Some Interesting Facts About Pablo Neruda

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Pablo Neruda was perhaps the greatest Spanish poet of the 20th century. I was reading the book ‘Twenty Love Poems & A Song of Despair‘ by him when I thought about running a research on him and what I found was interesting. Thus, I’m sharing some facts about him here.

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  • Pablo Neruda’s real name was Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Bosoalto.
  • He took his pen name from a Czech author Jan Neruda.
  • He never really adopted the name ‘Pablo Neruda’ legally as his father disapproved of this name.
  • He started writing at the age of 10.
  • The book you see in the picture was published when he was 20 years old.
  • It’s a book of intensely romantic and erotic poems. It was a highly controversial book of that time because of its explicitly sexual nature.
  • He always wrote in green ink which was a symbol for hope and despair for him. Interesting, isn’t it?
  • It’s still not clear if he died naturally, due to illness or he was killed.

The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called Neruda “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” So I’m ending this post by a quote by Pablo Neruda.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving.”

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Hello!

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I’m back after a brief hiatus from my blog. In the past three months, I only concentrated on my studies and stopped taking blogging seriously. Because of which, I’m not even reading novels as I already have fat books to read. Plus, note making eats all the time.

I started this blog almost two years ago and today, it has hit 9k stats. This is my one and only successful blog as yet. Updating the blog had been long overdue, so I decided to take a good look of my blog, today and I do not like what I see. I had planned better things for my blog.

Now, that I have realized what a mess I have created (because this is something I hadn’t expected my blog to be like), I will be getting a little careful of what I post.

I WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING any GUEST POST Request if I haven’t read the author’s book. Any other post for book promotions won’t be entertained.

P.S. Better things are coming.

Je t’embrasse,

Nance

 

Guest Post: The Aristotelian Principle by Iain Reading

Jack Reacher Violates The Principle Of Aristotle

Since the time of Aristotle the writers of the world have struggled with three things:

1) The Dreaded Writer’s Block

2) Dramatic Structure

3) Finding time to write while still working their “day job”

(For the record: Aristotle’s “day job” was teaching.  And believe me… he spent every second of his time tutoring that little brat Alexander wishing he was back in his study writing.)

Three epic struggles.  But today I want to talk about the second one: Dramatic Structure.

What writer hasn’t Googled the infamous “three act structure” (thank you Aristotle) or the less infamous “Freytag Pyramid” (thank you Freytag)?

I’ll tell you the answer.  Every writer who lived before the Internet was invented.  How could they Google something before the Internet?  But I promise you that they still spent some considerable amount of time thinking about the structure of the stories that they were writing.

So… what is the answer to the age old question of: How long should it take a book to really get to the good stuff?  The main action?  The second act?

The conventional wisdom on this seems to be that the first act of your three-act story should occupy the first 25%.  From my own writing experience I can tell you that I’ve (unknowingly) violated this principle on a few occasions.  From top to bottom through my books thus far the breakdown is as follows:

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Book #1: the main action starts at (gasp!) approximately 30. 04% of the way into the book.

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Book #2: main action at 30.35% (another gasp!)

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Book #3: main action at 30.35% (and yet another gasp!)

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Book #4: main action at 16.67%

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Book #5: main action at 9.35%

The Wizards of Waterfire Book#1: main action at 17.67%

The Dragon of the Month Club Book #1:  main action at 20.00%

(I didn’t plan to sit down this morning and perform detailed computations on my books, but there it is.)

And what have I learned from all of this?  Well, other than my surprise at the fact that the first three Kitty Hawk books have a surprisingly consistent percentage starting point for the main action, I have also learned that numbers mean nothing.  If you had told me this morning that my first Kitty Hawk book had the same percentage starting point for the main action as the two books that followed it, I would have said you were crazy.  And that’s because it FEELS much longer in the first book, when, in fact, by the numbers it actually occurs earlier.

Which (finally) brings me to the point of this whole blog post.  (I should have followed the three-act structure here, huh?)

So…. what do I personally think is the right time for a story to hit the main action?  What feels right to me?

I suppose it depends on the story, but come close and I’ll tell you a little secret…  I can tell you this because we’re friends now, right?

