Archives for posts with tag: Oscar Wilde

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you guest authors and books, in a shape or another, and recently I decided to start exploring classics again. As my original posts are quite old I thought it might be worth sharing some of the early ones again as many of you might not have been visiting at the time and might enjoy them.

I got many interesting suggestions for other guests that I’ve taken note of (and it’s likely that I’ll start exploring quite a few of them) but an author I know made a suggestion that resonated with me. She told me that one of her books (I’ll share in a few weeks as by the sound of it, it should be a fabulous read) follows quite closely on the steps of a famous classic and she commented on how tagging a new book related to a classic to a post on the classic itself might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. And I thought, genius! So, although I have a few in mind, if you’ve written a book that is either a new version, a continuation, explores one of the characters,  takes place in the world of a classic (or even has one of the writers as a character), or has any strong link to a classic, please let me know in the comments or contact me with the details and I’ll add it to my list. 

And now, without further ado, one of my favourites. I bring you my post on Oscar Wilde. As you know I also shared the Selfish Giant over Christmas. And I’m sure I’ll keep on sharing his work.
It’s Friday and it’s again with great pleasure that I bring you one of my favourite authors. Yes, yes, he’s no longer with us but I feel he could hardly be with us more than he is. I’ve loved Oscar Wilde from a young age. I remember my friend Margarita would read everything Poe (I also enjoyed him) and I asked for the complete works of Oscar Wilde as a Christmas present. And loved them!

Oscar Wilde in New York

Oscar Wilde in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What can I tell you about him? There are films, biographies, and more recently even novels where he is a character in its own right (involved in quite fun intrigues).

He was born in Dublin in 1853. His father was a doctor and a well-known eminent one. His mother wrote revolutionary poems, spoke several European languages and translated many works. He had an older brother and a sister who died of Scarlet Fever (I love ‘Requiescat’…simple and touching, quite different from much of his other work).

He was an excellent student, excelled at classics, studied at Trinity College in Dublin and Magdalene College in Oxford and became enamoured with aestheticism, to the point where he went to America to deliver a series of lectures on the subject.

He was writing poetry, early plays, went to France and married Constance Lloyd an educated woman with her own mind. He wrote Dorian and in rapid succession many of his plays and became very popular.

His wit is legendary, his homosexuality too, his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, trial, imprisonment, his famous ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’ all well known…And he died in Paris in 1900 and you can see his grave at La Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. I love Epstein’s angel sculpture on his grave (Yes, of course I’ve visited. More than once).

Tomb of Oscar Wilde by Jacob Epstein

Tomb of Oscar Wilde by Jacob Epstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’ve been there recently and now it has a glass case around it to avoid the kisses, but there are still kisses.

There are many websites about Oscar Wilde, I leave you one link but…many…

http://www.cmgww.com/historic/wilde/index.php

Before I offer you free links to some of his works in electronic format I will offer you some of his quotes. There are so many….

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

— “An Ideal Husband”

“The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations.”

— “A Woman of No Importance”

“Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification.”

— “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime”

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”

— “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

“One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.”

— “A Woman of No Importance”

“I prefer women with a past. They’re always so damned amusing to talk to.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“I don’t like compliments, and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“Men become old, but they never become good.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

And now a few links. There are also very cheap versions of his works so…

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

http://www.amazon.com/Importance-Being-Earnest-ebook/dp/B004UJCNKC/

‘The Picture of Doria Gray’

http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Dorian-Gray-ebook/dp/B0084AXZK0/

‘The Canterville Ghost’

http://www.amazon.com/The-Canterville-Ghost-ebook/dp/B0084BTWDS/

‘An Ideal Husband’

http://www.amazon.com/An-Ideal-Husband-ebook/dp/B004UJCKQY/

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (I adore his tales. Some are just funny and amusing, but some like the Happy Prince and the Selfish Giant really have a heart).

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Prince-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B0082ZICI2/

Selected poems of Oscar Wilde

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Poems-Oscar-Wilde-ebook/dp/B004TPAYFI/

I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and please, like, comment, share and CLICK!

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Hi all:

Normally on Fridays I bring you new authors and books, but today, as we’re in the Christmas week, I though I’ve bring you some classics.

First, Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol:

Author Charles Dickens

Author Charles Dickens

There are many links to versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’, and many movie versions. I leave you a couple of the free ones:

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Carol-Charles-Dickens-ebook/dp/B0084BMUFA/

In Project Gutenberg (including audio downloads):

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=A+christmas+carol

I dedicated a post to Charles Dickens a while back, so if you want more information and links, here it is:

https://wordpress.com/post/41615720/2249/

Author Oscar Wilde

Author Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is one of my all times favourites, as I think I’ve told you more than once. I love his plays, I think Dorian Gray is a marvellous novel and a complex psychological study of the main character and the society of the time (and I don’t think matters have changed dramatically for the better, since), I enjoy his poetry, I find his essays witty and sharp, but I’ve always, since I was a child, adored his fairy tales, that were my introduction to his work. So I could not help but bring you The Selfish Giant. You’ll find many versions shared on line. I chose this one because I  particularly liked the illustrations. It seems it was first shared in a Reader’s Digest in the 1970s.

And without further ado:

The Selfish Giant, cover

The Selfish Giant, cover

The Selfish Giant:

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to play in the Giant’s garden. It was a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there stood beautifut flowers llke stars, and there were 12 peach trees which in the spring-time burst into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them.

“How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back to his castle. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed for seven years. When he arrived home, he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing here?” he cried in a gruff voice. “My own garden is my own garden. Anyone can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself .”

So he built a high wall all round it and put up a sign: TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had nowhere to play now. They tried to play on the road, but it was dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there!” they said to each other.

Then spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. In the garden of the Selfish Giant, though, it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it, as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower raised its head from the grass, but when it saw the sign it felt so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again and went off to sleep.

The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all year round!” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then the invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He roared about the garden all day, and blew the chimney pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said. “We must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail carne. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle until he broke most of the slates. Then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could, his breath like ice .

“I cannot understand why spring is so late in comming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold, white garden. “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”

But spring never came, nor summer. Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave nothing. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always winter there.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. lt sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought ¡t must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but so much time had passed since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that the sound seemed to him the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open window.

“I believe spring has come at last,” said the Giant, and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall thechildren had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child.

And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, but in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it stood a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still coyered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up, little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too, tiny. And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said. “Now I know why spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground forever and ever.”

The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant and the little boy

He was very sorry for what he had done. He crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. When the children saw him, however, they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds camee and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck and kissed him. And the other children, seeing what was happening, came running back, and with them came the spring. “It is your garden now children,” said the Giant, and he took a great ax and knocked down the wall. And when’ people passed by on their way to market, they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long the children played, and in the evening they bade the Giant good-by. “But where is your little companion-the boy I put into the tree?” he asked.

“We don’t know,” answered the children “He has gone away.”

