Guest Post: Guidance in Times of Turmoil by Patrick Bailey #guestpost #addiction #mentalhealth


Matt Collamar - Kindness_Homelessness_Unsplash
Credit: Matt Collamer via Unsplash

It’s been a long and winding road for me in the city where I was raised. The city has pulled me back after each venture away. This road has gone many places and resulted in something of an archeological dig into myself and humanity at large.

Overall, I’ve noticed a consistent thread for those in severe and notable distress in the community. It has continued for decades, having taken on various symptoms over the years.


When the Street People Were Dispatched.


I was in my early teens when the de-institutionalization of psychiatric hospitals first impacted my area of the city. The ‘street people,’ as we called them, appeared suddenly. They had been dispatched by the state mental hospital. Some had not been in the world outside for decades. I can’t imagine what that release into society was like for them. From their outward appearances, it seemed terrifying, upsetting, and disorganized.

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Credit: Provided by Author

The laws had changed. It wasn’t easy to put someone ‘away’ anymore. The world would have to deal with people more directly even if there was something seriously ‘off’ in a person’s thought, emotions, and (or) behavior. Even ‘mental patients’ had rights, and the state mental hospital had to open its doors. More inner-city areas also offered cheaper rent as ‘the dispatched’ arrived in large numbers to find their way in the world. I was an inner-city kid, so I was there to receive these ‘street people’ and many mental patients too.


A Kid Wonders How to Fix The System.


In youthful curiosity, I found the city streets enlivened by these folks. I was curious about them: how they lived, what they did, and why they suffered. I was fascinated by illness, and what caused it; how illness needed to be healed.

I’d seen more than a kid’s share of severe problems by the time the hospital discharged all its wards. Of course, I wanted to heal the suffering; I loved my family. My father’s alcoholism, and then his unnamed PTSD which needed remedying. We all needed a remedy. Undiagnosed depression and mania peppered my mother’s family, taking her off into highs and lows.

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Credit: Ben Hershey via Unsplash

Life wasn’t easy in my house, and it wasn’t easy for the people I saw in the streets. I read the paranoid scrawls on the bus stop bench. I listened to the lady who’d recite the wrongs of the world to everyone and to no one in particular. I worried about the ‘bike man’ who wore a woolen coat as he peddled through the summer heat.

Surely all this madness inside my house and outside of it could be fixed.


Talking Out the Turmoil and Walking Alongside It.


All of these things brought me towards obtaining several degrees and a career. I wanted to know more about how people living on the streets and dealing with mental illness worked and how these conditions could be fixed. I worked in the state hospital that at that time, kept patients for thirty days not thirty years. I specialized in addiction and PTSD. My father was long gone by then, but I found peace with him through my work.

I talked with hundreds of people who lived in turmoil, waking to it every day. I formed relationships with them and walked with them through the most intimate details of their struggles. They came to me for help and guidance; I did my best. Although I had personal turmoil and needed a great deal of help myself, somehow my patients and I did well more times than not.


My Take on the Addiction Epidemic:


My career wandered but no matter where it went, I’ve always come back to working in addiction and trauma. I’ve found these are conditions far more common than most people would ever imagine, and they are almost always constant companions. I believe that if we could heal trauma faster, we’d not have an addiction epidemic.

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Credit: Provided by Author

As many people, I’ve followed news on the addiction epidemic in the U.S. for years now. In particular, numerous persons have a deep concern about opioid use. America and my city have meandered these streets, as heroin addiction has caused a devastation of lives. In my city, we’ve never seen such a crisis, not in all my time in this world.

Heroin addiction is a costly tragedy among those who are addicted, their loved ones, and communities. The economic costs alone are staggering—an estimated 50 billion dollars a year, but the human costs are immeasurable and immense.


“How did we get here? How did my city get here? How does a person end up here?”


As time passes, I’ve watched subsequent addiction and a mental health epidemic arise for the entire city where I live. It has a direct trail back to prescription painkillers and their medical use. Pain management clinics sprung up in and around my city as the painkiller epidemic occurred. Many of those were ‘pill mills’, caused people an addiction to painkillers.

