Thoughts on May and Beyond


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Each month I try to give you guys a bit of an update on my life. It’s been a while since I have been able to sit down and think about things.

April was extremely busy, writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. As I wrote each day in accordance with the prompt provided on the website, I also tried to do various forms of poetry. This is continueous with the poetry journey I have been on this year, learning new types of poetry from Shadow Poetry.

 I found my first attempts at new kinds of poetry frustrating at times this month, because I was having to write poems using a prompt, and write on weekends too. I think I wrote the best poetry going back to types of poetry I had used before and had had the chance to refine over the months in 2015 and 2016. 

As much as I love April’s NaPoWriMo, I’m glad it is done and I can focus on some other aspects of writing. I was scraping the bottom, the last few poems I wrote for the challenge. Kudos to those of you who both did NaPoWriMo and the A to Z challenge. 

I think my biggest concern lately has been with weight put on from medications in the past, which I haven’t been able to lose. I had a good idea I would gain another ten pounds off last July’s medication switch. I don’t regret doing the changes in hospital, but I would really love it if I could even get my body weight down twenty-pounds. 

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A good friend of mine from university L, started on this new supplement program. It’s not only about losing weight but getting proper vitamins, having more energy, and feeling healthier all around. I’m careful where supplements are concerned because sometimes they react with medication. However, I brought an ingredients list to my pharmacist and he said it was fine. You would hope so, as all the ingredients are naturally sourced. 

Initially, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches on what they call an 8 day detox. I was happy with this result, but once I started back on their day 9 to 30 diet, I gained back the weight. Now I find, I have also gained back inches and put on a couple pounds on the weightloss meal plan. I’m frustrated because I actually know many people including my friend, who over months kept losing weight on the weightloss plan and on these supplements.

My friend said try increasing your protein and I tried it last week but as I feared, the protein increase made me put on a couple pounds and inches. So, I went back to smaller amounts of protein except for the last meal of the day, so I remain full at night. I have issues with finding myself ravenously hungry at night. Right around 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm, my stomach thinks it needs food now. I guess, I will have to convince it otherwise. 

The weight issue is extremely discouraging when I’m doing the same plan as my good friend, but can’t lose the weight. I got into a bad habit after a month and half of trying to lose more weight. I began eating some delicious calorie loaded food because I was not losing weight anyways. But stepping on the scale a moment, changed my mind about continuing this trend.

On a good note, I have found a supplement I take called xyng, to be an extremely excellent product. It actually increases my energy. I take one pill in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is supposed to help with a person’s metabolism and appetite, but I haven’t noticed those effects. But I do notice I have much less energy without the xyng so I plan to keep taking it with a couple of other supplements from the product line I liked for the health benefits. I’m planning on carefully sticking to the meal plan for the next while, to see if it goes better. It may or may not.

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Between poetry writing, I have been going full-out trying to finish the first draft of How Was Last Night For You. I’m a chapter or two away from finishing the novel in first draft. Last week I became stuck at a pivotal point in one of the main character’s story. I’m going to think about it a bit before continuing on. The ending needs to be strong as well as set me up for book two in the series. Yes, there will be a second novel, I have been considering it for some time and once this one is mostly complete, I will begin planning book two. 

I have been researching and saving articles on publishing books and a generous blogger even provided me with information for a couple of fantastic editors. Right now I have a fellow writer looking my work over, it’s a huge job. When he said editing it  ‘line by line’ he meant it. I am hoping I’m able to provide him with the same quality of feedback with his writing projects. Having that feedback has helped me a great deal in regards to writing short pieces of flash fiction, especially with meaningful dialogue.

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I’m also participating in a challenge called #Maydays and the generous host K.L. Caley, provides a prompt each day. Thus far, I have chosen to write fiction, heavy on the dialogue as I am attempting to ‘show‘ verses ‘tell‘ in my writing and working on developing better dialogue. I’d be interested to hear what other writers think about these terms. Do you agree there should be more ‘showing‘ than ‘telling‘ in a work of fiction? 

Another aspect of my blog I would like to work on is having a couple of guest bloggers a month. I’m interested in people as a writers and I have some interview questions I can email to that effect. Why you write, how you started etc. If you would like to be a guest blogger/writer please comment on this post or go to the top of my blog page, to the contact me page.

As for the rest of life, I’m back to reading a lot again. I’ve forgotten how reading a great book can go quickly and find myself moving through different genres of books with speed. It’s not that I’m not absorbing the books information; I’ve always been a fast reader, when I’m feeling well and can concentrate. I will update you guys on some of the books I like sometimr in May. As well. I will have new beauty posts and some other posts unrelated to writing in the coming months. I’ve been unable to do these kinds of posts  lately, due to having to keep up with my novel writing.

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I spent a wonderful night out attempting to paint a picture and drinking wine with some friends at a small wine place downtown. It was a lot of fun despite not being able to make my painting look like the one the instructor had painted. I’ve never been an ‘exact’ painter, I go with the flow. 

Also, I saw the third movie in the Divergent Series of movies called Allegiant. I’m not entirely sure if this is part 1 or if there is a part 2? I thought they were breaking the third book Allegiant, into two parts for the movie but perhaps I’m wrong? If you know let me know 🙂 

I’m looking forward to Alice Through the Looking Glass, this summer in theatres, the new Captain America and Iron Man film, a new addition to The Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Orlando Bloom in it and the newest Harry Potter-like movie coming out in Fall, set in the 1920’s. 

