Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Latest review for my book Cherished

This is the latest review for my book Cherished by Rakhi Jayashankar. The book mirrors a grave reality that persists in the society these days. Both girls and boys end up their marital relations for silly misunderstanding, without thinking about the children who are sandwiched between. Read more about it in the following links - http://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in/2015/12/review-cherished.html https://plus.google.com/+JayashankarRakhi/posts/BNVKsNPZJvFhttps://www.facebook.com/ Amazon and Flipkart Another review in the Deccan Herald appeared in Jan 2014.

Anoter Five Quotes on Reading

1. A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. –William Styron In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody. –Oscar Wilde Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. –George Bernard Shaw Some books leave us free and some books make us free. –Ralph Waldo Emerson Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out. –J.K. Rowling A good book has no ending. –R.D. Cumming

Five Quotes on Reading

1. If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
–Haruki Murakami 2. Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
–Maya Angelou 3. A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it or offer your own version in return.
–Salman Rushdie 4. I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.
–Harold Kushner 5. There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
–Marcel Proust

Happy Diwali

Cover Reveal - Seeking Redemption

Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.
Pre-order from Amazon

About the Author: Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it be…

V.S. Naipaul's Rules for Beginners

Sir V.S. Naipaul is a Trinidadian-British writer of Indian descent known for his novels set in developing countries. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books. A House for Mr.Biswas (1961), A Bend in the River (1979) and A Way in the World (1994) are some of his famous novels. Three of the non-fiction books are about India. An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization, India: A Million Mutinies Now, and A Congo Diary are some of his famous non-fictions. He won Booker Prize in 1971, and Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 2001. These are his Rules for Beginners in writing. 1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words. 2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements. 3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of …

Rules for Writers

Check out these "Rules for Writers" by George Orwell George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, and essays like "Shooting an Elephant." 1. Never use a long word where a short one will do. 2. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. 3. Never use the passive where you can use the active. 4. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. 5. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. 6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. (From Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language.")

Book Review - Milan (A Wedding Story) - by Simi K. Rao

Book Details:
Title: Milan (A wedding story)
Author: Simi K Rao
Publication date: Aug 31, 2015
Formats: Paperback, Digital Ebook
ISBN-13: 978-1517142865
Genre: Contemporary Romance Book Blurb:
When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy- wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili's father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would've probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say? My Review:
Milan is a story of a traditional arranged marriage in India. The bubbling character Mili meets her old school mate Ahaan again, through a marriage proposal brought by his mother. Mili remembers how she used to tease him in their school days, and she was glad to know that he actually likes her and has no hatred towards her. Her parents were too overjoyed with the proposal and hoped Mili too accepts it. To their luck, after caref…

Ganesha Festival 2015

Wish you all a Very Happy Ganesha Festival 2015 Ganesha Festival, also called as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a great festival of India. It is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Ganesha, the supreme God of Wisdom and Prosperity. Usually the day falls between August 20 and September 17. Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on a fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. He is worshipped during every festival and before people undertake a journey or embark upon a new venture. In Maharashtra, this festival celebrated for 10 days.

10 Inspirational Quotes for Writers

1. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.” —Ray Bradbury 2. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” —Richard Bach 3. “Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” —Willa Cather 4. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” —Roald Dahl 5. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” —Oscar Wilde 6. “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” —Wally Lamb 7. “A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us.” —W.H. Auden 8. “Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.” —Philip Roth 9. “Writing is a delicious agony.” —Gwendolyn Brooks 10. Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how muc…

Happy Onam 2015

On this colorful Occasion of Onam, I wish my readers abundant Happiness, Peace and Prosperity. Onam, the most important Festival of Kerala State, is celebrated by all Malayalis. It is the welcome celebration of their mythological king Mahabali who returns from netherworld to see his people living happily every year on Thiruvonam day in Malayalam month Chingam (August-Sept), and this year it falls on 28th August 2015. It is an ancient festival and is celebrated for ten days. The most important day is the 10th day, Thiruvonam day. The important features of this festival are Pookkalam (floral carpet), Thrikkakkara Appan (made with mud), Swing, Onasadhya, Onakkodi, Onappattu folk dances, boat race, Kathakali etc.

