Animals/Pets, Books, Current Events, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

Interview with Carolyn Shelton Author, Writer, and Blogger #amwriting #nonfiction #interview #author


 

Welcome to another week of my interview series. Today I’m so excited to share with you an interview with my talented and caring friend, Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses)  who has been writing many wonderful tales for adults and children on her blog with Colin Chappell of A Dog’s Life (Stories of Me and Him). I interviewed Colin earlier this year HERE.

Many of Carolyn’s tales and her new book with Colin are about a Cat named Dewey, a Jackalope named Jaxon, an owl named Odessa, and a human helper for them on Moonbeam farm they live, known as the ‘manservant.’ You can also find Carolyn’s interview on The Go Dog Go Cafe, where I will be posting a writer interview each Tuesday (the same one here and on there). It is a wonderful writer’s community on WordPress so please come and explore.

As well, all watercolor paintings illustrating the characters from Carolyn’s (and Colin’s) book Odessa’s Chronicles, are done by Jodi of The Creative Life In Between. She’s such a talented artist and I would recommend following her blog for her art, recipes, poetry, and blog posts narrated by her dog, Charlie.  She also has an Etsy Shop, on break at the moment, but when it’s not, you can purchase cards, paintings, (etc.) of Jodi’s beautiful work. 

Carolyn’s blog can be found here: Nuggets of Gold: Helping You to Find the Gold Amidst the Dirt, Sand, and Pebbles of Life.


img_3996
Credit Carolyn Shelton

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself, Carolyn? 

My name is Carolyn Shelton and I live in Southern Pennsylvania. I am the Mother of two teenagers which explains why there are days that I feel like my brain is missing! I love having fun with my family and friends, whether we are just chatting or on an adventure together. I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.

Humor is a big part of my life! I have serious posts on my blog, but a lot of humorous ones as well. And there are days, where you may get more humor from the comment section. I have a good friend that likes to express his wit at times. I am always up for a battle of wits, do I win? Well…. onto the next question.

My biggest writing goal is to touch others with what I write. I want to make them smile, laugh and also ponder on deeper things at times. I am thankful for my gift of writing, but it doesn’t do a lot of good if I keep it to myself. This is why I share it on my blog with for everyone and anyone to read.


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Dewey the Spoiled Cat!

2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does It Mean To You? 

I began blogging in the Fall of 2014. It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing. I was browsing on the internet one day and I saw something that piqued my interest. WordPress was offering a free writing course. I loved to write and felt that this course would be fun to take and see what happened. I signed up for it and well, here I am. 🙂 I enjoyed the course a great deal and was excited seeing what I could do with a blog.
I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and interacting with them. I was still learning but felt as if I had found my niche in the wonderful world of blogging. My love of writing had been rekindled.


” I also enjoy being able to curl up with a good book and shutting out the world. I was a total bookworm when I was young. Was not easily bored, for I always had a book that I could read.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – The Humble Manservant

3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Blog and Write? Why is it Important to You to Keep Writing and Blogging? Do You Have Writing Habits? A Time of Day It’s Easier for You to Write?

My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me, through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy because it is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not writing. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogging and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.

Writing is me letting my heart speak and it can be so freeing expressing my emotions through writing. Late at night seems to be my best time to write. The house is all quiet, the phone is not ringing, and it’s just me and my Sheltie who lays at my feet.


4. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects, on your Blog or Otherwise? Have You Published Any Writing? 

I am currently co-authoring a The Odessa Chronicles, with fellow blogger, Colin. I’m so excited about it! The process of writing it readying it for publication has been a true adventure! The front cover of the book has not yet be decided on and the book is not quite ready for publication and release to my readers but it will be available on Amazon when it is completed. Stay tuned to my blog for updates on Colin and mine’s book release


My inspiration comes from my life. Writing is a form of therapy for me through the rough times. My motivation to keep writing is easy. It is a part of me, and I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s like breathing and it’s my passion. I will keep blogging because of the relationships that I have formed with my readers. It has been such a wonderful surprise. I really wasn’t expecting these relationships when I started blogging. Blogginh and writing are something that I will definitely strive to keep doing throughout life.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Jaxon the Jackalope with Magical Powers

 5. Do You Prefer Certain Writing or Reading Genres? Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Writers or Bloggers Starting Out? 

