Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Travel, Writing

Interview of Writer, Blogger, and Photographer Yinglan Z #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.


Interview - yinglan
Credit: Yinglan Z

1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself? 

Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?

I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?


2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?

I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.

Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.  


“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z


3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging? 

I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.

Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.

When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You? 

A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.


“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z


Interview - Yinglan City
Credit: Yinglan Z

5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?

I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.

I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.


6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres? 

I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?

I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?


“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.


Interview - Yinglan Quote
Credit: Contributed by Yinglan Z

7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?

My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.


8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.


“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z


9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog? 

I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.

Change

By Yinglan Z.

*****

Your yesterday is gone
But your today is here sooner than you think
You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong
And you wish you can make all the bad go away
And you say

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going to be okay
Tomorrow
It will all change

*****

Your today is gone
And you have made no commitment
To bring changes
Oh and you just kept on saying that

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be bright

*****

Day and day went by
You just sat behind your table
Waiting for changes to come to you
You say, “It’ll be okay”
And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself”
And you say starting tomorrow

*****

Things are going to be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be right
It will all be bright
It will be the day when I set thing right

*****


Here are some of Yinglan’s short stories:


Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life. 

Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home. 

If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂


©Mandibelle16. 2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Poetry

Interview With Jade M. Wong


Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. I hope you all had an amazing holiday and I would like to start the New Year off right with an interview from the sweet and gifted Jade M. Wong. Her blog is called: Jade M. Wong – Writer At Heart. Fangirl by DNA. Struggling Human Until Further Notice.


jade-m-wong
Jade M. Wong

1. Jade, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

I’m a New York City girl named Jade M. Wong. In short, I’m a writer in my heart, a fan-girl by DNA, and a struggling human until further notice. I’m often up until 4:00 am at night battling inconvenient words and fantastical stories. If  I were a gazillionaire, I wouldn’t buy a mansion, but a cozy apartment in every city I love. In the meantime, I make do with cozy corners across the internet-sphere.


2. When Did You Start Writing and Blogging and What Does It Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve been writing and blogging on and off for as long as I can remember. But life has a way of kicking my butt. It’s only this year that I’ve finally been writing and blogging regularly. I’d like to think that ‘life’ and I are now reluctant dance partners and not bitter enemies.

I write because its a way to put myself onto the the page with words. This helps me when I’m trying to revise my writing. I learn where in a particular piece, I am writing badly and where I am writing well. This is a kind of therapy for me and medicine for whatever I’m dealing with in life at the moment.


“I’m often up until 4:00 am at night battling inconvenient words and fantastical stories.” – Jade M.Wong


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Is There a Time of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?

Figuratively speaking, I have a muse. She’s a little fairy with thin arms, tiny hands, a sarcastic sense of humor, and a brilliant mind. She’s been with me as long as I can remember, always sending me bits of inspiration at inconvenient times. As a result, I find inspiration in every moment of every day. Not writing, well, it’s simply unthinkable.

My favorite time to write is after the sun sets, when the world is asleep except for me and my muse, and I don’t have to worry about what tomorrow brings.


4. Do You Have Any Current Writing Projects? Can You Tell Us A Little About Them?

I’m currently working on a collection of poetry, as well as playing around with a novel idea (or two). I’ve noticed, the more I write, the more excited my muse becomes and the more ideas flow into my mind. Uncanny how this works, isn’t it?

My published works include a short story titled: Glow In The Dark Stars, which can be seen in The Ghouls’ Review, along with anything I may publish in the future.


:Figuratively speaking, I have a muse. She’s a little fairy with thin arms, tiny hands, a sarcastic sense of humor, and a brilliant mind. She’s been with me as long as I can remember . . .” – Jade M. Wong


5. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Have Gone Through To Publish Your Writing? What Is Your Writing Process Like?

*Disclaimer: I am definitely not an expert in the world of publishing.*When it comes to publishing, I’ve found it most important to follow the guidelines for each individual magazine I submit to, and to keep my fingers crossed.

My writing process is one part on-the-go and one part wrapped up under my covers like a burrito. During the day as I’m commuting, I write a lot on my phone. When I get home at night, I grab my laptop, get comfortable on my bed with a cup of tea, and write until my muse falls asleep. 


6. Do You Have a Preference For Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?

My favorite genres to write and read are fantasy, romantic-comedy, young adult fiction, and cozy mysteries, but I’m always willing to try new genres. For example, I recently fell in love with a memoir, Lucky by Alice Sebold, despite the fact my whole life up until then, I tended to steer away from nonfiction.


