Current Events, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Food/Recipes, My Thoughts, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Exclusive Dirt #flashfiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW. 

——-

Credit: @Shivamt25

——–

Allison arrived at the local coffee shop for her morning tea. Her duchshund, Peppy, trotted beside her. His ears stood alert as he waited for his morning treat. The coffee shop was also an independant tea shop. There were black teas, fruit teas, herbal teas, white teas, green teas, and all kinds of delicious tea blends. 

When Allison asked the barista for a mango green tea, Trisha sighed. “Sorry, Allison. We’ve had to cut back on teas we serve. We only serve three unique kinds each day. Too much competition with David’s Tea.” 

“Okay, what should I try?” 

“How about the pineapple, squash, and blueberry fruit tea.” 

“Not a fan of that mix, Trisha.” 

“How about chocolate and marshmallow with asparagus?”

Allison closed her eyes for a moment. “Any Irish Breakfast tea with a twist of lemon? Or green tea with papaya?” 

Trisha shook her head. “No, our tea selections are three exclusive flavors each day.” 

Allison rubbed her eyes. “I’ll have a medium latte.” 

“You don’t drink lattes,” 

“Today I do.” 

Trisha bent to give Peppy his treat. While Allison sat down, reading the paper and sipping her latte. 

Then she felt as if she was going to throw up, spitting a mouthful of latte into her napkin. 

Even the lattes had become exclusive. This one tasted like dirt. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing

Rewind Interview with Gina Gallyot #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


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

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

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

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

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

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


Interview -SingleDust
Credit: Gina Gallyot -SingleDust

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation? 

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

The Dust and Glitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Please Find Other Posts from Gina Here:


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


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interviews, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Published Work, Religion/Morality, Works Published, Writing

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


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


Interview -SingleDust
Credit: Gina Gallyot -SingleDust

1. Please tell Us About Yourself?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation? 

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

The Dust and Glitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Please Find Other Posts from Gina Here:


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


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Fiction, History, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: Beat Feet – Life Of A 1950’s Woman  #amwriting #3LineTales #fiction 


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. 

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Credit: Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash

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I’m anti frantic today which is a wonderful, that man at the department store was really laying on the apple butter; I almost went ape, I’m a married woman you know. At least the ankle-biters are all in school now and I don’t have to deal with their bash ears, but I need to beat feet so I can meet the ladies at church, we’re having some used clothing sale of clothing in good condition to raise bread for the homeless. Some reporter from the paper is here too writing a book and he took my picture by the Reverand’s truck; I wish he’d beat feet, I’m a busy woman. 

——

Please see Fifties Web here, for all definitions of the fifty’s slang terms used (in bold). 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Blitz poem - 48 Lines, Fiction, My Thoughts, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

#OctPoWriMo – Day 22 – Blitz Poem – “Chances Anew” #amwriting #poetry


Day 22 Prompt: Dangerous
“Some things are obviously dangerous, like walking too close to a cliff, and other things, not so much. Free write for ten minutes exploring what is obviously dangerous, not so much, and what dangerous means to you. You could turn this into a rant poem, especially given the times.”

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http://www.getaway2thegods.com

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There is always present danger

There is always a need for caution

Caution is necessary 

Caution keeps us alive

Alive isn’t enough

Alive means we need to be safe

Safe is a cloudy dream

Safe is an illusion

Illusions we love because they hide cold hard facts

Illusions keep us content

Content is all we can ask to be 

Content not to be in danger

Danger hides and danger runs

Danger is wicked and tricky

Tricky because danger is not not upfront

Tricky because danger bides its time

Time waiting to harm us 

Time waiting to strike and destroy

Destroying lives with vengeance

Destroying hearts with humourless mirth

Mirth –does it exist in harsh circumstances? 

Mirth is it possible when tomorrow could be–

Be the end of life’s dreams? 

Be the end of life without heart sight? 

