Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Sestina - 6 lines, 6 verses, 6 terms @ end of each line repeated from last line, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

#OctPoWriMo – Day 12/ Tale Weavers: Poem – Sestina – “The Reluctant Princess” #amwriting #poetry #taleweavers 


OctPoWriMo Day 12 is a poem on theme of imagination. It also has a special poetry form called a Sestina. I’m combining this prompt with Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt of a reluctant princess. 

“A sestina is 39 lines, 6 stanzas with 6 lines each plus a tag. Begin with 6 words of your choice.Take those words and rotate them at the ends of your stanzas. They rotate in a round with the last word of the last line being the last word of the first line in the next stanza. Your lines can be any length, though it just looks nicer if they’re quite regular.” 

——-

Credit: Luke Marshall via Unsplash

——-

Princess wishing for saving but her mind

Changes thought after awhile left waiting. 

Time goes by and the princess, she contrives —

Better plans to be herself, to fulfill dreams

Caring not if Prince Charming’s attractive, 

She drugs the dragon, starts ever-after. 

—-

In boy’s clothes, leaves for her ever-after, 

Princess shunning a dusty castle mind —

Focused on the path past the moat, awaits, 

Challenges, aspirations, contriving —

And listing, all she desires to do, dreams —

A life that is hers, no dull prince, unattractive

—-

She swims easily through water not attracting

Guard who had watched her forever-after.

She climbs past the moat, into sunshine, mind —

Reeling at the brightness of dawn; she’s waiting

To slip into the forest contriving

Survival though sheltered, planning her dreams. 

——-

Who should come to ruin her heartfelt, desired dreams? 

But a mean grumpy prince so unattractive —

Manners, pretty, not her ever-after —

She kicks fragile parts; she has a sharp mind —

Laughing, runs to whatever in life awaits, 

Inexperienced but smart, she contrives —

——

Her new life, with hidden coins she contrives

To buy a home, train for job of dreams.

Country home and teaching school, sounds attractive

Her imagination’s wild ever-after, 

It’s the person she is, needs no prince, minds —

Respecting him — an awful fate waiting, 

—–

Though the dumb prince chases her, she’s waiting —

When he’s down she escapes and contrives

New methods for hopeful life, while dreaming —

Plans to go where she’ll not attention attract. 

Off to the Americas ever-after. 

Away from being controlled, at peace in mind

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 





 



Current Events, Event, Fiction, History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Fiction – The Eyes of What Now? #taleweavers #amwriting #fiction #IdesofMarch 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Tale Weavers. The theme is the a tale on the lighter side of things.

——-

Credit: Gary Larson

——-

Steve walked into English 311 wearing a toga and a gold spray-painted crown of leaves.

Dr. Lawerence, their English Professor, laughed at the front of the room along with some of the other students.

“Why is what Steve wearing funny?” Ambrose asked Jen, “Its not like this is some party.”

“I think it might have something to do with Julius Caesar. What about you?” Jen said dryly.

“The play we’re studying?” Ambrose’s asked. His friend, sitting behind him tittered. “Shut up, Dan,” he said.

Dan kept laughing, “How can you be reading Julius Caesar in English 311 and not understand why Steve is wearing that getup?”

Dr. Lawerence overheard his student’s conversation. He chuckled, ” ‘Beware the Ides of March,’ Ambrose. Remember what I said in Monday’s class?”

Ambrose shook his head, “Eyes of what now?”

The student’s around Ambrose and their professor laughed. Jen sighed. ” Caesar was assassinated on the ‘Ides of March.’ The seer in the play told him to ‘beware’ of it, but he was still stabbed and killed.”

“I thought Brutus murdered Caesar? Now you’re saying a seer did?”

Dr. Lawerence peered at Ambrose concerned, “Are you sure you want to major in English Literature, Ambrose?”

He looked up and shrugged. The professor sighed and returned to the front of the room. There was always one in every class.

——–

©Mandibelle16.(2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Etheree - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 syllable count, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Collage Prompt: Poem – Cascading Etheree – “The Inner Child” #amwriting #poetry 


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

——-

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie; Bottom Right – Jeremiah Morelli

———

You might think it peculiar to let kids,

Be small, to let them be silly, weird,

When most of their life is spent in,

‘Adulting,’ learning how to,

Be big, responsible,

I say as Auntie:

Let them be them,

Creative,

Full of,

Fun.