Changing laws closed these clinics, and also resulted in the placement of monitoring systems. The prescribers of powerful pain-management drugs were closely watched. The consequences of this system? These prescriptions were harder to come by, despite countless people addicted to them. Pain pills available on the illegal market were terribly expensive and people suffered.


The Solution? Heroin.


Needles_Hush Naindo
Credit: Hush Naidoo via Unsplash

Heroin became, and still is, the affordable solution to painkiller scarcity.  For every dollar spent to obtain illegal painkillers, heroin packs the same punch at one-tenth the cost. Drug cartels met a need in the population when the prescription painkiller epidemic gained the attention of legislators and the medical boards. Their marketing strategies cut a path straight towards my area of expertise, and into my home city.

There’s more to a ‘painkilling’ addiction than chronic and debilitating physical pain needing to be managed. There is also psychological pain which people are seeking respite from. So, the drug and mental health epidemic is a pervasive one in people’s lives and the lives of their loved ones.

It’s traumatic to watch someone suffer from drug addiction. It’s more traumatic when medical ‘permission’ is taken out of the equation. The pure force of addiction became tangible when those addicted had no choice but to trade prescription painkillers for heroin. Heroin was the only reasonable alternative to prescriptions — if it can be seen as reasonable.


Heroin Addiction.


Moreover, Heroin addiction is a powerful and destructive force that most people can’t fathom unless they’ve experienced it in their daily life. I see it in the streets every day. The street people have changed. They seem to be dying faster, and I say prayers for them as I drive past them on the roads.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin or other drug addiction reach out. People can recover, but the right kind of help is crucial. Heroin is more powerful than anyones strongest willpower. Also, people can’t help others experiencing addiction when they can’t help themselves. Nonetheless, friends and family can aid those who can’t help the addicted people they love.

Don’t wait to act; the support of friends and family is crucial to stop the use of heroin and other lethal street drugs.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Notable Quotes: July Part One 2018 #pinterest #quotes #notablequotes


Hello! Happy Canada Day on July 1st, and Independence Day on July 4th! I think Canada Day is one of my favorite holidays! Haven’t decided how I will celebrate yet, but at least the weather’s been beautiful! Working on perfecting the first few chapters of my novel to pitch, if that’s possible! Hope everyone is well 🙂


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©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Guest post: NonFiction – Health – Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Benefits of A Healthy Diet and Exercise by Sharon Torress #guestpost #nonfiction #health #exercise



Credit: Kimber Pine via Unsplash


‘You are what you eat.’ Many of us have heard this statement throughout our lives. The funny thing is, there’s a surprising amount of truth to these words. What we eat affects our health throughout our lives.

This truth is, especially, the case for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. People suffering from addiction deal with more than the effects of the drugs. Heavy drug and alcohol use can affect eating habits and nutrition. Addicts might:

— Abuse drugs that suppress their appetites.

— Become so involved in their drug use that they forget to eat.

— Eat junk food instead of healthy, nutritious food.

— Not be able to afford to buy food (or healthy food) because they’re spending all their money on drugs.

It’s not surprising, then, that some addicts (and recovering addicts) suffer from malnutrition. Some rehab centers employ nutritional counselors that teach former addicts how to eat well to regain their strength. However, one might wonder what happens after a person leaves rehab. Recovery can be a lifelong process that goes hand in hand with healthy eating.


Credit: Christian Stark via Unsplash


Eating well during addiction recovery can aid an addict in maintaining the strength they’ve regained in rehab. It’s a shame for a person to go through the work of rehab programs, only to become weak because they eat a ton of junk food. Sadly, this is a common phenomenon.

It turns out that some people recovering from alcohol abuse are also dependent on sugar. There is some debate about whether sugar is an addictive substance, but researcher, Jeffrey L. Fortuna, contends that many people who abuse drugs and alcohol have a preference for sweet foods. He notes that studies have shown that when these people consume sweet foods, their brains react similarly to if they had used drugs or alcohol.