¿”You must tell him to be sure and come tomorrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and that they had never seen him before. The Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years passed, and the Giant grew old and feeble. He could not play about anymore, so he sat in a huge armchair and watched the children at their games and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate winter now, for he knew that it was merely spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting. Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder and looked. He saw a marvelous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

In joy, the Giant ran out into the garden and approached the child. When he came close, his face grew red with anger. “Who hath dared to wound thee?” he shouted. For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on his feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee? ” cried the Giant again. “Tell me, so I may take my sword and slay him! ”

“Nay,” answered the child. “These are the wounds of Love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant. Then a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child. And the child smiled on the Giant and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden. Today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

Here I leave you the original link so you can check all the illustrations:

http://miajas.com/textos/Giant.htm

In case you want to know a bit more about Oscar Wilde, I wrote a post about him some time back:

https://wordpress.com/post/41615720/1525/

Thanks so much for reading. I hope the holiday season is joyful for all of you, remember all those around you, and have a great time. Ah, I have a friend coming to stay with me next week, so I think I’ll give you a week’s break. Happy New Year and hope to see you after!

Hola a todos:

Normalmente los viernes os traigo novedades literarias y escritores invitados, pero como es Navidad se me ocurrió que quizás os apetecería algún clásico.

Author Charles Dickens

Author Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens es muy conocido por sus novelas, y su Cuento (Historia) de Navidad. Hay muchas versiones tanto en película como por escrito. Aquí os dejo enlaces de la Biblioteca Cervantes al Cántico de Navidad  (gratuito):

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/obra/el-cantico-de-navidad/

Otro de mis autores favoritos es Oscar Wilde. Me encantan sus obras de teatro, sus poemas, su novela Dorian Gray sigue siendo tan moderna (si no más) que cuando la publicó, pero siempre he sentido un cariño especial por sus cuentos, que me han gustado desde muy pequeña y fueron los que me introdujeron a su obra. Así que no pude resistirme a compartir ‘El gigante egoísta’. He encontrado muchas versiones en el internet, y comparto ésta porque me gustaron particularmente las ilustraciones, así que os dejo también el enlace:

http://www.cuentosinfantiles.net/cuentos-el-gigante-egoista.html

The Selfish Giant, cover

El gigante egoísta

Todas las tardes, al salir de la escuela, los niños jugaban en el jardín de un gran castillo deshabitado. Se revolcaban por la hierba, se escondían tras los arbustos repletos de flores y trepaban a los árboles que cobijaban a muchos pájaros cantores. Allí eran muy felices.

Una tarde, estaban jugando al escondite cuando oyeron una voz muy fuerte.

-¿Qué hacéis en mi jardín?

Temblando de miedo, los niños espiaban desde sus escondites, desde donde vieron a un gigante muy enfadado. Había decidido volver a casa después de vivir con su amigo el ogro durante siete años.

-He vuelto a mi castillo para tener un poco de paz y de tranquilidad -dijo con voz de trueno-. No quiero oír a niños revoltosos. ¡Fuera de mi jardín! ¡Y que no se os ocurra volver!

Los niños huyeron lo más rápido que pudieron.

-Este jardín es mío y de nadie más -mascullaba el gigante-. Me aseguraré de que nadie más lo use.

Muy pronto lo tuvo rodeado de un muro muy alto lleno de pinchos.

En la gran puerta de hierro que daba entrada al jardín el gigante colgó un cartel que decía “PROPIEDAD PRIVADA. Prohibido el paso”. . Todos los días los niños asomaban su rostro por entre las rejas de la verja para contemplar el jardín que tanto echaban de menos.

Luego, tristes, se alejaban para ir a jugar a un camino polvoriento. Cuando llegó el invierno, la nieve cubrió el suelo con una espesa capa blanca y la escarcha pintó de plata los árboles. El viento del norte silbaba alrededor del castillo del gigante y el granizo golpeaba los cristales.

-¡Cómo deseo que llegue la primavera! -suspiró acurrucado junto al fuego.

Por fin, la primavera llegó. La nieve y la escarcha desaparecieron y las flores tiñeron de colores la tierra. Los árboles se llenaron de brotes y los pájaros esparcieron sus canciones por los campos, excepto en el jardín del gigante. Allí la nieve y la escarcha seguían helando las ramas desnudas de los árboles.

-La primavera no ha querido venir a mi jardín -se lamentaba una y otra vez el gigante- Mi jardín es un desierto, triste y frío.

Una mañana, el gigante se quedó en cama, triste y abatido. Con sorpresa oyó el canto de un mirlo. Corrió a la ventana y se llenó de alegría. La nieve y la escarcha se habían ido, y todos los árboles aparecían llenos de flores.

En cada árbol se hallaba subido un niño. Habían entrado al jardín por un agujero del muro y la primavera los había seguido. Un solo niño no había conseguido subir a ningún árbol y lloraba amargamente porque era demasiado pequeño y no llegaba ni siquiera a la rama más baja del árbol más pequeño.

El gigante sintió compasión por el niño.

-¡Qué egoísta he sido! Ahora comprendo por qué la primavera no quería venir a mi jardín. Derribaré el muro y lo convertiré en un parque para disfrute de los niños. Pero antes debo ayudar a ese pequeño a subir al árbol.

The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant

El gigante bajó las escaleras y entró en su jardín, pero cuando los niños lo vieron se asustaron tanto que volvieron a escaparse. Sólo quedó el pequeño, que tenía los ojos llenos de lágrimas y no pudo ver acercarse al gigante. Mientras el invierno volvía al jardín, el gigante tomó al niño en brazos.

-No llores -murmuró con dulzura, colocando al pequeño en el árbol más próximo.

De inmediato el árbol se llenó de flores, el niño rodeó con sus brazos el cuello del gigante y lo besó.

Cuando los demás niños comprobaron que el gigante se había vuelto bueno y amable, regresaron corriendo al jardín por el agujero del muro y la primavera entró con ellos. El gigante reía feliz y tomaba parte en sus juegos, que sólo interrumpía para ir derribando el muro con un mazo. Al atardecer, se dio cuenta de que hacía rato que no veía al pequeño.

-¿Dónde está vuestro amiguito? -preguntó ansioso.

Pero los niños no lo sabían. Todos los días, al salir de la escuela, los niños iban a jugar al hermoso jardín del gigante. Y todos los días el gigante les hacía la misma pregunta: -¿Ha venido hoy el pequeño? También todos los días, recibía la misma respuesta:

-No sabemos dónde encontrarlo. La única vez que lo vimos fue el día en que derribaste el muro.

El gigante se sentía muy triste, porque quería mucho al pequeño. Sólo lo alegraba el ver jugar a los demás niños.

Los años pasaron y el gigante se hizo viejo. Llegó un momento en que ya no pudo jugar con los niños.

Una mañana de invierno estaba asomado a la ventana de su dormitorio, cuando de pronto vio un árbol precioso en un rincón del jardín. Las ramas doradas estaban cubiertas de delicadas flores blancas y de frutos plateados, y debajo del árbol se hallaba el pequeño.

-¡Por fin ha vuelto! -exclamó el gigante, lleno de alegría.

Olvidándose de que tenía las piernas muy débiles, corrió escaleras abajo y atravesó el jardín. Pero al llegar junto al pequeño enrojeció de cólera.

-¿Quién te ha hecho daño? ¡Tienes señales de clavos en las manos y en los pies! Por muy viejo y débil que esté, mataré a las personas que te hayan hecho esto.

Entonces el niño sonrió dulcemente y le dijo:

-Calma. No te enfades y ven conmigo.

-¿Quién eres? -susurró el gigante, cayendo de rodillas.

-Hace mucho tiempo me dejaste Jugar en tu jardín -respondió el niño-. Ahora quiero que vengas a jugar al mío, que se llama Paraíso.

Esa tarde, cuando los niños entraron en el jardín para jugar con la nieve, encontraron al gigante muerto, pacíficamente recostado en un árbol, todo cubierto de flores blancas.