——

Let,

Them be,

Wild beings,

Think of stories,

Imaginative,

And implausible, but —

Believe them because you’re,

Playing along, taller tales,

Demonstrate creativity,

For kids, it keeps them young, growing older.

——

Think of tilting towers, Big Ben in blue –

Green prairie sky, a storm brought him here.

But he bends, tilts just because and,

Storm brought along a grand,

Gothic cathedral roof,

Pointed top I’m sure —

Missed somewhere; hot —

Air balloon,

Holds our,

Dreams.

—–

Where,

We live

With such rich,

Possibility.

Imagining,

Tall towers floating in,

Moon lit skies, princesses,

Saving themselves, jumping from,

Clouds, the moon indeed smiling so proud,

Girls and boys — escape from their own towers.

——

Locked fortresses floating, new challenge,

Escaping by flying pirate ships old,

Never turning back to the light,

Of a trapped home, wishing most,

To be little, secure,

Not worry about,

A dragon’s fire,

A port in,

Mid-air,

Light.

—–

Sought,

In night’s,

Binding grip,

All children search,

For understanding,

A hug and kiss when they’re lost,

Hurt, or at least a safe place works.

For home; mom’s gentle touch when,

Nightmares thrive; become to real, kids hide;

But parents are there, provide a haven.

——-

So encourage kids to harness their,

Creativity, to paint and draw,

To find their passions in life, so —

Maybe they can live them too.

Or find a haven in,

Their talents, their skills,

Urging away,

Stress; relief,

‘Cause life,

Hurts.

—–

So,

We teach,

Live your dreams,

Let them unwind

You; be as free as

Butterflies; don’t be tacked,

To a board on the wall kept.

Fly lovely, safe, remembering,

Humanity is indeed so —

Delicate at times; you’re not invincible.

—–

But in the power of the imagination,

You can always escape the threads,

Binding you to reality.

You can have liberty,

Smile, eat your cake too,

And hopefully,

Your partner,

The one who,

Loves you,

Most.

—–

Has,

Their own,

Inner child,

Understands and,

Knows, love is gentle,
Love is fiery, bold,

Love and creativity,

Both hold; let you be dauntless, free,

Full of life, security to —

Be held; be wild both as adult and child.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality

Interview With Jasminder Bains


Welcome to another biweekly interview on Mandibelle16. I’m hoping where ever you are the weather is nice and spring is on its way or summer isn’t too hot. This week I interviewed the impressive and talented writer Jasminder Bains from the United States. You can check out her blog here: Confessions Of A Reborn Girl


interview-jasminder
Credit: Jasminder Bains

1. Hi Jasminder. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

Where to begin…I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.

I’m two years clean and keeping it that way. Psychology fascinates me; hence, I’m majoring in it. You’ll find there is a lot of psychology based posts on my blog. I love to sing and dance to KPOP when nobody’s around, or at least when I think nobody’s around. I had to run up three flights of stairs because I got caught once.

Also, I’m obsessed with green tea and I like to meditate because it clears my mind. I prefer video games and Doc Martens to dresses ( I only own one dress) and makeup. The only makeup I wear is eyeliner and it’s about as good as my sense of direction. I get lost even with a GPS to help me find my way. I’m an aggressive middle-class minimalist who pillages anything I can get my hands on; this is why I have a ring of rocks sitting on my dresser.

I have moments where I’m incredibly with the times and others I’m not. I set up a Twitter account recently. I have no idea what half the buttons mean. But I can give you Excel pointers and talk about ‘markdown formatting;’ I can’t tell you much about Facebook.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? What motivates and inspires you?

I started blogging last July, but I’ve been writing since I was in fifth grade. Poetry and blogging are how I vent as well as defeat stereotypes. I write because I want to heal other people and because I love doing it.

I find inspiration from my life because I’m an avid people-watcher and I overthink everything. I find new material is as simple as walking into the middle of a cafeteria and sitting down. I learned so much about human interaction by doing this. I make time for writing whenever I can.


