100 Word Wednesdays, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Food/Recipes, My Thoughts, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: The Beginning of Us #flashfiction #100WordWednesday #amwriting 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday. 

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Credit: Zachary Staines

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Hungry! Need food. Opening the fridge door I notice the shelves are empty. I sigh agitated, but leave my apartment, renting one of the bicycles nearby. I’ve half of a grocery list on my phone at least.

Walking inside the store I wrench on a cart out and begin shopping for fruit.  I mutter to myself checking off the items on my grocery list and adding others. 

“Ouch,” I hear, “Nice aim.” 

I gaze up from my phone. Crinkled azure eyes, mussed brown hair, and a killer smile greet me. I blush when I notice he’s checking me out, rubbing his injured shin. 

He holds out his hand while standing up. “I’m Ryan. Nice to meet you.” 

I shake his hand. “Sherise. Sorry, about your leg.” 

“Oh, I’ll live,” he grins. “Do you want some company? I’ve just got to pay for the milk. Wait here.”

“You don’t have to, if you don’t want.” 

A grin with crinkled eyes. “I want to.” 

Five minutes later Ryan is back, pushing the cart. He makes jokes as I fill it with my grocery items. He insists on driving me home, placing my rented bike in the back of his SUV. 

I smile now thinking back. That day had been the beginning of us. 
——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Beauty, Fashion, My Thoughts, Nonfiction

Fall Fashion Part One – September 2017: Dresses and Jumpsuits #fashion #shopping #beauty


Good Afternoon! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fashion piece so every couple of days I’m going to provide my picks from a certain categories in ladies fall Fashion. 

I liked too many clothing, shoes, and accessories to put everything in one or two blogs posts or to put all pictures on one mood board. I have tried to have a variety of price points, to some degree, as well. 

If I have time I’ll try to do some men’s fashion after the ladies! Enjoy! 

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Dresses and Jumpsuits — (left to right):

*****

1. Zara.com – Stripped Jumpsuit with Ruffles – $69.90 CAN

2. Bananarepublic.ca — Bi-stretch Racer- Neck Sheath Dress – $170.00 CAN 

*NOTE: in the US and Canada, Banana Republic often has sales. There is pretty much a sale going on 75 percent of the time. Sale prices range from 30 percent off to 40 percent off. Sometimes at Christmas are Black Friday items are 50 off. 

3. ModCloth.com – Joyous Journey Midi Dress – $59.99 US

4. Zara.com – Lace Jumpsuit Dress – $69.90 CAN

5. ModCloth.com – Ruffled Pin Up Sheath Dress – $84.99 US

6. ModCloth.com – Collective Effortless A-Line Midi Dress  – $74.99 US

7.  Bananarepublic.ca – Stripe Strappy Handkerchief Hem Fit-and-Flare Dress – $160.00 CAN

8. Zara.com – Jumpsuit with Faux Pearls in Burgundy – $89.90 CAN

9.  Gapcanada.ca – Denim Utility Jump Suit – $79.00 CAN

*NOTEThe Gap also has awesome sales most of the time from 30 percent off to 60 percent of when they’re clearing. 

10. Zara.com – Short  Jumpsuit – $49.90 CAN

11. Zara.com – Jumpsuit with Lace and Ruffles – $69.90 CAN

12. Zara.com – Flowing Polka-a-Dot Jumpsuit – $69.90 CAN

13. ModCloth.com – Chiffon Handkerchief Midi Dress in Black – $79.99 US

14. ModCloth.com – Bugle Joy Midi Skirt in Scrarlet – $59.99 US

15. Gapcanada.com – Stripe Bell Shirt Dress – $89.95 CAN 

16. Zara.com –  Jumpsuit with Trim Detail – $69.90 CAN 

17. Zara.com – Dress with Ruffled Lace Trim Sleeves – $49.90 CAN

*****

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©Mandibell16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Beauty, Fashion, Fiction, Food/Recipes, Health, Lune - 5,3,5 or 5 words, 3 words, 5 words, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weaver: Poem – Lunes – “A Day Shopping” #taleweavers #poetry #shopping #amwriting 


Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting August 26, 2017 Tale Weaver prompt on shopping

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Shopping Loudge Unsplash
Credit: Loudge via Unsplash

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Much is proffered buying, selling —

Various types clothing, 

Makeup, perfume, jewelry, and scarves.

——-

If the price’s too rich, 

We’ll window shop, 

Try on Channel, Dior, anyways. 

——-

Perhaps we’ll wait until they’re —

Sales in stores, 

We can afford buying from.

——–

Buy what we love quality and —

Better priced, classic —

Natural fabrics, Aubrey Hepburn styles. 

—–

Maybe we’ll test perfumes floral, 

On papers, wrists, 

Apply thirty facial highlighters glimmering.

—–

Perhaps we’ll find the right —

Shade, skintone for —

Foundation that’s wonderful, covers perfectly. 

——

Maybe we’ll smother ourselves in —

Silk scarves with —

Rainbow colours; every size, shape. 

—-

Trying on high heels our —

Legs appearing long, 

Gorgeous, aching feet all night. 

—–

What about something delicate, silken —

To sleep in;

Matching five-inch Jimmy Choos. 

—–

Silk blue sweaters, wool coats, 

Little black dresses —

Hugging curves; cotton-stretch v-necks,

——-

Knee-high leather boots winter’s —

Calling; gold sandals —

For summer’s heat, beach vacation. 

——

Rose-gold necklaces polished, tangled, 

Pearls rings gleaming; 

Nail polish, pink blush, lipsticks —

—-

Matte or moisturizing, sparkling, holographed. 