“When I get home at night, I grab my laptop, get comfortable on my bed with a cup of tea, and write until my muse falls asleep.” – Jade M. Wong


jade-quote
http://www.pinterest.com

7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice to Give to Other Writers?

The advice I have to pass along comes originally from a writers more successful than myself. Who better to learn from, right?

J.K. Rowling, the author of the iconic Harry Potter series says: “Sometimes, you have to get your writing done in spare moments here and there.”

Many of us dream of having long days filled with nothing but writing. Perhaps one day, our dreams can be a reality. Right now, however, most of us have jobs we need to pay the bills but we also realize words don’t write themselves. Sometimes, the best time for a writer to write is in the small seconds we have between responsibilities.


8. Is There Anything Else You Want To Share With Us, Pertinent to Your Writing or Yourself?

To everyone trying to be writers, artists, doctors, or architects (etc.) I hope we never give up trying to achieve our dreams.

To everyone trying to change the world, one moment of bravery at a time, I hope we remember love will always trump hate. The world will always needs dreamers as much as it needs doers.

To everyone trying to be themselves, I hope we remember that we are always worth it.


“Many of us dream of having long days filled with nothing but writing. Perhaps one day, our dreams can be a reality. Right now, however, most of us have jobs we need to pay the bills but we also realize words don’t write themselves. Sometimes, the best time for a writer to write is in the small seconds we have between responsibilities.” – Jade M. Won


9. Please Share With Us Your Top Three Favorite Blogs?

In no particular order:

  1. Cooking With A Wallflower – This is a cooking blog, hosted by a lady named Andrea. I love her recipes and all her wallflower finds!
  2. Terrible Minds – This is the blog of Chuck Wendig. He’s a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He blogs about everything from writing to pop culture, and he always makes me laugh. He also uses a lot of swear words and other not-safe-for-kids language, so that may deter you, but I hope it doesn’t.
  3. I’ve also ‘met’ several bloggers on WordPress whom I consider friends, even if I have yet to meet any of them. Their blogs are my favorites, because they are so dear to me. A few of them include: A Reading Writer, Doodles and Scribbles, and Melinda Kucsera, but there are many others!

10. Please Share With Us Some Writing From Your Blog Which You Most Love:

orchid
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

[Poetry] Everything To Lose

By Jade M. Wong

What was it like to love him?
To answer that question, you need to ask me another,
What was it like to know him?
The man I knew was not known to any other.
He was shy and he was kind,
And he struggled relentlessly with a broken mind.
He showed the world a face that was empty
And he saved his shattered soul for me.
Loving him was loving those pieces
It was taking his soul and smoothing out the creases
It was loving a man so in tune with my needs
He’d rather my heart be whole while his own bleeds.
Why did you love him if it was so hard?
Hard? Loving him was easy, as easy as breathing,
As easy as letting the light in, healing,
Because loving him was embracing both the light and the dark,
It flowed like a stream and like hot fire, it sparked.
Why did you love him?
I loved him because I loved myself
Because I deserved a love like nothing else
I loved him because I had the right to choose
And together with him, we had everything to lose.

© Jade M. Wong 2016


10. Here Are Some Additional Works By Jade You Can Read:

  • A Single Teardrop –  By Jade M. Wong – If you’re a lover of rain…or secret stories.
  • Between The Lines – By Jade M. Wong – If you ever need to know, you are not alone.
  • Stuck – By Jade M. Wong – If you’ve ever felt trapped.

Thank you to Jade for agreeing to be interviewed and answering the interview questions with such personality and care. Jade is an amazing writer and here is her blog link again, in case you’ve missed it: Jade M. Wong


Every two-weeks I feature a writer and/or blogger interview. Some writers are published, some are only starting out, some are only in high school and some are more mature adults. Whoever you are or wherever you are in life, I would love to interview you and feature you on my biweekly blog series. If you’re interested in this please send me a message on my Contact Page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Current Events, Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Published Work, Religion/Morality

Update Fall/Winter: All Is Well, Though Never Easy #amwriting #nonfiction 


It’s been a long while since I’ve given an sort of personal update. Part of the reason is there are somethings I can’t talk about at the moment. The other part has been life has felt incredibly busy and trying to keep up with everything on the reduced schedule I have has been a bit challenging. 