“I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.” – Jasminder Bains


3. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Any Future Projects You Have In Mind?

I’m planning on participating in the 2017 Kindness Challenge! The link to sign up is here if you’re interested. I’m also hosting my own blogging challenge, it’s called the ‘Boundless Challenge.’ The premise of the challenge is to share a #boundlessmoment from the past week where you did something that you thought you weren’t actually capable of doing.

I started the challenge not too long ago so it’s relatively new. My goal is to inspire people through this prompt. Maybe they will believe they are capable of doing much more than they think they can do. Check out the sixth #boudlessmoment challenge on my blog HERE.


4. Can You Tell Us More About Your Blog and Why You Started Blogging?

When I founded @Confessions (Confessions Of A Reborn Girl) I had one goal and one goal alone: to teach others about human potential. Too many times I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise.


“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker


That being said, [my blog] would qualify as a lifestyle blog, though I focus more on mentality and mindset rather than fashion or food. My blog categories are different takes on that ‘boundless lifestyle’ if you will.

Life, as the catagory name states, revolves around my everyday thoughts and experiences. [As I noted above] you can also find my own blogging challenge, the Boundless Challenge, which is devoted to inspiring the WordPress community to achieve their full potential. At the end of each week, I share #boundlessmoments of my own and from across the internet. . . Who knows? Maybe next week you’ll be featured!

Writer’s Corner is [a segment on my blog] where I analyze social norms and American culture along with occasional philosophizing. DIY is exactly as the name states. I have this category because crafting opened up my thinking in a way nothing else could. I believe that it can do the same for you. [Lastly, my] meditation journal [catagory] stems from my adoration for — well — meditation. [Since I] over-think, meditation is the perfect counter to my habit and it helps me analyze my emotions and inner conflict. 


“Too many times, I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they just didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise” – Jasminder Bains


5. How Does Your Blog Tie-In With Your Stance on Mental Health?

I continue to challenge the stigmas and negative stereotypes surrounding the field of mental health. There’s so much more to psychology than depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disease; [these are] only a small branch of [what is called] abnormal psychology. In order to understand the abnormal, we must first understand the normal.

I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.


6. Do You Have Any Other Projects On The Go? What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Have Any Genres of Writing or Reading that You Prefer?

I’m planning on writing a fiction book called Project Rebirth. I’ve no details other than that because I hardly know what the book is about myself. 😛 For me, writing is painful.Writing is life. WHAT WAS I THINKING WRITING THAT?!! Editing is painful. Editing is life. Rinse and repeat.

Fantasy is my FAVORITE genre. None of this 21st-century teen smut fantasy romance. I mean classy fantasy like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or The Ranger’s Apprentice booksI prefer these types of books so much more than teen romance novels. 


“I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.” Jasminder Bains


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Tips for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share Pertinent to this Interview?

Keep writing. It’s the only way you get better (and shameless). Also, I want to fight the negative stigmas and stereotypes around mental health because it’s vastly misunderstood and generalized which is dangerous for everyone.


8. What Are Your Three Favorite Blogs You Follow Of Any Kind?


interivew-live-boundless
Credit: Jasminder Bain

9. Can You Please Share With Us Some Pieces from Your Blog?

“Pain”

By Jasminder Bains

August 26, 2016

*****

What’s this? My insides feel like they’re tearing apart. 

Something’s wrong, I should take some medication.

Something’s wrong, it’s 3 A.M. and I’m awake again. Did I ever fall asleep? I feel like I’m dying. 

I’m frozen, I feel like screaming, is this really real?

Maybe this is the dream I have to wake up from, I don’t remember falling asleep so maybe I never woke up. 

Something’s wrong, it’s 4 A.M. and I’m still here. I should just close my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if it was appendicitis….would I?  

Something’s wrong, it’s only 7 A.M. and I’m already awake. No, mum, don’t leave for work just yet. There’s a patient lying here in bed who needs to be seen.

Mum is gone. My brother needs my phone for school. It’s low on battery because I stared blankly at music videos and funny vines for half the night unable to react thanks to the burning sensation in my stomach.

