Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Writing Prompt Wednesday

February 28, 2018


Describe a walk you enjoyed.

I began walking in my short lunchtime break last year and this is a poem I wrote after one particularly enjoyable one. Yesterday was my first lunchtime walk this year, as winter’s grip is slowly easing. (Fingers crossed). My car’s display stated +2 and although the wind was initially cold as I began to walk, on my way back I could feel the warmth of the sun.

Lunchtime Repose

Buffed by the breeze
Dancing above the rippling water
Wings flutter and glide
Darting back and forth
Juicy morsels to eat on the wing
I sit enjoying the show with ease

Sunshine on my face
New leaves jiggle and flash
Branches bend
Pollen releases for some that’s sneezes
Tiny blooms appear above the grass
Bathing in the warm embrace

Opportunist waterfowl spy my bread
Stand with pleading eyes
Grateful for the crumbs given with pleasure
Brown, green and white feathered friends
For this delightful repose
Before enclosed in stale office air instead


My photo from the walk described above, obviously not the current situation as we are still under snow!

Do you take a break from work? What do you do?

Where is your favorite walk?


Lost Words – Games & Hobbies…

February 29, 2016


Today’s words from concern games and hobbies. Rather enlightening as to the types of games allowed in times gone by and others that have endured!
Ascoliasm                1706 -1753
boys’ game of beating each other with gloves or leather while hopping
If you think bullies are bad today, look at brutal games of the past like ascoliasm.

Piladex                      1897 -1901
game where an inflated bag is hit with hand to keep aloft across a table
From piladex to hacky-sack, pastimes involving hitting objects are known to all ages.

Riviation                   1676 -1676
While anglers are the sort who enjoy quiet contemplation, I find riviation to be boring.

Sagittipotent          1656 -1656

having great ability in archeryThe sagittipotent hunter found himself unable to kill the beautiful white stag.

Tornatil                    1661 -1661
made with a wheel; turned on a wheel
The potter was a master of his tornatil work, but many of his pots broke during firing.

My sentence: His over protective mother tried to persuade her son not to indulge in ascoliasm or piladex fearing he may be injured. However, she would encourage riviation, his becoming sagittipotent with a bow or even learn to tornatil in creating pottery.

Can you make a sentence? 

And an extra word because it does celebrate today’s special event – Leap Year.

Bissextus   February 29th: the extra day added to the Julian calendar every fourth year (except those evenly divisible by 400) to compensate for the approximately six hours a year by which the common year of 365 days falls short of the solar year.

Quotes: This odd day was inserted after the sixth day before the kalends of March, i.e., after the 24th of February, and was not counted as an addition to the year, but as a sort of appendix. Hence the sixth of the kalends of March was called bissextus, or double sixth, which root is still retained in our word bissextile, though the day is now added at the end of February. — E. S. Burns, “History of Chronology,” The Popular Science Monthly, April, 1881 Origin Bissextus comes from the Latin term bissextus diēs meaning “intercalary day.” It was so called because the 6th day before the Calends of March (February 24th) appeared twice every leap year.

Life is Exigent – Do You Balance Your Life..?

December 11, 2013

Exigent – definition: requiring, demanding, or calling for much attention or action


Life is exigent, isn’t it? We are pulled in different directions for family, work and writing commitments. This Wiki explanation sums it up well:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development / meditation). Related, though broader, terms include “lifestyle calm balance” and “lifestyle choices”.

For most of the time we seem to be ‘catching ourselves up’ or ‘dropping the ball’ in one area; if not more. Stress results and impacts severely on our decision making, abilities and mental health. Finding a balance in our personal lives isn’t easy and although we try to divide our attention to each area equally, it is not always possible.

What should suffer? Work – would impact us financially. Family – relationships would falter. Writing – creativity and productivity would diminish. So the answer is…juggle it all and hope for the best or find methods to enable a balance to be achieved.

Have you found difficulties with this?

Do you have creative ways to achieve your best balance?


Easing that Wretched Stress…

November 14, 2013

Deplorable – definition: 1. causing or being a subject for grief or regret; 2. lamentable, or wretched; very bad


What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns. Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong? Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best? Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them. I experienced a wonderful review on Rumble’s First Scare from a child but also horrid one from an adult – see here:     I resolved to learn from it rather than let it upset me. After all it is only one person’s view. There are many more who love Rumble.

Unfortunately stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us. Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths. When our body is stressed it tends to hyper-ventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply. If possible take  a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour. Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain. If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you. Focus on each step instead of overwhelming yourself with the ‘whole’ project. Give yourself a reasonable time frame.  If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

Here is another writer’s view on stress, take a look.



Amassing Stuff – A Collector or a Hoarder..?

September 28, 2013

Amass – definition: to gather many things for oneself; to collect as one’s own


Many of us have watched the TV program called Hoarders, which follows the plight of people literally buried under amassed stuff in their homes. Many have lived in these conditions for many years and become desensitized to their surroundings. It is probably a good thing there is no such thing as aroma vision as I’m sure the smell would be absolutely overpowering. Damage to the property and vermin infestation are common place in these homes and we denounce the hoarder for getting into such a dreadful state. However, once their stories are revealed we can only feel pity. A vast number of these poor souls have experienced devastating loss in their lives and holding on to things is a way of coping.

The items piled up are a mixture of waste products and newly acquired objects, from a wide variety of places, such as thrift stores, garbage bins or garage sales. As we watch the experts try to alleviate the trauma of discarding items, we acknowledge that for the hoarder it is emotionally discarding a loved one, the pain is still very raw. Many have never received help for their grief or depression. It is a sad reflection of the type of dysfunctional family that has become common in Western society as extended families are the exception to the rule.

Faced with such a huge amount of items must be really difficult to cope with for family and friends, many of whom have never seen the inside of the home for a long time, even years. Reactions are usually what we expect as we watch the program unfold but others are much more telling as to why the problem started in the first place. As human beings we need to be loved and love. If this is ripped away from us the natural instinct is to fill the void. The hoarders televised have taken their need to a whole other level, one we have a problem understanding but try to see its not the stuff amassed but the need for comfort, no matter how that is gained.

Have you collected objects to excess? 

I collected Japanese and Chinese crockery and ornaments for some time but became bored and sent them to auction, only keeping a couple of favorite pieces. My main collection is postcards, brochures and tickets of places and events I have visited or attended since I was 5 years old. They are stuck in numerous scrap books, which one day I will renew.

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