A Personal Update and a Poem: What’s Been Going on & Italian Sonnets –“The Race’s End” #poetry #amwriting #life #nonfiction 


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I feel like I’ve been distant on here lately. But sometimes you need a break from the usual. I have always found it easy to pull a lot of inspiration from myself and those around me. From past experiences and from my friends and events around the world. Christianity too can be something encouraging as well as a vivid imagination.

I have been trying my hand at some freelancing but it’s been a lot of effort. It saddens me to see how little a writer’s words are worth be they for blog, article, or essay. But at least where I am now pays a better than where I started at which was doing short pieces of writing for experience only. So I have been trying to do some other writing as well as blogging. Some days it’s works and others not so much. I know I’ve had to cut back on my prompts recently so my blog schedule will be based on how much I have to do each week for freelancing. I’m not earning much of a thing but at least I feel like I’m contributing a bit more and learning new ideas.

I also continue to look for and submit poetry and some short story fiction to some different sites and magazines as well as edit my novel when I’m able to focus on a couple of chapters at a time. If anyone enjoys writing and is interested in being a beta reader for a paranormal romance please let me know. I would appreciate your opinions very much. My book is on Wattpad so you’d have to read it in their, but it has an app and allows a person to comment on each chapter after they’ve read it. Or you can go to the site on your computer HERE. Just check it out and if you’re interested in reading my book, let me know in the comment section below. I appreciate it! 💕❤ My user name is @mandibelle16

One thing I love about writing is that I am always acquiring more knowledge. Recently, I have been doing more academic writing and I have been relearning citation and rules for academia. At the same time I think about my novel and my other creative writing in the back of my mind, finding distance has given me a better perspective on my plots, characters, and stories.

Also sometimes watching your favourite TV or Netflix programs, reading books, and walking outside in the warmer weather we’ve been having, makes one feel well and helps me think things through and visit different angles. “Suits” is an excellent and entertaining legal drama if anyone’s interested in watching the seasons on Netflix. As I’m going through my own case right now, it drew me in but its characters are witty, charming, and funny except for the character of Louis. But you have to hand it to the actor, he does a superb job of being slimy and repulsing lol.

Additionally, I’ve also been drawing, working on portraits, and colouring using various mediums. Art very much  inspires me so it’s been fun to play around with that a while. I’m also working on a few technical glitches with my blog and the WordPress app, trying to figure some of those things out as well. I do want to make some changes to my blog. It’s only a matter of sitting down, figuring them out in the little time I have concentration well enough — along with everything else — and then doing those changes. Eventually, I’ll figure it out 🙂

As well, I’ve been working on my health. This year I have tried to learn a more basic healthy recipes and I’ve researched my health condition a bit more. I’m doing this 5:2 Diet which means five days a week you eat how many calories you would eat for your body and amount you exercise. It’s recommended for CFS/ME patients as medication can cause significant gain.  As I can do little beyond a small walk now and then and some weight loss yoga, I eat just over sixteen hundred calories a day but of course a woman who exercised more or was just out and about more would eat around two thousand calories or more on a normal day.

On a side note: I so recommend an online subscription to Gaia if you can’t make it to yoga classes at the gym always. They have all different levels and lengths of workouts. From beginner to difficult yoga of all types, to Pilates videos, meditation and breathing videos, and short little videos that relieve back or neck pain in around ten minutes which I love. Everyday new videos are added and you there is such an array of options that it is so worth the subscription about $13.00 (in Canadian currency)/month and I think anywhere from about $7.00 to $9.00 US depending on your subscription.

Anyways, two days a week on the 5:2 Diet, you choose which days you eat only 500 calories as a woman and only 600 if you’re a man. Once you get into it, it’s not so bad and you learn what foods are filling and healthy to eat. I haven’t been able to drop to five hundred calories but about to 600 on fast days. I do yoga of twenty to twenty-five minutes for two and sometimes three days a week and I’ve been able to lose what the diet promises, about a pound a week. So for me after three weeks, three pounds and today was the first time I noticed my clothes fitting better. That’s my hope honestly, for my clothing that I own and like a lot, to fit well. Also, to be able to continue purchasing future clothing in regular sizing. (P.S. I have plans for some spring fashion and makeup blogs so we’ll see how things go later!!).
Once a person gets to their ideal weight on the 5:2 Diet, they can keep fasting two days a week or drop to one day a week to maintain. Out of all the programs/diets I’ve tried I love that this is safe weightless and healthy because it’s four or five pounds a month and about making choices to eat better and to exercise instead just for a little bit at a time.

You don’t receive that instant ‘wow factor’ as fast-diets promise but I believe this is healthier for you because it takes place over months and is doable for ‘life.’ If you mess up, choose another day that week to fast and after the first week you honestly are used to the fasts for the two days. Two days are easier than dieting for an entire week all the time.

I didn’t think it would work as I had read about it before with caution. However, the plan worked for a family member first who showed my some YouTube videos on it and they were quite convincing. He has lost the weight and maitained his level of exercise. So something to check out if you’re interested. I borrowed the book from the library and it’s a simple diet to be sure.