Dad wants to know what’s going on so I spill my guts on him. It’s time to try another medication, stay hydrated, and ride things out.

Mum says book an appointment if it doesn’t get better. I wonder if it will get better.

I’m a statue, unmoving and emotionless. I thought today was yesterday. Guess my brain didn’t register that I ever went to sleep.

Should I feel crooked that this pain is now who I am? I don’t want to do anything let alone go the hospital. It could be nothing. Just like me.

Dad wants me to make him lunch if I’m able. Fine. The pain is mostly gone and I can wait 10 minutes to pass out.

There are two types of naps: the kind that make you feel worse than before, but you know you had no choice, and the kind that make you feel energized. Mine was the latter. Maybe it’s because I slept two hours instead of 20 minutes. Oh well. At least the pain’s almost gone.

All I’ve had to eat today is half a bagel and a tin of Chobani yogurt. I should eat something else. A salad sounds divine only I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to eat the croutons and leaves yet. Only one way to find out. Verdict: I can chew a crouton. I can’t chew a spinach leaf. I’ll just have a burrito.

Something’s wrong, it’s been 18 hours since I laid awake in bed screaming in my head and I’m doing it again. Except this time in a chair with a plate of food in front of me. Forget it. I’m not eating if it’s gonna sting this bad. Time to take some more medication. 

I don’t want to be a physical embodiment of pain, I want my life back. I want to feel joy again, I want to listen to music that lifts me up again, I want to write a blog post ahead of time again, I want to have faith again, I want to feel healthy again, I want to have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I want to be me again.

~Live Boundless.

*****


Here are Some Additional Posts By Jasminder: 


Thank You Jasminder for sharing so much about yourself and your blogging. You’re an incredibly inspiring and motivational thinker and writer. 

If you would like to be interviewed for my biweekly interview series, please contact me HERE on my Contact Page. Once more here is the link to Jasminder’s BlogConfessions Of A Reborn Girl.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Writing Prompt: Poem – Villanelle – “Becoming ‘The Angel In The House’.” #amwriting #poetry #victorianera 


Thank you to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Villanelle writing prompt this week.

—–

Credit: http://www.webexhibits.org – Italian School, The Rustic Concert, The Song

——-

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn,

We’re here to fill our minds, wonder blooming. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.

Oh what problems will we learn to discern? 

Reading, poise, religion; house ‘angels’ singing, 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn. 

How should we serve tea? Keep house, give birth, turn —

On those not good enough? Not with us ranking. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned. 

Should our daughters be haughty and learn —

Their goal (as ours), to marry well praying, 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn.

Are we moral centers? Ignoring sperns, 

Spouse with many beds, mistresses stringing. 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned. 

Our value, our husband, children, in turn —

Their children, their marriages bliss bringing? 

Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn, 

For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.

—–

Credit: Crosscurrents Writing Gender – Quote from Virginia Woolf
 

—–

Villanelle

A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.
The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).”

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Event, Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Remembering #flashfiction #writing #amwriting #poetry #remberanceday #lestwenotforget


Thank you to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——

A Mixed Bag

——-

“Why don’t they rebuild this old stone building Grandpa?” 

“You know well, Gertrude, it costs a great deal to repair a historical building. They can’t even take it down because this building is a designated historical site.” 

“That doesn’t seem right. Why would we leave something so valuable to history, to fall apart? Eventually it will only be a pile of rubble and everyone will forget its significigance,” Gertrude mused. 

” Maybe someday someone like you, Gertrude, will restore the building. It’s a painstaking process and you must use and find authentic materials.” 

She nodded. “I understand Grandpa, but sometimes certain cities choose not to rebuild. Like in Venice, many buildings are left to disintegrate and collapse into the water. They don’t let architects even plan to rebuild. Many once grand buildings are in such dangerous condition, they’ve been left so long.” 

“Restoring old buildings can be good Gertrude. They are a part of humanity’s history. We need to remember our history to learn from it. But sometimes we need to knock old buildings down and design better ones from our present day knowledge. Future generations can learn from us through newer buildings too,” Grandpa said. 

