pleases,

Makes life less dreary.

—-

Out feeding horses, 

Then, rides with such glee calling,

Her dogs following. 

Danger in shallows, 

Ocean so near, tumbles, falls;

Swims smart, resourceful!

—–

Into warm arms pulled,

Mom near lost her dear, her pearl.

Dad is so wrathful, 

She wasn’t thoughtful

And where were her brothers? She —

Was grounded some. 

—–

Didn’t think enough;

She’s safe, all is well, she’s hugged,

Held close by her Mom,

Told, “Be careful hon!”

You’d be missed, you’re much loved.

Mom again gives hug.

—–

She’s happy again. 

Learned she’s human, as others. 

Preteens can die too.

Better to ride through —

Ocean waves, with friends, brothers. 

So life it remains

—-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: When The Player Is Played #flashfiction #amwriting #fiction 


Thanks too Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Joy Pixley

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These dreary sky’s didn’t feel like Christmas to Kayden. Nor did the nameless woman beside him, a snake tattoo climbing her back through a leering skull. 

The girl moaned, waking up and briefly flashing Kayden with light blue-eyes and her chest, where tattoos of thorns and brambles wandered. She smirked when she saw Kayden’s face:

“Haven’t been with a girl with tattoos like me before, have you?” 

Kaydeen felt no need to answer and she laughed,”That’s fine. So we’re clear, I was drunk and using you for sex and not the other way around.” He chuckled and was about to talk when she shushed him. 

“This is my apartment and in ten-minutes, you need to be gone,” the girl mumbled pressing her head into her pillow sleepily. 

Kayden wanted to protest but she was already asleep. 

A Merry Christmas to him indeed. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Cowboys and Indians” #amwriting #poetry


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge.

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Credit: Elizabeth Anna

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Face so black, eyes green-blue, a warrior stood, 

In forest, playing games, children not meek.

On the faces of cliffs roam, hide and seek,

Cowboys with guns, face arrows of wood. 

Her hair is in braids, she’s taller and could, 

 Take out any boy; her face paint it streaks;

Black oil paints stain her pink dress as she seeks, 

Unafraid, with bow ready, arrow’s wood —

Will strike at any movement and set fly, 

Weapon which could hurt, but that’s life she sighs.  

Hopes her arrow might hit a deer — dinner, 

For a family she can’t feed, as a child. 

Only a girl, no parents but she plays, 

In this strange cowboys and Indian brave’s game. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Colin Chappell


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


interview-colin-and-ray1
Credit: Colin Chappell

1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?

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

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


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

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

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


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


interview-colin-and-ray2
Credit: Colin Chappell

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

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

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

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


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I have two active projects at the moment:

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

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

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


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


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

interview-colin-book-cover
Credit: Colin Chappell

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


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

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

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

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


10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?

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

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


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


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

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


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

Write… write… write.

Be honest to yourself.

Write… write… write.

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

Write… write… write.

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

Write… write… write.

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

“Skeeta’s Legacy”

By Colin Choppell

*****

Skeeta was a Siamese cat

Of distinction so we thought

She was rather unlike her breed

Friendly and quite large

I had known a few Siamese

But none had traits like these

*****

She would ride in our car

On top of the front seats

Swaying whenever I braked

Forwards and backwards

Sideways on the turns

We would laugh until we ached

*****

Then one day she clearly had changed

Her clean toilet habits had gone

Something was wrong we were sure

She used to be meticulously clean

A test revealed leukemia

With no treatment. No cure

*****

After living with us

For only three months

Dearest Skeeta was put to sleep

But she left her mark

Indelibly on my heart

With memories that I would keep

*****

She went to a better place

To join her kind and be without pain

Where cats are happy and free

To be as I’d want her to be

But Skeeta left a legacy behind

Unbeknownst at the time to me

*****

Many years later when Ray moved in

He tested positive for heart worm

After only three months in our home

What were our options? What to do?

A very serious condition

And he could not fight it alone

*****

We could return him, put him to sleep

Or do nothing which would eventually kill him

What would make the most sense?

For such a short and unhappy life

An expensive course of treatment

Could we justify the expense?

*****

The treatment he may not survive

But shouldn’t we at least try?

For perhaps survive he would

Shouldn’t we give him a chance?

A chance for his life to fulfill?

To live out his life being loved?

*****

Euthanizing would give him peace

Not 3 years old with an unknown past

His early life seemed hard and alone

Surely a dog has a right

To fight for his life

In a warm and caring home?

*****

To return him to the shelter

Raised problems of another sort

Who would adopt a very sick Ray?

Who would want his vet bills?

Who would open their home?

Who would invite him to stay?

*****

During these dilemmas I heard a voice

Reminding me of Skeeta long ago

With no hope of a cure in sight

How she was put down

Her future sealed by a disease

That cheated her out of her life

*****

But this time was different

Ray did have a chance

If treatment started right away

The decision just had to be made

And then hope for the time

When once again he could play

*****

Ray will never know

What influenced his future

Or how it came to be

That a cat, of all creatures,

May have saved his life

That was Skeeta’s legacy.


16. Additional Posts:


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


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


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