Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Fiction – Alice and the Tea Cup #amwriting #fiction #photochallenge 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo Challenge. 

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Credit: Source Unknown

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Wonderland had been a delight for Alice. It always was, but she expected that when she returned to the real world, she would come back as herself — her correct size.  

Instead, Alice stepped through the looking glass as her regular 5’7″ height and found herself the size of one her mothers miniature ornamental figurines. Moreover, when she had taken a few steps she found herself falling from a tremedous height before making a great splash in what she discovered was a tepid cup of green tea. 

She didn’t recognize the face of the sullen man who was drinking from her mother’s rose china teacups. His hands surrounded the cup Alice was in and he hadn’t even realized when she landed in his tea, sloshing it all over his hands. 

Alice was soaked and feeling warm, the tea wasn’t as tepid as she thought. The man sighed and she heard her mother’s booming voice talking to the man about some cause she was recruiting donations for.

She screamed shrilly as the man lifted the cup to his mouth, struggling in the water and flailing her tiny arms. The man didn’t see Alice and as she continued screaming, the cup moved closer to the man’s mouth. As tea surrounded Alice covering her head, she had no choice but to bite the man’s lip. She sunk her teeth into his flesh, biting as viciously as she could with her minature teeth. 

The man gasped, suddenly in pain. Blood dripped from his lip where Alice had bit him. The tea and teacup flew out of his hand in surprise and Alice was flung out into the living room landing beside her mother on the couch. 

Her mother gazed at Alice with wide blue eyes before gently stroking Alice’s soaking body with her pinky finger. 

“Alice?” she asked, before fainting on the couch. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Beauty, Fashion, My Thoughts, Nonfiction

Beauty Haul Winter 2016/2017: Part Two 


Good Morning! I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile as part one was done before Christmas. I have an interesting selection of beauty products since the Fall Beauty Haul and I hope you find this post useful in your own Beauty Product selection.


1. Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $31.00 CAN

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Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara (0.15 oz) – $31.00 CAN – http://www.sephora.ca

I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. I adore Make Up Forever products in general so I was excited to try another of their mascaras. As usual, since my mascara never stays on my lashes unless the mascara is waterproof, I put on a coat of a waterproof L’Oreal mascara after applying the sample mascara. I like this Make Up Forever mascara, it’s quite black and the brush does a good job of creating volume for your lashes, but I’m not thrilled by this mascara. It’s a middle-of-the-line mascara and I think if you bought it you would like it, but not be overly impressed. There isn’t a wow factor to it. Honestly, there is not much difference between The Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Mascara and the L’Oreal one I put over top. The brush is the same, the opacity of the mascara the same,  and the only difference is the L’Oreal mascara is waterproof. I’d say this rates about a three out of five stars for a mascara.


2. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil – (www.sephora.ca)- $29.00 – Two Pencils: One in Stingray (Jet Black) and Lion Fish (Deep Bronze Sheen)

winter-2017-lion-fish-eyeliner-stila
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner (Pencil) This one one Lion Fish – (www.sephora.ca)- 0.28 g – $29.00 CAN

For the longest time, I always used pencil liners because they were easier to apply than the liquid ones I tried; however, then companies such as Lancome led the way coming out with liquid eyeliners which were easy to apply, they had great foam tipped applicators. I have especially used waterproof eyeliner since makeup brands such as Stila and well everyone else, has come out with wonderful liquid eyeliners which are like fine-tip markers for the eyes (pens). Once you learn to apply these awesome liquid eyeliners, they are usually much more vibrant and remain on your eye better than pencil eyeliners.

Nonetheless, during the Christmas season, I was searching for my trusty Stila liquid eyeliner pen in black and Sephora didn’t have any left except in a Christmas Gift Set that was $44.00 CAN and included Jet Black and Lion Fish eyeliner pencils as well. These eyeliner pencils aren’t’ exactly pencils such as the ones you sharpen. Instead, they’re roll-up, which means the tip remains small and pointed. I love them so much as everyday makeup products, enough to permanently add Jet Black pencil liner to my regular makeup purchases when it runs out.

The reason I love these roll-up pencils so much is that they are similar to smudge pot eyeshadows. They glide onto your eye line smoothly and they leave behind pigmented and rich color which is also waterproof, so it doesn’t rub off as many pencil eyeliners do. They are excellent eyeliners especially if you have trouble lining in your upper water line. The roll-up pencils do a fantastic job coloring in waterlines when you need, and remaining on your waterline, which is an extremely difficult feat for a makeup brand to accomplish.

