Day 25 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Writing Prompt: Poem – Cascading Etherees — “The Urn, Death, and the Light” #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #WritingChallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is a “challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space.” For A to Z Challenge the GoodRead’s Quote author has a name beginning with letter V. Im going two work in the Prompt from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Prompt from last week of a letter to death

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Credit: Tomb of Wayfaring Soul

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It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

———

Such a tiny space I’ve ended in,

No satin lining, pillow, or light. 

Shelved next to others kept, 

Hear in this wall, directed, 

The family not to pay for, 

More than an urn, 

But why, ask I, 

Am I in, 

This wall, 

Left.

—–

It’s, 

Easy,

To understand, 

You didn’t want me —

Reminding  you, who I —

Used to be alive and whole. 

That my ashes in an urn could,

Easily fall, ending up on the floor. 

I’m wondering death, if you laugh at this? 

——

If you comprehend my annoyance clear, 

That my ashes weren’t scattered far  —

Into the park, the Off-leash trails, 

Or into the water, 

To a place of peace. 

No walls for me, 

Take my remains, 

Death, cast them —

To the, 

Wind. 

——-

At, 

First I, 

Had many, 

Questions, 

But I knew you took, 

All you needed of, 

What was left of me. 

And we’re no longer foes who are — 

Bound to time; so you explain the whys,

Fill in the wherefores, gazing ahead soft. 

——

Kingdom of light, love, facing the Heavens,

Death says this is the right place and —

I pray he isn’t wrong, for all —

Is revealed here in the —

House me Father built. 

His mansion with —

Many rooms for —

The faithful, 

Those souls, 

Won. . 

——

So, 

Death you —

Have not your, 

Victory. 

Death you have no sting, 

And in eternity, 

All questions are answered, 

Tranquility comes knowing, 

The reason for everything —

The cross on Calvery, God’s love divine. 

——–


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Collage Prompt: Poem – Octaine Refrain – “The Fantastic” #poetry #amwriting #fantasy


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s collage prompt. 

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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The fantastic hides and we’re unaware,

Turning to look, we might find we’re too scared. 

Adventures, colour, world with beasts daring, 

They’ll ask a question —answer with great care. 

Creatures with magic, books jammed with thoughts, stairs —

Causing absurd scenes, stairs move everywhere. 

The fantastic hides and we’re unaware. 

Turning to look, we might find we’re too scared.  

Magicians do tricks; hands, winding music blares, 

Beauty in circus apparel she stares. 

Without a body; her arms and hands fair, 

Melodic music raises our arm hairs. 

The fantastic hides and we’re unaware. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Colin Chappell


Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m pleased to introduce to you today an interview with dog enthusiast, thoughtful, and entertaining writer, Colin Chappell. He is often accompanied by his friendly and energetic dog Ray. In fact, Ray is one of Colin’s favorite topics. You can visit Colin on his blog: A Dogs Life? (Stories of Me and Him).


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Credit: Colin Chappell

1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

My name is Colin Chappell. When I was born, my parents were expecting a girl so, when I arrived, they showed great initiative by thumbing through the BBC Radio Times looking for male names. If Colin Yearsley (a classical pianist) had a second name, I would have probably had a second name also; my older sister did. I am originally from Peterborough (U.K.), and now live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (on the outskirts of Toronto).

I was born immediately after WWII and moved around the U.K. a lot when I was young because both my parents were in the theater. My Dad designed and painted scenery, while my Mum worked in the costumes area.

The introduction of television decimated the demand for theater and my parents had to make some major decisions. Growing up, my Mum held down multiple jobs and my Dad came home only on weekends. He was working approximately one-hundred-miles away from where we lived. My Dad eventually decided to build his own house. He learned how to do this successfully from library books, visiting construction sites, and asking a ton of questions.


2. What Kind of Affect Has Your Childhood Had On You?

I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.

I wanted to be a locomotive driver, but was told that I couldn’t do this job by my Dad. I went to college to pursue a career as ‘Master’ of a cargo ship. I achieved a 2nd Class Honors Certificate and was welcomed into the Blue Star Line. I was ready to join ‘Scottish Star’ in Glasgow; however, I failed a medical exam which blocked my first chosen career path. This was my welcome to the world of adulthood and the realities of the world.


