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बहुत बार समझाया था मणि को कि वो तेरे लिए ठीक नही है ठीक नही है … उसे छोड दें … उससे रिश्ता या किसी प्रकार का सम्बंध रखना उचित नही है पर वो ठहरी मणि … हां … मणि मेरी सबसे अच्छी सहेली है हर इंसान की तरह उसमे भी कुछ कमियां हैं जिसे मैं कई बार नजर अंदाज कर देती और कई बार उसे डांट भी देती… पर उसका असर पडता दिखता नही था. उसका उसके प्रति लगाव बढता ही जा रहा था. साल दर साल बीतते जा रहे थे और मणि का उसके प्रति प्यार और आकर्षण बढता ही जा रहा था.मेरे सामने अक्सर वो उसकी बात छेड देती तो मैं गुस्से मे तिलमिला जाती और मेरी तिलमिलाहट पर जब वो हंसती तो तो तो … !!!
खैर !!! अभी मणि का फोन आया कि तू अभी आ जा. मैनें उसे हमेशा के लिए छोड दिया है… क्या ??? मै… मुझे … विश्वास नही हुआ… !!! क्या कह रही है दुबारा तो बोला … वो बोले जा रही थी. हां, आज बहुत सोचा और सोचने के बाद यही फैसला लिया कि उसे छोडना मेरे और मेरे परिवार के लिए सही रहेगा… बस तू जल्दी आ जा… मै बिना समय गवाए मणि के घर भागी.!!
मणि कमरे में थी. घर पर सभी थे. मैं अचानक ठिठक गई. मणि उठ कर बाहर आ गई और मेरा हाथ पकड कर बोली तूने बोला था … और हमेशा ही बोलती थी … गुस्सा भी होती थी.. आज छोड दिया मैने उसे अपनी जिंदगी से दूर कर दिया. बहुत दूर कर दिया. घर पर भी अपना फैसला सुनाया तो सब खुश हैं. उसकी आखें नम थी. बोली बहुत याद आएगी उसकी पर तू साथ देना उसे भूलाने मे मेरी मदद करना…
मै बहुत खुश बहुत ही खुश हूं ..अरे .. आप क्या सोच रहे हैं? किसको छोड दिया मणि ने ?? अरे … ओह क्षमा करें … मैनें तो आपको बताया ही नही … वो क्या है न मणि को बचपन से सुपारी और पान मसाला खाना बहुत पसंद है .. ?? अरे क्या हुआ ??? आप नाराज क्यों हो रहे हैं .. मैं बात नही बदल रही … वही बता रही हूं जो है .. असल में , मणि को सुपारी खाने का बहुत शौक है सारा समय कट कट मुहं ही चलता रहता था. उसके घरवालो ने बहुत समझाया पर नही, अडी हुई थी कि सुपारी खाना छोड ही नही सकती. मैं बोलती थी तो कहती कि शराब सिग्रेट की लत तो है नही .. बेचारी सुपारी ही तो खाती हूं … मैने समझाया कि शरीर को बहुत नुकसान कर सकती है सांस की प्रोब्लम हो सकती है पर किसी की नही सुनी और आज अचानक ये निणर्य… मैं बहुत खुश हूं … अरे .. आप क्या ??? कुछ और सोच रहे थे … देखिए आप जो भी सोच रहे हो पर एक बात जरुर है कि अगर आप भी सुपारी पान मसाला या अन्य का सेवन करते हैं तो प्लीज छोड दीजिए.. शरीर को बहुत नुकसान पहुंचाते है ये … !!!
अब तो भगवान बस उसे शक्ति दे कि उसे कभी उस की याद न आए … अब आप फिर से क्या सोचने लगे !! ह हा हा !! कुछ भी मत समझा कीजिए !! शुभकामनाएं मणि !!!
NASA’s New Horizons probe swept past Pluto and its moons at 17 km per second on 14 July. Even from the few close up images yet beamed back we can say that Pluto’s landscape is amazing. Charon, Pluto’s largest moon, is quite a sight too, and I’m glad that I delayed publication of my forthcoming Very Short Introduction to Moons so that I could include it.
