My Thoughts

100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Quadrille – “Surface Appeal” #100WordWednesday #poetry #medium #message 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday on August 23, 2017. 

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Credit: Bikurgurl

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Gazing at man —

On headless giant’s —

Shoulders. 

Both missing limbs, 

For what reasons? 

You didn’t ask

You thought, 

The artwork strange

Behind art, 

Exists freedom, 

To create, 

And logical thought. 

Why both maimed? 

Chaplin top-hat, 

Bowler hat. 

Contrasts against, 

A tourist’s willingness to —

See no purpose, 

Beyond surface. 

“The medium, 

Is the message.” * 

——

* “‘The medium is the message’ is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.” – Wikipedia.com 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry

Interview with Writer, Blogger, and Author JoAnne Macco #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Good Morning, and welcome to another writer and or blogger interview. I’m excited to share with you an interview with a newly published author, JoAnne Macco. I think you’ll love her blog and her book as much as I do.

As per usual, this interview will also be featured on the Go Dog Go Cafe, a blog for writers and lovers of writing, of all kinds. It’s a blogger and writer’s community so make sure you stop by there after reading this interview on my site. You can also submit writing of your own on the site such as poetry and short fiction through the Contact Page.

JoAnne’s blog site is JoAnne of the Forest: Anything is Possible with Faith, Hope, and Perseverance. 


JoAnne Silvia Picture
Credit: JoAnne Macco

1. JoAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

On WordPress, I’m best known as JoAnna of the Forest and I live in North Carolina on the east coast of the U.S.

In January, I took a leap of faith and retired from a 30-year career as a substance abuse counselor to spend more time writing and painting angels. My goal is to provide hope through my blog, and my book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.

My long-term goals are to continue to develop my storytelling skills, to write a novel based on my parents, and to travel more. As a military kid, my family moved around a great deal.

I longed to settle in one place, so I’ve stayed near the Carolina coast for most of my adult life. It’s comfortable here, most of the year, although summers can become hot and humid. It helps that my little urban cottage is 15 minutes from the ocean and surrounded by trees that provide a lot of shade.


2. When Did you Begin Writing and Blogging? For What Reason and What Does Writing Mean To You? 

I wrote poems and songs in high school and I’ve journaled, off and on, for most of my life. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, which is probably why I wrote more when I approached menopause as a single mom with a 13-year-old daughter.

Writing helped me find perspective and meaning during those rollercoaster years. When I wrote my book in 2012, someone told me I needed to blog as well. Blogging has broadened my world tremendously, and I’m thankful to be part of this supportive community on WordPress. I believe that when we all share our experience, thoughts, and feelings, we discover that we have more in common than we might have realized.


“In January, I took a leap of faith and retired from a 30-year career as a substance abuse counselor to spend more time writing and painting angels. My goal is to provide hope through my blog, “Anything is Possible,” and my book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.” – JoAnne Macco


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write and Blog? Why Is Writing Significant to You? 

I’ve learned a lot in my 60 years of life and I’m still learning a ton. I hope to share my experience and give people hope that even when your world seems to be falling apart, things are going to work out if you hang in there and work on you. Plus, writing helps me organize my thoughts and process my feelings. It helps me explore what I want to understand better about myself and the world.


4. Do You Have Particular Writing and/or Blogging Habits? What Do You Enjoy Most About Writing? 

Since I’m a night owl, my natural tendency is to write more in the afternoon and evening. But when I was working on my book, I found I had to write in the morning to keep from being distracted and staying up too late.

I’d force myself write in the morning for at least two hours before looking at any social media or email. Then, after checking those, I’d return to writing a couple of more hours in the afternoon.

I loved those long stretches of working on my book and becoming absorbed in the process. I look forward to doing that again with my next book. For now, I’m writing most of my blog posts at night.


“I hope to share my experience and give people hope that even when your world seems to be falling apart, things are going to work out if you hang in there and work on you. Plus, writing helps me organize my thoughts and process my feelings.” – JoAnne Macco 


5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects with Your Blog and Outside of Your Blog?

On my blog, I’m searching for positive and inspiring experiences to share with others, whether these experiences are global, local, or personal stories about overcoming challenges and also about meaningful coincidences.

I want to engage readers about relationship issues and personal growth topics that come up a lot in Trust the Timing, my book on Amazon.com. Outside of blogging, I’m beginning to research and collect material for future books I want to write.