As for TV, I’m anticipating a twisty finale for Scandal and hopefully, something big on Grey’s Anatomy since last season was not an exciting ending, more of a tying up of loose ends with McDreamy’s death a few episodes before the Finale. Also, I’m looking forward to watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey and Season 2 of The Fall on Netflix. 

As for other things, enjoying walking in the river valley in the warm spring weather. It’s not so hard now without a dog, I’ve grown used to it. Also, doing yoga as always. I think if you have trouble with exercise or are starting trying to be fitter, yoga or Pilates is excellent in keeping your body toned and flexible. Just start at an easy beginner level and repeat it until you can do the exercise pattern for longer or the moves become too easy. Then move up from there. If it is never easier add another beginner routine in for variety and remember even doing a small amount of exercise, you are lapping everyone on the couch!

Additiinally, a quick congrats to one of my besties Tara for becoming engaged in Hawaii last week. Also, since I probably didn’t mention her, congrats to one of my other besties Shannon for her engagement earlier this year! So excited for you both! 

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Thanks for reading!  

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


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A List of Hobbies


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for this week’s list prompt of hobbies.

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Unknown – Google
 

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1. Writing – This hobby is a hobby most of you understand. The drive, the need to write. You do it like you breathe, and if you can make money while doing it, you’re extremely lucky. I started blogging about four-years-ago to improve my writing skills and to do what has always come naturally to me, to share through my writing. 

It’s my hobby but it is also work too. I write stories to obtain prizes and publication. I try to contribute a guest blog here and there. I’ve done editing and creative writing courses. I have a BA in English. I want an MFA in Creative Writing. I write, write, write, even when I’m trying to take a break from it. I suppose such as many things, writing becomes addictive. But whenever I do it, I enjoy it. There is peace in my heart.

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2. Reading – Usually, I read many books for a few months, then I become tired of reading books. Then, for awhile I don’t read much at all in novels, but end up going back to get my fix and read my favourite books over and read new books written by a particular writer or in a certain writer’s book’s series.

I also spend a lot of time reading other blogs on improving writing, pieces of writing, books, beauty, and an entire assortment of things. I’ve been reading since I was five-years-old and I have never stopped. 

In grade three I was reading The Hobbit and working my way through Lord of the Rings. In grade six I had a big thing for Michael Crichton books such as Jurassic Park and it’s sequals, and when I was about sixteen I went through a big phase of historic romance novels, and the romance novels that are sappy such as some of Nicholas Spark’s first books such as The Notebook. And I go through many other reading phases to this day. My last book was an audio book on Networking Marketing, it was interesting, informative, and a pathway I’m considering. 

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Jamie Dornan Colouring Page in Artist Pen Brushes and Pencil Crayon (Amanda Eifert)
 

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3. Drawing/Art/Colouring/Painting – Art is the only hobby I believe makes me feel more at peace than writing. My hands have always known what to do most of the time during painting or drawing, even before I realize I’m directing them. I’m not as good as I used to be, an effect of my initial psychotic episode. But I have become much better at drawing through some courses I took in my Residential a Design Certificate, focusing on drawing. 

I also adore acrylic painting. There is something so freeing about mixing colours and different gels to create texture on a painting. I haven’t done this in a bit I admit, but it’s something I find I have to be inspired to do. Lately, writing and other parts of life are running this well dry, but someday soon I promise to pick up my favourite paint brush.

Additionally, I have been colouring in colouring books for adults. Not the ones with all those small spaces, but ones with a general outline that you can be creative on. I find that hobby relaxing and use various mediums on a page.

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Nikki giving her Evil Eye (Amanda Eifert)

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4. Scrapbooking – I have done this for years, since I would go out with my girl friends in university and we would take many pictures each weekend. I think the pictures are becoming less and less, but I make an effort to take some and I’ve done a few photo shoot type things. I do scrapbooking the old fashioned way, not online. I’ve been doing little wedding albums for my friends who get married, of pictures online that they might not otherwise have. Also, I will do them of the pictures they put up. It’s an ‘ I’m thinking of you guys,’ type of gift that will last for years to come. And when I had a pet, well there were more pictures of the dog then anyone. Funny how that works.

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5. Yoga/Pilates – I began Pilates in grade eleven. I did it faithfully through university and even when I was going to the gym and weight lifting, I would go to the odd Pilates class. I also started to do yoga at this time. 

Pilates is an excellent workout using your core and strengthening it, using your own body weight as weight. It was designed by Joseph Pilates who came up with the excercise based off of yoga and other excercise types for soldiers in WWII; to improve their muscle strength while recovering from injuries. Honestly, it’s some of the best exercise you can do because it’s a bit cardiovascular, improves flexibility, and improves muscle tone.

After I became ill, and I wasn’t physically able to do harder exercises I did Pilates for a bit but found I couldn’t keep it up. I started doing yoga because it was easier and it helped with stiff muscles, while being a form of beneficial exercise. The challenge in yoga is holding your pose for the right length of time. It can be difficult but also makes you feel relaxed afterwards, while stretching muscles you didn’t know you had. When I’m feeling super great I do a DVD that is a yoga and Pilates combination routine. Mostly, I do ten to fifty minute yoga sessions from a yoga application on my IPAD. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.