Wednesday, December 16, 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/BNVKsNPZJvF

https://www.facebook.com/

Amazon and Flipkart

Another review in the Deccan Herald appeared in Jan 2014.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

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 became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Contact the Author:


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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 small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.

4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.

5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.

6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.

7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it’s training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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.")

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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 careful consideration, she accepts the proposal, whom everyone thinks as a good catch, but like any girl of her age, she too has her own trepidation about the future since she had no plan of an arranged marriage in her own life. But she slowly accepts the proposal which her parents feel is the right one for her, like an obedient daughter just the way her older sister had done four years ago, who is happy now, but in her case Mili gets time to know Ahaan better and actually falls in love with him before the wedding. So love comes after the marriage is arranged, and the story ends in their marriage, without any twists or complications. These days such marriages are not rare, where the boy and girl get a chance to know each other before their marriage, arranged by the parents, with the elders’ permission, and they subsequently fall in love before the wedding.

Written in a simple language, I like the way the author’s description about each setting which makes one visualize the scene clearly, the anxiety of the parents sending away their loving and pampered younger daughter in marriage, Mili's anxieties of the marriage, and also how the relationship between Mili and Ahaan develops step by step, in a short time, and then they fall in love completely before the wedding.

Explanations of various Indian terms and rituals, including some recipes, are described at the end, for a better understanding.

The story is about an Indian traditional arranged marriage in steps, and I enjoyed reading it. However, I feel that it would have been fantastic if one more chapter was added to it about their new life of few months, which gives the reader an idea whether her decision was right.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:
Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction. The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life. Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world. A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

You can connect with her at http://simikrao.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/simikrao/ and Twitter @ SimiKRao.

I wish the author all the best.

The book is available here - Amazon.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

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 much the heart can hold.” —Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

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 ruined by literature.
(Anita Brookner, The Debut )

9. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
(Ernest Hemingway,The Old Man and the Sea)

10. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
(George Eliot, Middlemarch)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My new novel - Vanished Girl


Vanished Girl - is my upcoming novel. It is about a girl who boarded the train to reach her home to see her dying father, but unfortunately she never reaches there. What happens to her?

You can read the first few chapters here.

Vanished Girl

Your comments will be highly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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 that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ” ― Virginia Woolf

9. “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” ― Ernest Hemingway

10. “Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” ― Stephen King

Monday, August 3, 2015

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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. "All birds find shelter during a rain. But eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds."

5. "All of us do not have equal talent. But all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents."

6. "Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success."

7. "It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone."

8. "Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness."

9. "Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life."

10. " Without your involvement you can't succeed. With your involvement you can't fail. "

Dr. Kalam was born in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu on 15th October 1931 and died at the age of 83, while delivering a lecture to the students of Indian Institute of Management at Shillong on 27th July 2015.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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 writing skills by writing regularly.

2. You can easily record your thoughts and feelings of any topic. What made you think, what made you cry, what made you laugh at, etc are some of the feelings which may be useful at a later date, or at least you can muse it over

3. Whenever anything special happens in your life it can be noted in your diary. What was the special occasion, how did you celebrate it, did you meet anyone special that day, and what did you learn that day etc are great things to know later, especially if you are a writer.

4. Do you know writing is also a therapy? Sometimes you may feel low or hurt, and you don't want to share it with anyone. You can write down your hurt feelings in your diary so that you will feel relaxed. If the feelings are such that you never want anyone to know it even by mistake, that is someone happens to flip through your diary without your permission, you can tear off those pages and still you may feel relaxed. Those hurt feelings will come out of your chest.

5. Diary writing can also help you to understand your own mistakes, so that you can avoid them in future.

Do you have a habit of writing a diary? If so, how did you find it useful?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

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/

Sunday, May 24, 2015

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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

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 0400 hrs and 0600 hrs. Vishukkani is prepared on the previous night, before going to sleep, arranged in an uruli (a traditional brass vessel). Items like rice, kasavu mundu (traditional cloth of Kerala), gold, silver, coins, mirror (usually Aranmula Kannadi or mirror with a tail), cucumber, mango, jackfruit, coconut, banana, and decked with Kanikonna (yellow flower known as Indian Laburnum) are included in the kani. The uruli with these items are placed before the idol of God, usually Lord Krishna, with a vilakku (a traditional Kerala brass lamp) lit beside it. The family members must see these auspicious scene as the first sight of the day. Special Vishukkani poojas will be held at main Krishna temples, and many people go to the temples to be a part of it.

The eldest member of the family gives Vishu kaineetam, a coin, to the members one by one and takes they in turn takes his blessings for a happy and prosperous year. (These days the coin is replaced with a big note in many families).

Vishubhalam, the prediction of the coming year, is read by an astrologer on this day.

After that, a delicious vegetarian lunch with mouthwatering payasam (a sweet dish) is served.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

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 "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.- Elmore Leonard

9. 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 Vonnegut

10.Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something. - Geoff Dyer

Go back to Part I

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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 paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you're good at it, you don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill. - Elmore Leonard

8. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page. - Margaret Atwood

9. Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear). - Diana Athill

10. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. - Neil Gaiman

Friday, April 3, 2015

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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

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.” ― Sachin Tendulkar.

10. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ― Charles Darwin.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

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 Mann

2.There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. - Somerset Maughan

3. 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 Vonnegut

4. 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

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Quotes on Inspiration


1. "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems."
- John Gardner

2. "Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action."
- Benjamin Disraeli

3. "We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough."
- Helen Keller

4. "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 Emerson

5. "Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do."
- Orison Swett Marden

Sunday, February 15, 2015

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. You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. ~Albert Camus

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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 welcome them. This festival is celebrated on a particular day of the year, which usually falls between 15th January-15th February, as per the star.

Paddy field


In the earlier days, harvesting of the field, was performed by the womenfolk of the village, cutting the paddy yield and bringing them on their heads, which used to last for a week or more. Now this job is taken over by the machines and would be finished within an hour or so. The paths for walking through the fields were very narrow, not more than two feet in width. As kids, it was fun for us chatting while walking on the narrow paths without dancing and falling down to the fields, holding the school bag and an umbrella. Without expertise, one wouldn't have been able to walk on these paths, especially during rainy season.

Kayiliad Kavu, Kayiliyad

This was another temple where we used to visit only once or twice a year. The womenfolk in groups, used to go there with the required ingredients and vessel and cook payasam there, using firewood. I used to accompany my mother. The Payasam, (a rice pudding cooked with jaggery and added coconuts scrappings) was the nivedhyam to offer the deity, following a pooja there. After the pooja, the devotees can take the payasam home. This was usually performed once a year, during the month of the main festival of the temple.

The main festival was called Pooram. Then on the main Pooram festival day people from the same village and the nearby villages, come to see and enjoy it. During that festival night, Pava Koothu (Puppet show), a traditional art form of Kerala, was also played in the Koothu Madam in front of the deity, Bhagavathy. The performance starts at about 10 p.m. and goes on till day-break. Those days it used to be a popular entertainment for the public.

Other attractions include the colorful chariots and well decorated kalas (oxen) made out of hay and clothes, called kalavela (( check a sample here ) -

Also watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVwO-tPK_0M

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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 the chair.” – Alex Miller

5. I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

6.“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler

7. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” – George Orwell

8. “I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath

9. “I believe there is hope for us all, even amid the suffering – and maybe even inside the suffering. And that’s why I write fiction, probably. It’s my attempt to keep that fragile strand of radical hope, to build a fire in the darkness.” – John Green

10. “Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin