Rewind Interview with Gina Gallyot #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Good Morning! Welcome to another edition of my interview series. Since I have joined the Go-Dog-Go Writer’s community, I will be showcasing an interview with a wonderful writer every week (instead of bi-weekly).

However, since I do not have the time to put together a full interview each week, every second week will be a ‘Rewind Interview’ showcasing a wonderful writer or blogger from past interviews. You can expect this both on the Go Dog Go Cafe as well as on my own blog  Mandibelle16.

Most of my upcoming interviews for the summer will be baristas from the Go Dog Go Cafe as well as a couple of interviews I had scheduled previously.

Today, I would like to re-introduce you to the talented, caring, strong, and beautiful Gina Gallyot (SingleDust). Gina is also a wonderful hostess or Barista on the Go Dog Go Cafe. You can see her latest post on the cafe here called: Come Sit With Me in the Go Do Go Cafe.

Gina’s personal blog is called: A Life Less Lived: Living On the Equator But Longing For Snow.   

We will be focusing on her personal blogging and writing for this Rewind Interview.


Interview -SingleDust
Credit: Gina Gallyot -SingleDust

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My blog is called “A Life Less Lived” and I use the name “Singledust” as the author of all my blog posts. I live in Malaysia, in a vibrant suburb south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a town packed with malls and teeming with life! It is also a college town and the young demographic we have means lots of lovely cafes and hangout joints where the vibe is always amazing.


2. What is Your Blog About? What Are You Trying to Accomplish?

I started my blog because my daughter asked me to stop scribbling in notebooks and publish all I wanted to say. She set the blog up and I began. In early days the blog was a lot of self-discovery and deciding what my blog was going to be about. I had to figure out what to write about and much personal information I should I share.

I went down a couple of paths, tried doing travel related stories at first, then showcasing foods I liked and places to go eat the different foods in my country, but I wasn’t feeling fulfillment from that kind of writing. I wrote because I needed words to come out of me after suppressing it for so long.

Then I came across Flash Fiction prompts and was hooked. I found I liked writing stories. I had grown up with lots of storytelling after all and thought why not incorporate some of the tales I remembered into new ones I created. So that’s what I did and wrote some poetry on the days the stories seemed more musical. I had never written poetry before this blog so I amazed myself even!

From Flash Fiction challenges, I expanded into longer pieces called “Tales From The Equator,” stories I remembered from my childhood as well as those I told my kids as they were growing up.

All this has provided me with a huge collection of stories and poetry I have rummaged through to eventually another book. My blog is my training ground and preparation. It is an amazing place to read other writers, get feedback, develop new story lines, and network.


“I started the blog because my daughter asked me to stop scribbling in notebooks and publish all I wanted to say. She set the blog up and I began” -Gina Gallyot


3. When Did You Start Writing and Blogging and Why?

I started a year ago in February 2016 after some parts of my life finally got settled and I closed painful chapters of my life for good. In my new life, the writing side of me reawakened as I needed an outlet. When I started the blog it was a place for me to write so I would not forget my journey of self-discovery but after some time I realized that the journey was part of my healing and there was no end in sight.

I will continue my healing journey as long as I live. The process has never come to a screeching halt with magical solutions. Each day has a lesson of its own. And as I wrote I released anger and frustration inside me for so long — things I cannot talk about in whole honesty — writing allowed me to layer stories and fantasies into my writing and in that sense has permitted me to heal and recover, like a journal of my life. My life is stories!


4. How Does Your Writing Help Other People and Give You Meaning? 

Just seeing words on paper (well now on screen) brings me joy and blogging have enabled me to connect with amazing people all around the world I would have never met otherwise. I love being able to read their stories and be able to see that the world is full of people such as me, going through trials and overcoming them through writing and in turn, I hope my stories will help others healing or reaching a new spiritual place.

I affectionately call my stories, “my little lines.” I would humbly like to believe that it also inspires others together with the comments I give on the posts I read.


“I will continue my healing journey as long as I live. The process has never come to a screeching halt with magical solutions. Each day has a lesson of its own.” – Gina Gallyot


5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation? 

My inspiration is the life I have lived, a life less lived; while trying to survive my struggles, never feeling as if I had actually lived. I existed for the next day to start and end, and stories were my refuge. They were places I would go in my mind and create a safe place for myself and my children.

The world around me is also so beautiful in its ordinary splendor. I don’t need the highest mountain or deepest sea, a walk around my neighborhood inspires me with the beautiful life of nature and people. Every single thing on earth has value and has a story of its own. 