Consuming large amounts of sugar isn’t the best solution for those recovering from drug or alcohol abuse (for anyone). But there are steps former addicts can take to improve their diet and maintain their sobriety. Even if you aren’t recovering from an addiction, many of these steps promote healthy nutrition and exercise.

To eat healthier, a former addict could consider finding help at Rehab centers, which have nutritional counselors — as do many hospitals. Enlisting the services of professionals such as dietitians, nutritionists, family doctors, (etc.) can help a person learn to how to eat more nutritiously. If a person’s received addiction treatment at rehab, why shouldn’t they seek help for nutritional needs?

Utilizing online resources is also a great idea, and can provide a wealth of useful information on nutrition and exercise. The internet also contains harmful information, so one must be careful about which sites they trust; be wary of sites that make grand promises. Instead, consider searching for healthy recipes on Pinterest or online food magazines.

Moreover, there are many fantastic blogs that discuss the role of nutrition and exercise for a sober lifestyle. Other blogs and pages provide awesome health tips. Online reviews and recipes can also give a person ideas about what might work — and what won’t work when creating an improved health plan.


Credit: Google


Eating more vegetables is essential to improving one’s diet. Nutritional diets aren’t only about avoiding unhealthy food, but adding foods that enhance a person’s general health. Eating more vegetables provides the body with several significant vitamins and minerals.

As well, vegetables can fill a person up without adding a lot of calories or fat to your diet. If you’re a person who hates vegetables, you might want to reconsider. More restaurants are encompassing varied types of vegetables and preparing them in unique and tasty ways that might appeal to more people when eating out.

Also, adding more protein to your diet is vital. A person doesn’t have to go on the Atkins diet or eat a side of beef to incorporate more protein. Eating a few nuts or some Greek yogurt can prevent a person from becoming ravenously hungry and making questionable food choices later in the day.


Credit: Cyril Saulnier via Unsplash


Also, if a person exercises they’re taking vital steps to improving their health. One also might be more inclined to eat healthier while exercising, since they won’t want to undo their improved physical appearance and sense of well-being caused by increased exercise. Physical activity also releases chemicals into the brain called endorphins.

Endorphins can create positive feelings and prevent stress and depression. Stress and depression both contribute to drug addiction and eating disorders. As a consequence, exercise can prevent addictions and eating issues from returning or occurring in the first place.

Taking small steps is key to improving one’s overall health. If a person can’t change their entire diet and exercise routine, there are small things one can do such as not ordering soft drinks and not choosing french fries as a side dish at a restaurant.


Credit: Raw Pixel via Unsplash


Moreover, people shouldn’t beat themselves up for not eating healthfully all of the time. Most of us eat birthday cake now and then, and sometimes binge on junk food. These behaviors happen, but dwelling on them does nothing. We’re all human and no one expects those around them to be perfect. Likewise, a person shouldn’t expect themselves to have perfect eating habits every day.

Finding ways to eat healthier and exercise is not difficult; although, implementing these habits can be trickier. This fact is, especially, true if people had poor diets and (or) were suffering from substance abuse.

However, former addicts and all people can consider incorporating a few of these steps into their diets little by little. Creating a healthy diet and exercise plan that works for overtime, is key. In general, those who focus on eating healthier diets and on increasing their physical activity, maintain their sobriety; they improve their health as a whole.


Sources:

Benefits of vegetables:  Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fruit-and-vegetables

Exercise, endorphins, and addiction:  “Exercise and Depression,” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

Sugar, drugs, and alcohol:  Jeffrey L. Fortuna, “Sweet Preference, Sugar Addiction and the Familial History of Alcohol Dependence: Shared Neural Pathways and Genes,” posted on PubMed.gov, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20648910


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weaver: Poem – Bop – “I’ve Enough” #poetry #taleweaver #dVerse #amwriting 


Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Tale Weavers #176. The Prompt is what it is we want in life. Also, thanks to Bodhirose of #dVerse Poet’s Pub for hosting open link night. 

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Google Free Image

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All the things I want, do I really need? 

Do I need more shirts, more heels, is that greed? 

If I made my sum of money wanted, 

Would it ever be enough? Life’s haunting  —

Me to spend more cash, not to save some more;

Could having more money make you poorer? 

All I want, need, matters not — I’ve enough. 

——–

If I was perfectly healthy, I would lose, 

Freedom over some of, my time; I’d choose —

A job with variety, nice colleagues, laughing, 

Not working casually from home alone, aghast —

At how much harder it is with details, 

How precision is difficult, I rail —

Not often, but when I’m tired, frustrated, 

When my short term memory is flustered. 

All I want, need, matters not — I’ve enough. 

——

Yet I’m able to focus on writing —

My dream; building my talent’s exciting

I’m able to write, home or a coffee shop, 

Or to binge watch Netflix when I’m feeling, 

Energyless and downcast, mind reeling. 

Wishing I had my blessings and wasn’t ill, 

I desire my full health, yet I’m fulfilled. 

All I want, need, matters not –I’ve enough. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “Young and Beautiful” #music #poetry #amwriting 


Credit: Chemo Madoz – http://www.pinterest.com

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“Young and Beautiful” – Lana Del Rey 

——-

Such a wish have humans, 

For the fountain of youth. 

Retaining our vivacity, 
Twenty-something good-looks. 

To maintain an image of fresh faces, 

Yet carry the wisdom age gains. 

I think if we knew anything, 

We’d know it’s a curse to be young forever. 

For all such wisdom acquired in life, 

There’s a price to be paid. 

Experience taught and it —

Marked us with age spots, 

With wrinkles and scars, 

With under eye circles, 

Nightmares and inner trauma. 

Journeying through life we learned

 Our lesson, or perhaps we haven’t yet? 

When we are young, 

We are carefree and full of vigor. 

Not thoughtful in how we think or react,

No maturity, no flash of pain;

The liberty of youth suits the young. 

But to be a man or woman-child with —

The eyes of our great-grandparents,

Bearing several lifetimes of burdens;

I think, for a mere human, 

Would be too much grief to bear. 

For the older we become, 

We learn from birth we’re dying. 

Life is a quest and it’s meant to end

We’re meant for the heavens, 

Free of our lifetime of issues

Emotional, psychological, and physical decay, 

The exhaustion of life. 

The old realize when their time is coming —

That it is right. 

A lifetime of sorrows, to have so many years,

Would break a soul completely;

Nevermind a physical body. 

That’s why the young are beautiful,

Life hasn’t wounded them. 

They are too ignorant to see — 

Life isn’t meant on earth to be eternity —

The light shining to restore body, soul, and mind, 

In heaven shines for all,  

In timelessness we will be young,

All of us appearing how we ought;

No imperfections, 

Perfect creations.

Handling both knowledge and beauty,

Eloquent and graceful;

Gods children thankful

And only those who die young,

When life is torn by accident

By atrocity and ill health, 

(And the aged)

Understand this concept. 

As their grandparents did or do, 

Only the ill and dying, have vantage of this, 

Life is so frail;

A wisp of a veil torn, 

We’re all too busy living to see. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Licentia – “Without A Sound” #amwriting #poetry #love


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

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Credit: Rich Howman

——–
Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

Swing her up into your arms, because it —

Felt like the thing to do, she’s dear and swift;

Her punch on your arm, painful kind of bliss

All to happy to meet with a wet kiss. 

Perserved in time the clock keeps ticking fast, 

Moments gone, looking back, it never lasts. 

Years slide forward, what can you do but, 

Move forward too, memories cause a rut. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found, 

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

—-

Swept her up into your arms, because it —

Felt like the thing to do, she’s dear and swift. 

Wiggling and giggling in your —

Arms; begging to have legs on ground restored

She thought she was too heavy for your back, 

You just laughed and kept her close, said “Relax.” 

You were walking barefoot on the cool —

Wet ground, the grass made you slip, such glad fools. 

