My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Published Work, Writing

Interview with Christine Ray: Writer, Blogger, Poet, and Barista from the Go Dog Go Cafe #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to another Tuesday edition of my interviews series. Today I have another new interview for you, a talented writer, poet and a Go Do Go Cafe  Barista, Christine Ray. 

I hope you love her blog I have found it fascinating. You can check out some of Christine’s wonderful writing on the topics of Poetry, Erotica, Spoken Word,  and for you newbies out there, B & R Advice for New Bloggers.

Before we go any further, I need to introduce Christine’s blog as a whole, it’s called: Brave and Reckless.


Christine Ray
Credit: Christine Ray

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself, Christine? 

My name is Christine Ray and I’m from Havertown, Pennsylvania (outside of Philadelphia). I blog at Brave and Reckless. I feel as if sometimes I should call myself the ‘accidental blogger!’ I came to the WordPress blog site to do one piece of writing called: What Every Woman Knows. The piece is based on rape culture, sexual harassment, and sexual trauma and is, sadly, more relevant now more than ever.

Writing that one post literally changed my whole life. I rediscovered that I loved writing. I also love to write poetry and I’m thrilled to be part of an active writing community. My blogging goals include continuing to grow and strengthen Secret First Draft, the Go Dog Go Café and Blood Into Ink, all projects that are very near and dear to my heart.


2. Do You Have Any Particular Blogging Goals or Things You Want to Accomplish? 

My first goal is to simply improve my writing skills maintain writing as a daily habit.  When I started blogging, the deal I made with myself was simply to write 10 minutes a day. I had the option of writing a new piece from scratch, working on an ongoing project, or editing a piece of writing.

The idea was that I develop discipline and prioritize my writing. I am involved with a lot of other collaborative blogs. And sometimes my own personal writing keeps moving further down the priority list than it should be moving.

Additionally, I’m registered for a course about writing child and young adult literature in the Fall that I’m really excited about.  The thought of a low-residency program to earn a Masters in Fine Arts has crossed my mind a time or two (or maybe ten!!).


“My first goal is to simply improve my writing skills maintain writing as a daily habit.  When I started blogging, the deal I made with myself was simply to write 10 minutes a day. I had the option of writing a new piece from scratch, working on an ongoing project, or editing a piece of writing.” – Christine Ray


3. When Did You Begin Writing or Blogging and Why? What Does Writing Mean to You? 

I honestly can’t remember how old I was when I began writing but I was definitely scrawling short stories into dog-eared notebooks in middle school. As well, I started writing poetry as a teenager.  I was also the editor of my high school newspaper and my senior yearbook.

Nevertheless, I have taken long breaks from writing when life has become busy but it has always been something I come back to when I’m in transition. I turned fifty-years-old in 2016 which was a major life reassessment period for me. Writing became a primary method for me to work through my feelings. 

Finding my voice again as a writer has been really powerful, though to be honest, I think other people took me seriously as a writer long before I did.  There were most definitely several months where I transitioned from when I thought about myself as a middle-aged woman (who happened to write), to identifying myself as a writer and a poet, being who I am today.

Writing has become, and honest, always has been an essential part of my identity. As well, began my blog: Brave and Reckless on October 8, 2016.


4. Where do you Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue Writing? Why is it Significant for you to Continue Writing and Blogging? 

I find inspiration everywhere. Music is a big part of my writing process and song lyrics frequently inspire my work but I’ve also been inspired by movies (Paterson is amazing); TV (you’d be amazed how much poetry there is in American Gods); beer menus, conversations with other people, and currently, a collaboration with Aurora Phoenix inspires and motivates me. The collaboration began in the comments section in one of my blog posts.

This sounds silly when I say it out loud, but when I started this particular blog in October, I had no idea that I had anything to say! The vast majority of my writing is inspired by exactly what is going on in my emotional life, in the moment. Sometimes I approach writing about those things obliquely, but often what you see is a direct reflection of my experiences during the day.

One of the most transformative experiences of blogging for me was realizing my writing resonates with other people. Every time someone writes to me and tells me that I captured exactly what they were feeling, but couldn’t articulate it, is an incentive for me to keep up with my writing.  

Every time someone writes to thank me for writing openly about depression, suicide, PTSD, or trauma, it is incentive to keep writing.  Feeling like I can still make a positive impact keeps me writing and blogging. I feel that I can make a positive impact on other people by continuing to write and blog because it helps other people, not only myself. 