Also, I’m afraid my biweekly interview is going to be a day or two late this week as I’ve got to finish a project first. So apologies there. As for my lack of writing and commenting, I will do as much as I’m able.

So without further ado, here’s a poem I wrote a while back. It’s comforting but also sad. It’s based around, knowing a loved one is facing the end. It’s difficult for the person and their loved ones, but at the same time, relief because that person will never feel pain again in Heaven.

Thanks for reading!

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” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)

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One last mile, one more Christmas comes to pass,
Praying for ages, memories and lifetimes.
The quicksand buries, but light still yet shines,

A beacon, slowly immersed — death’s paid wrath,

We don’t know how long the present will last.

Keep wide the door, heaven’s gate you’ll enter,

All time converges, earth isn’t center.

We’re a blip, nothing’s linear, we’re the past;

Before glory, laud, and honour shown,

Is to God, in our eternal rest and home.

Someday you’ll go, tears mark your finish line,

But these days you run, pray you’re unconfined;

To be free of your burdens, what you dread,

Your time with us not taken — not the end.

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You’ve run the race my friend, endured the course,

And all our memories are so dear, of your face —

Brightly lit, your smile, a fighter’s proud grace.

You kept it up, as long as you could, and would —

Have had a runner’s chance, enduring pain, stood —

Humbled but kept striding in all you faced.

Every hill with vision, pose, setting your pace;

Life, your race, needed winning; without fear —

Embrace the end engaged; approaching so near,

Throw yourself into battle you’ve waged,

Never to be a victor, not to be caged;

Instead found eternal rest, your end page,

Last word fin, your Lord called: “Come home dear one.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: A Round Belly #flashfiction #amwriting #fiction


Thank you to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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A Mixed Bag

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“What’s that?” five-year-old Julia asked. 

“It’s a Buddha, dear,” Aunt Kim replied. 

“What’s a Buddha?” 

“For some people, Buddha is their god.” 

“Oh,” Julia asked perturbed. “But I thought he had a belly, a big one.” 

“Certain statues of Buddha have a belly,” Aunt Kim remarked. 

“But why?” Julia asked, “What does Buddha want?” 

“I think he wants enlightenment dear. I’m not sure why he’s portrayed as having a round belly only sometimes.” 

” He must eat a lot. My friend says he does yoga? I think a downward dog would be too hard for him. His stomach would get in the way,” Julia said thoughtfully, 

“I’m sure he manages, Julia.” Aunt Kim said chuckling. 

“What’s enlightenment?” 

Kim sighed, “Understanding and awareness. A lot to do with meditation, sitting still, thinking, and breathing in and out.” 

“Oh, but who put Buddha in your house?” 

“I’m not sure dear. Everyday I wake up and Buddha is on the shelves near the back door outside. I think the neighbour lady keeps putting him there for me. And each day I keep returning him,” Aunt Kim said agitated. 

” Tell the neighbour lady, we’ll keep Buddha if he has a round belly,” Julia replied with a giggle and grin. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Writing 101: What I Do When I Don’t Write #everydayinspiration


Today’s Writing 101 Prompt is:

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?


 

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I’ve let this prompt sit a few days. There is not to much I can tell you which isn’t on my About The Author page or on my Gravatar Profile on the side menu of my blog.

What I do the most when I’m not writing is read. I read other blogs, trying to stay up to date on other people’s writing and posts, making comments, and exploring new blogs.

I enjoy reading and looking at fashion magazines. Instyle is my favourite fashion magazine. Magazines are an interesting source of media as you can read it paper format and on your tablet, and receive varied information for each method of reading the magazine. I like how on the tablet you can go into all the websites of the various clothing, makeup, and accessories advertised or shown. I go on Pinterest and I pin interesting outfits I like. Often, the clothing is priced way out of my budget but finding similar pieces of clothing in my budget range is interesting to me.

I’m also into reading books when I’m in the mood. I read fast as I’ve said before so often, I’m waiting in-between book releases for the next book in the series to come out. Most of my library is now on IBooks but I do have some books on Kobo and Kindle. Every once in a while if it’s a classic book, I will read and buy the book in paperback.

Watching videos on YouTube on makeup and doing hair is also fascinating. I’m a girly girl and I like to stay on trend in makeup. I try different products out if I think I will use them.

Shortly, I plan to have a couple of makeup pieces out. One post on products I’m using having to do with eyes and another on products not associated with eye makeup. Additionally, I never knew how to put my hair up growing up so I figured a few years ago that it was time to learn. Now I know several styles and ways to put my hair up or half-up. I try to go for elegant in both hair and makeup. Not sure it always works.

I also watch a few of my favourite TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire, and off and on The Big Bang Theory and The Blacklist. Sometimes I watch hockey and football. In addition, I watch movies and various TV series on Netflix and I love going to see movies in the theater.

