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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Morning woke me with the quiet assurance of renewal.
There is a loophole in the non-interference accord that guarantees free-will, and that is trust, belief, and tranquil faith. This wonderful certainty is the gift.
Believe.

MC

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Celibacy and sobriety combined breed fanaticism of the worst kind. That is why I drink, see?

MC

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The deep religions always originated in arid countries unblessed by Bacchus:
Judaism and Islam in deserts, Buddhism in India that did not have the divine Miss Vine. The Greeks make shit wine that is why they spread Christianity.

NB: Greek wine is called RETSINA, and it's so bad that only the Spartans used to drink it as a test of ultimate manhood, or they gave it to their enemies as a form of torture.


From: "Conversations with Ivan Shapiro"
The distance/difference between the ridiculous and the sublime is a bottle of wine.

MC
CONTINUATION OF A WEIRD CONVERSATION WITH IVAN!

Our senses are rooted in the flesh, which in turn feeds the brain, seat of our intellect; but the part of us that "believes" is the little insane particle that KNOWS we a cell of God's living flesh of light.

MC
We speak of God's silence when faced with the unspeakable, we blame "dark angels". We forget the great Covenant between every man and every God ever spoken of or dreamed: Free Will.

We are not, and cannot - must not - be saved from the consequences of acts of free will. Think of it. God cannot intervene, nor stretch out a hand. It cannot be, or we become no more than shadow puppets, obedient to His will, yes; safe and protected, oh yes...But no longer real. And God's great pain is loneliness, is it not? And if we become extensions of His will, every conversation is no more than mouthings before an imperfect, distorting mirror; He would be robbed even of love. Who can love a toy, stripped of will, and grief and joy? So we continue unsafe, embittered by that freedom, loved and loving by a God who insists on making us free that we may grow into Him.

Manuela Cardiga
Beauty of the flesh fades, beauty of the soul grows, and illuminates the plainest face to incandescent grace.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

PRAYER

It is a dance:
Bare foot,
Raised hands,
Hair loose
In tangled strands.
And every word
Of praise
Is the slap-slap
Of bare feet
On uncertain ground,
Every whisper
Summoning grace
The clapping of hands
Besides the tilted face.

We dance
To call to witness,
Our innermost selves,
We dance
And as the tender gaze
Of the One
Rest on us,
We rise
On our
Dizzy toes
And spin.

Oh we spin
We hitch
That tenuous
String of Faith
To the
Universe's Dream
And become
Spinning-top joy
Freedom
Echoing
The shape
Of the ALL:
With floating hair,
With belling skirt,
With singing love.


Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 14 February 2015

THE CAMEL FINALLY YELLED

the blood
the blood
it thumps through
my veins
flower of anger
erupts in my brain

could it be
i heard you say
what you said?

surely madness
surely sadness
unhinged me:
years of this
quiet acceptance
of what
i could not
change,
believing
endurance
was virtue,
god-blessing
the pain

and today today
i overstepped
the edge
finally i stand
on the narrow
ledge

could it be
i heard you say
what you said?

help me:
unsay it, i pray
before this heat
of hate
goes to my head
before my hands
stop stoppering
my breath;

before my scream
becomes blood
before my peace
becomes
violence
instead

Manuel Cardiga

The Ink-Blot Guest Spot Proudly Presents: VALENTINE IN LOVE by Ami C. Samuel!



BLURB
Beautiful Valentine Dupond is haunted by her name.
“Valen-teeen…”she keeps telling people in her scrumptious French accent, “My name is Valen-teeeeen!”

And Valentine doesn’t just have a romantic name; she speaks French the language of love…
Only, her love life is very far from exciting, in fact she does not have one.

Lovely Valentine is a vegetarian veterinarian in Perth, Australia, and lives with a fat cat and a dance crazed-housemate with two left feet.

So where is “l’amour”,you may ask?
Where is the wild romance?
Where, oh WHERE is the French kissing!!!

Well, hold your horses, girls, cause gorgeous red-hot millionaire Joshua Hudgewich is about to enter stage-left and sweep Valentine right off her dancing shoes. Though not without some Drama, of course, and leaving a few dents and bruises on Valentine's tender heart...


BIO

Ami C. Samuel is the pen-name of a beautiful, bubbly Mauritian lady; so lovely you'd be forgiven for mistaking her for one of her heroines! Living in Paradise has inspired Ami to write deliciously funny and light-hearted romances, all with a Tropical twist...
Valentine in Love is her first novel published with WDA, with a second delicious romantic adventure Crystal-balls & Croissants on its way, and a third already in the works! freshly been published, and a third is already in the works.