Lately I’ve been binge-reading Jack Reacher books and one of the things I love about them is that they get to the point almost immediately.  And by “immediately” I mean sometimes literally immediately – like in the first or second sentence.  (At 0.01% in other words.)

This completely violates the Aristotelian principles (not to mention the graphs and pyramids) and yet I love it.  And I totally plan to do the same in some up-coming Kitty Hawk book.

Lesson learned.  Forget the numbers.  Forget percentages, graphs, pyramids and every other thing that tries to constrict how you want to tell your story.  Because I promise you that no matter what you do, some people will love it, some will hate it, and some won’t even care.  You can’t win.  But you also can’t lose.

Go with what feels right.

And maybe THAT is the true Aristotelian principle.


About the Author

Iain ReadingIain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with Iain onFacebook,Twitter, and Goodreads.


About the Book

Dragon book cover 

The Dragon Of The Month Club, by Iain Reading, was published in February 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Middle Grade / Fantasy / Adventure

 

 

Book Excerpt: Thirst: Blood of my Blood by R.P.Channing

Book-Cover-for-Thirst-by-R-P-Channing The Puppy Eyes
My life was perfect. I had the perfect shoes and the perfect friends and I lived in the perfect house. My nails were perfect and my hair was perfect (except on Sundays, it was always windy on Sundays) and I had the perfect clothes. My lips were a perfect red and my hair perfectly straight. My eyeshadow was perfect, my hips were…okay, and my waist…well…also okay. Nothing was wrong in my life.

But then there was Jack. Jack was a problem. He needed to go. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead! I had told him this endlessly. Somehow, Jack didn’t get it. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy. Sure. Being stuck between this life and the next. But just because I found him, does that mean I needed to keep him?

I think not!

Sadly, when Jack got that look in his eyes, that weary, almost teary (if his tearducts worked) look, I melted. I just couldn’t send him away. Not even Jack knew where he would go after he died.

Would he, like, die? As in — dead, nada, kaput, finito, gone, no more? Bye bye, sayonara, ciao, hasta la vista baby and all that?

I couldn’t have that on my conscience. No way. I lay on my bed, wondering what to do about him. “Jaaaaaaack,” I hollered.

“Jaaaaaaack!” Still no answer.

“Jack!” Jack…materialized. His eyes rolled down to the ground. He was making those puppy eyes again.

“Jack, I told you not to do that. I told you not to play on my sympathies.” His puppy eyes became worse. His skin was gray and, well, dead.

“Oh, brother,” I said. “I have to do something about you. If mom finds out I have another ‘imaginary friend’ — at my age — well, I’d die of embarrassment. But, like, really die. Not like you.” I wondered about this. Would I die? Was Jack a freak accident, or did all people live on like him? Think of the cemeteries… The idea excited me somewhat.

“What would you have me do, Miss Kira?”

“Knock off the Miss Kira crap. I told you it’s just Kira.”

“Yes, Miss Kira.” The dead. There’s just no reasoning.

“Fine, Miss Kira it is then.” Rover barked like a lunatic in the garden. No one else might be able to see Jack, but I was sure my dog could.

“I have to do something about this,” I mumbled.


About the Book

Vampires, Demons & Ghosts.
Welcome to STARKFIELD ACADEMY.

~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her ‘boyfriend’), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated…), and being labeled as having ‘issues’ in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:
1. Continue her ‘therapy’ (where she’s told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often…)
Or
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for “Crazies and Convicts” (as the social media sites call them.)
She chooses the latter…~ Cory Rand ~
Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother’s best friend…sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.
Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual – he has a weakness) he’s left with two choices:
1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks…)
Or
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he’ll get an education.
He chooses the latter…

It’s at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.
Things he’s always ignored.
Until now.

About the Author

R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy. If it has words in it, I’ll take it.