Additionally, I’m inspired by the people I meet, strong people carrying heavy burdens in life, broken people standing tall for others to lean on, humble gentle caring souls oblivious of their own sorrow as they comfort others. In short, the human spirit is extremely inspirational and resilient.

Every person also has their own story, but there is the question of who stops to listen when we are all so busy trying to tell our own stories. I try to listen to life happening around me in all forms. It’s important to me to give value to everything and everyone I meet in my short life on earth. It is vital that I never forget people are all connected by invisible threads of endless thoughts and feelings and need to treat each other gently.


6. Do You Have Any Particular Writing Habits? How Does your Blog Fit in With You Are?

I hope my writing has helped inspire people and encourage then to be better than what they think of themselves in low times. I would like to think that my writing (my blog)  is a soft spot to land after all the bad news and horror people read. I would like to be a soft voice and a place people can unmask and be themselves as they read my stories and poetry. I hope they remember it is possible to live life happy and free and know that living a better life is possible at any stage in life.


“I try to listen to life happening around me in all forms. It’s important to me to give value to everything and everyone I meet in my short life on earth. It is vital that I never forget people are all connected by invisible threads of endless thoughts and feelings and need to treat each other gently.” -Gina Gallyot


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects on Your Blog or Otherwise? 

I try to participate in at least five Flash Fiction challenges per week to keep the creativity going. I am beginning to become involved in the poetry community, though I am like the littlest baby there as I never wrote poetry prior to this blog! I am trying to compile all the stories and poetry into categories and maybe publish them in a few of years. Every writer’s dream right?!

I have two recent poetry submissions published on SpillWords. Here are the links and publication dates:

My biggest writing achievement is my poetry book titled: Remember mySweet Whispers – I Loved You From A Time Once Before.
It is available on Smashwords as a free download and includes poems I wrote that people enjoyed on my blog.

Interview - Sweet Whispers SingleDust
Remember My: ‘Sweet Whispers – I loved You From A Time Once Before’
by Gina Gallyot

8. What Are You Future Plans For Your Blog and Writing?

No big ones as of yet. I have blog posts as well as guest posts featured on other sites but that’s about it. I still feel I am new to this and I like to let things move at a slow pace and see progress in steps rather than leaps and bounds. I am enjoying the journey, not the destination. Future plans might be to start focusing on a book I started last year but got distracted and have never completed. Blogging at my own pace and enjoying the company I meet along the way has been rewarding so I will continue on this path.


9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Have Support for Your Writing and Blogging in Your Life?

Well, I decided to write again after a negative influence was removed from my life. I wrote a lot as a young girl and well into my early youth. I was sidetracked by the ‘merry go round of life.’ Coming back to my first love of writing stories has been like meeting an old flame and feeling the spark we had long ago that has developed into a mature romance. It’s a safe and uplifting romance of heart and soul, paper and pen, words and emotions.

My support comes from my tenacity for life. My four children have been my pillars of strength and support me with enthusiasm and love. Recently a more meaningful relationship has been the wind beneath my wings and encouraged me to soar higher. I also always have hope.


“Coming back to my first love of writing stories has been like meeting an old flame and feeling the spark we had long ago that has developed into a mature romance. It’s a safe and uplifting romance of heart and soul, paper and pen, words and emotions.” – Gina Gallyot


10. How Do you Maintain Discipline in Writing? Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? 

I discipline myself to write consistently and have a few stories or poetry on file to go over so I am never without material. Flash Fiction is incredibly helpful in clearing the cobwebs to write better in other areas of writing. It allows me to try different styles I might not usually do and this versatility helps me develop a better vocabulary too.

Reading is important too because people need to be inspired by other authors and writers. I spend a great deal of time reading new books and also re-reading previous favorites from beloved authors. My favorite writers are ‘mystical writers. Simple strong words in long flowing sentences that convey images of times we have all once traveled upon are inspiring to read about.

I fell in love with Yeats as a young girl and am still smitten with him. Poets and writers who write like Yeats and draw emotions from other worlds and bring that feeling into our world, I find interesting. I like human based stories, like those from Khaled Hosseini and recently John Green.

My all time favorite novels include The Alchemist and 100 years of Solitude. Another writer that fascinates me till is John Farris and his Wildwood, Chilling Experiments in the Backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains. I feel a strange attraction to that region although I have never been there before.