Drop of joy harnessed in a crystal glass

Kept to hold, make the precious moments last. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found,

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound.

Her punch on your arm, painful kind of bliss

All too happy to meet with a wet kiss. 

Lovers as close as lovers can be, rolling —

On the blanket, on grass, after strolling.

Gleam in her eyes promising heaven, 

Twist of her smile taking you to Never —

-land of pirates, lost boys, and she, Wendy, 

Picking up a sword, fighting for her when —

Pirates attacked; shoeless running in real

Life; time ceasing again, treasures for feels. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

——

Perserved in time, clock keeps ticking fast, 

Moments gone, looking back, it never lasts. 

The truth is hard to swallow, to remember

Years pass, euphoria is dismembered

Harsh realities, sickness, health; sickness wins, 

She flew away my sparrow with the wind.

Such disease sucks the life from a body, 

Hope, a religious dream from pain prodded. 

A new eternity to love, swing round with —

Dirty bare feet and love despite death’s grip. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

November Notes: Poem – Day 16 – Free Verse “Think Thoroughly” #poetry #anwriting #writing #music 


Before I start, I wanted to share this blog post, a list of the 27 best books on writing!  Hope it helps some of you. Have you read any of the books or do you own any of them? 

27 Of The Best Books On Writing! 

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Today’s prompt is “Sweet Serendipty” by Lee DeWyze. 
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“Sweet Serendipty” – Lee DeWyze

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http://www.favimages.com

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I’m not of those women who will assure you, 

You can get by, by the skin of your teeth. 

That life is simply chance, fortuitous

I think you’re inexperienced,  

You don’t see the entire picture, 

Each of us is a piece in the mosaic, the grand design. 

—–

Perhaps since your famous, you’ll buy two pairs of jeans? 

But not caring about the seams of your pants, 

Them being too loose — it’s a guy thing. 

Sorry to ruin your charade, life is more than —

Your own version of serendipity

Events that occur to us can be wickedly sad. 

—–

Whether we learn and/or hurt — there’s  a reason, 

An intelligent designer has time arranged, 

 I don’t worry, for different reasons — His plans give security,

If you land on your feet, you’re one lucky guy.

I guess the fates are angry, their scissors keep snapping. 

To me its obtuse to believe blindly in chance. 

——

There are times I believe in spontaneity, 

But there’s a time and a place with —

A kind of reasoning called: calculated risks. 

I’m unsure why you don’t think ahead (don’t play chess).

I’m not old but I think I’ve experiences you won’t, 

Be carefree at heart, but realize —adult responsibility. 

——

You’re blessed with your health, go where you want, 

I think, there’s been few troubles to scar you. 

You sing empty songs, I find little depth, 

Serendipity isn’t chance, it’s a miracle unfurled. 

Behind the scenes action, you haven’t foreseen. 

Glad you’re fine, but you’re missing a few screws. 

——

It’s not that I’m bitter; it’s not that I don’t see, 

What your trying to say in your round about way. 

I’m saying that life, I’ve learned, is never a fluke, 

We have minds to think and consider — to use. 

Despite ineptness, your kind heart shows true, 
Next hit song —think your lyrics thoroughly through. 

——

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Melinda Kucsera


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


 

Melinda Kucsera
Melinda Kucsera

1. Melinda, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

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


2. When did you start writing and blogging?

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

Write On!


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

Curse Breaker: Enchanted blurb:

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

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

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

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


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

1. Queen Of All Trees

2. Curse Breaker: Kaulayaw

3.The Trouble With Marahuyo


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


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


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Summer Words: The Latest 


Usually, I attempt to update you guys in the blogging world, every month but I’m sure I haven’t actually done that in a few months. So, it’s summer words because well, summer is almost over and I never updated until today.

I kind of dread the end of summer as much as I love it. There is a freedom and carelessness to summer, no other season has. People relax in the deck, on the patio; they go to beaches and sometimes house boating; they visit and explore foreign places; and those who never relax stay home and sleep in, get a few things taken care of around the house, or not.

