Life and Art

By Nora Vasconcelos

Life Art by NVS

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Life Imitates Art

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Weekly Photo: Vibrant

By Nora Vasconcelos

This fantastic gallery combines the lively colours of imaginary creatures created by Mexican artisans with the vibrant daily routine of Mexico city.

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Vibrant

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Seagulls in Italy

By Nora Vasconcelos

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I recently had the opportunity to spend a lovely time in Italy. While walking around the unique streets of this amazing country, I started taking photos of seagulls that had gracefully found a place on some of the most well-known Italian landmarks, and it was so that I thought I’d compose a post letting this adventurous birds take the stage.

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seagulls

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Optimistic

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Weekly Photo: Alphabet

By Nora Vasconcelos

“When you read a book a tree smiles because then it knows that there’s life after death”

Alphabet

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Season’s Greetings

May This Wonderful Time Be Full Of Joy And Peace

HolidaysTraveling

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12 Books of Christmas

Christmas by NVS

By Nora Vasconcelos

Now that the Holiday season is around the corner I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite Christmas stories, and here they are:

1) Fallen Angel, by Don J. Snyder. Christmas time in a cottage called Serenity is the best place to help Terry McQuinn heal old emotional wounds. At the same time, he finds himself in this places that he had almost forgot as time passed by, the same as the relationship with his father. The cold weather and the snow accompany him, unaware that some new visitors to Serenity will change his life forever.

2) Silver Bells, by Luanne Rice. This book tells the story of Christopher Byrne and his son, who find the path back to happiness and family love thanks to a rough time spent in New York city, and the help of Catherine Tierney, who unexpectedly becomes a key element for all of them to finally be able to have a happy Christmas.

3) The Last Dickens, by Matthew Pearl. Not exactly a Christmas story, but, as part of the story occurs in winter and it places the reader in the time when Charles Dickens toured around the East Cost of the U.S, I always relate this book to the Holidays season.

4) Sherlock Holmes: A Case at Christmas and Other New Adventures, by N.M. Scott. For me good mysteries are always welcome, and who else that Sherlock Holmes himself to flavour a little bit the season. In this collection of stories, Scott retakes the characters created by Conan Doyle to bring many more enjoyable adventures, placing some of them during the holidays.

5) Murder never takes a holiday, by Donald Bain. As part of the series of books based on the TV series Murder She Wrote, this book features two stories. In the first one, A little Yuletide Murder, Bain takes the main character, Jessica Fletcher, to her hometown, Cabot Cove, where the mystery writers hopes to spend a joyful Christmas. However, as always it happens to Mrs. Fletcher, a murder comes on her way to prevent her to sit down and relax. The second story, Manhattans and Murder, places Mrs. Fletcher in New York city, where she’s determined to solve another mystery that’s has happened right in the middle of her book tour.

6) ‘Tis the Season, by Ann M. Martin. This children’s story touches the heart of everyone who reads it as it tells the story of little Flora and Ruby, who had recently lost their parents and are trying hard to fit themselves in a town where Christmas is all around.

7) and 8) Mrs. Miracle and Call me Mrs. Miracle, by Debbie Macomber, are two books in which Mrs. Merkle, often called Mrs. Miracle, goes around different places finding ingenious ways to solve those little problems that people around her face, exactly those little problems that seem impossible to be solved and that once they are solve, bring love, happiness and a very merry happy Christmas to everyone.

9) Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham. Imagine all what can go wrong during this time. Add then the idea of skipping the holiday. The result: A complete disaster. One that Luther and Nora Krank won’t be able to solve unless they accept some help from whom they less expect it.

10) Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, edited by Otto Penlzer, owner of the Mysterious bookshop in New York City. This book compiles mystery short stories placed during Christmas time, written specially for the Bookshop by famous authors such as Anne Perry, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, Ed McBain and Donald E. Westlake.

11) A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Of course this good old classic can be never missed during the celebrations. I’ve read and re read this story over and over, and I never get enough of it. I never get tired of going through its pages while I allow myself to get lost in the story as if I were a silent witness of what’s happening to Mr. Scrooge during that ghostly night destined to save his soul.

12) A Rumpole Christmas, by John Mortimer. If Christmas time is not really your thing, you can always take revenge of it by reading the adventures and misfortunes of Horace Rumpole, a moody character, who experiences all kind of situations during the Holiday Season while trying to make the least of this joyful time.

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The little town that Christmas saved

By Nora Vasconcelos

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About two hours and a half from Mexico city, it lays a magical town called Tlalpujahua. Its history goes back all the way before the Spaniards came to this country. When they arrived, they turned this little place into a very rich mining city, even though, native people kept their agricultural activities, adding later handcrafts making and forged iron.

Life went like this for a long time, until one day, in the past century, an accident with mining waste destroyed most of the town. Mining stop being a good business and the town people had to dig out what wast left of their houses and streets.

It was then when a local businessman opened a Christmas Spheres factory there, and taught people the art of blowing crystal and decorating it, in order to produce the most delicated and original ornaments.

Ever since, Tlalpujahua has being identified for its beautiful spheres which are produced all the year long by 100 workshops that proudly deliver to the domestic and international markets some 70 million of these unique handmade Christmas adornments.

Walking around the streets of this wonderful colonial city is like wandering around an enchanting place where time runs at a different pace, where happines fills the air, and where a feast of colours and shapes bring a big smile to all visitors.

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