After an initial and yearly week or two dealing with SAD and becoming used to less light, I feel more energy again. Often I find when it comes to blogging, I have so many blogs to follow now, commenting daily is difficult. So you’ve probably noticed I do this less. I’m sorry I can’t keep up, but I’ve found in the last while, I need to maintain a balance in life or become overwhelmed. 

So I’ve been trying to keep up with my usual prompts and also for a couple of months in October and November I was doing daily poetry prompts for OctPoWriMo and November Notes. But I felt at least in poetry, my writing has been improving as has my knowledge of poetry forms. I’ve been so happy to be a guest blogger on Look Around, being able to continually collaborate with Spill Words Magazine Online, having work published on SickLit Magazine and have the possibility of poetry or short fiction pieces being published on a few other sites and/or magazines. 

Credit: http://www.spillwords.com – image used for my poem by this name!

Fiction is something I continue working on through flash fiction and other prompts. A larger story has developed from a piece called Teegan’s Potion. I have an idea this might develop into something much bigger, a longer short story or a novel. I would like to begin planning it out more. 

However, the other part of me is still working on my original novel on WattPad, doing a second draft. Lately, I’ve done about three more chapters and am hoping to put serious work into the novel throughout the winter semester. You can find my completed second draft chapters for How Was Last Night on Wattpad HERE. Events have changed and moved around from the first draft. Lately, I’ve only been able to do about three chapters, but I’m hoping to go through the remaining chapters, rewrite, and edit, and have one up each week. 

Sorry, I cannot promise this but I’m going to try to do this. Please let me know on this post or on Wattpad what you like and don’t like, or if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I’ve completed up to new chapter 12 in second draft. Also playing around with potential covers for this point in my writing. It’s a paranormal romance, so I’m unsure whether I want the cover more mysterious or more of a typical romance cover. What do you think? 

I was most disappointed not to have made it into the online MFA in Creative Writing I applied for for September 2017. My plan is to try applying one more time and to continue publishing pieces of poetry and short fiction until I’m in or not.

 I’m also looking at taking a couple of courses in the certificate program at U if Toronto. This way, I have more writing courses and hopefully more recent great marks, for my Academic CV. I’ll be able to see how my second application for the MFA goes next October. If I don’t get in then, I can work on completing the certificate. I’m not sure if I would try three-years. I’m just taking it day by day right now.


The other part of my life has been dealing with not having money from my disability company anymore. I’m coping with this, but it could take a year to come to a mind of resolution. In between if I could make the $300.00 a month I can make having AISH and CPP disability in Alberta, Canada, I would be most happy. I’m applying for different writing and blogging jobs on a freelance sight called www.upwork.com. They do take a small percentage, but it’s worth it if you can connect with good clients. 

I’ve had job offers so far but had to refuse because I cannot write and research full time. Not to mention, some of the people posting jobs have little clue how long writing up an article or blog from 300 to 1000 words takes, especially with research. They want articles fast and yet they want them to be perfect, free of errors. Some of them want this for only $10.00 an article – not even minimum wage per hour where I’m from. I’m hoping to find some good jobs on Upwork to earn extra money and gain some job experience part time and/or casually. I’m leaning more to the casual end I think, part time would honestly be too much. 

It would help me pay for a course in spring and fall and maybe a vacation. One of my bestest of best friend’s wedding is in Cuba. I was planning to before my insurance revoked my disability. But this is a long ways away, so I’m praying it might work out that I could be there and have a little vacation too. As of now, it’s not appearing hopeful.

Credit: http://www.melia.com

My Christmas shopping is finished. I’ve been baking cookies and squares. The best cookies are from this Neiman Marcus oatmeal cookie recipe. You grind the oats into flour in your blender. The cookie is soft and chewy and uses both white flour and the oat flour. I put in lots of chocolate chips and crushed pecans. I’ve become an expert at baking these and my whole family is addicted to them.

Apparently, I haven’t baked them in a while. One batch is about five dozen cookies. One dozen I gave to my brother, and the other four dozen have been disappearing from the freezer at an alarming rate. Let me know if you want the recipe, I can send it to you. I will be making another batch when I replenish the chocolate chip supply. 

Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

I’ve been trying to keep busy, seeing friends whenever I’m able. My one BFF and I went to a Paint Nite event, painting penguins on wine glasses. At home you bake them in your stove so they are useable. It’s a cute craft, but I think the wine glasses themselves would have been nice with some wine in them 🙂 Hanging out with S again this Saturday for drinks a the Art Gallery restaurant and a naughty Christmas show at the Citadel Theatre. Also, always planning for the future.
Credit: Amanda Eifert

I finally found my perfect tattoo and am trying to arrange a consultation with the artist my hairdresser and friend Tess, suggested. It’s a peacock feather but very beautiful. Bold enough in black but also with shades of blue and maybe purple. So excited for this, even though it will hurt! It’s not this whole tattoo, just the peacock feather part. See below:

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Have a blessed Christmas everyone! Remember the true meaning of Christmas and the hope a babe in a manger named Jesus became for all mankind. 
Credit: Lamb and Lion Ministries – Prophetic Facts – About the Nativity

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Beauty, Books, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: What I Do When I Don’t Write #everydayinspiration


Today’s Writing 101 Prompt is:

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?


 

img_0886


 

I’ve let this prompt sit a few days. There is not to much I can tell you which isn’t on my About The Author page or on my Gravatar Profile on the side menu of my blog.

What I do the most when I’m not writing is read. I read other blogs, trying to stay up to date on other people’s writing and posts, making comments, and exploring new blogs.

I enjoy reading and looking at fashion magazines. Instyle is my favourite fashion magazine. Magazines are an interesting source of media as you can read it paper format and on your tablet, and receive varied information for each method of reading the magazine. I like how on the tablet you can go into all the websites of the various clothing, makeup, and accessories advertised or shown. I go on Pinterest and I pin interesting outfits I like. Often, the clothing is priced way out of my budget but finding similar pieces of clothing in my budget range is interesting to me.

I’m also into reading books when I’m in the mood. I read fast as I’ve said before so often, I’m waiting in-between book releases for the next book in the series to come out. Most of my library is now on IBooks but I do have some books on Kobo and Kindle. Every once in a while if it’s a classic book, I will read and buy the book in paperback.

Watching videos on YouTube on makeup and doing hair is also fascinating. I’m a girly girl and I like to stay on trend in makeup. I try different products out if I think I will use them.

Shortly, I plan to have a couple of makeup pieces out. One post on products I’m using having to do with eyes and another on products not associated with eye makeup. Additionally, I never knew how to put my hair up growing up so I figured a few years ago that it was time to learn. Now I know several styles and ways to put my hair up or half-up. I try to go for elegant in both hair and makeup. Not sure it always works.

I also watch a few of my favourite TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire, and off and on The Big Bang Theory and The Blacklist. Sometimes I watch hockey and football. In addition, I watch movies and various TV series on Netflix and I love going to see movies in the theater.

The most cost effective way to see a movie with a friend or relative is to buy a movie pass at Costco (or other places you might now of) for either Landmark Cinemas or Cineplex Odeon where I live, and then you can buy two movie passes, two medium/large popcorns, and two drinks for about $25.00/pass. You save yourself $25.00 at least when you go to see a movie using a pass.

Whenever I have energy and often even when I don’t, I do yoga. It stretches sore muscles out and it gives your body flexibility. I live right next to a couple of parks so I also enjoy walking in and around the park area a few times a week.

When I have money to do it, I enjoy shopping in-store and online. It depends on what I am looking for as to whether I buy it online or in-store. Often, online shopping is cheaper but it isn’t cheaper if you end up with items you don’t wear or don’t use.

Once or twice a week I see a friend and we do something such as have wine, coffee, see a movie, go for dinner, etc. At times I go out to a coffee shop to write in a different setting on my own.

 I do stuff with my Mom as well and we have lunch, visit my Baba, go shopping, or go to an event such as The Women’s Show, or a Craft Show at the Agricom. I went to Make It Edmonton a couple of times this year and liked it a great deal.

Most of the time, I spend a lot of hours writing. For as long as I can concentrate, I write.


©Mandibelle16. (20106) All Rights Reserved

My Thoughts, Poetry, Prose Poetry, Writing

Poem: Time


I tried to measure out the day. Spread my time as it were equally. But time doesn’t stretch easily. It appears and then disappears in moments. There are seconds ticking by. 

Some of them are meaningful and some of them are small and incidental. You never know the meaning of each second.

You can’t stretch time backwards; you can only move on. Until you sit in bed at night and realize the whole day is gone.

What tomorrow brings is a mystery that enfolds? What if something unexpected occurred? What if the day wasn’t usual at all.

And you can’t stop time either, although sometimes you can get stuck in a moment and it feels like time stood still.

Moments and memories, clippings from the magazine of life and stories spread across the wall. Taped and cut hastily, with little bits of memoriabilia here and there.

