Interview With Jackelyn Santana


Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recently married. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11 Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”


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Jackelyn Santana

1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family.  I was married on November 11, 2016 and  I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.

This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.

Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.

As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.

The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.


” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more  people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana


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

I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.

This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.


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

I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write. I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.

They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored.  I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.

Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.

These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms. Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.

By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.

God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.

Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want to help others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection. 


“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana


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Jackelyn Santana

4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?

There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.

There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.


5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?

I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.


“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”


6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.

When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?

Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.

WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.  


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

I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.


9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:

Slogging Through The Tears

By Jackelyn Santana

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“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of  highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs  the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder

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I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.

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I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.

For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.

My sensitive nature is misunderstood.

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Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?

One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15

broken-heartIn my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.

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I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.

It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.

I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.

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The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.

I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.

When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?

People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.

As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem!  I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.

It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.

  “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten

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Here Are More of Jackelyn’s Posts:


Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s BlogFaith Walking Hebrews 11:1


Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Inverted Refrain – “Light His Words” #poetry #amwriting #christmas 


Credit: Christmas Moment

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For more information on the Inverted Refrain Type of Poetry see HERE

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You told me to seek out glowing light, 

Shining through the shadow’s eerie prowl. 

You told me to search, put up a fight. 

But darkness creeping made me scowl,

            In a shuttered room, such a sight, 

            Light entered in my heart soft white.

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You told me to seek beyond all glimmer, 

In rough housing, a dank stable. 

Prayers answered found in the dim. 

Move through sadness as I’m able. 

           Sunlight came in through a window.

            Broken pieces fit, once more cabled

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You told me to seek out a source of hope, 

It’s difficult when you’re fragmented. 

When life makes no sense, and you choke, 

Forgetting life is heaven sent. 

          Words, many vital unspoken, 

          Fading dream; to him not present. 

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You told me keep reaching for light, 

Guidence from your blessed kind words.

I’m still dealing, an unglued fright, 

But I found my resting place, heard —

         Such honour, glorious of sights, 

          A babe at Christmas, light His words. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Finish-Off Friday Flash Fiction: A Sign From God #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction #christmas 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Finish-Off Friday’s. 

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Credit: Tim Mossholder via UpSplash

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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“When the comet hit, the town lit up like a Christmas tree. The holidays were usually uneventful so sister Bernadette was surprised when it destroyed the Abbey. It made her think, “. . .her last dash to the mall [with her two friends had] had unforeseen consequences.” 

The sisters near this town were an austere group of nuns. Their Christmas celebration consisted of countless hours stuck in mass. Dinner was no different from any other time of year, except each nun got a piece of disgustingly hard fruit cake. Bernadette was blessed to have two friends who made it possible for her to last through each lacklustre day at the Abbey. 

Sister Sara and sister Pauline, had driven with Bernadette to the shopping center in town, deciding to buy each other Christmas presents this year — though it was frowned uponat the Abbey. Then, Pauline had said the fated words outloud:

 “You know, I’m thinking of leaving the Abbey. I don’t think Our Saviour would’ve liked such an hateful and bitter place. I wish the process of leaving was somehow easier. ” 

Bernadette and Sara had nodded in agreement and that’s when the comet hit the Abbey. All three sisters had grimaced and crossed themselves. 

“I didn’t want all those nuns to die, but I guess when God answers prayers, he really answers them,” Pauline said shocked.

 Despite their genuine sorrow at the deaths of their other sisters (most of them) a small smile touched the lips of all three friends. 

 They threw off their habits and never looked back. Clearly, this was a sign from God. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Notable Quotes December Part Two #pinterest #quotes #christmas #yearroundquotes


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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: A Round Belly #flashfiction #amwriting #fiction


Thank you to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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A Mixed Bag

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“What’s that?” five-year-old Julia asked. 

“It’s a Buddha, dear,” Aunt Kim replied. 

“What’s a Buddha?” 

“For some people, Buddha is their god.” 

“Oh,” Julia asked perturbed. “But I thought he had a belly, a big one.” 

“Certain statues of Buddha have a belly,” Aunt Kim remarked. 

“But why?” Julia asked, “What does Buddha want?” 

“I think he wants enlightenment dear. I’m not sure why he’s portrayed as having a round belly only sometimes.” 

” He must eat a lot. My friend says he does yoga? I think a downward dog would be too hard for him. His stomach would get in the way,” Julia said thoughtfully, 

“I’m sure he manages, Julia.” Aunt Kim said chuckling. 

“What’s enlightenment?” 

Kim sighed, “Understanding and awareness. A lot to do with meditation, sitting still, thinking, and breathing in and out.” 

“Oh, but who put Buddha in your house?” 

“I’m not sure dear. Everyday I wake up and Buddha is on the shelves near the back door outside. I think the neighbour lady keeps putting him there for me. And each day I keep returning him,” Aunt Kim said agitated. 

” Tell the neighbour lady, we’ll keep Buddha if he has a round belly,” Julia replied with a giggle and grin. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “Prayer for the Small Things” #amwriting #poetry #prayer


Credit: Saatchi Art – Thank God For Women Legs by Thomas Saliot

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Oh Lord, thank God for the small things, 

The words and acts of kindness, 

Which help me through the day.

Thank God for the small things, 

Each day I’m fed, 

I’ve many clothes to wear.

Thank you that I too can be generous

That you gave me a Mother who taught —

Her daughter to be thoughtful, 

So I wouldn’t think only of myself. 

And even when I’m hurt and crying

I can see a silver lining in that cloud. 

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Lord, thank you for the small things, 

A life I’m given to live

No matter how battered or bruised

You’re my armour and you never leave. 

Your champions wage

Though the whirlpool may swallow;

You bring us through to the other side. 

New blessings each day, 

More than we need or want, or deserve

Thank you for the small things. 

For earnings, for caring friends, 

For a heart that doesn’t break when it’s bent

Thank you for love; however, small it was, 

For those who hurt me, 

So I knew then, what forgiveness was. 

*****

Lord, oh for the small things, 

That kindness could be formed in me, 

To kill the badness, the jealousy

Thank you for keeping him safe, 

For him not being my guy, 

Though I pray for him still, 

You keep him secure, alive —

I pray you give him faith

And draw us both close to you. 

*****

Thank you my almost love, 

Is not in the big picture. 

I hope he sees his wealth, 

His privilege comes, 

Not only with acts of goodness

But faith in God, in Jesus —

From his heart

If I see him again —

Help me to not turn away but to repair

So much is your power, 

You could change a man’s mind. 

Help him see he is lost in the law, 

He needs your grace to believe

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Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

My family, my friends, those I detest. 

My lost pets, my forgotten foes. 

Every man I felt something special for,

For the ones who hurt me deep and cut in;

I didn’t bleed out and die inside. 

I moved on, survived

I’m doing okay. 

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Thank you I was born in this day and age

Not one-hundred something years ago or more. 

For medical advances, social programs, 

And people more understanding, 

At least I hope

Thank you that one day, I’ll see you face to face,
Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

For to me they’re very big.

My prayer I give and keep in my heart

For your omniscient presence, 

For your healing,

Oh Lord, I ask and give thanks. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “A Congested Mind” #poetry #amwriting 


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They call it the unknown

The future lying before you. 

No matter if you’re psychic, 

No one knows what happens. 

There are varied scenarios,

Ways it could play out, 

But truly we don’t know the future

It’s a mystery creeping forward, 

And it pulls us along on our knees.

Whether we go willingly, 

Or go kicking and screaming;

Time marches in to the beat,

Of father time’s own drum. 

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I don’t know what’s coming, 

I know worrying won’t help. 

I think sometimes I try to give advice, 

Reassuring myself in kind. 

There are bright possibilities, 

Hoping people become, 

More kind than they are mean to each other. 

Pray people look-out for each other, 

But sometimes I think society is self-centred. 

I admit to such fault and others too,

But I’m still fearful;

When I think of a year or two ahead, 

I’m afraid what if it’s not the right plan? 

Experience deftly taught me,

Plans are dim outlines of reality. 

Mostly, life goes where it goes

And God only knows where or why. 

Leading us through dark valleys, 

Into trenches with piercing bullets flying. 

Into classrooms with screaming kids, 

A gunmen on the loose. 

He leads us through to people, 

Whose power makes one nervous. 

How even democracy isn’t safe —

A tyrant could rule all. 

Maybe the world will surprise me, 

But I fear for the little person. 

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My own personal fears weigh heavy, 

Though others bear pains greater. 

Of lawyers and cases, 

Of corruption and crime. 

Those crimes we deem terrible;

Those crimes brushed under the rug. 

Greed and all those other sins,

Abhorred but freely ignored. 

Though I can never say what’s worse —

My own flaws or imperfections

Or those I’m faced with. 

Stress shows through cracks, 

Egg yokes running. 

No one likes raw eggs except in cookie dough

The future is overwhelming. 

But at least they’ll still be cookie dough, 

And I don’t know why —

I’m particular and observant

Why I know it’s better to be alone

Than be truly alone with another. 

Why I wait for that spark

Why I wait for the morning dawn. 

A smile in his eyes which is genuine

Wherever he is. 

But maybe happiness is a puppy

Paws following me on the hardwood, 

Barks at random sounds. 

The glory of a puppy skidding down —

The off leash trail and wheeling;

Turning around to jump on me, 

To pick her up when she’s tired. 

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My bones are stiff and ridged

My dreams fall to despair

So many books and writers, 

And not anyone can compare

How to rise above the masses, 

Or fill your own niche contented. 

But perhaps one could be something

Success in small moments. 
Afraid and weighted

Need to cry, tears unshed, 

Because disease is cruel. 
Even if Heaven is the end of the tunnel,

So many words are left unsaid

The timing of it all, does it work? 

I feel alienated

Though I try hard to keep the connection

It’s all in your planning Lord;

So must I say, your will be done.

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

November Notes: Poem – Day 23 – Tankas – ” Never Us”


Today’s song prompt is “You Are a Memory” by Message to Bear.


 

“You Are a Memory” – Message to Bear


 

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Our pictures scattered,

Cross the ground, snowflakes —

Gathering, wetting,

Our times together lost in,

Snow, packing higher, hiding.


 

Tired of calling, this

Is the last time I’m telling —

You, put my name on,

Your list of significance,

So daft –never mind, too late.


 

Today I quit you,

Today I saw through you and —

Snow piled up on–

Pictures meaning nothing much,

Goodbye, you’re just glass; I’m steel.


 

Walking beneath trees,

Nature inviting me back in,

Your frosty winter —

Gone when spring comes with daisies,

Buttercups, roses, grass.


 

Met you one last time,

Found our pictures decaying,

You looked beneath, saw —

The blue and it was stunning,

But it was never us, thank God.


 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes November Part Two #quotes #pinterest


November Quotes Part Two: 

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Collage Prompt: #Fiction – Alice Series – Wild and Untamed #amwriting #aliceinwonderland #alicethroughthelookingglass


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s collage prompt.

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Alice was home from school. She hated boarding school, but she hadn’t had a choice. Her father had insisted his daughter have the best education a girl could have. This meant school was not merely academics as it was for boys. Her boarding school was an all girls boarding school and a great deal of focus was put into “the finishing school” aspect of education for women. 

She needed to learn how to be a proper hostess and wife; those were the ideals of the Victorian woman. She needed to be the angel in the house, the moral compass of her household. 

Alice spent countless classes based on the proper religion for an English girl. The God her school taught about, was an an angry God; judgemental and all powerful. He didn’t seem particularly forgiving. But she was told doing her duty as woman would make God happy. 

Alice and her best friends Margaret and Prudence, often liked to cause trouble. They played tricks and sometimes skipped their more tedious classes. The girls were often punished with rulers smacking their hands soundly until they couldn’t feel them. Or writing lines of verses from The Bible until their fingers were too numb to write or days. 

 All in all, the school couldn’t punish Alice and her friends how the would’ve punished other girls. Her and her friends were daughters of enomoreous patrons of the girl’s school. 

That being said, Alice was excited to go home for the summer. She thought fondly of her childhood, her dreams that always wandered to her childhood fantasy world Wonderland. 

——

When the carriage dropped her off, Alice approached her home with a bit of trepidation. Her mother had been angry she had left flowers all over the headmasters office. The man had almost had a heart attack and Alice had laughed and laughed when she heard what he discovered. Bringing her suitcase with her, she opened the front door. 

Suddenly, the house started to move in various directions from the front entrance.  Staircases opened from every way, along with doors leading to God knows where. 

Alice had a peculiar feeling, she was travelling back to her childhood world. Staircases continued to rumble and groan as they moved. Leaving her suitcase, Alice jumped onto a staircase leading to a familiar giant golden door knob with a large decorated keyhole underneath.

Suddenly, the door knob sneezed. “You again. I thought I’d seen the last of you.” 

“Pardon me?” 

“Alice, yes? I remember. I had a cold last time you were here too; although, you’ve grown since then. Thinned out too, you were a bit fat for awhile, all that bread.” 

She gasped, “Excuse me, the ideal woman these days, has a round body with childbearing hips, my teachers told me and my mother agrees. And you aren’t even real. I’m dreaming.” 

“I wish the staircases would stop moving and the rest of the house weren’t so confusing. I have no idea where to go and I really was looking forward to a nap, ” Alice complained. 

The giant door knob sneezed again. “No Alice, I know you and you know me. You know us all. It’s been a while and you’ve blocked us out. We tried to visit, but you convinced yourself we were all childhood dreams, despite having been to Wonderland twice.” 