Y encontré está versión del cuento en película en You Tube. No os la perdáis:

Gracias por leer, y os deseo una fiestas maravillosas. No os olvidéis de compartir y de pasaoslo fantásticamente. Ah, y me va a venir a visitar una amiga la semana que viene, así que me tomaré (y os doy a vosotros, que la necesitáis) una semana de descanso. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Y nos vemos muy pronto.

Hi all:

As you will have noticed, recently I’ve been talking to  you a bit (well, a lot) about my new novel. And I thought it was time to tell you a bit about my projects instead.

A couple of years ago (give or take) I wrote the first in what I planned to be a Young Adult series (at least a trilogy). Angelic Business. I decided to call the first novel Pink MattersI spent some time trying to find an agent, with very little result (yes we like it but not enough, no, we don’t like it), and as a result of the research I did at the time I discovered the option of self-publishing, and as life is too short, I decided to give it a go. Instead of publishing that novel, I went for one I’d been working on for a long time an had also translated in Spanish and English (The Man Who Never Was). I carried on publishing other stories but never abandoned the thought of the series, to the point where a few months ago I wrote the second novel (Shapes of Greg).

Thinking about the third novel and looking for angelic inspiration, it occurred to me to create a board in Pinterest on the subject and of course I found many pins. I also realised cemeteries have plenty of sculpture of angels, and decided to go off taking as many pictures as possible.

Angel in the cemetery of Poble Nou in Barcelona.

Angel in the cemetery of Poble Nou in Barcelona.

Here is the link to my board about angels in Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/angels/

During my recent visit to Florence I also went chasing after angels (and cupids and Eros. Plenty of them).

Ooooh! Sweet!

Ooooh! Sweet!

 

I’m not sure if you remember that I’d shared a bit of the first novel already, but just in case, I leave you the first chapter (sorry, no angels yet):

Chapter 1. Petra (a.k.a. Pink)

It’s very true. Nobody can make you feel as humiliated as a really close friend can. Yes, we were close. But from that to assuming…Seth and I had known each other for years, lived next to each other, went to school together, shared things…And Seth was the most popular guy at our High School (and therefore the most popular guy in my universe), and had all the girls he wanted and all that. I know; you’ve watched the movie. And you know that everybody believed I was in love with him and wasn’t it a shame that I wasn’t “his type”, and was rather “plain” and… “plump”…But, OK, it was fine that everybody thought that and felt sorry for me. What wasn’t fine, not by a long stretch, what was really offensive was how “he” himself believed it. He had phoned me on the fatal evening (5th November if you must know), at around midnight, quite drunk, asking me to go and collect him from Chris’s party. They had invited me but I was busy writing and I knew how these things went. Because of course, I was also “boring”, “clever” and “studious”. I didn’t drink and I didn’t do “drugs”.

I went to pick him up (I had to borrow my parents’ car, but they liked Seth, and I was convinced that at least my mother thought that things would “develop” between us) and I found him necking a girl. I’d never seen her before, probably from a neighbouring town. Once he’d said his goodbyes (something on the line of ‘I’ll call you’ but very slurred) he followed me, or rather, I half-carried him to the car. I had to stop once so he could be sick. Then, when I stopped in front of his house to let him out, he turned to me, kissed me on the cheek (lovely experience still smelling of sick and all) and said the memorable:

“You know, Pink, if you ever…I know you don’t have a boyfriend, but…you know…If you can’t find …if you ever want a bit of a…cuddle and a kiss…or…anything else, ‘anything’ really…I’ll…I’ll do it for you.”

I just pushed him out of the car feeling sick myself. And I could not sleep after that.

Next day it only got worse, although I didn’t think that was possible. I hoped he would not remember the comment, and didn’t even expect or want an apology, but…Oh, no, that would have been too easy. I tried and avoid him during the day, even decided not to talk about it to my best friends, Lorna and Sylvia. You see? Maybe if I didn’t talk about it, it wouldn’t have really happened. I could just pretend it had been a nightmare and I had imagined it all.

I left School without meeting him and I thought I had succeeded and was home safe. But no, too much to ask. As soon as I got to my door I heard somebody running towards me. I didn’t even need to turn; I knew it would be him.

“Pink, Pink! Hey…I’ve been trying to catch up with you all day!”

“You finally have. What did you want?”

“I…Listen, about yesterday…”

I didn’t want to make him feel bad about it either. It was my maternal, mother-hen instinct towards him that had been developed over years (if not imprinted in my DNA) and I could not switch it off, even when he was vile. I decided to pretend I didn’t remember.

“Yesterday?”

“The sex thing…I…”

“Forget it.”

“No, no. Don’t get me wrong. That’s not…I just wanted to say…I meant it. It wasn’t a drunken thing…Of course, you don’t need to worry about anything; I wouldn’t tell anybody about it.”

I was about to ask him if he was serious, but he was looking solemn and “sympathetic”. I couldn’t come up with anything to say, and he misinterpreted my silence.

“You’re all right. No need to say anything. I’ll see you around.” He said, patting me on the back. My only consolation was that he had not patted me on the head, like a good dog. It wasn’t much of a consolation, to be honest.

I could have screamed, and I actually did when I got into my house and locked myself in my bedroom. I wanted to kill him! Justified homicide, no doubt.

I was quite upset for a couple of weeks, trying to avoid Seth to little avail. He seemed completely unaware of my efforts or feelings.

I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer, and I finally told Lorna and Sylvia. We had also known each other for many years, and gone to the same school and class since we were little, even though Lorna and Sylvia lived in High Ridge, a neighbouring town. We had always had similar interests and hanged out together, as we didn’t seem to easily fit in with any of the usual groups. Studious and bookish, but not repellent (none of us even wore glasses), plain but not awfully ugly, not particularly sporty but not clumsy enough to become the butt of all jokes. And yes, we weren’t in the group of the fashionable “in” people, but we did not attract attention because of weird sense of dress, make-up or tattoos. If anything, we were grey and invisible. And so far that had been fine with us. It was also true that my friendship with Seth gave us some street-cred that probably avoided our fall into one of the officially despised groups.

I had been trying to exercise, eat healthily and lose weight, and I had succeeded somewhat, although I had enough insight to know I’d never be Barbie…Even if I were to starve to death, my body shape wouldn’t change to the point where I would have legs coming up to my armpits and although I still had some hopes for my breasts, so far they had refused to become anything that guys would bother to look at…

Lorna had done better with growing up, and although she would not accept it when Sylvia and I told her, she had become an attractive girl. It was evident when the three of us were together that guys were now looking at her, whilst in the past they normally scanned over us to look at somebody else. Her newly straightened long dark-brown hair, hazel eyes, faultless olive complexion and heart shaped mouth made her quite pretty, even without make-up. And she was petite and well proportioned. She’d even gone out on a few dates, although so far she had not found her prince charming.

On the other hand, adolescence hadn’t been quite so kind to Sylvia who had suddenly had a growth spurt that had made her taller than most of the boys of our age, very skinny, and flat as an iron board. Despite countless visits to orthodontists and a succession of devices worth of listing in any torture Wikipedia article her smile wasn’t made for toothpaste ads and she had become even shier than before. From my best friend perspective I must add I found them both beautiful and the best friends a girl could wish for.

When I told them about Seth’s behaviour their reaction was as I expected.

Lorna was indignant.