I enjoy writing serious posts and posts written for fun.  I enjoy reading both as well. Also, I like reading stories in the genre of fiction and some nonfiction stories as well when I am choosing novels to read.

As for advice for new writers or bloggers: I encourage them to be patient with their self and write what comes naturally. Don’t think that your blog has to be like another blogger’s blog. Your blog is unique just like you. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog. Don’t push yourself to post every day if you cannot manage to do that. I didn’t post each day in the beginning and there is no rule that says you have to post every day. You need to write when it fits your schedule.


6. For Fun, Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs? Top Three? What Do You Like About Them? 

Oh, my this is a hard question. There are a lot of blogs I enjoy! The blogs I have followed the longest though are Jodi’s, Ameena’s and Colin’s.

  • Jodi’s blog makes my taste buds tingle when I see pictures of the wonderful recipes she is cooking up. She is a wonderful cook and there are sometimes I attempt her recipes, though I am sure she does them better. She also does beautiful paintings and puts lovely poems to lovely photographs she takes together in a post. I enjoy reading her blog because of her cheery outlook on life.
  • Ameena (Randoms by A Random) is a gifted poet and her poems tug at my heartstrings. She has put me at a loss for words more than once. You can read the interview Mandibelle16 did of Ameena HERE
  • Colin writes about life with Ray, his wonderful Rescue Dog that he adopted. He also has “Just Thinking” posts that give you things to ponder. It is always interesting to read his perspective. He includes some poetry on his blog; in fact, he has a book of wonderful poetry coming out soon. His dry wit comes through in his posts as well. A blog that can make me laugh will be one I keep going back to.

Most importantly all these blogs do have something in common. Although they post about various topics, they all have become special friends of mine. That is what I feel is at the heart of blogging, the friendships that are formed from a mutual interest. 


” Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have or don’t have. Your number of followers will rise as you continue to blog and write. Be your true self when you write and relate to your readers through the comment section on your blog posts. Respect your reader’s comments and be honest with them. Most importantly, have fun with your blog.” – Carolyn Shelton


Credit: Jodi – A Life In Between – Odessa the Wise Owl Whom Carolyn and Colin’s book is named after.

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

Here are some of Carolyn’s posts that she and I like a great deal. I hope you enjoy them too!

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend

Written April 2013, by Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

JoyRoses Ocean 2
Credit; Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

Good Morning! Today my husband and I will bid a final farewell to a dear friend of ours. His body was ravaged with cancer and now he is free from pain. Though we are happy that he is now at peace, there also is pain, as he will be dearly missed!

Pat always had a smile for you and could make you laugh with his wit. Even when his wit was at your expense, you couldn’t help but laugh. Shaking your head, trying not to smile, as your mind was racing for a comeback.  No joke was ever old. We had met over 20 years ago, and there was something that had happened to me in that first year that Pat and Sherry were dating. Something that he still loved to throw out there whenever he would get the chance, and yes it still had a way of heating up my cheeks. His humor is something that stayed with him, even as his body grew sicker. He kept his spirits up and fought hard. He was an inspiration.

In yesterday’s post, Dewey and Jaxon Follow Their Hearts, I told about when we heard the news about cancer and how Dewey took over my pen. Took over my pen for my broken heart.  Today I am sharing a poem that I shared before. A poem that seems fitting for today. It has been revised a little to help it flow more smoothly, thanks to a friend.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for my friend and the tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak to my precious friend and his wife? How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

JoyRoses 2
Credit: Carolyn Shelton (JoyRoses13)

*****

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean, my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

*****


Here are more of Carolyn’s Blog Posts:


Thank you so much to Carolyn for allowing me to interview her for this week’s blogger/writer interview. She is a wonderful and kind hearted person and I’m so excited for the book she and Colin will be releasing on AMAZON soon. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Nuggets of Gold.


If you are a writer, blogger, author, or someone who blogs for a cause or special organization and would like to be featured in my interview series here and on the Go Dog Go Cafe please reach out to me through my CONTACT PAGE on my personal blog. Thank you and see you next week!


© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Beauty, Current Events, Fashion, Health, Luxebox, My Thoughts, Writing

SPRING BEAUTY HAUL: MAY/JUNE 2017 – #amwriting #beauty #nonfiction


Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.


