#OctPoWriMo Day 21/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Burn Brightly Sun Flower” #photochallenge #poetry 

OctPoWriMo Day 21’s theme is nothing remains the same. Also, thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Photo Challenge. 


Credit: Denise Kwong
Burn brighter burn free, 

Life has rich possibility. 

Burn brighter blaze paths. 

You can go wherever you must, 

Let your soul live, although your experience lacks. 

Be an inferno and burn skyward, 

With every broken breath; 

Endurance is key. 

As the most golden sunflowers, 

Shine sunny with ease. 

Life doesn’t mean your always strong, 

It means at times your delapitated,

Destroyed, fire burning out. 

But you can rise up, rebuild, 

Don’t hide in your space suit,

Embrace the sunflowers, eat their seeds,

Be free of your worries and breath. 

You form the mountains, 

The ones you must climb. 

You know the source of your eternal flame, 

You’ll find the emotion, your heart strength, and soul power, 

To carry on when you must. 

So that even when you’re shattered,  

There’s light in your embers; 

Fire stirring in yesterday’s cinders. 

And you’ll rise up and quiver, 

As the flames reach higher; 

Although your afraid of being scorched, 

Of never rising completely, 

Burning brightly is passion to keep pushing forward. 

Your life is more than tranquility, 

Its a bonfire of fortitude and one long day from now, 

Your soul will flutter into eternity; 

Your inner flame, your blessed soul, 

Lives on by faith, cascading passed a finite world. 

Past stumbling rocks, 

Toil that made you sweat. 

Past your fears and tears, 

Beyond to embers reigniting —

Without end. 

Burn fierce little girl, the world is yours, 

Burn fierce little boy, you’ve many choices. 

First, burn brightly in freedom to play and be young, 

Love with passion, 

With a smile as sunflowers young. 

Beam full of laughter, 

Fueling your inner fire. 

Burn fierce and discover —

Quiet fires run deep, 

But will never snuff out, 

Into nothingness. 

With the depth of soul fire, 

Flames extinguished rise, 

Are as lively wild fires, 

Magnificent sunflowers. 


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 


Day 10 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse -“The Swan” #amwriting #poetry #AtoZchallenge #NaPoWriMo

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were.” The corresponding GoodRead’s Author’s Quote for the A to Z Challenge, begins with the letter I. Thanks to NEEKNERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie who provided the wonderfully creepy photograph.

Credit: saccstry.deviantart.com

If I’d been born a ghoul, I think I would’ve killed people. I just happened to be born a human. That’s the only reason why I’m allowed to live a moral life.” ― Sui Ishida


I knew her as a little girl,

Though others thought her odd.

She had that “something” about her,

People either loved or abhorred.

At first, I thought, she was enormously strange,

But her quirks endeared me to her.

She protected me from those cruel girls,

One smile from her, they stumbled away on their heels.

She had shocking violet hair on one side,

She was never quite a blond. 

Always experimenting with new looks,

Trying to glean from her appearance,

Who she was inside herself.

Her eyes a brilliant cornflower blue glimmered,

When some person made her enraged.

Her friends all knew some stupid student,

Would soon regret their actions;

She only had to smile.

And some bullies face turned violet, rouge, or primrose.

My friend was odd but lively,

Never afraid to do anything. 

Dragging me along, to be a part of her drama.

Of her wicked practical jokes,

Others whispered she was a bit ‘Tim Burton,’

Calling her the ‘corpse bride.’

But she would always smile,

In a way that scared many,

Who never knew the truth about her —

She was passionate, kind, and loyal.

If you could get past her walls, her insecurities,

She was most lovely and grew to be a beauty.

Her hair still half-purple — it was her thing.

How we knew her for her. 

Her terrifying smile gleamed, 

She could now afford braces,

For teeth that had scared everyone.

And when the braces disappeared,

Her teeth stood in straight white rows.

Her grim frown had turned forever upside down,

She was no longer that weird girl.

Though there was still ‘something’ about her;

Strange became a talent, something sought after,

When she transformed into a swan.

She became a cut diamond, no longer rough, she was —

Perfectly odd. 



