Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rules for Writers

Check out these "Rules for Writers" by George Orwell

George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, and essays like "Shooting an Elephant."

1. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

2. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

3. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

4. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

5. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

(From Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language.")

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review - Milan (A Wedding Story) - by Simi K. Rao

Book Details:
Title: Milan (A wedding story)
Author: Simi K Rao
Publication date: Aug 31, 2015
Formats: Paperback, Digital Ebook
ISBN-13: 978-1517142865
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:
When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy- wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili's father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would've probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say?

My Review:
Milan is a story of a traditional arranged marriage in India. The bubbling character Mili meets her old school mate Ahaan again, through a marriage proposal brought by his mother. Mili remembers how she used to tease him in their school days, and she was glad to know that he actually likes her and has no hatred towards her. Her parents were too overjoyed with the proposal and hoped Mili too accepts it.

To their luck, after careful consideration, she accepts the proposal, whom everyone thinks as a good catch, but like any girl of her age, she too has her own trepidation about the future since she had no plan of an arranged marriage in her own life. But she slowly accepts the proposal which her parents feel is the right one for her, like an obedient daughter just the way her older sister had done four years ago, who is happy now, but in her case Mili gets time to know Ahaan better and actually falls in love with him before the wedding. So love comes after the marriage is arranged, and the story ends in their marriage, without any twists or complications. These days such marriages are not rare, where the boy and girl get a chance to know each other before their marriage, arranged by the parents, with the elders’ permission, and they subsequently fall in love before the wedding.

Written in a simple language, I like the way the author’s description about each setting which makes one visualize the scene clearly, the anxiety of the parents sending away their loving and pampered younger daughter in marriage, Mili's anxieties of the marriage, and also how the relationship between Mili and Ahaan develops step by step, in a short time, and then they fall in love completely before the wedding.

Explanations of various Indian terms and rituals, including some recipes, are described at the end, for a better understanding.

The story is about an Indian traditional arranged marriage in steps, and I enjoyed reading it. However, I feel that it would have been fantastic if one more chapter was added to it about their new life of few months, which gives the reader an idea whether her decision was right.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:
Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction. The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life. Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world. A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

You can connect with her at , and Twitter @ SimiKRao.

I wish the author all the best.

The book is available here -

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ganesha Festival 2015

Wish you all a Very Happy Ganesha Festival 2015

Ganesha Festival, also called as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a great festival of India. It is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Ganesha, the supreme God of Wisdom and Prosperity. Usually the day falls between August 20 and September 17.

Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on a fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. He is worshipped during every festival and before people undertake a journey or embark upon a new venture.

In Maharashtra, this festival celebrated for 10 days.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Inspirational Quotes for Writers

1. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.” —Ray Bradbury

2. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” —Richard Bach

3. “Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” —Willa Cather

4. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” —Roald Dahl

5. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” —Oscar Wilde

6. “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” —Wally Lamb

7. “A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us.” —W.H. Auden

8. “Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.” —Philip Roth

9. “Writing is a delicious agony.” —Gwendolyn Brooks

10. Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” —Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Onam 2015

On this colorful Occasion of Onam, I wish my readers abundant Happiness, Peace and Prosperity.

Onam, the most important Festival of Kerala State, is celebrated by all Malayalis. It is the welcome celebration of their mythological king Mahabali who returns from netherworld to see his people living happily every year on Thiruvonam day in Malayalam month Chingam (August-Sept), and this year it falls on 28th August 2015. It is an ancient festival and is celebrated for ten days. The most important day is the 10th day, Thiruvonam day.

The important features of this festival are Pookkalam (floral carpet), Thrikkakkara Appan (made with mud), Swing, Onasadhya, Onakkodi, Onappattu folk dances, boat race, Kathakali etc.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ten Best First Lines of Novels

It is interesting to check through the first lines of some of the most successful books. Ten such best first lines are given below.

1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
(Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice)

2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
(George Orwell, 1984)

3. A screaming comes across the sky.
(Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow)

4. I am an invisible man.
(Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man)

5. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
(Charles Dickens, David Copperfield)

6. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
(William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury)

7. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.
(Ha Jin, Waiting)

8. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.
(Anita Brookner, The Debut )

9. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
(Ernest Hemingway,The Old Man and the Sea)

10. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
(George Eliot, Middlemarch)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My new novel - Vanished Girl

Vanished Girl - is my upcoming novel. It is about a girl who boarded the train to reach her home to see her dying father, but unfortunately she never reaches there. What happens to her?

You can read the first few chapters here.

Vanished Girl

Your comments will be highly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

10 Quotes on writing

1. “I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.” ― Louisa May Alcott

2.“Books are like rivers, meandering this way and that, but taking us on a steady, flowing course to somewhere different.” ― Carla H. Krueger

3. “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” ― Ernest Hemingway

4. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” ― Aldous Huxley

5. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ― Anne Frank

6. “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ― Albert Camus

7. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” ― Ernest Hemingway

8. “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ” ― Virginia Woolf

9. “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” ― Ernest Hemingway

10. “Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” ― Stephen King

Monday, August 3, 2015

Five Quotes on Happiness

1. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A. Heinlein

2. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Herman Cain

3. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama

4. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

5.“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius Antoninus