The most cost effective way to see a movie with a friend or relative is to buy a movie pass at Costco (or other places you might now of) for either Landmark Cinemas or Cineplex Odeon where I live, and then you can buy two movie passes, two medium/large popcorns, and two drinks for about $25.00/pass. You save yourself $25.00 at least when you go to see a movie using a pass.

Whenever I have energy and often even when I don’t, I do yoga. It stretches sore muscles out and it gives your body flexibility. I live right next to a couple of parks so I also enjoy walking in and around the park area a few times a week.

When I have money to do it, I enjoy shopping in-store and online. It depends on what I am looking for as to whether I buy it online or in-store. Often, online shopping is cheaper but it isn’t cheaper if you end up with items you don’t wear or don’t use.

Once or twice a week I see a friend and we do something such as have wine, coffee, see a movie, go for dinner, etc. At times I go out to a coffee shop to write in a different setting on my own.

 I do stuff with my Mom as well and we have lunch, visit my Baba, go shopping, or go to an event such as The Women’s Show, or a Craft Show at the Agricom. I went to Make It Edmonton a couple of times this year and liked it a great deal.

Most of the time, I spend a lot of hours writing. For as long as I can concentrate, I write.


©Mandibelle16. (20106) All Rights Reserved

Thoughts on May and Beyond


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Each month I try to give you guys a bit of an update on my life. It’s been a while since I have been able to sit down and think about things.

April was extremely busy, writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. As I wrote each day in accordance with the prompt provided on the website, I also tried to do various forms of poetry. This is continueous with the poetry journey I have been on this year, learning new types of poetry from Shadow Poetry.

 I found my first attempts at new kinds of poetry frustrating at times this month, because I was having to write poems using a prompt, and write on weekends too. I think I wrote the best poetry going back to types of poetry I had used before and had had the chance to refine over the months in 2015 and 2016. 

As much as I love April’s NaPoWriMo, I’m glad it is done and I can focus on some other aspects of writing. I was scraping the bottom, the last few poems I wrote for the challenge. Kudos to those of you who both did NaPoWriMo and the A to Z challenge. 

I think my biggest concern lately has been with weight put on from medications in the past, which I haven’t been able to lose. I had a good idea I would gain another ten pounds off last July’s medication switch. I don’t regret doing the changes in hospital, but I would really love it if I could even get my body weight down twenty-pounds. 

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A good friend of mine from university L, started on this new supplement program. It’s not only about losing weight but getting proper vitamins, having more energy, and feeling healthier all around. I’m careful where supplements are concerned because sometimes they react with medication. However, I brought an ingredients list to my pharmacist and he said it was fine. You would hope so, as all the ingredients are naturally sourced. 

Initially, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches on what they call an 8 day detox. I was happy with this result, but once I started back on their day 9 to 30 diet, I gained back the weight. Now I find, I have also gained back inches and put on a couple pounds on the weightloss meal plan. I’m frustrated because I actually know many people including my friend, who over months kept losing weight on the weightloss plan and on these supplements.

My friend said try increasing your protein and I tried it last week but as I feared, the protein increase made me put on a couple pounds and inches. So, I went back to smaller amounts of protein except for the last meal of the day, so I remain full at night. I have issues with finding myself ravenously hungry at night. Right around 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm, my stomach thinks it needs food now. I guess, I will have to convince it otherwise. 

The weight issue is extremely discouraging when I’m doing the same plan as my good friend, but can’t lose the weight. I got into a bad habit after a month and half of trying to lose more weight. I began eating some delicious calorie loaded food because I was not losing weight anyways. But stepping on the scale a moment, changed my mind about continuing this trend.

On a good note, I have found a supplement I take called xyng, to be an extremely excellent product. It actually increases my energy. I take one pill in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is supposed to help with a person’s metabolism and appetite, but I haven’t noticed those effects. But I do notice I have much less energy without the xyng so I plan to keep taking it with a couple of other supplements from the product line I liked for the health benefits. I’m planning on carefully sticking to the meal plan for the next while, to see if it goes better. It may or may not.

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Between poetry writing, I have been going full-out trying to finish the first draft of How Was Last Night For You. I’m a chapter or two away from finishing the novel in first draft. Last week I became stuck at a pivotal point in one of the main character’s story. I’m going to think about it a bit before continuing on. The ending needs to be strong as well as set me up for book two in the series. Yes, there will be a second novel, I have been considering it for some time and once this one is mostly complete, I will begin planning book two. 

I have been researching and saving articles on publishing books and a generous blogger even provided me with information for a couple of fantastic editors. Right now I have a fellow writer looking my work over, it’s a huge job. When he said editing it  ‘line by line’ he meant it. I am hoping I’m able to provide him with the same quality of feedback with his writing projects. Having that feedback has helped me a great deal in regards to writing short pieces of flash fiction, especially with meaningful dialogue.

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I’m also participating in a challenge called #Maydays and the generous host K.L. Caley, provides a prompt each day. Thus far, I have chosen to write fiction, heavy on the dialogue as I am attempting to ‘show‘ verses ‘tell‘ in my writing and working on developing better dialogue. I’d be interested to hear what other writers think about these terms. Do you agree there should be more ‘showing‘ than ‘telling‘ in a work of fiction? 