Sight to see the world shatter as glass

Sight to see how lost we are in the world 

World where we wander feeling hopeless

World where we’re crushed by despair 

Despair slips in and brings us to tears

Despair is a weapon danger employes

Employes to target are last reserves

Employes as those serving him as soldiers

Soldiers, mercenaries, to do the bloody work

Soldiers blinded by their own greed

Greed for money until it’s set a flame

Greed for money, not seeing  –it’s only paper

Paper, the German Mark in the 1930’s, in suitcases 

Paper marks, thousands were worthless

Worthlessness, don’t ever feel unwanted

Worthful, you’re as precious stones

Stones judgemental people throw

Stoning the accused sinner

Sinners we all are, it can’t be helped

Sinner –let he with the least sin cast the stone first 

 First you must smile and gather your hope

First be glad, life has new beginnings

Beginnings are new chances 

Beginnings are for real, life arises anew

Chances . . . 

Anew. . . 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Fiction, Flash Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing

Sunday Photo Fiction: Ancient Treasures #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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A Mixed Bag

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The books were torn and tattered at the edges and it didn’t appear as if they’d been read in sometime. Dust coated the tops and sides, especially the books which stuck out. At some point in their history, the books had been reread a great deal; they  had been well loved.

 Jy peered at the books on the shelf and sniffed at the foreign scent of mildewed paper in the air. He had only heard of books such as these. They were hundreds-of- years-old and Jy treasured them. Few books were published in paper except the reigning government’s: Manifesto. 

He gracefully removed a book from the shelf, surprised by the glossy cover under the dust. He turned to chapter one and started reading. This book was of the fantasy genre and Jy adored fantasy — especially fantasy which hadn’t been altered.

In his world, books were stored on computerized chips in your mind. You sat and closed your eyes, picturing yourself reading the book; that was how one read. Books were easily accumulated but you were only allowed to read approved books. There were millions available, but one could always tell when the regime had made changes in a novel, adding and removing parts. 

Jy came across a word he knew was banned. It read, “Freedom.” He curiously reread the word; his only frame of reference was that it was something of too much responsibility for mere citizens to have.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, My Thoughts, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Photo (Collage) Prompt: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Home” #poetry #amwriting #fiction 


Thanks to Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie for this week’s photo (collage) prompt.

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Autumn was such a time for us, 

Love was fun, nothing dangerous.

Leaves falling deep red, orange, yellow.

Met you walking, strong and mellow. 

Attractiveness found, conversation, tokens.

Hid memories in a box, saved before broken.

——-

Paper boats sailed on peaceful lake, 

Sitting ‘neath trees, in your arms wake.

Photographs you took of me and —

Made me laugh, giggle; life was grand.

Such times we had, you lugging your camera around, 

Pictures of us, many left, they’re here surrounding.

——

Photobooth, and I sat on your —

Lap; laughing again, not sorry.

Your handsome face, so dear to me, 

Making you laugh, my mission, see? 

Making faces in photos in my underwear, 

I knew I could coax out a smile, you loved me bare.

——

Exposed to you, negatives shot,

Our days close, even when we fought.

Knew you well, every smile and frown, 

Wish you were alive, but you drowned.

Now our time is done, my photographer, my love.

All these pictures snapped, thinking of us, our short love.

——

A spritz of the perfume I wore, 

The day we meant, special for —

Not forgetting you now; playing —

Songs we sang, piano keys they say, 

Through music what I could never admit alone,

Autumn was our time, in your arms laying, I was home. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Poetry, San San - abcabdcd - three terms repeat in poem., Writing

Maydays: Poem – San San – “Secrets on Paper, Deceitful Truths.” #Maydays #amwriting



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Thank you to K.L. Caley of new2writing for all of the #Maydays prompts. Please go into the link provided and give her a follow! Today’s prompt has to do with secrets and I’m going to do an eight line poem called a san san which repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The eight lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.
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http://www.incolors.club

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I’ll write you my secrets if you write me —

Yours; we’ll scribble them on note paper, you’ll–

Read my deceitful sins and I’ll read yours.