Gertrude nodded. She was training to be an architect but was only a freshman in university. Her Grandpa had been a great architect and was still well known. 

“What will future people learn from our buildings, Grandpa?” 

“Hopefully, they’ll learn our buildings are stronger. Made with more thought to design, to the environment, and how the everyday person lives. Our simple routines we take for granted are our history as much as the calamities of our time.” 

Gertrude frowned, turning to her Grandpa. He was wearing his WWII uniform for the Rememberance Day Ceremony; he was going to walk in a parade as well. 

 “Will they remember men such as you, Grandpa?  Men who fought for their freedom in Normandy and in other places in Europe? Will they understand why you and other soldiers have nightmares from war? Will they remember why you had to fight and saw so many of your buddies die brutally?” 

A tear escaped Grandpa’s eye and he shook his head, not able to speak. He was too afraid what he and his fellow soldiers had fought for in brutal war, would melt away in time. 

——

Lest We Not Forget. November 11th is Remberance Day in Canada. 

“In Flanders Fields” 

John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

——-

 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 

That mark our place, and in the sky, 

The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 

Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

——–

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields. 

——-

Take up our quarrel with the foe! 

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high! 

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

——-

Works Cited: Poets.org

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Licentia - aabbccddeeAA, BBffgghhiiAA, CCjjkkllmmAA, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

#OctPoWriMo – Day 12 – Licentia – “Keep Fighting” #amwriting #poetry


Day 12 Prompt: Strong

“What comes to mind when you hear the word “strong”? Here are some of my thoughts: strong storm, strong body, strong spirit, strong drink…” 

——–

http://www.quotesgram.com

——–

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 

Strength is a quality not measured in moments, 

Measured in years, standing against time, back bent. 

It’s an eternal struggle with internal —

Thoughts and habits, striving to change and descern. 

Attempting to learn what experience teaches, 

Growing in ourselves and for others reaching. 

Improve upon our lives, our relationships, 

Don’t be still, life needs our participation. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here
——

Strength is a quality not measured in moments, 

Measured in years, standing against time, back bent. 

Fighters push hard, keep trekking through the swamp land, 

Mud sucking at your boots, praying there’s no quicksand. 

Though tangled vines block your path, the machete cuts, 

Letting no vines keep you from glory — sword thrust. 

Old boat leaking, passing through life’s wide valleys, 

A quest you must complete, don’t you dare dally.

A light in the distance, shows your boat safe path, 

Light saves you from ending on rocks, body smashed. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 
——-

It’s an eternal struggle with internal —

Thoughts and habits, striving to change and descern. 

Looking inside ourselves, we’re often selfish, 

But we can change, help others, give back and wish —

We knew how wonderful it felt to generously, 

Give of all we are; family gives meaningfully. 

Inner strength once found, perserverance we grasp, 

Goes into the world, makes a sad person laugh. 

For finally they can overcome their issues sad, 

They see a light, see truth wins –every card hand. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 

——-

Attempting to learn what experience teaches, 

Growing in ourselves and for others reaching. 

Spread fortitude, physical, emotional and —
Spiritual; seeing  it bless, teach, understand —

Beyond words and muscle, past many barriers, 

Teach us to grow and find strength as warriors. 

Life such a battle, we do what we can in —

The time we are given, keep fighting and win. 

Glory and honour maybe yours or not yet, 

We go through life either way, path never set.

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 
——

Licentia: 

“The Licentia Rhyme Form, a poetic form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of at least 3 12-line stanzas with 11 syllables per line. Of course, the poem can be elongated adding on to the following rhyme scheme: aabbccddeeAA, BBffgghhiiAA, CCjjkkllmmAA.” 

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, OctPoWriMo, Poetry, Writing

#OctPoWriMo – Day 10 – Wrapped Refrain – “Favourite Mistake’s Burn” #amwriting #poetry


Day 10 Prompt: Unfolded
“Has there ever been a time that something negative happened but because of it you discovered something positive? Free write for ten minutes diving into one or more of your experiences and then take us on a journey through your poetry, show us how the events unfolded. Or…

You could take it in a different direction and free write about unfolded and see where it leads. Was there a time when you were doing laundry with someone and they didn’t like how you were folding? Tell us about it.”
———-


http://www.chess.com

——–

Events unfold, burn me apart, 

Thought life was stable; now restart.

