February Ending: Where Things Are. . .


Written Friday Night…..

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It’s a quiet Friday night. I am in bed at midnight. But like most nights I’m wide awake. This is useful for writing. But sometimes I feel half-way between sleep and awake. I’m not able to pay attention to write some of the longer pieces of fiction I’ve been working on through the past weeks when I’m like this, but I’m still awake and thinking.

From last weeks Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer, a longer short story developed. I think it might be a fantastic story to use to work on getting some published pieces of fiction. It is a short story of around 10, 000 words but I can tweak it either way. I have done some research into submitting pieces such as short stories and poetry. Even the short stories seem to be quite a few thousand words. It is excellent because the Flash Fiction inspired story turned into a longer story then I anticipated. When I first sat down to write the original one-hundred-seventy-five word story, I didn’t see it becoming such a multifaceted, fascinating story. I’ve published all parts of Never Again on the blog now. Here’s Part 6 and you can work your way back from Part 6 to the original flash fiction piece as each part has a link to the piece before it.

As for, How Was Last Night For You, the novel I’ve been working on: the short story interfered with working on a couple of chapters for the novel this week. But I do plan to write up the next chapter(s) by this weekend. (SPOILER ALERT: If you’re not up to Chapter 18).For those of you who have been following along, John has broken up with Nina after she almost gets run over by a red truck. Nina and John have already overcome Nina receiving a concussion due to the sea witch Tia or Talise (John’s vengeful ex.). Nina is broken hearted John refuses to be with her to keep her safe, having admitted her love to John and his family, that night. Nina is still planning to help John break a curse Tia placed upon him — because she knows John loves her and is the only person who can help him break the curse, because of that love. John’s curse and Tia have been non-existent while Nina was healing but things are going to get ugly. Talise is coming for Nina to kill her to break John.John will stop at nothing to find Talise’s soul or her dagger (which Tia/Talise gave up her soul for) to use dark magic. But breaking up with Nina and going at Talise alone, isn’t John’s smartest idea and he will have to overcome obstacles to save Nina from Talise and himself from a lonely cursed life as Talise’s slave. So, more chapters coming soon. I’m on the fourth quarter of the book now, so it’s the home stretch. Check out Chapter 18: Defeating Talise and Breaking Nina’s Heart. You can also read the chapters before as their is a link back to the previous chapters. Thank you to those who give me reflective and constructive insight as I learn how to write a book as I go.

As for life, I’m keeping busy. When I am stressed, I have been doing yoga or adult colouring. I never believed colouring for adults would be therapeutic. I have a history in art. I did a few classes on drawing and Art History in University and took many art classes in high school. Convienantly, I received a Jamie Dornan colouring book from a friend and I have a lot of cool art supplies bought for rendering designs from my Residential Design Certificate courses. This colouring book has the bare minimum outlines of this actor so I’m having a lot of fun rendering Jamie with special paint brush markers. I bought a lot of colours and it was smart I did, they are especially useful for working on hair, eyes, and anything I want brightly coloured. 

As for Jamie’s face and some other smaller details, I have been using watercolour crayons. I never used these crayons before. But I love them now. They are great for rendering an actual portrait like face and you can use them waxy as a crayon or dip a water colour brush into a bit of water and make more of a wash of colour (s). The crayons are useful, making cheek bones stand out and making noses appear three-dimensional using lighter and darker colours. Drawing ontop of a wash is an ideal way to layer colour and build facial structure, but you can only add water and build waxy colour so much. Too much water colour crayon can ruin a picture. I’ve been attempting to remember back to high school art class and how to exactly make a face look more like an actual face, with dips, rises, and bone structure. My hands remember but sometimes it is getting my mind to follow along and remember the actual theory. Colouring has been surprisingly relaxing and it allows me to express a piece of myself I have been missing lately — my artistic side.

 

Jamie Dornan (Coloured by Amanda Eifert).
 
I also saw my wonderful friend J last weekend for a pre-valentines girl’s outing . We went to see How to Be Single. It was much better and different from what I expected from a Rebel Wilson movie. Her crazy antics are calmed by the lovely Dakota Johnson (Melonie Griffith’s daughter) whose acting is fantastic in the role. This is not only a chick flick, there is depth to this movie. Also, a clear message that it is okay to be single in whatever stage of being single you are in. As for Valentine’s no date this year and I was happy not having one. I got my Mom flowers deliveried and my Dad Cookies By George, they make the perfect gluten free macaroon cookies for him. Here is a picture of the flowers my Mom received. I love how bright they are.

Mom’s Flowers (Amanda Eifert)

If  you want to see an excellent chick-flick, sure you go see How to Be Single otherwise, I’m hearing great things about Deadpool. In other news, the weather has been gorgeous and I have loved being outside for twenty or thirty minutes each day. I don’t remember a Winter in Alberta where we haven’t experienced anything lower then about minus five or six degrees celsius. It’s wonderful being out in the middle of Winter and not freezing in deep snow and  minus thirty degrees celsius temperatures. Down east, in Canada, they haven’t had it as nice but here it’s gorgeous. Light jackets are all that is needed and even most of the snow has melted, except down by my house. (Knock on Wood though because I really don’t want any blizzardy weather).

 

How to be Single (IMdb.com)
 
My fitness goals have hit a wall. I can’t seem to keep my meals down to what Weight Watchers wants me to, which is about thirty-four points. I did it for a couple weeks and was down about six-pounds but back up again a few pounds. I’m eating around forty to fifty points. I’m fine in the day but night time is killing me. I go to sleep around 11:00 pm, or later if I’m writing, and before I can sleep I become so hungry I cannot sleep. So working on that and will be doing The RedBox in a couple-weeks. It is something my friend and many of her friends have done to help them lose weight but also to make them feel better all around from things such as allergies and back problems. I hope it works and helps me to sit at a healthier weight. Because I’m unable to do the cardiovascular exercise needed to lose weight I often need to look to supplements etc. I have tried many that didn’t work but I’m hoping the Red Box gives me some results and if not I get all my money back. I have seen some wonderful results from people in the Edmonton area so I’m excited.

Well, I will be posting some new novel chapters. I have a beauty blog I want to do on a few products and an article of skincare/shaving for men with some good drugstore options to help your guy have fantastic skin. I will continue working my way through different types of poetry and hopefully I can spend more time reading for a bit, so I have some actual progress to show on my PopSugar Reading list. Thanks and have a great week.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

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February: Please Be Good to Me!


February Please be good.
http://www.quoteswallpapers.net
 I’ve been feeling pretty great lately. I never feel I’m one-hundred percent, but I am feeling better than I have in a couple of years. The medication change for me I went into hospital in July 2015 to complete, was effective. Although, it is difficult for me to wake-up earlier then 10:30 am on my best days, I am able to do activities around home until midnight. 

Sometimes, I do still have a particularly, tiring day, and I need to sleep most of the day. But I feel I am at my best in the night and can achieve many of my daily goals. This drug I am on, clozapine, is supposed to heal your brain and help you improve each month you are on the drug. I hope it continues to help my health improve. There are many activities in life I would like to have the energy to accomplish. But I am sleeping well, and when you have insomnia sleeping well is always a plus.

Before Christmas, I did not feel I could go out at night. I didn’t have the energy for it and making the effort to get ready at night was extremely hard. But I have found since I am doing better at nights, I have been able to do more activities with friends. I attended my my friend K’s surprise 30th Birthday a couple of weeks ago ( I think I mentioned that in a poem) and I was at the hostesse’s house from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am and I felt fine. I expected to regret it the next morning but I felt alright. I was a tad tired but nothing a nap couldn’t fix. The party was a fun time with lots of wine and interesting conversation. It is crazy to see friends from university ( and friend’s of friends) as adults, with husbands, and children of their own.

I have also been feeling much better in the day time. When I wake- up, it takes me awhile to feel myself, but after an hour at most, I feel normal. I am able to write, research, scrapbook, do chores, go for a walk, or go out for an appointment or a date — whatever I need to be doing that day. I still time my outings so they occur every two-days and it helps me not become worn out. But I am also finding that my motivation has increased as well as my ability to mentally concentrate. I can concentrate for I’d say five hours or so writing, reading, and/or working on a project for school.

I am also interested in doing things I haven’t done in awhile. Over Christmas I started scrapbooking photos again. I do them the old fashioned way, by hand. But I enjoy it and I have fantastic scrapbooks full of memories. I have this tradition where I make mini – scrapbook albums for my friends who have recently gotten married. Unfortunately, I wasn’t motivated to scrapbook in two-years so I am behind. I have more pictures of my own to scrapbook but  I have completed two wedding albums for my friends T and J.

I am also working on the PopSugar Booklist, sort of . . .I find I do not have enough time or energy left in the day to read, especially when I am inspired to write a great deal. I am still half-way through reading ‘a book with a blue cover’ and I don’t know that I will finish the book I chose. I started another book I enjoy reading. It is the final book in a Romance/Action set of five books. The story moves along quickly and I feel more into this book. The other one is a little blah. So we’ll see how the list goes but I’m kind of thinking I will read what I like and I have a new book with a blue cover. I have always been a person who hated to have specific books assigned to read, if the books were not about a topic I was interested in. I am always surprised when a book I am assigned to read is fantastic these days. I read to escape and have fun so it is better to read what I feel like in the spur of the moment. I pre-order a few of my favourite writers on iBooks but mostly I read a book I feel like reading at the time.

Hard Love Book
Hard Love #5 OF Hackers Series http://www.amazon.com
Writing is time consuming. Especially now that my novel is planned out. I am half-way through writing the book. Thanks to those of you who have been giving helpful and encouraging comments. The book is at a point where I have to start building towards the defeat of the antagonist and provide resolution for my protagonist Nina. I’m excited to do write more but each chapter is a lot of work. Even after I post a chapter, I see so many corrections which need to be made. I leave it for a few days and sometimes I still miss obvious mistakes and areas of the chapter which don’t sound quite right.I know after I’ve done corrections (sometime in the near future)I’m going to be going back and taking out parts that are unnecessary and adding in parts that are needed. I will be combining chapters, moving parts around, and breaking chapters a part.

Writing a novel is a long process I am learning, one which I have only begun. But my goal as I have said in some of my comments, is completing a first-draft. After the first-draft is complete I can start to look at helpful and constructive comments more closely and complete a better second and/or third draft.  I want to have my novel edited professionally eventually. 

If you know of any talented editors or you are one, please send me a note. I’m looking for someone who has experience but who is not too pricey. Might be impossible! But I am looking for the kind of editor who will look over the book as a whole. I can’t remember the title used for this kind of editor, the name escapes me. I will need this editor to be someone who will honestly tell me what works in my novel and what needs rewriting. After,  I will look at obtaining the services of a copyeditor. But I amthinking too far ahead. Those steps are a long way off. For now, I’m aiming for a complete first-draft.

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I had the pleasure, of having brunch at one of my bestfriend’s condo yesterday. I haven’t seen her in months so it was exciting to see her and her new fiance and hear all about their wedding plans and their other plans for their future together. The fiance cooked a wonderful breakfast. I was sorry I had to make them wait in the morning. My cab took off  when I told him to wait one minute for me to put my boots and coat on. He was already fifteen minutes late, so I guess hanging around was too much for him. Luckily, Co-op cab is awesome most of the time and the driver who came at 11:30 am was excellent. I am grateful I got to visit with S and her fiance A for awhile. And I am looking forward to their wedding at a warm destination in 2017. I will be saving my money in hopes I will have the health and wealth to be there.

S gave me a wonderful belated Birthday and Christmas gift. It was so thoughtful. I received loot from David’s Tea, including some lip balm which I needed because my lips are dry. The lip balm is like this lip balm (in the picture below) only a different flavour. It is infused with Tea for flavouring and is hydrating for your lips. S also got me some chocolate flavoured Tea from David’s which I was introduced to yesterday at her house. It’s yummy! I also received a wonderful tin of strawberry flavoured tea bags to make real iced tea in the summer so I am anxious to try that tea when the weather is warm.

David's Tea Lip Balm
David’s Tea: Tea Infused Lip Balm http://www.davidstea.com
S also bought me this awesome face mask from Sephora which was very moisturizing. It was called the Sephora Rose Sleeping Mask. I woke this morning with the most wonderfully hydrated skin. I thought there was a lot of mask in one package at first but I layered it on and it all sunk into my skin by morning. I recommend trying one of Sephora’s sleeping masks. The rose mask, if nothing else, is perfect for dry winter skin.