When we’re done sharing secrets we’ll burn free —

Our twisted minds; smoke curling paper fuel, 

Deceit decaying flames –snatching your truth.

That’s why I’ve paper unburned, secrets yours.

Deceit in me shares secrets; you’ve no proof.

——-

You thought I gave secrets, you thought from me–

You tore out a page, paper hiding fuel, 

Cunning deceit, saw I in you, I tore —

Up my true secrets and gave you shallow dreams.

You’re not to be trusted on paper; you’re cruel, 

Telling all deceitfully; no real proof.

So I lied to you and your paper rules.

Keeping my secrets safe; my deceit is truth.

———-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Writing

Monday and a Crazy Time Change


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Hi everyone!  It’s Monday and I think Monday’s are always difficult even if you don’t have to go to an office. There is just something about Mondays. The world just doesn’t run the right way at the beginning of the week. Everyone is tired, and it’s hard to get into your school work or job work.

Especially with this fall time change, we know it will be an accident-prone and less productive work week for people from countries who participate in the time change. Yesterday, I learned that it is not because of farmers that we have this time change. In fact, the time change was started by Germany in 1915 to conserve energy. People would spend less energy lighting their homes because they had to get up an hour earlier. Much of Europe, the US, and Canada followed suit with Germany. Ironically enough, we spend more money on energy now because of the time change in Canada at least. The CBC has an interesting article on the time change here.

Also, how did your Halloween weekend go? Facebook was flooded with images of children and families (including pets) all dressed up. It was interesting to see the variety of costumes and how many good natured parents and grandparents dressed up with their children or grandchildren. I don’t recall my parents doing that (LOL) but I don’t blame them for it. I think dressing up your kid or pet is difficult enough. Some parents go all out, especially if your family has a “theme.” Some Moms were thinking ahead this year when they planned their families’ costumes.

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http://www.pinterest.com
What I would like to try some year is to paint my face-up artistically as a deer or lion (some type of animal.) Face painting has become wonderfully realistic since the nineties. With contouring becoming popular in regular makeup and better face paints besides those sticks that have been around forever, people can paint their  own or their child’s face fantastically! I wasn’t up to doing a lot this Halloween. I had planned on attending a scary haunted house at Fort Edmonton but the tickets for the event sold out fast. I should have put more thought into that earlier.

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http://www.pinterest.com
But to tell you the truth, I was just too involved studying for my Residential Furnishings midterm (that I thought would be as intense as the Art History midterms and finals I experienced in University) that I didn’t think about Halloween including a costume, face paint, and/or buying tickets for an event. But I did hand out candy to the thirteen kids who came to visit our house for candy. We are close to a park called Rundle Park, it’s lovely especially in the Summer  and is picturesque in Autumn. But it seems the kids trick’o’treating don’t come down far into our neighbourhood. It’s a shame because the kids who did come received a fistful of candy. We are generous at our house. Better that someone else’s kid should eat the candy than any of us.

Additionally, I was getting bored with the theme of my blog so I went through a few different themes this morning and settled on one. I hope you like the new look of the blog and that the header of the red shoes that is a painting, isn’t to blurry and close up. I still have a few things to fix on the blog, but for tonight it will do. Let me know what you think of the new theme? Is there too much on the bottom header where my biography is located? 

I am also about to start a paper and project for my class. I have to choose a certain amount of furniture/art from different eras and design a showroom with brochures and an essay on the theme. I’m thinking about doing it on pieces from a certain periods for example, the Gothic era and then the revival of the Gothic era, Gothic Revival (in the Victorian Era). I think it would be fascinating to put the actual time period of something together with other pieces that tried to emulate it years later. So, that’s the main idea and I need to start tomorrow.  I only have three weeks of time to complete my project.

IMG_0399Is it bad that I have started to think about Christmas? Not to diminish Rememberance Day November 11th here in Canada, but I think the birth of Baby Jesus has a great deal to do with veterans. 