“Every time someone writes to thank me for writing openly about depression, suicide, PTSD, or trauma, it is incentive to keep writing.  Feeling like I can still make a positive impact keeps me writing and blogging. I feel that I can make a positive impact on other people by continuing to write and blog because it helps other people, not only myself.” – Christine Ray 


Rawpixel.com UnSplash
Credit: Rawpixel.com via UnSplash

5. Do you have any Particular Writing or Blogging Habits? What do you Enjoy Most About Writing? Is there a Time of Day you Prefer to Write?

I have a busy life and have discovered that the only way to fit writing and blogging into my life is to awake at 4:00 a.m. From 4:00 a.m to 6: 00 a.m. I write, I answer blog related comments and emails, I record ‘Spoken Word’ versions of my writing, and see to editorial duties.

As well, I have been known to write whole pieces in the Google Docs app on my phone during my commute on the bus or train. I also eat lunch at my desk, at work, and try to catch up on reading other people’s blogs.  At times, I’m still awake at 10:00 p.m. doing blog related activities and tending to my own writing. I must admit that I’m tired right now. However,  I expect things to calm down a bit over the upcoming summer months.


6. Can you Tell us About your Most Current Writing Projects on your Blog or Outside of it? 

In addition to writing and publishing daily, I’ve been running various writing challenges on my blog.  This week I challenged readers to write about a life experience using ten objects and will be publishing my favorites on my ‘Brave and Reckless’ blog. I’ve already committed to two Writing Prompt Challenges and have my third occurring now using the prompt: “I Am More Than Breath and Bones.”

I do publish some of my work, the pieces I call “the softer side of Christine”—on Poetry Corner. I’m also happily involved as a Barista at the Go Dog Go Café.  It’s been fun to put the site together and to work with a  lovely cadre of writers, some of whom I’ve met and some of whom are new to me. The Cafe has a wonderful community vibe and brings out the best in writers.

My most recent project was launching Blood Into Ink  (with a group of writers from WordPress and off of it).’Blood Into Ink’ has a safe and respectful environment for stories of survival to be told. It gives a home for stories from those who have lived through sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, and other forms of trauma. The focus of the blog is to discover our ‘warrior voices’ by telling our truths. 

It is open to men and women and already features some pretty fierce writing.  I am proud of this project and hope that it encourages many writers to tell their stories and aids them in receiving the support and respect they deserve for their stories of survival and dealing with them after the fact.

Also, I’m working on a project called Whisper and the Roar, a feminist literary collective site. I am still an author for Whisper and the Roar. All of the writers on this site are feminist but the content is not overtly feminist. I piece I wrote for this particular site is called “Ode to a Black Eye.” Such as many of my pieces, this post is autobiographical (my childhood friend Wendy had the black eye and we finally talked about the incident when we reconnected on Facebook.


Blood Into Ink’ has a safe and respectful environment for stories of survival to be told. It gives a home for stories from those who have lived through sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, and other forms of trauma. The focus of the blog is to discover our ‘warrior voices’ by telling our truths.” – Christine Ray


7. Have you Published any Writing or Poetry outside of your Blog? If not do you plan to in the Future? 

I recently had a couple of pieces of poetry published in Felan Magazine which has lit a fire under me to publish more writing into print. Felan centers its issues around a particular feeling so it was easy to pull my best pieces about Anger (Issue 10) and Love (Issue 11). 


8. Can you Briefly Describe to us Your Writing Process? Are there Certain Genres of Writing and Reading You Prefer? 

The vast majority of my writing happens on my PC in the early morning hours with music playing in the background. Some of my work happens on my phone on the train.  Some it is sprawled into notebooks until I have time to type it up. I’ve been known to write a poem or two during long and dull meetings at work (hopefully none of my co-workers are reading this).

Poetry is definitely my primary form of written expression but I do write some prose, some short fiction, and essays. As a reader, I tend to joke that I will read the back of a cereal box if nothing else is handy! I’m obsessed with Jane Austen (I’ve got a Jane Austen quote as a tattoo) and I’ve read the Harry Potter series a ridiculous amount of times.  I love psychological British mysteries,  Young Adult literature, as well as, science fiction, and fantasy. All in all, I’m a serious book nerd!


“Poetry is definitely my primary form of written expression but I do write some prose, some short fiction, and essays. As a reader, I tend to joke that I will read the back of a cereal box if nothing else is handy!” – Christine Ray


Nicole Jones UnSplash
Credit: Nicole Jones via UnSplash

9. Do you have any Wisdom for Other Bloggers and Writers?

Make writing a daily habit even if you can only dedicate ten minutes a day. Write what you like to read! Find writers whose work you like and follow them too! Check out those who follow your blog—you may like their blog too!