Moisturizer, anti-aging —

Serums with Retinol, Vitamin whatever. 

—–

How about we stop driving —

Home; explore the —

Market, pet the dogs, purchase —

—–

Crisp baby carrots, fresh corn.

Peaches and cherries; 

Blushing nectarines, just-picked raspberries. 

—–

Homemade wine, high alcohol content —

Breath in reds, 

Touch of tartness, sweet white —

—-

Rieslings; homemade tequila or moonshine, 

Slushy strawberry margaritas. 

Apple-pies warm, mince-meat pie —

—–

For Dad; with shortbread that —

Melts slowly on,

Our tongue, gourmet chocolate gelato. 

—–

Dog treats for ‘good dogs,’ 

Organic peanut butter —

Grandma’s homemade raspberry jelly too. 

——

How about honey straight from —

Bee hives dripping, 

Into hot tea at night.

——-

They’re various heavenly delights,

But only so —

Much money in our pockets. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Published Work, Religion/Morality

Update Fall/Winter: All Is Well, Though Never Easy #amwriting #nonfiction 


It’s been a long while since I’ve given an sort of personal update. Part of the reason is there are somethings I can’t talk about at the moment. The other part has been life has felt incredibly busy and trying to keep up with everything on the reduced schedule I have has been a bit challenging. 

After an initial and yearly week or two dealing with SAD and becoming used to less light, I feel more energy again. Often I find when it comes to blogging, I have so many blogs to follow now, commenting daily is difficult. So you’ve probably noticed I do this less. I’m sorry I can’t keep up, but I’ve found in the last while, I need to maintain a balance in life or become overwhelmed. 

So I’ve been trying to keep up with my usual prompts and also for a couple of months in October and November I was doing daily poetry prompts for OctPoWriMo and November Notes. But I felt at least in poetry, my writing has been improving as has my knowledge of poetry forms. I’ve been so happy to be a guest blogger on Look Around, being able to continually collaborate with Spill Words Magazine Online, having work published on SickLit Magazine and have the possibility of poetry or short fiction pieces being published on a few other sites and/or magazines. 

Credit: http://www.spillwords.com – image used for my poem by this name!

Fiction is something I continue working on through flash fiction and other prompts. A larger story has developed from a piece called Teegan’s Potion. I have an idea this might develop into something much bigger, a longer short story or a novel. I would like to begin planning it out more. 

However, the other part of me is still working on my original novel on WattPad, doing a second draft. Lately, I’ve done about three more chapters and am hoping to put serious work into the novel throughout the winter semester. You can find my completed second draft chapters for How Was Last Night on Wattpad HERE. Events have changed and moved around from the first draft. Lately, I’ve only been able to do about three chapters, but I’m hoping to go through the remaining chapters, rewrite, and edit, and have one up each week. 

Sorry, I cannot promise this but I’m going to try to do this. Please let me know on this post or on Wattpad what you like and don’t like, or if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I’ve completed up to new chapter 12 in second draft. Also playing around with potential covers for this point in my writing. It’s a paranormal romance, so I’m unsure whether I want the cover more mysterious or more of a typical romance cover. What do you think? 

I was most disappointed not to have made it into the online MFA in Creative Writing I applied for for September 2017. My plan is to try applying one more time and to continue publishing pieces of poetry and short fiction until I’m in or not.

 I’m also looking at taking a couple of courses in the certificate program at U if Toronto. This way, I have more writing courses and hopefully more recent great marks, for my Academic CV. I’ll be able to see how my second application for the MFA goes next October. If I don’t get in then, I can work on completing the certificate. I’m not sure if I would try three-years. I’m just taking it day by day right now.


The other part of my life has been dealing with not having money from my disability company anymore. I’m coping with this, but it could take a year to come to a mind of resolution. In between if I could make the $300.00 a month I can make having AISH and CPP disability in Alberta, Canada, I would be most happy. I’m applying for different writing and blogging jobs on a freelance sight called www.upwork.com. They do take a small percentage, but it’s worth it if you can connect with good clients. 

I’ve had job offers so far but had to refuse because I cannot write and research full time. Not to mention, some of the people posting jobs have little clue how long writing up an article or blog from 300 to 1000 words takes, especially with research. They want articles fast and yet they want them to be perfect, free of errors. Some of them want this for only $10.00 an article – not even minimum wage per hour where I’m from. I’m hoping to find some good jobs on Upwork to earn extra money and gain some job experience part time and/or casually. I’m leaning more to the casual end I think, part time would honestly be too much. 

It would help me pay for a course in spring and fall and maybe a vacation. One of my bestest of best friend’s wedding is in Cuba. I was planning to before my insurance revoked my disability. But this is a long ways away, so I’m praying it might work out that I could be there and have a little vacation too. As of now, it’s not appearing hopeful.

Credit: http://www.melia.com

My Christmas shopping is finished. I’ve been baking cookies and squares. The best cookies are from this Neiman Marcus oatmeal cookie recipe. You grind the oats into flour in your blender. The cookie is soft and chewy and uses both white flour and the oat flour. I put in lots of chocolate chips and crushed pecans. I’ve become an expert at baking these and my whole family is addicted to them.

Apparently, I haven’t baked them in a while. One batch is about five dozen cookies. One dozen I gave to my brother, and the other four dozen have been disappearing from the freezer at an alarming rate. Let me know if you want the recipe, I can send it to you. I will be making another batch when I replenish the chocolate chip supply. 

Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

I’ve been trying to keep busy, seeing friends whenever I’m able. My one BFF and I went to a Paint Nite event, painting penguins on wine glasses. At home you bake them in your stove so they are useable. It’s a cute craft, but I think the wine glasses themselves would have been nice with some wine in them 🙂 Hanging out with S again this Saturday for drinks a the Art Gallery restaurant and a naughty Christmas show at the Citadel Theatre. Also, always planning for the future.
Credit: Amanda Eifert

I finally found my perfect tattoo and am trying to arrange a consultation with the artist my hairdresser and friend Tess, suggested. It’s a peacock feather but very beautiful. Bold enough in black but also with shades of blue and maybe purple. So excited for this, even though it will hurt! It’s not this whole tattoo, just the peacock feather part. See below:

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Have a blessed Christmas everyone! Remember the true meaning of Christmas and the hope a babe in a manger named Jesus became for all mankind. 
Credit: Lamb and Lion Ministries – Prophetic Facts – About the Nativity

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Event, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Fiction – “A Better Life” #fiction #amwriting #writing #vegas


This past week’s photo challenge was hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Credit: Nekneeraj

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The lights assault my eyes, as they blur past me. Vegas is a beautiful city at night. I had had a table with my friends at the club with bottle service. Slowly, I remember us drinking the vodka shot by shot until the girls had enough.  

 “Were done, I’m already too drunk. I want to be able to shop tomorrow afternoon,” Megan said and her friend Kelly nodded in agreement. 

The other guys and I laughed and jeered, egging the girls on to do one more shot. They refused and went off to dance. After an hour or so passed, I saw them leave the club, removing their heels on the way. 

I noticed my good friend Ryan had passed-out on the cushioned bench around the table, parallel to me. I continued drinking, sipping my vodka shots, determined to finish the little vodka left in the bottom of the bottle. It was expensive after all to get bottle service. 

A concerned bouncer who had been watching me with deep dark eyes, set two glasses of water down in front of me. “Sir, you need to drink both these glasses,” he said. 

“Umm, no. I want more vodka. I’ll pay for another bottle,” I slurred. 

The bouncer shook his head, “You need to drink these glasses now sir. I don’t want you to get alcohol poisoning and die in my club.” 

I sighed grabbing both glasses, I downed them one at a time.”Gees, I was thirsty,” I told the bouncer.

 “I’m calling you and your friend a cab at the back door entrance,” he said nodding at Ryan. ” I don’t have to, I could just throw you out. But, I get this feeling you’re running from something, trying to drink it away. So tonight, I’ll be nice,” the bouncer said. “I get it man, but you’re a grown-up and even in Vegas, you have to have limits.” 

Another bouncer came to aid the first bouncer, guide us out to the cab. I leaned on the first bouncer’s shoulder and the other guy half-carried Ryan out the door. 

The cab driver looked nervous, “I don’t want anyone throwing-up in here,” he announced. But the bouncers ignored him. 

“Where is your hotel?” The first bouncer asked me.

I had to think a moment, everything was such a blur and it was difficult to think. I was so tired and mad at her. Why’d she cheat on me after ten-years marriage? Why’d she leave me for him?

“Um, we’re at Caesars,” I stammered, then reached into my pocket, pulling out a wad of bills; I tried my best to count out $100.00 exactly. I gave it the cab driver. He nodded, “okay where too?” The bouncers shut the cab doors and the driver took off down the Las Vegas strip.

The lights of Las Vegas were beautiful, brilliant, and blurred. But they also made me nauseous. I closed my heavy lids, and opened them as I tried not to sleep. But I couldn’t stop myself and I fell asleep quickly. 

——

Ryan was shaking me. “Come on Blaine, wake up. You’re 6’4″ and two-hundred-some pounds, I can’t lift you alone. You need to help me.” 

I blinked in the bright lights at the entrance to Caesars guest reception. It would take us forever to find our rooms because the hotel was so huge and neither of us were well enough to remember where our room was specifically. 

Ryan’s hands shook and his face was pale white. He ran and threw-up in a garbage can. He apologized five-minutes later to a man near by helping guests at the front entrance and gave him a twenty, and thinking this man would have to clean the garbage can up. 

I was slowly, stepping out of the car, but my legs nearly collapsed and I groaned in frustration. I reached into my wallet and pulled out eighty-dollars. I could count money now at least, though my head felt like someone was hammering my temples. 

“Here,” I said to a couple of men upfront working for Caesars. I gave them my cash and asked,”Help us back to my room, please.” 

Two silent men grabbed the cash splitting it and they smiled at me now. “Of course sir, do you have your keycard?” I nodded, pulling it out of my pocket. I gave it to the men and they called for two other men, one whom I leaned heavily against as we made an endless journey to my room. Sometime in there, I fell asleep. 

——

It was 3:00 pm when I awoke in my hotel room. Immediately, I went and threw-up in the bathroom several times before I felt better. I took a shower and washed away the smoke and putrid smell of vodka and vomit. I called room service to put some food in my stomach and help me recover. I ordered some French toast, coffee, and orange juice –two orders –one for Ryan as well, when he awoke. 

I saw him lying on the bed and I tried to shake him awake. I thought he only needed more sleep. He wasn’t a big guy, so perhaps the vodka hit him harder than me. 

A day later, Ryan still wasn’t up and I asked my friends what we should do.

“Well, sometimes you really need to sleep it off. We’re not so young anymore, hangovers can last two-days. He’s breathing so he must be fine,” Kyle reasoned and my other friend Maison seemed to agree. We went down to the casino to play poker. 

 On the third day we asked reception to call a doctor for us. It was expensive but my friends and I were worried about Ryan. He was cold and his chest barely moved, his breathing was so shallow. 

The Doctor was tense upon inspecting Ryan three-hours later. “I’m sorry gentlemen, your friend died earlier this morning, about the time I was called to your room. If only you’d called sooner and emphasized how badly he was doing,” the Doctor chided. 

“Ryan had alcohol poisoning so badly he went into a coma. He has no heart beat and isn’t breathing as you indicated earlier. It’s tragic but I guess you’ll understand me now when I say, watch your alcoholic intake; in Vegas especially.” 

I started to cry in front of the Doctor and my friends. I didn’t know how I could tell Ryan’s family he’d passed on. He’d been the one who said we needed a boys trip to help me get out the funk of my wife cheating and divorcing me. 

I remember him saying, “Blaine you need to get out and have some fun. Come to Las Vegas with me and the guys. Forget about your problems for a while. I’ll forget about mine too,” he said. He never told me what his problems were and I never asked, I thought regretfully. 

Now my good friend Ryan was gone. I closed my eyes imagining lights blurring past me. It wasn’t only how I felt when I was drunk. It was how I felt all the time these days. As if I had no control as all the pretty lights rushed by. 

When I did have time, I made the wrong choices. The lights were my escape, but I needed to pay attention now, to move on in my life as Ryan would have wanted. I couldn’t drink the pain away. 

I vowed for Ryan, I would live my life better. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, My Thoughts, Relationship, Writing

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: A Sparse Pantry and Fridge #amwriting #flashfiction


Thank you to the lovely Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Maria – Doodles and Scribbles.

———

“Kat, are you sure you went grocery shopping? The fridge is nearly bare and there’s no meat; even the pantry is half-empty?”
Kat looked away from Jan, flipping through movies to watch on Netflix but Jan wouldn’t be ignored. 

“Well, I did go grocery shopping. I know it was my turn, but do we need all that food?” Kat said. 

“What do you mean do we need it?” Jan asked. “Our bodies need fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein. We need whole grains and items to bring for lunch and snacks. You didn’t even buy dark chocolate,” Jan remarked. “Did something happen? Did you run out of money?” 

Kat sighed, her face ashamed, “Yeah, I overspent shopping for clothes for work clothes for my internship. I didn’t mean to but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to shop for any new clothes.” 

Jan considered her friend’s admission.They were both students in the last year of their business degrees and money was tight, but she decided to forgive Kat. 

“Okay Kat. I wish you’d had more self-control, but I know you require professional clothes for work. I also realize we both need both to replace some of our worn-out clothes soon. I’ll forgive you this month and pay for the rest of the groceries.” 

“Oh thank you Jan.”

“But I have conditions: You need to buy most of the groceries for the next two months so I can do some shopping for my self for next semester. You’ll have to help me, I’ve no sense of style when it comes to professional attire.” 

Kat laughed, “Agreed I’ll pay for our groceries for two-months, after this month; the fashion advice is free.” 

Jan hugged Kat and they watched a new movie together, content with their solution. 

———-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Travel, Writing

Tale Weavers: Fiction –  “When Mom Was Taken” #amwriting #fiction #travel #taleweaver 


Thank to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this #Taleweavers photo challenge.The theme is lost in a foreign land. 

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Credit: Mara Eastern – Used with Permission.

——-

“Madam, you and your children need to come with me,” a police officer stated. He was from the police nationale. 

Mom gazed up at him and asked: “Why, what have we done? We’ve only been sightseeing here on vacation. We have our passports and travel Visas.” 

“If you come with me, right now, this will be much easier,” the officer said. I shivered at his cold impersonal accented tone.

My Mom attempted to speak but the officer squeezed her arm tightly and picking her up, deposited her in the back if his police car. 

My sisters and I peered up at the officer scared spitless. “We didn’t do anything,” I said. “I’m twelve and my two sisters are ten-years old twins. We aren’t bad kids.” 

The officer nodded at me. I could hear my Mom crying and banging her hands against the window in the police car. My sisters Paige and Monique were crying silently. 

 “What’s your name Cher?” The officer asked me. His French accent was thick when he spoke English. 

“I’m Brianne, what did my Mom do?” The officer didn’t say anything, but he nodded to one of his fellow officers.

“We need to talk to your Mom about some things for a while. This is officer Carson, he’s going to take you back to your hotel. You girls can watch movies and swim in the pool. Don’t leave and always ask Carson when you want to do something. He’ll take you for repas du soir later on,” the officer said. He smiled at me and I could tell his smile was forced. 

“But our Mom . . .” Paige and Monique whined. It was no use. Officer Carson herded us into his vehicle and drove us back to the hotel we were staying with our Mom.

We played in the pool, pretending we enjoyed it. We watched three movies on pay-per-view and then some cartoons on TV. We played on our Mom’s tablet, emailing our Uncle Reese and asking what we should do. The message always came back to Mom’s email, saying the email address was wrong, but we knew better.

At 4:00 pm Officer Carson came back from the gift shop with chips, popcorn, pop, and chocolate bars. Paige and Monique were happy to eat what they could; mom didn’t let us have much junk food, even on vacation. I had a square of delicious Belgian chocolate and almost threw-up. 

Later around 8:00 pm, Carson told us to put on nice clothes for dinner. We dined at a trendy restaurant and the food was magnifique. By this time the smell of the delicious food in the restaurant and my hunger had surpassed the twisted and nauseous feeling in my stomach. 

“My Mom, what if she can’t afford all this?” I asked Carson referring to all we’d done so far. Our family had scrounged and saved to travel to a few countries in Europe this year. Mom thought it was vital for us to have the experience traveling to see history, and other cultures. 

Officer Carson appeared thoughtful. “It’s okay Brianne. Ne tu inquites pas. We’ll take care of things until your Mom returns. I nodded. I didn’t know what else to say. 

That night we went to bed sleeping fitfully. The next morning Carson awoke us and told us we would be sightseeing today. He told us about various places we could visit and let us choose a couple of them to see. We went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We didn’t have to wait in line at all; we immediately were able to see what we wanted first. 

The four of us continued site seeing for the next week, never seeing our Mom. We always went out to dinner at a different restaurant each night to dine. Carson enjoyed eating well. 

One day, Carson even took us to H&M and some clothing stores for girls our age and let us each have one-hundred-and-fifty Euros to shop. We didn’t question Carson on this, even though it was a lot of money to us. We decided to spend eighty Euros and save the rest of the money for emergency. 

Caron seemed to know, “Vous etes des files intelligences pour economiser de l’argent. Bon les files.” He smiled at us, a rare occurence. We understood a bit of French from school and found ourselves picking it more with Carson. He brought us back to the hotel to spend the rest of the day watching movies and swimming. 

Three-weeks later our Mom returned. We cried when we saw her. I thought I’d never see her again and I gathered Paige and Monique thought the same. 

Mom appeared awful, unkept, and waif thin. She immediately went to bed, waking up in the middle of the night to shower. A wardrobe of various designer clothes and shoes was later delivered to her that week and Carson handed her a cheque for a large amount of money. My Mom’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. 

“For all your troubles Madam,” Carson told her and disappeared; we never saw him again. 

After Mom recovered for a couple of weeks, she decided we should continue to travel. A Doctor which had come to see her every two-days declared her fit and well. 

“Now that we have the money, we can travel throughout Europe and see many countries, not only three,” Mom told us. She smiled almost like her old-self and arranged for us to go everywhere we  wanted and stay in nice hotels. 

Later I thought back to this and realized Mom was running from the demons chasing her inside, from her nightmares, and her flashbacks. 

On a beach in Grenada, Spain, Mom finally said: “Girls I suppose it’s time we go home, you’ve missed a month of school already.” 

We didn’t want to leave. We were worried about or Mom. She hadn’t been the same person since the police first took her away. 

I’d given her space and only asked once or twice what happened to her. She ignored me. She wouldn’t talk to Paige or Monique either.

” I can’t tell you. That’s why we’ve so much money now Brianne,” she finally said to me.

——

Years later, I’m thirty-six and visiting my Mom. She is paging through a scrapbook of our European vacation. 

“You never said,” I began,”You never told me or anyone what happened to you in France. I know the memories give you nightmares still. What did the French police do to you Mom?” 

To my surprise she answered me. “Your Dad, you never knew him. I divorced him when you were only three-years-old and the twins one-years-old. He was a bad person, involved in things even in Europe which were awful and illegal.” A tear slipped out my Mom’s eye.

“When we came through France, they thought I was there to see your Dad. They promised they wouldn’t hurt my daughters but treat them well, if I told them everything I knew about your Dad. I told them I hadn’t seen him in almost ten-years that he was a terrible low-life, wanted across the North America.” 

“They wanted more. The police thought I had to be in contact with him. They were sure I was here to see him. For a week they tortured me, wouldn’t let me sleep, and other worse things. Eventually, they believed me and promised to let me go if I helped catch your Dad and draw him out from hiding so they could arrest him. Their plan worked, your Dad’s locked up forever,” my Mom said. 

“Mom, how could you not say anything all these years? How did you manage to travel around Europe after being . . .” 

She cut me off. “Money Brianne. Millions and millions in US funds. Enough to send my three daughters to the best universities and give you everything I couldn’t before. Enough money to wipe out the misery of that time in my life.” 

“Did it work? I asked my Mom.

She sighed tears forming, “It’s money Brianne. It makes things better and hides the truth. But in the end, the truth of what I went through is always there behind my eyes when I close them. I’m thankful Carson took care of you Brianne and Paige and Monique. He treated you well as the police promised he would. Above all, I was grateful and am grateful for that.” 

Mom closed her eyes and the tears continued to streak down her cheeks. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Friday Music Prompt, Health, Lists, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Travel, Writing

Summer Words: The Latest 


Usually, I attempt to update you guys in the blogging world, every month but I’m sure I haven’t actually done that in a few months. So, it’s summer words because well, summer is almost over and I never updated until today.

I kind of dread the end of summer as much as I love it. There is a freedom and carelessness to summer, no other season has. People relax in the deck, on the patio; they go to beaches and sometimes house boating; they visit and explore foreign places; and those who never relax stay home and sleep in, get a few things taken care of around the house, or not.

IMG_2348
http://www.thedailyroxette.com

Typically, I take a summer vacation somewhere, but I found out this year I had waited much to long to book flights using my airmiles. And the Canadian dollar was down as compared to the US dollar, so the dollar was too low to consider a trip there.

I wanted to go somewhere fresh this year. Somewhere I haven’t visited or haven’t been in a while. I have never actually visited around Vancouver and it’s been ten-years since I visited Quebec City. I feel as if those are both great options for a fall vacation.

If the dollar improved, Las Vegas is always an option, but sticking with the theme of visiting new places, I would like to go to San Francisco or Seattle. There are a few different places I’ve read blogs on or heard about, which I would enjoy seeing in those cities. Not to mention, pretty much anywhere you go, unique food and shopping are always worth the trip.