Jeepers! It’s time to discuss The Secret of the Mansion, the first book in the classic Trixie Belden mystery series from the 1940s. As always, we do these discussions with the hope that you’ll check out these classics for yourself even if you didn’t have the chance to read them with us, but do be aware that there are spoilers in the chat below. Wendy: I loved Trixie as a kid, so I was very eager to revisit these. I distinctly remember my grade-school self daydreaming about having an almost-twin and wanting desperately to be in a club with secret signals. Kim, I’d forgotten you aren’t a big mystery fan, so I appreciate your forbearance with the occasional one I slip into these readalongs! Kim: I had literally never heard of Trixie Belden before it was suggested for our readalong! Wendy, no worries! I am not usually a huge mystery person but this... Read more »
Picture a snapshot of the American Dream. Chances are, this calls to mind a house and a family. Perhaps the most enduring institutions in American society, homeownership and marriage have shaped the economic fortunes of families in the United States since the country’s origin. So what is the relationship between the two?
The New York Times Book Review has Juan Gabriel Vásquez (The Informers, etc.) answer this week's 'By the Book' Q & A.
Like so many prominent foreinh-language-writing authors, he has also translated works into his mother tongue -- and one of the questions they ask him is: "Has translating changed your approach to reading fiction in translation ?"
I realize the column is about reading, but of course the really interesting question is how it's affected his writing.
(As longtime readers know, I'm a big proponent of writers at least dabbling in translation -- as far too few US/UK authors of fiction do ...).)
Some interesting answers, though -- worth a look.
At sunrise I'm standing at the bottom of an entrance ramp leading down into a parking lot in Kingston, New York. It's not a place that tourists would ever go.
Entrance Ramp, casein, 5 x 8 inches.
Instead, ordinary people come here on their daily routines. At this hour it's mainly older guys arriving for fitness sessions at the YMCA and patients showing up for appointments at the nearby radiology lab.
Off in the hazy distance is a tangle of street lights, utility poles and cell towers. The sun is coming up hot. A few pools of cool air settle in the shadows around my ankles.
I limit my casein colors to three (plus white): raw umber, golden ochre, and cobalt blue. The underpainting of tinted Venetian red adds a contrasting hue. (By the way, using a contrasting colored underpainting is a legal way to sneak in an additional color in the "Outdoor Market Challenge.)
Halfway into the block-in. The blue-yellow limited palette mixes with the red of the underpainting.
Covering the surface with grayish opaques is like putting out a fire. A few red embers still glow.
Now I can concentrate on the close value contrasts and the oppositions of warm and cool colors.
I'm glad I've got my night-painting Department of Art shirt on, because I'm standing a little ways into the road.
As I paint, I wonder about strange stuff, like why poles are never vertical, and who chose those ball-shaped street lights, and what the sounds would have been like here 100 years ago. I think this sunken parking lot was once the basement of a bustling factory.
गुरु पूर्णिमा का मौका ऐसा होता है जब हम अपने गुरु जिनसे भी हम कुछ सीखते हैं उन्हे जताते हैं उनका आशीर्वाद लेते हैं पर ये गुरु …. के नाम पर परेशान से क्यो है …
Chennai, Rajasthan suspended from IPL for two years
The Indian Supreme Court committee, led by Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha, has proposed a two-year ban on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) from the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament. Read more…
Last year, TOON Graphics brought us Cast Away on the Letter A, the first Philemon Adventure by Fred, published in 1972 in France. Philemon and his adventures are unlike almost anything that we have seen on these shores. Fred's illustrations are intricate and filled with action, humor and imagination. I am often reminded of the interstitial animated flights of fancy (and weirdness) that
Today I can officially announce that the next Print & Pattern book will be on the subject of..... Nature!