Also, don’t obsess about numbers. Fifteen extremely engaged followers are more rewarding than two-hundred disengaged writers. Be brave and leave thoughtful comments on other people’s writing. I have picked up a lot of followers this way. Most vitally, I have made excellent friends by commenting on the writing/blogs of other people. 

In addition, I recommend subscribing and responding to the Daily Post. I want everyone who writes and/or blog to know that their voice matters and their truths matter too. Don’t worry about your audience, worry about what you need to say.

There are twelve million people on WordPress—your people (your followers) are out there. You may need to look for them, but there is someone out there who wants to read what you have to say.


10. Is there Anything Else you Want to Share, something you think is Pertinent to Writing or Yourself? 

One crazy thing that happened to me in May is that one of my pieces was chosen for featuring as WordPress Discover blog called: Brave and Reckless Advice for New Bloggers – Part One.  I went from 164 views on May 1st to 2,439 views on May 2nd. It was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time!

Things have calmed down a little but I spent three days replying to all the comments I received! I still don’t know how the WordPress editors found me or that piece. However, I try to use my newfound readership for good and give lots of other really good writers exposure on Brave and Reckless (I feel like I should be quoting Spiderman or something here)!


“Make writing a daily habit even if you can only dedicate ten minutes a day. Write what you like to read! Find writers whose work you like and follow them too! Check out those who follow your blog—you may like their blog too!” – Christine Ray


11. For fun, do you Have Any Especially Favorite Bloggers that you Love to Follow? 

There are so many blogs that I love! My big writing crushes are:

  • The Feathered Sleep — Candice Louisa Daquin’s writing is elegant, exquisite, and emotionally resonant.
  • A Journal for Damned Lovers — Nicholas is gritty and dark and never glamorizes life, love or himself.  He takes you on journeys into the human psyche that you didn’t even know you wanted to go one. He appeals to my darkness and I want to grow up and write like SK someday!
  • The Lithium Chronicles –Nicole Lyons and the other poets she highlights on her site are badass warriors! There is an electricity to Nicole’s work, a buzz that gets under my skin, and into my blood. Some of her writing is similar to what could be pulled from own diaries.
  • Additionally, all of the writers at the collectives I work with are amazing and deserving of a read.

12. Can You Please Share with us a few of Your Favorite Pieces from your Blogging? 

Poet’s Love Song

by

Christine Ray

*****

Christine Ray = MM photo
Credit: From Christine’s Ray’s Blog ‘Brave and Reckless” for this post.

*****

I see you

Yes, you poet

You who lives

Behind the misty veil

Dwelling in the border

Between this world

And a hundred other

Shadow worlds

*****

see you

*****

see those ink-stained

Fingers

That hold your pen

Like a lover

That fly across the keyboard

In a torrent

Before stopping, hesitating

Waiting

For the flow of words to resume

*****

see the permanent rings

Countless cups of coffee

Have left on your writing table

The chip in your favorite mug

I see the frayed fabric

On your cuffs

Of your favorite writing shirt

The fabric worn thin at your elbows

*****

see those mesmerizing eyes

That seem to simultaneously

Be looking through me

Straight into my soul

While studying the cosmos

And gazing inward

All at the same time

see the contradictions you are

Your eyes are haunting

Full of knowing

Full of pain

Full of longing

*****

see the dark smudges

Under your otherworldly eyes

Reminders that poets

Are night dwellers

Insomniacs

Who haunt the still hours

Who understand the depth

The texture of darkness

Who can capture the qualities

The acoustics of silence

*****

see the way

That words spill out of

Your sensuous mouth

Like pearls, like diamonds

Beautiful treasures

Embedded with your tears

Your sweat, your blood

*****

Yes poet

see you

You who makes me fall

In love with language

Over and over

Whose words

Stab me in the heart

Punch me in the gut

Jangle my nerves

Bathe me in your radiance

Soothe my weary soul

Take me on a journey

I didn’t even know

I wanted to go on

*****

And you are beautiful

*****

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved



Thank you so much to Christine Ray for being so detailed and open sharing her writing and poetry with us on my blog and on the Go Do Go Cafe. If you would like to be featured as a writer, blogger, or person who is blogging/writing about a cause please reach out to me through my contact page. Next week`s interview will be a ‘Rewind Interview,’ a blogger I’ve interviewed in the past.


©Mandibelle16. (2017). All Rights Reserved.

Blitz poem - 48 Lines, Friday Music Prompt, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Music Prompt # 8: Poem – Blitz – ” Real Violent Ocean” based off of “Calm Before the Storm” by Sarah Ross #amwriting #poetry #musiccprompt 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Friday’s music challenge. It was based on the song ” Calm Before the Storm” by Sarah Ross. 