A movie ticket here, a picture drawn here, a cut out of an image of your tattoo. There are locks of hair, old poems and essays, photographs, and the first outfit you ever wore after you were born.

That is when the moments came to be and stuttered and started as you rode up on both feet, developed a voice, and learned to read and write. When you wrote the last essay for your Bacholer Degree. 

And every now and then I here time ticking in the night. I wonder if have spent it right?

If I can divine some meaning from life so far. Make the seconds count more and make certain memories freeze. 

But all hope is in the future and I’m looking at poinsettias on the coffee table. I think life life is something like a poinsettia.

It’s lovely to behold and you need to maintain it and grow well; but for those who take piece out your life, who bite in and destroy you. They can’t handle the poison from a plant so beautiful at Christmas. 

They inhale the parts of you that are toxic and we all have these parts. They are a bitter pill to swallow and can rip another person to pieces. 

But better are the people who have always been here and see the poinsettia lose all it’s leaves until it is baron and stick -like. 

Better they see a person in a moment for themselves and accept them anyway. They have seen us beautiful and they have seen us weak.

Then we know in a second, those who loved us first. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Daily Prompt, Health, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Dealing with My Worst Qualities. 


Prompt: What is your worst quality?

 

It is a great deal easier to write about my worst qualities then my best. Mostly, because I am aware of my faults more than my best characteristics. There are two things I do that are my worst qualities:

My, first worst quality has to do with my ability to not be able to contrentrate long or be multi-functional anymore. I am not blaming my health for it; I am saying my health intensified the issue.

I can do one thing at a time and it is often frustrating when I am working on writing up a paper or blogging about a subject, and someone starts trying to have a conversation with me. It makes me angry because I can’t multi-task, the person talking to me is interrupting my ideas and line of thought. And you know how if you are a creative person, ideas often flow out of you when they do; you have to write, paint, or do whatever you do to get your burst of creativity on paper. Meanwhile, a person is still talking to you none-stop and asking you questions and it is annoying. At the same time, I feel bad about being irritated.

Often, it is my Mom who is trying to talk to me. Before, I was ever ill I remember being so mad because I would be researching, writing up a paper, or working on a spreadsheet from work and she would pepper me with questions. But I knew she only wanted to talk to someone after a busy day at work about what went on good or bad. She wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t involved in her office life and get my opinion or view on a situation. She wanted to be able to talk about the people at her work, honestly. She wanted to ‘take a load off.’

I want to be able to talk with my Mom and others. But if I am busy or worn out after doing activities all day, I will brush people off. I will tell my Mom to stop bothering me. I go to my room and finish what I’m doing or sleep if I’m tired. I want to be chatty and happy but I feel bothered and drained by people talking at me and asking countless questions at times. So my first big flaw is I am irritable and single-minded. I am working on actively being a better listener. But it is hard at the time of day everyone gets home from work because I am worn out from the day and my medication is wearing off. I want to listen more and be involved in the conversation and not tune it out or walk away. Sometimes I able to be a better listener and sometimes I’m too irritated to pay attention.

The second flaw I have is something I try to attend to before it becomes worse. I have a tendency if I get mad or angry to let the issues I’m upset about build-up inside me. I get stressed-out when this occurs. I will sort through issues in my head trying to solve them. “Problems to solutions that don’t even exist,” I was told once. But the issue is my problems are real and bothersome. And I attempt to be a nice kind person so I don’t usually tell someone off or ask them to stop doing something unless they are especially bothering me.

An issue arises, however; if someone is repeatedly doing a hurtful action. Or if a person keeps doing a whole bunch of bothersome and hurtful actions all the time. I try to tell myself it is no big deal. I pray about it. I practice yoga and meditate sometimes. I write a lot as you know. And often writing helps a ton. Sometimes if I write something up and even if I don’t post it because it’s too personal or mean about another person, I feel better.

But every now and then someone pushes my buttons and I explode into yelling and tears. I’m a soft spoken reasonable person so when I yell and scream people are surprised and usually offended. Maybe, they didn’t realize something was a larger issue to me then they would have thought. Maybe, I am blowing the situation out of proportion. And maybe, I genuinely have the right to be so upset at someone.

I scared and hurt a friend in Vegas once when I erupted with anger. My friend T and I needed to take L aside and talk to her before the situation got worse but neither T or I did. L had been treating T and I badly the entire summer. Not to mention, she wanted to do all these things with us in Vegas but didn’t actually have the money to pay for it so T and I ended up paying for L, on many activities we did. Also, the fact L had a wonderful boyfriend who was our friend too, and L was flirting and making out with other guys made T and I angry.