6. Have You Published Your First Book? Do You Plan To Publish More in the Future?

I’ve just published my first book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again which is told from the alternating perspectives of two high school sweethearts. It became available on Amazon.com in July 2017.

As well, I’m planning to write and publish at least two more books, one about Doodle, the problem step-dog (who makes an appearance in my first book). Also, I’m writing a novel based on the lives of my extraordinary parents. At some time, I would also like to publish a book of poetry.


“On my blog, I’m searching for positive and inspiring experiences to share with others, whether these experiences are global, local, or personal, stories about overcoming challenges and about meaningful coincidences.’ – JoAnne Macco


Trust the Timing: A Memoir of Finding Love Again

by

JoAnne Macco

(Available for Purchase one Amazon.com)

*****

Book Cover JoAnne Macco Amazon.com
Credit: JoAnne Macco (Amazon.com)

*****


7. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Did You Self-Publish or Go Through and Agent or Publishing Company? 

When I first started writing, I edited too much as I went along. Now, I think about a story or blog post in my head for a while first. When it comes to the writing, I’ve learned that a stream-ofaconsciousness style, without editing, makes my writing more interesting and fun.

I try to draft a chapter or a blog post without editing as if I’m talking to a friend. Then I’ll go back and edit the chapter or post later. Although, I don’t know if I’d want to write an another entire book like that. As I mentioned earlier, it’s better if I write before I peruse social media. I have to keep reminding myself of that!

Moreover, after considerable research and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to self-publish with Create Space for my memoir. I enjoyed the control this provided me. I think my next book maybe done with a small publishing company.


“When I first started writing, I edited too much as I went along. Now, I think about a story or blog post in my head for a while first. When it comes to the writing, I’ve learned that a stream of consciousness style, without editing, makes my writing more interesting and fun.” – JoAnne Macco


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres? 

In college, I took journalism and technical writing and my previous career required a lot of factual reporting and clinical notes. As a result when I began writing my book I had a strong nonfiction framework. Also, I’ve enjoyed learning more about creative nonfiction over the past five years, working on my memoir.

Moreover, I’ve always been talented at making up stories in my head and I look forward to writing more fiction. However, my reading habits lean toward inspirational nonfiction, by authors like Anne Lamott and Elizabeth Gilbert, with an occasional sci-fi novel thrown in for fun.


9. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers Starting Out? 

I think I started writing and blogging, being too serious. Maybe it was my journalism and technical writing background? I thought I knew how to write, but creative writing is a whole different process than what I had been used to writing. To begin, I took online classes and engaged with supportive critique groups. 

Moreover, I learned that it’s vital to be conscientious and caring, when you’re writing, but not to forget to have fun. Also, it’s a good idea not to make your blog posts too long. About ‘five hundred’ words are plenty for a post (unless of course, you’re doing an interview). As well, I’ve learned to use photograps in every blog post I publish. 

My creative writing experience outside of blogging is primarily with my memoir. What I’ve learned from it is to write from your heart and not to be afraid to delve into those feelings if you’re in an emotionally stable place. It can be difficult and you’ll need to take breaks. Also, I’m sure writing fiction can bring up emotional baggage too. If you’re not ready for that, write for fun. Write poetry to yourself or write in a journal.

You can also keep a notebook handy for ideas that pop-up in your head so you can jot them down and allow these ideas to flow and transform into some kind writing later on.


“I’m sure writing fiction can bring up baggage, too. If you’re not ready for that yet, just write for fun. Write poetry to yourself. Keep a journal. Keep a notebook handy for ideas that” – JoAnne Macco


Writing Notebook Thought Catalogue UnSplash
Credit: Thought Catalogue via UnSplash

10. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share About Yourself or Your Writing? 

In my short biography, I describe myself as an open-minded, tree-hugging Christian. Like Madeleine L’Engle, I don’t consider myself a “Christian writer” but a writer who happens to be a Christian. I like to explore spirituality and connections between things that don’t seem to be connected.


11. Just for Fun. What Are Your Top Three Favorite Blogs? What Do You Enjoy About Them? 

It’s so difficult to name only three! I could easily name 10 favorites or more! But here it goes:

  • Sacred Touches –  Natalie Scarberry always has something to comfort or inspire me with vibrant colors and natural delights.
  • SmileCalm Home – David’s gentle, loving wisdom comes through in each post and makes me smile deep down in my heart.
  • Behind the White CoatBehind the White Coat is written by a smart doctor with a big heart. Her posts can be informative, entertaining, hilarious or heartbreaking. Her honesty makes me feel like I am not alone.

“In my short biography, I describe myself as an open-minded, tree-hugging Christian. Like Madeleine L’Engle, I don’t consider myself a “Christian writer” but a writer who happens to be a Christian. I like to explore spirituality and connections between things that don’t seem to be connected.” – JoAnne Macco 


Jo Anne Silvia Book Cover 2
Credit: Provided by JoAnne Macco

12. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Blog Writing. 

“If We Lose Electricity” 

By

JoAnne Macco

*****

JoAnne Macco
Credit: JoAnne Macco – http://www.joanneoftheforest.wordpress.com

*****

If we lose electricity

in the storm,

We will still have power.

We have the power

To check on our neighbors,

To ask for help,

To move to higher ground.

The power to tell stories,

To laugh,

To sing lullabies.

The power to write a poem,

To mend what’s torn,

To read by candlelight.

The power to hope and pray,

To reminisce,

To hold hands in the dark.

The power to clear a path,

To rise from ash,

 and rebuild.

_____________________________

When we say we’ve lost power, it minimizes the power we still have. If we lose electricity, let’s say we lost electricity. We still have power, at least over our thoughts, words, and actions.

I send prayers for safety and comfort to all those in the path of the storm.

13. Here are Some More Blog Links to JoAnne’s Writing:


Thank you so much to JoAnne for her patience with this interview. I loved learning about her writing and her background as a writer. I also think it’s neat how she is, particularly, a nonfiction writer. I also loved her quote about being a Christian writer who doesn’t, necessarily, do Christian writing.

If you’re a blogger or writer, or someone who blogs about a cause, please feel to contact me if you would like to be interviewed. My contact page is HERE. See you when I see you :).


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Events, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quadrille - 44 Words, Writing, Writing Challenges

Poem: Quadrille – “Glorified Symphonies” #amwriting #poetry #quadrille


Thanks for Victoria C. Slotto of dVerse for hosting the Quadrille Prompt. A Quadrille has exactly 44 words and this week’s prompt is the word sound. 

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Credit: Filipa Campos via UnSplash

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In between silences, 

I hear the bells ding. 

Of clocks on walls, 

Grandfather’s sonorous tone.

Music of smartphones, 

Ringtone prolonged. 

The whole song, 

Chosen for meaning. 

A sound defining, 

Moments in time —

Television in the background, 

Clash of words, 

Tunes of birds; 

Glorified symphonies. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Free Verse, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “The Healing Touch” #amwriting #poetry 


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

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Credit: Laura Williams

———

Many faces have I, but don’t let me evaporate.

Too many masks I wear within to cover the scars that bind,

The twisting vines of ruined skin,

Not even plastic surgery could heal.

And the whispers of the dreadful night,

They haunt me in my sleep.

Each nightmare worse than the last, entrenching me in madness.

Crying and shaking, in a world I cannot escape.

My screams echoeing from the domed ceiling,

In St. Peter’s Basilica, my heart a kindled pyre.

Does God hear me, my fervent prayers without pride?

I know if He did, he would answer what I seek,

Provide relief from the cruelty of my suffering;

Of the ache and the burn in my skin.

He’d be a cooling gentle wind to end the burning flames,

I hope in my meekness for God as Elijah knew.

I try to forget. to move on, hiding behind masks so I’m safe.

My scars are not physical but they hide beneath skin,

Where plastic surgery cannot salvage a broken soul.

I’m a wretched bloody mess and my stomach is churning,

Why are the worst injuries, the ones you cannot see?

Why do people only see skin deep?

Not many will peer beneath the perfect layers of white ivory,

To see the layers underneath charred and scorched.

Many will not look past the words on your lips,

They are not interested in how a person says certain words,

Or why they say what do.

Many people hear only what they want to hear,

And if you choose to scream,

Than you’re the crazy one seeking attention.

But many screams are silent,

Before they are ever heard out loud,

This is why we need listeners and those with empathy,

To overcome those overflowing with ignorance and apathy to life;

To realize there is meaning in helping your neighbor out.

For we all have hidden scars and screams,

And most of them are dug deeply within our souls.

They wind around a person’s heart, a choking vine envokes —

A cry for help, so please hear it, long before we shout out loud,

Be still for a moment and listen well.

Respond before the masks hide many other faces and mine;

Act before you start cutting into our hearts,

Doing much more harm than good.

Watch your words and carefully avoid —

Assault and battery, for refusing to help those in need —

Refusing to help those lost in their pain. 

Heal with laughter and conversation,

A piece of your precious time.

Do not forget the meek and lowly,

We all need help discovering pathways into stardust.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Health, History, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “On Resolutions” #amwriting #poetry #taleweavers


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerieor hosting last week’s Tale Weaver’s prompt on a story of keeping/making resolutions in the New Year.

Credit: Abstract Art – http://www.pinterest.com

—-
It’s difficult, keeping going in —

The face of rejection given. 

I’ve learnt be fortified; than —

My cave won’t fall in strengthened

I’ve succeeded at some tries, failed at many others,found, 

Resolution; one must, keep pushing all boundaries.  

—–

So, what do we resolve, anything new

We continually have goals in view. 

Hoping we’ll achieve something great. 

Or make it through each day, not wait —

Wondering if the grass is greener, if inspiration

Can take flight, provide meaning, when we require.

—–

Do we lose weight, eat less sugar? 

Walk more, live our lives with vigor? 

Do we spend time with loved ones, 

Knowing we’re here, short while for some. 

Do we travel somewhere far away or give home —

To pets from the shelter? Strangers who are unknown
—–

We can resolve, try much harder, 

Do better, be specific, guard —

Ourselves, take baby steps to —

Goals we want achieved through, 

A change in habit, will it happen or will we —

As every year, change only when life forces free —

—–

What we truly need to change and be, 

Beyond ourselves, have self-belief, 

We will actually take a step, glean —

Some knowledge from the year, lean

Far from our own circles to celestial dreamscapes

It’s difficult to be grounded; worse to not create

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nature, November Notes, Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

November Notes: Poem – Day 23 – Tankas – ” Never Us”


Today’s song prompt is “You Are a Memory” by Message to Bear.


 

“You Are a Memory” – Message to Bear


 

http://www.pinterest.com

 

Our pictures scattered,

Cross the ground, snowflakes —

Gathering, wetting,

Our times together lost in,

Snow, packing higher, hiding.


 

Tired of calling, this

Is the last time I’m telling —

You, put my name on,

Your list of significance,

So daft –never mind, too late.


 

Today I quit you,

Today I saw through you and —

Snow piled up on–

Pictures meaning nothing much,

Goodbye, you’re just glass; I’m steel.


 

Walking beneath trees,

Nature inviting me back in,

Your frosty winter —

Gone when spring comes with daisies,

Buttercups, roses, grass.


 

Met you one last time,

Found our pictures decaying,

You looked beneath, saw —

The blue and it was stunning,

But it was never us, thank God.


 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Lune - 5,3,5 or 5 words, 3 words, 5 words, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, November Notes, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

November Notes: Poem – Day 19 – Lunes – “Light Endures All” #novembernotes #poetry #amwriting #writing 


Today’s prompt song is “Meaning” by Gavin DeGraw.

—–

“Meaning” – Gavin DeGraw

——

http://www.favim.com

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Simple words said in light, 

Reveal the truth;

In daylight our souls flourish. 

——

But you’re a memory now;

And I’ve no, 

Lights to see, darkness holds. 

—-

I learn my lessons well,

I’ve found experience, 

Teaches only for so long. 

—–

Life has heartbreaks and heartaches, 

I’ve experienced both, 

You’re reaching out, far away. 

—-

You reach blindly for air, 

Wish you’d see,

Me as more than faceless.

—–

Climbing a trail, a pathway, 

Life’s a journey, 

We’re not meant to trek alone.

—–

There’s a meaning in life, 

We’re meant to —

Love largely, with our entirety. 

—–

Our hearts can bear grief, 

Only so much, 

Let’s both share our burdens. 

—-

Love gives meaning to the —

World ; and love —

Hasn’t ruined me; I survive. 

—–

Through pain and hardship, loss —

I’ve managed to —

Go on –light endures all. 