  1. MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal (Bright Blue Pink: Satin Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $27.00 CAN
File 2017-06-05, 11 47 48 AM
Credit: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Peony Petal

It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product


2. MAC Velvet Tease Thick Lip Pencil (Light Pink: Matte Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $15.00 CAN

To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have

MAC - Velvet Tease Lip Pencil Tease Me
MAC Cosmetics – Velvet Tease Lip Pencil (Tease Me) -$17.00 CAN

been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.

3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN

Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow Generose
Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow (Genrose) –

A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars. 


4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00  CAN

The hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no

Clarin's Eyebrow Pencil - Soft Blonde
Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde) – $27.00

longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five. 


5. The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew Highlighting Creamhttp://www.thebeautycrop.com- $16.00 CAN

 

Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream
The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew – Highlighting Cream – $15.00

I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter. 


6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.

I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me

ELF Matte nude and brown Eyeshadow palette
e.l.f. Matte Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (nude/brown colors) – $10.00 U.S.

@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds ) – http://www.elfcosmetics.com – $4.00 U.S.

ELF Bake highlighter in Pink Diamonds
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds) – $4.00 U.S.

My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.


8. Model Co. B.B. Cream: Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light) – http://www.modelcocosmetics.com – $24.00 AUSTRALIAN

This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in

ModelCo BB Cream in Light (True Pic)
Model Co. B.B. Cream Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum and SPF 30, Light)

my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizer these B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Blank Verse - unrhymed Iambic Pentameter, Current Events, Fiction, Finish Off Fridays/Saturday Mix FlashFiction, Health, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Saturday Mix: Poem – Blank Verse – “Addiction Nightmares” #amwriting #poetry #saturdaymix 


Thanks to Teresa of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Saturday Mix Prompt. The prompt is to write a Homeric or Epic Simile. 

———

Credit: Angel Jimenez via UnSplash

——-

He lived his life did, what he could, but could —

Not find a way to escape the demons. 

He could not escape his addiction; the —

Monster sunk his teeth into him when his, 

Guard was down; he would feel wonderful, 

Healthy, good, then he felt it’s teeth gnawing. 

The biting, the teeth claiming his flesh, would make, 

His skin itch until he wanted to tear it, 

Off; running for the bathroom where he hid, 

His medication, the pills he so craved. 

Wanted to quit; to never take again, 

But the monster clawing down his back would, 

Never stop; not until he claimed him for–

His own; made him demon too, who hits her, 

His girl; who loves him, though hallucinates, 

Of the Hell monster,  he lives in terror of, 

He wakes from Hell to find his family, 

Has deserted him; he’s alone breathing; 

Trying to forget the demon who would start, 

Eating him alive soon, making his temper —

Rise and his fists fly as he imbibes too, 

Craving the second monster who is the, 

Only way to handle the greater, 

The worst monster, the devil hiding. 

Evil itself repeatedly gnawing, 

Trapping him in Hades, stripping his —

Soul; so he feels that he does not exist;

For anyone, but to grind and lash out. 

To battle the demon, his addiction, 

And no one can help him, they’ve given 

Up all hope; so one day he thought he would, 

Give in let the monster finish him. 

Bind and seal the deal, his soul in hell for, 

All eternity and he was going, 

To jump when he saw —  a light, awoke; 

In the room of the addictions unit. 

At the hospital and the nurse tells him, 

“It’s okay it’s been a month and you’re —

Dreaming again; it’s a wicked —

Nightmare and not your reality now.

Keep clean and the monster, he’ll leave soon, 

Then, you’ll be free as you’re here and —

Remain aware; when you leave stay far from, 

Put those drugs, the alcohol behind. 

And soon you must embrace your new life, 

Make your apologies and live.” 

The man sighs almost crying, so —

Happy the demons are distant dreams. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

100 Word Wednesdays, Children/YA/Family, Fiction, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: The New Teacher #amwriting #flashfiction #racism 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday. 

——-

Credit: William Stett via UnSplash

——–

It’s 1962 and Miss Parker’s exotic beauty temporarily shocks her grade seven class into silence. She has lovely dark skin and striking eyes lined with kohl. The boys are held speechless by her attractive appearance. Her bold cranberry lipstick and a fashionably revealing outfit are what her female student’s desire to wear.

Her student’s realize how interesting, knowledgable, and outgoing their new teacher is and walk home each day telling their parents Miss Parker is wonderful. The parents are thrilled for their children. 

Nevertheless, things change when the parent’s realize at parent teacher interviews, Miss Parker is black woman. Race was not a feature of Miss Parker their children noticed as racism is not ingrained within a child — it is taught. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Books, Children/YA/Family, Lists, My Thoughts, Nature, Pinterest, Quotes, Writing

Notable Quotes: May 2017 Part 1 #quotes #pinterest


Happy May. Hope you are all loving spring and the coming of summer. It’s a busy month for me, how about you? What’s new? Whatever is happening, here are some more quotes for your thoughts. 
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Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Fiction: Cinderella and Her Diamond Heels #fiction #amwriting #cinderellamythmaker 


Thank you to Anne at I Think, I Say, I Do and Theresa Baker – Lab Notes for hosting the #cinderellamythmaker Cinderella: Collaboration Project.


cinderella-washing-floor
Credit: http://www.giphy.com – Cinderella Cleaning Bubbles
Cinderella could feel her back begin to ache as she washed the floors by hand. The mansion she now cleaned had been her father’s mansion before her stepmother poisoned his tea. Her stepmother had convinced her father’ s old solicitors that Cinderella was too young to take care of the mansion when she was twelve-years-old. The vile woman had claimed Cinderella’s home for herself and her two spoiled daughters Giselle and Monique.

Cinderella wouldn’t legally be able to have the mansion back until she was married or twenty-five-years-old. She knew her stepmother wouldn’t allow either to occur. Her only hope was to be able to have enough money to afford the solicitor her stepmother had offended.

Her stepmother had refused to marry a well-known solicitor after Cinderella’s father had passed. She knew he was the only one who would take a servant’s case to get back at the stepmother. Until then, Cinderella’s jailor would keep the house and Cinderella as a slave working in it.

She finished washing the floor pleased as they shined. Then, her homely stepsisters walked across it with muddy shoes. When one tripped, both Giselle and Monique began to hit Cinderella. She pushed them away and they kept walking, calling her names. She had to rewash some spots on the floor but she didn’t care. Cinderella had a secret and it was going to free her from the tyranny of her stepmother and stepsisters.


A lonely beggar wandering past the front gate had seen Cinderella crying last night. She had

cinderlla-beggar
Credit: Wikipedia – “Tha Man With The Twisted Lip” by Sidney Paget
wanted to attend the ball and with the beggar’s surprising magic powers, he had granted Cinderella’s wish. She realized, however, the beggar wouldn’t be granting this wish without thinking about his own well-being. She could see he was a crafty man and wondered what he was up to, why he would grant her such a request.

He’d created a beautiful frothy blue gown for Cinderella to wear with the most stunning diamond high heels she’d ever seen; Cinderella had a thing for gorgeous shoes. They were so wonderful Cinderella asked if she could keep them after the night ended. The beggar had agreed with a mischevious smile.

Cinderella had a purpose in keeping her diamond heels. She had planned to sneak out of the house in one of her mother’s old dresses and sell her priceless heels to higher the solicitor who so despised her stepmother. She wanted the mansion and what was left of her father’s fortune, especially her sizable dowry, which her stepmother couldn’t get at no matter how hard she tried.

Moreover, Cinderella’s stepmother didn’t know about the money her father had illegally acquired on the black market. It was hidden away in offshore accounts only Cinderella knew about. She couldn’t access them until the day after the ball which was her twenty-fifth birthday.


cinderella-ball-gown-2
Credit: http://www.es.AliExpress.com – Classic Cinderella Prom Party Gowns
Cinderella had attended the ball and knew the prince liked her as soon as he saw her. There was a glint in his blue eyes and he had this charming lopsided grin. She hadn’t meant to let him go so far with her — but then they did.

“I really like you,” he told Cinderella, “You’re much more fun those other girls who want to be my wife but won’t put out. Plus, you’re intelligent and make me laugh. Most of the other girls are too scared they will appear unladylike.” She’d giggled surprised at his comment and Cinderella found herself liking him.

She gave the prince a playful punch. He was entertaining but she knew she’d never see him again. Cinderella gazed up at him and said, “Look, this is a one-time thing and that’s all you’re about all going to get from me because I have a curfew. I’m not allowed out often.”

“I’m ‘the prince,’  I can overrule your curfew or any other rules your father has.”

Cinderella sighed, “Sorry, you can’t. I mean it, I have to leave.” Cinderella ran off

cinderall-gown-3-escaping
Credit: http://www.es.AliExpress.com – Classic Cinderella Prom Party Gowns
before her gown disintegrated and she was left in rags. She swore when she realized only one of her diamond heels had been lost. She’d left one behind while running from the prince but she needed both of them to afford the solicitor. Frustrated she went home and cried herself to sleep.


Then, the prince announced the following day, every young woman in the kingdom needed to try on the diamond heel left behind by the girl he desired above all others.

Cinderella rolled her eyes because she thought the prince was daft. Many women in the kingdom could have the same size feet. She thought about her missing shoe and the beggar, how she was sure he’d been up to something when he granted her wish. She thought the shoes might only fit her feet due to the beggars magic.

The beggar knew Cinderella valued the shoes above all and that’s why he let her keep them. It was strange she would lose track of such beautiful shoes because she loved them so much and had never had shoes this nice before. She knew the crafty beggar had to be responsible for her lost shoe. He probably made the prince fall for her and so that she wouldn’t be able to return to her plan, to sell the shoes and retain her birthright. The beggar had seen the shrewd woman beneath her simple wish. 

Cinderella had only been interested in going to the ball because as she was cleaning outside, she recognized the beggar was a powerful wizard in hiding, who had the power to grant wishes. She hadn’t sought to meet the prince but to be provided with a beautiful dress and shoes she could sell to escape. She was upset about ending up with only one diamond heel.


cinderella-diamond-high-heels
http://www.lelong.com – Newest High Heel Diamond Wedding Shoes

The following week the prince and his servants arrived at the mansion. Her stepmother tried to lock her in a closet but Cinderella had hated her stepmother for many years. She’d had enough of her tyranny and punched the old bat, knocking her out then stuffing her in the closet.

Cinderella hurried down the stairs in one of her mother’s old day dresses. She interrupted  Giselle and Monique trying with all their might to jam the shoe on their chubby feet. Cinderella feared her beloved shoe would shatter.

“Careful that’s a diamond shoe,” she cried bringing out the shoe’s twin, slipping both shoes on, doing up the straps, and parading around in them both for the prince to see. He was confused a moment because Cinderella appeared out of place in her outdated dress but he had her brought closer to him by a servant.

The prince gazed into her face and then moved her long hair out of the way to find the tattoo of a bluebird on her upper back. He declared she was the girl from the ball and she would be his new mistress.

“I’m delighted to see you again,” he said to her with a flirtatious raise of his brows. “You’d be the perfect bride but I’m guessing you have little wealth or dowry to go along with your shoes. On the other hand, you’re much less maintenance than any other girl who nearly fit your shoe.”

Cinderella huffed and being as polite as she could, asked to speak to the prince in private. She explained her entire situation to him concerning her stepmother. She told him how priceless her shoes were, that the mansion was legally hers, and that she had a large dowry along with whatever money her stepmother hadn’t used from her father’s wealth; it turned out to be a lot, more than her stepmother had ever realized. Cinderella smirked, it was so like her father to hide more of his money.

Consulting his advisors, the prince decided Cinderella would make a fantastic bride who would add considerable wealth to his kingdom. He sent for the bishop and they were married immediately. A large public wedding followed months later and the stepmother was forced to retire to the countryside.

The prince was generous and gave Cinderella her father’s mansion (with the

cinderella-off-shore-accounts
Credit: CNN Money -Offshore Tax Havens
deed in her own name) as a wedding present. He married her sisters Gisele and Monique off to two of his dullest cousins but kept their dowries for himself.

He didn’t know about the money hidden in offshore accounts by Cinderella’s father and she decided not to tell him. She was no idiot and decided that every woman, even a princess, needed  ‘get away’ money.


The prince was pleased with Cinderella and was happy to have found a princess who was fun and learned quickly. She was smart and helped him increase the value of his kingdom by increasing taxation on the peasants and middle class. Unfortunately, a revolution broke out in the country around the same time, disturbing their happiness. The king and queen were beheaded along with many other nobles.

Cinderella had grown fond of the prince, she was certain she loved him. They

cinderella-the-prince
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
had two twin girls together and it was lucky Cinderella had kept secret the money in her father’s offshore accounts. She used the money to escape to the US and start a new life with her family. The prince wasn’t upset Cinderella had hidden the money. He praised her for being shrewd and prepared for an emergency situation he hadn’t foreseen.


Life was rougher in the US but the money Cinderella had kept hidden allowed the prince to become the owner of several factories and make his way in business, mass-producing expensive shoes of all kinds for woman and men. Cinderella helped him design shoes woman paid hundreds and thousands of dollars to own.

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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
Their twin daughters married well and a century later the Prince’s ancestors would bring out Cinderella’s diamond heels, showing them off as precious heirlooms. In the end, she hadn’t had to sell her diamond heels. Cinderella was allowed to keep them before they married in public. She’d told the prince, “Promise me we never have to sell my diamond heels. If we do I’ll disappear and you’ll never see me again.”

The prince knew Cinderella was a savvy woman who could easily slip away and by then he loved her more than he wanted to admit; he granted her request. He learned that day and later taught his grandsons in America, “Nothing comes between a woman and her shoes.” And that’s how Cinderella and her prince lived happily ever after.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Interviews, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


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Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


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Credit: Michele Vecchitto

5.  Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Beauty, Fashion, History, Interior design, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Beauty: A Dream Vanity Area



If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.

I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.

While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. 

Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborate grooming rituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King  Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court. 

One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.

In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popular skyscrapers with luxurious penthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”

These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.


Considering my dream vanity and how I would design it and the area around my vanity,  I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.

There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what style of vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.

I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed. There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.

Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.


 

Credit: Home Decorating Trends – Homedit -www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.createinspireme.blogspot.com

 

Credit: http://www.danisvintagedesign.com

Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.

A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmer drawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.


 

Credit: http://www.facebook.com via http://www.pinterest.com

 

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.missmustardseed.com

Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.

Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.


 

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Credit:  Unknown – Google Search

 

Credit: Source Unknown -Google Search

 

Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.

A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.

As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.


 

Credit: http://www.decor-zone.net

 

Credit: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.

There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.

In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending a lot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.

I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capiz shells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.

Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass and wrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).

I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide more natural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glowOne lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus,  here and here.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.

I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.

Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifying mirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.


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5X Magnifying Mirror with LED Light(www.bedbathandbeyond.ca)

Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemesHome Sense is another excellent place for this.

A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.

Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.


 

Credit: http://www.homedepot.ca

 

Credit: Unknown – http://www.pinterest.com

 

http://www.bedbathbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.overstock.com

 

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Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well.  I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.


 

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http://www.stylecaster.com

 

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http://www.totalbeauty.com

For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.

It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products. 


 

Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.hautandhealthyliving.com

The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.

It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keepingAmazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.

Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board.  I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases. 

I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.

For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.walmart.com

It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them.  Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.


 

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Credit: Mandibelle16 – Amanda Eifert

 

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Credit: TiffanyUssery – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: theArtForYou – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: LA Scandal – http://www.etsy.com

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Credit: Maria Ahrens – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: Cheri Miller Art – http://www.etsy.com

I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.

I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.

For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: A Million Times Better #3LineTales #nonfiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Sony of Only 100 Words, our gracious host of #3LineTales:

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Credit: Jennifer Pallian via UpSplash

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Everyone either loves or hates fruit bread and more often than not, this stiff and solid rock like cake which sits in your stomach as if you’ve ingested a stone, is detested by many people. No matter the tradition or reason we bake/eat fruit bread at Christmas, it is a custom many of us wonder about; I can honestly say, however, there is only one fruit bread in the world I love because it tastes wonderful and is nothing like any fruit bread I’ve ever tasted before, or will ever taste again. 

Grandma’s fruit bread wasn’t like traditional loaves of fruit bread because it was soft and tempting as I believe, any kind of bread should be; inside her bread was sugared and candied fruits much like traditional fruit bread, except my Grandma’s fruit bread was melt in your mouth and we used to toast a small slice or two for breakfast during the holidays and have it with becel; the buttery, sweet, soft bread was delicious and makes me hungry thinking about it; Grandma’s fruit bread was not traditional fruit bread — it was a million times better.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Free Verse, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With David Pebbles


Welcome back to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m not sure where you are in the world, but here it’s November and winter has set in –well not quite but it’s coming. Last year we were lucky to have such a warm winter but it doesn’t seem nature is going to be so kind to Alberta this year.

I’m pleased to introduce you this week, to the wonderful, talented, and forthright David Pebbles or Olaleye Abyomi Immanuel. He is a thoughtful guy with a passion for his faith in God and Christianity. You can visit his blog here: David Pebbles Blog: Faith, Musings, Inspiration Towards a God Centred Lifestyle.


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David Pebbles

david-pebbles
David Pebbles

1 . Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Olaleye Abayomi Immanuel (David Pebbles). I’m a Nigerian from the south western part of Nigeria and I’m a proud son of the state that had an anthem before Nigeria – Ogun State. I am not someone given to taking pictures, as I find it awkward and too strenuous. But for the sake of the interview I will let you have a picture (above). 

I am a Christian that is extremely passionate about God, life, and the intriguing delight which comes from pursuing one’s vision and calling in life. I am a graduate of Building Construction Technology and also a tech and gadget enthusiast.

I am also a multi-pod with a positive mental posture and outlook on life, a voracious reader, and lover of people. I can be quiet or talkative depending on the situation and the people around me but mostly, I consider myself an introvert. I am also a hard worker especially with beliefs, activities, and hobbies I am passionate about.


3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

I never knew I would become a blogger someday. I have always been a scribbler and voracious reader since I can remember. I would save my lunch money to buy novels. While I was growing up, if you were looking for any missing books, magazines, or anything readable, they could all be found in my room.

I always write things down anywhere I’m able. Most of my scribbling is actually anecdotes, words of wisdom, and thoughts that I had earlier thinking about reading something. Sometimes novels but most often verses found in The Bible. Being a quiet person gives me ample time to read The Bible alongside a dictionary while I jot down thoughts or insights I gain while reading God’s Word.

I think began blogging intensely, commenting on blogs I read for a start. The first time I commented on a blog, I was skeptical if what I wrote was intelligible. Then, I wished I could erase my comment but unfortunately, I had clicked the send button. I prayed quietly in my mind that the writer of the blog wouldn’t approve my comment.

I declined to view the post again, until late at night three-days later. It took all the mountainous courage to look at the comment I had made. My comment had five likes! I was on cloud nine. 

That was in 2014. Proceeding the comment, I opened up a blogger account on WordPress which didn’t get used at first as I was too scared of figuring out the whole blogging thing; however, I returned to my blog and began blogging often in November 2015. It has been an awesome experience. WordPress bloggers are so nice, supportive, and great bloggers all around.


“I never knew I would become a blogger someday. I have always been a scribbler and voracious reader since I can remember. I would save my lunch money to buy novels. While I was growing up, if you were looking for any missing books, magazines, or anything readable, they could all be found in my room.” – David Pebbles


4. What Does Writing and Poetry Mean To You And Why Do You Write?

Originally I wrote because I was bored and as a medium of escape from my solitary lifestyle. However, as time goes on, writing to me has become an extension of the intricacies that lie in the depth of my soul.

Writing to me means being receptive and bringing to materialization the billions of universal clues, images, sounds, and thoughts floating around the universe; these things can elude an unperceptive person.Writing is about demonstrating values, being encouraging, motivating people, and inspiring others to make positive changes to themselves and their environment.

Poems come naturally to me, even more than long form. I didn’t realize I could write poems at first. The first poem I wrote titled: “Unwanted,” was borne out of beliefs on abortion. I cried while writing the poem because it came from deep within me. It was as if I was an aborted baby.


“Writing to me means being receptive and bringing to materialization the billions of universal clues, images, sounds, and thoughts floating around the universe; these things can elude a unperceptive person.Writing is about demonstrating values, being encouraging, motivating people, and inspiring others to make positive changes to themselves and their environment.” – David Pebbles


5. Where Do You Find Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Mostly my inspiration to write comes during my private worship time. Also inspiration for me comes from the Holy Spirit after reading a good book. Sometimes I don’t have any inspiration but immediately I place my hand on my computer keyboard or made up my mind to post something (of which I have no premeditation about) and inspiration flows through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes I find inspiration while walking down the street, while eating, or on a public bus; honestly, inspiration could be anywhere. When such inspiration comes, I immediately stop what I am doing to safeguard those line of inspired thoughts


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Most Enjoy Writing? Do You Have Any Future Projects You’re Considering?