“I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.” – Collin Chappell


3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?

I have always enjoyed writing short pieces and songs, but they were always private and I rarely shared my work. I cannot recall how I discovered blogging. But I had already been adopted by my dog Ray and wanted to share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to write publicly which was appealing to me. My blog was officially launched in October, 2014.

Later, my desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You? Why Do You Write?

Writing is rewarding for many reasons. It allows me to express myself, to be as creative as I can, and to have some tangible evidence of my creativity and expression. No doubt there are psychological benefits to writing also. Poetry is a natural extension of writing because of my earlier days song writing; however, my blog is also my vehicle to present my poetry to the world.

Blogging is the corner stone of my literary endeavors because not only can I now share with the world, but I can receive feedback. I have access to links to bloggers and writers with similar interests and concepts. As well,  I am generally able to create a worldwide network of wonderful people. Over time I have developed friends around the world of all ages, cultures, religious beliefs (etc.) Now I have the pleasure of knowing many details about friends which go well beyond mere blogging.


” . . . [M]y desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!” – Colin Chappell


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Credit: Colin Chappell

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

Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.

Ray is also hugely inspiring. He is unlike any dog I have ever known. Just by watching him (which I do a lot) I’m invariably provided with the basis for a blog post. I also inspire and motivate myself. I am retired so have the luxury of as much time as I wish to allocate to blogging and writing but I do have many other interests.

There isn’t a particular time of day I enjoy writing more. Although, mornings and late evenings tend to be my most productive times. This is due more to convenience relative to other day to day activities. It’s not that I feel more particularly creative during these times.


7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I have two active projects at the moment:

My first priority is promoting my book: Who Said I was up for Adoption? All profits from this book go to the Humane Society whom rescued my beloved Ray. It’s hard to make the whole world aware of a book without investing large sums of money to market it. Self-promoting is more financially feasible, but a difficult and time consuming job.

My second priority is publishing a book of my poems. It is tentatively titled: Tina and Other Stories and could be available Spring 2017. My poetry book is ready to be published but some financial decisions have to be made.

I am uncomfortable making these choices until I have a better grasp of how Ray’s book is selling. Hopefully, I can make a decision within the next six to eight-weeks. I also have various other similar projects ‘on the back burner,’ but they will have to wait.


“Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.” – Colin Chappell 


8. Here is Colin’s book: Who Said I was up for Adoption?

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Credit: Colin Chappell

You can purchase Colin’s book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo, Google Play, Nook, and IBooks. Here’s another link to Colin’s page where you can find links to all book sellers noted: HERE.


9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Publishing Process? Will You Continue With the Same Process in the Future?

I researched a number of leads before publishing and just as life in general — you get what you pay for. The inexpensive route (a relative term) dictated I take responsibility for areas of publishing I knew nothing about.

If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.

My compromise was to have a contract with FriesenPress. They provided their expertise in cover design, book layout, proofreading, overall suggestions, legalities, and ensuring Ray’s book was available to all major book retailers. Regrets? I have none, although, what I learned during this publishing process will reduce the cost of publishing my poetry book!


10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?

Blogging – I write from heart to keyboard, and then read, re-read, re-read, fine tuning the piece. Sometimes I will leave a post for a few hours and then read it again to get a fresh perspective. I like to plan to create ahead of time, but more often I end up creating immediately prior to posting. I will not hit the ‘Publish’ button unless I am absolutely happy with my post.

Book Writing – I use exactly the same process, especially with poetry. Reading a poem can often draw attention to a bad line or difficult rhythm. My intended book of poetry is being reviewed, although, it was completed well over six-months ago. Who Said I was up for Adoption? was completed over a nine-month period, but took an additional eighteen-months to polish well enough to publish.


“If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world because dog lovers exist in every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’s Humane Society.” – Colin Chappell


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

I have little time for reading fiction — JRR Tolkein being the exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction, but more that I want to understand more about people and the real world. I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with fiction.


12. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?

Write… write… write.

Be honest to yourself.

Write… write… write.

Use blogging as much as you can because there is so much support out there in the blogging world for novice writers.

Write… write… write.

