Distractive generation, anyone?

Hi all, it’s good to see new members interested in our blogging community forum as well as some faithful returners (as always it would be nice to see more of you 😉 ) – best wishes to you all and hope you’re having a good weekend 🙂

TIP: struggling to find the dashboard for your members back-end access via the dashboard? I found it again by hitting STATS in the ‘improved editor’ screen. That way you can find your lingering drafts as such things like that missing from the ease-of-use common function screen that they call ‘improved editor’. Doh! (@admin, I’ll tidy up asap if it’s ever really necessary but not much to do there really anyway, I think).

Continue reading

#authorstory, #blogging101, #bloggingfundamentals, #bloggingtools, #bloggiversary, #freewrite, #ideas

Authors who made history – any takers?

Calling for volunteers for the #authorstory posts during March, if anyone’s interested? Available dates are:
Wednesdays (tick the box or please leave comment):

  • 1st March (@piyushavir)
  • 8th March
  • 15th March
  • 22nd March
  • 29th March

I wasn’t sure if anyone might pop along with something for today and as I posted last week, I decided to leave that space here. I finally got around to tidying up one of my posts from January, in continuation of my intended series to practise introducing and exploring contemporary writers. This post, at my blog, is a brief introduction to John Berger ; he’s perhaps best-known for his book, ‘Ways of Seeing’ and for its inclusion as compulsory reading on almost all art and design study reading lists in the UK.

Authors Who Made History: Sax Rohmer

Today marks the birth anniversary of the writer known as Sax Rohmer. You might be familiar with the characters he created in his Dr. Fu Manchu stories. These have inspired comic book stories, radio, film and television works. He was born Arthur Henry Ward in Birmingham, England on 15th February 1883, of a working-class family of Irish immigrant descendency. He died during an outbreak of ‘Asian flu’ on 1st June 1959. He and his wife moved to New York after the ending of what some call ‘World War 2’ and didn’t return to London until shortly before his death. He is reported to have died in New York.

As often the apparent case, the wikipedia article for this writer contains some potentially derogarorising slants that may or may not be true. Formalist academia tends to perpetuate a propoganda wheel, perhaps unintentionally, effectively undermining a writer’s work by defamating remark / character assassination. These include criticisms of ‘racism’, though as I have not yet read any of his writing so I can neither confirm nor repudiate such assessment. It is also remarked that his name was added to the Nazi regimes list of banned authors in 1933. (It appears not to be found on the wikipedia link to that article).

Arthur Henry Ward had worked for a time as a civil servant prior to his career as a popular novelist. His legend divulges roots in the music hall tradition, comedy and poetry. He was first published by the magazine ‘Pearson’s Weekly’ in 1903 with his short story ‘The Mysterious Mummy’. He is said to have published anonymously in 1910 a novel titled ‘Pause!’ and the Goodreads website lists him as also having used the pseudonym of ‘Michael Furey’ alrhough that appears to be dubious and I haven’t time for fact-checking.

I’m sharing with you a brief introduction to this writer while I explore him for the first time – one of the things I’ve enjoyed most taking part in these #authorstory posts is setting out on a learning journey of discovery and exploration.

You can find out more online or maybe have something to share from your own knowledge or experiences of Sax Rohmer’s work. A full list of his writings for further discovery can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Sax_Rohmer

The Gutenberg Project has several files of Sax Rohmer’s novels available to read online. I’m hoping to read ‘Bat Wing’ (published by Cassell, London in 1921) from where I bring you this short extract :

Paul Harley occupied a unique place in the maelstrom of vice and ambition which is sometimes called London life. Whilst at present he held no official post, some of the most momentous problems of British policy during the past five years, problems imperilling inter-state relationships and not infrequently threatening a renewal of the world war, had owed their solution to the peculiar genius of this man.