©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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

Thanks to Lorraine of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting: 


Credit: Lorraine


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

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

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


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

One to Three Quotes in Three Days – All At Once.

Thank you to Mayankk Sharma for nominating for the One to Three Quotes in Three Days Challenge. I’m going to do all the quotes at once, it’s much easier and less time consuming. I think this is round three of the challenge for me. I’m going to give  quotes from a couple of my favourite books Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. 


My nominees for the Quotes Challenge:

A. In Medias Res by Melinda Kucsera a talented writer of fantasy and poetry.

B. Simply Marquessa by Marquessa Matthews a wonderful writer of romance and thrilling fiction.

C. Days of Stone by Ryan Stone a fabulous poet.

D. What The Woman Wrote by Annie a great person and talented poetess.

E. Lucky Otter’s Haven by Luck Otter a blog providing information on those struggling with mental illness and asking/answering important questions in life.

F. Steps Times Two by MKvecchito another talented poetess.

Please participate if you have the time. But don’t feel as if you have to participate if you’re swamped. 






























©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

A History of My Fashion Vibe


Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.——–


I think I have always been interested in clothes and shopping. I remember being a small girl helping my Mom decide what to wear when she was going out for dinner or to something with my Dad’s work. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was little so my Mom often sewed her clothes and even some of ours. 

Mom has been sewing since she learned how to sew when she was a young teenager. My Baba and Grandpa Wilson didn’t have much money and Mom could stretch her dollar by buying fabric and thread and not buying something ready made. Not to mention, when my Mom sewed she could sew so her outfit fit her perfectly. She is short so she could make her pants whatever length she wanted and her dresses could be any fabric she chose. 


In elementary school, Mom made my first two winter jackets. The one I remember most was a purple jacket with purple snow pants. I got to choose the color. I never chose pink because when you’re a blond girl whose young everyone wants to dress you in pink clothes. I don’t think I ever wore pink again until high school. 

I went to Brownie’s for a bit on Tuesday nights at this church. I loved how all the girls wore these dresses with big skirts that were frilly. So, my Mom made me this black dress with pink and purple flowers and we bought a frilly white skirt to put underneath. I wore that dress along time. 


As I became older, my Mom worked a bit as a supervisor at our school lunch program so we had a bit more money and could afford clothes from stores more. Also, my Mom had less time to sew. There was this store I liked when I was around eight to ten-years-old called Please Mum and I fit their clothes well. I was stocky as a little girl. We didn’t go to the mall often but when we did my Mom would often by me something. She bought me this white blouse once and it had a frilly clown collar. I told her I would wear it but you know what I hated that collar it was too girly for me then. 

Later, there was a store Northern Reflections for Kids and my Mom bought us clothes there. I was fashionable for the nineties I suppose. I wore jeans in various colours that were ‘Mom Jean’ like in a relaxed fit and went skinny at the ankle. I wore ugly sweater vests and mock knocked shirts.

In grade six I began to thin out and all I remember wearing were oversized T-shirts and flares. The flares weren’t too big in grade six but I remember they got bigger like to “elephant” pants in grade eight. My Mom made me a pair of green cord elephant pants. I also loved these sweat pants I had with a rainbow ribbon down the side of each pant leg and the flare was pretty big coming down from the knee.


In high school for the majority of it, I wore a uniform. I wore a grey kilt, a white blouse, a navy sweater/cardigan/vest and tie. I wore knee socks and dress black shoes. There were casual t-shirts and long sleeved shirts and casual pants but I mostly wore a kilt with little gym shorts underneath with a pair of name brand converse type shoe. I cared about fashion and tried to dress my most stylish on the few non-uniform days we had. I bought my clothes on sale at The Gap or Jacob. I loved Jacob clothes for along time but they shut down in Canada last year. I wore flares in jeans and khaki’s and I liked pink a lot. I wore pink three quarter length shirts and I had the cutest black jean jacket that I received for Christmas with Ruffles at the top of the shoulders. Plus, we all tried to find substitutes for our uniform clothing that a busy  teacher wouldn’t catch. Needless to say, the vice-principal started calling almost everyone to the obvious one day a month and we would all get written up for having uniform infractions. The rest of my high school clothes were gym sweatpants and hoodies, team shorts, and team t-shirts. I played both volleyball and basketball so those things were a must along with good runners. My parents paid for items such as a winter coat or new shoes but everything else including skincare and makeup I purchased with family allowance money. Both my parents had good jobs, in fact my Dad was the principal at my high school, but they paid for my tuition partially because in junior and senior high school I went to private schools.