If you are pleased with what you write, then what other people think of it is secondary.

Write… write… write.

If you are not pleased with what you write, you need to spend time finding why you are unhappy with it. Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on the solution — Very logical!


“I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with a fictional piece of writing.” – Colin Chappell


13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Writing?

I have volunteered in numerous diverse places over the years, and every position I held was valuable education for me. It was valuable both because of the work involved and in the learning it provided me.

I support a number of charitable organizations which help people regain their self-respect and of course, I support animal rescue organizations. Life has been and still is, a wonderful education; however, one must always participate in life to see any results.


14. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like to Follow? What Do You Like About Them?

I really do not have favorite blogs, but I do enjoy more philosophical blogs as they are thought provoking. Dog related blogs are interesting simply because I can relate to the topics presented. Any post I read that promotes a positive mental attitude maintains my attention. In a world which seems to celebrate negativity, we need as many positive vibes as possible!


15. Here is a Piece From Colin’s Blog, One of His Favorite Poetic Verse Posts:

“Skeeta’s Legacy”

By Colin Choppell

*****

Skeeta was a Siamese cat

Of distinction so we thought

She was rather unlike her breed

Friendly and quite large

I had known a few Siamese

But none had traits like these

*****

She would ride in our car

On top of the front seats

Swaying whenever I braked

Forwards and backwards

Sideways on the turns

We would laugh until we ached

*****

Then one day she clearly had changed

Her clean toilet habits had gone

Something was wrong we were sure

She used to be meticulously clean

A test revealed leukemia

With no treatment. No cure

*****

After living with us

For only three months

Dearest Skeeta was put to sleep

But she left her mark

Indelibly on my heart

With memories that I would keep

*****

She went to a better place

To join her kind and be without pain

Where cats are happy and free

To be as I’d want her to be

But Skeeta left a legacy behind

Unbeknownst at the time to me

*****

Many years later when Ray moved in

He tested positive for heart worm

After only three months in our home

What were our options? What to do?

A very serious condition

And he could not fight it alone

*****

We could return him, put him to sleep

Or do nothing which would eventually kill him

What would make the most sense?

For such a short and unhappy life

An expensive course of treatment

Could we justify the expense?

*****

The treatment he may not survive

But shouldn’t we at least try?

For perhaps survive he would

Shouldn’t we give him a chance?

A chance for his life to fulfill?

To live out his life being loved?

*****

Euthanizing would give him peace

Not 3 years old with an unknown past

His early life seemed hard and alone

Surely a dog has a right

To fight for his life

In a warm and caring home?

*****

To return him to the shelter

Raised problems of another sort

Who would adopt a very sick Ray?

Who would want his vet bills?

Who would open their home?

Who would invite him to stay?

*****

During these dilemmas I heard a voice

Reminding me of Skeeta long ago

With no hope of a cure in sight

How she was put down

Her future sealed by a disease

That cheated her out of her life

*****

But this time was different

Ray did have a chance

If treatment started right away

The decision just had to be made

And then hope for the time

When once again he could play

*****

Ray will never know

What influenced his future

Or how it came to be

That a cat, of all creatures,

May have saved his life

That was Skeeta’s legacy.


16. Additional Posts:


Thanks so much to Colin for sharing with us his book, poetry, love for Ray, and his experience in life and writing. I loved discovering he both searches inside himself to find the right answers and also engages with the world to learn and discover the things he needs to know. His love of learning and passion for volunteering is something we can all aspire to.


If you would like to be featured as a writer and blogger in my bi-weekly interview series please reach-out to me on my contact page. Thanks for reading and see you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Black Cat Blue Sea Award #awards 


Thanks to Miriam Hurdle from The Showers of Blessing for nominating me for this award. Please check-out her lovely blog! 


