Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Travel, Writing

Interview of Writer, Blogger, and Photographer Yinglan Z #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.


Interview - yinglan
Credit: Yinglan Z

1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself? 

Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?

I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?


2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?

I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.

Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.  


“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z


3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging? 

I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.

Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.

When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You? 

A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.


“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z


Interview - Yinglan City
Credit: Yinglan Z

5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?

I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.

I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.


6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres? 

I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?

I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?


“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.


Interview - Yinglan Quote
Credit: Contributed by Yinglan Z

7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?

My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.


8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.


“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z


9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog? 

I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.

Change

By Yinglan Z.

*****

Your yesterday is gone
But your today is here sooner than you think
You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong
And you wish you can make all the bad go away
And you say

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going to be okay
Tomorrow
It will all change

*****

Your today is gone
And you have made no commitment
To bring changes
Oh and you just kept on saying that

*****

Tomorrow
Things are going be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be bright

*****

Day and day went by
You just sat behind your table
Waiting for changes to come to you
You say, “It’ll be okay”
And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself”
And you say starting tomorrow

*****

Things are going to be all right
Tomorrow
It will all be right
It will all be bright
It will be the day when I set thing right

*****


Here are some of Yinglan’s short stories:


Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life. 

Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home. 

If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂


©Mandibelle16. 2017) All Rights Reserved.

Blank Verse - unrhymed Iambic Pentameter, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blank Verse – “The Nymphs’ Allure” #amwriting #poetry #mythology 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt.

—–

Credit: http://www.jwwaterhouse.com

——

Come in, come play, the water’s warm and fine,

We’re all having fun, clothing  unnecessary.

Any nymph knows her body is pleasing.

But little we find young men who wander,

To visit us a while — let yourself rest.

Let your body be beguiled by us.

We’re girls full of laughter; blossoms —

To eat which are tasty and keep you near,

From leaving too soon; it’s a party here,

A never ending happy hour, wine flows —

From Dynosios cup; so drink up, sit back.

Time stands still and you’re forever a youth;

Caught in this moment, we’ll all feel —

Forever blissed; stay amongst us spirits,

Of the earth, of trees, grass, wood, and water.

We care for the forest, lush paths followed,

Hideaways, treasures, meant to last.

Gift of the gods, for us having beauty,

Like yours; but we offer you — explore.

Spend your eternity here, we see so few,

Such attractive men, so stay find pleasure,

Aid us keeping the world alive and safe.

For future generations, for our —

Children, and plenty of youthful men.

Your life could be dreamlike, could be blissful.

Come in, come play, the water’s warm and fine.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Writing

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Escaping Society #flashfiction #amwriting


Thanks to the lovely and gracious Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW this last week. 

——

Credit: Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode
——
Violet read the letter her daughter had sent her in disbelief. To fathom a girl of Elizabeth’s quality of breeding would do this to her family was unimaginable

Harsh Victorian society could never know the truth of what Elizabeth had done and Violet wasn’t sure she could bear to keep in contact with her daughter.

She would focus on her other children. Violet’s sons had married well. Three of her daughters were also married suitably and having more children. Her two youngest daughters were courting wealthy gentlemen. 

Elizabeth if not cut-off from her family, could ruin them all. Violet reread part of her daughter’s letter once more in disgust: 

“Did you know Mama, there is such thing as a circus? Freaks of all kinds, but I love them because they’re genuine, not like the society you so desperately try to trap me in. Years of dance lessons have left me flexible. I pirouette far above the ground and dance in the air; I ride the elephants. 

It’s amazing travelling the world and I won’t be returning to London, except for an occasional visit of course. I’ve married one of the men who runs the circus. He is like me, gentry who has run away from a society of judgement. I love you and hope we can write, but I can’t be the woman you want me to be. . .” 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Writing

#OctPoWriMo – Day 28 – Sonnet Petrarchan – “Beach Peace” #amwriting #poetry


Prompt Day 28: Picture Prompt – Beach 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

——–

Of all the places I love to visit, 

The beach is my most adored place of peace.

Tide goes in and out, a rhythm ceaseless, 

Hands, toes buried in sand, sitting in it. 

Gorgeous place, with blue skys and sun gifted. 