Begin again anew and find, 

Inspiration warm and kind. 

Or realize life isn’t nice; it tricks you each time, 

You think you would know, twice shy once burned –but you’re blind. 

——-

Don’t you know my favourite mistake, 

Experience merciless takes —

It’s fire to everyone who thought not, 

To remember their lessons taught. 

It’s the way life unfolds teaching us learning hurts,

What’s worse, relearning leaves scorch marks, worse — blood boils, spurts. 

——

No one feels sorry for you now, 

You’d time enough to figure how. 

You will recall your experience, 

Though vainly hid, it’s your reference.

Walk away, don’t do it, you’ll get tossed out the door.

Change your mind before you regret, choice made poor.

——

You never learn, you have to see, 

If you realize and change key, 

Your life might be more harmonious, 

Less mistakes made erroneous.

Maybe you’ve found peace, where experience led you, 

Events unfold, learning never ends, life drills you. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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

Interview With Christopher Leo Couch


Hey everyone. I’m thrilled to share with you an interview on a wonderful writer, teacher, and blogger this first week of July. His name is Christopher Leo Couch of Clcouch123. Please check-out his blog, he’s a fascinating, kind, and learned writer.


Christopher Leo Couch
Christoper Leo Couch
  1. Please Tell Us About Yourself.

My name is Christopher Leo Couch. Christopher because my mother liked the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and Leo because it’s my father’s first name and his father’s and so on back. My last name is Couch because centuries ago, members of my clan made cushions for medieval furniture, furniture otherwise made of only hard stone and brick.

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky; much of my family is from and in the Southern USA.  My immediate family moved to Pittsburgh when I was young, then to Cincinnati. I moved back to Pennsylvania to work. I live in Mechanicsburg, a small town (borough) near Harrisburg (the state capital).

I grew up with four siblings, three brothers and my sister. I am the middle child. As such, I had to be an older child or a younger child, depending on the nature of the situation. The nature of the situation was rarely made clear to me. I never knew which child I was supposed to be and when. As a child, I had a busy imagination. I enjoyed stories and writing them. I made little worlds out of my train set and other toys such as models of spaceships or Lincoln Logs.


2. What Type of Profession Did You End Up Going Into?

I went into teaching, which became the substance of my work. I taught college while in college. Later, I taught my way through Graduate School and teaching paid the bills. I discovered I had great concerns for the accomplishments and growth of my students. In my initial studies and since, I developed a learner-centered approach to teaching that has evolved by experience and further training.

As an educator, I’ve worked in schools and churches. I’ve worked with all ages of students. I find it appealing to teach a range of all ages. I enjoy working  with babies, children, youth, and adults. I have degrees in Communications, and English, and I’ve studied religion. I’ve also, taught both public speaking and writing.

I am Christian though probably a lousy evangelist. I enjoy meeting those from other religious traditions and learning about their faith. I spend time with agnostics and atheists as well. I can articulate my faith well and I’m a devotee of the apologist C. S. Lewis; however, I believe if we’re all going to last in this world, we’re going to have to respect each other first. Rather than attempting to talk someone into my way of thinking and believing, I prefer to listen and respond. Then, I’m able to learn and relate to where others are in their spiritual beliefs.


” . . .I believe if we’re going to last in this world, we’re going to have to respect each other first. Rather than attempting to talk someone into my way of thinking and believing, I prefer to listen and respond. Then, I’m able to learn and relate to where others are in their spiritual beliefs.” – Christopher Leo Couch


3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

About a year ago, I had heart surgery. My recovery was slow and I couldn’t do much of anything. One activity I could do was write, so journaling became a daily practice. My spiritual director (once) had recommended I keep a blog. Why he suggested this, I’m not sure. I had already found WordPress, but I began to write on my blog more often after his suggestion. I enrolled in Blogging University (the WordPress offered courses). I also participated in a WordPress poetry writing class. I built a basic blog, giving myself enough options so that I could write blog posts, read the blog posts of others, and respond to other WordPress blogger’s comments.