I have told this part before: while we are in a club, T became so drunk she was sick and we had to leave the bar. We tried to get L to leave because we promised to stay together, all three of us. L kept telling us to wait and I finally told her T and I had to go, the bouncer was about to carry T and I out the back exit. L chose to stay with two guys she had been flirting with all night.

We finally saw L again as we got back to the hotel room. She was angry too and tried to blame it all on us and said we had abandoned her at the club. I knew T would never stand up to L because she prefers not to handle situations head on. T used to let a person treat her badly, instead of standing up to them. Luckily, she has become better at this over time.

I was so mad about L’s behaviour all summer. I exploded. L was shocked and she asked me why I would even want to be her friend if I thought so badly of her. And I told L how bad she was treating her boyfriend and if she didn’t stop, even T said she’d tell L’s boyfriend on her. L had been treating T and I badly too. L left our room with all her stuff. She wouldn’t talk to us the rest of the trip.

L made up with T because she hadn’t yelled at her, even though L had been a bad friend to T, ditching her for guys countless time. After many emails and some time L and I were friends again three months later. I finally apologized because she wouldn’t. And funny enough, she became closer to her boyfriend. L saw how valuable he was, and ended up becoming engaged, and marrying him.
Even though, L was misbehaving, she didn’t deserve to be yelled at so loudly and L didn’t deserve to have everything T and I were mad at her for dumped on her. People are imperfect and you have to pick and choose your battles. Some things about your friends you have to accept; just as you have flaws so do they. The best friends love you after you’ve shown them your worst side and you love them after you have seen the worst of them. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing your friend or choosing to be right.

I am careful now because of this situation in Las Vegas when I was twenty-three, to not let my anger build up. If I have a big problem with someone or something they are doing, I am honest. And I try hard to tell people how I’m feeling in such a way  that isn’t accusatory but rather focuses on how something is hurting me or causing me to feel a certain way. The truth is people do not always realize they are being hurtful. Often, you need to tell the person who is damaging you to stop treating you a certain way and they will listen and cease.

Not letting issues build up helps. I also have learned to let some issues go. I try to get someone else’s view on the situation, Google the general problem, or pray about it. For many situations I find looking at them from a different perspective is helpful. If you see the situation differently it won’t become a problem that will build up. I have also learned that you have to say goodbye to some people or take your issues with a person to a higher authority. But since we are adults, there is usually no higher authority, unless it is a work issue or an issue of crime.

So for instance,  I had trouble with a girl who was editor of a magazine I volunteered to write for. She didn’t understand why I was upset about her editing my articles to sound entirely as if they were in her voice. Some of her other editors were being taught to do the same. I didn’t find out until later when I took actual editing courses, what this editor was doing was incorrect and rude. You always try to preserve the voice of the writer and the way the article is written as much as you can. I was confident enough in my writing skills, my BA in English Literature, and the couple hundred articles I had written for her magazine previously. My ideas and my writing style wasn’t bad but my grammar and spelling needed work.

The editor wrote me a letter saying I had to work on my grammar and spelling, which was true. And she had tried to let me improve but I wasn’t, so she increasingly, cut down my article writing until I was only writing one article a week; before I was writing nothing. I exploded to her letter with a nasty email. She thought this was exactly how I was going to react. She probably had the same issue come up with past contributers to her magazine. I ended up apologizing to her for being ageist because she was more than five years younger then me with no degree, so I didn’t trust her writing or editing experience. Honestly, I had good instincts with her, despite my hasty email.

In truth, she was being manipulative and I finally recognized, she didn’t like my writing style. She was looking for people who wrote how she wrote on her personal blog and in her articles. And she didn’t want me to write for her magazine even when she needed writers. I was offended but I knew I didn’t want to be a writer like her or for her. She said the magazine was expanding and the writers had to expand or become better with it. I agreed but still had problems with how she chose to write and what she focused on in her magazines.

I didn’t like how she regularly wrote about cheating with men and women and ruining relationships. Although I support LBGT people, I was offended that she rarily had articles pertaining to man and woman couples, boyfriends and girlfriends.  I found this editor to be selfish, micro -managing, and immature despite her attempts to appear professional.

She didn’t want my writing but wanted to use my blogs to tweet and post. She wanted to stay friends but didn’t want me to write for her because I was offended by her note. I had every right to be.