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Calm Before the Storm” – Sarah Ross

——-

Calm before the storm

Calm perceived, not real

Real quiet, crows flying 

Real quiet, eerie silence 

Silence is all you deserve

Silence before your fall

Fall from saving grace 

Fall from your glories

Glories were lies 

Glories were false promises 

Promises fade, are taken away 

Promise, the storm will be fierce 

Fierce as the rain drowning your voice

Fierce as the thunder screaming 

Screaming across the darkest skies 

Screaming as lightening fires 

Fires and hits you, sparks 

Fires right between your eyes, terrified 

Terrified of the calm before the storm 

Terrified when I warned —

Warned you little boy

Warned you as clouds turned grey, too late —

Too late to hold your breath

Too late as water cleanses, drowns

Drowns your pleading voice

Drowns her cursed moans that flew

Flew freely, you cannot hide

Flew undisguised, I heard surprised? 

Surprised the worst ain’t happened yet

Surprised the storm intensifies 

Intensifies my thirst for revenge, 

Intensifies my grief, you only see 

See the calm before the storm 

See the sky ominous red 

Red as rage, passion emblazed
Red as my ripped apart heart

Heart of the storm rises 

Heart of mine wishes you gone 

Gone your presence 

Gone, don’t let your presence be prolonged

Prolongs my misery 

Prolongs, such hatred brewing 

Brewing tornado in your trailer park

Brewing in the marsh, a wild storm 

Storms create, deep dank of cruel life

Storms erupt in my tranquil ocean. 

Ocean forms my monstrous storm, 

Life, you paid the price in my maelstrom. 

—-

The Blitz Poem: 

This form of poetry is a stream of short phrases and images with repetition and rapid flow. 
Begin with one short phrase, it can be a cliché. Begin the next line with another phrase that begins with the same first word as line 1. The first 48 lines should be short, but at least two words.
The third and fourth lines are phrases that begin with the last word of the 2nd phrase, the 5th and 6th lines begin with the last word of the 4th line, and so on, continuing, with each subsequent pair beginning with the last word of the line above them, which establishes a pattern of repetition. 
Continue for 48 total lines with this pattern. The last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47.

The title must be only three words, with some sort of preposition or conjunction joining the first word from the third line to the first word from the 47th line, in that order.

For more information see Shadow Poetry.

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Interviews, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Writer Interview of Shivangi from ‘Stories by Shivangi’ #interview #nonfiction #author #childrensbooks


Hi, welcome to another interview for my biweekly interview series. I have been behind due to other projects so I’m having a special edition of my interview series featuring the lovely and talented Shivangi Singh from Minnesota in the United States, on a Sunday. Her blog’s link is here: Stories by Shivangi – Once Upon A Time . . .


Shivangi - Self
Credit: Shivangi Singh

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

I am Shivangi Singh from ‘Stories by Shivangi’ from Minnesota in the Unites States. I am a stay at home mom and I love to weave stories inspired by my surroundings. If you enjoy stories, films, and kids stuff, visit my blog, you will most definitely enjoy it.

As a child, I aways dreamt of writing books but with the development of technology, I have learned how easy it is to self-publish, now more than ever. I have managed to write, do some illustrating, and be the author of two children’s books that are available on Apple Itunes. They include the books below.


The Princess with Brown Teeth 

By Shivangi Singh

Shivangi - The Princess With Brown Teeth
Credit: Shivangi Singh – ‘The Princess with Brown Teeth’

Find it at on Itunes here: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-princess-with-brown-teeth/id1146112226?mt=11)


Who Ate The Moon

By Shivangi Singh

Shivangi - Who Ate The Moon
Credit: Shivangi Singh ‘Who Ate The Moon’

Find it on Itunes here: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/who-ate-the-moon/id1206671343?mt=11).

 


 2. Please Tell Us About Your Recent Book? When Did You Begin Blogging and Writing?

My recent book Who Ate The Moon is about two naughty brothers Aala and Uja, who adore the moon. They steal the moon and through stealing it learn about the different phases of the moon. The book is educational as well as entertaining. Through my children’s books, I’m trying to make learning fun for kids.

I began blogging in January 2015 soon after my first little one was born. I have been a copywriter, journalist, and have won several awards in creative writing. The purpose of ‘Stories by Shivangi’ was to maintain my flair for writing. I was also feeling a little disconnected after moving to the USA from India, so I chose to start my blog to establish a connection with fellow bloggers, writers, and friends. Ultimately, my blog showed me the way to my dream of being a published author.