I love Stila’s Jet Black for use on my waterline and sometimes for regular eyeliner. Lion Fish is a bronzy color which is a great change up for a daytime look from using a black liner. Lion Fish also has a bit of shimmer in it instead of being merely being a matte brown liner.

This gift set was completely worth the purchase for $44.oo because I received both these pencil liners and my black liquid eyeliner pen, a cost of about $96.00 regular price before tax. A definite five out of five stars for the Stila Smudge Sticks.


3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Luster Liner in Liquid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – $23.00 CAN

winter-2017-anastasia-gold-liner
Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Lustre Liner in Liqiuid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – 0.04 oz – $23.00 CAN

I cannot say Stila is the only pencil eyeliner I was recently impressed with. I had seen that gold eyeliner was a trend for the holiday season. Watching a Pixie Woo’s makeup tutorial on YouTube, I loved how the one Pixie Woo used this Anastasia eyeliner to line her lower waterline and corner of her eyes, it looked fantastic.

But the Anastasia Luster Liner in Liquid Gold was extremely versatile and is a  product and I think I will buy again. It works great on waterlines and the liner stays on with a couple of coats, and it appears beautifully on top of black eyeliner as a bit of a fancy touch. But my most favorite use for this eyeliner pencil was using it on Christmas and New years to fill in my entire eyelid area, then blend it out with other eyeshadow.

I had to be careful doing this as once this waterproof liner sets it remains put. It`s not moving except with eye makeup remover. So if you use the Anastasia liquid gold eyeliner this way, put on most of your eyeshadow before applying the gold liner on your lid. It does take a while to blend other eyeshadow colors into the gold eye pencil if you choose to use it this way. I loved this festive product and think it could be used for special occasions or if you want to add a bit of glimmer to your daytime look in the corner or your eye or your bottom waterline for instance.

I used most of the pencil up over two-months and only have a bit left, but it`s not a product too high priced to purchase again. I`m impressed with how well it works for multiple looks for a waterproof gold eyeliner with such bold and vivid gold color, and not a yellowy gold shade (if you know what I mean). The Anastasia eyeliner also comes in the color Liquid Silver. It was easy to sharpen and it never broke even though the pencil was soft and the color bright.I would give this eyeliner pencil five stars.


4. Origins: High Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – $55.00 (1.7 oz/50 ml) 

winter-2017-orgins-high-potency-night-a-mins-mineral-cream
Origins High-Potency Night -A -Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – 1.7 oz/50 ml – $55.00 CAN

So it’s Winter which means for many of us in colder climates, we are experiencing dryer skin. I usually have skin oily enough that it doesn’t seem to require much extra moisture, expect maybe applying my Clinique moisturizing gel twice every few days. This year I had a bit a different experience and found at night, I required a solid moisturizer but one that would not cause me to break out. So I used some of my Sephora points and received a large sized sample of the Origins Night cream and it lasted about a month, so I think the product itself even though it’s $55.00 for the smaller size, would last a person the entire winter.

I had tried eye creams and other one or two day samples from Origins and I have always liked their products and how my skin reacts to them. They are great to moisturize dry skin and even though it was a night cream, I did use it in the day sometimes. It felt wonderful and smelled great. As well, I like that the cream is made out of plant minerals. I have always found these type ingredients to be fantastic indicators of a quality cream/lotion/or gel. I completely recommend this product for dry skin, especially at night. I would give the Origins Night Cream four our of five stars. I can use this in the winter, but not in the summer or spring when the weather seems to indicate I need less moisturizer.


5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil  (Eye Shadow)- 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – $4.49 US ($6 or $7 CAN at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada)

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NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil (Eye Shadow) in 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – 0.18 oz – $4.49

I’ve heard good things about NYX as a cheaper makeup brand. I adore their matte setting spray for makeup so I thought I would try something else from their line. I wanted a base color that I can put on before my other eyeshadow, which is the reason I bought this pencil.

Unfortunately, I bought the wrong shade, it’s a bit too yellow for me and I should have bought a similar shade with more pink in it. But it’s not bad for a shimmery base color and I’ve worn it a few times. The only problem is, I’ve worn the eye pencil down and would think you could sharpen it, but I do not own a sharpener which can fit the jumbo pencil in.