I haven’t done much in a sophisticated fashion with my blog concerning graphics and other technical aspects, but I’ve been posting and corresponding daily for several months now and am learning as I go.


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

Poetry is an impulse for me. I write poetry because I have to. It’s the reason I write, I think. Poetry is the way I meet the world. Maybe someone else somewhere, said this more profoundly, but for me this is how I can explain it. I write poetry to explore, as I imagine many do with this form. Poetry can be an exercise—a way to play with words—which is fine. I play that way. Usually, there’s more at work behind the poetry, even in the playful parts. I write to speak, to say something to the world, and to engage the world.


“Poetry is an impulse for me. I write poetry because I have to. It’s the reason I write . . .I write poetry to to explore, as I imagine many do with this form. Poetry can be an exercise -a way to play with words . . . I write to speak, to say something to the world, and to engage the world.” – Christopher Leo Couch.


5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration to Write? Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like to Write?

Many things inspire me to write such as current events, a moment of beauty, and the concerns of myself and other people. I’m inspired to write when words come to mind or heart which I cannot let go of.

Currently, I most like to write in the early evening and revise in the afternoon the next day. I often enjoy writing first thing in the morning, when my mind is new and I encounter the world in an open way (or as open as the day and I are going to get).


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Poetry Projects? Any Hopeful Projects You Are Working On?

I’m working on composing a series of psalms. I’m not the first person to express psalms in a new way. I’m not sure how I began working on this project. A psalm, simply put, is a song to God. Perhaps, I was writing out a prayer and thought there might be something lyrical about it. At any rate, I continue working on writing a series if psalms.

It’s also been a dream of mine to study and train for an MFA in Creative Writing. I’ve applied to various programs, though have not worked out a method to afford taking courses in a Creative Writing Program, which is why it’s a dream. But I do have an active, waking dream to lead a creative writing class.

While recovering from my surgery (I must have had more time than I recall), I drafted  a verse novel for a young-adult audience. I have great fondness for the genre and have been delighted to teach it, study it, and simply read it. I’ve written works, often in dramatic voice, for groups and special events; I’d be glad to continue writing works such as this.

I’d love to publish my work, of course. I have mentioned in my blog a dream of mine, to have a collection of my poems published in hardback form. I want my poetry to be a book as the kind of works I look for in bookstores and come upon as treasures abstracted from the mortal—or divine—aspects of earth.


“I want my poetry to be a book just as the kind of works I look for in bookstores and come upon as treasures abstracted from the mortal — or divine — aspects of earth.” – Christopher Leo Couch


7. Have You Published Written Works or Are You Planning to Publish Works of Writing in the Future?

I published numerous works while in graduate school and in my scholarly life. Most of my work, even poetry, has been published in journals. My favorite of these works is an article about ancient riddles and their use in The Hobbit.

For the last church in which I worked, I wrote a devotional series and for a Lenten observance. I wrote The Way of the Cross—a kind of liturgical writing which has been composed over centuries. If you go to the The Trinity Camp Hill Website, you’ll find my Way of the Cross and the entire experience rendered on line.


8. Can You Briefly Describe the Process You Went Through to Publish or Are Going Through to Have Your Writing Published?

I imagine if I seriously wanted to publish widely, I would need to have a literary agent, if not an advanced (terminal) degree. What I often do, is send my writing to a group which might be interested in printing it. Sometimes I’ve been commissioned to write certain pieces. Sometimes sending your writing to interested parties works and sometimes it doesn’t.

On a side note, I’ve heard there maybe a new planet discovered in our solar system. If so, it’s going to need a name. I posted a poem about my choice of Minerva (Roman god of wisdom), which many of you (thank you) like as well. I also sent my suggestion to NASA. Maybe, they will like my name choice as well?


“Most of my work, even poetry, has been published in journals. My favorite of these works is an article about ancient riddles and their use in The Hobbit.” – Christopher Leo Couch


9. What is Your Writing Process Like?

I’ve described something of my writing process above; I write. It’s not usually so hard, because I know I’ll write stuff that I won’t keep. But I’m still writing. The computer is especially (truly, really) helpful with my writing. I can draft, move things around, and create new saved versions and files. It’s so easy now with the a computer. Sometimes, I wonder how I made it through my Master’s Degree using a typewriter. (A mechanical word-calculating device networked to nothing but the typist).