Giveaway!! 
A signed copy of Valentine in Love and  
Swarovski Crystal Heart Pendant.

The competition is open world wide. 
If the winner neglects to respond in 24 hours of notification the prize will be forwarded to the runner up. 


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Excerpt from Manuela Cardiga's TURQUOISE MOON, Book 2 of African Triptych

The women lay on their mats, waiting for sleep, their one surcease; the one punctuation on the endlessly dull recitation of the tedious days.

Jen-Jen turned and tossed on her mat. Turning, turning, tangling herself in her too-short blanket; then shaking it out, carefully covering herself, then tangling it again, until exasperated Marie cried out: "Stop that! Have you fleas? You are like a dog, scratching, scratching!"

"No fleas...I have another itch." Jen-Jen laugh-sighed, "I miss a man."

"Which man?"

"Any man. You know, just a man.The way a man smells and feels. I miss a man. Don't you?"

Marie laughed softly, sultry and low. "Yes...Oh yes..."

Jen-Jen sat up in her mat "What about you, Whitey, did you have a man?"

Alberta closed her eyes. Michael, her heart cried out: the taste and the touch of Michael, the silky sand and his silky hands. "Yes, yes I did."

"Well?" Marie's curious voice demands, sleepiness forgotten in the avidity for gossip, "And?"

"And I loved him," Alberta whispered softly, pressing me to her mouth in a secret kiss.

"Oh love!" Marie snorted, "That is the big mistake. It just makes trouble. Look at me! Because of a man I am here!"

"Why? What did you do?"

"I stabbed a woman. Because of a man." she snorted again, "Ai wena! I should have stabbed him.

"What did you do, Jen-Jen?" Alberta asked.

 "I stole." Jen-Jen replied, "What else would I do?"

"Of course!" Alberta laughed,  hesitated, then sheltered by the dark she asked the question that had been on her mind for months. "And you, Mama Sara? Why are you here."

A profound silence fell, even Jen-Jen's itch was stilled.

"I stole too."

 Alberta gasped in shocked surprise. "You? Mama Sara, what did you steal?"

From the thankful dark that tranquil voice replied: "A life."


TURQUOISE MOON

Manuela Cardiga


Sunday, 8 February 2015

I WILL NO LONGER BE GOOD

Loved, not loving
Seen, not seeing
Cared, not caring
Spoiled, not spoiling
Nurtured, not nurturing
Adored, not adoring
Dreamed, not dreaming


Because I have
Spent my life
Being loving, not loved
Seeing, not seen
Caring, not cared for
Nurturing, not nurtured
Adoring, not adored
Dreaming and not being
The lovely dream.

I will no more be
Understanding
Without being
Understood,
I don’t want that.

I want to be
Lonely alone,
And enjoy
The solitude.


Manuela Cardiga
TO MY DEAREST DARLING VALENTINE

Oh love, love love…
Oh love sublime!

Must we believe
Those same old lies?

To be honest,
I’m too tired.

My feet hurt,
And my back
Is buggered.
I’m just too old,
Did I mention tired?

Tired, yes,
And frankly
Uninspired.

So a man
Tells me
A story
About his
Latest victory
Sporting glory
Or (horror)
A gory agony
From his past
And I am agog
My mind reeling:
“REALLY!”
(gasp)
“INCREDIBLE!”

But when I tell
MY little story,
Why do I get
The sudden feeling
He finds it all
Quite boring?

“So happy for you…”
What kind
Of an answer
Is that?
“I don’t actually
Give a crap”
Is what it means
In men-speech…

Stuff that!
Get your pants
On, buster,
Get out of my life,
Go be bored
With your wife…


Manuela Cardiga

4 STAR REVIEW for SAMSON by Danie Adendorff on AMAZON

By Janet Riehl "Riehlife Village Wisdom for the ... (St. Louis, MO)
(REAL NAME) 

This review is from: Samson (Kindle Edition)

Danie Adendorff's writing in "Samson" is forceful and lyrical. It is apparently simple, yet sophisticated, as it presents so many facets of South Africa: its natural beauty, the intricacies of village life, love and struggle in the extended family, and the ravages of HIV/AIDS. It's a novel of social protest of the structure of South African society which allowed Apartheid to exist--and eventually begin to heal through the formation of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Courage and deception. Love and brutality. Community and the fear that destroys it. Gentleness and strength. Wisdom and ignorance. "Samson" gives its all to present the complexity of a society that folded in on itself and distorted the goodness in people, tribes, and a country. In 1948 Alan Paton published "Cry, the Beloved Country." Later that year the passage of a land law institutionalised Apartheid. More than 65 years later South Africa still staggers with that history of betrayal, secrets...and, yes, redemption.


http://www.amazon.com/Samson-What-cannot-other…/…/1507746652

Saturday, 7 February 2015

WDA Short Story Competiton

Enter our SHORT STORY COMPETITION and have YOUR story published by WDA as an e-book!