The eye pencil color stays on your eyelids well and doesn’t come off easily. You can blend other eyeshadows of various types into it as well, and the color is easy to cover up if you don’t like the shade but are using it as a base.

I’m not sure where to find a sharpener which fits the NYX jumbo pencil, or if it even can be sharpened? If you know let me know. I think as with most products in the makeup industry, you get what you pay for and the NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil is an example of this with only a two-star rating.


6. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract – Sensitive Skin – MakeUp Remover – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – $16.00 CAN

winter-2017-camomile-sumptuous-cleansing-butter_l
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract for Sensitive Skin – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – 90 ml – $16.00

My last product to share was part of a gift from a friend with many lovely Body Shop Products. They definantly have some nice products and not only lotion and body wash. I was really thrilled with this cleansing balm I received. I wasn’t sure what it was at first.

But, it’s an awesome makeup remover and is also extremely moisturizing at the same time. I have doubts about using it in spring and summer, but right now it’s exactly what my skin needed. I usually use cleansing clothes to remove my makeup and right now I use both. I put the balm all over my face with my hands, including my eyes — it’s awesome at removing any and all eye makeup especially waterproof makeup. The balm feels as if it might be a bit greasy, but it’s not at all. It cleanses your face completely of makeup and works well with the cleansing clothes you can throw away.

The cleansing balm leaves your fast moisturized and feeling great, not to mention, it smells fantastic. If you can get your hands on some I recommend it. Four stars our of five.


If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Beauty Haul it was in December and can be found HERE.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Animals/Pets, Current Events, Free Verse, Health, History, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Poem: Free Verse – “Prayer for the Small Things” #amwriting #poetry #prayer


Credit: Saatchi Art – Thank God For Women Legs by Thomas Saliot

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Oh Lord, thank God for the small things, 

The words and acts of kindness, 

Which help me through the day.

Thank God for the small things, 

Each day I’m fed, 

I’ve many clothes to wear.

Thank you that I too can be generous

That you gave me a Mother who taught —

Her daughter to be thoughtful, 

So I wouldn’t think only of myself. 

And even when I’m hurt and crying

I can see a silver lining in that cloud. 

*****

Lord, thank you for the small things, 

A life I’m given to live

No matter how battered or bruised

You’re my armour and you never leave. 

Your champions wage

Though the whirlpool may swallow;

You bring us through to the other side. 

New blessings each day, 

More than we need or want, or deserve

Thank you for the small things. 

For earnings, for caring friends, 

For a heart that doesn’t break when it’s bent

Thank you for love; however, small it was, 

For those who hurt me, 

So I knew then, what forgiveness was. 

*****

Lord, oh for the small things, 

That kindness could be formed in me, 

To kill the badness, the jealousy

Thank you for keeping him safe, 

For him not being my guy, 

Though I pray for him still, 

You keep him secure, alive —

I pray you give him faith

And draw us both close to you. 

*****

Thank you my almost love, 

Is not in the big picture. 

I hope he sees his wealth, 

His privilege comes, 

Not only with acts of goodness

But faith in God, in Jesus —

From his heart

If I see him again —

Help me to not turn away but to repair

So much is your power, 

You could change a man’s mind. 

Help him see he is lost in the law, 

He needs your grace to believe

*****

Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

My family, my friends, those I detest. 

My lost pets, my forgotten foes. 

Every man I felt something special for,

For the ones who hurt me deep and cut in;

I didn’t bleed out and die inside. 

I moved on, survived

I’m doing okay. 

*****

Thank you I was born in this day and age

Not one-hundred something years ago or more. 

For medical advances, social programs, 

And people more understanding, 

At least I hope

Thank you that one day, I’ll see you face to face,
Thank you Lord, for the small things, 

For to me they’re very big.

My prayer I give and keep in my heart

For your omniscient presence, 

For your healing,

Oh Lord, I ask and give thanks. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories

Collage Prompt: #Fiction – Alice Series – Wild and Untamed #amwriting #aliceinwonderland #alicethroughthelookingglass


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

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Alice was home from school. She hated boarding school, but she hadn’t had a choice. Her father had insisted his daughter have the best education a girl could have. This meant school was not merely academics as it was for boys. Her boarding school was an all girls boarding school and a great deal of focus was put into “the finishing school” aspect of education for women. 

She needed to learn how to be a proper hostess and wife; those were the ideals of the Victorian woman. She needed to be the angel in the house, the moral compass of her household. 

