Nobel Prize For Literature

On September 5, 1958 the romantic novel “Dr. Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak was published in the U.S. The book had been banned in the Soviet Union but still won the Nobel Prize for Literature that same year.

Boris Pasternak was born in Russia in 1890 and by the time the Russian Revolution broke out he had become a well-known avant-garde poet. His work was frowned upon during the 1920s and 1930s when under the communist regime Joseph Stalin put strict censorship on Russian art and literature. It was during this time that Pasternak made a living as a translator.

The novel that would make Pasternak known the world over was completed in 1956. “Dr. Zhivago” is an epic love story set during the time of the Russian Revolution and WW I. Soviet officials were angered by the novel stating that it romanticized the pre-Revolution Russian upper class and degraded peasants and workers who fought against the czarist regime. When the official Soviet press refused to publish the novel Pasternak found admirers who were willing to secretly smuggle the manuscript out of Russia bit by bit.

By 1958 “Dr. Zhivago” had been published and translations began appearing all around the world. The novel became an instant classic. When it came time for Pasternak to receive the Nobel Prize the Soviet government wouldn’t allow him to do it and banished him from the Soviet Writers’ Union. This action ended the writing career of Pasternak. He died of cancer and heart disease in May 1960.

However by leaving behind his novel “Dr. Zhivago” he left behind something wonderful and worthwhile for future generations. In 1965 Hollywood took over and created a hit movie from the novel starring Omar Sharif as Dr. Zhivago. The movie has many scenes that are rather hard to take but with the romance woven into it, it is very memorable. We all know that the world has gone through numerous wars but the one thing that has never died even when times were tough was romance. The movie itself depicts the wonderful romance of Dr. Zhivago and his love Lara. It also brought into the world the memorable song and music of “Somewhere My Love”.

In 1987 when Mikhail Gorbachev began democratic reforms, the long deceased Pasternak was readmitted to the writers’ union and the novel was finally published in Russia.

#authors, #boris-pasternak, #dr-zhivago, #novel-prize-for-literature

Red Badge of Courage

The author of the well-known novel “The Red Badge of Courage” was born on November 1, 1871.

Stephen Crane was born into a family of 14 children, being the youngest one. The family lived in Ashbury Park, New Jersey. He got his education at Syracuse University until he dropped out to become a journalist in New York City. He was hardly able to make a living when he started to closely observe the people around him. In 1893 at the ages of 23 he published “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets”. It was a story about a girl who descended into the world of prostitution and finally suicide. Even though the book was a success it did not sell well.

It made Crane look into more popular topics and in 1895 he wrote “The Red Badge of Courage” and by the age of 24 he was internationally known. Due to the success of his novel the newspaper syndicate sent him to cover the West and Mexico. Crane went to Cuba to write about the insurrection against Spain in 1897. While there he stayed at a rundown hotel and met Cora Howard Taylor, who became his lifelong companion. In Cuba the boat he was in sank and he barely survived and he wrote the short story “The Open Boat” about his experiences in a lifeboat with the captain and the cook.

Crane went on to cover the war between Greece and Turkey finally settling in England where he made friends with other authors like Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells and Henry James. It was unfortunate that he contracted tuberculosis in his late 20s. His companion was there to nurse him while he tried to pay off his debts. All of this made him exhausted and his condition became acute. He died at the age of 28 in June of 1900.

“The Red Badge of Courage” remains his greatest work. It was made into a movie in 1951 starring actor Audie Murphy and in 1974 starring Richard Thomas.

#literature, #red-badge-of-courage, #stephen-crane

Creative Writing and Imagination Go Hand In Hand

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any. Orson Scott


Just think about it – Have you taken a walk and thought, “Wow, that would make a great story?” then gone home and forgotten all about it or could not remember what it was. To avoid this carry a small notebook and pencil with you and when a thought occurs quickly stop an jot down what it was then when you get back home, you can start writing while it is still l fresh in your mind.

  1. To keep your imagination active and thinking of new ideas be a reader and read as many books as you can both fiction and non-fiction and don’t forget to look through a poetry book now and then. All of these books can give you plenty of ideas to sit down and do some writing of your own.
  2. While you listen to your favorite music ideas might come to you about different things to write about or perhaps a poem you have in mind. As you listen to music, write down the first thing that comes to your mind and go from there.
  3. Always keep a notebook handy it is a great place to jot down ideas that come to you and work on them later. I get ideas often just by searching for things on the Internet and as I go along the ideas that come to me get written down so that soon I can begin writing.
  4. Once you have ideas and jotted some things down, don’t just put them aside. Take your first great idea, and begin writing. If you get to a point and it seems like it does not all come together, take a look at your next idea and see if somehow you can combine the two.
  5. Once you have an article ready, read it over and imagine you were the reader, not the writer. See if it makes sense to you and if you would enjoy reading it yourself. If it all comes together, the next step is checking your grammar and making sure you put your idea forward just right without any added things that make it seem repetitious.
  6. Always keep in mind that creative writing is your thoughts, imaginative, and engaging to readers.

#creative-writing, #imagination

Tuesday Trivia – Queen Victoria

Little known facts about Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria’s full name was Alexandrina Victoria and she ascended to the throne on June 20, 1837. She was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 28, 1838.