In university, I worked on campus at the bookstore. I paid for half my tuition, got scholarships, and received my books at cost because I worked at the bookstore. I liked yoga pants and sporty tops especially by Fila and Adidas. My jeans were flared and from the Gap. With my birthday and Christmas money I went shopping before each school year. And I bought other clothes with money earned during the year.


Lululemon became a huge thing in university. Despite being an expensive yoga store, all girls bought hoodies, shirts, zippy’s, and yoga pants/crops there. I still have my first Lululemon top and it still looks good. On the other end of the sporty spectrum was the bar shirt spectrum. We shopped for sexy black shirts and tiny skirts to wear out to the bar. Not to mention a comfortable enough pair of high heels. Somedays in university I dressed up with heeled boots, jeans, and a tight long sleeved top but because I was hauling around boxes of books and going to the gym everyday, sporty clothes were good. We also had one or two formals every year in university so I had a few pretty dresses for formal occasions from Le Chateau. My favorite was this slinky pink dress I got for $13.00 and it had no back. But it fit tight and I paired it with some silver sandals and it looked great. 


After, I left university I looked through my wardrobe and realized I had only two blouses and one pair of dress pants. I wasn’t making much money yet, I was just temping but a place called Ricki’s had a sales rack with pairs of pants all my size, a suit that fit me, and I found a couple blouses at Jacob cheap. That did me for my first job before I became sick and went on disability. I hated how cheap Ricki’s material felt. My Mom always made emphasis on good material but $80.00 for four pairs of pants, a jacket, and a couple blouses was truly a good deal.

When I was sick I lost a lot of weight so at first nothing fit me. Then I gained it all the weight back and then some. Once I reached about 175 lbs I was able to shop. Even though I was on disability, I had more spendable income because it was too hard to go for more then coffee with friends so I wasn’t spending money at the bar or out with co-workers at lunch. I wasn’t even paying rent at that time.

 I bought Lululemon and I had just started to begin getting into Banana Republic for clothes for work that were more expensive but of quality. I started shopping online because it was easier and found that BR clothes went 40 % off often. But I liked how their clothing fit, the material was nice, and if I bought clothes on sale, it was a good place to shop. Skinny pants have come in so I buy jeans and black pants from them. They are great for sweaters or cardigans with wool and cashmere blends. Their shirts fit well. I liked the blendability of the pieces and especially the dresses and skirts. 

I cannot work now,so I dress up when I go out for an appointment or to see a friend. I like Simons too for a little cheaper clothing that is more of a fad. Jacob is no longer, as I said. And I love Anthropologie and its boho look but it is too expensive with the rate of the Canadian dollar.


When I see fashion I think they want us to wear big bulky shapeless sweaters over skinny pants. On most people even if you’re skinny a belt that gives you a waist or a tighter shirt underneath a cardigan looks nicer. I hate the wide wide pants that are trying to come in. I don’t think they will because they are too big and don’t look good on anyone. But I could see flares coming back in as they seem to have a little bit. 

I like that there is colour out this winter, not only black or grey. I think skinny pants look good on most people it depends how you wear them. Sometimes a shirt a little more tunic length looks better but I have seen nice looks with moto leather jackets and blouses too that are shorter. Peplum has been in awhile and I think it is a flattering shirt or dress style. I love pearls and pearl like jewelry and I like to mix my mettle colours of jewelry. I like high heels and tall boots. But I think the shorter boots might be in for awhile now. Booties are good in Fall in Canada but I like the taller boots in Winter for warmth. The problem is it’s hard to get boots for smaller or thicker calf sizes. I like flowy tops that give you a waist and float out and cover stomach problems. But I like tighter shirts honestly most of the time, the show shape. I still like Lululemon for anytime and for Yoga and workout wear. I like to look put together in general and look for classic silhouettes. But I do find a modern thing here or there I like. What about you?