Source: www.gutenberg.org/files/6382/6382-h/6382-h.htm (for online reading the web version, ebook 6382)


Parijat: A Fragrant Flower of Nepali Literature

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Night-flowering Jasmine) is called Parijat (pronounced paa-ri-jaat)  in Nepali. Parijat is small white flower with orange pedicel and sweet fragrance. The plant, however is also known as “sad tree” because the flowers bloom during the night and wither during the day. Bishnu Kumari Waiba (1937-1993) chose to call herself Parijat in Nepali literature and enriched it with a sweet fragrance.

Parijat was born in Darjeeling, India. Her mother, Amrit Moktan died when she was still very young and was raised by her father, Dr. K. N. Waiba and her grandparents. Although Darjeeling lies in India, the people have retained the original culture and literature from Nepal. Growing up with Nepali speaking community, she developed keen interest in Nepali literature from her early childhood.

Parijat’s first poem was published on Dharti magazine in 1959. Her three poetry collections have been published:

  • Akansha (Wishes)
  • Parijat Ka Kavita (Poems of Parijat) and
  • Baisalu Bartaman (Youthful Present)

When her poems were being published and she was gradually being recognized in Nepali literature, she was also suffering physically. From the age of 12, she suffered from rheumatism which paralyzed her legs completely at the age of 26. This was perhaps the reason behind choosing the pseudonym Parijat. She spent the rest of her life under the care of her sister Sukanya serving Nepali literature as much as she could.

Although Parijat published a lot of poems and stories, she is more popular as a novelist. In fact, she is the best recognized female novelist till date. In the year 2022 B.S. (1965 A.D.) she was awarded the Madan Puraskar, the topmost and the most prestigious in Nepali literature, for her novel Shirish ko Phool (later translated as “The Blue Mimosa”). The novel is based on sexual psychology and the character Sakambari is metaphorically described as the blue mimosa, the flower which withers once an insect comes to take away its nectar. The novel is also said to be a part of the syllabus in the Maryland University of the USA.

She wrote in total ten novels and published four short story collections. Her works are notable for the description of intense human feelings. She seems to have understood human psychology and has been able to pen them down with intense characters. Some of her works are:

Novels:

  • Shirish ko Phool
  • Anido Pahadsangai
  • Antarmukhi

Short Story Collections:

  • Aadim Desh
  • Sadak Ra Pratibha
  • Salgiko Balatkrit Aashu
  • Badhsala Jadaa Aunda

Memoir essays

  • Dhupi Salla Ra Laliguransko Fedma
  • Auta Chitramaya Shuruwat
  • Aadhyayan Ra Sangharsha

Despite her physical inabilities, Parijat kept on serving the Nepali literature. Her life and works are inspiration to all.

#authorstory

Authors who made History – call for posts (from temp volunteer!)

Dates available (Wednesdays) as follows (tick the box to ‘book’ or leave comment):

  • February 8th

thank you @sandeept252 for your beautifully written post for #authorstory (apologies if I somehow missed adding you on schedule & @piyushavir / @admin if anyone’s volunteered for scheduling and I maybe missed that too

Any takers?

Apologies all for errors due to apparent dyscalculia during current health phase!

Author story: Miyamoto Musashi.

They say a pen is mightier than a sword. It has been proved time and again. I say a man who can use a pen as skillfully as a sword is invincible. Well, this person was truly invincible, never defeated in battle and a gifted writer. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting, the warrior who’s also a writer or a warrior who’s an author, Miyamoto Musashi.

Also known as Miyamoto Bennosuke, Miyamoto was a swordsman who was undefeated in sixty duels and was an expert in double bladed swordsmanship. He founded Niten-Ryu style of swordsmanship. Musashi, in his final years wrote The Book Of Five Rings, a work on strategies, tactics and philosophy which is still being studied today.

Moving on to his early life, not much is known about the province he was born in but he himself has stated in his book that he was born in Harima Province. An early biography of his tells us that he was born in the year 1584. His father was Munisai and Miyamoto’s childhood name was Bennosuke (cute name!). Musashi was the son of Munisai’s first wife, Yoshiko, whom he divored soon after Musashi was born. Yoshiko left Musashi with his father and decamped for her father’s house. Omasa, Munisai’s second wife then became Musashi’s mother. Musashi, when seven years old,was raised by his uncle Dornibo in Shoreian Temple where he was educated in Budhism and taught reading and writing. Munisai trained him in sword and their family art of Jutte. An eczema Musashi contracted during his infancy adversely affected his appearance.