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RULES:

1. Thank the nominator who nominated you.


2. Answer 3 questions asked by the nominator.

3. Nominate 8 fellow bloggers (were doing 3). 

4. Ask 3 questions to the nominees

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Three Questions From Miriam: 

1. What is your most memorable moment?

I think different moments are memorable at certain times. I think the one which sticks out most was the second last time I saw my Grandpa E. He grabbed my hand as I hugged him and asked if he still had a little girl to sit on his lap. He was gripping my hand tightly and suddenly, I remembered being a girl of three-years old sitting on my Grandpa’s lap as he drove his tractor to mow the grass: 

He told me, “Someday Grandpa won’t have a little girl,to sit on his lap.” I smiled at him. I remember wanting to make him smile. Grandpa was serious. I told him, “You’ll always have a little girl to sit on your lap.” I remember the brightest smile on his face. 

And as he lay dying I repeated that line from long ago to him. He dropped my hand and smiled. The effort grasping my hand had worn him out. 

2.When was your last time of having tears of joy?

I don’t recall honestly. Maybe when the Oilers made the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. But that was a long time ago. 

3. What do you like the best about blogging?

Sharing my writing. It relaxes me and allows me to have a creative outlet. I like interacting with other bloggers and seeing my writing and others writing improve over time. 

——–

My Three Questions:

1. Did you ever have a favourite pet growing up or later on? 

2. Do you blog to write or write to blog, or do you have some other purpose for blogging? 

3. What’s your favourite colour and why? 

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Nominees: 

1. Louise – StoryTellers Abode

2. Sandra – What Sandra Thinks

3. Michael

———

If you want to participate please do. If not it’s all good.

———

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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.


27.How Was Last Night For You: A Stranger on an Unknown Beach


Please read Chapter 26 here.

Chapter 27. A Stranger on an Unknown Beach.

He was happy and content, floating amidst graduations of colour. He had never felt such tranquility in life.

He was awake suddenly and strolling on a picturesque beach. White sand almost burned his feet but he buried his toes down into the sand, and his feet cooled.

Gazing down at himself he saw he was only wearing swim trunks and a white T-Shirt. Sunglasses adorned his eyes and he knew it was his favourite pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses he broke some time ago he remembered. How odd they were in one piece now.

He languidly walked through the surf on the beach. Was he on vacation? He couldn’t recall. He didn’t even know what he was named. It was slipping his mind. How could he not know his own identity?

Sleep had held him in her vivid colours and luminescence for ages. His mind was foggy and he had forgotten details of his life he thought he should know.

In his mind, he kept seeing her . . . Nina. His beautiful blond haired girl smiling with pretty pink lips. He knew Nina had helped him break his curse because he loved her. He hadn’t loved anyone as much he loved her, ever.

Wait, he had been cursed? He couldn’t recall why.

But he pictured beautiful Nina in a pink bikini and grinned. He wished she was here so they could be alone and he could sip Corona and talk with her.

He’d convince her to go into one of the two cabanas where he could touch her smooth creamy skin. He’d remove the pink bikini that was the same shade of pink of the heels she worn when they first met… How had they met?

He sighed, lonely at the thought of not being able to be with Nina. He was by himself here on a fabulous beach which stretched for miles either way.

There was a cottage up some stone steps where he had been living,  but other than this cottage, and the cabanas, there were no other dwellings as far as he could see.

Fully awake and lucid (he believed), he thought of Nina. He knew had a family besides her too. Their faces were blurred images in his mind.

He recalled two rambunctious little boys laughing with him as he played with them and their construction trucks in the sand. His nephews . . .and that led him to who they looked like — Jasper his older brother. He had a younger brother too — Jordan.

She had given Jordan her soul.MHe didn’t know why she had done it or how he knew since he had been lost in colour and light then. But he could feel a darkness, a shadow when he thought of her.

Yes, she had cursed him. She had separated him from Nina. He hated her.

He knew in the end, the lake had swallowed her corpse and dying she hadn’t been darkness or light. She had been both.

So much did not make sense to him he thought struggling to think. Sitting down on a stained Adirondack chair, he leaned back, squinting into the sunlight in his sunglasses. The sun was incredibly bright. He was sweating in the heat. Could this be Mexico? The Carribean?

Not too far away from him he noticed an older man walking barefoot through the sand towards him. The man had a grey straggly beard and the man’s gate was self-assured.

How how had he not seen the man coming in the distance? He stood, a tad frightened at the thought of someone else being here where it felt he had been alone a long time.

He faced the man as he stopped at the steps and the man said: “John? Is that you? You’ve haven’t been this healthy in years. You’re well rested and I believe you’re bored of paradise.”