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa

Before, I ever grew up to worry about things; before I ever had things to worry about were the days I spent out on my grandparent’s acreage in Brightview, Alberta. My grandpa was a pastor and their small quaint two story parsonage was next to a small church incidentally, where my Aunt Josie ( my godmother) was baptized.
The acreage was full of long green grass that my grandpa mowed with a large red riding mower. It was the height of all things to go riding on the mower with Grandpa, to hear the loud grind of the mower as it swiftly cut through the grass all along the parsonage and all along the church, back to the dirt road leading to the acreage. I would balance between my Grandpa’s skinny knees half sitting on the comfy black seat helping my Grandpa steer the mower. To start the mower was a clear scratched little white keychain of an owl attached to a key. The mower would start with a growl than cut its way through the grass slowly. I often had to take turns with my brothers riding the mower, which I was not happy about because that was one of the best things about going to my Grandparent’s acreage.

I remember one particular day dressed in a yellow and white dress; it was the height of summer and the giant garden my Grandparents kept was full of vegetables. I was about 3 years old wearing a white brimmed large hat, the kind women wore outside in the 50’s and 60’s, and the sun beat down on me on my smooth white baby skin and long blond hair. I could feel it’s heat but I was comfortable helping my Grandma pick vegetables from the garden while she was inside. I picked out crisp orange carrots and raw green beans placing them in a basket. Then when I had been outside long enough for my pale white skin my Grandma would call me inside and we would bake cookies, cut green beans, shell peas, and make raspberries into jelly; we would also do crafts.

Besides a giant garden ( or at least a huge garden to a 3 year old) were long prickly bushes of raspberries that I could run along and eat berries off the branches. But I didn’t run along the raspy raspberry bushes much, they cut my delicate white legs. Some summers there were so many raspberries that my entire family would have to come out – aunts, uncles, cousins, and spend a day picking the raspberries. My fingers were sore and dyed red by the end of this event but we would all have raspberry jelly, and fresh raspberries to take home to freeze to put into jello salads and raspberry crisps.

Beyond the large vegetable garden that held corn, potatoes, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, peas, and squashes, and parsnips, was another large garden. Walking through the foliage on a trail, my Grandpa and I would come across a giant strawberry patch. My Grandpa took care of this and we would often visit the strawberry patch in the mornings to pluck the small sweet strawberries from the bushes. Sometimes there were only a few strawberries sometimes there were tons. We would pick them and eat them if there were only a little but take bucketfuls to my Grandma in the kitchen for jam, freezing, and fruit plates if there were a lot of strawberries. After the strawberry trees were the apple trees, but I never went back there with Grandpa as there was too many bushes and bugs in the way of the trees; besides the apples were never ready to later in summer, after the strawberries were gone.

I loved going out to my Grandparent’s acreage because of these beautiful gifts of nature and the freedom I had playing outside. The first time my parents left me though, I was wearing a purple sweat suit and I did not know my parents would just take off and leave me there. I cried and cried and cried. But I sat on my Grandma’s lap on the stairs at the front entrance of the acreage and my Grandpa sat beside me and they promised me we would go outside, make cookies, do crafts, and play games. Eventually I believed them and was not happy to go home later on. My parents brought me a purple balloon but I wanted to sleep over at my Grandparents. Later I would, and such as at home I would go to sleep in the master bedroom and my poor Grandma would drag my pudgy toddler body upstairs to one of the two bedrooms – one with a slopped roof where my Grandma sewed and one with a double bed with light almost turquoise blue bedding and white sheets; that is where I slept. I enjoyed having my own room upstairs because I had to share a room at home but I would never have given up going to sleep in my Grandparents bed first, until I was at least 6 years old. When I was a bit older, I would come up to my Grandparents acreage for two weeks and go to vacation bible school in the mornings.

Vacation Bible School was held at the Brightview Church downstairs and my Grandpa taught the older kids in grades 5 and 6. I was happy he did though as his preaching although perfectly acceptable, was not my favorite thing at 5 or 6 years old. My Grandma would pack us lunches and she would pack me these little plastic margarita glasses full of pink mints wrapped in tule and tied with a curly white ribbon; left over wedding guest gifts I suppose. But I looked forward to those pink and white mints all through out Bible school.