Ten Best First Lines of Novels

It is interesting to check through the first lines of some of the most successful books. Ten such best first lines are given below. 1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
(Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice) 2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
(George Orwell, 1984) 3. A screaming comes across the sky.
(Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow) 4. I am an invisible man.
(Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man) 5. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
(Charles Dickens, David Copperfield) 6. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
(William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury) 7. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.
(Ha Jin, Waiting) 8. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ru…

Quote on Peace

10 Quotes on writing

1. “I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.” ― Louisa May Alcott 2.“Books are like rivers, meandering this way and that, but taking us on a steady, flowing course to somewhere different.” ― Carla H. Krueger 3. “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” ― Ernest Hemingway 4. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” ― Aldous Huxley 5. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ― Anne Frank 6. “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ― Albert Camus 7. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” ― Ernest Hemingway 8. “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all tha…

Five Quotes on Happiness

1. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A. Heinlein 2. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Herman Cain 3. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama 4. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha 5.“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Top Ten Quotes of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

(Photo courtesy: Wikipedia ) Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, India's 11th President (2002-2007), was fondly called as People's President of India. He was a renowned Scientist and fondly called as Missile Man of India. He was one of the noblest human beings, and had reached the common man’s heart through his thoughts, actions and deeds. He was also a great writer. Some of his books are Inspiring Thoughts, Indomitable Spirit,Guiding Souls, Children Ask Kalam, Mission India, The Life Tree, The Luminous Sparks, My Journey, Ignited Minds, Envisioning an Empowered Nation, Wings of Fire, and India 2020- A Vision for the New Millennium. Top Ten Quotes of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam 1. "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." 2. "If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun." 3. “Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.” 4…

Happiness Quote

Diary Writing - Five Benefits of Diary writing

Is diary writing a good habit? Many of you may have the habit of writing a diary to keep track of what is happening in your life. A diary is completely personal. It is particularly helpful for the travel writers in maintaining a diary to jot down their day to day events, so that when they sit down to write their travel journal they can't forget the main things happened during the travel. I remember of keeping a diary since the time I entered high school. It was my brother who encouraged me to write down my thoughts and feelings, including the lessons I learned each day, by gifting me a book-size diary. I soon realized that writing is fun and easy to remember the things I wrote. Even for fiction and non-fiction writers, diary writing is a good habit. Anne Frank and Samuel Pepys are great examples and because of them we know what had happened during their time. Many famous writers had the habit of writing a diary. Five Benefits of Diary Writing 1. You can improve your writ…

A short visit to Kerala Kalamandalam

Recently I had a chance to visit Kerala Kalamandalam, the cradle of Kathakali training in India. It is also one of the most revered places for the traditional art forms of Kerala, and is located at Cheruthuruthy, 32 km north of Thrissur, on the banks of River Nila. Established in 1930 by Vallathol Narayana Menon, the renowned Malayalam poet, this institution is the training centre for Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Bharathanatyam, Kootiyattam, Panchavadyam, Thullal etc, still following the ancient gurukula system of education. This is the only place where the rich culture of Kerala's traditional art forms are preserved. During our visit, there were international and domestic tourists, who had come to tour the place. Many school children accompanied by their teachers were also there. If you require more information about this place please visit their website. kalamandalam.org

Tips for Writing Better

Writing about naked emotions in a story is not easy. All the successful writers tell us "Don't tell, show the emotions in your writing." What does it mean? If we tell the emotions the readers won't feel resonated with it. Some readers may get annoyed by reading what is happening in the story, instead they want to feel the emotions what the character in the story goes through which can be done only through the way we describe what happens while experiencing the emotions. Bet it happy, or pain or angry. If we want to convey the emotion to our readers we must feel it as we write. Every one will talk about this, but very few will show us with examples. The article link given below shows you the examples, and I feel that it may be of help to many serious writers. Interested to know more about it? Read this informative article about conveying the emotions to the readers, written by Mary Jaksch,Editor-in-Chief at http://writetodone.com/how-to-write-better-2/

Writing tips - Some unwanted words

Every one wants to read their stories read better. Experts say that we can write stories without making use of certain words, which they consider as unwanted. Elimination of these words in a story will read better. 1. That 2. Went 3. Honestly 4. Absolutely 5. Very 6. Really 7. Amazing 8. Always 9. Never 10. Literally 11. Just 12. Maybe 13. Stuff 14. Things 15. Irregardless Want to know why they are unwanted? Check out this article to know more about it.

Kerala Festival - Vishu 2015

Vishu is the astronomical or zodiac New Year in Kerala and is observed on the first day of the Malayalam month of ‘Medam.’ From an astrological point of view, Vishu is of immense significance. The day and night are of equal duration on the Vishu day (12 hours). Usually Vishu is held on April 14, but this year (2015) it is shifted to April 15th. This is because Vishu is decided based on the transition of the sun from Meena Rashi to Mesha Rashi (Meda Rasi). Vishu with Vishukkani is observed after the Sun enters Mesha Rashi. This means the transition should take place before sunrise on April 14 to observe it on the day. If the transition is after sunrise on April 14 then Vishu is observed on April 15. Kani konnapoo- image courtesy: Wikimedia.org What are the highlights of Vishu? Vishukkani, Vishukaineetam and Vishubhalam are the highlights of Vishu. Vishu starts with Vishukkani, the first auspicious thing people see on the day. It is during the Brahma Muhurtha or ideally between…