11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share With Us?

Write from the heart what you want to say. You can use your metaphors, pseudo names, or examples (metaphors and literary devices) that distract from you, but write as if it is the last essay or poem you will ever get to write.

That’s what makes you stand out from other writers — sharing your heart. Don’t let the blogging statistics derail or distract you. Numbers have no real weight in comparison to what you write from your own heart and feelings.

Moreover, I have never wanted to live a mediocre life in either thought, word, or deed. While I joke and say I write ‘little lines’ and often am told to give more respect and emphasis to my ‘little lines,’ they are strong on their own and not fragile lines but lines that encourage people who think they are not worth much.

People read these ‘little lines’ and feel uplifted because the world they live in is trying to confine them. I want ‘little lines’ to help set people free and be whoever they want to be, never living a mediocre life in thought, word, and deed.


“Moreover, I have never wanted to live a mediocre life in either thought, word, or deed. While I joke and say I write ‘little lines’ and often am told to give more respect and emphasis to my ‘little lines,’ they are strong on their own and not fragile lines but lines that encourage people who think they are not worth much.” – Gina Gallyot


12. What Are Your Three-Favorite Blogs you Follow or Enjoy, just for Fun? What Do You Like About Them? 

I love reading blogs in this order: flash fiction, poetry, and long reads. They inspire me to write better stories, and each writer has their own flavor. It’s too hard to mention a top three or even top ten. I enjoy each writer for their own kind of fiction and emotion.


13. Please Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Pieces:

A special one to me from the tales from the equator series:

The Dust and Glitter

By SingleDust
*****
Praying Mantis
Credit: http://www.twistedsifter.com Praying Mantis

She was a pretty tiny bird living in a big white cage. Her master would sit each morning and evening and admire her beauty from just outside her cage. She loved it when he came to sit with her, he read her stories and sang songs and she was his inspiration. He was an artist and he drew lovely paintings of her, sold them and even put some around his lovely house. She longed for him to open the cage, just once and let her out so she could sit in the palm of his hand, but he never did. Always just looking at her, smiling and saying soft soothing words, he would always leave when the woman came.

He lived with a beautiful woman in this house, she never came near the cage, almost never knew the little bird existed and would ask the maids to clean the cage and feed the pretty bird. Little bird looked with envy at the beautiful woman with the long black hair and flowing dresses, her feathers were short and had too many colors, her cage had no walls, she could never hide her ugliness.

One day, a praying mantis sat on the window ledge and asked the tiny pretty bird why was she quiet, why she never sang. Little tiny bird said she had no singing voice, she was made only for man’s eyes, not for his ears or heart. And the mantis thought she saw a tear, but birds don’t cry thought the mantis, not in these parts anyway.

The little bird talked to the mantis every day in between the times the artist sat by the cage and they grew to know each other more. The mantis was as old as the sands of the desert and had traveled far and lived long, she was old and wise but had no heart, yet lately talking to this tiny little bird made the old mantis feel something she had not for a very long time now. It was like an inflation of her hollow chest.

One day she asked the tiny pretty bird if she would like to be free? And the tiny heart fluttered with uncontrolled joy. But the bird asked how? And the praying mantis divulged an ancient secret.

Praying Mantes were the gods’ eyes and ears on earth for there were places the gods could not go to, the crevices and the cracks of the world, so they created the praying mantis who could slip in and out unnoticed and gather information back. The mantis had some magic and in them and was allowed one wish for their entire life and that’s how they would end their lives, by granting a wish as their final breath.

The little bird was upset and refused to listen more, but the old tired mantis coaxed her; allow me to bestow the wish on you, I have lived long and traveled far, I need to rest and move on to the next life the gods have planned for me. I have been a mantis too long, almost since this new world begun, set me free.

And the little bird because she had a lovely heart, though so tiny, it was full of love, for the handsome artist man and she wanted to feel the touch of his hand, agreed. And they decided on the right time to carry out their plan.

It was a beautiful sunny morning, where sunlight reflected off every surface and sunbeams found secret places and brought them warmth and the little bird decided today would be the day. The artist would arrive soon and she wanted to be free from her feathers and cage. The praying mantis nodded in agreement.

When they heard the man approaching, the mantis cast her final spell and the cage door flew open and the tiny pretty bird flew out and landed on the ground, now a tiny little lady with streaks of blue and green in her hair. The tiny bird was so happy to touch her own skin and pretty hair and she looked to thank the mantis, but the mantis wasn’t there.