IMG_2348
http://www.thedailyroxette.com

Typically, I take a summer vacation somewhere, but I found out this year I had waited much to long to book flights using my airmiles. And the Canadian dollar was down as compared to the US dollar, so the dollar was too low to consider a trip there.

I wanted to go somewhere fresh this year. Somewhere I haven’t visited or haven’t been in a while. I have never actually visited around Vancouver and it’s been ten-years since I visited Quebec City. I feel as if those are both great options for a fall vacation.

If the dollar improved, Las Vegas is always an option, but sticking with the theme of visiting new places, I would like to go to San Francisco or Seattle. There are a few different places I’ve read blogs on or heard about, which I would enjoy seeing in those cities. Not to mention, pretty much anywhere you go, unique food and shopping are always worth the trip.

SanFran Shopping
http://www.youtube.com

I’m day dreaming of a European trip. I’ve narrowed it down to the country of Italy for now. I know the cities I wish to see. I only have to arrange everything, decide where I’m going to stay, and arrange when and which attractions I want to see — oh and there’s always the money issue too. But minor detail lol.

Because of my health, I think it would be a good idea to spend a week in each city, maybe a bit more so I have days to use to do nothing in case I need them. So, a month to two-months for a trip to Italy, and who to take with me?

Anyways, that’s future dreams. Lately, not feeling as well. All around, I feel drained. Maybe, I’m doing too much? But I don’t think so. Maybe, it’s another slump in my health? Or perhaps, I’m only having a bad week or two? The humidity in the air often makes me tired, almost sick at times. But I didn’t think it was so bad in Edmonton this summer as compared to other summers. However, I get through it because, I always do.

Venice1
http://www.aroundtheworld.com (Venice)

Summer has been spent doing a bit of shopping in July as it was my birthday month. I looked at my finances and have been trying to better arrange them, considering retirement, life insurance, and accidental death insurance. Not that I think anything bad will occur to me soon, but we don’t always know so I’m trying to be prepared as best as I can for my future and my family.

I’m into this application on my IPad called Wattpad. It’s a great way to see what other writers are writing and see the quality or lack there of, for different genres of books. I’m doing the second draft of How Was Last Night For You? on Wattpad. I’m happy with it so far and have had Yinglan’s helpful support as she also has some work on there I’m helping her proof. The newly arranged chapters of my book and the sequence of events so far is available in chapters one through nine, and you can check it out at the above link.

I had to completely redo chapter nine, so it might be a bit sketchy yet, but things are coming. The novel is developing slowly, even though I never even conceived it would get this far when I started writing a couple of years ago.

But due to the novel, and doing a being proofread of my Uncle’s historical book on his family, I’ve been hugely busy. #WordhighJuly was great and well done by our hosts Rosema and Maria; but it was also time consuming.

Moon
Unknown Source (Current Cover for my Novel)

So, I have to apologize, I haven’t been able to read and comment on as many posts as I like. In order to not overwhelm myself, I think I will have to consciously, only comment on a few of your posts, each week. I’m ecstatic to have more followers, but I don’t want to forget old friends. I feel it is necessary to comment but it takes time. I’ll work it out.

Don’t worry. But if you don’t see me, I’m off trying to get more poems and fiction published. And I’m probably, working on putting my novel together so I have a manuscript worthy of a good editor. Lately, as I mentioned, not feeling so well, prevents me from completing tasks, I would like to do as well.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before there’s a masters program I want to apply for. Lately, I’m not sure about it. It’s been a dream for the past few years, but I’m not sure about it. I like to learn, and to build my knowledge of writing. I’m not sure if that’s best done in the classroom or through real-life experience. But just the same, I’ve always wanted a Masters in English or Writing. I think creative writing most of all. Perhaps, I feel, a certificate program such as at University of Toronto online, might be less stressful?

Creative Writing Typewriter
http://www.proessaywriter.net

Fitness is a bust. Sometimes I walk, other times I don’t have it in me. I try to stretch and do a bit of yoga. But it makes me angry and upset I cannot do the cardio I need to do. I complain about this too much, I’m sorry. But I loved the adrenaline rush of exercise, like I love art, and writing. And I miss it so much. I’ve never been able to get it back even wearing myself out. And I know it’s what I need to lose weight. I’m completely confused as what to do for diet right now, probably I will go back on the herbal magic diet, as it seemed to be the diet plan which worked the best for me and the amount of exercise I could do. I’m not signing up again, only following the meal plans.

I’ve been reading a lot on Wattpad. But, it’s frustrating because the authors only update once a week if that. So, I’m reading other books again, with middles and endings, by more well known and accomplished writers. I’m excited to read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Also, I have some favourite writers, who  I would like to read up on their latest novels.

Pretty Little Liars
http://www.celebuzz.com (Main Characters of Pretty Little Liars – Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer.)

I’m addicted to Prett Little Liars on Netflix right now. It’s a better series than I anticipated. Secrets can be big and convoluted as I’m learning through each season of the show. I’ve only started season three and there are four more to go. Season seven which is on TV now I believe, or just was, is the last season. I’d be happy for Madmen Season 8 to be available on Netflix too. Also, I watch a show based of the Scream Movies once a week, but I think it’s almost done. I watch the Summer Olympics and my Eskimos playing CFL football as well.

Dory
http://www.taormina.it

There are some great festivals in Edmonton during summer. As well, it’s relaxing and fun to be put on a patio with friends and have a few drinks. I’m having a birthday brunch downtown on Sunday, as everyone was busy in July. Also, I’m hoping to get to a farmer’s market in August and to a couple of movies as I have passes. I’m thinking Finding Dory and some kind of action type film?

I’m not entirely sure of my blogging schedule come fall. But tentatively, here is what it looks like:


Sunday – Sunday Photo Fiction

Monday – Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction

Tuesday- Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer

Wednesday – Photo Prompt Fiction\Poetry (Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie)

Thursday – Three Line Tales (Once A Month – Tale Weaver’s Fairy Tale Prompt)

Friday – Music Prompt (Mind Love’s Misery’s Menagerie)/ Poet’s United Poetry Prompt

Also, Monthly – 15 quotes twice a month, and Writer Interviews every 2 weeks.


wine image
http://www.medicaldaily.com

Also, wanted to let you all know I read: Drinking a glass of red wine a day is equal to an hour of exercise. It could be false, but who am I to say so? It sounds true to me. Cheers!

 

 

 


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Alouettes – “Star: Never Flicker Out” #amwriting #poetry


http://www.wildwoodcircle.com

———

My prayer for you is, 

That you’re not a wisp, 

Never a star flickering out.

That you shine boldly,

For what the years hold, 

Pray you glimmer, bright, hot. 

——–

Some lights end shortly, 

May yours burn forte.

Be that diamond in the sky, 

A jewel, valued highly.

Live your life, defy–

Limits, the odds; inspire.

——

Though sickness choke breath, 

Though time steal your health.

Transform; the light, dazzling.

Take hold of our hands, 

While we beg; understand, 

Why our star’s unraveling.

——-

Surgery takes out, 

Kills what darkness brought.

Shine on dear star; glow brave.

Save your light for strength.

Heal true at all lengths.

You’ll luminate soon; light saves.

—-

Shadows turn your gleam, 

Black hole eats light’s beam.

The struggle for brilliance, pain.

You’ve got this dollie

God won’t let you stall.

Shooting star bright you’ll remain.

——

In all God’s glory, 

He holds your story.

A star precious, with design.

You show fortitude, 

A glib attitude.

Darling star falling, refined.

——

You’ve never been a wisp,

Effusive woman missed.

Pretty blond star, beauteous.

Vibrance, cheer; your gift,

Each visit uplift.

Never burn out, star bloom.

——

Live for millenias, 

Prosper, wise light; will

Vivre; bold star falling.

Never flicker out, 

Your battle cries shout.

Dear star blaze; for life brawling.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved