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


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

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Credit: Bikurgurl

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She valued it, 

Above all. 

Elaborate China, 

Not pretty or delicate. 

Gaudy-patterned, 

Indigo Wedgewood. 

Peach, gray flowers. 

Frail bone China, 

No value to him. 

Displayed in a cabinet. 

Pieces and —

Place settings, 

Gifted for —

Wedding presents. 

She dusted them,

Each week.  

Paid him no mind, 

Humming hymns. 

Ignored him when, 

He talked. 

She never used to, 

She’d laugh, 

Join in. 

And when they, 

Used the China, 

At Easter, 

Designs of indigo, peach —

Made him sick. 

Dizzying, he wanted to —

Wretch. 

Just as when , 

He saw her, 

With him. 

The one she said, 

She’d forgotten. 

Accepted he’d married, 

Moved on.

But his aftershave, 

On her skin, 

Made him ill,

So he stood, 

Starring at the China, 

She’d taken out, 

To clean. 

Piece by piece, 

It hit the wall, 

Smashing, crashing. 

Splinters of it, 

Drawing blood. 

Until shards of, 

Tacky dinnerware, 

Only remained. 

She screamed, 

Wounded like a fledging, 

Who fell, 

For the first time, 

And couldn’t arise, 

Never again, 

Wings broken. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

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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!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Echoes of My Neighbourhood:  Organizing Areas of Life


Thank you to Jacqueline of A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for this wonderful prompt each Thursday to share parts of our lives and neighbourhoods. Jacqueline is a talented lady. Take a listen to some of her spoken poetry on her blog from YouTube. You won’t be disappointed.

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When we become a certain age when we are young, most of us get to have our own room at some point. In our room each type of different items have their place, various kinds of toys, clothes etc. As you grow older your room can become an area that incorporates different rooms into one by how you organize your spaces. 

I’m aware I am a bit old to be living at home still and it is my dream to have my own condo someday soon. But my health has made it so I need to stay at home. I cannot be independent enough to be completely on my own. 

Sometimes such as now, I’m doing considerably better then in the past. I do pay rent at home and help out where I can. I still feel I can’t help out as much as I should, but there are times I do not have the energy to do chores. I split up a chore often, so I can do it over two or three days so I don’t become worn out. My parents are extremely understanding, especially at the times when I’m feeling not well and can’t do much at all. I try, I guess that is what counts. Living at home also, allows me to take classes. I’m so happy for that.

Here are a few areas of organization in my room:

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Jewelry Box (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I bought this for $13.00 at Winners, it is a cardboard decorated jewelry box with a Paris theme. I like it a lot. It has small shelved in a areas on top and a couple of drawers underneath. I think it looks pretty and it keeps my jewelry from getting dusty or becoming tarnished. I do have more jewelry not in the box, but hung over a mirror, and a few bracelets where I store my perfume.

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Perfume Rack (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I bought this on the Modclothe website. As some of you know, Modclothe is a wonderful website for woman who are  average and/or plus size to find clothes that have a vintage twist to them. They are a fantastic place for fancy dresses, bathing suites for any body type, interesting accessories, lingerie, and even fascinating items for your house, condo, or apartment. This is a spice rack which I have used for my perfume collection and to hang a few cuffs.

 I’m trying to use up the perfume I have. I have one or two bottles that are eight-years old. I don’t think perfume lasts that long but it still smells good so I wear it. My favourite perfume is by Chanel and is called “Chance eau Tendre.” I’m also a huge fan of Marc Jacob perfumes. I have his original perfume “Daisy” and have used up one or two other perfumes by him. I usually save up my Optimum points until I have $60 or $80 worth and use that for a new scent. But right now, no perfume for me. I need to use up two or three bottles first! 

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Bedside Table/Makeup Table (Amanda Eifert)
 
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Here is an important area, my Bedside table and makeup table. The table is actually a stool from IKEA and it has been repainted a couple of times. The lamp was inexpensive,  I think about $20.00. The storage container my makeup is in, is a file-folder and office supply holder and was about $15.00 at Staples. It works well to organize my makeup and I only have a few items of makeup I have to hide behind it. My rule is to use my makeup up, so even though it appears as if I have a lot, I use it all. As you know from my beauty posts, I adore makeup! 

There are a few items (fad items) such as a bright blue eyeshadow that eventually get recycled but other then that any new makeup I get via Luxebox for instance, that I won’t use or have a similar item, I give to friends who have skin tones that suit the makeup. I also add makeup items in Birthday presents for little extras for girl friends. I should note, the table is near my closet door mirror. I know they are ‘out’ now in terms of interior design but closet door mirrors are extremely handy and a great use of space.

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Magnetic Whiteboard (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I think this Magnetic Whiteboard is a handy item to have in a bedroom/kitchen/or coat room. I write items I need or want to buy on it, for in the near future. I make notes such as what kind of ink cartridge my printer uses. I also post photos of friends and relatives. Currently, the magnetic section of the board is full of baby pictures from friends. At the bottom of the section is a foam cushion I can tac things on. Right now I have that POPSUGAR booklist which I’ve barely started tacked on the board. Hopefully, I make some progress on the list soon.

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Planning/Colouring Area (Amanda Eifert)
 
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Yes, this is only a place on my carpet on the floor in my room. I sit here and I plan my novel and other pieces I want to write. You can see the notebook with scribbles in the back. I love pretty notebooks or journals too. Coles or Indigo, tempted me with a couple of notebooks the other week — one notebook for me and one for a part of a friend’s birthday present. Indigo or Coles have a great selection of journals, notebooks, and stationary. Papyrus is often good for that as well.

The other itens you see here are the mediums I use to do adult colouring with. It is a relaxing activity to do at night. I have three different sets of Faber-Castell Artist Pen Brushes in Bright Colours, Pastel Colours, Terra Colours, as well as some black Pen Brushes of varied thicknesses downstairs. Also, I have Staedtler Watercolour crayons with a watercolour brush, and a Prismacolour set of twenty-four pencil crayons. It was all art mediums we used to render a room in Residential Design. I recommend all these mediums because they are excellent quality and a much fun. At the least, if you enjoy adult colouring, buy yourself excellent pencil crayons. They have greater blendibility and are better if you mess up and use the wrong shade. You can often work away a misplaced colour with another pencil crayon. Michaels is wonderful to buy nice art supplies with forty-percent off coupons or in Edmonton buy local and get a discount if you are a student at Delta Art. I enjoy Delta Art because for a small shipping fee in the city you can choose your supplies online and have it the following few days. Also, instore all the employees at Delta Art are extremely knowledgable about all their products.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

A Little of This and Some of That.


  
Well it’s American Thanksgiving already, so soon. It means that Christmas is upon us in full swing. I have my list items I want to purchase Black Friday. Some of it is presents and some of it’s personal. I like to do most of my would be ‘Boxing Day’ shopping now because the deals and selection of items is better. Items tend to be picked over at times after Christmas. So, I have an order for Indigo,  with some cozy throws and Christmas gift bags. I have to send two more boxed gift sets from Lush to two of my close friends. I need to do an order to Purdy’s online for chocolates for everyone. I need to purchase a gift card for my Mom. I was hoping Loft, but I can’t get the gift card buying option to work online. So, I’ll have to see about what I buy for her. Maybe, Cleo’s ? And quite importantly, I need stamps  for Christmas cards. Then for me, there are a few items of clothing I would like from Banana Republic

In Residential Interiors, I am half-way through the furnishing slides I need to know for my Final on Modern Furniture. Starting with Frank Lloyd Wright in 1909 up to a few prolific modern designers in 2013. I need the notes from tonight’s class fast. Then once I have those, I can transfer that information onto the paper copies I am using to study the exam slides. Some of the slides I will have to go look up more information on as the note taker didn’t provide good notes for some pieces of furniture. Then I have to read the remainder of the textbook, three or four chapters I think. Followed by me going through all the modern day slides and comparing them with the notes so I know about those slides incase they are on the Final. Then I need to memorize the information on the final exam slides. So, that is going to be a lot of work. Thank goodness I write in the afternoon next Tuesday. I am looking for a course to take next semester, but so far no such luck. I would like to do something in Winter because it gets so dark outside and you feel stuck inside so it is great to keep busy. I applied for graduation so I will receive my Residential Furnishings Certificate in June 2017. 

I read a book called Wallbanger a chick -lit book by Alice Clayton, last year. Clayton wrote a sequel to this book called Rusty Nailed and a short novella sequal to that called Last Call. In the same series, there are also some other books about different couples. But the three books I have fallen for are about Simon, Carolyn, and Carolyn’s cat Clide. They are hilarious books especially the first one concerning how Simon and Carolyn and their friends meet and end up coupled off. The next two books are about Simon and Carolyn getting together despite the issues of the past, the issues of their friends (who are also in each book), career issues, and cat issues. I’m not a cat person but when Clayton writes at the end of each book from Clides view point it is so funny. So, if you are into literature for women that makes you laugh and you like love stories, check out this triplet from Alice Clayton. If you’ve read her books before, what did you think? 

  
So, starting to plan into December already. I am meeting my friend for coffee Thursday and going on a date Saturday. After my exam, I will be going to lunch with a friend and later to see Mockingjay Part II with my youngest brother and his girlfriend. I also want to see the new Starwars: The Force Awakens it seems more interesting then the last set of movies they made about Starwars. Need to make it to a wine store sometime in there too. Going to get my haircut in December too, so it’s nice for Christmas and all the festivities involved in that. Also, who can forget holiday baking. There is just my parents at home and I now so I’ve cut down a lot but I’m thinking shortbread, spice cookies, turtle squares, and some chocolate chip cookies. We’ll see how much I get made. 

Have a lovely week.