“Who does he think he is, now, eh? Gee… How can you be friends with him? You don’t need that idiot, Pink, you definitely don’t.”

Sylvia was always kind and forgiving. I also had my suspicions that she fancied Seth too…Well, OK, most girls did, but Sylvia was so shy she hardly ever allowed herself to think about boys, as it sent her into meltdown. But I’d seen how she blushed when Seth had looked in her direction or talked to her and…if not love…infatuation at least.

“He was probably just trying to be nice…He’s a bloke after all. He doesn’t understand how we feel about these things. I’m sure he didn’t intend to humiliate you.”

“Well, good job then, isn’t it? I don’t think he could have done it that much better if he had tried to humiliate you… A mercy fuck…Ughhhhh! It makes me sick!” Lorna said, still angry.

“Yes, I also felt very angry to begin with. But now…rather than just carrying on fuming, I think maybe I should be proactive and do something about it.”

“Yes, but what?” Sylvia asked.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. “I have to get my own back on him.”

“How?” Lorna asked, interested.

“I have to prove him wrong.”

“You mean…finding a boyfriend? Isn’t that a bit too much?” Sylvia said, evidently appalled by the suggestion.

“I don’t think it needs to go quite as far as a boyfriend. I don’t really want a boyfriend. I’m far too young and have too many things to do…Anyway; you know what I think about all that.” In summary what I think about it is, nice in theory but in reality quite likely a big waste of time at an age when one doesn’t have that much time to waste. More important things to be getting on with. OK, I know you might think sour grapes and all that…But honestly…boys? Maybe when they grow up…if they ever do.

“I see. You just want him to see you going out with somebody…” Lorna said, appreciatively. “I approve.”

“Yes, but who?” I asked.

“Let’s see.”

As usual when we had to take important decisions or discuss serious matters we went to the library café. With the popularity of e-readers, netbooks and tablets, android mobile phones and particularly Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, there was hardly anybody other than people of a certain age at the library. We always sat at the same table, at the back by the window, and we considered it “our table”.

Once settled there, with our diet-coke drinks, we started virtually looking around for candidates. Sylvia was very organised and stopped Lorna when she stated naming boys at random.

“It’s best if we look at the population of guys.”

“What?” I asked.

“Well, you know…Kind of an ethnographic/sociological-type study. What type of guy are you thinking about?”

“You want us to create a profile?” Lorna asked.

“Maybe. But I think that would be too ambitious, considering the raw material we have access to. It will be easier to look at what there is, in terms of groups of guys that might be available.”

“OK. A methodical and scientific approach. Why not?” Yes, it made sense. No need to be overly emotional and girly about this thing. If we were going to do it, we might as well do it well. And as it was a matter of guys, thinking like a bloke might help.

Sylvia got her i-pad out.

“Really?” Lorna asked. “Isn’t that going a bit too far?”

“Why? What is technology for if not these kinds of things?”

“Important things, maybe? How to solve the problem of providing energy and food to the population of the world, curing illnesses, providing education to the masses…” I said.

“Yes, OK. Maybe we’ll do that at some point, but what’s the harm in using a spread sheet to make a sensible decision about guys?”

I had to admit she had a point. Today, finding a possible candidate to boyfriend. Tomorrow, the Noble Prize.

Lorna, who’d evidently been giving boys some thought, took charge of naming the diverse groups of candidates, whilst all of us considered their pros and cons. Well, we couldn’t always find pros. When looked at in such a systematic manner, it appeared surprising that anybody would actually dare to go out with anybody else. Dating agencies definitely deserved their money and more for even attempting such a task.

“Let’s see, let’s see…What kind of guy would you want Seth to see you with, Pink?” Sylvia asked me.

“Well…evidently somebody reasonably attractive but with some brains…I mean, it would have to be somebody he’d believe I’d go out with…He knows me well enough to know I wouldn’t go out with just a pretty face…Not that “just a pretty face” would probably go out with me either.”

Lorna looked at me serious.

“Oh, Pink, don’t start like that. There’s nothing wrong with you…any guy…”

“Let’s leave it. That’s not what this is about…Let’s be methodical.” I said.

“OK, attractive but reasonably intelligent…”

We thought for a while. Not that many boys that would easily fit in such category…

“There’re always Seth’s friends…Adam isn’t bad looking…” Lorna said.

“No, he isn’t. Neither are Tony, or Chris, or Scott…Are you joking, Lorna? Haven’t you noticed the type of girls they go out with? Cheerleaders, trend setters…the beautiful or at least pretty girls…That would be mission impossible and you know they are hardly discreet…When they go out with a girl everybody knows all the details. Even we do!” I replied.

“Yes, Seth is the only one with a bit of class in his group of friends.” Yep, Sylvia. Didn’t I tell you she fancies him?

“I’m also not very convinced about any of them regarding the brains department. They are popular and good at sports and that gives them a lot of leeway, but with regards to merits…” I said.

“Seth is quite clever…I think.”

Lorna and I looked at Sylvia. I don’t know about me, but Lorna definitely rolled her eyes.

“Yes, and he has lovely sandy-coloured and wavy hair, green eyes, cute dimples and the rest. Stop talking about Seth, Sylvia. He’s the cause of all this trouble, and evidently Pink isn’t going to go out with him. No, you’re right, Pink, none of his friends are of any use. He knows them too well; he’d know that you wouldn’t really go out with any of them…It wouldn’t work.”

Most of the guys we considered clever were in one of two despised categories, either the brainy, studious group, mostly composed of extremely uncool characters, good for conversation and teaming up for school work but not datable material, or the geeks.

“Theo, Paul, Mark and Luke…” Sylvia said.

“The brains? Sure, they are clever, but…attractive? Have you ever looked at them?” I said.

“Well…OK, but Mark…has nice eyes…” Sylvia added.

“Yes, and Theo is very tall, and Luke has lovely dark curly hair, but, Mark has horrendous acne and is very short, Theo is really big and always sweaty, Luke wears really old-fashioned glasses and is so skinny that you can hardly see him in profile and Paul…” I added.

Yes, poor Paul was officially the ugliest guy in the school. He was a really nice guy but if I went out with any of them Seth was bound to think I was desperate or I had lost my marbles. He’d probably repeat his offer if he saw me with any of them. They wouldn’t work.

Lorna shook her head.

“No, none of them will do. Not only are they ugly but they also are very shy with girls and have no social graces. They’d probably have a heart attack if they as much as suspected you wanted to go out with one of them…And…”

“Yes, I know. They’re too nice and bound to get hurt if I just used them like that.” OK, I was trying to get my revenge on Seth, but it wasn’t fair to hurt others in the process. That would never do.

We refilled our diet-colas and looked at the document in Sylvia’s i-pad…So far only crosses…Sherlock Holmes used to classify the cases he was working on according to how many pipes he had to smoke to get to the answer. Smoking was no longer pc and women and pipes had never mixed up very well so…I guess in our case we would go by the number of diet-colas we drank whilst thinking about a problem, or producing a plan. This one might break our record of three.

“What about the geeks? They aren’t quite as sensitive as the brains.” Lorna asked.

Although the brains were fairly geeky, the geeks were a distinct category of boys who seemed to only have time for gadgets, games, and who most of the time seemed to live in an alternative reality that only crossed with ours very sporadically.

“And apart from Troy, all the rest are fairly normal looking.” Sylvia agreed.