Too late to look now, the handsome artist had approached, and the little bird now a pretty little lady smiled at him with the prettiest smile she thought she had. But the artist was taken by surprise and she never knew he could be a cruel man for she always looked at him from behind the bars of her cage and only saw what he showed her of his true self.

He shouted for the maids to chase away this intruder, he said. Chaos reigned as maids came to remove the tiny little stranger from the big lovely house. They roughly pushed her out the door and told her to do her begging elsewhere, this was the mistress and master’s house, not any common place.

Little bird tried to speak but no one could understand the language she spoke and she could hardly walk, new to feet and no feathers she felt exposed and abused with the rough hands and words. She understood them; why could they not her.

And they shut the big heavy white door and tiny little bird stood alone on the road.

Devastated that her plan had gone so disastrous, she wished she could talk to the praying mantis, her only friend all the years she sat in that cage, she wondered if she had been tricked. Living in that cage wasn’t so bad after all, at least she got to see her handsome artist twice a day and she had water and food and sunlight. Now she had nothing, she would never see his face again.

She walked down the road uncertain which way to go, her bare feet on the hot asphalt, the warmth went all the way to her chest, but never reached her heart. And she knew she could not live like this in this world; and said a soft wish to the gods who would listen, punish me for my greed and insolence, take me away from this existence. Leave me as dust in this world for I feel empty and distant.

And the spirits of the sun took her message to the skies and some gods had pity on her and said such a beautiful soul must be rescued somehow.

So they guided her thoughts till she walked further down the street and they crushed her body with a magnificent sunbeam and she became tiny flecks of dust that settled among the rocks and the grass, she would always be free now, and be part of the world yet no one would see her, she would be as she wished, just dust and glitter.


Please Find Other Posts from Gina Here:


Thank you to Gina for agreeing to be interviewed for her original interview and the “Rewind Interview.’ Here is the link to her blog homepage once more: A Life Less Lived. If you would like to be a part of my interview series, please reach out through my Contact Page.  See You on next Tuesday!


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Saturday Mix: Poem – Blank Verse – “Addiction Nightmares” #amwriting #poetry #saturdaymix 


Thanks to Teresa of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Saturday Mix Prompt. The prompt is to write a Homeric or Epic Simile. 

———

Credit: Angel Jimenez via UnSplash

——-

He lived his life did, what he could, but could —

Not find a way to escape the demons. 

He could not escape his addiction; the —

Monster sunk his teeth into him when his, 

Guard was down; he would feel wonderful, 

Healthy, good, then he felt it’s teeth gnawing. 

The biting, the teeth claiming his flesh, would make, 

His skin itch until he wanted to tear it, 

Off; running for the bathroom where he hid, 

His medication, the pills he so craved. 

Wanted to quit; to never take again, 

But the monster clawing down his back would, 

Never stop; not until he claimed him for–

His own; made him demon too, who hits her, 

His girl; who loves him, though hallucinates, 

Of the Hell monster,  he lives in terror of, 

He wakes from Hell to find his family, 

Has deserted him; he’s alone breathing; 

Trying to forget the demon who would start, 

Eating him alive soon, making his temper —

Rise and his fists fly as he imbibes too, 

Craving the second monster who is the, 

Only way to handle the greater, 

The worst monster, the devil hiding. 

Evil itself repeatedly gnawing, 

Trapping him in Hades, stripping his —

Soul; so he feels that he does not exist;

For anyone, but to grind and lash out. 

To battle the demon, his addiction, 

And no one can help him, they’ve given 

Up all hope; so one day he thought he would, 

Give in let the monster finish him. 

Bind and seal the deal, his soul in hell for, 

All eternity and he was going, 

To jump when he saw —  a light, awoke; 

In the room of the addictions unit. 

At the hospital and the nurse tells him, 

“It’s okay it’s been a month and you’re —

Dreaming again; it’s a wicked —

Nightmare and not your reality now.

Keep clean and the monster, he’ll leave soon, 

Then, you’ll be free as you’re here and —

Remain aware; when you leave stay far from, 

Put those drugs, the alcohol behind. 

And soon you must embrace your new life, 

Make your apologies and live.” 

