Archive for the ‘creative writing’ Category

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Want to become a better writer?

June 23, 2014
10 steps to becoming a better writer

10 steps to becoming a better writer

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Maya & Me & Maya

May 30, 2014
Via Sydney Clark

Via Sydney Clark

Maya & Me & Maya

Charles Blow writes in the New York Times about What Maya Angelou Meant to Me

I have a group of writers I call my literary mothers and fathers: Alice Walker and James Baldwin and Toni Morrison and Alex Haley and Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes. And yes, Maya Angelou.

This is not because I knew them, but rather because, through their words, they have nurtured me, inculcating in me a sense of myself that sustains me. They helped me to see myself and love myself when I felt least seen and least loved.

They saved me.

If you are a writer, this is really a worthwhile read. It is a worthwhile read even if you are not a writer yourself.

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FIRST CHAPTER of The Happy Raj: The Kingdom of Happiness

March 21, 2014

THE HAPPY RAJ: The Kingdom of Happiness

By Nihal S. Dissanayake

ImageDescription: THE HAPPY RAJ is an award-winning novel about happiness, and suffering. Meditation is the cure-all regime installed by billionaire Prof. Happiraja in his KINGDOM OF HAPPINESS in the beautiful sunny island of the Happy Raj. .

The Happy Raj is a religious and a self- development novel, which uses Buddhist philosophy to analyze human behavior patterns and the resultant feelings of happiness and unhappiness.

THE HAPPY RAJ is the first award-winning novel in THE HAPPYRAJ SAGA SERIES, which will roll-down into the fifth novel by the end of the year.

Billionaire Professor Happiraja is determined and committed to help you move up the happiness ladder on your journey towards eternal happiness levels, by providing you with all the facilities you need, for life, at his own expense.

Sotapatti Meditation Program is his star program to push the happiness-hungry masses to enter into Eternal Happiness levels, which is receiving world attention. In the words of Lord Buddha, Sotapatti level is higher than that of being a World King.

The plot: Billionaire Professor Happiraja creates a beautiful environment for stress and mind refinement exercises in an island. His ultimate objective is to help the happiness-hungry masses realize Eternal Happiness levels offered through his Sotapatti Meditation Program. His project is derailed when one of his supervisors, Deva, dies mysteriously and his partner, hermaphrodite Cicci jumps into the burning funeral pyre in an attempted suicide.

Dada, the former owner of the island, a rich factory owner, destituted by a tsunami wave, is invited by Prof. Happiraja as his guest, and becomes the first target and beneficiary for his happiness operations.

Appearance of a ghost in his old cottage sends 72-year old Dada into the Medical Centre with a heart problem. When Dada is discharged, Happiraja presents him with a powerful notebook computer, which makes Dada, a designs engineer, dreams of bouncing back into active life.

When Rev. Aloka arrives in to cleanse the island of the ghosts, Dada gets interested in meditation. Two of top Happy Raj executives join the Sotapatti Meditation program in t search of Nirvana, on the day of the inauguration of the Kingdom of Happiness.

Dada also dons the yellow robes in search of Nirvana, and is appointed as the Trustee of the Temple of Happiness. A tsunami wave batters the island immediately after its inauguration, destroying almost all buildings and takes hermaphrodite Cicci with it

Professor Happiraja plans to rebuild the Kingdom and plans to commence a special section for women mediators immediately.

CONTENTS

1: THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF IMPERMANENCE

2: WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

3: AKURA ENTERS THE HAPPY RAJ

4: DEVA IS DEAD

5: WHAT IS SUFFERING?

6: WHO KILLED DEVA?

7: DADA GOES HOME

8: LETTER WRITING MODE

9: THEY ARE COMING FOR LUNCH

10: DADA GOES BACK TO HOSPITAL

11: A FORMULA FOR DADA

12: CHANTING PIRITH TO CHASE OFF THE GHOSTS

13: HOLY MEN INVADE THE ISLAND

14: THE TEMPLE OF HAPPINESS

15: A TSUNAMI WAVE STRIKES THE HAPPY RAJ

CHAPTER ONE

THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF IMPERMANENCE

The fluorescence of the hidden tube lights faltered flickered and disappeared eclipsing the room with a thin cloud of darkness. The shadows hiding like ghosts under the tables, chairs, cupboards, computers and stools, changed their positions, sizes, and lengths to extend their tentacles looking for new areas for control, after suffering several hours under the unfriendly rays of the fluorescent tubes. When a new source of light emerged, creeping stealthily into the room through the narrow openings in the red and yellow curtains that protected the office room of the President, the shadows readjusted their areas of control.