We all paused at the mention of Troy. He was the son of the mayor and in contrast with his oldest brother, who had left school with a football scholarship and was now at Davis, the jewel of the family, he was really awkward looking and odd. He’d always reminded me of actors in horror movies. He didn’t seem to belong in our planet. He wasn’t ugly, but just like a Picasso his aesthetics and looks were extremely unconventional. It’s true that nobody could go unnoticed at his arm, but I wasn’t convinced that was the kind of attention I wanted.

“Have you ever tried to talk to Matt, Pete, Dean or Todd about anything that isn’t games, computers or comic books? I know you’ve tried. So have I. With no success. I want revenge but not at the cost of my sanity. I don’t want a real boyfriend but at least I’d appreciate somebody I could have a conversation with…”

More crosses. Still no ticks.

“What about the invisible guys?” Lorna asked. She meant, guys that like us didn’t seem to belong in any of the defined categories. Plain, non-offensive, not particularly sporty, not particularly clever, not particularly attractive…

“No good. Pink needs somebody Seth would notice. Somebody who’d force him to make a double-take when he sees her with him. An invisible…won’t work.”

I nodded. Yes, Sylvia was right.

“He’d notice it if you went out with one of the rebels.” Lorna said.

Yes, even Hope Springs, ‘the town where nothing ever happened’ (according to our rewriting of the official motto that was ‘where all dreams are possible’. I agree, sickeningly sweet, and not true to boot), had some bad guys. At our age we were not truly convinced they were genuinely bad, they really hadn’t had time for that, but they were rebellious, non-conformist, and more troublesome than the generality. Admittedly in a place like Hope Springs that wasn’t very difficult, but…they had a bit of a reputation.

“Clint has a girlfriend. And Jesse…” Sylvia said…

Jesse had pushed Sylvia last year and she’d fallen downstairs twisting her ankle. He’d denied it had been intentional, saying that he was just in a hurry and she had been on the way, but…we officially didn’t like him. We’d predicted he’d end up in prison some day. Jailbait was a bit too much for what I had in mind. No.

We were now on our third diet-cola and still no reasonable candidates.

“I can’t think any longer.” Lorna said. “I think we must have gone through all the class.”

We were quiet for a few seconds, and then Sylvia jumped up.

“You’re right! That’s it! We’ve gone through all the boys in our class. But that’s not all the boys. We need to look at other classes. We need to expand our age range.”

I closed my eyes. I knew where this was going now. I could see the name Sylvia would come up with flashing in neon lights. But I was still curious to know how she’d bring him up.

“I don’t think younger guys would be appropriate. First…Even guys our age are immature, can you imagine a younger guy? A year younger would already be too much. You don’t want to get a reputation for being a cradle-snatcher.” Lorna said, final. She had a way of summarising things and getting straight to the point that I’d always admired and thought would put her in good stead for a career in advertising or the movies.

“No, Seth would laugh at me if I went out with a younger guy. He’d tease him and me to death. That wouldn’t help.”

“Oh girls, come on. You know I didn’t mean you should go out with a younger guy. What I meant was you should look at older guys. It’s always a status thing for a girl to go out with an older guy. A man of the world, more mature…”

“Sure, but how old? What are we talking about? University guy?” Lorna asked, turning to me and winking. She’d evidently also worked out what Sylvia was trying to get at.

“We don’t want to go over the top either or make the guy look like a freak or a paedophile…No, maybe somebody a couple of years older…” Sylvia added, trying to sound casual, and failing.

“I don’t think we know a lot of guys that age, do we, Lorna?” I asked, looking at Lorna, trying to appear serious.

“No. I can’t think of any. Maybe guys from another town…” Lorna snapped her fingers. “I have an idea! Sylvia, why don’t you ask your brother Jackson if he has any friends that would be suitable? He’s two years older than us, isn’t he? I don’t know his friends, but it’s possible one of them could do. Maybe you should phone him.”

Lorna and I both looked at Sylvia with intent and a composed expression.

“Yes, that sounds like an idea. Why don’t you phone Jackson, Sylvia, and ask him?” I said.

Sylvia looked at both of us, red-faced, breathing fast and shallow, trying to think of something to say. We finally couldn’t keep it up and started laughing.

“You should see your face, Sylvia!” I told her.

“You were taking the mickey! You knew I meant my brother!”

Lorna squeezed her arm.

“Of course we knew you meant your brother. You’re always trying to fix him with Pink. You’ve always had this idea that the two of them will fall madly in love, will be happy ever after and you will be sisters and have lovely nieces and nephews.”

“But Jackson really likes you, Pink!”

“You know I think your brother is a nice guy and I quite like him, as a friend, but…”

Lorna again got to the point quickly.

“Jackson is clumsy, has the attention span of a fish and other than ball sports has very few interests. You are the brains in the family, dear Sylvia. Your brother, although not bad looking, is a bit of an…”

Sylvia didn’t let her finish.

“You’re right, this is all for revenge and it wouldn’t be fair to get my brother involved when he has feelings for you…”

Poor Jackson probably didn’t even know what he felt, but was happy to go along with his sisters’ assessment of his feelings and had always been extra-nice towards me, although I’d tried as much as I could, without hurting him, to make him understand that I didn’t see him as boyfriend material, and I didn’t really want a boyfriend anyway. Lorna was right though, he wasn’t bad looking. He had the perfect smile that his sister hadn’t managed yet despite her and the dentists’ efforts, and although very tall he was a good basketball player and his height suited him.

“Well, that’s it then. I think we’ll need to keep thinking.” Lorna said. “I can’t drink any more diet-cola or go on about guys any longer. We’ll have to leave it.”

“Maybe somebody new will come along.” Sylvia said, always optimistic. I didn’t think that was likely but nodded. No point in upsetting her further after our comments about her brother. Maybe all our dreams would come true anyway.

 

As an experiment, I decided to download the draft of the first novel to Wattpad, so if you fancy reading on, for the time being it’s available here:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/12042085-angelic-business-1-pink-matters

What I decided was to finish writing (and then translating, editing, correcting…) the third novel in the series, and then publish them all in fairly quick succession, to try and build up interest and also to avoid leaving readers waiting for too long.

Here a not very happy angel, waiting for you to finish writing the next novel Might feed you to the lion if you don't get done soon!

Here a not very happy angel, waiting for you to finish writing the next novel. Might feed you to the lion if you don’t get done soon!

A good friend and fellow author (Hi Teagan!) suggested I buddy up with her for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that despite the name is international, where you can join, and challenge yourself to write a novel at least 50000 words long (if you do, you’ve won). You can take part in forums, encourage and support each other, and buddy up with other writers. I had been curious about it but never before managed to join at the right moment. And I thought…it would be an excellent opportunity to try and write the draft of part three. Still nameless, but…

If you want to check NaNoWriMo, here is the link:

http://nanowrimo.org/

And if you’re taking part, buddy up with me if you like! I’m OlgaNM7.

So now you know what I’m up to (apart from my translating business that keeps going and I’ll talk to you about that soon but, not until after November for sure), and don’t be surprised if  you see me doing reblogs and refreshing some old material in the blog as I’ll be a bit busy next month, but I’ll try and keep up posting other authors’ new books.

And just for some inspiration, I leave you the Jacob Epstein’s angel in Oscar Wilde’s tomb at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Now they’ve put a protective glass in front to avoid so many kisses and the cleaning bill that it said goes to the family. Oh well… (there’re still some kisses where the glass doesn’t reach!)