The man sighs almost crying, so —

Happy the demons are distant dreams. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview with Gina Gallyot Writer, Poet, and Blogger #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Good Morning! Welcome to another edition of my bi-weekly interview series. As I did skip a week due to being busy with other writing projects, my aim is to have a wonderful interview for you today as well as a regularly scheduled interview on Monday. Today I would like to introduce you to the talented, caring, strong, and beautiful Gina Gallyot (SingleDust) and her blog: A Life Less Lived: Living On the Equator But Longing For Snow. 


Interview -SingleDust
Credit: Gina Gallyot -SingleDust

1. Please tell Us About Yourself?

My blog is called “A Life Less Lived” and I use the name “Singledust” as the author of all my blog posts. I live in Malaysia, in a vibrant suburb south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a town packed with malls and teeming with life! It is also a college town and the young demographic we have means lots of lovely cafes and hangout joints where the vibe is always amazing.


2. What is Your Blog About? What Are You Trying to Accomplish?

I started my blog because my daughter asked me to stop scribbling in notebooks and publish all I wanted to say. She set the blog up and I began. In early days the blog was a lot of self-discovery, and deciding what my blog was going to be about. I had to figure out what to write about and much personal information I should I share.

I went down a couple of paths, tried doing travel related stories at first, then showcasing foods I liked and places to go eat the different foods in my country, but I wasn’t feeling fulfillment from that kind of writing. I wrote because I needed words to come out of me after suppressing it for so long.

Then I came across Flash Fiction prompts and was hooked. I found I liked writing stories. I had grown up with lots of storytelling after all and thought why not incorporate some of the tales I remembered into new ones I created. So that’s what I did and wrote some poetry on the days the stories seemed more musical. I had never written poetry before this blog so I amazed myself even!

From Flash Fiction challenges, I expanded into longer pieces called “Tales From The Equator,” stories I remembered from my childhood as well as those I told my kids as they were growing up.

All this has provided me with a huge collection of stories and poetry I rummaged through to produce a collection of stories. My blog is my training ground and preparation. It is an amazing place to read other writers, get feedback, develop new story lines, and network.


“I started the blog because my daughter asked me to stop scribbling in notebooks and publish all I wanted to say. She set the blog up and I began” -Gina Gallyot


3. When Did You Start Writing and Blogging and Why?

I started a year ago in February 2016 after some parts of my life finally got settled and I closed painful chapters of my life for good. In my new life, the writing side of me reawakened as I needed an outlet. When I started the blog it was a place for me to write so I would not forget my journey of self-discovery but after some time I realised that the journey was part of my healing and there was no end in sight.

I will continue my healing journey as long as I live. The process has never come to a screeching halt with magical solutions. Each day has a lesson of its own. And as I wrote I released anger and frustration inside me for so long — things I cannot talk about in whole honesty — writing allowed me to layer stories and fantasies into my writing and in that sense has permitted me to heal and recover, like a journal of my life. My life is stories!


4. How Does Your Writing Help Other People and Give You Meaning? 

Just seeing words on paper (well now on screen) brings me joy and blogging have enabled me to connect with amazing people all around the world I would have never met otherwise. I love being able to read their stories and be able to see that the world is full of people such as me, going through trials and overcoming them through writing and in turn, I hope my stories will help others healing or reaching a new spiritual place.

I affectionately call my stories, “my little lines.” I would humbly like to believe that it also inspires others together with the comments I give on the posts I read.


“I will continue my healing journey as long as I live. The process has never come to a screeching halt with magical solutions. Each day has a lesson of its own.” – Gina Gallyot


5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation? 

My inspiration is the life I have lived, a life less lived; while trying to survive my struggles, never feeling as if I had actually lived. I existed for the next day to start and end, and stories were my refuge. They were places I would go in my mind and create a safe place for myself and my children.

The world around me is also so beautiful in its ordinary splendor. I don’t need the highest mountain or deepest sea, a walk around my neighbourhood inspires me with the beautiful life of nature and people. Every single thing on earth has value and has a story of its own. 

Additionally, I’m inspired by the people I meet, strong people carrying heavy burdens in life, broken people standing tall for others to lean on, humble gentle caring souls oblivious of their own sorrow as they comfort others. In short, the human spirit is extremely inspirational and resilient. 

Every person also has their own story, but there is the question of who stops to listen when we are all so busy trying to tell our own stories. I try to listen to life happening around me in all forms. It’s important to me to give value to everything and everyone I meet in my short life on earth. It is vital that I never forget people are all connected by invisible threads of endless thoughts and feelings and need to treat each other gently.


6. Do You Have Any Particular Writing Habits? How Does your Blog Fit in With You Are?

I hope my writing has helped inspire people and encourage then to be better than what they think of themselves in low times. I would like to think that my writing (my blog)  is a soft spot to land after all the bad news and horror people read. I would like to be a soft voice and a place people can unmask and be themselves as they read my stories and poetry. I hope they remember it is possible to live life happy and free and know that living a better life is possible at any stage in life.


“I try to listen to life happening around me in all forms. It’s important to me to give value to everything and everyone I meet in my short life on earth. It is vital that I never forget people are all connected by invisible threads of endless thoughts and feelings and need to treat each other gently.” -Gina Gallyot


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects on Your Blog or Otherwise? 

I try to participate in at least five Flash Fiction challenges per week to keep the creativity going. I am beginning to become involved in the poetry community, though I am like the littlest baby there as I never wrote poetry prior to this blog! I am trying to compile all the stories and poetry into categories and maybe publish them in a few of years. Every writer’s dream right?!

I have two recent poetry submissions published on SpillWords. Here are the links and publication dates:
“A Walk in the Snow” published on May 10, 2017.
“Shadows Hold me Tighter” will be published on May 22, 2017. 


My biggest writing achievement is my poetry book titled Remember my: Sweet WhispersI Loved You From A Time Once Before.
It is available on Smashwords as a free download and includes poems I wrote that people enjoyed on my blog.
Interview - Sweet Whispers SingleDust
Remember My: ‘Sweet Whispers – I loved You From A Time Once Before’ by Gina Gallyot

8. What Are You Future Plans For Your Blog and Writing?

No big ones as of yet. I have blog posts as well as guest posts featured on other sites but that’s about it. I still feel I am new to this and I like to let things move at a slow pace and see progress in steps rather than leaps and bounds. I am enjoying the journey, not the destination. Future plans might be to start focusing on a book I started last year but got distracted and have never completed. Blogging at my own pace and enjoying the company I meet along the way has been rewarding so I will continue on this path.


9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Have Support for Your Writing and Blogging in Your Life?

Well, I decided to write again after a negative influence was removed from my life. I wrote a lot as a young girl and well into my early youth. I was sidetracked by the ‘merry go round of life.’ Coming back to my first love of writing stories has been like meeting an old flame and feeling the spark we had long ago that has developed into a mature romance. It’s a safe and uplifting romance of heart and soul, paper and pen, words and emotions.

My support comes from my tenacity for life. My four children have been my pillars of strength and support me with enthusiasm and love. Recently a more meaningful relationship has been the wind beneath my wings and encouraged me to soar higher. I also always have hope.


“Coming back to my first love of writing stories has been like meeting an old flame and feeling the spark we had long ago that has developed into a mature romance. It’s a safe and uplifting romance of heart and soul, paper and pen, words and emotions.” – Gina Gallyot


10. How Do you Maintain Discipline in Writing? Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? 

I discipline myself to write consistently and have a few stories or poetry on file to go over so I am never without material. Flash Fiction is incredibly helpful in clearing the cobwebs to write better in other areas of writing. It allows me to try different styles I might not usually do and this versatility helps me develop a better vocabulary too.

Reading is important too because people need to be inspired by other authors and writers. I spend a great deal of time reading new books and also re-reading previous favorites from beloved authors. My favorite writers are ‘mystical writers. Simple strong words in long flowing sentences that convey images of times we have all once traveled upon are inspiring to read about. 

I fell in love with Yeats as a young girl and am still smitten with him. Poets and writers who write like Yeats and draw emotions from other worlds and bring that feeling into our world, I find interesting. I like human based stories, like those from Khaled Hosseini and recently John Green.

My all time favorite novels include The Alchemist and 100 years of Solitude. Another writer that fascinates me till is John Farris and his Wildwood, Chilling Experiments in the Backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains. I feel a strange attraction to that region although I have never been there before.


11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share With Us?

Write from the heart what you want to say. You can use your metaphors, pseudo names, or examples (metaphors and literary devices) that distract from you, but write as if it is the last essay or poem you will ever get to write.

That’s what makes you stand out from other writers — sharing your heart. Don’t let the blogging statistics derail or distract you. Numbers have no real weight in comparison to what you write from your own heart and feelings.

Moreover, I have never wanted to live a mediocre life in either thought, word, or deed. While I joke and say I write ‘little lines’ and often am told to give more respect and emphasis to my ‘little lines,’ they are strong on their own and not fragile lines but lines that encourage people who think they are not worth much.