Now is your chance to be part of the book with an official 'Call For Entries'. I would love to hear from P&P readers who would like their flora and fauna designs to be included. You may wish to create new work or perhaps you will have something suitable in your portfolio already. Remember
I have spent the month of July with Mom, getting her and her home of 60 years ready for her move to assisted living. Besides taking lots of photos, I saved a bit of time each day to take a snapshot in words. Here is a haiku-mosaic of July:
1 the to-do list grows fills heaping bowls of sadness tears overflow
11 a childhood filled with mother's sacrifices daughter's turn now
21 shelves and shelves of books multi-storied richness wealth measured in words
26 going through dresser drawers layers of memory the archaeology of a life
two children visitors at the museum of their mother
an inveterate archivist saver of minutiae savoring each scrap of life
one more time
30 transplanting is tricky handle roots with loving care mix old soil with new
Meditations on the cycle of life and my place in it right now
9 midseason lily surrounded by bud and wilt enjoy it now
14 leaf breaks free flutters away from tree wind brings it back
Review: A look at life for queer teens at the turn in the millenium. I like how some things, such as pressures of coming out, falling in love, and dealing with bullying, are themes that are still relevant today, but it really does seem firmly set in its time place. I also like the fact it shows people in different stages of accepting their sexuality, and various questions related to all of them.
It felt like a gentle story of exploration. Our three main characters discover sexuality, new love, and new experiences.I feel it was probably a great book when it was first published, when the market of books featuring queer characters was very very small. Reading it today, when we have a lot more representation, with a lot more nuanced characters, I felt it was very very tropey- Nelson especially seemed like the archetypal flamboyant gay, with not much else going for him. On a much less serious note, “chartreuse” hair.... Then again, this was written in the early 2000s, so Rainbow Boys might be an originator of these tropes. Or maybe all that could get sold at that time. I don’t know. Despite this, I did enjoy following the characters and their emotions. I also like how it did bring up the issue of safe sex well
My favourite thing is that whoever chose the models for the cover I got does not appear to have read the book.
Review: I picked this up because of the cover, and bought it because a review said it was "full of witticisms, wordplay, and puns", and was described as a cross between Douglas Adams and George Orwell. For me, it didn’t live up to the fun I expected from the comparison with Adams, but the Orwellian aspects were strong.
I most enjoyed reading about this new society Fforde created. Extracts from the Rulebook head every chapter, and we got a good look at the workings of the society as we learnt bits about it gradually. The characters were interesting, but I didn’t really connect.
I felt that plotwise, it took a long time to get going, and when it did, it was often really confusing. It did clear up towards the end, providing a clear set up for later books in the trilogy, but for this book, it was quite late. There’s many different strands, with a murder mystery, marrying to improve social status but maybe being in love with someone who you can’t marry, finding out about the Something That Happened. Normally, I like mixes like these, but for some reason, it felt really confusing here.
Overall: Stregnth 2 tea to a book with a great concept, but was less fun to read.
And here’s another catch up post of long overdue mini reviews.
The Shadow Ellysium by Django Wexler
B / B+
This short novella served its purpose as a teaser to generate interest in the Shadow Campaigns series. I loaded The Thousand Names on my Kindle – now I just need time to read it!
To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander
B / B+
This inspirational romance caught my eye because of the horse on the cover. Maggie is dismayed when her father arranges her marriage to Cullen, an Irish immigrant. She’s reluctant to marry a complete stranger, and an Irishman at that. She’s also fearful that he’ll object to her training her mare to run in an upcoming race.
I enjoyed the development of the romance, as well as the details of daily life on a farm in post Civil War Tennessee. The author doesn’t shy away from describing the prejudices and terrible treatment of the Irish and African Americans. At first I had a hard time with Maggie because her thoughts and views mirrored those of her neighbors, but as she got to know Cullen and the farm hands working for them, she began to finally see them as individuals deserving respect. And the horsey bits were entertaining.
Hit! by Deliah S Dawson
This just did not work for me. I can’t help but think that a huge banking conglomerate would have a better solution for deadweight borrowers than having them assassinated, or forcing them to be assassins. Meh, I didn’t care for HIT.
