NaPoWriMo: Poem – Prose – “Poker Face”


Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information.

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There are memories and memories inbetween memories, things you shouldn’t know. But I write and I say, what naturally comes to flow. Spending a day building raw story into characters who have flaws and appeal. Characters who are relatable and show affection, lust, a special connection with each other.

 I am building story from the ground level, thanks to a friend, who tore my story down line by line so I am able to build. I’m grateful for everything he sees that I do not. How the story doesn’t flow and how the characters actually appear.

What’s believable in real life? I think an interesting situation because the story involves magic and in real life we don’t believe in curses and the power of magic. We write of it extensively wishing for such power, such talents, such super-human abilities. Probably because we’re human, and sometimes being human makes a person feel mighty small. 

Today’s memories are about editing and refinement. Answering questions I wouldn’t know how to ask. I’m learning. Digging deeper, past the simple, into the complex. I don’t want a one-dimensional story. Though it has magic I want the characters to be real people and I want their flaws and likes/dislikes to show. I want what they’re good at, their occupations, their speech and actions, the people they have around them, to demonstrate their characters.

The minds of people are endlessly fascinating, especially the minds of those who say everything or say nothing. My Grandpa said little, his mind was complicated. He was a Pastor whose smoking habit ended his life at seventy-three -years-old. He would ask questions which made one think and consider alternate routes as he taught me the games of cribbage, chess, and when we attempted cryptograms and crossword puzzles. Grandpa’s questions always hinted at digging deeper, searching for another method, and missed details.

But my Godfather, he says everything. And what he says is thought-provoking. He is always thinking of other people, how to help. He is the bestfriend to his friends and he has many. He can listen but mostly he talks and he’s wise with his words.

I miss him and the second place I call home, his and my Godmothers charming house. His wisdom and continual thinking, his belief in God solving all problems, and finding answers from an omniscient God are well expressed; he gives me such peace after we’ve had a conversation or I’ve listened to him talk.

 And I’m thinking about a paint night I’m doing with friends at the bar Sunday night. Painting, did you know I love it? I will need a couple drinks to merely do as the instructor says, but I know what my hands and mind will do.

 I will mix the paint, either ruin or add to the design. I desire creativity. I’ve said it before, creativity cannot be boxed in its true form. But with a drink or two and two good friends, the evening will pass and I’ll come home, painting in hand.

 Also, finding a good guy — one whom you enjoy being with and talking with is difficult. You need to be attracted to their looks and their intelligence. You hope they such as you, have plans to do ‘something’ with their life. Finding a guy with all these parameters, is it asking too much? I’m not sure. I’m not extensively experienced here.

But time after time I’m disappointed when a date becomes, “come over to my place,” usually at night but sometimes in the day. There is no dating involved. There is no understanding of, ” I’m not interested.” And certain men keep messaging or calling. 

I’m not adverse to sleeping with the right guy. I haven’t found a right guy lately. I don’t know if I’m such as Alice’s friend at tea I’m, ‘mad as a hatter’ to believe there are good guys out there who want to have fun out of bed and when a woman trusts them, in bed too. Laying that foundation of trust is vital.

 I don’t think this thought of mine is right accordingto God but I’m trying to find a happy middle. Maybe my happy middle won’t make me happy? 

I’m tired of guys who only want a night here and there. That was university, I’m going to be thirty-one in July. I’m not twenty-one and even twenty-one year old me would have smacked a guy who kept after her after she repeatedly told him to back off.

Guys don’t get it, they scar women. This is stuff I cannot believe I’m writing but eighteen-year-old me was extremely naive at the bar. Her friend ditched her for some guy. She was all alone and trying to get away from this guy who followed her around the bar. She didn’t have the confidence a girl three or so years older had at the bar, batting away and shooting down idiots before they became stalkers for the night. 

She was so stupid. It’s effected her sense of trust ever since. He didn’t stop for a long time; it only felt like eternity. The repeated “No” in his ears, he was deaf to it until she cried wet tears. There were different guys after that, few who she didn’t mind getting close to.

But always, I have this disgust for men who treat women as if a woman’s existence is for their pleasure, because she wants or needs sex too. Should she have to sleep with a man after she has deliberated and said, “no?” No she shouldn’t, it’s always a woman’s choice, it’s her body after all.