It is said that he may have studied at the Yoshioka-ryu school, which was also said to be the school Musashi defeated single-handedly during his later years, although this is very uncertain. He did have formal training either by his father until he was 7 years old or from his uncle beginning at the age of 7. Ultimately the name was taken from his own original kanji characters, which can be read as Takezo or as Musashi, as stated in Eiji Yoshikawa’s book Musashi. By the age of 15, he began travelling and duelling from the Tajima Province.In 1600, a war broke out between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans. Musashi apparently fought on the side of the Toyotomi’s “Army of the West”, as the Shinmen clan (to whom his family owed allegiance) had allied with them. Specifically, he participated in the attempt to take Fushimi castle by assault in July 1600, in the defense of the besieged Gifu Castle in August of the same year, and finally in the Battle of Sekigahara. Some doubt has been cast on this final battle, as the Hyoho senshi denki has Musashi saying he is “no lord’s vassal” and refusing to fight with his father (in Lord Ukita’s battalion) in the battle. Omitting the Battle of Sekigahara from the list of Musashi’s battles would seem to contradict the The Book of Five Rings’s statement that Musashi fought in six battles, however. Regardless, as the Toyotomi side lost, it has been suggested that Musashi fled as well and spent some time training on Mount Hiko. Miyamoto disappeares from the records for a while after this battleThe next mention of him has him arriving in Kyoto at the age of 20, where he began a series of duels against the Yoshioka School.

This goes on and on as his life was full of duels and travels.He died in 1645 due to cancer, still undefeated in combat. So, we should check out his books now. His works include:

  • The book of five rings
  • Dokkodo
  • Go Rin No Sho
  • Hyodokyo
  • Hyoho Sanjugo Kajo

The last three of which were based on combat strategies.

I have trained in the way of strategy since my youth, and at the age of thirteen I fought a duel for the first time. My opponent was called Arima Kihei, a sword adept of the Shinto ryū, and I defeated him. At the age of sixteen I defeated a powerful adept by the name of Akiyama, who came from Tajima Province. At the age of twenty-one I went up to Kyōtō and fought duels with several adepts of the sword from famous schools, but I never lost.

-Miyamoto Musashi

#authorstory

Mitchell David Albom

​It has been four years since I first read Tuesdays with Morrie which was one of the best non fiction, memoir I’ve ever read. It sparked something, a feeling I’ve never felt before. The tag line, ‘an old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson’ echoed in my mind all night. The book was too good, worth reading more than once and worth sharing.
Tuesdays with Morrie topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers of 2000. An unabridged audiobook was published, narrated by Mitch Albom himself. It contains the conversation between Mitch and his once sociology professor Morrie Schwartz. 
The book got me interested in knowing more about the author and his works. So, here goes the bio:


Mitchell David Albom was born on May 23, 1958. He’s an American, author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician (whew!). His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. He was a sports writer in the earlier part of his career, now best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays, and films. Most of his works revolve around life and emotions. 
His works include:

  • Tuesdays with Morrie
  • The five people you meet in heaven
  • Have a little faith
  • For one more day
  • The time keeper
  • The magic strings of Frankie Presto
  • The first phone call from heaven

And many more including a few works in music. The best thing about him is, his upbringing. He had supportive parents who encouraged him to do more, telling him it’s a big world out there and he ought to see it. He belonged to a middle class locale and made it big. He started his career as a columnist for Queens Tribune, still working in the field of music to support himself financially.
His books have been made into television series, namely For one more day, The five people you meet in heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie. Oprah Winfrey herself produced the television movie ‘For one more day’, which is my favourite book of his. So, Mitch Albom is a playwright, musician, author and a journalist who’s trying to make a difference through his work. 

#authorstory