The murmur of the air-conditioners faltered and faded off reluctantly to a premature death. So were the hands of the electric clock that was fixed on to the cream-colored walls of the office of the President of the State Polytechnic, Professor Happiraja. The UPS attached to his computer screeched desperately asking for help and guidance. Embarrassed by the unfriendly disturbances to the serenity of his room, darkened by the sudden failure of the power supply, Professor Happiraja extended his long and fleshy left hand, covered with a white long-sleeved national costume, and used his plump thumb to ensure complete silence in the room. He thought that the power failure could be due to the political forces operating in the country. He jerked his head that was pivoting at the top of a tall and a slender body to look at the hands of the clock that had lost its indefatigable desire for movement. Its hands told the retiring chief that the time was 9:34. Exactly twenty-six minutes more for his last meeting with the members of the academic staff who were getting ready to say GOOD BYE to their beloved boss. Read the rest of this entry ?

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SHORT STORY: “The Marching Morons” By C. M. Kornbluth

March 19, 2014

Today I came across this link to “The Marching Morons” By C. M. Kornbluth while reading a diary on DailyKos. With thanks to commenter in that diary, Fordmandalay.

This story, on which the movie Idiocracy was based, was originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction
April 1951. It discusses a universal issue.

Worry about what the world has come to? Read this and worry more!

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The Truth of Fiction

March 17, 2014

I was reading about wisdom yesterday. And it seems to me that a lot of wisdom we gain, we do so through reading. And often, in good fiction, the author, by taking great pains over the crafting of the story, characters and how the story unfolds, make us experience vicariously what the character is experiencing. Is that experience less valuable than an actual experience we live through?

Miss Modernist

A young Hemingway in Paris. After a recent chain of events, I have come to the realization that we can no longer use the words real and true interchangeably. What is real may indeed have happened, but what is true is only what happens in the way that we remember. Say, perhaps, you spent your morning walking to the corner café at sunrise, watching the same nonchalant faces you see everyday—real enough of an event—but, looking back on it in the evening, the sun seems more of a painting than it was, the faces seem more of a backdrop than they were, and you seem more peaceful than you were back when it happened. This memory may not be as real as the event, but we know it to be true, because you were there, and you are here, and you are the one writing the story.

I daresay a good work of fiction is…

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Roderic Grigson: My Long Journey to Fiction

March 14, 2014

Excerpts from the speech made at the launch of his  first novel, Sacred Tears:
Read first chapters of Sacred Tears.

Sacred Tears Book Cover

Sacred Tears Book Cover

It’s been a long journey to get here. Never having written a book before, I had no idea what writing one would involve. I remember reading of a famous author having once said that ‘writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing’.
Never having been in that position myself, I can say from observing the entire process, it seems a little bit like that. A lot of screaming and tears. Thankfully not a lot of blood.

The big difference is that producing a baby takes nine months. But writing a book takes much longer. It took me a total of two years to get to where I am today! One year to learn how to be a creative writer and another year to actually write and publish the book. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Sacred Tears

March 4, 2014

By Roderic Grigson | AuthorHouse

Website: http://www.sacredtearsbook.com

Sacred Tears Book Cover

Buy online: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
| Barefoot Bookshop

Chapter 1

They reached the coast at midnight. The two military trucks turned off the main highway onto a neglected gravel track which wound through rows of orange trees. From where he sat perched in the back of the second truck, Sami saw the fruit reflected in the headlights like glowing yellow eyes.

After bumping slowly around deep potholes, the trucks pulled up at a cluster of five old wooden huts around a clearing. In a huge open-sided shed, empty wooden crates were stacked untidily from floor to ceiling.

Sami still felt sick from the winding drive down the mountain. He had sat on the men’s rucksacks and kept a tight grip on the three rubber dinghies beside him as the truck lurched around the tight bends. He’d had to take slow deep breaths to stop himself from throwing up.

Captain Baqar, the leader of the Fidayeen Commandos, jumped down from the first truck and looked around. A short, bear-like man with a temperament to match, he took every opportunity to assert his authority.

‘Everyone out,’ he yelled in Arabic. ‘I want an armed guard watching the trucks! These bloody locals, I don’t trust them.’ Read the rest of this entry ?