Three Things Challenge: Fiction – The Homeless Wood Nymph’s Fairytale #3ThingsChallenge #amwriting #fiction


Thanks to the Haunted Wordsmith for hosting the #3ThingsChallenge. Today’s things are: discovery, lace, basketball.


Credit: Caroline Hernandez via Unsplash


Kate tromped through the bushes, in her wedding gown; at least she’d switched to her flats. The fist fight between her fiancé, and his best man, Jim, had her heart thumping fast. She ran to catch Evan as he disappeared into the pussy willows, into the Woods. The sun burnt her skin, and she swore as makeup and sweat melted in rivulets down her face.

She’d met Ev playing pick-up basketball with friends, walking her fiendish dog, Slash. He was a rescue dog, and Ev abhorred him. Slash won him over when Ev learnt that the accident-prone doxie was left to die by the side of a road — just as him. Both doxie and man had a roped scar down their torso.

Ev had studied law within the military, but had been called up for a tour in Afghanistan. A mine exploded, killing one of his squad and leaving Evan half-dead; his right side slick with blood and guts.

It was two-years since Kate met Ev in the park and nine-months since he proposed, but only six-months with therapy twice-a-week that lessened his nightmares of that insufferable day.

Kate’s lace dress tore as she shoved her train over her shoulder. Where was her made of honor, Rose? She couldn’t get out of her corset alone.

“Ev?” In the stillness of nature she searched. “Where are you? What happened with Jim?” No answer, but leaves crackled. “Ev, please. It’s our wedding.” Little trails of blood marked Kate’s skin as prickled branches scratched.

Kate blew out her breath; a long train and flats made hikes through the woods impossible. “Don’t do this to me, don’t ruin our day because of him. You’re out, and you’re finally getting over the horror — you and Slash. You’re working at you’re dad’s practice, and you’re why I haven’t been drinking these past two-months.”

Kate’s throat was raw, and she heard twigs snap as she neared Ev’s scuff-less shoes cast aside. The pussy willow fluff in the air made her sneeze. She wiped her nose and sniffled. Her allergies alone hadn’t caused her eyes to tinge red and her nose to drip. She rubbed her eyes and screamed. Tears leaked out of her eyes, a constant dripping faucet.

“Kate?” Finally, Ev stepped out from the woods, barefoot. Her handsome guy in a fitted suit. He’d thrown his jacket over his arm, and his sleeves were rolled. He held a beer to his blackened-eye.

“Ev, thank God. I’ve been yelling your name forever. There’s barely cell reception, and we’ve missed our ceremony. What happened with Jim?”

Ev grumbled and rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t want to talk, not today.”

“He’s your best man.”

“Not anymore, Cameron’s in.” Kate sat beside Ev on a fallen tree.

It crackled as she sat, and tore at her lace skirt. “You ruined my dress, you know. My mother will never forgive me.”

Ev rubbed a hand over her cheek. “Your shoulders are sun-burnt and you’re face is red; you’ve raccoon eyes too.”

“How observant of you.”

He grimaced then pressed his lips twice against hers, back and forth. “I would’ve come back. I wouldn’t leave you. I told Cameron to say I needed two hours.”

“Well, Cameron wasn’t fast enough. I saw you leave and ditched my Kate Spade’s. While I searched for you I suffered terrible allergies. Now that you’re discovered, I’m mad at you, Ev.”

“I get that. I still don’t want to talk about Jim.”

Kate huffed. She pushed at Ev’s shoulders. He teetered, but didn’t fall. She shoved him until she was pounding at his chest and shoulders. Then Kate rushed Ev as if she were a linebacker. Ev didn’t fall or talk.

Instead, he sniggered, a hand holding his stomach. “You have to stop! My stomach hurts from holding in my laughter of your whimpiness. Stop running at me; you’re exhausted.”

Kate grabbed Ev’s tie and yanked. “You pick up my train and march us back to the ceremony. Don’t pull this shit on me today.”

Ev’s mouth hung open, and Kate closed it, peach nails digging into his chin. “Bella, luckily, will fix my makeup and hair and even has a little vacuum to get the thorns and twigs from my ruined dress. We’re getting married, screw Jim.”