Anyways, every year finding gifts for people seems to get harder. It’s always hit and miss with gifts because one year one person likes their gift and another person wants to return their gift. I think for 2015, I am going to give gift cards. Some people think it’s impersonal but I think that people often have ideas of what they want sometimes and would prefer money or gift cards towards that item or service. Christmas cards take the longest time to write, especially if you are trying to say something personal. I try to write something meaningful. I don’t look up a Hallmark quote and throw it on the card. At least the card can be personal even if the giftcard with it is less so. 

Moreover,  I am anticipating Friday. The new James Bond Spectre is out in the movies.Danial Craig I enjoy Daniel Craig as James Bond. He brought something unique to the part,  grittiness , and great live action chase scenes, that some of the other James Bond movies didn’t contain. I wonder who will play the next James Bond? They need someone to start out at a bit younger age than Daniel Craig did, so he can be in more films. Tom Hardy, was one name I heard was being considered but I don’t really think he has that suave demeaner that James Bond encompasses. Who do you think should play James Bond after Daniel Craig is finished the role, after the James Bond movie after Spectre ? Any other movies you are looking forward to? I can’t wait for the last Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part II. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss and I love Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale too. Katniss should end up with Gale, not Peta.Team Gale!

Enjoy your week everyone. I will have the regular picture/word prompt stories and some poems coming out. I am thinking about some pieces I can do that are different from my regular posts. Since last month was National Poetry Writing Month, I am considering going back and doing that this month. I love poetry! But I am not sure, I also might be doing Writing 101 to keep busy. Cheers!

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My Thoughts, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Poem: I’m Not 


I’m not a crystal ball, I cannot tell the future. It’s a crime to know what time brings.

I’m not a shiny diamond, in that tear drop shape I wanted. Maybe, I’m a future bride but maybe I’ll buy my own ring.  

I’m not a simple book, when you look through a library full of literature. I’m classic, contemporary, romance, adventure, biography, mystery, fiction, non-fiction — “a little brown mouse in somebodies house.”

I’m not defined or confined by a word, I have amassed the wealth of many words. And I might be a run-on-sentence but that’s just because there are no pauses in life.

And I might be blue – eyed and blond but I am not a matter of my looks but a matter of seeing deeper. I’m not the body infront of you I’m the one that was me at twenty-three. 

And I’m not going to try to hold you back because I’m the one who stumbles, you can go on with your life . . . I’ll be fine.

And you are not a matter of your religion, I love you anyway, though I wish you saw the light in the darkness. 

And just because I cannot do all the things you can, does not make me challenged, does not mean I can’t do anything — just call and ask.

I am not someone whose fallen and wants to sit life out, now you hear my voice calling — I have the voice of a lion, screaming let me out! 

And I’m not a room you visit just because it’s peaceful, I’m all the nuisances that came together to form the feeling in this room, as you sit and drink your tea — I’m the warmth that you’re feeling. 

I’m not alone, although sometimes I believe it, I am not isolating myself, I’m just trying to find a middle.

I’m not the amount of time I stay awake at night, I am the woman always thinking, until sleep finds me sooner.

I’m not my favorite dog, but I carry her with me, I need those memories to sustain me until I can get another.

I’m not a single picture, I’m a collage, a mosaic, a seer of the big picture. I am paint, charcoal, pencil, 20 LB paper, erasers, stubs, and paint brushes.

I’m not a tumble in the sheets, I have a name, and If you’re here with me, you’re here with me. 

And I’m not defined by things, all that can be bought. I love to look gorgeose but I’d just as soon sweat and feel the high of endorphins with makeup running down my cheek.

I am not the way you look at me, like you know all about me, what makes me tick, what makes me sad, what makes me happy.

I am not a moment in the sun, I am the hummingbird flitting so fast she can’t breathe. And everything that ever was is eating through me thrumming.

I’m not defined, I’m not confined. 

But why in the world would you look at yourself, really look and see, — everything you’re not?