Alice spent countless classes based on the proper religion for an English girl. The God her school taught about, was an an angry God; judgemental and all powerful. He didn’t seem particularly forgiving. But she was told doing her duty as woman would make God happy. 

Alice and her best friends Margaret and Prudence, often liked to cause trouble. They played tricks and sometimes skipped their more tedious classes. The girls were often punished with rulers smacking their hands soundly until they couldn’t feel them. Or writing lines of verses from The Bible until their fingers were too numb to write or days. 

 All in all, the school couldn’t punish Alice and her friends how the would’ve punished other girls. Her and her friends were daughters of enomoreous patrons of the girl’s school. 

That being said, Alice was excited to go home for the summer. She thought fondly of her childhood, her dreams that always wandered to her childhood fantasy world Wonderland. 

——

When the carriage dropped her off, Alice approached her home with a bit of trepidation. Her mother had been angry she had left flowers all over the headmasters office. The man had almost had a heart attack and Alice had laughed and laughed when she heard what he discovered. Bringing her suitcase with her, she opened the front door. 

Suddenly, the house started to move in various directions from the front entrance.  Staircases opened from every way, along with doors leading to God knows where. 

Alice had a peculiar feeling, she was travelling back to her childhood world. Staircases continued to rumble and groan as they moved. Leaving her suitcase, Alice jumped onto a staircase leading to a familiar giant golden door knob with a large decorated keyhole underneath.

Suddenly, the door knob sneezed. “You again. I thought I’d seen the last of you.” 

“Pardon me?” 

“Alice, yes? I remember. I had a cold last time you were here too; although, you’ve grown since then. Thinned out too, you were a bit fat for awhile, all that bread.” 

She gasped, “Excuse me, the ideal woman these days, has a round body with childbearing hips, my teachers told me and my mother agrees. And you aren’t even real. I’m dreaming.” 

“I wish the staircases would stop moving and the rest of the house weren’t so confusing. I have no idea where to go and I really was looking forward to a nap, ” Alice complained. 

The giant door knob sneezed again. “No Alice, I know you and you know me. You know us all. It’s been a while and you’ve blocked us out. We tried to visit, but you convinced yourself we were all childhood dreams, despite having been to Wonderland twice.” 

“You do play delightful tricks at school, I must say –you, Margaret, and Prudence. You should’ve brought them along . . . Then again, they wouldn’t believe Wonderland is real either. They don’t believe in magic, but you do. Oh, you deny it Alice but you do believe. You wouldn’t be back here if you didn’t,” the door knob lectured. 

Alice stomped her foot, “You’re not real.” 

“I am indeed, open me. Better yet, have some of that bread you like so much, in your left pocket first; it should do the trick.” 

She gasped and frowned when she put her hand in her pocket and found the delicious bread. She nibbled on the edge. Alice hadn’t realized how hungry she was. She took a bigger bite of bread and sighed with pleasure. 

“Not too much,” the door knob cautioned. She sniffed and raised her nose at him; she had shrunk in size considerably. Carefully, Alice turned the icky runny door knob nose, she needed no key. She stepped into another world; wiping her hands on her skirt, before gazing up in shock. 

—–

Alice truly was in the Wonderland of her youth. It appeared to be the same as she dreamt it to be. A path lay in front of her and she saw her body had become small. The grass and foliage around Alice was lush and towered over her.

She started to think of her old Wonderland friends when she came upon a catapillar on a large mushroom.”But you’re a butterfly now,” she said to the catapillar without thinking. 

The catapiller sniffed at her and took a long drag from his hookah. “Who are you? Have you figured it out yet? Time does pass. My great-grandfather spoke of you. Time doesn’t move so fast here. He’s out flying about and I’m waiting until I can fly too. Why have you returned?” 

Alice blinked rapidly. “I don’t know. I went through a doorway talked to a door knob, shrank, and now I’m here. It’s not a dream is it?” 

The catapullar laughed, taking another drag. “I assure you. It’s all quite real. There’s a pathway going that way,” he pointed to his right. “You should go there. It leads somewhere important.” 

“I see it’s a dock and we’re below it. It’s so large. Should I go below it in the sand? Or should I grow larger and go ontop of the dock. It’s quite big when you’re only six-inches tall.” 

The catapillar laughed,  inhaling his hookah promptly after . “There you go insulting those of us only six-inches tall again. Do you have bread in your pocket to grow taller?” 