SanFran Shopping
http://www.youtube.com

I’m day dreaming of a European trip. I’ve narrowed it down to the country of Italy for now. I know the cities I wish to see. I only have to arrange everything, decide where I’m going to stay, and arrange when and which attractions I want to see — oh and there’s always the money issue too. But minor detail lol.

Because of my health, I think it would be a good idea to spend a week in each city, maybe a bit more so I have days to use to do nothing in case I need them. So, a month to two-months for a trip to Italy, and who to take with me?

Anyways, that’s future dreams. Lately, not feeling as well. All around, I feel drained. Maybe, I’m doing too much? But I don’t think so. Maybe, it’s another slump in my health? Or perhaps, I’m only having a bad week or two? The humidity in the air often makes me tired, almost sick at times. But I didn’t think it was so bad in Edmonton this summer as compared to other summers. However, I get through it because, I always do.

Venice1
http://www.aroundtheworld.com (Venice)

Summer has been spent doing a bit of shopping in July as it was my birthday month. I looked at my finances and have been trying to better arrange them, considering retirement, life insurance, and accidental death insurance. Not that I think anything bad will occur to me soon, but we don’t always know so I’m trying to be prepared as best as I can for my future and my family.

I’m into this application on my IPad called Wattpad. It’s a great way to see what other writers are writing and see the quality or lack there of, for different genres of books. I’m doing the second draft of How Was Last Night For You? on Wattpad. I’m happy with it so far and have had Yinglan’s helpful support as she also has some work on there I’m helping her proof. The newly arranged chapters of my book and the sequence of events so far is available in chapters one through nine, and you can check it out at the above link.

I had to completely redo chapter nine, so it might be a bit sketchy yet, but things are coming. The novel is developing slowly, even though I never even conceived it would get this far when I started writing a couple of years ago.

But due to the novel, and doing a being proofread of my Uncle’s historical book on his family, I’ve been hugely busy. #WordhighJuly was great and well done by our hosts Rosema and Maria; but it was also time consuming.

Moon
Unknown Source (Current Cover for my Novel)

So, I have to apologize, I haven’t been able to read and comment on as many posts as I like. In order to not overwhelm myself, I think I will have to consciously, only comment on a few of your posts, each week. I’m ecstatic to have more followers, but I don’t want to forget old friends. I feel it is necessary to comment but it takes time. I’ll work it out.

Don’t worry. But if you don’t see me, I’m off trying to get more poems and fiction published. And I’m probably, working on putting my novel together so I have a manuscript worthy of a good editor. Lately, as I mentioned, not feeling so well, prevents me from completing tasks, I would like to do as well.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before there’s a masters program I want to apply for. Lately, I’m not sure about it. It’s been a dream for the past few years, but I’m not sure about it. I like to learn, and to build my knowledge of writing. I’m not sure if that’s best done in the classroom or through real-life experience. But just the same, I’ve always wanted a Masters in English or Writing. I think creative writing most of all. Perhaps, I feel, a certificate program such as at University of Toronto online, might be less stressful?

Creative Writing Typewriter
http://www.proessaywriter.net

Fitness is a bust. Sometimes I walk, other times I don’t have it in me. I try to stretch and do a bit of yoga. But it makes me angry and upset I cannot do the cardio I need to do. I complain about this too much, I’m sorry. But I loved the adrenaline rush of exercise, like I love art, and writing. And I miss it so much. I’ve never been able to get it back even wearing myself out. And I know it’s what I need to lose weight. I’m completely confused as what to do for diet right now, probably I will go back on the herbal magic diet, as it seemed to be the diet plan which worked the best for me and the amount of exercise I could do. I’m not signing up again, only following the meal plans.

I’ve been reading a lot on Wattpad. But, it’s frustrating because the authors only update once a week if that. So, I’m reading other books again, with middles and endings, by more well known and accomplished writers. I’m excited to read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Also, I have some favourite writers, who  I would like to read up on their latest novels.

Pretty Little Liars
http://www.celebuzz.com (Main Characters of Pretty Little Liars – Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer.)

I’m addicted to Prett Little Liars on Netflix right now. It’s a better series than I anticipated. Secrets can be big and convoluted as I’m learning through each season of the show. I’ve only started season three and there are four more to go. Season seven which is on TV now I believe, or just was, is the last season. I’d be happy for Madmen Season 8 to be available on Netflix too. Also, I watch a show based of the Scream Movies once a week, but I think it’s almost done. I watch the Summer Olympics and my Eskimos playing CFL football as well.

Dory
http://www.taormina.it

There are some great festivals in Edmonton during summer. As well, it’s relaxing and fun to be put on a patio with friends and have a few drinks. I’m having a birthday brunch downtown on Sunday, as everyone was busy in July. Also, I’m hoping to get to a farmer’s market in August and to a couple of movies as I have passes. I’m thinking Finding Dory and some kind of action type film?

I’m not entirely sure of my blogging schedule come fall. But tentatively, here is what it looks like:


Sunday – Sunday Photo Fiction

Monday – Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction

Tuesday- Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer

Wednesday – Photo Prompt Fiction\Poetry (Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie)

Thursday – Three Line Tales (Once A Month – Tale Weaver’s Fairy Tale Prompt)

Friday – Music Prompt (Mind Love’s Misery’s Menagerie)/ Poet’s United Poetry Prompt

Also, Monthly – 15 quotes twice a month, and Writer Interviews every 2 weeks.


wine image
http://www.medicaldaily.com

Also, wanted to let you all know I read: Drinking a glass of red wine a day is equal to an hour of exercise. It could be false, but who am I to say so? It sounds true to me. Cheers!