Mad About the Major by Elizabeth Boyle
Fun read with a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off vibe. Lady Arabella escapes the suffocating confines of her father’s estate to grab a small taste of freedom before she’s forced to marry a stodgy old bachelor. Her father is furious with her because a handsome stranger made a spectacle of her at a ball, and now he’s adamant that she marry before she’s completely ruined. She runs into the rakish Kingsley, the stranger from the ball, after he almost runs her down with his carriage. Arabella convinces him to accompany her on her day of freedom, arguing that he owes her three favors for his behavior at the ball. What follows is an enjoyable romp through London, as Arabella and Kingsley fall for each other during their unusual adventures. I really enjoyed this.
Pierre Bourdieu would have turned 85 on 1 August 2015. Thirteen years after his death, the French sociologist remains one of the leading social scientists in the world. His work has been translated into dozens of languages (Sapiro & Bustamante 2009), and he is one of the most cited social theorists worldwide, ahead of major thinkers like Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, or Irving Goffman (Santoro 2008).
Hey all! It’s Kat here with Pub Crawl guest Mary Weber. Take it away, Mary!
“It only takes one yes.”
Chances are if you’re an author (or even know an author) in search of an agent, you’ve heard those words. And I’ll be honest, after 87 agent rejections, I’ve heard that phrase more times than I ever want to again – heck, I’ve even SAID those words to other writer friends as they’ve walked their own agent-search journeys.
Except now a few years beyond those 87 rejections, with two books pubbed and a publisher I love (Harper), and having had three agenty relationships, I’ve come to the conclusion the “it only takes one yes” stance isn’t exactly true.
I mean, technically it DOES take only one yes. But the agent from whom that yes appears is infinitely more important than the yes itself. Because it comes from a person – someone with personality, feelings, opinions, and skills – and it’s an agreement to enter a partnership with you, a person who also has feelings, personality, opinions, and skills.
You’ve probably heard it said an author/agent relationship is rather like a marriage. You hope it’s long-term, compatible, and that you’ll have each other’s backs through both the hard and awesome. And in some ways, yes, it is like that. It’s also a business and a valuable career-growing game-changer, and if I’ve learned anything at all it’s that it matters more who you walk the pub adventure with than the adventure itself.
Which is where it comes down to trusting one’s gut.
Because the conclusion I’ve come to is this: There are amazing agents out there just like there are amazing authors and business partners and friends. There are agents who rep loads of New York Times bestsellers, and agents who prefer to simply keep a list of personal clients. There are agents who let you call them in the middle of the night and there are those who keep very tight office hours. There are those building their own new careers and there are agents who’ve walked the trenches for twenty years.
And THEY’RE ALL INCREDIBLE (okay, for the most part. Just like authors and random nice people are also truly wonderful for the most part). They’re passionate and focused and they know more about the pub world than half of us could ever hope to.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you. Or for me.
When I needed to find a new agent for the third time (my first was AMAZING but sadly passed away, the second didn’t rep YA), I’ll be honest with you – I was a bit overwhelmed. Until I sat down and made a list. Not a “what an agent needs to offer me” type list, but a list about me. My quirks, my preferences, and particularly my weaknesses. It quickly became clear the type of agent I needed (and the types of agents I’d probably drive batty because I am like the chatty BFF of the pub world who’d adore nothing more than to host publisher sleepovers and pedicure parties if I could).
It also became obvious what strengths I bring to the table (hey, free pedicures, people).
With those notes in mind, and my published debut in hand, I began asking about other author’s agents (and yes I was terrified – what if I got the wrong fit?!). Just like my first go-around, it wasn’t a fast process. It took months until the conversations naturally led where I needed them to go and for my gut to be the one saying yes rather than just my flattered heart.
At that point, I chose to go with a darling, deal-maker of a lady – someone who was just as interested in building a relationship of trust and business and friendship together over the long haul as I was. Someone who saw writing as bigger than just a business on both our parts. And someone whose strengths seriously covered my weaknesses. (Also, it doesn’t hurt that she’s all about the pedicure idea too, ahem.)