Jacob Epstein's angel in Oscar Wilde's tomb in Paris

Jacob Epstein’s angel in Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris

Time to go but I couldn’t resist leaving you this angel again from Poble Nou in Barcelona. It needs a good clean (unfortunately there’s a gate in front and I couldn’t reach) but I thought it was so gorgeous…

Dust indeed

Dust indeed

Thanks for reading, and remember, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK! Ah, and if you see any interesting angels, think of me and share!

Dear all:

Tomorrow is New Year, 2014 and I’ve decided to revisit a post where I asked about what your ideal bookshop would be like. It’s time to revisit what your year has been like. In my case it hasn’t been great but I’ve decided to revisit my life and I’m thinking of trying something new. I’m looking at bookshops, that have always been one of the loves of my life, but I admit not knowing anything about the business. At the moment it’s all thoughts, but it’s a good topic, so…any comments will be welcome and Have a great New Year’s Eve. And let’s hope 2014 is positive for everybody!

 Bookshop

 

My parents always tell me that when I was a small child, before I learned to read, I always wanted to know what any signs or anything with writing on it said. Later on, once I learned to read, I became an avid reader. My school was a pretty small neighbourhood school (it no longer exists) and it did not have a library, but the readers amongst us used to exchange books and read anything we could get our hands on, from ‘The Famous Five’ and the Adventure Series (I always preferred them to the Famous Five, but that’s me) to ‘Jaws’, Oscar WildeEdgar Allan PoeGustavo Adolfo Becquer o Mercé Rodoreda.

 

I’ve always been happier with books than with any other presents (or nearly) and I still am.

 

When it comes to books I’m like a moth to light, if I see books anywhere I’ll go and have a look, it doesn’t matter if it’s a supermarket, a charity shop, a car-boot sale. And of course, I love bookshops although they’re having a bit of a hard time and have changed beyond recognition. And yes, now we have big bookstore chains, somewhat anonymous but usually reasonably supplied and full of other things, the small specialised bookshop, the independent bookstore, second-hand bookshops that are true time-travelling machines.

 

Because of my job there have been periods of my life where I’ve travelled a fair bit and one of the things I remember more clearly of the places where I’ve stayed (or visited)  is where the bookshops are (or where). I must admit to feeling really disappointed when I revisit a place where I’ve been before and a bookshop I liked has disappeared. It’s like losing an old friend. When it comes to bookshops, like most important things in life, they are not all created equal

 

Reflecting on all that, I wanted to ask you, readers, if you could have the bookshop of your dreams, what would it be like? Would it be enormous with everything on it? Or small but quirky with lots of character? Would it only sell books or sell related items (DVDs, e-readers, magazines and writing materials, audiobooks, other equipment…)? Would it sell other kinds of stuff (postcards, craft items, toys…)? Would it have a tea/coffee shop attached? Would it organise events (book readings and signings, host book clubs, run competitions, have other guests…)? Would it have only new books, second-hand books, have a section for exchanging books…? Books in several languages? Best-sellers and less well-known books, local interest books? Would it offer other services like Wi-Fi and e-store? Would it be located in a remote place, around the corner, in a shopping mall, in a hidden nook in a magical place?

 

Dream on! It’s free (for the time being!)

 

And thinking about this and after a fellow author and good friend sent me some pictures of one of her favourite bookshops, I decided to start a board on Pinterest dedicated to bookshops, and once I started checking I was amazed at the fabulous building and beautiful pictures people had pinned. Have a look, and if you’d like to pin your own pictures or others you find, let me know and I’ll invite you to pin with pleasure.

 

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/bookstores-booshops-and-interesting-shops/

 

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it remember to like, comment, and share!

 

 

books (Photo credit: brody4)

 

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Spirit of Ireland. An Odyssey Home

Hace poco terminé de escuchar el audio de El espíritu de Irlanda de Alan Cooke. Había escuchado  (y leído) Desnudo en Nueva York (Naked in New York), que reseñé hace algunos meses y que vuelvo a recomendar. También he visto su película Home (Hogar/Patria) que a mi me parece una buena pieza compañera de Desnudo con la ventaja de que además de documentar el viaje personal de Cooke también incorpora las opiniones de gente de Nueva York, jóvenes y viejos, famosos y desconocidos, nativos y emigrantes. Se merece el Emmy que consiguió por el guión de la película y no llego a comprender como sigue sin distribuidora.

El autor, un actor irlandés, ahora convertido también en escritor, entrenador de voz, y creador de escenas en audio y video, volvió a Irlanda después de su visita a los Estados Unidos. El espíritu de Irlanda es su memoria/nota biográfica de su proceso de redescubierta de su país, su nación, su cultura, y a si mismo. En ciertos aspectos retoma la narración donde acabó Desnudo, pero en mi opinión va más lejos y se adentra más profundamente que lo hizo el libro anterior.

El Sr. Cooke combina episodios puramente autobiográficos (a mí sus recuerdos de escenas de su infancia me parecen particularmente emotivos) con pasajes donde describe sus expediciones tanto espirituales como reales. En sus viajes a sitios conocidos (la casa de sus padres, pueblos que solía visitar con su familia cuando era niño) él observa los cambios acaecidos, el contraste entre sus expectaciones, construidas durante años soñando sobre la patria desde lejos, y la realidad, a veces dura. También nota los cambios que tienen lugar en su interior, y como sus percepciones, lo que ve y siente, es diferente. Cuando viaja a lugares nuevos, a sitios que le atraen, a veces experimenta una comunión con los elementos, con el espíritu y el alma de Irlanda que acepta totalmente.

Sus descripciones de animales casi míticos (el caballo blanco que visita su casa y parece simbolizar el espíritu celta indómito de la isla), de los paisajes primitivos (que reflejan el poder mágico y ancestral de la tierra), de gente y caras te llegarán al alma, incluso si tú, como yo, no tienes ni una gota de sangre irlandesa en tus venas. El autor parece conectar con algo que es profundamente personal pero a la vez universal, y a través de su voz nos lleva a un lugar que es maravilloso, excitante, aterrador y puro. Un lugar donde tenemos que enfrentarnos a nosotros mismos, y si sobrevivimos, finalmente habremos alcanzado nuestra patria. Me pregunto si es eso de lo que hablaba Carl Jung cuando se escribía sobre el Inconsciente Colectivo:

El inconsciente colectivo —si alguna cosa podemos decir sobre él — parece consistir de motivos mitológicos o imágenes primordiales, y por esa razón los mitos de todas la naciones son sus verdaderos exponentes. De hecho, la totalidad de la mitología podría considerarse como un tipo de proyección del inconsciente colectivo… Por eso podemos estudiar el inconsciente colectivo de dos maneras, o en la mitología o en el análisis de los individuos. (De La estructura de la mente, cap. 8, párr. 325)

Carl-Jung-mod

Carl-Jung-mod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Al haber visitado un poquito del Oeste de Irlanda hace unos meses reconocí algunas de las descripciones (me encantaron las islas de Aran y adoro el CD número 4). También me identifiqué con algunas de sus vivencias (recuerdo lo que pensaba cuando hice la Primera Comunión). Le acompañé gustosa en sus visitas y me encantaría poder conocer a muchos de los personajes a los que conoce, que siempre tienen historias que contar y le ayudan a crear un mosaico de experiencias y voces que ilustran la naturaleza del lugar y de su gente. El autor, un anecdotista, y trovador, es narrador, protagonista, intérprete, y actor. Él ha dicho en entrevistas que por encima de todo él es un actor y que es capaz de conectar y comunicarse con una audiencia en vivo de una forma que no cree que sea posible solamente a través de su escritura. A mi me parece que es demasiado modesto, aunque debo reconocer que la combinación de sus palabras,  su voz y su lectura crean un conjunto irresistible. (Y aprovecho esta oportunidad para recomendar sus otros audios [Cuento de Navidad, De Profundis, Cuentos de Oscar Wilde…]. El único peligro es que puede que no quieras escuchar a ningún otro narrador, pero…)