Sephora Rose Mask
Sephora Rose Mask http://www.sephora.ca
One of my favourite actors is an Irish actor named Jamie Dornan. S managed to find me an adult coloring book of Jamie Dornan. I thought it must have been a completely random find, but I love it and will attempt to colour in it and make Jamie look artistic. It is the perfect activity to do when I am feeling like not doing anything too stressful, just relaxing.

In case your interest is peaked, here is some basic information on Jamie Dornan. If you are wondering where you’ve heard of him, he used to be a famous Calvin Klein model and dated Keira Knightley early in her career. He was Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and will be in both sequels. He is also in a mini series in it’s third season with Gillian Anderson from the X-Files, called The Fall. Season 1 and Season 2 can be found on Netflix. I have also seen Jamie in a few other random movies; he is a talented actor and I think his career is only beginning. And I did like him as an actor before Fifty Shades, so we’re clear. I think he is incredibly hot as well, even when he wears a beard which he often does. But he is happily married to an actress named Amelia who is pregnant with their second child. Nevertheless  I believe I’m allowed a movie star crush.

Additionally, when I was on YouTube today watching the Pixiewoo’s in some of their latest makeup tutorials, I found a great Youtube video on how to do a polished chignon. It seems a bit complicated but it’s not. The video is easy to follow and the style is perfect for medium to long hair. I think you would have to do this Chignon on first day hair as the look you are trying to achieve is not messy but neat.

Chignon YouTube Video (You have to go into my blog on WordPress to see the video.)

 

I also was excited to replace my trusty original Ipad Mini. I saved up from Christmas and received a hundred dollars for my old one, and replaced the original mini with the Ipad Mini 4. This Ipad 4 Mini is faster, plus it has 64 GB of memory compared to my old one which only had 16 GB. It is great to write blog posts on and to slip into my purse if I’m going to a coffee shop because of it’s size. It holds my entire music collection and book collection with plenty of space left. I did not opt for the Ipad with a possibility for a SIM card as I can find excellent WIFI for my Ipad 4, most places. Glad to be able to use an Ipad again. My only complaint would be is Apple hasn’t managed to increase the battery life in four models.

One last topic to cover: I have been doing Weight Watchers online for about a month. I find it hard to stay inside the number of points you have available to eat, despite the fact fruit and veggies are worth no points. To bad they are so expensive right now! But I have lost about four pounds, that is what I put on at Christmas. I am continuing on with Weight Watchers trying to lose twenty-one more pounds. I’m not sure it’s possible. I am also looking into diet, energy, and weight supplements a friend is trying from a company called XYNGULAR. I did a lot of research on Xyngular’s products today. I am undecided on whether the products will truly work or not. I have read mixed reviews. I am going to an event with more information this Saturday.

The products are quite expensive so I would only want to do the products I want, not a package of products. Also, I think I have to be careful being on medications. A pharmacist did say the list of ingredients was okay for me but I have taken supplements before which  didn’t work because of their interference with medications and because they didn’t work. I might try a few products at the end of February. It is money back garuenteed for thirty -days, but that always comes with it’s problems. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!

A New Season Of Life


 

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As I look at my past few blogs throughout December, it seems as if it has been awhile since I have given a general update of my life and where it is headed. I think I have talked about it in pieces in various works but I haven’t sat down and told the entire story.

The house feels empty after having everyone home during the holidays. It bothered me on Monday but now I’m feeling more relaxed and fitting myself into a routein again each day. I have spent a great deal of time blogging and reading other blogger’s posts. I’m at the point where blogging is taking a lot of time. I’m not complaining I like to do it and it’s part of the whole blogging experience, but I know if I want to do some of the other things I need to I might have to cutback in certain days. I’m especially thinking for university courses.

My main goal right now is to do an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of BC starting in May 2017. This gives me almost a year to prepare a portfolio on two to three types of creative writing; write up a five-hundred word essay about why I want to take creative writing; as well as submit university marks and three letters/forms of recommendation. 

But I also feel I could use some more background in creative writing. I have taken a few courses here and there but most of what I have learned about creative writing has come through being self-taught or learning from other bloggers and writers. To fill the time until I can apply for my Masters I’m going to start work on a Certificate for Creative Writing online through the University of Toronto. 

It is only six courses and it has many options I can look at taking for creative writing courses and the online courses go throughout the year. So, I’m going to do one course in February and one course in March or April. They courses are ten sessions and go for two months each. The first course is an introduction to fiction. And I haven’t decided on the second course as of yet. But I’m excited to do writing courses. 

Not only because it keeps me busy and working towards a goal but also because it is difficult to get into the Masters Program at UBC. Since this Masters Degree is online and highly sought after, UBC only take twenty-five percent of their applicants. A certificate is some consolation if I can’t get into the Masters or if it takes me a couple of years to be accepted.

As for New Years Resolutions, I took a typical route and decided I needed to work on my health and fitness. So, New Years Eve I signed up for Weight Watchers online. It is reasonable at only $23.00 a month and it restricts your diet to a certain amount of points foods are worth. Fruits and vegetables are unlimited and worth no points. Weight Watchers is trying to encourage people to eat them this way. Also, you have a certain amount of fitness points each week and exercise does’t have to be hard or for long periods. I have done yoga for twenty minutes, gone on the elliptical all out for ten minutes, walked for 2o minutes at a brisk pace, and done seven minute intervals, and they are all great easy ways to get your fitness in.

 I felt after gaining weight again off a new medication and then not giving much thought to the way I ate over the holidays, weight watchers program promotes excellent habits to achieve. All through an application on my phone I track what I ate and how much exercise I’ve gotten. I track my weight and I’m also taking waist and hip measurements myself. The program is starting off well so I hope it continues that way. 

I was also inspired by Rosema from A Reading Writer to try POPSUGARS 2016 Reading Challenge. There are boxes for forty books to check off on this list.  And I invite anyone who wants to join me to simply print out the list below. I have tried to start doing the list but as Rosema tried to tell me, it requires a bit of research on your part. 

I do not want to commit to any book I have chosen so far except the book I am reading. I started with the easiest one #30. Read a book with a blue cover. My book I chose is called New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick. I read on my IPad but it has been giving me real problems lately so until I can replace it (hopefully soon) I have been reading in paperback again. It feels weird actually having to flip pages and use a receipt as a book mark. I hope to do a semi-regular post or part of a post on my progress on this list. 

 

http://www.goodreads.com New Uses for Old Boyfriends (Black Dog #2) – Beth Kendrick
 
Here is the basics of New Uses for Old Boyfriends. Lila is twenty-nine or thirty -years old. She grew up in a life of privilege and married a wealthy guy named Carl. At the beginning of the book Lila is moving out from her house having been divorced by her cheating husband (Carl). She has everything stuffed in her vehicle and she is going back to her home town haven and doesn’t have much money or a job. She was fired from her job as a late night sales woman on the shopping channel and Hawks her engagement ring for money. 

When Lila returns to Black Dog Bay she finds her mother is not in a good state either. When her father died he left her mother in debt due to his construction business. Lila’s mom thinks Lila will fix everything and has ran up her credit cards. They have to sell the house her Dad built for her Mom. The family fortune is gone and Lila’s mother is in denial. Lila can barely take care of herself. 

Lila decides to open up a Vintage Clothing Boutique. She tries to find new uses for old dresses and attempts to reunite with her high school sweet heart, Ben Collier. But she also discovers it’s too late for some of her old dreams. “She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something — someone — she desperatly wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget,” and a second chance at love.

Yes, it’s a chick book I know. But I think you know from some other books I’ve posted about, I like a good romance book at times. So far, I like it and find Beth Kendrick to be a funny and engaging writer. Thanks to my BFF Tara for the book. I’ll let you know what I think of it in the end.  

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Also, I would like to continue exploring new forms of poetry with you each day from Shadow Poetry. It’s a self study thing. I am hoping to be able to write with different kinds of poetry more easily and to learn about forms of poetry I’ve never studied before in a poetry course in school or WordPress courses on poetry. 

Additionally, I have been finding some of the products I received in Luxebox and some additional beauty items I received over the holiday are quite good. There is also some products I received I don’t like. I have a post idea for guys about shaving and what you need to take care of your skin. I did a Clinique Men and Women’s skincare but I think I will search around for some cheaper more common products you can find in any drugstore for this post. Additional ideas for posts pop up at will in my mind. 

Enjoy your days. I hope it’s not cold and snowing where you live. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.