The WINNER will get his or her story (up to 5.000 words) published by WDA Publishing as an e-book, and included in a PRINT end-of-the-year anthology of short stories by our Authors.

To enter write a one hundred and fifty word synopsis of your own true STARCROSSED love story, and buy a copy of Suzanne Carroll's STARCROSSED (it's on PROMOTION on AMAZON for 0,99$).
http://www.amazon.com/Starcrossed-Suzanne-Carr…/…/B00S34234G

Please send your Synopsis to us at
http://www.wdapublishing.com/contact-us.html

The winning entry will be selected by WDA Editorial Department, and announced, at the STARCROSSED BOOK PARTY on the 20th of February.

Entries must be in by 18th of February!

GOOD LUCK!

WIN! Enter for a the chance to have YOUR OWN LOVE STORY published as an E-Book!

Join us for two hours, Febr 7th, at 18:00 GMT at the Facebook Virtual Book Party for STARCROSSED by Suzanne Carroll!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1393419004299164/
WDA Publishing’s MANGO BOVEL Division is proud to present Suzanne Carroll’s new book - STARCROSSED.
A desperate student deprived by an assignment of her computer and her smart-phone, begs her mother for advice on how to go through life with out Apps or search engines; and ends up learning about the power of persistence, and the lengths an inventive mind and a constant heart and will go to find it's other half.
After all, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have Twitter…
Amazon: http://amzn.to/18WAMvi
AMAZING GIVE-AWAYS!
WIN lots of WDA Novels, including a SIGNED PRINT EDITION OF "STARCROSSED" and, as a SPECIAL PRIZE, the chance to have YOUR OWN LOVE STORY published as an E-Book!
Buy a copy of STARCROSSED to enter for the SPECIAL PRIZE and the SIGNED NOVEL!

WIN INCREDIBLE PRIZES!

Join us for two hours, Febr 7th, at 18:00 GMT at the Facebook Virtual Book Party. 
For STARCROSSED by Suzanne Carroll!
WDA Publishing’s MANGO BOVEL Division is proud to present Suzanne Carroll’s new book - STARCROSSED.
A desperate student deprived by an assignment of her computer and her smart-phone, begs her mother for advice on how to go through life with out Apps or search engines; and ends up learning about the power of persistence, and the lengths an inventive mind and a constant heart and will go to find it's other half.
After all, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have Twitter…

AMAZING GIVE-AWAYS!

WDA Novels, including a SIGNED PRINT EDITION OF "STARCROSSED"
and
the chance to have your own LOVE STORY published as an E-Book!

ROMEO AND JULIET DIDN’T HAVE TWITTER…



Join us for two hours, Febr 7th, at 18:00 GMT at the Facebook Virtual Book Party. 
For STARCROSSED by Suzanne Carroll!
WDA Publishing’s MANGO BOVEL Division is proud to present Suzanne Carroll’s new book - STARCROSSED.
A desperate student deprived by an assignment of her computer and her smart-phone, begs her mother for advice on how to go through life with out Apps or search engines; and ends up learning about the power of persistence, and the lengths an inventive mind and a constant heart and will go to find it's other half.
After all, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have Twitter…

JOIN US AND WIN INCREDIBLE PRIZES!

AMAZING BOOK PARTY - STARCROSSED by Suzanne Carroll




Join us for two hours, Febr 7th, at 18:00 GMT at the Facebook Virtual Book Party.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1393419004299164/

ROMEO AND JULIET DIDN’T HAVE TWITTER…

WDA Publishing’s MANGO BOVEL Division is proud to present Suzanne Carroll’s new book - STARCROSSED.

A desperate student deprived by an assignment of her computer and her smart-phone, begs her mother for advice on how to go through life with out Apps or search engines; and ends up learning about the power of persistence, and the lengths an inventive mind and a constant heart and will go to find it's other half.

After all, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have Twitter…

Thursday, 5 February 2015

READ MY FLASH PLAY FREE!

Be warned...It is irrelevant, inconsequent, and politically incorrect.
Unless you LOVE Shoes. Then you will completely understand.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

WELL I HEARD IT
THROUGH THE GRAPE VINE

harder and harder
to pretend belief
when all that love
has ever brought
is grief


Manuela Cardiga

REVIEW for SAMSON by Danie Adendorff


I have finished reading Danie Adendorff's SAMSON for the third time, and for the third time I have cried. Because Samson breaks my heart.

