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On people and peninsulas.

Published May 30, 2019 by mandileighbean
caution dead end post safety

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the people in my life. I mean that I’ve been thinking about my friends and acquaintances and colleagues, the relationships that have the most mobility to them. People move in and out of our lives, for better or for worse, and I think it’s comforting for us to rationalize why someone who was near and dear to us one month could be a stranger the next.

It’s not that I’m afraid of change, but endings make me sad. And I try to tell myself that just because something ends, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth its beginning. I have a real problem dealing with my “all or nothing at all” mentality. It’s incredibly difficult for me to believe that just because a person is no longer my friend doesn’t mean he or she never was.

What is it exactly that makes people incompatible? Nora Ephron, in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck, presents her readers with “The Peninsula Story,” and it goes a little something like this: There is a married couple who live on a deserted peninsula. One day, the man’s mother comes to stay with the couple but the man leaves on a business trip. With her husband gone, the woman is eager to see her lover but cannot have him at her home because of her husband’s mother. So the woman takes a ferry to the mainland, has amazing sex with her lover, and lets time get away from her. She realizes she has to get home, but it’s late, and she misses the last boat. Desperate, she begs with the ferryboat captain to make an exception and take her to the deserted peninsula. He says he will but only if she pays him six times the normal fare. She doesn’t have the money so she starts walking home and along the way, she is raped and killed by a stranger.

So the question is: who is responsible for the woman’s death, and in what order? Is it the woman, the husband, the husband’s mother, the lover, the ferryboat captain, or the rapist?

And the trick is that if you ask your friends, they will likely all answer differently and reveal a lot about themselves. I wonder if it’s worth the risk of asking.

Comment with your answers to “The Peninsula Question” and maybe I’ll share mine.

On the art of asking … and remembering to say pretty please :)

Published January 5, 2017 by mandileighbean


Go Fund Me

In case you didn’t know, my name is Mandi Bean, and I am currently an English teacher at the high school I graduated from … which is an entertaining and bizarre as it might sound. But all my life, honestly for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer: a career author.

In October of 2012, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, my first novel was published by Martin Sisters Publishing. It’s called HER BEAUTIFUL MONSTER, and outside of friends and family and colleagues, I didn’t sell many copies. The same publishing company is working with me to publish a second novel, called MOODY BLUE, but to make a splash in the publishing industry, it is necessary to network and make connections.

Recently, my application was accepted to attend the St. Augustine Author-Mentor Workshop which could revolutionize my career and change my life. The goal of the workshop is to prepare my current work-in-progress for commerical publication. I’ll work one-on-one with representatives from major publishing companies. The cost to attend is around $3,000 which includes materials, resources, room and board for the four-day event. The event is at the end of February, so I’m in a bit of a time crunch.

This would be a major step in the right direction for attaining my lifelong dream. I’ve never taken so large a step and I need help. I have 3,649 fans of my Author page on Facebook; if everyone donated just a single dollar, I’d be more than set! It’s so rare that such opportunities come along to help someone achieve their wildest dream, and I would be forever indebted to each and every donor regardless of the outcome of the event, because a donation is a tangible sign of support, that you believe in my talent enough to support me in this way.

Here’s that link again: Go Fund Me

On thinking and writing in images

Published September 8, 2016 by mandileighbean

So I’m teaching a creative writing class this semester (hello students! … if you’re reading this), and I promised them I would complete every assignment I gave them as well. It’s a true team effort.

So I asked them to write about an image, to focus on the five senses. Here we go:

“Feel better?” Dan asked. He knew the heat made her cranky.

“I can’t tell,” she laughed and dramatically collapsed onto the blanket beside Dan. “I don’t think I’m refreshed. It’s like the water’s too cold and I’m numb.”

Dan shook his head. “You’ve never been numb, Amanda. You actually have this really annoying habit of feeling everything very intensely.”

Amanda propped herself onto her elbows. “It’s called living, ass hat, and I’ll pick that over existing every single time.” She winked and shook her head so that her sunglasses fell and returned to covering her eyes. Then she fell onto her back and silence enveloped them.