“I’m John?”

“Yes, you should’ve remembered your own name by now Mr. Eric. You’ve remembered Nina.” John flushed unaware the man had been privy to his inner thoughts.

“I don’t know you,” John said, his name and identity rushing back to him in torrents of thought.

“I need to see if Nina is okay. I need to check on Jordan. She did something to him. Talise or Tia, whatever or whoever she is, she put a ring on Jordan, one he can’t take off.”

“It’s an emerald with a silver band, and the emerald colour matches Talise’s eyes. Beneath the emerald her soul floats. It’s dangerous, why did she put a ring, her soul on Jordan?” John asked afraid for his brother.

“Good questions John,” the man said walking up the steps. He came up to John and shook John’s hand which John shook back without thinking.

“You have a good hand shake,” John told the man. “It doesn’t fit with the rest of you . . . You look as if you’re . . .weathered. You’ve been through tough times I think. It appears as if you live on the streets because your clothes are dirty and worn.”

“No offence, they haven’t been washed in a long time, and you need… you need a shower man.” John peered guilty at the homeless man, ashamed of what he had said.

The homeless watched him closely, his face expressionless in creases and wrinkles of acquired wisdom. Suddenly, the man smiled and let out a boisterous laugh, his deep creases becoming more pronounced.

“Yes, John. My appearance of late has been a homeless man. And if you’re offering me a shower and clean clothes, I gladly accept.” John smiled grateful the man wasn’t offended by his words.

“Come into the cottage and make yourself comfortable,” John remarked easily becoming a host. He peered in the fridge, “There’s trays of fruit and another of vegetables. Some steaks I can grill if you’re interested? There is even craft beer, AlleyKat,” John said grinning.”I don’t know how this all got here? Was it was here before I woke up?”

The homeless man only smiled at John and headed for John’s bedroom, “Where’s your closet John? Ah there.”

John followed the man to the master bedroom into a walk-in closet full of beach clothes and clothes one didn’t wear to work. “This is wonderful,” the man said, “Can I stock up for the road?”

“Of course,” John said. “I’m not sure any of this –the clothes, the cottage, and the food –even belong to me.”

The man smiled again at John, a curious light in his brown eyes.”After my shower we can sit and eat. We can talk all you want. Chill a few beer for me in the freezer will you?”

John regarded the man thoughtfully, trying to remember him.”Who are you?” John asked.

“I’m here to help” the man remarked, peaking back at John before he shut the bathroom door with a bang. John heard the sound of water streaming.

He wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, John was head strong and sure of himself. He had had to be with the curse from Talise, the sea witch who’d been his girlfriend in the past.

John felt enraged with Talise. She had  separated him from his loved ones with her cruel curse. He was afraid for both Nina and Jordan.

Perhaps, the homeless man could return John to his family, especially Nina. He would also like to know where exactly he was?

His mind made up, John decided if this homeless man was here to help him, then John should be a good host, as his mother had taught him.

After all, John was filled with so many questions he needed answering. There was much he didn’t know about current events since he died.

The old man was keeping many secrets, John was sure. Not to mention, John wondered if the man might be benevolent magic of some kind? He could use some magic now.

John set out the fruit and vegetables on a large coffee table on the patio. He got out the steaks to Barbecue (they were already in marinade) and placed six beers in the freezer.

John went back on the patio to warm the Barbeque up, and he waited for homeless man to emerge.


 

A couple of hours later, John was sitting on the patio having finished his dinner and two icy   beers. The homeless man could really put his food away and he’d had four beers as well.

“Are you hungry still? There’s extra steaks in the fridge I could bring out to Barbecue if you like? And there’s some lemon cake?”

The homeless man patted his belly, “I think I’m full now John, but thank you. By the way, you can call me Norman.” John nodded teeming with questions.

“Alright, Norman. You told me you were here to help? I thought you might be able to answer my questions such as why I’m here when I’m supposed to be dead? And who are you?” John asked.

Norman peered at John curiously. “You don’t know then? You haven’t figured it out? You’re not dead John. You’re in-between life and death, between the spaces between spaces so to speak.” John was even more confused.

