The writer’s dilemma

by NVS
Finding the light.
On of the moments I enjoy the most during the day is when I’m writing, then the ideas come to my mind, one after the other, composing all kind of stories. Many times I find myself writing stories even when I’m not actually writing, it’s just the way the ideas get together in my head when I’m walking, commuting, watching something or listening to someone.

Even more, all these unstoppable stories even come to my head when I’m asleep in the form of dreams that begin and end with characters speaking and places showing their colorful essence.

May be it’s because of this that I always find interesting reading about the life and craft of writers that have become famous through their work.

One of the stories that has had more impact on me is the first part ot the memoir written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, called in Spanish Vivir para Contarla (Living to tell the tale). Throughout his book, the Colombian author managed to transport my mind to those times when he started writing and how he didn’t felt dissappointed even when the circumstances weren’t favorable. I was even able to smell the ink of the presses while printing the newspapers during that time when Garcia Marquez used to work as a reporter.

Another moment that has managed to keep me thinking for a long time, was when I was going around San Francisco on a city tour and we passed by Dannielle Steel’s house, right on the top of a hill facing the bay. I remember I wonder then ‘how a writer can achieve that?’

Nowadays, I’ve also being wondering, how the mind of some writers work as for them to produce amazing and unique pieces of fantasy, such as Scott Fitzgerald with his Curious case of Benjamin Button, in which his main character starts his life as and old man and finishes it as a little baby.

However, the thought that has been keeping me really busy lately is this ‘how a writer can move on once their first book becomes a bestseller? This always make me think of the novel by Charles Dickens Great Expectations in which he presents the hopes and dreams of a struggling artist.

And while I keep on wondering about the ups and downs of the writing thing, I’ll also keep on enjoying it at every given moment.

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Weekly Photo: Free Spirit

Amazing.
One of these afternoons, when I was wandering around with no hurries nor worries, I sat down on a step to watch the sunset, and suddenly this confident seagull came around to keep me company for a long while and it was kind enough as to let me take this incredible shot.

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Weekly Photo: Urban

Meeting point.
What I like the most about this photo is how well all the different elements combine to show us a very interesting urban scene.

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A story about emperors and thieves

The palace of words.
I’ve always felt that reading a book is a unique experience, each one has its own ‘personality’ and ‘character’, and sometimes, I even find myself getting really fond of some of them, as if they were very good friends.

One of this magnificent occasions in which I’ve been lucky enough as to find a book friend, was when I got acquainted with The Palace Thief, by Ethan Canin.

I must admit that I hadn’t heard about the book or the author, until the third time I watched the movie The Emperor’s club, in which Kevin Kline plays the role of a History teacher who tries to inspire his students for them not to learn only about the facts but also about the mistakes and achievements of the old leaders of the ancient empires.

I was immediately taken by the movie the very first time I watched it, but for some funny reason I don’t know, it was until the third time when I got curious about it and look it up to see if it had being based on a book.

It was then when I learned that the story takes all the best of a short story written by Canin in 1994.

Of course my curiosity was huge and couldn’t wait to read the story that had been able to inspire such a fine film, full of intense emotions, feeling and thoughts.

Now, that I’ve finally read the book I have to say that I’m even more attached to this story and I feel I profound respect for Canin whose words are presented in a way that the reading becomes totally absorbing and absolutely hard to put it down.

A funny thing, during the whole time I was reading the book, I couldn’t help myself and I went through the complete story listening to Kevin Kline’s voice, as if the same Mr. Hundert were narrating the story to me with his soft and paused voice, full of conviction and strength in the crucial moments, and full of pain and sorrow in the times of disappointment.

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Weekly Photo: Merge

The meeting point.
Some times, two very different things that are apart from each other, happend to merge in surprising forms.

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Julia Child: Mastering the fine art of cooking (…and living)

Inspirational recipes.
Cooking and traveling are two of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in life, and when they combine, it becomes an extraordinary experience.

This is what Julia Child (1912-2004) mastered to do, she not only became an exceptional chef, but she also found the way to take the readers along with her through the unforgettable journey of cooking and living abroad.

Her books Mastering the Art of French Cooking, My life in France, The way of cooking, The French Chef and Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, are an extraordinary collection of recipes and experiences told in an animus way, so that the readers, weather they like to cook or not, enjoy going through the pages written by Child.

Julia marked a complete era during the 1960’s and 70’s, showing American people the wonders of French cooking, and more recently, when Child books were already a classic, a movie, based on a book, revived the love that she had for cooking and became a source of inspiration for new generations that had been away of the kitchen most of their lives.

The 2009 movie based on the book Julie and Julia, started as a blogging project created by Julie Powell, who challenged herself to prepare all the recipes contained in Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in only one year.

Although it’s not clear yet if this blogging project was agreeable to Child, it certainly make her books pop up in the bookstores immediately, and had remained on the shelves ever since.

Now, that the 100 anniversary of the birthday of Julia Child has arrived, it’s time to remember her one more time, and to thank her again, for her wonderful work that has inspired so many lives.

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Weekly Photo: Wrong

When the world goes upside down.
It’s really interesting how something that looks so wrong can be so right at any given time.
This upside down horse and its rider are an amazing piece of art that manages to surprise anybody who takes the time to look up while wandering around.

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On writers and books. Funny things I’ve read – Conan Doyle.

The story behind the writer.
As an avid reader as I am, I’m always curious about everything, and love to read about how an specific story was created or what the life of a writer I’m reading was like.

It’s so that I’ve come across about some very interesting findings. For example, I’ve learned that Conan Doyle was so tired of his Sherlock Holmes stories that had taken over his other writing, that he decided that Holmes had to die. So, one day he wrote the famous scene in which the detective suffers a deadly fall into an huge water fall.

Somehow, and seen it from the distance, I think it’s understandable, as the Scottish writer, mainly remembered by his Sherlock Holmes stories, is also the author of many other stories non related to the detective, such as The Lost World, a collection of short stories, The Professor Challenger, Tales of Pirates and Blue waters, and a two-volume collection of historical fiction.

However, according to the letters he used to exchange with his mother, it was her how asked him not to stop writing his Sherlock Holmes stories so, the good Conan Doyle had to revive his unique character, which as it’s said, many writers dream of creating a character of such strong presence and charm.

The story also says that at some point, his fellow writer and a Scotsman as well, Robert Louis Stevenson, confirmed by saying that he’d actually recognized some resemblance, that Doyle modeled the famous detective based on one of his teachers, Joseph Bell, while the writer studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh

On the other hand, giving it a lot of thoughts, I’m pretty sure that dear Dr. Watson is a lively image of Conan Doyle, who was a doctor who loved to write, the same as the inseparable companion of Sherlock Holmes.

We shouldn’t forget that Doyle wrote many of his detective stories while he waited for the patients to come to his office.

I’m sure he never imagined the immortal impact that his work was going to have in the history of literature.

As for me, I’m a faithfull reader of his Holmes adventures, of which I just can’t get enough of, but, I’m also pretty enthusiastic about going through the rest of his very ample work, which, I’m sure, I’ll enjoy as well.

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Weekly Photo: Growth

A present from Nature.
Everynow and then amazing things happen in my garden, like this time when this wonderful cauliflower was kind enough as to grow in a plat pot from a seed I planted just wishing that it’d grow but not actually expecting that it’d become this amazing present from Nature.

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