My writing time is flexible; I for one don’t fancy regimented writing. Sometimes I write early in the morning, in the middle of the day, and sometimes late at night.

I have few writing projects I’m currently working on. Among them is the launching of an online magazine that focuses on Christian youths in general. I am passionate about self-development in youth. There are other projects of which I am thinking about how to express.


“Sometimes I don’t have any inspiration but immediately I place my hand on my computer keyboard or made up my mind to post something (of which I have no premeditation about) and inspiration flows through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” – David Pebbles


8. Do You Have Any Published Works or Are You Working On Publishing Anything?

I have about four unpublished books and two finished drafts.One manuscript is currently being reviewed by an editor. Hopefully by December, my one book should be published. The other books will follow suit in time.


9. Can You Briefly Describe the Process You Are Experiencing While Publishing?

The first task after you have a final manuscript you’re happy with is to to send it to an editor and also to send some copies of your manuscript to trusted writing friends for review. From what I learnt from someone who had his book published, marketing is always the hardest part of publishing, especially for those that self-publish.

I am still considering the many platforms where I can make my books available. I do fancy an e-format before a hard copy book. I believe that when the times comes, it will go well with me and I will find the right platforms and ways to market my book. I want the book available to as many people as possible because probably, it will be free.


” I am still considering the many platforms where I can make my books available. I do fancy an e-format before a hard copy book. I believe that when the times comes, it will go well with me and I will find the right platforms and ways to market my book.” – David Pebbles


10. What is Your Writing Process Like?

The process can be as easy as slicing bread or sleety as making a Chapman. If I already have an idea to post, I will build on my writing making corrections along the way. Personally, writing and posting doesn’t take me more than a few hours even when I don’t have a  lead on what to write.

Often, as ideas or inspirations occur, I will write, edit, and post, a piece within a few hours. I hate the torment of unpublished ideas or inspired thoughts and not being able to express them. Basically, I write as I think and thankfully enough I usually don’t need much editing on my posts.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Genres of Literature?

I am mostly into Christian literature which could be about relationships or motivational writings and poems; a quick view of my blog will reveal this. I believe in maximizing your strong point. This is my base in writing. So much of my writing tends to be nonfiction and more personal.

I struggle with any other types of writing especially fictional. I’ve becoming much better at sharing nonfiction stories. I have no favorites but based on the number of views I have shared some below.


“Often, as ideas or inspirations occur, I will write, edit, and post, a piece within a few hours. I hate the torment of unpublished ideas or inspired thoughts and not being able to express them. Basically, I write as I think and thankfully enough I usually don’t need much editing on my posts.” – David Pebbles


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

Only two people I know, know I blog and they are random people I met in church. Nobody knows I blog from my immediate family. It’s a personal decision which has helped me a lot. I might plan to tell my family in future or they could find out themselves.

When I started blogging, I received no advice from anyone because I knew no one to look to for advice. But being a fast learner and playing around WordPress helped me a great deal initially.

Also when you write I would encourage writers to be their unique self. Don’t write to impress anybody even when you don’t have a single like or comment on your posts. Also, interact with other bloggers and don’t be a loner. Consistently writing is also a useful habit to take up.


13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share About Yourself?

You can read more about me here on my blog: About David Pebbles


14. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Writing From Your Blog:

I find it difficult to pick a favourite piece from my writing as I could picture all of them with their hands raised up because they might feel hurt if not chosen. But all the same, l will pick some pieces randomly:

Musings #23 – When You Worship

By David Pebbles

When you worship
Deep relief seared your souls
Tears respond in snaky path
Washing down the earnest
Of the yearnings wrap up
A squeeze from the dailies
Twisted and tumultuous origin
Sunken deep
As if all once, warm presence embrace
Wrap up in such blessedness
You only response is tears


15. Here I Some More Links To Work On David’s Blog:


Thank you to David for the interview. I appreciate his willingness to be interviewed and answer so candidly and honestly each question. Once again, here is the link to David’s blog: David Pebbles Blog.


If you would be like to be interviewed about blogging or writing and would like to share with other writers, bloggers, and readers your unique writing process, please reach-out to me through my Contact Page. See You in Two -Weeks 🙂


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.