“You don’t want to know what happened?”

“Not until tomorrow.”

“He–”

“Shut it. There maybe no guests, but your dad surely knows a judge who can help us before tonight.”

“Listen Kate –”

“No, you listen.”

“He hurt me. When that landmine killed Jace, he pushed me too. Jim was scared, but he was also a trained soldier. I asked him straight out who pushed me three-years ago. Today, he chose to tell me it was him who left me to die; him who never returned for me until twenty-three hours later.”

“Selfish prick. I’d like to deal with that coward myself. I’m sorry, Ev. I would’ve wanted to tackle him too”

“I’d have forgiven him anything as long as he’d been honest. No guy we were with would’ve said a thing, and they didn’t. It wasn’t their fight. But, it’s two-years later and he’s lied all this time. I went through so much. I’m still going through it.”

Kate swore and grabbed her phone from her clutch. She texted Rose.

“What are you doing?” Ev’s grey-eyes were wide. His hand stopped her typing.

“I postponed things. We’ll get married at the hall tonight before the fesitivities. It will be a half-hour, not a whole service, thankfully. This time away’s more important.”

Ev nodded and she gawked as tears ran down his face. “I’ve never seen you cry. Not even in physiotherapy.”

He pulled her down next to him, and buried his face in her neck. A wet cooling sensation flowed onto her collar. She barely flinched when his tears stung her sunburned skin. He needed to get this out, and Kate didn’t want him to notice her pain. She embraced Ev, and didn’t move until he was done.

Eventually, he peered up. “How much time?” His voice rasped and his face was flushed.

“Until 5:30 p.m. Rose and Cameron have it arranged. Everyone saw what happened with Jim. They’ll understand.”

Ev pushed a hand through his chocolate hair and wiped his eyes. “My face is probably as red as yours.” Kate leaned against him and the rip of her skirt up her leg made them both wince.

Ev shrugged. “It’s okay, babe. We’ll deal with it. We’ll get through tonight, and everyday after that. You’re my new bestie, and Cameron’s been promoted too.” She smirked and entwined their fingers.

Her thumb brushed over his mouth and his hand wrapped around her head, as he laid it on her shoulder.

Ev played with her curls. “Now, I look like a homeless wood nymph. Your fingers aren’t helping my hair. Ev kissed her neck beneath her ear.

She rested her cheek against his hair, as he laughed. “I like your new look. The amount of leg where your dress ripped is also an improvement.”

Kate elbowed Ev and he sniggered. He placed his hands around her face. “Is it true I’m the reason you haven’t been drinking? Is it because -?” She nodded and Ev’s eyes twinkled. When he grinned and rocked her back and forth, she knew the wedding would turn out.

He placed his hand on her belly. “Let’s hope Slash isn’t the jealous type.”


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 30/Photo Challenge: Free Verse – “A symphony Intrinsic” #amwriting #poetry #photochallenge


For NaPoWriMo Day 30 is: ” to write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinatingfact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird.” I’m combining with NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’sPhoto Challenge.


Credit: Nicolas Bruno


We didn’t have smartphones, flip-phones,

No second lines or iron rotary phones.

Just a ‘can’ to yell back and forth,

Every kid in every neighbourhood had one,

And gossip was damaging;

Persistently strangling its victims.

But, we had no internet or wifi, no dial-up modem,

We penned epics in burnt-sienna cursive.

Our handwriting perfection,

As the pages stretched for hours.

Your morada -inked letters rumpled in my hand,

Holding the ‘can’ to my ear,

As morse-code clicks bullets at pigeons.

And we drifted near drowning in our childhood pond,

Too many words said, too many left unsaid;

Too many deeds done, too many left undone.

I never dreamed we’d split;

That pliers and scissors could strip string and wire —

That alone we were too weak,

To go beyond what our fathers said,

And the fears our mothers chided.

I didn’t know what we had together existed

But then, it was gone.

The water rose higher,

Warm water crushing breath;

Until I snuck out at night if only to survive,

To repair the damage wrought.