“So, is the beach and cottage like purgatory? Where’s my body at if it’s not dead?”

“Your body is here and you’re not in purgatory. You’re not Catholic John, you’re Anglican,” laughed Norman.

“As for me, I’m here to help you and Nina. It’s my job, helping certain people in difficult situations. I know you want to go home, but there are some things we need to discuss first.”

“Rianne would know who I am,” Norman said.” She went to buy Chinese food and Talise’s bewitched boyfriend Malcolm, knocked her head against the wall and Rianne passed out. Which, is the reason Nina was alone when Talise kidnapped and bewitched her.” Norman explained.

“I woke Rianne up and made sure she was okay, so she could go back to Nina’s condo and call Jasper who called Jordan, to come help you and Nina.”

“They decided to bring your sailboat out at night, even though it’s impossible to see in the dark. It was windy at least. I helped them find you and they would have never seen you if I hadn’t been there.” Norman said.

“How could you help them on the Sirene at night?” John wondered and Norman smiled secretively.

“I whispered in Jordan’s ear as he sailed the boat. My form isn’t always a homeless man or a human. Sometimes I’m an extra push in someone’s mind to get them moving. Or a whisper their ear such as I was with Jordan.”

“You’re magic?” John asked, trying to understand Norman.

“Magic is as sufficient a word as any.”

“So what are you? A wizard?” John questioned and Norman laughed again.

“I’m here to help and I’m on your side,” Norman said.

John realized Norman was providing him with the only explanation he would receive. John changed his line of questioning. “I’m worried about Nina and my family. How long have I been gone?”

Norman appeared to be thinking. “You’ve been gone four-months now, nearly more. Nina she doesn’t give up hope. She convinced your family to hold the funeral off for months. She believes in her heart you’re out there somewhere. She’s right you’re here.”

“I need to get back to her. Has my family had my funeral?”

“You’re funeral is tomorrow, Saturday. Nina doesn’t think your dead, she’s only attending out of respect for your family.”

“Your nephews, Sam and Eric, don’t know you’re gone yet. You should probably get back there soon if you don’t want to break too many hearts more then you already have.” Norman said thoughtfully.

“Ok how?”

“In time,” Norman said giving John another secretive smile. His brown eyes glimmered with knowledge. “You wanted to know about Jordan and the ring Talise put on him with her soul inside?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do I help Jordan get rid of the ring?” John asked desperate.

“You can’t help Jordan, John.” Norman replied. “The ring and Talise’s soul is Jordan’s path to travel down. Just as you’ve have your pathway and responsibility regarding Nina, now Talise is Jordan’s responsibility.”

“But why?” John argued, “Isn’t Talise dead and gone. She’s evil! Just because she did the right thing by me and Nina in the end, doesn’t mean she isn’t still malovelent, does it?”

“Her soul was still in Jordan’s ring last time I checked. Talise chose Jordan. In the end, she saw something in him, she never saw in you. It was something like what she found in Ethan. But closer to what you and Nina had in each other when you first met.” Norman explained.

“She’s not gone?” John said afraid.

“No John. But Talise isn’t a sea witch anymore. A mermaid yes, but with no magical abilities. She gave them up. Talise is redeemable.”

“Are you kidding me?” John yelled.

“Don’t worry about it. You can advise your brother with her but Talise is his problem in the end. Let it go.” John was incensed but a feeling of calm washed over him as he regarded Norman. How did Norman do that?

“Why do you want to go home John. Beyond your family and being with Nina, why do you think you should be alive?”

John gasped. “I didn’t expect that question. I . . . It’s not fair. Curses are supposed to work out if you break them. They shouldn’t end in death. Talise cursed me, she told me I would have to sacrifice myself for the woman I loved, and I did.”

Norman nodded, urging John to continue. “Nina helped me, she loves me.Together we broke my curse so terrible events would stop occurring around me each day.”

” I should get to be with Nina, raise a family with her, be with my parents and brothers, and grow my business. If I die, it’s not fair. The curse was a lie because spells which are broken end happily,” John argued vehemently.