Samson is a a wonderful boy with a good heart and a bad temper doing his best in a harsh and unforgiving world. He is a boy struggling to bringing the ethics and values of his ancestors to bear on a corrupt and corrupting society. Samson courageously fights for justice and truth with the frail weapons of a child: belief and sincerity.

Samson wins, and in winning breaks our hearts.

SAMSON it is not a black African story, anymore than The Diary of Anne Frank is a Jewish story. It is a human story. A universal story told with crushing simplicity; the bitterest story of how childhood - the sweetest of times - can be poisoned by the treachery of the very society that should nurture and shelter our most vulnerable treasures: our children.

Manuela Cardiga


Sunday, 1 February 2015

PAWNING PEARL- Part 36

Pearl sat in the Clinic waiting room nervously flipping through an ancient magazine.

HOW TO MAKE BEAUTY TREATMENTS WITH WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN! blared the title of the article. Egg-white face peels...Avocado face masks...Cucumber face masks, exfoliating scrubs with olive oil and table salt...

“Mrs Chabalala? Please come in.”

Pearl got up and walked into a tiny white cubicle hung with bright wax-crayon pictures of vegetables and fruit drawn by children of varying artistic ability. The nutritionist, a tiny woman in a white coat ushered her in.

To one side was a dented filing-cabinet painted bright red and a scale, a tall sliding ruler with which to measure children’s heights; next to the desk a white wood and glass medicine locker with lots of vials and bottles with colourful liquids and pills inside. And two chairs, of course, one swivel chair behind the desk, and the second - wood painted sky-blue - looking distinctly rickety and overworked, opposite it. The woman gestured invitingly towards it, and Pearl gingerly lowered herself into the chair. It squeaked, and Pearl cleared her throat. "Hello."

“Hello, Mrs Chabalala. I have here Thalie’s reports forwarded by Dr de Bruin's office and his recommendations.” The tiny woman smiled, “Next week, you bring in Thali, but I like to meet the caregivers first , to see what the family situation is, so we can be completely honest; and understand and help each other.”

“I am not Mrs, I am Miss Chabalala - Pearl - and that sounds very fine to me.”

“Pearl! How pretty. Pearl are you Thali’s Mother?”

“No Madam, I am not. But I look after her, and I love her very much.”

“Pearl, I ask this - you don’t have to answer - but I ask for good reason: are you HIV infected?”

“No, Madam, I am not.”

“Good. It is hard to deal with a sick child. Harder still when you are sick yourself. This way, we need only worry about Thalie.”

“Please, Madam? What is your name?”

“OH! I am sorry Pearl! I am Heather Umlozi, I am a nutritionist, that means I will help you to choose foods - plan a diet - to keep Thalie stronger for longer.”

Pearl smiled. “Yes Madam, I know that.”

“Good! Now! I see from what Dr de Bruin says, Thalie is small for her age, and thin.”

“Yes, Madam, she is.”

“That is common in HIV positive children. You see, the children with HIV use up more energy than healthy children, and the sicker they get, the more energy they need. Now, a lot of people have trouble giving their children the right food. Because they are very poor, or live in a place with no refrigerator.”

“We are not poor, we are very very lucky. We have healthy food, and a refrigerator, and clean water.”

“Excellent, but having good healthy food does not mean it is the right food for a little girl like Thalie. Thalie must eat fats and proteins and vitamins. The right kinds of foods. So if you make pap for the family, for Thalie you add a spoon of butter."

Pearl frowned. "Butter? Not margarine?" She took a small notebook out of her purse and a pen.

"Yes, butter, if you can get it! Now for a fat child you would not do that. She does not need extra fat or energy. With a fat child we must encourage the body to burn what is stored. But Thalie has nothing stored. So we must give what she needs for a normal life, and a little more to fight with, and another little bit to encourage her to store up a little fat.Maybe put on some weight. "

Pearl nodded. "Butter..." She wrote it down, "In the pap..."

"So in the porridge or the pap you add a little butter in the morning, or you beat an egg and mix it in when the porridge is cooking, or the mash potatoes. But always cook the egg very well. Raw eggs may have bacteria, so no eggs sunny-side up; or soft boiled, OK?"

Pearl obediently made a note: ALWAYS COOK THE EGGS...NO RUNNY EGGS! She sighed, Thali loved her eggs sunny-side up...