Book Review: Lou Malloy: The Run Begins by J.Frank James

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Synopsis

Lou Malloy is 18 years old and ready for the world. His brother Sam has left and his sister wants to move to Florida with the family. Malloy is having none of it and on a wild moment decides to hope in a railcar going he knows not where. The important thing is that it’s not in Kansas. He has a problem and that problem is money. He doesn’t have any until Henry Lowe, who is in the same railcar, offers Malloy the deal of a lifetime. All he has to do is help Lowe rob a casino in Georgia. With the promise of a big payday, Malloy throws in with the scheme and seal his fate forever…. AND THE RUN BEGINS

Review

Lou Malloy: The Run Begins is a novella and the prequel of Dead Money Run. The story introduces the character of Lou Malloy who is described as a man of action. The story focuses on what happened in Lou Malloy’s early life and about his decisions which changed his life for ever.

The book is 54 pages long and can be read in one go. The writing is easy and enjoyable. I definitely recommend reading this book if you are into Dead Money Run since it provides great insight into Lou’s early life.

Rating

2

The story definitely leaves the reader wanting more as the rest of the story is revealed in the next book and that’s why I haven’t decided the rating yet. As of now, I’m giving it two stars.

Book Excerpt: Becoming Famous by Natalie Scott

Becoming Famous Cover

My name is Bebe Barkley. I’ve never released a sex tape. I’ve I’m not America’s Next Top Model. I didn’t get pregnant at sixteen and I’ve never auditioned for American Idol. In fact I’m holed up at the Waldorf totally depressed. But, even though I don’t know it yet, I’m about to become famous. This is my story and how it all went down.

Let’s face it: At the moment I’m a hot mess. How do I know this? I haven’t showered or gotten out of bed for three days. I’ve been watching reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and a lifetime marathon about women who kill. I know how they feel. Thank God for room service or I would’ve starved to death by now!

In order to figure out my screwed up life, my mother’s best friend Georgie is letting me use her suite while she’s in London. But without her here getting on my case, and her eccentric husband Harry walking around half-naked, it just doesn’t seem like home.

I guess the best thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone. Unfortunately, the worst thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone! I’m so damn lonely I could cry. Still, I keep texting everyone back home, telling them I’m just fine.

My life wasn’t always like this. I was a champion equestrian rider with a bright future, before tragedy struck. If only they hadn’t shot king—things might have turned out differently. He was my horse, and I loved him more than life itself. I don’t know how to move forward, but I can’t go back.

Thinking about it, I can’t breathe. I feel like I’m having a major anxiety attack. Maybe I need to go outside and get some air. I throw on a white tank and some jeans. I’m about to leave when a card falls out of my pocket.

The last time I was in New York, I met this hairdresser, Antonio. Thank god for small mercies—his number’s still in the pocket of my jeans. After I’m fully dressed, I walk outside, pull out my cell phone and call him.

It goes straight to voicemail, story of my life! But as I start walking, my cell phone rings.

“Hey there,” Antonio says, “who is this?”

“Hi, it’s Bebe,” I say. “Remember me? Georgie Astor’s friend?”

“Hey sweetie! How are you? What can I do for you?”

“I’m holed up at the Waldorf and Georgie’s gone back to London. I don’t know what to do with myself.

“Oh my God! White girl problems! You know what, doll? You’re probably just lonely! You need some company.”

“Hey Antonio?” I ask, “I was wondering—do you know if anyone needs a roommate?”

“Well, I’d let you stay with me, but I have this really jealous boyfriend. You know how that goes.”

I smile to myself. “Only too well.”

“Wait a minute,” he says, “I have an idea. I finish work at around six tonight. Can you meet me?”

I laugh. “Let me check my hectic schedule. Sure!”

“Girl, you’re so crazy!” he says. “I’m not working at the salon on Fifth Avenue anymore. I’m at Frederick Fekkai in Soho between Bloom and Spring.”

“No worries, I’ll Google it!”


Natalie Scott’s latest novel Becoming Famous was published in July 2015. It is available for sale on Amazon.

Genres: Young Adult / Contemporary Romance


About Becoming Famous:

Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider,Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.

Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.