So, I let her go. I stopped supporting the magazine by buying the quarterly issues. I wouldn’t let her use any of my writing for her magazine. I unfriended her on Facebook and Twitter. I stopped taking her text messages and didn’t give her my new number when it changed. I unsubscribed from her blog and anything related to the magazine. It was a great decision.

I don’t know where she is at now. I hope she is well and has worked out some of her life and issues with the magazine such as finding writers. It was mean of me to write her a nasty reply to her email. She didn’t deserve it, even if she lacked a degree or experience. But I couldn’t be friends with her after how she talked about my writing, how she treated my skills as if suddenly they were useless. I knew from professors, writing articles in the Edmonton Journal in University, and even strangers my writing was good. It didn’t mean my writing didn’t require improvement (it still does and will forever) but I didn’t like how she belittled my skills and my person. I let her go.

So, I have learned some tricks to working off stress and dealing with problems before they become so large I explode in tears and screaming. Every once in a long awhile, I can’t help it but I am getting better. We cannot always overcome our flaws but we can try to manage them.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Actor/ Actress, Beauty, Health, My Thoughts

Body Shaming, Can We Forget About It?


I’ve read an awful amount of material online and in magazines about body shaming lately. It seems that many celebrities are inadvertently body shaming such as Melissa McCarthy who chose to where a big coat (that she loved) on the cover of Elle or Mindy Kaling who is a size 8 (above the average actress’ size) and chose a black and white photo of her head instead of showing her entire body on her Elle cover. I just read another piece that Katie Perry was body shaming and daily there is another story written, usually by women, on body shaming.

So what is body shaming? Simply, it is making another person, usually a woman, feel ashamed of her body. You can body shame by what you say and what you do. You can body shame without intending to body shame at all. In fact, I’m a little tired of reading about body shaming because it seems that every where you look someone has an opinion on someone else’s body and whether this is an opinion right or wrong, you can be sure somewhere in this world people are going to make comments and show pictures of other people’s bodies in magazines, newspapers, and many types of media. In fact, you and your friends are going to have opinions of other women’s bodies (and men’s) and your 78-year-old neighbour woman is going to have opinions about women’s bodies and so is her 83-year-old husband. In fact, I think it might be human nature for us to justly or unjustly have opinions and make statements about other people’s bodies. And often we don’t even mean to make these judgements we inadvertently do.

www.usmagazine.com
http://www.usmagazine.com

Take Melissa McCarthy. Many people said that she was body shaming bigger woman because she chose to wear a big coat for her Elle cover, a coat she loved and chose herself for her body. But because what Melissa chooses to where on Elle influences what many bigger woman will wear, this was called body shaming because the coat was draped and loose. It didn’t hi-light Melissa’s curvy figure. Melissa had a choice of what she wanted to wear and thousands of woman projected themselves onto Melissa and said, “She’s making curvy woman look bad, she is making me look bad.”

Really, it was Melissa’s choice what she wanted to wear and she wasn’t thinking about all the woman who would see this cover negatively. She was thinking about what she loved and what would make her comfortable – the same kind of idea many woman have when they try on clothes from their closet or their favourite store. So, how can this be body shaming? I think a large amount of women out their need to leave Melissa alone and worry about their own bodies, not Melissa’s body. Sure we like to look to celebrities for ideas of what is stylish but there is nothing forcing us to wear what they wear. If you don’t like what Melissa is dressing in for her Elle cover then don’t wear a coat like that. Use your own sense of fashion and pick something that you feel is more flattering on you. Melissa, having an opinion on what she wants to wear is not body shaming and neither is any women’s opinion on what they choose to wear.

www.inentertainment.com
http://www.entertainmentwise.com

The same goes with Mindy Kaling. The average celebrity is a size 6 so Mindy is not that bigger than the average size at a size 8. Even if you consider her huge compared to your other favorite actresses, it’s Mindy’s choice to just show her face in black and white on her Elle Magazine cover. She has a beautiful face and because she chose just to show that face, not even in color, and the thinner actresses with Elle covers had full body full color covers, does not mean that Mindy is body shaming women who don’t have ideally sized Hollywood body types. It is often harder to be a Hollywood actress with a bigger body but Mindy is not doing anything purposely against the regular woman who is a size 8 or 10 because she only chose to show her head in her Elle cover. She liked her cover and chose it because she liked it. Again, people need to stop projecting themselves onto an actress and figure out how to wear clothes for their body type, not only according to an actress or models fashion choices.