"Scrambled eggs or boiled eggs or mixed in the food, are very good way to add extra protein. Foods like beans are good for protein too, though animal protein is better. But if you can’t get it, beans are very good. Nuts too. Nuts are vegetable meat” She smiled, which brings us to my favourite! Peanuts! I love peanuts. Very good food for skinny children, bad for fat children!”

Pearl smiled “Thali loves peanut butter.”

“Most children love peanut butter.” She nodded at Pearl, “I know what you thinking. Very expensive in a supermarket, peanut butter, but easy and cheap to make at home. And healthier too! I will give you a recipe.“ Pearl nodded and made another note in her little book.

“Vegetables, now. Very important. She must eat them.”

Pearl sighed: “Now that may be a problem…”

“For the little ones I tell the mothers to use colours. Green, and red, and yellow and orange…AND never soak the vegetables too long, takes away the vitamins. Like when you have your hands in the water too long? And your fingers get wrinkly? Soaking is bad for nutrients. And I tell you a secret, vegetables are even better for you if you eat them at the same time as oranges, or with lemon juice. Vitamin C mixed with the vegetables make it easier for the body to use the nutrients.”

“What if I liquidize carrots in orange juice?”

“Good idea, very good idea. She eats the vegetables AND the vitamin C combined!"”

Pearl smiled back, and Mrs Umlozi continued: “Every day, Thali must eat a little extra something to give her that special energy. So between breakfast and lunch maybe you give her a slice of bread or two with peanut butter, or a glass of milk, a little later maybe a hand-full of nuts, like this!” And she cupped her hand to demonstrate.

“If you can - and you have said you have means - a banana and a slice of cheese. Or mash up avocado with a little sugar, it is very good nutrition. Fry onions, add them to the mash, or the pap.” Mrs Umlozi frowned, “And make sure, always that your kitchen in very very clean. Your pots and pans, your plates and cups, your forks and spoons. Bad germs give children like Thalie bad tummy problems. They get diarrhoea, or vomiting, and that makes them even weaker.”

Pearl nodded. “So everything very clean, all the water boiled, all the vegetables washed very clean.”

Mrs Umlozi nodded. "Yes. Thalie's biggest enemy will be infection by bacteria or viruses that will take advantage of the fact that HIV has left her with very few defences. we must build her strength, keep the energy level high, so the medication can help her."

"Yes, Dr. de Bruin has given me the prescription. He asked me to speak to you about how to give it to Thalie."

Mrs Umlozi sighed: "It does not taste good at all, but she must take it. An adult will understand, but a child, no. So mix it in with a small portion of something to disguise the taste. Like ice cream, or peanut butter, or jam. But it must be a little bit only, so you can be sure she eats it all and takes the full dose."

Pearl smiled. "Ice-cream...Thali will eat huge amounts!"

"Now, yes. Later...Later maybe not. Thali has been fairly healthy?"

"Yes! Only thin, and small. But happy, and healthy, with so much energy!"

"When did you notice she was not growing?"

"We have only had Thalie a few months. She was living on the streets when we took her in, so we thought that was why she was so thin."

"I see. She is a very lucky little girl. I wish all my children were as lucky."

"Lucky, Mrs Umlozi? Thali has a deadly disease. She may not live another year. How can she be lucky?"

"Pearl, every day I see Aids orphans who have no-one to care for them; or if they do, the caregivers are afraid of contamination and don't hug them, touch them, show them affection. I see children who do not have the most important sustenance: love. Your love will feed and sustain Thali's spirit, even as you feed her body with nutrients and medication. Again and again I have seen that where there is passionate love for a child, miracles happen. No healing, my dear, but happiness for that child in the time they have, and quality of life. Love equals quality of life. I wish people understood that."

Pearl nodded, "I agree with you Mrs Umlozi. That is what I want for Thali. I know it will not be a long life, but it can be a good life. That is not so different from the ambition other parents have for their children: a good life."

"No, it is not. I think we will do good work together for Thali. So start supplementing her diet..." Mrs Umlozi handed Pearl a brightly coloured booklet. "This will help, it is mostly what we talked about, with some ideas for recipes and uses of traditional food, and ingredients; And next week you bring Thali to meet me."

"Thank you, Mrs Umlozi, I will." Peal got up and shook Mrs Umlozi's gloved hand. "Thank you. What you have said...It makes me feel not so helpless. There is a lot I can do, and I will do it. You have shown me how I can fight." Pearl shrugged, "I am a fighter, if I cannot fight, I am lost. You are blessed, Mrs Umlozi."

"Pearl, God has blessed me that I can help children, and God has blessed you too; but I think you are not just blessed. I think you are a blessing."


TO BE CONTINUED


Manuela Cardiga