 

 

 


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Awards, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Award: Epically Awesome Award #amwriting


Thank you to Paul of wwwpalfitness for nominating me for this award. I don’t do awards often but I keep getting brand new visitors to my blog from Paul’s nomination post. So, I should probably do the award. Thank you Paul it was very kind of you.

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Rules:

Display the Award in your post, mention your nominator, link back to them, answer 5 questions and nominate 5-10 people.

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Questions: 


1. What made you choose WP as your blogging platform?

I chose WordPress as a blogging platform because a friend on Facebook used WordPress and I read her blogs all the time, and enjoyed her blog’s appearance and content. I had dabbled with some other blogger sites before, but I like that the WordPress site had many themes to pick from and appeared professional. Learning to use it was also fool proof. My second choice of a blog site would be Tumblr but the Tumblr blog site is a bit simplistic. I do link my blog to Tumblr. My user name is: Mandibelle16 

2. Introduce yourself and tell us about your blog?

My name is Amanda or Mandi, whatever you wish to call me on here. I’ve been blogging for about four-years now. You can read about me on my About The Author Page here or on the right side of my blog I have another short About Me section from my Gravatar Profile. I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I began my blog to improve my writing skills and share and use my blog as a platform for a mental illness I was dealing with, and am still dealing with. 

These days, I’m more interested in writing creative fiction, poetry, and a few nonfiction pieces. I finished my first draft for my novel, last week. It’s a paranormal romance called How Was Last Night For You. Yesterday, I made sure from chapter 1 on, you can link to the next chapter at the bottom of each chapter. 

I also write a lot of flash fiction and I have been experimenting and learning new poetry forms this year. Additionally, I did NaPoWriMo in April, #Maydays prompts in May, as well as I’m finishing another round of Writing 101.

3. Are you a once in a while blogger or a daily one? I have become a daily blogger since I first started taking WordPress writing and blogging courses. Those courses helped me to develop my writing and to write something at least once a day. Usually, I think I post three times a day, but every once in a while I skip a day to work on other writing. You have to plan your writing schedule, it’s vital to being a blogger. I might be missing blogging days as I get into editing my novel in second draft.

4. Do you wish to publish and if so, what type of book? Yes, I wish to publish my novel. On my own through Amazon or with a Publisher I’m not sure yet. I’m collecting information and researching this right now. I think the novel will eventually be a series of three books all of the paranormal romance genre. 

5. What is your favorite thing to do besides write? I like to be doing something with a friend or relative. Having drinks, sharing a bottle of wine, coffee, lunch, meeting at a Pub, doing some activity such as seeing a play, or going to the spa myself on a Groupon every once in a while is fun as well.

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Nominees: 

1. Sandra of What Sandra Thinks

2. Rosema of A Reading Writer

3. Rosie of Hook Up Culture.

4. Mark of Colouring Outside The Lines

5. Eric of My Sword and Shield

6. JoyRoses of Nuggets of Gold

7. NJ of NJ Says

8. Emily of Poet Girl Em

9. Kat of Like Mercury Colliding

10. Maria of Doodles and Scribbles.

11. Christopher of CLCouch123

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Please Note: I don’t know which bloggers do blog awards and which don’t. So if you’ve the time and want to do the award, by all means do. If you don’t have time, there is no pressure, you don’t have to do the award. But please know I love all of your writing 🙂 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Fiction, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101:  Tessa’s Anecdotes Meeting Men #everydayinspiration #amwriting


Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is to write a series of anecdotes or vignettes which are defined as ” short, episodic scenes or moments that together read as variations on the same subject/story.” Therefore, each vignettes needs to have a similarity between them which ties each vignettes to the others. 

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http://www.pcwallart.com

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Tessa feels afraid. Life has become unmanageable for her to take a risk in love because she can’t calculate the damage another man could do to her. One guy Ryan, she talked to for a year and he wanted be with Tessa but she was in a relationship at the time. Tessa told Ryan, she loved her boyfriend. She only wanted to be friends with Ryan. He wasn’t interested in being friends. The thought of not talking to and seeing him anymore, made Tessa bitterly sad. 

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Tessa was single and free. It felt wonderful to not have to go out and spend her weekends at her boyfriend Ted’s place, not doing much of anything. When she was out, Tessa wanted to be doing something, not laying around all day. A nap was one thing, but sitting and watching the same news channel hours on end as Ted did, Tessa couldn’t handle it. She wanted to visit their couple friends and go to fun events on the evenings and a week night once in a while. Her now ex-boyfriend Ted always sat on the couch, eyes on the news or searching the Internet. Tessa left Ted, never looking back.

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Freedom flowed through her veins. Tessa was happy and her life was fulfilling. She was working hard each day. Doing the best she could, developing a career. But there were always men who wanted something from Tessa. She didn’t want to be mean and say: “I don’t want anything from you. You’d only mess up my life and I like my life how it is right now.” 

To say that would be too honest and being too honest can sound brash and thoughtless and get a woman labelled. Tessa didn’t want to damage her career, but often it meant putting up with men, their sexual inuendo and advances.

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Greyson is messaging Tessa again. No real conversation occurs between them. He doesn’t talk about his days or ask much about hers when they go on dates. Greyson gazes at her and says, “I like you. I like talking to you. Don’t you like me?” Tessa is tired of his games.

 She tells Greyson, “We’ve been through this. You don’t want a relationship and I do.” 

He remarks, “Let’s sleep together and see how it goes.” 

Tessa is angry, her attraction to Greyson wanes and she ceases talking to him.