El género de la memoria o narración autobiográfica está muy explotado. A veces le da a uno la impresión de que todo el mundo quiere escribir una o ya lo ha hecho. Pero no os preocupéis. Esto no es vuestra memoria autobiográfica típica. Aunque el autor comparte experiencias muy personales e incluso íntimas (la imagen de la reacción de su madre cuando descubre que su propia madre, la abuela del autor, ha muerto atropellada por un camión, no me abandonará nunca), jamás se convierte en un ejercicio auto-indulgente. Él es la conciencia de ese espíritu, y no encontraréis chismorreos ni detalles de la vida diaria en el Burren. Os dejo un enlace a un artículo que me pareció interesante (en inglés) sobre memorias en la Universidad de Berkeley. Si estudiamos los siete argumentos básicos de todas las historias (de acuerdo con la clasificación de Christopher Booker),  El espíritu de Irlanda probablemente encaja en los argumentos de ‘búsqueda’ (Odisea es un término muy adecuado), ‘viaje y regreso’ y ‘renacer’. Y si estudiamos el artículo de William Grimes: ‘Todos tenemos una vida. ¿Tenemos que escribir sobre ella todos?’ (‘We All Have A Life. Must We All Write About It?’) estaría entre ‘la memoria del viaje espiritual’ y ‘la memoria del espíritu del lugar’. Es todo eso y más. Si queréis ir a lugares donde no habéis estado, poneros en contacto con vuestra espiritualidad, y conectar con los mitos colectivos, mientras escucháis una bella y absorbente voz, os recomiendo el audio de El espíritu de Irlanda.

El Sr. Cooke vende todas sus obras a través de su página de web (de momento solo en inglés):

http://wildirishpoet.com/

Allí también podéis encontrar enlaces a sus páginas en Facebook y otros medios sociales (y seguir sus posts, incluyendo muestras de nuevos trabajos, hermosas fotografías, etc.), su dirección de correo electrónico si os queréis poner en contacto con él, y podéis informaros de todas sus novedades.

Gracias por leer, y si os ha gustado, acordaos de darle al me gusta, comentar, compartir y hacer CLIC! 

Este es el enlace al artículo sobre memorias literarias/autobiografías:

http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~kihlstrm/memoir.htm

Bookshop

Bookshop (Photo credit: conxa.roda)

My parents always tell me that when I was a small child, before I learned to read, I always wanted to know what any signs or anything with writing on it said. Later on, once I learned to read, I became an avid reader. My school was a pretty small neighbourhood school (it no longer exists) and it did not have a library, but the readers amongst us used to exchange books and read anything we could get our hands on, from ‘The Famous Five’ and the Adventure Series (I always preferred them to the Famous Five, but that’s me) to ‘Jaws’, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer o Mercé Rodoreda.

I’ve always been happier with books than with any other presents (or nearly) and I still am.

When it comes to books I’m like a moth to light, if I see books anywhere I’ll go and have a look, it doesn’t matter if it’s a supermarket, a charity shop, a car-boot sale. And of course, I love bookshops although they’re having a bit of a hard time and have changed beyond recognition. And yes, now we have big bookstore chains, somewhat anonymous but usually reasonably supplied and full of other things, the small specialised bookshop, the independent bookstore, second-hand bookshops that are true time-travelling machines.

Because of my job there have been periods of my life where I’ve travelled a fair bit and one of the things I remember more clearly of the places where I’ve stayed (or visited)  is where the bookshops are (or where). I must admit to feeling really disappointed when I revisit a place where I’ve been before and a bookshop I liked has disappeared. It’s like losing an old friend. When it comes to bookshops, like most important things in life, they are not all created equal

Reflecting on all that, I wanted to ask you, readers, if you could have the bookshop of your dreams, what would it be like? Would it be enormous with everything on it? Or small but quirky with lots of character? Would it only sell books or sell related items (DVDs, e-readers, magazines and writing materials, audiobooks, other equipment…)? Would it sell other kinds of stuff (postcards, craft items, toys…)? Would it have a tea/coffee shop attached? Would it organise events (book readings and signings, host book clubs, run competitions, have other guests…)? Would it have only new books, second-hand books, have a section for exchanging books…? Books in several languages? Best-sellers and less well-known books, local interest books? Would it offer other services like Wi-Fi and e-store? Would it be located in a remote place, around the corner, in a shopping mall, in a hidden nook in a magical place?

Dream on! It’s free (for the time being!)

And thinking about this and after a fellow author and good friend sent me some pictures of one of her favourite bookshops, I decided to start a board on Pinterest dedicated to bookshops, and once I started checking I was amazed at the fabulous building and beautiful pictures people had pinned. Have a look, and if you’d like to pin your own pictures or others you find, let me know and I’ll invite you to pin with pleasure.

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/bookstores-booshops-and-interesting-shops/

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it remember to like, comment, and share!

books

books (Photo credit: brody4)

English: bookshop in port Melbourne

English: bookshop in port Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mis padres siempre me han contado que cuando era pequeña, antes de aprender a leer, yo siempre me empeñaba en querer saber lo que ponía en los anuncios y señales y en cualquier cosa que tuviera algo escrito. Más tarde, cuando aprendí a leer, me convertí en una lectora empedernida. Mi escuela era pequeña, una escuela de barrio (que ha desaparecido como muchas otras cosas) y no tenía su propia biblioteca, pero los lectores nos solíamos prestar e intercambiar libros y leíamos de todo, desde ‘Los Famosos Cinco’ y la serie de Aventuras (de Enid Blyton, que yo siempre preferí. Me gustaba el loro) a ‘Tiburón’, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer o Mercé Rodoreda.

Siempre he preferido que me regalen libros a cualquier otra cosa (casi) y me siguen gustando.

En cuanto a libros se refiere soy como una polilla atraída hacia la luz. Si veo libros en cualquier sitio, iré a echar un vistazo, no importa donde sea: un supermercado, un mercadillo, el aeropuerto…Y por supuesto, me encantan las librerías, aunque parece que el negocio no va muy bien y han cambiado mucho. Y sí, ahora tenemos las grandes cadenas de librerías, algo anónimas pero normalmente con mucha variedad, no solo de libros sino también de otras cosas, las pequeña librería especializada, las librerías independientes, las que venden libros de segunda mano que son como máquinas del tiempo.

Debido a mi trabajo ha habido épocas de mi vida cuando he viajado bastante y una de las cosas que mejor suelo recordar de los lugares donde he vivido (o he visitado) es dónde están (o estaban) las librerías. Y debo reconocer que me siento muy desilusionada cuando vuelvo a visitar algún lugar familiar y descubro que una de mis librerías favoritas ha desaparecido. Es como perder a un viejo amigo. Con respecto a las librerías, como pasa con la mayoría de cosas importantes en la vida, no son todas iguales.