Guy’s scar with their repeated advances boardering on harassment. They scar bruising you badly where they should be gentle. You look to see how purple your bruises are. Not understanding how he didnt comprehend, “don’t be rough.” 

Enough. To much info. But this poem is prose; it is memories past and to come — some awful and some exciting. Building memories writing and living in a world that can be cruel at times. 

But I think if you’re building if you’re working towards a goal you can be proud you’re using your talents despite the cards life and your stupid self may have dealt you playing poker.

Cheesy analogy but ever since I learned to play poker — Texas Holdem — in the basement of my Pastor’s house with friends I’d grown up or met in church at that time, I always think back to poker seeing such a carry over for life. 

Each day, place your bets and see what the ‘river’ holds, and how the cards in your hand can be played. Ask for another card if you dare, trading one in . . . 

We’d drink beer and play poker. We’d watch NFL football and play video games. I never entirely got why some days my poker playing was terrific, while other days I could fold most hands and end up broke. We paid twenty dollars in a pot at the beginning of each game. At times my one brother and I would play with the other players until 3:00 am or 4:00 am in the morning.

I didn’t play much poker after those years ended. But I feel sometimes as if I’m placing my bet, and trying desperately to hold onto my poker face. Tomorrow, more building. It keeps me going.

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“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Art in the Eye of the Beholder. 


” So what do you think?” Paul asked his husband. “It’s a print of a famous painting and the ocean and sky is calm and relaxing. You don’t like it?”

Trevor looked at the print hung over their bed: “Paul, it’s a print. I think if you’re going to buy a copy of a painting, you should at least buy a copy which is actually painted. This is a poster, how much did you pay for it?” Paul smiled with strain.

“Oh, it was only a cheap print framed. Maybe, we can go find an actual painting soon. I only thought this was a serene piece of art perfect for a bedroom.” Paul said sounding hurt.

Trevor sighed deeply; he hated it when Paul made him feel guilty.

“The ocean and the sky are serene but we could go down Whyte Ave this week during Art Walk and find an original actual painting, while supporting local artists. I’m sure a peaceful ocean and sky will be a common theme.” Trevor remarked, trying to convince Paul’s high taste.

Paul grinned.”That sounds fantastic! There is this great restaurant where they have real Italian food on Whyte and…” 

Trevor tuned Paul out and flicked on the TV opposite the ocean print. An NFL game was on; true art, Trevor thought with a grin.

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http://www.pixebay.com
 
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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP each Friday.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

MishMash December


 Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope it hasn’t been a hard start for those of you coming back from Thanksgiving holidays. Last week I had two things to do: Christmas shop online and study for my Residential Furnishing’s Final. I’m happy to say I wrote the final today and although the essay part I found difficult to do, I think I put enough examples and information on Early Moderan furnishings that I formed a good enough essay. I hope so anyways. I received my proposal back and got an A- on that and have an A- on the midterm, so I just need to keep my mark at an A- and I’ll be happy. It would help with some of other courses where I was only able to earn a B-. But it is exciting because my Residential Interiors Certificate is finished and I receive it in June 2017. It’s good to feel a sense of completion, that I was able to accomplish something even though throughout these almost eight years I have been too sick to work. I am still looking into some kind of writing course for the Winter term or Spring term. Now that I have more time tomorrow I can look into what kind of course and from where I want to take it.

My Christmas shopping online was a success, sort of. . . In fact, the only thing I wasn’t able to buy were some clothing I wanted from Banana Republic. But I think I will save that for next pay cheque. Honestly, for the items I had to buy I didn’t find I received that great of a deal. Purdy’s (the chocolate store) had free standard shipping. Indigo books had the best deals. I got three throws for various relatives on sale for $22.50 each and assorted nice looking gift bags all for $2 to $3. They also had an extra 10% off you paid by Visa. As well,  I bought some gift cards and those of course have no money off because they are like cash. I shopped at Lush online but no discount there. Sephora did have some great holiday deals for different sets. I got a Bliss set with hand lotion, body butter, and shower gel for $18.00. The part that was the deal was a ton of free samples from various makeup and skincare lines. Also, they had $13.00 gift sets on Black Friday but none I liked. I really wanted this eyeshadow palett from Tarte but the 25% discount Tarte was offering didn’t apply to their holiday sets. So basically I’m done the shopping part except for some wine from DeVine wines downtown for Christmas Eve, me, and my God Parents. Then I just have to make all the presents look pretty around Christmas time.


