Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – “It’s a Fact of Life” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW September 5, 2017. 

Excuse the length. I saw the photograph and it fit my poem well. Since I’m still two weeks behind I don’t know that it matters 🙂 

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Credit: Artycaptures.wordpress.com

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When I visit here, 

It’s a fact of life. 

Blood drawn with tiny needles.

Some days they sting, 

Stringing out two seconds. 

Other days, the needle doesn’t register. 

It was a fact of life,

I had to visit here each week,

For the first six months. 

Then, every other week, 

Now each month the rest of my life. 

It’s a fact of life, 

So I don’t pay much attention. 

Facing away when the needle grazes, 

The same ‘good’ vein. 

Blueish-purple in my left arm, 

Silver-violet threads of blood vessels. 

Some months these needles bruise, 

Leave my skin raw and red; 

But If I’ve someone skilled,

There’s a slight indentation. 

Each month —

Babies crying concertos. 

An ominous feeling in the air. 

They’ve no choice —

But to know sharp pain. 

A poke stinging eternities of fire, 

For a wink in time. 

Wailing and —

The waiting room patients’ sigh. 

Then silence follows, 

The miniature massacre. 

Everyone checking, rechecking watches, 

Pulling out phones. 

Waiting for that sickening needle, 

Shuffling in seats,

Legs crossed and uncrossed. 

Glossy magazine pages turned, 

With frequent frustration. 

Toddlers running,

Mothers trying to calm them, 

Hushing their lively squeaks. 

I’m used to having blood drawn, 
Turning my head, 

Focusing on some object, 

Or a distant thought. 

There’s persistent pain as the needle pulls, 
My blood into the tube. 

Six to nine tubes today, 

Blood annexed for annual work. 

These tests burn —

Worse than the tattoo artist’s etching. 

Sketching out the black lines, 

Worse than her needle, 

Grazing repeatedly, 

Skin with vibrant colours. 

Back and forth movements, 
Calming and hushing,

Knowing what to expect and where. 

Conversation, music soothing, 

Then, the artist is done. 

Her needles leaving, 

A work of art behind. 

But the blood test needles ache worse. 

Similar to the last flu shot,

Some years not felt at all.

Other years a poke that —

Throbs all day. 

Despite praying the pharmacist,

Will slide the needle in,

Not deliver a death blow. 

Droplets of bright blood plop, 

To the stark white floor. 

She laughs, this never happens. 

Her mouth turns downward, 

Because you grimace, 

Squish your eyes shut counting the seconds;

Until the hurt dulls. 

She wonders why you wince, 

Why you’re so sensitive.

Says the swelling will fade, 

You’ll live, 

It’s a fact of life. 

It’s a matter of proper training, 

Slipping any needle in gently. 

Not jabbing and mincing, 

A persons veins or muscles. 

Yet still, a fact of life. 
But I remember being six and crying,

Fighting my mother, 

She was angry. 

Because I saw the needle, 

And refused. 

Today, the blood test needles are thinner. 

Adults can ignore them, right

Grit their teeth while the bloods, 

Ripped away, into a tube. 

It’s a fact of life. 

That some things are sharper and dig holes deeper, 

Than blood tests, flu shots, or tattoos. 

There is greater pain flowing from our insides,

If only the hurt could be drawn out as blood. 

If happiness, no worries, and no obligations —

Was all that remained behind. 

If only —

The tattoo artists colours, 

Garunteed you with fantastic health. 

And flu shots didn’t speak of fragility; 

Only the best humors in our blood. 

Gossamer strings supporting dreams. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

 

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Update Fall/Winter: All Is Well, Though Never Easy #amwriting #nonfiction 


It’s been a long while since I’ve given an sort of personal update. Part of the reason is there are somethings I can’t talk about at the moment. The other part has been life has felt incredibly busy and trying to keep up with everything on the reduced schedule I have has been a bit challenging. 

After an initial and yearly week or two dealing with SAD and becoming used to less light, I feel more energy again. Often I find when it comes to blogging, I have so many blogs to follow now, commenting daily is difficult. So you’ve probably noticed I do this less. I’m sorry I can’t keep up, but I’ve found in the last while, I need to maintain a balance in life or become overwhelmed. 

So I’ve been trying to keep up with my usual prompts and also for a couple of months in October and November I was doing daily poetry prompts for OctPoWriMo and November Notes. But I felt at least in poetry, my writing has been improving as has my knowledge of poetry forms. I’ve been so happy to be a guest blogger on Look Around, being able to continually collaborate with Spill Words Magazine Online, having work published on SickLit Magazine and have the possibility of poetry or short fiction pieces being published on a few other sites and/or magazines. 