Alice searched in her right pocket, “No bread but I think the mushroom you are laying upon has one side which will make me larger. Alice ate of one side which made her shrink more, than climbed up the mushroom to eat off the other side. She grew until she was her normal size again. 

“Curious and curiouser,” she said. “This is all too familiar. I hope there’s no seagull who thinks I’m a serphant ready to eat her young.” 

“You can say that again,” the catapillar said smirking. He bowed his head as Alice walked off, having shoved a piece of mushroom in her right pocket for future use.

She walked ontop of the dock until there was nothing but a short stairwell leading to a row boat in the sea. She recalled this moment in her second journey to Wonderland. But there should be a sheep somewhere she reasoned. 

On que a sheep appeared and they both rowed off into the sea, but it wasn’t really a sea. Alice thought it was more like a river. The sheep said: “Bahhh,” then smiled at Alice.”Hello Alice have you learned to feather yet?” 

“Oh, that’s a rowing term. I understand now. Same with catching a crab. I was so young then, sheep. I reached for those rushes remember? They’re still look and smell lovely. You can never catch the most beautiful ones, they are free.” 

The sheep bleated and sighed. “Do you ever think, Alice, that beauty is not meant to be tamed or kept?” 

“It’s a curious question coming from a sheep. But I think beauty should be left to exist and shine. You’re saying I should leave the lovely smelling rushes alone?” Alice asked. 

The sheep sighed again. “I’m not talking about rushes. You should pay attention Alice. That school you go to and those Victorian norms and rules of society, do you think they’re all correct? Do you believe everything you are taught without question?” 

Alice wrinkled her forehead and thought. “No not really. My bestfriends don’t either. It’s why we play tricks, skip classes, it’s why I sit in class bored. I do not want to be a proper woman, a tamed or kept Victorian housewife with her brood of children. I don’t want to think God is always angry and mean; I think he’s benevolent too.” 

“Ah, I didn’t think you agreed with your education. I think in the future things will be better, only wait and don’t grow-up too much. Don’t forget Wonderland –we’ll see you when you dream. We need your wildness, Alice.”The sheep bleated again and Alice instantly, woke up. 

She was riding in a carriage to her house for summer vacation. She attempted to remember her dreams. Alice swore she dreamt of Wonderland vividly. But all she could remember was a sheep telling her to stay wild and untamed. She grinned thinking of the tricks she played at school. She wasn’t a tame women yet; never if she had her way.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Interviews, Nonfiction, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Interview With Melinda Kucsera


Welcome to another edition of my bi-weekly writer interview series. Today I have interviewed the fascinating and lovely, science-fiction and fantasy writer Melinda Kucsera. You can visit here blog here: www.melindakucsera.com


 

Melinda Kucsera
Melinda Kucsera

1. Melinda, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

I’m an IT project manager for an academic journal publisher by day. By night, I write fantasy books, science-fiction books, and short stories. Then, I post them to me blog: www.melindakucsera.com


2. When did you start writing and blogging?

I started building my own world, when I was small and fleshed out a fantasy world for my characters to live in. Originally, my world only had one country called Shayari. But my world grew to include other countries as well as extensions into other worlds and realms.

I used to tell stories about Shayari and its people to my siblings, the kids I babysat, (etc). But I didn’t write my stories down until I was in middle school and even then, I spent more time writing about my created world and its peculiarities than its people.

Around the age of sixteen-years-old, I came across the bookThe Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey at my local library. It was the first fantasy book I’d ever come into contact with and it gave me the idea to write down the stories I had been imagining. I thought, if readers liked Lackey’s fantasy world, then they’d like mine too. So, I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather write than do anything else.

I started blogging a year ago in 2015 because everyone kept telling me I should do it. Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.


” . . .I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather writer than do anything else . . . Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.” – Melinda Kucsera


3. What Does Writing Mean to You? Why Do You Write?

I write for the joy of it and because I can’t not write. There’s an ever expanding number of characters walking in and out of my imagination, demanding that I capture their life in words. I want to write these character’s stories. Their stories are compelling and they always show me tantalizing bits which make me want to know more!


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Writing is the first and last thing I think about every day. In fact, every other thought I have is about a story in progress, or a character, or an idea for a character for a story. My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.


“My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.” – Melinda Kucsera


5. Do You Find There is a Time of Day You Most Enjoy to Write?

No, I steal time for writing whenever and wherever I can. I have a demanding day job which keeps me busy for eleven to twelve hours-a-day, five-days a week, if you factor in my commute time to and from work. Additionally, I’m a fitness and health nut and I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones, they allow me to write, edit, and walk at the same time.


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Do You Have Any Hopeful Projects?

I have too many projects! I love working on multiple projects at the same time, hence, my day job as a project manager.My most current projects are:

1.Curse Breaker: Enchanted, which is on sale on Amazon at http://bit.ly/CurseMK. Sarn must find out why a child was murdered in the enchanted forest before the same fate befalls him or his son. (It’s a heartwarming fantasy tale). I’m finalizing the Kindle version and will start the print edition hopefully, the week following.

 2. Curse Breaker: Faceted, which is the sequel to Curse Breaker: Enchanted, (Dec 2016/Jan 2017 release). It’s already written and I only need to edit the novel. In this book, odd events happen around an old tower which only Sarn can remember seeing. These occurrences are building up to something and Sarn wants nothing to do with it. But he can’t escape what’s coming…

3.Curse Breaker: Jousted, book three of the Curse Breaker Saga (March/April 2017 release). Sarn and his family take in a joust which takes a deadly turn when extinct creatures show up. Who will survive the hunter’s game?

4.Curse Breaker: Trapped, book four of the Curse Breaker Saga (June/July 2017 release). Sarn’s luck has finally run out. The silence that hid his son for the last four years now dooms him when an old enemy shows up to even the score. Sarn’s two lives collide and his son hangs in the balance.

5. I’m also working on several other novels and extensions for the short stories readers have requested. And I publish a short story a day on my blog so yeah, I’m also working on blogging short stories as well.


” . . . I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones. They allow me to talk, edit, and walk at the same time.” – Melinda Kucsera


7.  Are You Planning to Publish More Works of Writing in the Future? Do You Have Other Published Works Besides What You Are Currently Working On?

Yes, I am planning to publish my stories. My sister asked me to publish my stories before her death in 2014; it is one promise, I intend to keep.

I published Stars and Angels Sing in January of 2016 as well as Curse Breaker: Enchanted, is on sale right now on Amazon. (See the second link to purchase Melinda’s first book in Sarn’s journey.)


Curse breaker Enchanted Melinda
http://www.amazon.com

Additionally, as stated above, I plan to publish the first four books of the Curse Breaker Saga: Curse Breaker: Enchanted (9/27/2016); Curse Breaker: Faceted (December 2016/early January); Curse Breaker: Jousted (March/April 2017); and Curse Breaker: Trapped (June/July 2017). I haven’t figured out which book will follow book four, possibly a book book five; but I’m not sure yet.


8. Can you Briefly Describe the Process You Are Going Through to Publish Your Curse Breaker Series of Books?

Sure, though I’m making this up as I go along. Consider yourself forewarned. I couldn’t afford an editor so I’m doing all editing myself. For me this means:

1. I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool. It highlights uses of passive voice, wordiness, hard to read sentences, adverbs, words that can be simplified,(etc). I edit my chapter based on The Hemingway App suggestions and until I’m satisfied with my editing.

2. I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader. It essentially, reads my word document of my manuscript to me and I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.

3. I spell and grammar check my entire manuscript in MS Word as well as double-check the meanings of words to ensure I am using them correctly. To ensure I’m using words correctly, I use:  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

4. After completing the appropriate steps to self-edit a group of chaptersI send them to my beta reader and wait for feedback while I work on the next group of chapters requiring editing.

5. Once, everything is edited to my satisfaction from self-editing and the comments of my beta reader, I will listen to the entire book one last time, to be certain I’ve caught any missed mistakes.

6. I designed the covers for the Curse Breaker Saga since I know my way around Photoshop. But first, I researched. I browsed audio books and ogled a lot of book covers. I may have bought a bunch of those books. I asked my cube-mate fro, work, who is the web designer from my day job, for feedback on the covers but she didn’t have any.

7. Next, I formatted my book for Kindle which required me to apply some styles in MS Word, slap in a hyperlinked TOC, and I was done.

8. After, I created a new MS Word document and set it up for print. I cut and pasted chapter by chapter, following basic design rules (chapter heads always start on the right hand page etc.) I always chose the ‘paste as plain text’ option AND THEN  I applied the new styles. If the document is set up right this process is boring but painless.

9.  I submitted two documents using self-publishing, one to Amazon and one to a printer to proof and print/put up for sale.