I forgot about technology,

The meaning of symbols or alphabets.

I climbed over your window sill,

I woke you with all those words,

The phrases I couldn’t keep inside.

Languages long lost but to us —

Centuries of unexpressed thoughts.

I listened as your morada-handwriting,

Echoed in silver-glitter when you spoke.

A melody that flew as butterflies,

Mediterranean giants with cobalt, crystal wings.

It was eons until everything bled-out,

Then, we were silent.

Lying together, limbs, lips, and laughter,

Bodies loving.

Saying all other words with sensation.

As the sky became serene, and sunlight filtered in,

And you traced my lips in awe,

I trembled and nipped your thumb.

For once we perceived the best tool for understanding,

Was to speak in person;

To converse, cry, yell, and observe–

Each other’s quirks and emotions.

The subtle signs we once knew,

Of sensuous appeal sublime and expressive.

Of rose perfume and musty libraries;

Of summer’s swimming and sunscreen,

Grass sharp and tangy in its freshness.

Your lips as berries devoured,

As forever lengthened our bones,

Made are skin supple, curved and honed.

Your hands on five-o’clock’ shadowed cheeks;

Wistfulness and whispered prayers.

Sins of afternoons and mornings lost,

Of nights spent miserable and alone;

Because we did not sit face to face and talk.

Our greatest gift — our human bodies,

Machines of the grandest designer,

His ‘plans’ can’t be derived, copied or improved;

And all sense of confusion,

Streamed past as estuaries scurried into oceans;

Our pond overflows with fresh water.

Hands wrapped as ribbons, never letting go,

Hazel-eyes to azure knowing the way we are now, is much more —

We were never meant to be alone.

Forlorn in this age of deception,

Forlorn without guidance in the dim.

No ‘cans’ to listen or letters written,

We’re humans at time’s dawn,

Our voices a rhythm sanguine,

A symphony absorbed and intrinsic.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NovemberNotes Day 21/Sunday Photo Fiction: The End of the Affair #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. I’m combining SPF with November Notes Prompt Day 21 “Great Escape” by Gavin James.


Credit: Alistair Forbes — A Mixed Bag


“Great Escape” by Gavin James


Giiselle shivered, slipping out of bed. It was 7:00 a.m. and Jimmy had been knocking on her front door for a half-an- hour. The knocking continued as she made a strong cup of Irish Breakfast tea. Stop! Just stop knocking, leave me alone!

The knocking ended and the long loud ringing of her doorbell commenced. Giselle swore, unlocking her front door and throwing the screen door open. “What the hell do you want? It’s 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday.”

Jimmy rolled his eyes. “You’re being rude. We need to talk about us, the way we were. Until we talk I can’t sleep, so why should I let you?”

Giselle grabbed her down coat and stepped outside. She zipped it up, burying her hands in her pockets. ” The good old days are gone, Jimmy. We’re not together. I don’t care if you can’t sleep.”

“Gigi, listen. What’s between us is more than attraction. I love you for real, always have.”

“We haven’t been together for a year. This isn’t some mistake we made that we can just laugh about someday. I was the other woman and you had a wife.”

Giselle polked Jimmy’s chest. “You decided to try to work things out with her; you chose Jasmine over me. Our affair was always a delicate game and now it’s over.”

Jimmy groaned, “You were my great escape at a dark time in my life. Jasmine divorced me months ago, I’m not married. We can start again.”

“We’ve been down this road before and I’m done. I forgive you but I can’t forget how much you hurt me.” He laid his hand on Giselle’s shoulder.

She turned gazing into his red-rimmed gray eyes. “You’re not the one for me, Jimmy. I was naive to think a married man like you ever was. It doesn’t matter that you’re divorced now.”


©Mandibelle16.(2017) All Rights Reserved.

#NovemberNotes Day 13 /Music Challenge: Poem – San San – “Siren’s Light” #amwriting #poetry #musicchallenge


For NovemberNotes Day 13 the song is “If I Be Wrong” By Wolf Larson. I’m combining with another music Prompt from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and the song “Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip.

———

Credit: Kyle Broad via Unsplash

——–

“If I Be Wrong” by Wolf Larson

——

Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip

——

Climbing the tree, talking, sitting before we were silent,

Illusions of tomorrow’s casting flames of gold resilient.

Silent sitting dragging you here into my darkest night.

I could be wrong, maybe I lied, the fissure more widens,

What if we’re wrong, if we’re an endless song, without brilliance?

Silent, we’re sitting alone, no dress rehearsal for life.

Hornet’s toxin seething, luring us to the siren’s light.

Wrongly fleeing, ten thousand cars, roads; leaving, taking flight.

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weavers: Fiction – Part 2 – “Running from Wolff” #amwriting #fiction #fairytale


Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hasting the Tale Weavers prompt. This prompt was to write about walking or visiting a park [that] turns into discovery.

I’m going to continue with my one of my Tale Weaver prompts with a modern rendition of Red Riding Hood with the main character, Red, who has just met Axel.J. Wolff or ‘Wolff’ in her grandmother’s house. Wolff is house-sitting for grandma Addy who is in Hawaii with Wolff’s Grandpa Reggie. Things were heating up for them at the end, I wonder what will happen when they get to the park? 


Part 1: The Wolff with Shamrock Eyes


Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com

She shouldn’t have run but that’s what she did. Wolff offered her his hand and invited her to keep him company and she panicked. 

“The rest of the food is in the fridge,” she said ignoring Wolff’s outstretched hand. She turned  towards Gran Addy’s bedroom door before Wolff could capture her hands again.

He was gorgeous with shamrock green eyes and tanned skin, probably from being out on the golf course but well, who was she to judge. She had had to learn to golf for work herself but instead of tanning her fair skin on the he course, her skinned often burned.

Red was alarmed she didn’t want to resist Wolff. He had gazed at her as if she were prey, looking her up and down as she found herself caught betweeen him and freedom through Gran’s bedroom door. He had licked his lips and stretched his arms above his head.

As if Red, wouldn’t notice his taut muscles and the pleased grin on his face. His teeth showed as he grinned as if Wolff thought she would give into him like weak prey. But Red wasn’t weak. No one had called her that for a long time. Red was strong. She was first in her class at Columbia and the best young associate at her firm. 

Just the same, when Wolff asked Red to stay she backed up and tripped over her flats caught on the carpet. Then, getting up before Wolff could help her, she took off out the front door towards the safety of her red Coralla.

As she drove off, Red saw Wolff leaning against her grandmother’s front door, smiling at her. There was no doubt his gaze was predatory. 

Thick lust and heat coursed through her veins as she backed up her car trying to force herself to calm down. Wolff waved and Red’s tires squeeled as she took off down the gravel road towards her family’s summer cottage and safety. 

When Red walked in the cottage her mom appeared surprised to see her, “Gina? I’m surprised you’re home so early. Your Grandma called and said you were having a wonderful time with Reggie’s Grandson Wolff. I thought you’d be a while,” Anne said raising her eyebrows.

“Um, he’s fine. Wolff appreciated the food.” 

Then Red got mad, “You should’ve told me Grandma Addy was in Hawaii with Reggie. Wolff scared the h*ll out of me. I didn’t know what he was doing in Gran’s bedroom.”

“Oh, Gran said she had the biggest bedroom. Reggie and she are gone for three months so she felt Wolff should have the biggest room in her house. She bought some manly bedding and packed away her old trinkets. He’s been so good to your Gran and Reggie.”

“You should have said something. I hate being surpised like that. I almost screamed bloody murder. I don’t need you or Gran to set me up like that. I’m a single girl and I like it.” 

Red’s mom chuckled, “Most unattached women say that until they meet a great guy. Axel has his demons behind him and needs to settle down. Well, that’s what your Gran and Reggie said. It was their idea for you to bring him food. I thought it was a great one, ” Anne said winking.

Red stomped her foot, ” I get to choose who I want to date or meet. I mean, he was half naked in Gran’s room. Who does he think he is trying to shut me up before I tell him to get out? He shouldn’t be in there, doesn’t matter what Gran Addy thinks. Doesn’t he have a job and his own place?” 