3. How is Writing and Blogging Meaningful for You? Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Why Is Writing Important to You?

My blog and writing my books provide me with a much-needed creative outlet. It is my voice! I use this voice to entertain, advocate, and teach little ones such as my own. 

My inspirations are my surroundings, my kids, and the latest news or current events. As a child, I loved story books and I want my kids to love reading as much as I do. Mothers are the first teachers’ of their children so it’s my endeavor to instill the love of reading and writing in them. If I write blogs and books, they too will understand the joy of knowledge. This is one of my primary motivations to continue my blog as well as having that creative outlet for myself to write what I would like.


 “As a child, I loved story books and I want my kids to love reading as much as I do. Mothers are the first teachers’ of their children so it’s my endeavor to instill the love of reading and writing in them. If I write blogs and books, they too will understand the joy of knowledge.” – Shivangi Singh


4. Do You Have Any Particular Blog or Writing Habits? 

I write on the go and on my smartphone. A sentence here and a word there. With two demanding little ones around, it is harrowing to write sometimes and that is why I try not to commit to too much writing at this time. As my kids grow up and depend on me less, I will devote more time to writing books and to blogging.


5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects On Your Blog or Otherwise? 

As of now, I have not planned anything. I will just keep writing one blog a week! My projects have been my two kids books which you can access above. As I said, I try to not commit to too much with my little ones and their demands at the moment.

My book did get reviewed by Ritu of But I Smile Anyway, and I wrote a guest post for the site. I was interviewed by Ranjeeta of atrangizindagieksafar as well but have no future plans as of right now beyond blogging.


 ” [I]t is harrowing to write sometimes and that is why I try not to commit to too much writing at this time. As my kids grow up and depend on me less, I will devote more time to writing books and to blogging.” -Shivangi Singh


6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process You Went Through Writing Your Books? 

It was quite challenging! I wrote the children’s books and created illustrations using inspiration by reading other books here and there. I had no professional help whatsoever while publishing and am proud to say I figured it out on my own. I kept reading DIY  blog posts and forums and through them, I managed to publish my children’s stories.

Time was a challenge and so were the illustrations, but I did have an illustrator paint my cartoons in the first book (The Princess with Brown Teeth). But in my second book, I illustrated with the help of Pixton.com. My challenged of obtaining a visa was also a challenge so I couldn’t publish my books on Kindle. I was thrilled when my books were published on Apple, but then, I know many people with Android readers don’t have access to my books.

I did, however, put together a video on YouTube and did a voiceover of my books for readers who could not obtain my books through Apple. It did not come out as I had expected and I struggled on each step. I learned an enormous amount of information about putting together a video of my books in the process. 


7. What Keeps You Going As a Writer? Do You Prefer Any Writing or Reading Genres? 

Persistence and a love for writing are key, a person just has to keep writing no matter what. As well, I am absolutely crazy about fiction! I like to read poetry too!


“I wrote the children’s books and created illustrations using inspiration by reading other books here and there. I had no professional help whatsoever while publishing and am proud to say I figured it out on my own. I kept reading DIY  blog posts and forums and through them, I managed to publish my children’s stories.” – Shivangi Singh


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Bloggers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing? 

All my blog friends are doing great! I would advise them to be persistent and be better than their last post! As for having anything else to say, well,  I think I have said it all😀


9. For Fun, What Are You Three Favorite Blogs You Follow, of Any Kind? 

When I first entered the blog world, these were my favourite people. I continue to enjoy reading them.

  • Priceless Joy  — Her stories are awesome and her Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer Challenge is great for those who love writing and working on telling a story in only 150 to 175 words.
  • Ritu of But I Smile anyway — She blogs about day to day activities but the way she presents these activities, the way she writes, is awesome. Also, Ritu is such a positive and inspiring person!
  • Ali of Draliman On Life — (Because Sometimes Life Just Makes You Stop and Think) —  If you love a good laugh, visit Ali’s blog. I am a big fan of his humorous works.
  • I would also like to mention Millie Thom from Bringing History To Life — she is a writer par excellence.

10. Can You Please Share With Us Some of Your Favorite Blog Posts?

Anecdote – Lesson By My Grandma!

By Shivangi Singh

May 9, 2016

******

*****

My grandma is a grand old lady nearing a century. If you look at her, she may appear formidable in the beginning and then a ringing laughter would ensue, dismantling the image you had conjured up in your mind. The fact is, she is both formidable as well as light hearted. A unique, delightful combination!

Born and brought up in a royal family ( Kharsawan, Jharkhand), she has always had that regal bearing. She believes in maintaining distance from her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids as well as recently added a great-great-grand kid. And we are all supposed to behave in her presence. We rise when she enters the room and remain respectful in her presence.