On near misses.

Published March 31, 2016 by mandileighbean


For someone who believes in, and more often than not relies on signs from the universe, I’m constantly missing those signs. I’m frequently guilty of missing the point, as it were. It is usually only in hindsight that I am appreciative and finally realize that the Universe was trying to alert me to something.

I left Busco Beach ATV Park in Goldsboro, North Carolina around 9:30 yesterday morning. On the main highway in town, I was stuck in a line of cars waiting for the longest freight train I’ve ever seen in my life. I was patient and waited. Now I wonder if those ten minutes that felt like an hour made any difference, if those ten minutes affected my journey in a crucial way.

About 45 minutes later, I was merging onto I-95 and nearly had to swerve to avoid hitting a giant vulture and some other small bird feasting on a carcass in the middle of the interstate. I’d never seen vultures feeding in real life, only in the movies and on television, and it seemed especially stranger the birds would land and feed on such a busy road. It was a gruesome reminder of mortality, regardless if the location seemed unrealistic.

Some time later, I ran over a blown tire. The sound was loud and startling, but the collision was harmless. Another sign, perhaps, but of what?

The trip was mostly uneventful after the aforementioned incidents, aside from irritating pockets of traffic, until I reached Baltimore, Maryland. I was traveling over the bridge that ended in tunnels near the Port of Baltimore. I was being attentive, wasn’t distracted by my cell phone or iPod, but none of that positive, defensive driving seems to matter. Somehow, an orange construction cone (one of the big ones, shaped more like a tube and reminiscent of a garbage can) was left behind. There was no obvious construction, no other cones or material left behind – just the one thing. The car in front of the truck in front of me decimated the cone, smashed it all to bits. The truck in front of me slammed on its brakes, and I had no other choice but to do the same. I also swerved to the left, into the shoulder.

For a few terrifying moments, I was convinced I was going to crash into the concrete barrier, wedging my jeep between that median and the back end of the truck in front of me. I saw it all happen like some lame scene from one of those “Final Destination” movies. I’d slam against the steering wheel (would the air bag go off?) and there’d be blood gushing from my nose and mouth. My teeth, after thousands of dollars spent at the orthodontist, would be broken and shattered more likely than not. Would the windows bust from pressure of being squished between the concrete and the truck? I had my seat belt fastened, but what would that have really prevented?

But I’m okay. There was no crash, no sickening crunch of glass and metal, no screech of a scrape against concrete. The whole awful mess was avoided and I kept on driving, kept on going. There was no time to stop and investigate the accident that had almost happened, no time to figure out how it had been avoided. Pieces of the orange and white plastic flew by, circling end over end along the shoulder. The sound of my squealing tires reverberated in the air but only for a moment. Life kept moving.

And I was okay.

I think that’s the message from the Universe: Mandi, life changes and keeps going despite your personal dramas, and you’re okay. You’re going to be okay.

So I’m listening very seriously to my mom when she advises me to work on myself, to be happy with me. She seems convinced that once that happens, everything else will fall into place. I’m starting to agree. The ideology makes sense, but it’s also exhausting feeling guilty for absolutely everything that happens in my life. If friends hang out without me, I immediately wonder what I did wrong and try to figure out why they would launch an offensive to alienate me. If I was happy with myself, truly happy, I’d be able to realize that not everything is about me and how horrible I am. That realization makes me feel guilty, like I’m wrong for thinking badly about anyone ever when there’s so much wrong with me. Well, that’s an incredibly depressing attitude and I don’t want to be apart of it anymore.

Today, I got a manicure and a pedicure. Tomorrow, I’m trimming my hair and on Sunday, I’m coloring my hair. These may seem vain and shallow attempts at becoming okay with myself, but we all have to start somewhere, no? And truth be told, I’m happy with who I am on the inside. Sure, I’ve got some crippling insecurities and some awfully bad habits to work through, but don’t we all? I’m going to work on myself in the best way I see fit because I trust myself and I love myself.

There is a difference between narcissism and introspection.

I’m not missing any more signs.


On time.