9. How Does Your Writing Process Work? Do Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Writing and Reading?

I write whenever I can steal a few minutes to do so. I always have pages of my writing, clawing its way out of my head. Also, I love audio books. They are the only books I read anymore. As for genres, I love fantasy and science-fiction. Reading science-fiction, I especially enjoy military, speculative, and hard science-fiction. I also like to read whatever else catches my eye when I feel like reading.


” I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool [for editing] . . . I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader . . . I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.” – Melinda Kucsera


10. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers Or Anything Else You’d Like To Share Related To Writing or Yourself?

Write because you love writing; write for yourself not for others. Read a lot and if you’re busy, listen to a lot of audio-books while you do other work. Hearing great writing in your ear and thinking about it in your mind is vital. So read, hear, think, about writing, however, you can.

Write On!


11. Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blog With Some of Your Favorite Pieces? 

Curse Breaker: Enchanted blurb:

“SARN indentured himself four years ago to pay for his brother’s education. It was a desperate bid to help his brother escape the cycle of poverty. For him there was never any hope, not while his body brims with illegal magic that just so happens to fuel the perpetual glow of his green eyes.

THE BARGAIN…The terms of his indenture landed him a stint with the Rangers who patrol the enchanted forest until a party of travelers is attacked in the forest’s midst and killed. Everything changes when that first drop of blood is spilled, waking the forest’s ire.

THE MYSTERY… Sarn tries to stay out of sight and trouble but one of the Rangers has plans for him. And the ghost of a child murdered in the forest haunts him—a green-eyed child just like his own son. Who killed this boy and the party he traveled with and why? The answer might cost his sanity but to find it, he risks losing the son he’s kept a secret for four years. Not finding the answer might damn his son to share that murdered boy’s fate.

As conflicting plans collide beneath enchanted boughs, one thing is certain. If Sarn can’t get his magic under control, he’ll never find the answers that he seeks. But how far is he willing to go to find those answers? The search might cost more than his sanity; it might cost his life.”


12. Here are Some Short Excerpts of Curse Breaker: Enchanted Below from Melinda’s Blog:

1. Queen Of All Trees

2. Curse Breaker: Kaulayaw

3.The Trouble With Marahuyo


Thank you so much Melinda for agreeing to be interviewed and providing such a thorough description of your publishing process and the exciting book series you are publishing. Here is the link to Melinda Kucsera’s Blog again and the link on Amazon to purchase her amazing first book!


Hope you enjoyed today’s interview. I know I did 🙂 If you would like to share about yourself and your writing in my bi-weekly interview series, please reach-out to me through my Contact Page here. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Lists, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Writing

Three Line Tales: The Drawer Full of Tools #3LineTales #fiction


Thank you to Sonya of 100 Words or Less for hosting 3 Line Tales.

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Ashim D’Silva

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1. We all have drawers in our homes (and garages), filled with tools of every type one could imagine and we tell ourselves everything in this drawer is useful; for example, we need at least five pairs of scissors for use on varied items — some for string, some for rope, some for the kitchen, some for cutting through paper with precision; and a small sharp pair for beauty, unwanted hairs and finger nail breaks; what would we do withou five-pairs of  scissors? 

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2. Then, don’t let me get started on screw drivers, these multi-use tools of which, we can never find the right kind; I can never remember the correct names for them either, Phillips and Star (something)? Let’s simply say, at times, we need a flatheaded screwdriver (small, medium, or large) and other times we need a star-shaped screwdriver (small, medium or large too); we also use screwdrivers to un-jamb things in our house as well and there are many other reasons we use them, and can never find the right type or size; often, a small drill is much faster — let’s stick one of those in there.

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3. In this drawer (we all have) they’re are a variety of other tools and I think, many of these tools, are tools we think we’ll need close-by, but should be stored elsewhere; think about small axes for instance; hammers are useful but do you need all five in small, medium, and large sizes? And the variety of knives, not used in the kitchen, makes me nervous; how many pocket-knives does a family or individual require? How many box-cutters? And how many knives in general? Horror movies have ruined us, how many knives do we need in case, Jason, or Michael Myers stops by on Halloween, or some other time? 

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©Mandibelle6. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Writing

Three Line Tales: The Farmer and His Thoughts. #3LineTales #amwriting #thoughts


Thanks to Soya of 100 Words Or Less for hosting 3 Line Tales.