I watch the children build their castles pleased, 

Towers, moats built –they knock it all down ungrieved. 

Reading novel, sunlight my spirits lifts. 

——-

Can anything beat wading, two-miles or so, 

The water just rising around calves low; 

Sunscreen reapplied, temperature hot, glow —

Of the light on water beaded skin, gleaming. 

Tranquility found in sand, surf, sun dreams; 

Natures temple, relax, unwind; heart beams. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

alouette, Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Travel, Writing

Poem: Alouettes – “Star: Never Flicker Out” #amwriting #poetry


http://www.wildwoodcircle.com

———

My prayer for you is, 

That you’re not a wisp, 

Never a star flickering out.

That you shine boldly,

For what the years hold, 

Pray you glimmer, bright, hot. 

——–

Some lights end shortly, 

May yours burn forte.

Be that diamond in the sky, 

A jewel, valued highly.

Live your life, defy–

Limits, the odds; inspire.

——

Though sickness choke breath, 

Though time steal your health.

Transform; the light, dazzling.

Take hold of our hands, 

While we beg; understand, 

Why our star’s unraveling.

——-

Surgery takes out, 

Kills what darkness brought.

Shine on dear star; glow brave.

Save your light for strength.

Heal true at all lengths.

You’ll luminate soon; light saves.

—-

Shadows turn your gleam, 

Black hole eats light’s beam.

The struggle for brilliance, pain.

You’ve got this dollie

God won’t let you stall.

Shooting star bright you’ll remain.

——

In all God’s glory, 

He holds your story.

A star precious, with design.

You show fortitude, 

A glib attitude.

Darling star falling, refined.

——

You’ve never been a wisp,

Effusive woman missed.

Pretty blond star, beauteous.

Vibrance, cheer; your gift,

Each visit uplift.

Never burn out, star bloom.

——

Live for millenias, 

Prosper, wise light; will

Vivre; bold star falling.

Never flicker out, 

Your battle cries shout.

Dear star blaze; for life brawling.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

Event, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

MayDays: Nonfiction – A Visit From Cooper #Maydays


img_1203


Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is man’s bestfriend. We’re to write about dogs.


Nikki
Nikki

I found it quite funny, dogs were today’s #Maydays topic. I love dogs and if you have followed me for a while you know I had a dog named Nikki who passed away about two-years-ago. She was a Miniature American-Eskimo – Terrier Cross with a  great deal of personality. Nikki was a pack dog and loved her family but was not so friendly around strangers.

It’s funny with pets, you never realize what an impact and presence they are in your life until they pass away. Nikki became ill and in about three-months she was gone. She is my favourite dog ever and lived about twelve-years. She loved to run, I think running so far was hard on her body as well as some other problems, we never were able to find out.

But today was an excellent day to have this prompt because my brother J visited with his room mate’s dog Cooper. Cooper is one of those fluffy dogs with hair that needs trimming  often. Unlike Nikki, Cooper doesn’t lose his hair. And there’s something to be said for that.

Apparently, Cooper doesn’t give kisses but he gave me a few; he must have been feeling generous. It is hilarious when you hear how people sound when they talk to a dog. Their voice pitch goes high and they talk cutesy. Dogs such as Cooper, love it when your voice does this, they get excited because they hear high-pitched sounds as something good; I read that somewhere.

Down in the basement, Cooper visited my Mom and I came down and we played “go-go” or “zoomies” as Jodi from Life Inbetween calls them with her dog Charlie. We were trying to wear Cooper out and we did. Eventually, he went home with my brother. J sent me a photo of Cooper lying on the couch, not moving a muscle. He texted me: ” [Cooper] hasn’t moved since getting home.”

I don’t know who was more excited by Cooper’s visit, my family and I, or Cooper. But I think my Mom is coming around about not having another dog and would be in favour of getting a small dog such as Cooper. I’m crossing my fingers.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Looking Back on My Dad’s family.


I knew there was a prompt I forgot about this week! How could I forget the wonderful Jacqueline’s Echoes of My Neighbourhood? So, I haven’t taken any recent pictures lately but I have some more pictures looking back to the past.  

 
This wonderful warm women was my Great Grandma Kendal. She lived in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan, where my Grandma grew up. I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she died but she was in her early to mid-nineties. I have longevity in my genes. I remember visiting my Great-Grandma’s house a couple of times as a child and teenager. When I was 5-years-old and My Great Grandpa Kendal was still around, my Great Grandma Molly sang to me How Much is That Doggy in the Window and gave me some fabric and buttons to sew little pillows with, for my Barbie dolls. 

When I was about thirteen-years-old, we visited Great Grandma (her name was Molly) again. One time on the visit when everyone else was gone she told me to come and sit with her. She told me when my Grandpa Willard Eifert married my Grandma, my Grandpa had a bit of an attitude. He thought my Grandma’s farm family was a bit beneath his own family who were all highly-educated pastors and nurses. She told me it took time for my Grandpa to get over this. She also told me my Great Grandpa Phillip Kendal had a dream about heaven shortly before he died; in his dream God showed him heaven and it was beautiful in a way he could barely describe. The last thing she told me was not to cry for her when she died because she would be in heaven and happy. I didn’t cry for her, I knew better when she passed away.

  
This is my other Great Grandma on my Dad’s side, her name was Ida and she was an interesting woman. She liked to dress well, and would save up for one expensive suit, rather than buy a few cheap suites. She married my Great-Grandpa Carl Eifert who came from around Leipzig, Germany when he was a little child. Carl became a Lutheran Pastor and Ida gave birth to many children, sons who also became Lutheran Pastors and daughters who married Lutheran Pastors or became Nurses. My parents helped Great Grandma Eifert out a great deal when she still lived in her house in my home city. Later, her children moved Ida to White Rock, BC, closer to her daughters,and we visited Great Grandma Eifert there when I was a young girl. I have a memory baking cookies with her when I was three or four-years-old too.

Ida lived a long life, into her nineties as well. In fact, she passed away when I was almos fourteen-years-old, in July. When she died my family viewed her body at the funeral home. It was disconcerting to see that our hands looked exactly alike. So, I know who I inherited my hands from.

  

Two-weeks later, after Ida’s death, her son, my Grandpa Willard Eifert passed away exactly on my Birthday. It was a terrible birthday spent at the funeral home, helping Grandma pick out caskets (etc.) My Grandpa Eifert was young when he died, seventy-three-years old. I miss him so much to this day. I think his funeral was the first funeral I openly cried at. 

I was close to my Grandpa. I often slept over at his and Grandma’s house in the city. I spent time out at their parsonage near Wataskiwen when my Grandpa was still a Pastor, before he retired. My Grandpa smoked a lot until he quit in his fifties but the damage had been done. On the Eifert’s side, we have bad lungs and my Grandpa had emphysema which resulted in him having an oxygen tank eventually. When he died it was due to his smoking. His heart had been beating at a runner’s pace for twenty-years and it finally gave out. It still makes me sad because you never think the last time you see someone alive, is the last time you’ll see them. Last time I saw Grandpa he was in hospital and he said he wasn’t doing to well. We didn’t stay long.

What I remember with my Grandpa the most is all the time we spent playing chess and cribbage. I learned cribbage when I was seven-years-old and only beat my Grandpa three times at Chess ever. Twice he was tired so I don’t count those times. We played Yahtzee and Uno and deciphered cryptograms and crossword puzzles. In the mornings when I was over, I would wake up early and help Grandpa make breakfast. At the parsonage, there was tractor rides and VBS to go to at Grandpa’s Church in the summer. When Grandpa died my Godfather told me the greatest gift I could have received was my Gandpa going to heaven on my Birthday because he was no longer in pain and with his Lord.

My Grandma also pictured here, is a special lady. She is about eight-six and slowing down but doing well. I played games with her when I was younger. We also did all these fun crafts such as making our own Christmas ornaments. I helped her bake items such as Apple stroudal and homemade donuts. She was in her house until recently and is in a seniors place now. She is a kind person who loves to talk and be social. She was a great Pastor’s wife and is involved in Church to a great degree still. I need to visit her soon, she came back from a vacation seeing her sister with my Dad. Having an adult relationship with my Grandma is different from having a relationship as a kid. I wish my Grandpa hadn’t smoked so he could be here too, and I could have an adult relationship with both my Grandparents. 

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.