Published November 5, 2015 by mandileighbean

I have a REAL problem with procrastination, and not just with work. Let’s face it; few people actually enjoy completing work in the proper setting. There’s a sad, small thrill in doing something other than assigned tasks in the workplace. Am I wrong?

I’m upset because I procrastinate in life – in general. I put off adventures and impassioned conversations and daring risks because I have erroneously convinced myself that there will indeed be time. I have erroneously convinced myself that things are permanent and everlasting. This is most likely because I absolutely despise, even abhor, change. Rather than deal with this phobia and its fairly obvious implications regarding my mental health, I simply ignore change. I deny its existence. This is not only unhealthy, but ineffective. I am left unsatisfied and heartbroken, often times disappointed.

To further illustrate this point, let me offer you an example. There was a fashionable eatery located just before the on-ramp for 195 called the Java Moon Cafe. It always seemed so cool, for lack of a better term, and each time I passed, I always made a resolution to stop in and check it out. It was the inspiration of a myriad of possibilities and opportunities, the perfect setting for my ceaseless coming-of-age tale. Traveling to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida – whenever access to I-95 was required – I would always watch the building emerge and fade from my window, also catching glimpses in the rearview and side mirrors. There it always was, and I assumed there was where it would always be.

But coming home from Virginia last night, I was saddened to discover that the lights were out. The entire property was encased by a chain link fence. It was being sold to be repurposed and reimagined. The Java Moon Cafe was no more, and lost were the opportunities my overly active imagination had fancied. I could not sit at a table, cup of coffee cooling beside me, typing away on some riveting work of fiction. No handsome stranger would ask what I was working on. No conversation would necessitate more cups of coffee as the sun sank and faded, welcoming twilight to spread its inky black net of stars across the sky. The smell of the pine and cedar – or whatever wood it was made of – would never linger in my nostrils. I would never witness the charm of the imitation log cabin. It was gone, closed off from me forever because I always thought there’d be time.

I felt this way about the original Yankee Stadium, tore down and renovated despite the historical, sentimental significance. Progress for progress’ sake. I felt this way about the Twin Towers, never being able to step inside a landmark prominently featured in the famous New York City skyline. It is a selfish comment to make concerning a tragedy of that magnitude, but it is nevertheless true.

My New Years’ resolution will be not to wait. When something strikes me, I will venture out. I will entertain whims because life is short. Moments are fleeting.

In other news, the BookCon went very well. I am endeavouring to sign and sell more books in different locations to expand my audience, to be more inclusive. No more waiting around to do something; the time is now. There is no later.


Published September 25, 2015 by mandileighbean

Great news!

I have been invited to attend Belmar BookCon! I’ll have a booth where I’ll be selling and signing copies of Her Beautiful Monster! There will be other members of the publishing industry as well, so there’ll be something for everyone, whether you’re a fan or an aspiring author! Stop by on October 11th from 10:00am – 4:00pm in Paynoe Plaza in Belmar, NJ!

Here’s a link to the website with more information:


Come and say hello!


Published October 7, 2013 by mandileighbean

21 Colonial Drive

Manchester, NJ08759

Telephone:     732.657.7600


Suzanne Scro,     Branch Manager

September 24, 2013


Connecting People … Building     Community
















CONTACT: Maria Colon, 732.657.7600 Ext. 4524







MANCHESTER, NJLocal author, Mandi Bean will be on hand at the Manchester Branch Library on Tuesday, October 15 starting at 7:00 pm to talk about her novel, Her Beautiful Monster, published last year. This author’s first book, a thriller, tells the story of a young woman who is obsessed with romance and finding the perfect man for her. After she meets him, he gets murdered. In the midst of the emotional tailspin that ensues, her world changes, and she enters into a struggle in which must discover the truth about herself and those around her in order to save her life, her heart and her sanity. Copies will be available at the event for purchase and signing. Mandi is an alumnus of Manchester Township High School where she now teaches English.


This program is open to teens and adults, free of charge. Please go online to www.theoceancountylibrary.org or call 732.657.7600 to register.


The Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library is located at 21 Colonial Drive in Manchester Township.

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