Six months and counting!

Half a year posting once a week.
Yes! It’s being six months since I’ve started posting once a week and I’m totally thrill about the next six months to come.
This posting once a week has been a complete experience for me, one I’ve enjoyed a lot.
During this time I’ve literally turned my bookcase upside down, grasping the books I’ve read a long time ago and the recent ones I want to write about.
This has also helped me out to keep on reading avidly, as I always like to do it and to keep my dear books always at hand.
Posting once a week has given me a huge sense of commitment to my blog. And the best part is that it’s something I do not because I have to do it, but because I want to do it.
It’s true that from time to time it’s hard to accomplish this goal, specially when I’m really tired due to the daily chores, but it’s also exciting looking at the pages and how they are coming along. It’s also really great to see how some of my posts have a positive response from other bloggers and exchange some comments with them.
In this time, I’ve written about many things from cooking books, to ghost stories and traveling to exciting places and imaginary worlds. I’ve also posted about children’s books, tragic and interesting lives of famous writers and painters and I’ve also had the chance to share my thoughs about some characters.
And now, I’m totally ready for the other six months to complete a year blogging once a week. I have plenty of ideas and lots and lots of books I want to talk about. So…
Cheers! and Let’s keep blogging! 🙂

A great place to go book-traveling

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Edimburgh by NVS
A city to get inspired.
Either if you’re a passionate reader, a writer looking for ideas, or a tourist willing to get inspired, Edinburgh is diffinitely a place to go.
Just the city view from the castle on the top of the Castle Rock, is a breath-taking experience.
But getting around the city, looking at its landscapes full of gray buildings that mix their shapes with the blues and soft pinks sunstes is something difficult to resist.
Once the mood is set for writing, Edinburgh offers different options to take the composition to the next step: a literary tour.
For this, there are several options, from the bus tour, to the pub tour, and the walking tours. These tours take the visitors to the doorsteps and main places related to writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island and Strange case of Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); Robert Burns (Auld Lang Syne), Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Lady of the Lake), and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter).
Once the tour is over, or before it starts, another great stop to get inspired is The Writers Museum, a place that houses original manuscripts, corrected proofs, books and personal objetcts that once belonged to Scottish writers.
After that, the only thing that’s missing, it to take a notebook and a pen and start wandering around the streets of Edinburgh until a collection of ideas get together to begin the next literary personal adventure.

The invention of the flying carpet

Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Traveling to a world beyond the real life.
Not so long ago, I read this question: What invention do you need the most right now? My answer came right away: A flying carpet!
And this is because ever since I have a memory, I’ve always recalled all those stories about flying carpets that were described in the One thousand and one nights book.
Ever since, as well, I’ve also frequently asked myself why an actual flying carpet hasn’t been invented yet?
I don’t quite have an answer yet, but my hopes are still high that one of these days there will be a real magic carpet. Until that day comes, I won’t get tired of searching for stories that talk about this charismatic object.
So far I’ve found that apart from the One thousand and one nights, some Russian stories talk about magic carpets, however the best reference I’ve found about this objects come not from the books, but from some XIX century paintings by the Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov, who depicted several images of people riding magic carpets.
The next reference I’ve found in books about these flying carpets come from a novel published in 1991, called King Solomon’s carpet, by Barbara Vine. The story describes a social drama in which the lives of the characters move around the London tube, which works as a metaphor of the carpet.
There are also two books under the title The flying carpet. The first one, was written in the middle of the previous century by the Russian author Lasar Lagin, and took the original title of the Old Khottabych. It tells the story of a boy who finds a genie in a vessel.
The second one, is a story by the American traveler and writer Richard Halliburton. In this case, the book is about Halliburton’s experiences while traveling around the world on his bi-plane.
In all cases, even though the magic carpet take different shapes or its spirit is incarnated in different objects, the authors keep the magical essense of the flying carpet that is able to transport people beyond the boundaries of the real world.

Stories of a violin

Text by Nora Vasconcelos

The red violin movie, an intriguen story
An instrument of destiny
One of those days in which everything was calm, I came across an absorbing movie. It caught me from the very start, and I just couldn’t go away until the end of it.
The screenplay for this movie, called Le violon rouge (The red violin) was written by Francois Villard and Don McKellar, and even though it wasn’t based upon any book, it made me feel that I was going through the pages of a fascinating novel.
The main character of the story is a red violin with a matchless sound that impresses everyone who’s around and marks an inexplicable or fatal destiny for its owner.
As the story goes on, the violin passes from one owner to another throughout the centuries, involving each one of them into stressful and dangerous situations.
Nobody knows what makes this violin sound so perfectly and nobody knows how its fine red color was achieved, but as the time goes by, and its fame for haunting its owners grows, the value of the violin becomes higher and higher, as the piece is coveted both by music lovers and powerful people who want either to posses or to destroy the instrument.
Many characters emerge along as the story develops until the end, when the mystery and the secrets of the red violin are unveiled. Then it’s probably the time when the viewers are already haunted too for the red violin and its intriguing story.