At VBS children would learn about Jesus, do crafts, place stickers and colour in activity books, and play. I liked the other children and playing games and singing The Farmer and the Dell and Red Rover. But I have to admit, even at such a young age I felt superior to the other children because I was the Pastor’s grand daughter- funny how children think. After VBS, I would wait for Grandpa downstairs in the church and eat my lunch; then we would walk back to the acreage and it was back to lush fruit and vegetables, long grass, tractor rides, and doing things with Grandma.

But if I go back to that day when I was 3 years old, and wearing my yellow and white dress and big floppy white hat; it was the most important day, one I would not remember until I was 14 years old and my Grandpa reminded me. I was riding between my Grandpa’s knees on the mower helping my Grandpa mow and my Grandpa said:

“Pretty soon I won’t have a little girl to sit on my lap anymore?”

He looked at me gently an inquisitively. I remember thinking about my response and wanting to see my grandpa smile because he rarely did; I had also begun to become aware of the fact that my grandpa was getting sick, although I really did not know what this would mean yet.

So I said, ” Grandpa you’ll always have a little girl to sit on your lap.” My grandpa smiled the grandest smile I’ve ever seen him smile and hugged me. But the truth was, he was getting ill.

Later, when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old,my Grandparent’s moved into the city into a house they had bought in Clareview, where my Aunt lived in the basement. My Grandpa had retired from the Lutheran ministry at Brightview and the acreage was too much for them to take care of anymore. I missed it terribly, though I was in school at that point but still slept over at my Grandparent’s house whenever I could. I played a lot of games with my Grandpa and had become a good crib and excellent chess player for a time. In Jr. High I competed in chess two years in a row coming in second and third in a tournament in Calgary; this was after beating my grandpa twice at chess at his house. It was the only time I ever beat my Grandpa and it was when he was having bad days if I am honest. But somehow I learned to think 2 or 3 moves ahead in chess playing Grandpa, something I lost when he died and I could not practice as much.

When I was 13 years old my Grandpa went into the hospital for the last time – of course we always thought it could be the last time and this time was no different. Grandpa had emphysema from all his years of smoking. He breathed from an oxygen tank and became tired easily.

The second last time I ever saw my Grandpa my family was just about to leave and although I loved my Grandpa I was a snooty teenager ready to leave the hospital, to get back to grade 9. But Grandpa grabbed my hand and wrist tightly and said, ” I remember one time, when you were sitting on my lap and I asked if you if one day I’d still have a little girl to sit on my lap one day.” I had not remembered the moment till Grandpa grabbed my hand and he hung on so tightly with his frail old hand that I knew it was important. ” You said I always would, and I hope that’s still true” he begged me.

I could barely speak. The memory and the moment was so painful and I knew he was saying goodbye. He had paper thin skin, red eyes, and his breathing was raspy, and a big tube had been shoved down his throat for the longest time. ” Of course you do.” I managed and he tiredly let go of my hand before squeezing it tight.

I saw my Grandpa one last time before he died and he said he wasn’t doing too good. The morning of my 14th birthday my dad awoke my early. It was only 6:25ish and I wondered why he had woke me when he said with tears in his eye’s and most seriously that ” Your Grandpa passed away this morning?”

” When?”

” Oh early, around 5 in the morning.” I cried into my day’s shoulder remembering the second last time I had seen my Grandpa.

On the day of the funeral, I was a pall bearer and rode in the limo with my Uncle Barrie my Godfather. He said to me ” You know Amanda, your Grandpa gave you the greatest gift on your Birthday, he wen’t to heaven; and he’s no longer in any pain.”

I did not think so at the time but my Grandpa did give me the greatest gift. Not only did he go to Heaven but he gave me a memory, a memory I will have of him until the day I die; a memory I can share with my kids when the time comes. You see my Grandpa, a Pastor loved God most of all but he also loved me, and this is something I never forget, something I always remember on my birthday. Next year will be 14 years, twice the age I was when Grandpa died, but the memories of Grandpa and his acreage, seeing Grandma still in church some Sundays, they give me hope and take me back to simpler times, and simpler days when I was only a child.