Pensando en eso, quería preguntaros a vosotros, lectores, si pudierais hacer aparecer, como por arte de magia, la librería de vuestros sueños, ¿cómo sería? ¿Sería enorme con un poco de todo? ¿O pequeña pero muy especial? ¿Vendería solo libros u otros objetos relacionados (DVDs, lectores electrónicos, libros en audio, revistas y papelería, otro equipamiento…)? ¿Vendería otro tipo de cosas (postales, artesanía y objetos de decoración, juguetes…)? ¿Tendría también cafetería? ¿Organizaría eventos (lecturas y firma de libros, clubs de lectores, competiciones, otro tipo de invitados…)? ¿Vendería solo libros nuevos, o también de segunda mano, tendría una sección para intercambiar libros…? ¿Libros en varios idiomas? ¿Best-sellers y libros no tan conocidos o independientes, libros de interés local y especializados? ¿Ofrecería otros servicios como Wi-fi y tienda digital? ¿Y dónde estaría? ¿En un lugar plácido y remoto, o a la vuelta de la esquina, en el centro de la ciudad, en un centro comercial, o en un rincón escondido y mágico?

¡Soñad! ¡Que es gratis (de momento)!

Y pensando en librerías y en las fotos que me envió de una de sus librerías favoritas una autora amiga, empecé un tablero (board) en Pinterest, y una vez allí encontré mucha gente compartiendo fotos fabulosas.

Echadle un vistazo a ver que os parece, y si os apetece añadir vuestros pins, si estáis en Pinterest os invito a que añadáis los vuestros.

http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/bookstores-booshops-and-interesting-shops/

¡Gracias por leer, y os ha gustado recordad darle al like, comentad, y compartid!

It’s Friday and it’s again with great pleasure that I bring you one of my favourite authors. Yes, yes, he’s no longer with us but I feel he could hardly be with us more than he is. I’ve loved Oscar Wilde from a young age. I remember my friend Margarita would read everything Poe (I also enjoyed him) and I asked for the complete works of Oscar Wilde as a Christmas present. And loved them!

Oscar Wilde in New York

Oscar Wilde in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What can I tell you about him? There are films, biographies, and more recently even novels where he is a character in its own right (involved in quite fun intrigues).

He was born in Dublin in 1853. His father was a doctor and a well-known eminent one. His mother wrote revolutionary poems, spoke several European languages and translated many works. He had an older brother and a sister who died of Scarlet Fever (I love ‘Requiescat’…simple and touching, quite different from much of his other work).

He was an excellent student, excelled at classics, studied at Trinity College in Dublin and Magdalene College in Oxford and became enamoured with aestheticism, to the point where he went to America to deliver a series of lectures on the subject.

He was writing poetry, early plays, went to France and married Constance Lloyd an educated woman with her own mind. He wrote Dorian and in rapid succession many of his plays and became very popular.

His wit is legendary, his homosexuality too, his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, trial, imprisonment, his famous ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’ all well known…And he died in Paris in 1900 and you can see his grave at La Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. I love Epstein’s angel sculpture on his grave (Yes, of course I’ve visited. More than once).

Tomb of Oscar Wilde by Jacob Epstein

Tomb of Oscar Wilde by Jacob Epstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many websites about Oscar Wilde, I leave you one link but…many…

http://www.cmgww.com/historic/wilde/index.php

Before I offer you free links to some of his works in electronic format I will offer you some of his quotes. There are so many….

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

— “An Ideal Husband”

“The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations.”

— “A Woman of No Importance”

“Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification.”

— “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime”

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”

— “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

“One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.”

— “A Woman of No Importance”

“I prefer women with a past. They’re always so damned amusing to talk to.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“I don’t like compliments, and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“Men become old, but they never become good.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

“A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain.”

— “Lady Windermere’s Fan”

And now a few links. There are also very cheap versions of his works so…

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

http://www.amazon.com/Importance-Being-Earnest-ebook/dp/B004UJCNKC/

‘The Picture of Doria Gray’

http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Dorian-Gray-ebook/dp/B0084AXZK0/

‘The Canterville Ghost’

http://www.amazon.com/The-Canterville-Ghost-ebook/dp/B0084BTWDS/

‘An Ideal Husband’

http://www.amazon.com/An-Ideal-Husband-ebook/dp/B004UJCKQY/

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (I adore his tales. Some are just funny and amusing, but some like the Happy Prince and the Selfish Giant really have a heart).

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Prince-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B0082ZICI2/

Selected poems of Oscar Wilde

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Poems-Oscar-Wilde-ebook/dp/B004TPAYFI/

I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and please, share and CLICK!

Hi all:

Although I have several projects going (including writing an epilogue for the three novellas in the series Escaping Psychiatry and publishing them as a single volume, and also translating them to Spanish) sometimes you come up with an idea for a story that won’t leave you until you do something about it. So there you have it, I’ve started writing another story. This is a romantic story, and although I’ve written stories (both publish and unpublished) with romance in them, none have had romance as the main focus.

English: Oscar Wilde, photographic print on ca...

English: Oscar Wilde, photographic print on card mount: albumen. Español: Oscar Wilde, impresión fotográfica en papel de albúmina. Français : Oscar Wilde, une photographie connue. Tirage albumen sur carte. Gaeilge: Oscar Wilde, prionta ghriangraf ar cárta albaimin. Italiano: Oscar Wilde, una fotografia che ci sia pervenuta, ricavata da una stampa fotografica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But this one wanted to be written, so, what could I do? As Oscar Wilde says, the only way to conquer temptation is to fall into it.

I leave you the very beginning of the story (probably. I’m writing it so things might change. The title that I think I’ll keep is ‘Click Me Happy!. It is going to be a somewhat reluctant romance that has its origins in interactions in social media rather than face to face. When I prepared this post last weekend I was looking for ideas for a cover but since, I’ve found one I like (Raquel who was a guest from the Spanish group suggested this and I’m in love). What do you think?

Here a small sample:

Chapter 1. We meet the “heroine”

“No. Not another bleeming romantic novel! I’m going to puke! Come on, come on, look at it! Pink cover with a hunk showing off his chest and a gorgeous girl looking impressed. And somebody’s idea of a Scottish castle on the background. I can’t stand it any longer!”

Lilith Darville was far more attractive than she ever gave herself credit for. She was not a ravishing beauty (whatever that means) but she had nice brown hair, that she always wore short (no talent for creating hairdos), big almond shaped brown eyes, a beauty spot on her left cheek, a small nose and a well-defined mouth. A very pleasant combination whatever her opinion.

She only wore makeup under extreme duress (and on very special occasions), and although she used to be big as a child, between healthy eating and plenty of exercising she was now slim and reasonably fit. Not a supermodel but, who wants to be that skinny anyway?

“What’s it called?” Asked the Head librarian and good friend of Lilith, Debbie.

“What does it matter? It should be called: Just look at the six pack in this guy, get horny and buy my book. Does anybody believe all this rubbish?”

“It’s not about believing, Lilith. It’s fantasising. Who wouldn’t want to go out with a gorgeous guy and be the centre of his world, and have other women envy you and…?”

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave me comments and suggestions/ideas for the cover.

Clickmehappy

MasticadoresdeLetrasColombia

Sitio oficial de la editorial Fleming para publicar a creadores. Directores: Hector Medina & J. re crivello

About A Book Club

Obsessive Reader | Perpetual Student | Crazy Cat Lady

My Paranormal Photography

I am not here to convince you of anything, I am just sharing my personal experiences

princesssa

Vive y deja vivir... ama y dejate amar

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