I know this is difficult. That although we are trying to show more plus sized models, magazines and brands are loath to do this. They use size 8, 10, or 12 sized models to represent woman who are size 14 or larger. The persistence of models who are unhealthily skinny, so much so that you can count ever rib they have, occurs still. But there are many women in the world who are skinny too.

I think that whatever the case, we need to be the ones who are happy with our bodies and need to stop listening to what the fashion industry says is the ideal sized woman. The ideal sized woman is healthy. She eats a healthy diet, exercises regularly, and indulges in treats such as most woman do. She does what she can to keep her body healthy no matter if she has a few extra pounds on her,   stretch marks from having children, or a stomach that isn’t flat.

But the main idea is that you as an individual need to decide what’s healthy for you as a woman (or man) for you and your family. Not

www.yvettesalva.com
http://www.yvettesalva.com

everyone is ever going to be thin and toned and not every body is curvy. The onus for body shaming is on us, the regular woman, and not just the media. Sure we can blame the media for giving us some unrealistic goals of what they think woman should look like. But we don’t have to keep looking at these images and we don’t have to tell our daughters and nieces that they should look like these famous people. We our the ones who need to stop body shaming ourselves and other woman by our actions and our words. Although, we will all undoubtedly have opinions about how other people look, lets keep them to ourselves and focus on living healthy lives and looking and dressing just as the beautiful people we are and wear what looks good on us.

Health, Writing

Keeping Your Head Up


These past few days have been difficult for me. I have not been sleeping well at all. First of all, it was because I ran out of my sleeping medication ( the medication that helps me fall asleep) and it took a few days for my sleep doctor to phone the prescription into my pharmacy. I was stupid, I don’t know why I think this, but often I look in my pill bottles and roughly count how much medication I have left and think, ” Oh, I’m fine.” The last time I visited the sleep doctor he gave me 2 sleep medications to try and I ended up trying and liking how the first medication worked. I slept much deeper and felt more awake in the day. I thought I could just try the 2nd medication when I ran out of the 1st but that didn’t work well for me. One tablet is too little and 2 are too much and I felt awful after taking this medication the next morning. Taking a lot of melatonin the 2nd night I was without medication #1 I tried did not work either. My point is you get used to certain medications that you need to take. Often, their are side effects to them when you first start taking them such as feeling very tired in the day but symptoms such as that often go away. But being without my 1st medication for a few days I expected to wake up refreshed and ready to actually do some activities in the day. Instead, although I feel rested, I am experiencing tiredness in the day again and I think it will take me a few days to get back to normal. This is the last time I let this medication run out, that was not smart.

So I have had a miserable few days and spent most of it on the computer doing not much. I have intended to do some writing, writing that includes more research or interviews, writing I can use more for a portfolio or show to other magazines to demonstrate my writing ability. But I feel depressed about professional writing right now. The magazine I wrote for was looking for writers and I offered to do an article a week. I mean, my work was never that bad and often it was quite good but I never even got a reply. It hurt me actually that the editor would think that little of me.Obviously, if she is always looking for writers the problem is more on her end and an expectation of perfectionism. But let’s face it, people aren’t perfect writers. But because I had so many articles there, I feel pretty worthless as a writer right now. When I look at advertisements for writers or editors or look at other magazines I think, ” What can I contribute?” My experiences for magazine writing have left me feeling lost and my experiences with my health, especially a lack of sleep, have made me feel that I do not have even the mental energy to do what I have always been talented at. I feel useless. While other people are out in the world accomplishing things a large accomplishment for me is making it through the day without falling asleep. Or trying to stay rested in the day so I can go out a couple times a week to see my boyfriend or friends.

I have a course coming up and I’m doubting my abilities to being able to complete projects. I’m still waiting for course materials and the course begins within a week. I would have liked to try to get ahead, at least in reading. But some other information about my health since that is the main theme of this depressing blog.

Before Christmas, I went to see my family doctor and there is a medication that often works for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He had to talk to my psychiatrist about it since it interfered with some other medications I’m taking so when I visit my psychiatrist next week I’m hoping to hear her opinion on the medication. My family doctor did some blood tests, physically I’m healthy. So I’m not sure where to go after Chronic Fatigue. If psychiatry cannot help me and regular medicine can’t help me, I’m not sure what to do? I just want my energy back. I am 28 years old and am getting worse not better and medical professionals are no closer to diagnosing or finding away to help me. All I know right now is I have a mood disorder and the cause is physical, although that’s arguable.

So, that’s a health update and a general update. At a low time in life, but I know things will get better.