Idaho Falls By the Snake River

Our armchair travels across the US have taken us to the northwestern state of Idaho with mountainous landscapes, protected wilderness and outdoor recreation areas. Our first stop is Idaho Falls hugging the Snake River. Visiting the city you’ll enjoy taking the River Walk and seeing the spectacular views all around. The path is enjoyed by […]

Idaho Falls By the Snake River

This is an informative post with exquisite pictures. Hope you would visit their website. Thanks for your valuable time.

#article, #authorstory, #new-posts, #sketches

Author Story: Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Around 2013, while looking for stories with multiple points of view, I discovered In the Grove. I was fascinated by the story and noted that it was adapted into the movie Rashomon but forgot the name of the author.

In 2018, I got more interested in Japanese movies and literature. I looked for Rashomon, the movie. After watching it, I was interested in reading the source material. That led me to Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories translated by Jay Rubin. I began with In the Grove then Rashomon and fell in love with the way Akutagawa’s style.

Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is known as the Father of Japanese short stories. His works primarily deal with despair, darkness and madness. Although Rashomon is his most popular story, I believe Hell Screen is his magnum opus. It is the story of a painter Yoshihide, who is ordered by Lord Horikawa to depict nine levels of Buddhist Hell on a huge folded screen. Despite his brilliance in painting, Yoshihide cannot draw anything which he has not seen. This problem leads into a tragedy for Yoshihide and his daughter.

Despite his reputation as writer who told dark tales, Akutagawa he also wrote comedies. One of my favourites is the metafictional “Green Onions”. He tells he has to finish the story before the morning and proceeds to tell about a girl who works in a restaurant in his town. This girl falls in love with a young man. But she does not know anything about him. While they go on a “date” to see the circus, the circus has moved to a different place. Just as starts doubting the young man’s intentions, a twist in the tale brings a humorous end.

In his early days as writer, Akutagawa wrote stories based on older periods of Japan. He depicted the darkness and rotten scenario which was also similar to his time. His own financial problems, fear of descending into madness like his mother had, and the actual descent into madness form the stories of his later period of life. As I read these stories, I felt helpless. Akutagawa had become my favourite writer and I did not want him to suffer. However, the pain and darkness gripped him. They would leave him only after his death. Akutagawa committed suicide through overdose of barbital (a sleep-inducing drug) at the age of 35.

In his short literary career between 1913-1927, Akutwagawa wrote about 150 stories. Sometimes, I wish he had not suffered mental illness and had lived longer. Sometimes, I wish there was someone who could have taken him out of the dark pit he had fallen into. His stories and his life also make me question the dangers of financial insecurities and artistic obsessions. I wish life were easier for artists!

#authorstory #Akutagawa #biography


  1. Ramalinga Paradesi or Ramalinga Swamikal aka Vallalar was one of adepts who attained physical immortality. He lived near Adyar and offered his verses to ethereal shrine in Thillai(Chidambaram). Wikipedia has an article on him. also has his verses and biography.
  2. Vallalar means philanthrope.

  3. He attained physical immortality by following the path of universal brotherhood or Sanmaargam which is also known as Sayujya liberation.

  4. He said that key to the kingdom of heaven is to feed hungry people and to compose verses to appreciate God-head which was dancing light of grace for him. He’s considered to be foremost among the nineteenth century Tamil poets and one of the makers of Indian literature.

  5. Among the adepts:

Vallalar. Christ. Patanjali. Kabir. Nanak. Gorakhnath. Narad. Meera. Hanuman. Vyasa. Ramanand. Saint Count of Germaine.

There hasn’t been anyone since 1874 to have attained perfect freedom from aging, death, decay and other limitations. It is safe to say: in the known history: he’s the last human who attained mastery over death.

#authorstory, #biography, #liberation


Authorstory – a quick discussion post

I’d been hoping to maybe make an #authorstory post sometime this month and realised it’s the very last Wednesday of the month. I’ve not had the concentration or focus while busy with other things along the way of getting myself back to a blogging habit.

I’d wondered about writing about Enid Blyton (and then on how no-one’s ever raised J.K. Rowling but I prefer not to pry into knowledge of her bio and try and read her first two books instead seeing as I find I still have my eldest sons’s copies. I admire her in lots of ways but having made history with such a huge personal carbon footprint isn’t something i admire and seem unable to avoid mentioning and that’s not fair is it. I’m not really in a reading fiction phase quite often so that post would take me ?years?)

I’d be interested in writing about Stephen Hawking as an author who made history. I’m too natural sciences to understand physics but his ‘Brief History of Time’ felt very accessible while reading it. I can’t explain his theories from memory of course. i just know I could curl up with that book again almost any time.

Robert Olen Butler is a writer I encountered via youtube and the suggested stream floating it to my attention while trying writing course moocs with the University of Iowa’s distance learning programme. I believe he was the first writer to utilise you tube for public access to his writing instruction in 2001. I played all 20 videos (approx), approx 2 hours each and learnt so much. He wrote a quite amazing short story inspired by a photo postcard during those sessions and I just know I might enjoy reading his writing. Can’t remember how else he might make his claim to having made history. I absolutely disagree with his repeated assertion that ‘literary art is NEVER a collaborative process’ – he seemed to mean in general, rather than for him personally. So Shakespeare’s collected / collective works are not literary art then, is what i would have liked to ask him had I been a viewer in the time-frame of the process.

Digressing. See what I mean.

or, I’d be open to: I’d like you to try and cover writing on … (timeframe might be four to six weeks though). I’m quite interested in accessing more writers of other parts of the world who haven’t made their fame and worthiness as writers by migrating to America or Britain to do so. Because they seem to lose something of their authentic culture when adopting other cultural influences. But that’s only from my personal opinion while reading such work.

I’m not good at copy writing, so can’t do the standard conventional way of writing such posts.

And maybe no-one’s that bothered anymore anyway.

Ok, that’s all for me, while it’s only just Wednesday. Apologies, of course. I’ll fail better next time in my attempt hopefully. Unless consensus is, no interest. Stop.


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 derogatorising 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:

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: (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:


  • 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.


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