I usually write in response to something—even if it’s only in wondering why or how. Sometimes, I write something and then put it away. (Again, wonderful computer)  I have many pieces of writing saved and stored on my computer (without proper back-up, I’m sure). At times, writing is difficult, because I am writing about something difficult. The recent death of my close friend is hard to write about. Sometimes writing is more straightforward and other times, writing is like playing. The act of writing is a chore (physically speaking) but I’m fine with it’s physical demands.


10. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?

I read poetry, young-adult literature, and regular mysteries. Sometimes I read varied genres for fun and sometimes for work. For work, I read about pedagogy and religion. My favorite mystery works are by Aaron Elkins who sometimes writes with his wife Charlotte Elkins. Charlotte also writes on her own. My sister and I share mystery titles and our reviews of the books we both read. But, young-adult literature crosses pleasure and work, as does poetry.


“Sometimes, I wonder how I made it through my Master’s Degree using a typewriter. (A mechanical word-calculating device networked to nothing but the typist).” – Christopher Leo Couch


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

Write! Don’t wait. Write. Share. Get reader response and write more!

When sharing your writing before revising (and after, since writing is an organic process and not artificially linear), choose those whose opinions about your writing, you generally respect. These opinions do not have to be from folks who are writers.

If you would like to know how to increase your vocabulary when writing — read. You can read anything. I suggest reading writing you like. Rosema from the blog: A Reading Writer writes about wonderful books to read along with meaningful poetry. Please check-out her blog in the link above.


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share With Which Is Pertinent to Writing or Yourself?

I’d like to thank you, Amanda, for arranging this interview. I’d also like to thank everyone who reads my work. I’d like to thank those with whom I interact with online, because your work invites response.Thank you! Don’t let writing be a mystery which stultifies.  Writing is a mystery—but the good kind. When it’s fair and correct, give credit where credit’s due. Identify sources and inspirations.


“Don’t let writing be a mystery which stultifies. Writing is a mystery –but the good kind. When it’s fair and correct, give credit where credit’s due. Identify sources and inspirations.” – Christopher Leo Couch


  1. Can You Share With Us a Few Links From Your Blog With Some of Your Favorite or Most Loved Pieces? 

The first poem is playfulGrandmama used two words in “Collecting Words,” which I especially like. I use these two-words here:

“Pie Outside Can’t Hide”

By Christopher Leo Couch

Crimp pie crust,

Not too hard, ‘cause,’

Dust to dust.

Enjoy the crimp,

With elf and imp.

Like will-o-the-wisp,

When fall is crisp.

We bake our wares,

To cool on stairs.

Steam sprite-rises,

No surprises.

Wafting dessert:

Magic food alert!


My second poem is more soberly reflective:

“Failing Night”

By Christopher Leo Couch

 Just after five,

I have not been asleep.

Pain shoots through,

My leg, a single line,

Of nerve.

As if a wire was pushed,

Through inside.

Then something threw,

A supernatural switch,

And a low current of too-

Warm electric sting,

Without cessation.

Courses through tired,

Muscle.

Having surrendered the,

Day’s labors into,

Aspiration’s night of,

Negligent awareness.

Barely keeping guard,

Letting go of awake,

To turn into dream.

In hope to re-knit and,

Repair stretched.

Measures in the body,

And the mind.

It’s a cycle that’s supposed,

To work.

Why then is pain,

Ruining what I’ve made?

Not fair.

I want to rest then rise,

With normal consciousness,

Beneath the skin.


More of Christopher’s poetry can be found on his blog here.

Thank you so much Christopher for doing this interview for me. I enjoyed learning about you, your past, and your future aspirations. I wish the best for you in life, completing your MFA in Creative Writing, your psalms, and a hardcover book of poetry.


Thanks for reading this bi-weekly interview series. I have another fantastic interview lined up in the next couple of weeks. If you wished to be interviewed on writing and/or blogging, please reach me on my contact page on the top of my blog.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.