Tips from famous writers about writing - Part II

1. Write only when you have something to say. - David Hare 2. If you want to be a writer,you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. - Stephen King. 3. I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. — Joan Didion 4. Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph - Roddy Doyle 5. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. - Anne Lamott 6. A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. - Helen Dunmore 7. The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning. – Erica Jong 8. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "sai…

Tips from famous writers about writing- Part I

We all want to become better writers in our respective fields. Let us learn from the tips from the popular writers. 1. Write in the third person unless a really distinctive first-person voice offers itself irresistibly. - Jonathan Franzen 2. Never pun your title, simpler is usually better: Lolita turns out to be a great title; couldn’t be simpler. - Martin Amis 3. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me?” - C.S. Lewis 4. When you catch an adjective, kill it. -Mark Twain 5. Don’t start a paragraph with the same word as previous one. That goes doubly for sentences. - Martin Amis 6. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words. - V.S. Naipaul 7. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can pai…

Story - Point of View - PoV

Every story is written with a point of view,which means how it is told to your readers. Point of view (PoV) is a term that defines from whose eyes the narrative relies upon. Basically, there are three main types: First person
Third Person
Omniscient Want to know more about PoV and how they are written?
Read this article.Which is your favorite method of PoV? I mostly write in third person and sometimes in Omniscient.

10 Motivational Quotes for Success

Sometimes we need motivational quotes to fuel our energy to continue our work. Otherwise we may feel lazy and hesitate to go forward. Check out these 10 motivational quotes which will recharge us again. 1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison. 2. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch.3. “Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost.” ― Kellie Elmore.4. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou. 5. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar. 6. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills.7. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”- Winston Churchill.8. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.9. “People throw stones at you and you convert them into milestones.” ― Sachi…

A quote about Writing

Five Quotes on Writing

If you are looking for some interesting quotes to inspire your writing please read this list. 1. A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people - Thomas Mann2.There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. - Somerset Maughan3. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First Rule - Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite Hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to College. - Kurt Vonnegut4. Just write everyday of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers. - Ray Bradbury.5. No Tears in the Writer, No tears in the Reader. No surprise for the Writer, No surprise for the Reader. - Robert Frost

Tips for Third person narrative

Many of us write our novels in third person narratives. Have you ever experienced difficulty in writing third person perspective, especially when have to manage multiple perspectives? If you are one of them, check out some of the excellent tips given by the famous writer Nathan Bransford on his blog, to solve this problem. It is worth checking out these tips, to handle such problems.

5 Quotes on Inspiration

1. "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems."
- John Gardner2. "Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action."
- Benjamin Disraeli3. "We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough."
- Helen Keller4. "We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson5. "Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do."
- Orison Swett Marden

Quote on Reading

Quote on Writing

Ten interesting quotes about Happiness.

1. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. ~Mother Teresa 2. A happy thought is like a seed that sows positivity for all to reap. ~Miriam Muhammad 3. Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is. ~Maxim Gorky 4. Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers’ gardens. ~Douglas Jerrold 5. A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness. ~Bernard de Fontenelle 6. My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy. ~William Shakespeare 7. We are seldom happy with what we now have, but would go to pieces if we lost any part of it. ~Mignon McLaughlin 8. When you’re really happy, the birds chirp and the sun shines even on cold dark winter nights — and flowers will bloom on a barren land. ~Terri Guillemets 9.Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust 10…

Quote on Writing style

Revisiting Shoranur in Palakkad, Kerala

Recently, I had attended our annual "Kudumba Sangamam" (family reunion) in my native place in Kerala. The place was Mundakkottukurissi at Shoranur. The function was attended by more than 100 family members, who had come from different parts. This time I had spent a little more time in this village and I was able to attend some important functions and visit many relatives and places. Visiting some of the temples was a great experience which brought me some nostalgic memories of my childhood and adolescent days. Kunnathu kavu, Mundakkottukurissi
We used to visit this temple regularly as a part of our family rituals and light deepas for chuttuvilakku (lighting deepams around the temple). As kids, we used to wait eagerly for Uchar Vela, the pooram festival of the temple, to see the colorful chariots of our own village and the chariots coming from other nearby villages, for this event. We used to dress in our best attires, to compete to take the thalapoli, (arathi) to wel…

Why writing - 10 interesting quotes from famous writers

1. “Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed.” – Zadie Smith 2. “That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.” – Paulo Coelho 3. “I write with a sort of grim determination to deal with things that are hidden and difficult, and this means, I think, that pleasure is out of the question. I would associate this with narcissism anyway, and I would disapprove of it.” – Colm Tóibín 4. “I write because I love writing. I think I became a writer in order to explore my ideas and responses to the world around me, which I often found it difficult to share with others. Also I liked my autonomy, and a writer can choose his or her own working hours – midnight to dawn or whenever. The difficulty of becoming a writer never bothered me. I knew it was going to work for me sooner or later. And if you’re a writer you don’t have to retire but can keep on doing the thing you love till you drop off th…

Happy New Year 2015