Credit: http://www.spillwords.com – image used for my poem by this name!

Fiction is something I continue working on through flash fiction and other prompts. A larger story has developed from a piece called Teegan’s Potion. I have an idea this might develop into something much bigger, a longer short story or a novel. I would like to begin planning it out more. 

However, the other part of me is still working on my original novel on WattPad, doing a second draft. Lately, I’ve done about three more chapters and am hoping to put serious work into the novel throughout the winter semester. You can find my completed second draft chapters for How Was Last Night on Wattpad HERE. Events have changed and moved around from the first draft. Lately, I’ve only been able to do about three chapters, but I’m hoping to go through the remaining chapters, rewrite, and edit, and have one up each week. 

Sorry, I cannot promise this but I’m going to try to do this. Please let me know on this post or on Wattpad what you like and don’t like, or if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I’ve completed up to new chapter 12 in second draft. Also playing around with potential covers for this point in my writing. It’s a paranormal romance, so I’m unsure whether I want the cover more mysterious or more of a typical romance cover. What do you think? 

I was most disappointed not to have made it into the online MFA in Creative Writing I applied for for September 2017. My plan is to try applying one more time and to continue publishing pieces of poetry and short fiction until I’m in or not.

 I’m also looking at taking a couple of courses in the certificate program at U if Toronto. This way, I have more writing courses and hopefully more recent great marks, for my Academic CV. I’ll be able to see how my second application for the MFA goes next October. If I don’t get in then, I can work on completing the certificate. I’m not sure if I would try three-years. I’m just taking it day by day right now.


The other part of my life has been dealing with not having money from my disability company anymore. I’m coping with this, but it could take a year to come to a mind of resolution. In between if I could make the $300.00 a month I can make having AISH and CPP disability in Alberta, Canada, I would be most happy. I’m applying for different writing and blogging jobs on a freelance sight called www.upwork.com. They do take a small percentage, but it’s worth it if you can connect with good clients. 

I’ve had job offers so far but had to refuse because I cannot write and research full time. Not to mention, some of the people posting jobs have little clue how long writing up an article or blog from 300 to 1000 words takes, especially with research. They want articles fast and yet they want them to be perfect, free of errors. Some of them want this for only $10.00 an article – not even minimum wage per hour where I’m from. I’m hoping to find some good jobs on Upwork to earn extra money and gain some job experience part time and/or casually. I’m leaning more to the casual end I think, part time would honestly be too much. 

It would help me pay for a course in spring and fall and maybe a vacation. One of my bestest of best friend’s wedding is in Cuba. I was planning to before my insurance revoked my disability. But this is a long ways away, so I’m praying it might work out that I could be there and have a little vacation too. As of now, it’s not appearing hopeful.

Credit: http://www.melia.com

My Christmas shopping is finished. I’ve been baking cookies and squares. The best cookies are from this Neiman Marcus oatmeal cookie recipe. You grind the oats into flour in your blender. The cookie is soft and chewy and uses both white flour and the oat flour. I put in lots of chocolate chips and crushed pecans. I’ve become an expert at baking these and my whole family is addicted to them.

Apparently, I haven’t baked them in a while. One batch is about five dozen cookies. One dozen I gave to my brother, and the other four dozen have been disappearing from the freezer at an alarming rate. Let me know if you want the recipe, I can send it to you. I will be making another batch when I replenish the chocolate chip supply. 

Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

I’ve been trying to keep busy, seeing friends whenever I’m able. My one BFF and I went to a Paint Nite event, painting penguins on wine glasses. At home you bake them in your stove so they are useable. It’s a cute craft, but I think the wine glasses themselves would have been nice with some wine in them 🙂 Hanging out with S again this Saturday for drinks a the Art Gallery restaurant and a naughty Christmas show at the Citadel Theatre. Also, always planning for the future.
Credit: Amanda Eifert

I finally found my perfect tattoo and am trying to arrange a consultation with the artist my hairdresser and friend Tess, suggested. It’s a peacock feather but very beautiful. Bold enough in black but also with shades of blue and maybe purple. So excited for this, even though it will hurt! It’s not this whole tattoo, just the peacock feather part. See below:

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Have a blessed Christmas everyone! Remember the true meaning of Christmas and the hope a babe in a manger named Jesus became for all mankind. 
Credit: Lamb and Lion Ministries – Prophetic Facts – About the Nativity

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.