Another aspect of my blog I would like to work on is having a couple of guest bloggers a month. I’m interested in people as a writers and I have some interview questions I can email to that effect. Why you write, how you started etc. If you would like to be a guest blogger/writer please comment on this post or go to the top of my blog page, to the contact me page.

As for the rest of life, I’m back to reading a lot again. I’ve forgotten how reading a great book can go quickly and find myself moving through different genres of books with speed. It’s not that I’m not absorbing the books information; I’ve always been a fast reader, when I’m feeling well and can concentrate. I will update you guys on some of the books I like sometimr in May. As well. I will have new beauty posts and some other posts unrelated to writing in the coming months. I’ve been unable to do these kinds of posts  lately, due to having to keep up with my novel writing.

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I spent a wonderful night out attempting to paint a picture and drinking wine with some friends at a small wine place downtown. It was a lot of fun despite not being able to make my painting look like the one the instructor had painted. I’ve never been an ‘exact’ painter, I go with the flow. 

Also, I saw the third movie in the Divergent Series of movies called Allegiant. I’m not entirely sure if this is part 1 or if there is a part 2? I thought they were breaking the third book Allegiant, into two parts for the movie but perhaps I’m wrong? If you know let me know 🙂 

I’m looking forward to Alice Through the Looking Glass, this summer in theatres, the new Captain America and Iron Man film, a new addition to The Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Orlando Bloom in it and the newest Harry Potter-like movie coming out in Fall, set in the 1920’s. 

As for TV, I’m anticipating a twisty finale for Scandal and hopefully, something big on Grey’s Anatomy since last season was not an exciting ending, more of a tying up of loose ends with McDreamy’s death a few episodes before the Finale. Also, I’m looking forward to watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey and Season 2 of The Fall on Netflix. 

As for other things, enjoying walking in the river valley in the warm spring weather. It’s not so hard now without a dog, I’ve grown used to it. Also, doing yoga as always. I think if you have trouble with exercise or are starting trying to be fitter, yoga or Pilates is excellent in keeping your body toned and flexible. Just start at an easy beginner level and repeat it until you can do the exercise pattern for longer or the moves become too easy. Then move up from there. If it is never easier add another beginner routine in for variety and remember even doing a small amount of exercise, you are lapping everyone on the couch!

Additiinally, a quick congrats to one of my besties Tara for becoming engaged in Hawaii last week. Also, since I probably didn’t mention her, congrats to one of my other besties Shannon for her engagement earlier this year! So excited for you both! 

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Thanks for reading!  

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


A List of Hobbies


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for this week’s list prompt of hobbies.

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Unknown – Google
 

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1. Writing – This hobby is a hobby most of you understand. The drive, the need to write. You do it like you breathe, and if you can make money while doing it, you’re extremely lucky. I started blogging about four-years-ago to improve my writing skills and to do what has always come naturally to me, to share through my writing. 

It’s my hobby but it is also work too. I write stories to obtain prizes and publication. I try to contribute a guest blog here and there. I’ve done editing and creative writing courses. I have a BA in English. I want an MFA in Creative Writing. I write, write, write, even when I’m trying to take a break from it. I suppose such as many things, writing becomes addictive. But whenever I do it, I enjoy it. There is peace in my heart.

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2. Reading – Usually, I read many books for a few months, then I become tired of reading books. Then, for awhile I don’t read much at all in novels, but end up going back to get my fix and read my favourite books over and read new books written by a particular writer or in a certain writer’s book’s series.

I also spend a lot of time reading other blogs on improving writing, pieces of writing, books, beauty, and an entire assortment of things. I’ve been reading since I was five-years-old and I have never stopped. 

In grade three I was reading The Hobbit and working my way through Lord of the Rings. In grade six I had a big thing for Michael Crichton books such as Jurassic Park and it’s sequals, and when I was about sixteen I went through a big phase of historic romance novels, and the romance novels that are sappy such as some of Nicholas Spark’s first books such as The Notebook. And I go through many other reading phases to this day. My last book was an audio book on Networking Marketing, it was interesting, informative, and a pathway I’m considering. 

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Jamie Dornan Colouring Page in Artist Pen Brushes and Pencil Crayon (Amanda Eifert)
 

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3. Drawing/Art/Colouring/Painting – Art is the only hobby I believe makes me feel more at peace than writing. My hands have always known what to do most of the time during painting or drawing, even before I realize I’m directing them. I’m not as good as I used to be, an effect of my initial psychotic episode. But I have become much better at drawing through some courses I took in my Residential a Design Certificate, focusing on drawing. 

I also adore acrylic painting. There is something so freeing about mixing colours and different gels to create texture on a painting. I haven’t done this in a bit I admit, but it’s something I find I have to be inspired to do. Lately, writing and other parts of life are running this well dry, but someday soon I promise to pick up my favourite paint brush.

Additionally, I have been colouring in colouring books for adults. Not the ones with all those small spaces, but ones with a general outline that you can be creative on. I find that hobby relaxing and use various mediums on a page.

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Nikki giving her Evil Eye (Amanda Eifert)

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4. Scrapbooking – I have done this for years, since I would go out with my girl friends in university and we would take many pictures each weekend. I think the pictures are becoming less and less, but I make an effort to take some and I’ve done a few photo shoot type things. I do scrapbooking the old fashioned way, not online. I’ve been doing little wedding albums for my friends who get married, of pictures online that they might not otherwise have. Also, I will do them of the pictures they put up. It’s an ‘ I’m thinking of you guys,’ type of gift that will last for years to come. And when I had a pet, well there were more pictures of the dog then anyone. Funny how that works.

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http://www.artofliving.org

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5. Yoga/Pilates – I began Pilates in grade eleven. I did it faithfully through university and even when I was going to the gym and weight lifting, I would go to the odd Pilates class. I also started to do yoga at this time. 

Pilates is an excellent workout using your core and strengthening it, using your own body weight as weight. It was designed by Joseph Pilates who came up with the excercise based off of yoga and other excercise types for soldiers in WWII; to improve their muscle strength while recovering from injuries. Honestly, it’s some of the best exercise you can do because it’s a bit cardiovascular, improves flexibility, and improves muscle tone.

After I became ill, and I wasn’t physically able to do harder exercises I did Pilates for a bit but found I couldn’t keep it up. I started doing yoga because it was easier and it helped with stiff muscles, while being a form of beneficial exercise. The challenge in yoga is holding your pose for the right length of time. It can be difficult but also makes you feel relaxed afterwards, while stretching muscles you didn’t know you had. When I’m feeling super great I do a DVD that is a yoga and Pilates combination routine. Mostly, I do ten to fifty minute yoga sessions from a yoga application on my IPAD. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

A List of Ways I Show Love to the People I Love and A List of the Small Ways I Celebrate in Life.


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for the list prompts this week:

A. How we show love to the people we love

B. How we celebrate.

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Showing Love

1. I buy flowers for the women in my life (flowers they would like) such as my Mom, friend, or Godmother every now and then so they feel appreciated and because some of them don’t receive flowers from their husbands often.

2. I buy sweet treats for some of people in my life such as my brothers, Dad, Mom, and friends. Favourites are Gluten Free Macaroon cookies from Cookies by George or Gluten Free cupcakes of any flavour for my Dad. Everyone else enjoys Purdy’s Mint Melties, Hedge Hogs, Sweet Georgia Browns, Plane Milk Chocolate, or Coconut Cream Chocolate bars. Cupcakes, mainly chocolate ones work too.

3. I send notes in the mail to my Grandmas who I can’t see as often as I wish. I wrote my Grandma Reeder a poem and mailed it to her and I try to remember my Grandmas on their Birthday’s and at Christmas time, with a card and a treat when we visit.

4. I spoil my bestfriends with birthday presents such as giftcards to stores they would enjoy, makeup they would like, or a mixture of items that are about their tastes. I try to visit my friends as best as I can but it’s always nice to be remembered on your birthday. Wine works great, a nice red wine does the trick! 

5. I bake treats sometimes like chocolate fudge brownies, rhubarb cake, chocolate turtle squares, chocolate chip cookies, and apple sauce branmuffins for my family to enjoy.

6. I do extra cleaning at home or I try to remember to do a job the way my parents like the job to be done. 

7. Once in a while, I take a family member, friend, or favourite date out for dinner and pay for it, whatever they like to eat including drinks and dessert. I trust these people so I know they won’t go overboard.

8. I talk with friends family often and I listen well and let them say whatever they need to say. If they’re looking for input, I give thoughtful input. I’m also complimentary when I talk to people, trying to find good and nice aspects about them. It’s much easier to get along with people when they don’t see you as a threat or competition. This being said, I’m honest if they truly want my opinion or they are hurtful to me; I’m no doormat.

9. I pray for everyone I can remember at night. Everyone needs prayer and I don’t always remember those I need to remember, but I attempt to get everyone in my prayer. I pray for those people who make my life miserable too because at times the best way to deal with them is to pray for them.

10. I share my faith in Christ and God in my writing, and I try to show my faith in my actions and voice. By no means am I perfect, and I miss many chances to witness but I try and the Holy Spirit guides me. If you have something that is utterly life changing and gives hope you want to share it. 

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Celebrating 

1. Well into my twenties, I would celebrate the end of the week, stress from work, and or school, by going out and drinking and dancing; especially, after midterms or finals. These days, I feel a two-day hangover is not worth it. When I was younger it only took a morning to bounce back, but two or three glasses of wine with the ladies is divine, with the occasional night out to dance.

2. I will get dessert when I go out for supper. Something that is chocolate cake with Carmel sauce and ice cream if the dessert menu is sufficient. I usually never order dessert otherwise.