“You do play delightful tricks at school, I must say –you, Margaret, and Prudence. You should’ve brought them along . . . Then again, they wouldn’t believe Wonderland is real either. They don’t believe in magic, but you do. Oh, you deny it Alice but you do believe. You wouldn’t be back here if you didn’t,” the door knob lectured. 

Alice stomped her foot, “You’re not real.” 

“I am indeed, open me. Better yet, have some of that bread you like so much, in your left pocket first; it should do the trick.” 

She gasped and frowned when she put her hand in her pocket and found the delicious bread. She nibbled on the edge. Alice hadn’t realized how hungry she was. She took a bigger bite of bread and sighed with pleasure. 

“Not too much,” the door knob cautioned. She sniffed and raised her nose at him; she had shrunk in size considerably. Carefully, Alice turned the icky runny door knob nose, she needed no key. She stepped into another world; wiping her hands on her skirt, before gazing up in shock. 

—–

Alice truly was in the Wonderland of her youth. It appeared to be the same as she dreamt it to be. A path lay in front of her and she saw her body had become small. The grass and foliage around Alice was lush and towered over her.

She started to think of her old Wonderland friends when she came upon a catapillar on a large mushroom.”But you’re a butterfly now,” she said to the catapillar without thinking. 

The catapiller sniffed at her and took a long drag from his hookah. “Who are you? Have you figured it out yet? Time does pass. My great-grandfather spoke of you. Time doesn’t move so fast here. He’s out flying about and I’m waiting until I can fly too. Why have you returned?” 

Alice blinked rapidly. “I don’t know. I went through a doorway talked to a door knob, shrank, and now I’m here. It’s not a dream is it?” 

The catapullar laughed, taking another drag. “I assure you. It’s all quite real. There’s a pathway going that way,” he pointed to his right. “You should go there. It leads somewhere important.” 

“I see it’s a dock and we’re below it. It’s so large. Should I go below it in the sand? Or should I grow larger and go ontop of the dock. It’s quite big when you’re only six-inches tall.” 

The catapillar laughed,  inhaling his hookah promptly after . “There you go insulting those of us only six-inches tall again. Do you have bread in your pocket to grow taller?” 

Alice searched in her right pocket, “No bread but I think the mushroom you are laying upon has one side which will make me larger. Alice ate of one side which made her shrink more, than climbed up the mushroom to eat off the other side. She grew until she was her normal size again. 

“Curious and curiouser,” she said. “This is all too familiar. I hope there’s no seagull who thinks I’m a serphant ready to eat her young.” 

“You can say that again,” the catapillar said smirking. He bowed his head as Alice walked off, having shoved a piece of mushroom in her right pocket for future use.

She walked ontop of the dock until there was nothing but a short stairwell leading to a row boat in the sea. She recalled this moment in her second journey to Wonderland. But there should be a sheep somewhere she reasoned. 

On que a sheep appeared and they both rowed off into the sea, but it wasn’t really a sea. Alice thought it was more like a river. The sheep said: “Bahhh,” then smiled at Alice.”Hello Alice have you learned to feather yet?” 

“Oh, that’s a rowing term. I understand now. Same with catching a crab. I was so young then, sheep. I reached for those rushes remember? They’re still look and smell lovely. You can never catch the most beautiful ones, they are free.” 

The sheep bleated and sighed. “Do you ever think, Alice, that beauty is not meant to be tamed or kept?” 

“It’s a curious question coming from a sheep. But I think beauty should be left to exist and shine. You’re saying I should leave the lovely smelling rushes alone?” Alice asked. 

The sheep sighed again. “I’m not talking about rushes. You should pay attention Alice. That school you go to and those Victorian norms and rules of society, do you think they’re all correct? Do you believe everything you are taught without question?” 

Alice wrinkled her forehead and thought. “No not really. My bestfriends don’t either. It’s why we play tricks, skip classes, it’s why I sit in class bored. I do not want to be a proper woman, a tamed or kept Victorian housewife with her brood of children. I don’t want to think God is always angry and mean; I think he’s benevolent too.” 

“Ah, I didn’t think you agreed with your education. I think in the future things will be better, only wait and don’t grow-up too much. Don’t forget Wonderland –we’ll see you when you dream. We need your wildness, Alice.”The sheep bleated again and Alice instantly, woke up. 

She was riding in a carriage to her house for summer vacation. She attempted to remember her dreams. Alice swore she dreamt of Wonderland vividly. But all she could remember was a sheep telling her to stay wild and untamed. She grinned thinking of the tricks she played at school. She wasn’t a tame women yet; never if she had her way.

——

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