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She is dating Phillip now. A new guy who keeps calling her at all times. Phillip won’t stop. He’s a stranger who somehow had her number in his contacts. Tessa recalls she hasn’t  had her new cell number for long. 

Phillip tells Tessa he is into having a relationship with her but with him too, it comes down to sex.  After they have sex he tells her, “We’ll see how things go.” He is suddenly non-committal and distant towards Tess, except when he wants to sleep with her.

Tessa is exasperated. Isn’t she valuable outside the context of sex? Isn’t there a guy who will like her for her personality too and want to get to know her!? 

Now, whenever Phillip texts or calls Tessa deletes any trace of him from her cell phone.

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Some man starts talking to Tessa outside her hair salon, grabbing her arm. She doesn’t like it when people she doesn’t know man handle her. But Tessa attempts to be polite. 

 The stranger tells her she’s beautiful and keeps complimenting her. She’s not attracted to him in the least and he won’t let her leave. He keeps stepping in front of her as she tries to take the stairs down to the train. 

Tessa had worked in the morning and taken the afternoon off to have her hair done and now this weird man won’t let her go home. It’s only 4:00 pm but Tessa smells the liquor on the stranger’s breath.

 “Let go. Leave me alone. My boyfriend wouldn’t like you bothering me like this. I need to go home.” She tells the man.

The stranger acts offended and she shivers in disgust at his repulsive corporate ego. She hates having to lie to protect herself. To ensure her own security.

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Tessa meanders in a popular shopping district, alone on a Saturday afternoon. She’s in a boutique and is enthused the clothes are stylish but not overally expensive. Tessa models a blue halter dress and she hears a deep voice remark: “I’d take you out in that dress. You’re gorgeous.” 

Tessa turns, regarding the man who complimented her. He’s a bit older, but it doesn’t bother her. The handsome man’s blue eyes are breath-taking, bright against dark hair and attractive full lips. He wears dark jeans and a blue t-shirt matching his eyes.

Suddenly, Tessa realizes she’s been staring at the attractive man and hasn’t responded to his compliment. She blushes and her skin goes red.”I’m happy you like me in the dress. I wasn’t sure about it, but you’ve made my mind up for me.” 

The attractive man chuckles and comes up to Tessa, running a hand gently down her arm. She’s surprised his familer touch doesn’t bother her. He gazes into her eyes and smiles. 

“What’s a pretty girl like you doing all by herself shopping? You need a guy to hold your bags and make sure douch men don’t bother you.” 

Tessa laughs. “Are you offering to do the job? Because I would definitely have to take you up on that offer. I’m Tessa by the way.” She holds out her hand which is shaking a bit and his strong hand engulfs hers and shakes it firmly. A firm handshake, Tessa is impressed.

She smiles as the attractive man runs a hand through wisps of her loose hair. “What’s your name?” She asks him.

He grins at her question. “I’m Blake and I’m a university professor in economics. What do you do Tessa?” 

” I work in HR for a company. I like talking with different people and helping them.” Blake stares at his hands in his jean pockets, smiling at Tessa before touching her cheek with the back of his hand. 

Again, his touch doesn’t bother Tessa. She craves it. Blake smells wonderful, like the ocean with a note of sandlewood. Blake and her are standing close and Tessa’s breathing is picking-up speed with Blake’s breath.

“There you are.” An elegant woman in a red dress sweeps in. She’s thin and willowy and seems like she’s a model, on trend and waifish.”Who’s this?” The model asks, regarding Tessa as if she were a peculiar creature for Blake to be flirting with.

The model’s eyes rove over Tessa and back to Blake. Blake sighs and he doesn’t appear glad to see the model, in fact; he seems annoyed. He gazes at Tessa appearing apologetic. Tessa has pity on Blake.

“Oh this must be your girlfriend you were telling me about.” Tessa remarks to Blake. “She is stunning and you’re lucky to have her. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I’ve been busy and I know you have been busy too. I’ll let you get back to your girl.” The model gives Tessa an odd look and then giggles.

Tessa can’t help but feel she’s missing something and that the model is making fun of her.”Lovely to meet you, ” the model says.”I’m Cherise.” 

“I’m Tessa and Blake really loves you.” She says. Cherish chuckles and so does Blake.

Cherise smiles at Tessa and Blake. Tessa doesn’t know what to say. She feels miserable. because she has met a nice guy and he isn’t actually a nice guy. He has a girlfriend named Cherise who’s laughing at her.

 Tessa was hugely attracted to Blake and wanted to know him better. He pressed the back of his hand to her cheek as Cherise walked away to look at a dress. 

“I’m going to try this on,” she tells Blake who nods at her. But his blue gaze is focused on Tessa.

“Why did you do that?” Blake says, laughter in his voice. ” Cherise is my younger step-sister. She’s not my girlfriend. It’s gross thinking about her that way. We have the same Dad and I grew up with her.” 

Tessa’s face turns bright red. Redder than it was before. “Oh, I didn’t realize. I was trying to give you an out because I thought Cherise was your girlfriend. But I’m glad she’s only your sister. You had me worried for a bit.” 

Blake chuckles again.”Are you going to let me take you out tonight in that dress you’re buying? I have to drive Cherise to her boyfriends but I can meet you down the street at the Manterra Hotel dining room at 7:00 pm?”

Tessa smiles genuinely. “I’d love to have dinner with you, Blake.” She leans up towards Blake and kisses his inviting lips gently for a few moments, keeping her lips against Blakes  a meaningful second before walking towards the cash register. 

Blake repeats behind her: “7:00 pm at the Manterra Hotel.” 

Tessa looks back at Blake and smiles.”You bet.” 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.