3. I go out and do something with a friend(s) whether that be dancing, supper, drinks, movies, coffee, yoga, brunch, or walking. It’s fantastic to be with your favourite people and share your good news in a great conversation.

4. I shop or plan to shop for a new outfit or cute shoes if I’m able.

5. If I’m only giving myself a small reward, I will go buy myself a package of Three Lindt chocolate balls or an ice cream sandwich. I suppose I’m too motivated by food.

6. I go on vacation, celebrating each year and all it’s trials and good times too. Doesn’t have to be anywhere big, only a week in a fresh city with new things to do and see.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Where I’m At: Catching Up in March


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Every so often, I try to update you with the details of my life, beneath the writing, and the subtext behind poems. I don’t think I’ve done this since the end of February, so I’d like to share a bit about my life lately.

One of the biggest areas in life I’m working on is my health. Those of you who have been with me a while know I suffer from a mood disorder (depression) and from that depression,  excessive amounts of fatigue.

 

Psychiatric drugs are evil little pills. I started with Invega which stopped an initial psychosis (which has never occurred again) but also made me ‘flat;’ caused a great deal of pain in muscles of my back, shoulders, and neck;  as well as resulted in a weight gain over ten pounds. After switching to risperidone, I gained another ten pounds and using a medication to help me sleep called Gabapentin, added twelve pounds or more. The antipsychotic I’m on now works a great deal better for me then any of the ones I was on before, but as usual, I gained another ten pounds.

Experiencing fatigue most of the time makes it difficult to exercise and do cardio. I have been feeling well enough to walk for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. And on off days, I have been trying to do yoga for twenty minutes.

My big change lately has been a diet and supplement overhaul. I use supplements from a

Heart Vegetables
http://www.adigaskill.org
system called the  ‘redbox.’ It is a system of health focused not only on losing weight but living a healthy lifestyle. Different supplements in the system have helped many people lose weight; stop feeling chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or arthritis; given people a ton more energy; and aided people in maintaining a fitness level at the gym or otherwise.

Using the supplements you start with an Eight Day Ignite, a detox in which your body gets rid of bad toxins and resets your metabolism so you can lose weight and function better. In my first Eight Days, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches. I was pleased with my initial result, especially losing inches in my hips, waist, and thighs. Many women lose much more then I lost initially. I’m continuing on the ignite plan for the rest of the month (the detox part is finished) and I’m hoping to be able to lose 9 lbs by the end of this month, to reach my first weight and health goal. After, I will continue on some of the supplements on the weight loss plan.

A meal plan is provided, and the plan includes eating well in small meals throughout the day focusing on eating protein and green vegetables. One day I get to eat carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, whole grain bread  (etc.) and on Sunday I can eat what I like, it’s a cheat day. The plan also includes exercise of about thirty minutes a day and using some of the supplements. Many people have had great results on these products. So I’m excited to see where they can take me, especially since losing weight without significant cardio has been a challenge.

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pen writing
http://www.fanpop.com
Besides my health, I have been up to many other things. I have been working a lot on developing short stories and other pieces for submission. I was excited to submit one of my first short stories developed off a Flash Fiction piece I wrote in the past. And I’m looking also at submitting some pieces of poetry in the future.  I keep discovering new ideas and new topics that I would like to write short stories to submit. It’s a bit of a challenge as many of you probably know because each place you submit to has different submission guidelines and wants stories of specific length. Short story for instance, vary widely from 800 words to as many as 40, 000 in some of the places I’ve been looking at.

Work on my novel continues, albeit, at a slower pace then I have been doing. Working on

Writing Once Upon A Time
http://www.tribecomics.com
the novel and working on pieces in-between, often results in the novel being left for a week or two. I do plan to write up a couple of chapters this week if possible. The book is at an exciting  part  so I have to move onward. I thought initially, I was writing long chapters and would have plenty of length for a full book. But PJ asked me if I was doing a novella or novel, and I thought about it a bit and I think I might have to add some parts into the novel, or weave in a second storyline. I will see where I am at the end of the first draft which is rapidly coming to a close. I’m thankful to have a blogger friend Martin, offering to go through and help edit my book once I have all the chapters together on word, and I will do the same for his book. Then, I suppose I will be doing a whole bunch of rewriting.

Blog Words
http://www.linkedin.com
My blogging schedule has been hectic. Since I’m not in a course so I can write, I don’t mind it at all. Although, sometimes commenting and writing takes a great amount of time. So you know, my blogging schedule is as follows: Sunday Sunday Photo Fiction with Alistair Forbes,  MondayMoral Monday’s with Nortina S from Lovely Curses and La Duchesse D’erats Lists, Tuesday Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer with Priceless Joy, WednesdayLiterary Lion with Laura from I Smith Words ( every second week) and 3LineTales with Sonya from Only 100 Words, Thursday Echoes of My Neighbourhood with Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales, FridayFlash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner with Roger Shipp at It’s All In Finding The Right Words, Saturday – Free Day.

In-between this all I’m still working through different forms of poetry, doing the one word prompts provided by The Daily Post , as well as my novel. I will not be doing The Daily Post prompts in April due to National Poetry Writing Month. But, you will still find I do the odd beauty post and other topics that come to my mind.

I’m not sure how completing the POPSUGAR booklist will end up. I read here and there but have only been able to get through two or three books lately. I know when spring finally arrives (in appearance), and I can see the flowers and not see it snowing outside, I will be in much more of a reading mood.

In addition to writing and health, I’m going to movies, catching up on my favourite shows such as Scandal (my favourite right now), watching movies on Netflix, seeing friends whenever I can, doing a bit of dating, and fitting everything else in when I can. Hope all is going well for you.

napofeature2
http://www.napowrimo.org
I know there is an A to Z challenge going on with some bloggers in April but I also wanted to bring up another fantastic challenge I’m doing in April. April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo. It is similar to Blogging 201 Poetry except for you’re writing a poem with a prompt provided on the website, everyday for the month of April. You can check it out and add your blog to the list of bloggers participating here if you want to join me for the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Villanelle – ” Health Habbits.”


A Villanelle

is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).

One of the most famous Villanelle is “Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas.

See Shadow Poetry here.

——

 

http://www.ironforgedfitness.com
 
I think it is time to change my habits.

To make better choices and decline extra helpings,

Maybe it’s time I eat as the rabbits.

—–

If I could exercise intensely for only seven minutes and be avid,

If I would back away from boxes of chocolates with a welp, 

 I could be fit  counting points and exercising,  and not grab sweets as a stealing bandit.

—–

It’s time for push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and lunges; all exercises of habit.

I cannot pretend I don’t understand the consequences of extra weight; I’m not a young whelp, 

Who can eat as she chooses; no more, being a sugar addict.

—–

It’s time to move forward into a new kind of fitness habit, 

It’s time to start my healthful journey with self help,

Weight watchers points; I’ll count cause I know I can be a health addict.

——

It’s a new world today for making good choice habits,

I’ll find a way to do yoga stretches even though the stretching makes me yelp,

I know in life there are so many health facets. 

We can achieve what we dream and try to be stronger; we can live in a year where our fitness goals happen.

______

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Weighting to Exhale 


I have some thoughts to share tonight just about my life and hopefully some of you out there can relate. I have touched on this topic before but not for awhile.  Weight is always a touchy topic because it relates to body image. 

We are taught these days that women are beautiful at whatever size they are, a size two or a size twenty-two. I think that’s wonderful and I hope that girls can be satisfied with their weight and looks as they grow and become young women. I’m happy to see models in fashion shows in New York and Toronto, who are plus-sized models because the average size for a woman is around size 12 to 16 in North America at least. 

 When I was young (maybe six or eight) I was shamed for being fat. Body image is something that it is engrained in you when you are young. I ate healthy food and only small amounts of junk food. We had a large garden, raspberry bushes, and an apple tree — all organic food. My Mom froze beans and peas, we always ate whole wheat bread, we hardly ever had sugary cereals for breakfast. We biked and walked regularly. But fat has always been something I’ve been afraid of being. It’s a demon I left in childhood only to be met again in my mid to late twenties. It’s too late for me I’ve already developed in my mind a picture of the ideal woman figure. I was never her, even when I played sports and/or worked out regularly. I was always that fat little girl, and in my mind I still am. 

Currently, I think for me body image and fat are something that I’m struggling to reconcile. We all have that number on the scale that we think, we are very overweight if the scale reads that number. We feel that we’ve got a major problem on our hands because the number is too high a weight for our bodies. I have reached that magical number and I am pulling out all stops to get back to a healthy weight. Believe me it’s going to be a lot of work. 

You see, as much as I want women and girls to be satisfied with their bodies, I also want them (myself inclusive) to have bodies that are healthy, whatever size or number on the scale that might be. It’s all fine to say that you are happy being over weight and you love your body; I’m glad if you do. But lately, I don’t feel that way because I’m not fit and I’m not eating right. If I don’t develop some type of plan to deal with my body, fatigued or not, my weight will only increase, and my physical health problems will increase.

Some of my weight issues probably have to do with genes on my Dad’s side due to the fact that many of my relatives put on weight as they get older. But also, having a mental illness and chronic fatigue almost all the time has lead to my weight gain. Mostly, due to weight gained through the side effects of medication — clozapine most recently. I put on roughly ten pounds each time I am on a psychiatric medication for awhile, they usually all cause weight gain. I try to be okay with it. I’m too fatigued to do significant cardio to counteract the weight gain.  But I think part of my problem is not paying attention to what and how much I am eating. 

This means going back to portion control and also not drinking my favourite drink that’s bad for you – Pepsi, especially in copious amounts. It means not ordering burgers, even though my smaller and fitter mother does, and ordering a salad with water not pop. It means trying my hardest to do some type of exercise a day, this will require all my effort. 

I’m trying to do two types of exercise: yoga, just some gentle stretching to keep me limber, and walking for 20 minutes, even though it still feels weird walking without a dog. Sadly, I will feel worn out after 20 minute walks for awhile, that is what seven years of fatigue does to you. It makes it harder and harder to be physically fit. 

The last part of my plan is that I am trying  a few products that have worked for some people I know to lose weight, but they are the kind of products that could work or could not — you never know with diet products. The first is a product that involves drinking veggies, so I receive all of my veggies in my diet; the second product is a product that helps break down fats in your body around meal times; the third product is wraps that help break down fat in your body from the outside  (I don’t know about the wraps but maybe they too will work). I will try these products for three months and if they work they work, if they don’t, it’s no significant financial loss. But I am hoping the products help together with portion control, adding back in some exercise, and getting rid of Pepsi by drinking water and green tea blends. 

If I can lower my weight I can improve the image I have of myself because I’d feel more positive about my body being healthier, especially around my middle. Your stomach is the worst place to have extra fat because that fat is visceral. In addition, I would feel and be healthier because my BMI and waist would be smaller. These are two major indicators of good health, although, they are not one-hundred percent accurate. My limbs would also feel less stiff if I did yoga and my cardiovascular activity even walking would be better then just sitting. And clothes would fit better as well.  I could even drop a size or more and have  a greater of variety of clothes to choose from. I’m a size 14 US right now (sometimes a 12) and not all stores go that high in sizes. 

 I know my weight doesn’t devalue me as a person, it doesn’t define me; weight doesn’t devalue or define anyone. But in my case, I feel I have little control in my life, especially with my health. That is another reason losing weight appeals to me, because it is a small piece of life that I have some control over. I can do little to change my mental health and the fatigue it causes, but I fight it because at somethings I can win. Maybe, I will never be a size 8 again but being a 12 or a 10 that’s in better physical shape then I am now, that is worth the effort, worth the fight.

We can’t control everything about our size or our weight. Woman exist into a variety of shapes and sizes. Weight is often a grave subject to talk about because many woman can’t do anything about it due to health problems such as medication, thyroid issues, having kids, lack of time to exercise, and many other reasons. But there has to be a point where you say I will control what I can and at least change that. Take the initiative to be healthier, no matter how small the change. Make changes you can live with through out your life and keep your body physically healthy. 


There is something changing inside me, a gradual drift from what I was before. It is not a huge change but I do think my prayer to have more of the path before me revealed has been granted; or atleast a possibility has arisen. I have decided to apply for a Masters in Creative Writing at UBC starting July 2014. I am so excited by the fact that I maybe even would have applied for this coming July, but alas, applications closed at the end of November.
It is a difficult program to get into and I will only be attending classes online but their is an optional residency every July for 10 days. Because of my health I will only be able to complete 2 of the 6 credit classes a year, so the program will take me 6 years to complete. Maybe I will become healthier in that time and be able to take on 2 courses at once. In this program I can focus on one major area which I believe will be non fiction but I also will need to take courses in 2 other areas such as fiction, poetry, children’s writing, or drama writing. I am thinking fiction and children’s writing but maybe poetry. It will be difficult to get into and difficult to stay in this program as I must keep a B+ average. So I am praying and crossing my fingers that when I am able to apply this July I get in and that I have the tenacity to make it through the MFA program. It just feels right.

All this Interior Decorating I am taking is good because it’s portable knowledge that I can take with me. But since I have been writing articles for Flurt I have realized where my true talents lie, where I will be able to possibly make a career from, and where physically I will not be able to withstand a career ie. interior design. I still plan to finish Interior Decorating as I am in the 3rd last course of the program – Architectural Design. I am excited for it since it is a drawing course but I still want to be done the program! I have Lighting and CAD after this semester so will be done by the end of next December, at which time I am planning to take one or maybe 2 U of A writing courses in magazine writing and editing hopefully; a good lead into creative writing I think. Should a MFA in creative writing not work out, my second preference will be Comparative Literature at the U of Alberta. So maybe I will apply for both. But I will tell you, UBC and other Canadian universities I have inquired about have all replied back to me; the U of A has yet to.

So some real opportunities opening up for me despite other difficulties in life. For this year I will finish my 2 possible interior design courses and concentrate on my Herbal Magic Diet to lose another 14 lbs to my goal weight of 165. So far that is proving difficult – but I hope to be more disciplined in the next semester, since Christmas has passed and I can get out for walks more and do more yoga as spring appears. 12 lbs down already I can do more!

As for my New Years resolution to shop less, still getting packages I bought before January 1. And I bought cozy sheets and a Lululemon top. BAD AMANDA! So since, January 10th I have been good and will continue to not buy unnecessary items, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and decorative items for my room. I went crazy once I put that limit on myself… Should have gradually stopped the spending. But if I can go cold turkey for 2 weeks to start I think I can do it for longer, it is just starting out. As for the every year fitness goal, have done yoga 3 times this week so yeah!

Anyways, stay tuned for more Flurt articles and feel free to share with me your New Years resolutions and things you are hoping to achieve in life.