During my childhood years, we lived with her, so, we had the opportunity to observe her from the closest quarters. I discovered her lighter side later in life. Initially, I was apprehensive of her. She commanded and the household ran according to her. But as I grew up, I discovered the lighter, fun side of her personality. There have been many instances when she would have us in splits.

Here is one such incident. One of our cousins was going to meet a prospective bridegroom. In arranged marriages in India, girls and guys are introduced by their families, they meet up, chat and then a decision is taken unanimously.

So, this cousin was both excited as well as scared before her first meeting. Our granny called her and said, “If you like this man, try to do little something to make him fall for you.”

We were seeing another aspect of our grandma. We all asked, “what?”. She immediately showed us how to woo a husband – “Look sideways at him and then look down… blush… look up again at him… look down and blush again. And then smile juuust a little.” We doubled up with laughter!

I don’t know whether my cousin looked sideways at the prospective groom or not but they ended up getting married!

*****

(Sharing a picture of my grandparents)

*****

I look up to my grand old lady because she always had the audacity to laugh at all challenges that came in her life. In her almost 100 years of life, she has seen many ups and downs. All her peers are long gone now, times have changed but she has remained strong.

I adore her because she is quite broad-minded, childlike and her booming laughter lightens the most serious of situations. A great devotee of Krishna, she follows what the playful God says – to celebrate life as it is!

Long live my grandma!

*****


Here Are Additional Posts Written By Shivangi:


Thanks so much to Shivangi for filling out my interview questions! I even gave Shivangi the wrong interview questions (the one’s for blogs that are causes) and she still did a brilliant job. She is an inspiration as a writer and a mother and I wish her good luck in the future with her family and writing. Here is the link to here homepage one last time: Stories By Shivangi


Thanks for reading this interview and if you are interested in being interviewed as a writer/blogger or you a blogger writing for a specific cause (or both), you can reach out to me on my Contact Page. See you on Monday for my regularly scheduled interview 🙂


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Fiction, Friday Music Prompt, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Octain Refrain/Double/High - Abbac/cabA Abbad/dabA, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 21 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge /Music Prompt: Poem – Octaine Refrain – “Just Because You Can” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #MusicChallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt us “to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech, I’m using a part of song lyrics.” The A to Z Challenge for a GoodRead’s author’s Quote is for the letter R. Also I’m incorporating MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Music Prompt on the Dolly Parton Song “Jolene” performed recently with the a capella group Pentatonix. 

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Credit: http://www.bodybuilding.com Forums
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When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” ― George R.R. Martin

——–

Please don’t take my man, just because you can, 

Your beauty is immeasurable, unique, 

I wish my man wasn’t who you were seeking. 

I know my request you don’t understand, 

You can love again and do it easily. 

I wish you didn’t make him feel so pleased, 

He loved me before your auburn hair strands, 

Brushed past his face, and made him so weak. 

Please don’t take my man, just because you can. 
——

Please don’t take my man, just because you can. 

Your voice so soft like summer rain, laughing, 

Your sense of humour for him attractive. 

You float through life a stunning star ambling, 

Not thinking of women like me you hurt. 

Your seduction done so freely, not worth —

The heartache you cause just because you can. 

I can’t love again, so value what you have, 

Please don’t take my man, just because you can. 

——–

“Jolene” – Dolly Parton and Pentatonix

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Books, Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, History, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 15 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Tale Weavers: Poem – Italian Sonnets – “Unbirthday Hell En Medias Res” #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge #taleweavers


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write poem in the middle of things en medias res. The A to Z Challenge GoodRead’s Quote is for the letter N. The Tale Weavers Prompt courtesy of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie is to write about an unbirthday. 

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Credit: Not on The HighStreet Enterprises – http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

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I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. — Pablo Neruda

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Serve me tea and cut the cake quickly please,

Ensure my tea is cold with no odd hares. 

Or rabbit fur, or door mouse flees their. 

My unbirthday, she is here — the tease

She comes most everyday to say ‘breathe!’ 

You’re not old yet, many unbirthdays left,

Hold your years close to your beating chest.

You look like twenty-five, oh please

Each and everyday there is chocolate cake, 

Loud parties; a mad hatter who is weird,

Yes, the craziesness gets to me some days.

The party is brilliant, but I always peer,

For an escape home en medias res. 

Alice is happy with one birthday day. 

——–

So back to the town, back to my hills, 

No more unbirthdays? Mind left reeling;

Alice’s leaving Wonderland? Sad feeling. 