Norman peered at John from his seat around the patio table, the sun was beginning to set.”That’s not real life John, you know that. What you believe is some Disney fairytale and real life isn’t Disney believe me, I know. Do you think there would be homeless men in a world where everything was fair?” John starred at Norman confused.

“It’s not about life being fair. Or curses having a happy result.”

John stared at his hands at loss for words. “What’s life about then?” He asked feeling angry and betrayed.

“I’m glad you asked,” Norman said, brown eyes gleaming.

Please Read Chapter 28 here.


 

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Quatrain – ” Not Empty; Complete”


Quatrain Pattern: abab abba ccdc dddd

—– 

wwwimgur.com
 

——

Some nights I’m always broken.

I try to pick-up the pieces,

Motions occur unspoken. 

I only shatter more, unceaseless.

—– 

Finding the words, then I spoke. 

Asleep nightmares gave no peace,

My puzzle has no fitting piece

Regretfully, I’m feeling choked.

—–

Water rising to my aching throat,

Sipping the liquid as I float,

The more I drink, I may not —

Drown; perhaps, I’ll find a life boat.

—–

Questions I ask, answers I know not,

Seeking the knowledge, mind don’t rot.

Functioning dot to dot,

Puzzled girl, completeness she sought. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award


  

——
Thanks to Joy Pixley of Tales from Eneana for nominating me for the award.

——-

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
  • Answer the 10 questions given to you.
  • Pass the award on to ‘N’ (as many as you want) other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Give your nominees 10 of your own questions to answer.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog.

———-

Questions:

1. What are you trying to accomplish with your blog? Or put another way, what are you hoping others will get out of it, or that you will get out of it?

The original purpose of my blog was to improve my writing skills. I still think that is an important goal in my blog but I’m also trying to develop writing pieces – even just ideas or beginnings of — writing pieces to submit to literary magazines/contests and for a masters in Creative Writing in 2017. I also think a purpose of my blog is to share writing other people can read and enjoy and to be a community thing where people read my writing and I’m able to read there’s and we can share insights. We develope a lot from what we learn from other people and their ideas and that has certainly been the case with me. I have had many great mentors on WordPress.

How do you deal with the inevitable frustrations of blogging, like posting something you worked really hard on and getting little response? (It’s okay to admit if crying is involved; we’d understand.)

Honestly, it is difficult to predict why people like certain pieces and not others. I’m always surprised when a piece I spent five minutes on and because it was only an emotional outpouring, I receive a lot of likes and comments. I think you have to hook the reader, you also have to be willing to put yourself out there emotionally because people respond to that. Also, commenting on other blogs and reading other’s work opens up new doors and helps you to connect with other people who maybe interested in pieces other bloggers aren’t. It really just depends on the day too. Sometimes people don’t have time to read a long piece but a short piece only takes a few minutes to read.

What is one way that someone has been especially supportive about your blog and/or your writing more generally?

– My parents are pretty supportive of my writing in general and my wanting to get a MFA in Creative writing. I don’t know how much of my blog they read. My friends are good and often read a post every now and then. A great deal of support comes from the blogger community, especially when someone says they like my blog and my writing and are happy to have found it. Also, I have had great mentors as I’ve said in the blogging community – Joyroses, PJ, Clcouch, Jacqueline, to name a few.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you first started your blog?

I wish I knew how important it was to read and respond to other people’s blogs. I have actually been going at this for four-years and the more time I’m into it, the better response from others I receive. Two-days ago I had the most likes ever. Even though it is a long process somedays, I firmly believe that giving people positive support in their blogging and networking, using social media makes a huge difference. 

How do you find or make or schedule time to write for your blog? How well is that working for you?

Honestly, I probably spend too much time blogging between writing pieces and commenting but I’m on disability, I have time. I’m building myself as a writer and trying to get my name and work out there, so it is somewhat like a career a I do half-time. Writing is what I want to do with my life, so you have to put in the work and effort.

Everyone procrastinates at least once in a while. What’s a guilty pleasure that you indulge in when you’re supposed to be working?

Shopping sometimes. Or just watching movies or TV shows I like that I’m not caught up on. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working or writing? Do any of your hobbies, or your occupation, feed back into your writing?