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Emiel Molenaar

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1.A  tired day dawns; I rose early so I could start mowing the fields, making hay before the sun shines; the morning air is crisp and there is a slight breeze wafting from the house, apple pie; how can I smell such a scrumptious flavour out in the fields?

2. In late morning, my stomach hungers for pie and for more food, something filling and some coffee; I find myself lost in my head, tired and eyes drooping from waking up at 4:00 am; there are still more fields to mow; shading my eyes, I observe the sky, such a clear brilliant blue; the beautiful sky illuminated by bright sunlight shock me, and I feel awake again.

3. It’s near the end of the day and my body is weary from mowing and all my other chores on the farm; I plan and ensure next year their is a bountiful harvest and more cows for milk and beef; yet I sigh, I dream a career change in my future ; but what does a lifetime farmer do? A man who didn’t graduate high school, how does he start a new? 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Writing

Three Line Tales: A Letter To Whomever Brought the Cupcakes #amwriting #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of 100 Words or Less for hosting 3 Line Tales.

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Stephanie McCabe

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To Whom It May Concern:

1. Wow, you’ve brought scrumptious, mouth watering, sinfully fattening, cupcakes to work, however; there’s a problem or three with the cupcakes you’ve bought to share; first of all, the cupcakes are small, if you’re going to allow us all to indulge in a cupcake, at least make the cupcake full size, not mini; cupcake are not a delicious treat most of us have often so please, don’t leave us wanting more ( a second cupcake) when you’ve only brought enough for one each.

2. The second issue I have is, your cupcakes aren’t chocolate; a most grevious error on your part, I don’t know who decides to bring cupcakes to work and doesn’t buy chocolate ones; chocolate is beloved by the majority of people and vanilla is boring (even if it vanilla does smell delightful), vanilla isn’t chocolate, it can’t compare; you’ve unknowingly offended at least all the females in our work area by bringing cupcakes which aren’t chocolate; in fact, I’d say my day is ruined, having seen the cupcakes and realized, they weren’t chocolate or even chocolate iced.

3. My third issue has to do with the icing on the cupcakes; I understand, you’re not the baker and you don’t ice the cupcakes yourself, but the icing is the best part of the cupcake; a slightly stale cupcake can get away with being stale, if the icing is to die for; vanilla icing could be satisfying but again, chocolate would have clearly, been the wiser icing choice; as well as choosing cupcakes which were “fully” iced; the baker’s icing style has much to be desired because the baker did not ice to the end of the cupcake, to the cupcake paper edge; icing is the most imperative aspect of a superb cupcake, perhaps, in the future, when you visit this cupcake bakery again, you will choose cupcakes with more icing; while the icing was delicious, there was far to little of it.

 I’m no cupcake expert, but I know what I like when I taste it.

Sincerely, 

Anonymous 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Free Verse, My Thoughts, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: Poem – Free Verse – “Weight of a Little World”


I hold a small world on my classic physique, with my fortitude.

Holding up this bridge and pathway, doesn’t matter my attitude,

For it’s one of being cursed in marble, and accepting my sorrowful lot,

Having made the mistakes I’ve made, the gods left me to rot.

Pondering the beach, as Atlas pondered and beheld the heaven’s light rays, 

I bend my head, and think of the day, and to gods beyond Zeus I pray, 

Release me from my prison, veins of liquid blood congealed.

My stone figure, muscled, and taught; made to endure forever, concealed.

Bracing myself on stone, solid rock, muscles strained, no thought, and no slipping, 

Not even able to see my own face cringing, the expression rain is chipping,

My own little world on my back, I hold my personal pain; I hold your fate.

For mine’s an eternity braced as I am, scanning earths children; nothing to do but wait.

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Word Count: 154 words

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momtheobscure

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Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAP.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Event, Free Verse, Health, My Thoughts, Poetry, Prose Poetry, Writing

Poem: To a Woman Who Fell Off The Edge


 

Suicide
http://www.pinterest.com

 

I always wonder why?

You left your family that day?

Why you chose the rope.

And not another day on earth.

 

I wonder if I could’ve stopped you,

And told you the right words.

If you’d still be here today.

If I offered up my small wisdoms.

 

As you had given me yours.

But I didn’t phone you saying,

“It’s going to be okay.”

I let the moment pass by.

 

A few weeks later, you died.

Did you know you were my hero.

The person’s whose life,

I wanted to emulate.

 

Years have passed; I wonder if,

Words would’ve mattered.