Pictures on walls here are hung straight — be still, 

To think on leafy forests dear, woods filled. 

The voice of the rain as it falls and it glows, 

But I’m too drawn to rabbit holes at will. 

Back amidst glamorous parties thrown, 

Having left peace a mere second ago, 

The town brook,  seems a mellenia’s dream.

Same crew in Wonderland serving tea. 

Too hot, too cold, to much cake makes me grow, 

Back to unbirthday hell — un medias res. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, History, Memories/Childhood, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Wrapped Refrain, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Wrapped Refrain (2) – ” Bye Bye American Pie” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.


Credit: Sunayana MoiPensieve


 

He sings the song, he knows so well, “American Pie” resounds,

A story “a long long time ago” the lyrics found,

On the lips of those passing by,

Throwing coins for memories sighed,

Thinking of “the day the music —

Died,” a plane crash in history mused.

Brought into the present, the “music [that] makes [him] smile.”

Singing talent innate: “Bye, Bye Miss American pie.”

———

He sings of the “good old boys . . . drinking whiskey and rye,”

Of the day they thought “this would be the day that” they’d up and die,
He breathes life into Rock and Roll,

Thinks music can save “mortal” souls.

His sonorous voice knows he has —

No luck; but he’ll sing for the past.

For “Miss American pie;” she drives her “Chevy” to the dry —

Levy;” all passing, know the lyrics “the day the music died.”

——

He’s a hit, his voice similar to Don McLean of past,

He drives home the point as if it were shards of sharp glass.

As history occurred, passed,

“Dirges in the dark” that collapse.

Of forgotten heroes, music lost,

Of times forgotten, with cost.

Singing for the “kings” and “queens” who walk on by, listening,

He sings the song he knows so well “Bye Bye . . . American pie.”


Don McLean – “American Pie” 


Wrapped Refrain (Form No. 2), created by Jan Turner, carries some similar aspects as her Wrapped Refrain form, with further advanced techniques. It consists of 2 or more stanzas of 8 lines each, with the following set rules:

Meter: 14, 14, 8, 8, 8, 8, 14, 14
Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b,b,c,c,d,d

Refrain rule: In each stanza, the first 10 syllables in the first line (incorporating a phrase) must be the last 10 syllables at the end of the last line (line #8).

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Crossing the Veil #amwriting #taleweavers #fiction


Thanks to Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s prompt: A tale which takes place beyond the veiled mist. 

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Credit: Adventures In The Wild

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Kyria had been warned since she was a small child, beyond the veil was dangerous. Her older siblings had told her monsters lived there, that there were witches waiting to eat a young child. 

What the adults said wasn’t much better. Her Grandma Iris said she’d lose her soul if she was caught in the veil beyond. She talked about shape shifters and immortal creatures of the dark such as vampires and werewolves.

One day hanging the laundry on the line at her grandmothers, Kyria gazed at the veil nearby. She hadn’t thought of it for a long time and she wasn’t sure why it called to her now. She’d never admit she could hear the whispers of the creatures which lived their. They were tempting her and she knew it.

 Did everyone in the village see the veil as she did? Kyria believed they had no idea where it physically was, that to them it was was only folklore for children and not a real thing; it was extremely real to Kyria and she knew for her grandmother as well. 

Kyria was twenty-four and long past the age of adulthood. Her parents lived together and her siblings with their families. She hadn’t found a suitable man to marry so her father decided she should move in with her ailing Grandmother and care for her. He thought she needed to be of use somewhere since she hadn’t married quickly as her sisters did. 

The more Kyria thought about the veil and the mist shrouding it, the more she thought about how she’d never put herself out there in life. She’d always done what she was told and when others failed she was the one who took their place, who filled in so everything went smoothly. 

It was how she made up for her so-called “selfishness,” still being single and not having children for her family and village. She wondered why she had never pushed her boundaries and was tired of being ruled by her father’s and her grandmother’s whims.

Kyria loved her Grandma Iris the most because she understood Kyria better than anyone. But her grandma still cautioned her to never cross the veil daily. But grandma was inside sleeping and Kyria heard the whispers from veil more and more these days. They were a sirens call to her. 

She ignored all she had been told by her grandma, her family, and her friends as a child. She decided today she would cross the shrouded veil into the other world. Dropping the laundry Kyria walked towards the veil and into the mist surrounding it. The veil shimmered as she came closer and sonorous voice could be heard singing on the other side. 

When she reached the line where the spiritual and natural worlds met Kyria stopped for a moment and stood. She smiled and with both hands raised in front of her she was able to feel the mystical energy she was about to pass through. 