—–

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Health, My Thoughts, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Quotes, Rispetto: iambic tetrameter ababa ccdd, Writing

#OctPoWriMo – Day 8 – “Porous Genes: A Mean Poem”


Day 8 Prompt: Porous

  1. 1a :  possessing or full of pores b :  containing vessels <hardwood is porous2a :  permeable to fluids b :  permeable to outside influences 3:  capable of being penetrated <porous national boundaries> (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

shallow-end
http://www.pinterest.com

I. Pouring water through a strainer,

Or putting flour through a sifter.

We never thought his mind was drained,

But his thinking wasn’t ever swift.


Not meaning to be rude, but clear,

He’d no ideas, just drank beer.

But when you spoke to him and said dear

Heard the wind, whistle through his ears.


II. Perhaps, it’s not nice to say she —

Had a bit of air in her head.

Like panning for gold through silt she —

Wasn’t precious metal some said.


She’s a tea leaf slipped through the ball,

Not much clever, but despite all —

We hope she picked up some wisdom,

Encouraged her read, learn something.


Rispetto:

“A Rispetto, is an Italian form of poetry, is a complete poem of two rhyme quatrains with strict meter. The meter is usually iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of abab ccdd. A Heroic Rispetto is written in Iambic pentameter, usually featuring the same rhyme scheme.”

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Writing

3Line Tales: Quiet, Imagination, and the Spaces Inbetween Silence.


  Thanks to Sonya from 100 Words or Less for hosting Three Line Tales.

——

 

Moritz Schmidt
 

——

 1. Some people abhor quiet and others they adore it, I would say I’m often in the latter group but not all the time; we all have this need to be sociable creatures to some extent, whether it’s to meet new clients and network; gab with our girlfriends or see the boys for a game; or simply sit in a coffee shop and absorb the hum of conversation occurring around us.

2. I have this love for quiet (or silence you might call it) because they’re special ideas and transfigurations of your imagination hiding within it; some people can feed their creativity in the loud and garish noises of a crowd of people yelling and hollering to a person near to them; but the best place for some of us to elaborate on ideas and call fourth the muses of our imagination is in the silence where we write brilliant stories, paint paintings, and daydream of our future creations.

3. Sometimes it’s not the quiet or silence which is meaningful, but the spaces inbetween the quiet, because in those hidden molecules lives a powerful and significant understanding between two people; it is love in it’s magnificence which exists within the silences of husbands and wives, partners, girlfriends and boyfriends, children and their parents, grandparents and grandchildren, friends, and people and their pets; this space within silence is a secret place two people who love each other exceptionally, coexist together without uttering a single word, while both comprehending each other deeply even within each other’s souls.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Free Verse, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Poem/Song: “Lift Us Up” 


At the end of the day, 

You’re lost and you’re praying,

Lord please lift me up.

The skys are all grey, 

I feel lost and I stray, 

God, please lift me up.

I don’t know all your plans, 

But many you have,

I don’t have strength for much,

But Please lift me up,

When nobody cares about anyone else,

When we throw out our neighbours, 

As if they don’t mean much,

When we war, and we’re dying,

In life and inside us,

Please lift us up.

—–

And I know I won’t make it without your grace,

I’d be nothing but ashes without your love,

From dust we were made of, to dust we’ll return to,

So, now while I’m living, I say:

Lord Please lift me up.

Lift us up, lift us over,

Climb the mountains we’ve made,

Give us your reflection,

Save us from life’s strain,

When your cup runneth over,

May we be thankful at least,

When the cup seems to run dry,

When we don’t know the words,

To say how much we need you,

Give us strength, give us meaning, 

God, please lift us up.

——

My prayer is so simple,

And you know I’m imperfect,

Lord, please lift me up.

I’ve done terrible things,

No matter if in thought or deed,

God, please lift me up.

When they’re children not eating,

Mom’s have nothing to feed them,

When the day aches as pain assails,

Yes, Please lift us up, 

When worse pain, is inside,

When you’re waging against demons,

When nothing has meaning,

When we’re so lost we’re grieving,

When we’ve walked out on life,

Please lift us up.

—–

And I know I won’t make it without your grace,

I’d be nothing but ashes without your love,

From dust we were made of, to dust we’ll return to,

So, now while I’m living, I say:

Lord Please lift me up.

Lift us up, lift us over,

Climb the mountains we’ve made,

Give us your reflection,

Save us from life’s strain,

When your cup runneth over,

May we be thankful at least,

When the cup seems to run dry,

When we don’t know the words,

To say how much we need you,

Give us strength, give us meaning, 

Lord, please lift us up.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.