Anne chuckled again, ” He was half naked, eh? I would’ve loved to have seen that. I’ve seen Axel on the beach a few times and that man works out. Such intense green eyes, an Irish background, a hot body, and helpful to his Grandpa, sounds sexy to me. If I was a bit younger, I’d go for him.”

“Mom!” Red said shocked.

“He likes you, you know?”

“Does not. He doesn’t even know me.He just wants what ‘all ‘guys want.”

‘Did he ask you to stay?” 

“Yeah, he did. But I panicked. I never panick. I’m cool under pressure. That’s why I’m good at my job,” Red said confused.

“You ran, didn’t you? Took off like Little Red Riding Hood being chased by the big bad ‘Wolff?” Anne said laughing a her joke. 

“I did. Not quite like that though. How did you know?” 

“You look anxious and I know you well. What did you think was going to happen?” Anne said enjoying teasing her daughter. 

“Stop it, mom. I can’t handle a guy like Wolff now. Too hungry, the kind of guy who wants too much. I’ve plenty of options in the city.”

“Yet, you don’t date much,” Anne murmered.

Red stomped her food again, “I’m fine. I’m going to bed. Don’t bother with breakfast for me tomorrow. I’m going for a run in the park when I wake up, a long one.”

Anne chuckled,”I’d be careful if I were you. Axel Wolff likes to run in the park in the mornings  too.”

“Well, I’ll go running tonight then. The sun’s up for a few more hours.”

“Red, don’t go. You’re all worked up for no reason and you haven’t had dinner, have you?”

“No, I’m fine. I’ll eat after I’m back.”

Red left the family cottage slamming the back door. She changed into her running clothes in her car and made a beeline for the park a few blocks away. When she was half-way down one paved trail she stopped abruptly.

Wolff was sitting on a park bench in his own running clothes. He had taken his shirt off, and Red could see his fascinating tattoos. She wondered what they were images of and what they meant. 

Her eyes were glued to Wolff, wiping the sweat off his body with a towel. For some reason, her mouth was dry. She felt heat flowing through her veins again. It was an overpowering sensation. 

Shaking her head, Red noticed she had stopped running entranced by Wolff’s body and shamrock green eyes. He gazed up at her and stared. 

Wolff’s lips curled into a half-smile, “Surprised to see you here?”

“What are ‘you’ doing here?” Red asked instead. 

“Had to wear off supper. But I’m hungry again. Did you come to help me with that?”

“Not really. But . . . ”

Wolff cut her off, “You do have big eyes, Red. They’re beautiful and so are you. Sit, talk with me.”

Red was ready to run but then Wolff was in front of her as in Gran Addy’s room. He grasped her wrist gently. Red could tell he wasn’t afraid of confrontation. For some reason he made her feel okay with backing down. No other guy did that.

She pulled and tugged but Wolff wouldn’t let her wrist go. She was disgusted with herself for not smacking his amused face. 

“You, you just want to eat me up with your big teeth,” she said fumbling to find words.

Wolff laughed, “It’s not my teeth you should be worried about.”

Red tried pulled away from Wolff again. By then, Wolff had guided her to the park bench without her realizing it. Putting on his shirt back on he turned to her. He still grasped her same wrist and hand gently, “So, tell me something Red?”

Red’s eyes dilated, growing larger and bluer. Wolff stroked her cheek with his other hand. 

It was too late. Wolff had caught Red.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Free Verse – “Where Ever You Go” #amwriting #poetry #100WordWednesday


Thanks to the lovely Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays.

——-

Credit: Scott Webb

———

This is your city, you may go where go, 

There is no divide, don’t sit, move with flow. 

Find your own kind, your worth is innate, 

A lust for adventure, has a mind not to wait.

Find your hopes, your dreams, in side streets and aves, 

Life is never what it seems, it’s about diverse paths. 

Meander down the walkways, from stores to the slums, 

Some have wealth and talk the talk, some are treated mute and dumb. 