I went to a show at the Expo Center in Edmonton; it was called “Make It Edmonton.” The is all about buying local handmade items that various vendors are selling, that have to be of a certain quality. The show goes is in Vancouver too. I picked up some wine tags and a couple of bamboo screened t-shirts with birds on them. They were cute and there were some bamboo scarves with a screened bird images on them that were also nice in several colors. I liked a couple vendors who made silk scarves and dyed them by hand. There was so much beautiful jewelry. A lot of it was simple but I liked this pearl and crystal necklace made out of a piece of an old clock. There were also some yummy chocolate Ganache cupcakes and some gluten free cookies for my Dad. Many of the vendors at “Make It” you might see on Etsy. I am going to the butterdome craft show next Saturday with my Mom and I don’t know how different it will be. Usually, it’s a bit more crafty and has a bit more varied items. Think more wood carving and wool mittens.

Anyway, I came home after my exam today and I felt as if I wanted to clean and tidy things up. I don’t often feel this way so I figured I better act on the feeling. I put all my interior design materials away from my course and cleaned up in the living room where I study. Then I noticed that my room was dusty so I thoroughly cleaned a dresser and one section of my room from expired or barely used beauty products, dust, and clothing that is going to Good Will. I’ll finish off some more cleaning  tomorrow. Cleaning away the old makes me feel as if everything is ready for brand new life events and the holiday season.

In addition,  what came out of my cleaning up are some new beauty blogging ideas over the next few weeks. First, I don’t think I’ve ever done a blog (except on dry shampoo) on my favourite hair products and brands and why I use these particular ones. I also want to link that with The Small Things Blog and include some of Kate’s (the blogger) more recent hair tutorials that I have been doing. So you’ll have access to those YouTube videos.Also, I wanted to share a video on my skincare routine. It’s extremely important to take care of your skin and I am going to share with you the products from Clinique and else where that have worked for me, some since high school and some more recently.Lastly, I have a beauty blog to do on a mishmash of products I have received as larger samples in my Luxebox’s or that I have bought that don’t fit into a particular catagory of beauty products. So, three beauty posts ahead.


Addotionally, I can’t stop being excited about our football league this year, the CFL, and my home team the Edmonton Eskimos who won the Grey Cup (named for the Earl of Grey one-hundred-and-three years ago. He’s also the same earl who earl grey tea is named after). The Grey Cup was Sunday in Winnipeg. The weather was decent. Some years they play in -30 degree Celsius weather outside. But November has been beautiful in Canada. I watched football while I studied and drank red wine to celebrate as we narrowly defeated the Ottawa RedBlacks. It’s also great because my Dad is a Saskatchewan Roughrider’s fan who will cheer for any team but my Eskimos. We beat his team and the team he cheered for at the Grey Cup so that is always a plus.

I know many of you are probably like: “Canada has a football league and it isn’t the NFL?” Yes, we most certainly do and the same way you get many Canadian hockey players in the US, we get football players from some of your universities in the US to come play in our league. Many of our players are Canadian or American and are extremely talented, they have just chosen to play in the CFL out of love. But we also get players who don’t make it on NFL teams or players who are training themselves to be better so they can go on to play in the NFL. Doing this as a player can work but doesn’t always. The biggest difference in the CFL is that we have three downs instead of four. So, what this means is in the CFL you have only three chances to move the football ten yards before the other team gets the ball. There are some other differences too I think some differences with the yardage on the field and number of players but I haven’t looked into it lately. Anyways, enjoy your NFL, many of my friends are in a pool trying to get the most wins from the teams they picked. Let’s just say there is a player with the last name Eifert, and that’s not a common name in Canada or the US, so whatever team he is on, I want my cousin (of however many times) to win.

To end, I will mention that I will as always have other blog topics besides beauty. I am doing a Writing 101 poetry course on WordPress and I’ll just see what happens from there.

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.