I enjoy reading a lot. I can spend days just reading if I let myself. I go for walks. The weather has been nice so it’s been great getting down into the park by my home. I do yoga, go on Netflix, watch TV episodes I missed, adult colouring, and drawing in general. I love fashion/makeup so I spend time looking at Magazines, on Pinterest,, YouTube watching how to videos etc. Love watching hockey and going out with some friends. I often take courses too, not at the moment though. All this helps my blog. It is new experiences to write about and new ideas etc…

Which holiday or celebration (annual or otherwise) in the country where you live do you enjoy the most?

Christmas without a doubt. I love finding the perfect gift for everyone and I like our family traditions and the delicious food. I like being able to celebrate with friends too and seeing people I don’t always see often. I enjoy wine and friends this time of year especially.

Since I love food, I have to include it here: Tell us a story about one of your favorite foods, like a special time that you made it, or when you first had it, or just describe what you love about it.

My Dad, before he had to become Gluton free, he used to make the most delicious homemade apple pies. They were so scrumpious. Probably bad for you but oh well. At the time I could work out lots so it wasn’t an issue.

Tell us a story about someone who told you (or implied) that you couldn’t do something because you were a girl/woman, and how you responded.

i can’t think of one off hand. Except if you are a girl, their is a lot of pressure around my age to meet a guy and get married and have kids. It’s a societal thing. Because of my health issues I don’t know if I can handle kids. People don’t get that. And guys can be really dumb these days, they think because you chatted with them a bit or went for a coffee, now you should naturally sleep with them. 

——

Nominations

Sonya at 100 Words or Less.

Marie at Doodles and Scribbles

SWritings

Wandering Soul

Jennifer Terry at The Things I Yell
——

Questions:

Same as the ones asked to me above

——–

Poem: Etheree – “Close.” 


  
——–

So

I go,

And I try,

Understanding,

You won’t give me up,

I’m an addiction — drugs,

Because I deflect questions,

You’ll return, again asking me,

To join in your slumber, these adult games,

To play until twilight and let love,

Breathe life into my hallow lungs, seduce.

—–

These twists and turns we tumble down, in a place,

You’d never remain if you only said,

Join me for a bite, break bread — taste,

Swallow, glasses of Malbec,

Wine with a bite, just right;

Dinner, and a walk.

Conversation.

Know me well

Before,

Bed.

—–

Few

Of You,

Know how to,

Liberate girls,

From thoughts that burn,

Making a woman’s mind,

A confusing place to be,

Relaxation and some talk,

Cease, winding of the wheels spinning; laugh.

Slow the pace, be merciful gent,

Appreciating, discovering, 

Not only for bodies, but minds must mingle well.

—–

Luxuriate in breathing in her soul, herself.

Listen well and inform about yourself,

Slide into stolen glances lost,

Powerful bonds caught, connect you.

Lips licked before a kiss sought,

Arms at length hold fast,

Minds connect so,

Enthralling,

Remain,

Close

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poem: “The Best People Are Mad.”


Prompt:

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.
  
_______

I think if you looked around you and plucked the thoughts out of the head of everyone that surrounds you,

You would be scared to find out what they think. You might think: ” But I don’t want go among mad people.”

And I would reply: “Oh you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” Your face is turning red now. You don’t believe what I say. 

“How do you know I’m mad?” You may ask me. And I would laugh until the tears streamed down my face at such questions from a child.

“You must be [mad]. Or you wouldn’t have come here.” It’s my best reply. It doesn’t give the answers you desire but I’m in no mood for your questions now. 

You may wonder where here is. Well a lot of people wonder about that. Yet here they are infront of me asking me if they’re mad. Of course, you’re mad. 

But I have an excellent answer to your question when you ask me a second time: “Have I gone mad?”I would tell you,” I’m afraid so. But let me tell you something. All the best people are.”

So if you’re still thinking about all the thoughts in all the minds around you. I suggest you stop and if you are a mind reader, only read the minds of someone who is mad. They are the only ones who truly understand.

It takes a little madness to truly comprehend. That life can be so fun and there are possibilities everywhere. Madness is a quality that I seek in everybody. Call it genius, eccentricity, craziness, or call it creativity. I call it madness. And it is fantastic! 

(Quotes from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, on GoodReads.)

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.