Be not afraid to love everyone, 

Not as your sweetheart loved, but as a person, a human. 

The city is grand full of sweet times to be had, 

As you move through the days understand, be glad, 

You are granted time, to do what you love, 

To explore, with a sense of chance, to care for the unloved. 

Be kind and contrive, a life full of memories, 

Experiences survived, wherever you are led, 

Go with purpose and never forget you serve

Are blessed to be, and help others persevere. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Day 13 – NaPoWriMo/ A to Z Challenge/Sunday Photo Fiction: Poem – Ghazals – “The Dragon Boat Returns to Shore” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge #poetry #flashfiction


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a ghazal. The GoodReads Quote begins with the letter for the A to Z Challenge. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF as well. 


“A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that preceedes the refrain. Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should refer to the authors pen-name… The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.”

See: www.shadowpoetry.com


Dragon Boat SPF
Credit: Alistair Forbes – A Mixed Bag

“And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet I would remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore


The dragon boats arrive, the sea pulling them into shore,

Watching remotely from a distance, will he be on shore?

For many months they wandered, the boat their prized shelter,

Now they are home, the boat still floats, they’re at the shore.

I’m afraid to see them, brothers, their friends, so dear to me changed,

I wave, my kin they come forward their eyes remote, onto shore.

They’re gaunt, they’re battle worn, they need food, steaming hot baths to soothe,

Once they settle, they talk, thick coats warm them on the shore.

My brothers, my childhood friends, have lost part of themselves,

On the ocean suffered, in baren lands they smote on the cold shore.

They’ve treasures, furs, they’ve jewels, silver, gold — they lost their life spark,

Gazing at my love, his face coated in grime, eyes dead on shore.

The days pass by, the village returns to normal almost,

Except the men who left; returned forever remote to shore.

I talk to him, I talk to my brothers, hearing how each piece,

Of their self died, no matter we doated on them on shore.

Time passes, I think I’m seeing things when his eyes alter,

Warmth returns, he takes my hand, away from the boat on shore.


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


miichelle-interview-4
Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


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

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

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

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Friday Fictioneer: No Place Like Home #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff Fields for hosting FF.

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Credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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It was difficult living on the farm, being cutt-off from other people when there was a blinding snow storm for days. Marion felt the numbing loneliness deeply and her husband James only amplified her sense of isolation. 

They were still a relatively young couple but James made her feel as if she were old, dull, and boring. He barely acknowledged Marion except when he wanted food. He hadn’t actually conversed with Marion for what felt like years. 

She observed as James lived alone in his head, always ignoring her attempts to talk. As the harsh winds and snow isolated them in the farmhouse, James isolated Marion in their marriage. 

When the blizzard ended, Marion had had enough. She peered at James one last time and left. She drove to the nearest city and caught a flight home

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

November Notes: Poem – Day 26 – Free Verse (Audio) – “The Endless Fight” #amwriting #poetry #novembernotes #audio


Today’s song prompt is “For the First Time” by The Script.

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“For the First Time” by The Script. 

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Photo Credit: http://www.familytiescounselingcentre.com

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We could talk all night, 

Babe give up this fight, 

We’re gonna work things through, 

But nothing’s perfect. 

Talking after wine, 

The cheapest we can buy, 

Saying things we should’ve said, 

Long before we actually did. 

Smiling but we’re close to tears. 

It’s been many years, 

But we’re meeting for the first time. 

—–

We could talk all night, 

Babe, give up this fight.

I’ve lost my job, 

There’s bills to pay. 

They only give unemployment, 

In the longest line. 

I’m wasting time, but we need to pay rent, 

And your upset at me again. 

Smiling but we’re close to tears. 

It’s been many years, 

But we’re meeting for the first time. 

——

We could talk all night, 

Babe give up this fight. 

My prides wounded, 

And we need healing.

It hurts me now to see you cry, 

Don’t know what to do, 

When everything’s insane in life, 

I just kiss your lips and hope. 

Smiling but we’re both close to tears. 

It’s been many years, 

But we’re meeting for the first time. 

—–


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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.