About the Author

Natalie Headshot - Becoming FamousNatalie Scott enjoys writing young adult contemporary romance novels. She published her debut novel Rules for Riders in August 2014. Rules for Riders is a fast paced coming-of-age novel set in the competitive world of equestrian riding. Becoming Famous, the long anticipated sequel to Rules for Riders, was released in July 2015. Natalie is originally from Australia and has lived in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Connect with Natalie on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to http://www.nataliescott.com/

Guest Post: Turning a Negative into Positive – The inspiration behind Roman Mask by Thomas M.D.Brooke

02_Roman-Mask

It was an October night, and I was returning home from a night out with a few friends in my local pub in London, when something happened that changed my life dramatically.  The nights were closing in, so it was already dark by the time I left the pub, but I was in a good mood.   I’d recently returned from a trip to Pompeii , so I’d been telling everyone of my excitement at walking through the Roman streets, marvelling at the murals and depictions on the well preserved houses, and laughing about the seedier aspects of the ancient city – the brothels and street graffiti that had also survived the great volcanic eruption of AD 79.

                It was probably because I was so preoccupied with these thoughts, that I didn’t see the guy who came out of an alcove and wrapped an arm around my neck.  My first thought was, ‘Am I being mugged?  Who’s going to mug me??’ – I’m a big guy, over six feet tall and I keep myself in pretty good shape, so I’d always thought the chance of this happening in Londonwere pretty remote.  But I was wrong.

                When the second guy came out from behind a car, then the third from behind a bush I knew I was in trouble.  This was no ordinary street robbery; these guys were out for blood, and the three of them surrounded me and between them punched, kicked, and smashed me to the ground, beating me to an inch of my life.

                Afterwards, as I tried to hobble home – one of them had crushed my foot, to prevent me from getting up – another passer-by saw me covered in blood and called an ambulance.  I was lucky, I got to live another day.  And within a few weeks, my bruises healed, and I began to walk without a limp, all physical signs of my encounter disappeared.  But that was just the start of my nightmare.

                I was completely unprepared for the mental-trauma that such an incident inflicts on you.  That winter was torture for me.  After any night out, I was terrified to go home; I found I was scared of the dark, constantly thinking that people would jump out of the shadows at me.  I’d never previously been a heavy drinker, but over that winter I found I needed to drink a lot just to give me the courage to walk home.  I could have called a taxi, but then people would wonder why I was taking a cab for such a small journey – this became another all-encompassing fear:  that others would find out about my terror.   This might seem irrational, but at the time, that fear was almost as great as being mugged again.

                Those first six months were very difficult, but then as the nights started getting lighter, an idea came to me.  After visiting Pompeii I’d been searching for a character to be a lead in a novel set in ancient Rome – someone who fully embraced the entirety of Rome, its seedier aspects as much as itsmagnificence.  Why not put my experiences to good use, rather than having it a weight bearing me down, let it be something that produces something positive.  At the time, the news on the television was full of stories of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress and it made me think how soldiers dealt with such issues in the ancient world.  My experiences had shown me the power that traumatic events can play on the mind, and I quite simply didn’t believe anyone who claimed that in the ancient world such a thing was not a concern because life was different back then.   The human mind was biologically exactly the same then as it is now, and just as fallible to conditions we now diagnose and understand the importance of.

                So I came up with the character Cassius, a great soldier, but someone who’d been affected by a terrible battle a few years before in the forests of Germany.   I knew from my own experiences how easy it was to fall into a trap of blaming yourself for your own perceived weakness, and I knew how living a lie to hide that same weakness can become a part of life.  I then started my novel in Rome so I could show Cassius being seduced by the many vices of that ancient city – something that is all too easy under such circumstances.  I then returnedCassius to Germany where he learns to understand and come to terms with his fears, just as I did whilst writing my novel.  The novel culminates in the Teutoburg forest and one of the most dramatic and historically significant battles of the ancient world.  Cassius needs to draw on all his courage and strength in the midst of that terrible event.

                I’m now pleased that I encountered those three men, that fateful night in October.  It was a terrible experience, but it gave me something so much more – I wouldn’t change it for anything.


Author’s Bio

Thomas Brooke lives in London where he works in the exciting, and sometimes crazy, fashion world. He is also a committed writer and he spends as much time as he can in his beloved Northumbrian hills, where up until recently could be seen walking with his black Labrador Fergus, who sadly passed in January 2015.
As well as writing novels, he also writes a blog on both historical and fantasy genre novels. For more information on Thomas M D Brooke, visit http://www.thomasmdbrooke.com