People read these ‘little lines’ and feel uplifted because the world they live in is trying to confine them. I want ‘little lines’ to help set people free and be whoever they want to be, never living a mediocre life in thought, word, and deed.


“Moreover, I have never wanted to live a mediocre life in either thought, word, or deed. While I joke and say I write ‘little lines’ and often am told to give more respect and emphasis to my ‘little lines,’ they are strong on their own and not fragile lines but lines that encourage people who think they are not worth much.” – Gina Gallyot


12. What Are Your Three-Favorite Blogs you Follow or Enjoy, just for Fun? What Do You Like About Them? 

I love reading blogs in this order: flash fiction, poetry, and long reads. They inspire me to write better stories, and each writer has their own flavor. It’s too hard to mention a top three or even top ten. I enjoy each writer for their own kind of fiction and emotion.


13. Please Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Pieces:

A special one to me from the tales from the equator series:

The Dust and Glitter

She was a pretty tiny bird living in a big white cage. Her master would sit each morning and evening and admire her beauty from just outside her cage. She loved it when he came to sit with her, he read her stories and sang songs and she was his inspiration. He was an artist and he drew lovely paintings of her, sold them and even put some around his lovely house. She longed for him to open the cage, just once and let her out so she could sit in the palm of his hand, but he never did. Always just looking at her, smiling and saying soft soothing words, he would always leave when the woman came.

He lived with a beautiful woman in this house, she never came near the cage, almost never knew the little bird existed and would ask the maids to clean the cage and feed the pretty bird. Little bird looked with envy at the beautiful woman with the long black hair and flowing dresses, her feathers were short and had too many colors, her cage had no walls, she could never hide her ugliness.

One day, a praying mantis sat on the window ledge and asked the tiny pretty bird why was she quiet, why she never sang. Little tiny bird said she had no singing voice, she was made only for man’s eyes, not for his ears or heart. And the mantis thought she saw a tear, but birds don’t cry thought the mantis, not in these parts anyway.

The little bird talked to the mantis every day in between the times the artist sat by the cage and they grew to know each other more. The mantis was as old as the sands of the desert and had traveled far and lived long, she was old and wise but had no heart, yet lately talking to this tiny little bird made the old mantis feel something she had not for a very long time now. It was like an inflation of her hollow chest.

One day she asked the tiny pretty bird if she would like to be free? And the tiny heart fluttered with uncontrolled joy. But the bird asked how? And the praying mantis divulged an ancient secret.

Praying mantis were the gods’ eyes and ears on earth for there were places the gods could not go to, the crevices and the cracks of the world, so they created the praying mantis who could slip in and out unnoticed and gather information back. The mantis had some magic and in them and were allowed one wish for their entire life and that’s how they would end their lives, by granting a wish as their final breath.

The little bird was upset and refused to listen more, but the old tired mantis coaxed her; allow me to bestow the wish on you, I have lived long and traveled far, I need to rest and move on to the next life the gods have planned for me. I have been a mantis too long, almost since this new world begun, set me free.

And the little bird because she had a lovely heart, though so tiny, it was full of love, for the handsome artist man and she wanted to feel the touch of his hand, agreed. And they decided on the right time to carry out their plan.

It was a beautiful sunny morning, where sunlight reflected off every surface and sunbeams found secret places and brought them warmth and the little bird decided today would be the day. The artist would arrive soon and she wanted to be free from her feathers and cage. The praying mantis nodded in agreement.

When they heard the man approaching, the mantis cast her final spell and the cage door flew open and the tiny pretty bird flew out and landed on the ground, now a tiny little lady with streaks of blue and green in her hair. The tiny bird was so happy to touch her own skin and pretty hair and she looked to thank the mantis, but the mantis wasn’t there.

Too late to look now, the handsome artist had approached, and the little bird now a pretty little lady smiled at him with the prettiest smile she thought she had. But the artist was taken by surprise and she never knew he could be a cruel man for she always looked at him from behind the bars of her cage and only saw what he showed her of his true self.

He shouted for the maids to chase away this intruder, he said. Chaos reigned as maids came to remove the tiny little stranger from the big lovely house. They roughly pushed her out the door and told her to do her begging elsewhere, this was the mistress and master’s house, not any common place.

Little bird tried to speak but no one could understand the language she spoke and she could hardly walk, new to feet and no feathers she felt exposed and abused with the rough hands and words. She understood them; why could they not her.

And they shut the big heavy white door and tiny little bird stood alone on the road.

Devastated that her plan had gone so disastrous, she wished she could talk to the praying mantis, her only friend all the years she sat in that cage, she wondered if she had been tricked. Living in that cage wasn’t so bad after all, at least she got to see her handsome artist twice a day and she had water and food and sunlight. Now she had nothing, she would never see his face again.

She walked down the road uncertain which way to go, her bare feet on the hot asphalt, the warmth went all the way to her chest, but never reached her heart. And she knew she could not live like this in this world; and said a soft wish to the gods who would listen, punish me for my greed and insolence, take me away from this existence. Leave me as dust in this world for I feel empty and distant.

And the spirits of the sun took her message to the skies and some gods had pity on her and said such a beautiful soul must be rescued somehow.

So they guided her thoughts till she walked further down the street and they crushed her body with a magnificent sunbeam and she became tiny flecks of dust that settled among the rocks and the grass, she would always be free now, and be part of the world yet no one would see her, she would be as she wished, just dust and glitter.


Please Find Other Posts from Gina Here:


Thank you to Gina for agreeing to be interviewed for my biweekly interview series and being so patient about when the interview was posted. Here is the link to her blog homepage once more: A Life Less Lived. If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series, please reach out through my Contact Page.  See You on Monday!


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Synchronocity – “Art Hell” #amwriting #poetry 


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

——–

Credit: Kyla @ Deviantart

——–

I’m a vivid monument, 

I’m his lover cruelly tricked, 

Just art. 

——

Result of magic powerful, 

A priest with such evil intent,

Wounds me. 

—–

For I had thought the toxic paint,

That burned my skin would kill me,

I wished.

——-

I only pass out the priest laughs, 

Eyes glinting, evil smile, tells me —

“Enjoy.”

—–

For this was my punishment,

Tempting our ‘leader’ with my love, 

Trapped now. 

—–

Not quite alive, not quite so dead,

My man, the leader, loves artwork, 

He stares.

—–

I wonder if he recognizes,

A shadow of his beloved gone, 

Each night. 
—–

He comes with pain others cannot —

Ever see; I could’ve been his, 

Soft place. 

—–

Never can I speak, the priest’s curse, 

Ensured silence, a spell took —

My voice.

—–

—–

I pray to God help me find —

My love jumps as my voice cries,

Returned. 

——

Becomes aghast, furious, 

He thinks me a dream I tell him,

The truth. 

—-

Our stories, our love, a life —

We’d planned and he listens,

With tears.

—–

Then such rage summoning priest,

Who is forced to repair me from this, 

Art hell.

——

I’m taken from between life and —

Death; restored to my former self, 

I’m saved.

—–

My hero never gave up on —

Me; didn’t believe I ran, now 

We’re us.

—-

Priest I have no knowledge of, 

My guy, our leader was enraged, 

Priest dead? 

—-

Or suffering hell as I?  

Two years in art trapped, lost; 

Now free.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Collage Prompt: Poem – Tankas – “Not Perfect and Better For It” #amwriting #poetry #fiction 


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

——-

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——-

Poor little Anne tried,

So hard to fit in; she can’t —

Conform to their look.

Sense of presence in her glance,

Terror; they don’t know freedom.

——-

Yet Anne tries and tries,

To be a cardboard box just —

Like all the others.

Left alone at recess eating,

Ripe oranges, she’s exotic fruit.

——

But they don’t invite —

Her to their parties, Anne cries,

She doesn’t see why,

She has to be so different,

A plant from foreign soil torn.

—-

Anne grows into her —

Self; she stops being afraid,

Sees her beauty is —

That she’s unique not like all,

Those other girls, loathing her.

——

In grade school there’s this —

Small boy painted in war paint,

His Dad went to war,

He didn’t return home, saddened —

Anne helps him; he remembers —

——

So years later they’re —

Attached — those girls all want him.

But his friend is his —

Love; she was with him,

All along; the handsome man,

Love’s different, not perfect Anne.

—–

Though she struggles hard,

Hoping for female friends, he says,

He loves imperfect her,

Because she doesn’t have to

Be ‘like them’; she can be good.

——

Then she starts meeting —

Others, women who become —

Her tribe, with her guy.

The gazes of jealousy —

Double, but Anne doesn’t care.

——-

Anne is as a bird,

A swallow singing sweetly.

She’s lively, vivid;

Her eyes shine bright; he loves his —

Anne, contently, completely.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.