  1. Her first act as queen was to ask to have an hour alone. At this time she was 18 years old and had been strictly raised always kept isolated, sheltered, and controlled. Governesses went with her everywhere and slept in the same room until the day she became queen.
  2. Victoria met Prince Albert while she was a teenager. She liked him right away but did not look at him romantically. Then Prince Albert and his brother Ernest arrived in Kensington in the spring of 1836 and Victoria could get to know him better. However, it was not until his second visit in 1839 when she was already queen that romance blossomed.
  3. It was Queen Victoria who made the white wedding dress popular. She wore a white satin gown with a very deep flounce of Honiton lace. On her head she had a wreath of orange blossoms and a diamond necklace and earrings. On her wedding dress was pinned a lovely sapphire brooch which was a wedding present from Albert. After her wedding, white became the tradition for wedding gowns.
  4. Queen Victoria was very much involved in politics and did not hesitate to make her views known.
  5. She was the first of notable persons to try out chloroform. It was her physician who gave her this new drug to numb the pain during the birth of her youngest son, Leopold. She was highly in favor of it.
  6. When Prince Albert passed on in 1861 Queen Victoria’s very secluded mourning was highly criticized by the public. By 1865 she seemed to have abandoned her royal duties.
  7. The well-known quote “We are not amused” is commonly attributed to Queen Victoria. This was her response to a vulgar joke that was told at a dinner party. However, it is not known if she really said this and she was shown as being stern and dour when actually she could be very fun loving and enjoyed laughing at jokes that others might find scandalous or shocking.

Stop and Smell the Roses

People often advise others not to take life too seriously and to stop and smell the roses. Meaning to enjoy the simple things in life and not to pass them by. However, if we take this saying literally them stopping to smell the roses can get us bitten on the nose by a bee or if we reach out to touch the roses get pricked by a thorn. One way or another you have to admit that life can be unpredictable and it all passes by so quickly.


If you seem to be working too hrd and feel stressed out it is time to stop put on the music, head on outdoors, and see what nature has to offer. By slowing down you appreciate life more and you definitely will feel much better. Once you have taken a walk you can get back to work with more renewed energy.


Look for the happiest scenes around you to bring a smile like old couples that walk hand in hand or children running along. Often you can see dogs on leashes in all shapes and sizes and they all look so cute.


So even though to stop and smell the roses does not mean to seek out roses because all flowers are beautiful and have their own fragrance. It simply means there is more to life than work and life can be beautiful if you take the time to put aside your work and get out there and just relax. If you wish you can also stay at home as long s you sit back, put up your feet, perhaps listen to music, and dream about the beautiful things in life.

#memberspost, #stopandsmelltheroes, #enjoynature

Believe in love. Believe in…

Monday Magic – Always Keep Believing

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?
― Jon Bon Jovi

Isn’t it always so if we keep on believing and if we open our minds to all kinds of possibilities so many things can happen for us that it simply is like magic. Everyday things are happening all around us and we have the choice to seek them out or hide away. Life would never be half as much fun if we did not sometimes walk on the wild side and let the child inside of us come out to play.

There are so many places I have discovered in life that it seems they magically appeared to me. However, if I had not gone out looking for them, if I had not been interested to see what is around the bend, then I would have lost out on so much. I lived a great part of my life in New York City where I was born and raised. One summer day I was walking around the hot streets and turned into a little street I had not even notice before. There among the buildings I discovered a little cafe with a waterfall coming down a brick wall. Suddenly I was no longer on the street sof NYC but in a tropical oasis as I sipped a cold beer on that hot afternoon.

There are many wonderful songs that have magic in the title and many of them inspires you to believe in the unbelievable.

“Do You Believe in Magic” The Lovin’ Spoonful In this song the magic referred to is the way that music can give you the happiness and freedom to feel really good about yourself as you listen to it. Isn’t always that way when a day is dull and dreary we put on some music we enjoy and suddenly like magic everything seems to be all right.

“Magic Carpet Ride” Steppenwolf tells us that dreaming is all right that dreams can take us away from the ordinary and take us on an incredible journey. Sit back and listen to the song and perhaps you’ll imagine you’re on a magic carpet ride.

#weeklyfeature #mondaymagic #music

Let Your Imagination Soar

In this world so much has already happened and so much craziness is going on. To ease your mind and to step out of the world for just a moment it is best to let your imagination soar. Let it take you to places far away or take you to places you remember and long to return to. Turn up your favorite music and remember the days of past. Don’t let this world stress you out and make you afraid to live.

Purple Cow

Wopuld you be mad or glad?
Would you protest,
it I told you –
I’d seen a purple cow!
But you see,
my life is a fantasy
my imagination –
gives me wings to fly.
I march to my own drummer,
sing my own songs in my mind,
alwys lookin for some joy to dind.
See endless ckies of blue,
with white clouds like ships sailing by,
flowers in every hue
and in my meadow there graxes –
a purple cow!

© R.Raisters

The attached image is a free image

#imagination, #poetry, #purple-cow, #the-world, #thoughts-on-life