She stepped into the shimmering fog and breathed deeply. Her long blond hair flew out behind her and it was the last thing her grandmother saw as she watched her granddaughter cross into the other world. 

Grandma Iris sighed in frustration but she knew as it had been with her, the veil had been too much of a temptation for Kyria. She knew that adventure and discovery awaited her sheltered granddaughter. As it had been with Iris, the veil and it’s magic was in Kyria’s blood. Grandma Iris was the only one besides Kyria who actually could see the veil, she had made herself guardian of the gateway and hoped Kyria would take over for her one day. 

But as the last of Kyria’s blond hair slipped through veil and disappeared, Iris couldn’t help being thrilled for her granddaughter. What awaited Kyria would shape and change her. It would motivate and hurt her, it would be an experience far beyond the scope anyone in the village would ever experience. 

Iris blew a kiss towards the veil and whispered a blessing for Kyria. The feelings of excitement in Iris were so intense it was as if it were fifty-years-ago and she herself was crossing the veil. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Finish Off Fridays/Saturday Mix FlashFiction, Flash Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts

Finish Off Fridays: The Summons #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting FOF. 

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Credit: Lorraine

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“I had never been summoned to Number 208 [by the park] before; I nervously adjusted my coat . . .” A person could book a pick-up online or by phoning into FedEx but you couldn’t summon a particular delivery person, could you? 

“April, it means what I said,” Becky from the warehouse told me on the phone, “I’m not being rude, the lady who lives there wanted you, specifically, at her home.” 

The door was open when I arrived. “I’m here,” a frail female voice rasped. 

Walking into the house I heard the respirations of a woman on a ventilator. She was all hollows and sallow skin. Her hair was whispy white and thinning. Eyes the color of blue-bells greeted me but they were bloodshot. 

The woman grasped a yellow envelope with a trembling hand. She shook the envelope and a key dropped out. 

Her shaking fingers held it out, “For me?” I asked. 

I took the key staring at it in confusion; it appeared ancient. As I examined it I heard the woman gasp something. I moved closer to her and held her hand attempting to hear her strained voice. She shook her head with a ragged sigh and breathed her last.

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Memories/Childhood, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: Low Places #amwriting #music #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

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Credit: Edwin Undrade via UnSplash

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The resonance of his voice carries in the arena, an audience enthralled by the first twang of his voice. 

He’s a brilliant musician, the epitome of which other Country artists aspire to be –a world wide known musician, a gifted storyteller, with a beautiful famous wife. 

The cadence of his final song’s chorus resounds as he considers the eight more shows he’s playing here; the last lyrics hover in the ambience of the audience as he leaves the stage:”Oh, I’ve got friends in low places.” 

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Note: Where I live, Garth Brooks is performing. His concerts kept selling out so they continued to add new shows, even weekend afternoon performances, until he was performing for nine shows. We’re pretty impressed that he’d play nine shows in our city. If he added a show or two more I’m sure they’d sell out as well; I still couldn’t get tickets 🙂 

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“Low Places” by Garth Brook

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Blank Verse - unrhymed Iambic Pentameter, Fiction, Flash Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Saturday Mix Flash Fiction: Soliquey – Blank Verse – “The Con” #amwriting #soliliquey #fiction #SaturdayMix


Thanks to Bastet from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix. This week’s prompt is a soliloquy at a train station. I’ll be using blank verse or unrhymed iambic pentameter as the Bard did. 

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“Imagine a scene, a train is pulling out of the station and a person standing on the platform looking dejected. What can have happened. Perhaps this person is someone in the station wishing to leave but for some reason hasn’t. “

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Credit: GSK 2017

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So leaves the train, so leaves my heart, 

Why him I once loved, now I know not? 

Must have been his eyes so brilliant a green, 

Gems such as emeralds, a sea-green storm brewed.

Was it his cavalier smile, his laugh? 

With him I felt wanted, weak in the knees. 

I was his Queen, he my adoring King. 

He cared for me gently, said I shouldn’t stay —

On my own, for he loved me; fooled me, 

Underestimated a woman cruelly scorned. 

I saw cracks in the vase, facade crumbled, 

An artist’s dream of beauty such a fake, 

He left, emptied my pockets of money. 

This con thinks he’s safe going to Bahamas, 

Since he betrayed me, I say differently. 

He’ll be doing some flying, and me thinks he’s done. 
Thrown off the tallest bridge, out of the train. 

Expensive was his end, but I’m appeased

I watched his train moving away, still —

Missing his voice, his touch, time spent loving. 

But I know he never loved me, I was ‘means’ —

To an end; yet, the ‘real end’ was his own. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.