And now, sitting here typing this and reflecting back over that season?
I can truly say I could not be happier with my gut decision. Or with her “yes.”
Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her space time, she feeds unicorns, sings ‘80s songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine., They live in California, which is perfect for stalking LA bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.
Is the "sweet tooth" real? The answer may surprise you. Humans vary in their preference towards sweet things; some of us dislike them while others may as well be addicted. But for those of us who have a tendency towards sweetness, why do we like what we like? We are hardly limited by type; our preference spans across both food and drinks, including candy, desserts, fruits, sodas, and even alcoholic beverages.
. Howdy, Campers--and happy Poetry Friday! (See below for a poem about being a writer by Richard Wilbur and for today's PF host.)
We're in the middle of TeachingAuthors' series on Summer Learning Opportunities.
So far we've heard from JoAnn--who, through her own fascinating Summer Science Experiments, is learning more about hatching monarchs in her backyard;Esther--who's learning about authors from her own fair city (Chicago), discovered four "eye-openingly insightful" blogs, learned about the "3-paragraph query," and how to "attend" the National SCBWI conference if you can't be there in person. Carla shares what she's learned about the unexpected benefits from attending an SCBWI conference, and Mary Ann inspires us with her summer Young Writer's Camp.
As for me, I'm looking forward to being on the faculty of the National SCBWI Conference from July 31 through August 2nd (with intensive workshops available for an additional fee on Monday, August 3rd). Once again I'll be critiquing manuscripts submitted by conference attendees who've paid extra for written and face-to-face critiques.
Esther and I come at conferences from two very different perspectives. Basically, She jumps into the fray carrying a bunch of balloons; I get overwhelmed by more than 10 people at a party.
So, here are three things I've learned about conferences (how they affect me and how I cope) in the 24 years I've attended SCBWI in Los Angeles:
1) Be kind to yourself. This conference can be overwhelming. No--I take that back: this conference is overwhelming. This summer 1000 people are attending from around the world.
A few of the attendees at this year's SCBWI Conference (from morguefile.com)
We crowd into a posh hotel over a long summer weekend. The excited, anxious, ecstatic, frightened, enthusiastic, vibrating energy of 1000 friendly/shy/talkative/mute children's book professionals and pre-professionals (thanks for that term, Carla!) can be paralyzing. The air in any hotel over that many days with that many people gets used up. And so do I.
2) Take breaks. I usually stand in the back because there's simply TOO MUCH SITTING! That's one way I've learned to give my body a break. I've also learned (to my astonishment) that it's okay not to attend every single session. I can actually go outside and gulp fresh air...sit on the grass with my eyes closed for a few minutes. It's amazing how so simple an action as breathing can change my body chemistry. Ahhhhhh....
No--not me. (from morguefile.com)
3) And I've learned that some years I just need to be VELCRO®.
Although there have been many years I couldn't wait to sign up for the conference, couldn't wait to bond with new peeps, couldn't wait to find out what everyone was doing and share what I was up to, there have been other years, too.
Years when I couldn't figure out how to write that book--the one that was going to put me on the map, years when no one had invited me to submit a poem since the Ice Age, years when I was raw, raw, raw from rejection, Those are the years when I did NOT want to attend that stupid conference. Nope. Not gonna do it. And you can't make me.
It's about the shame, of course. I'm judging my insides against everyone else's outsides. It's like that false fog which hovers over FaceBook where I see those sparkling photos and know that every one of my FB friends are completely fulfilled, are always at goal weight, and have (just yesterday) signed a three-book deal. (It's true--they have, you know.)
That's when I've learned I need to VELCRO® myself to real-life friends at the conference. Hang with them. Go into the hall with them. Choose whatever breakout session they choose--it doesn't matter. They're my peeps. My buds. The ones who believe in me...and I believe in them. They save me from the darkness every time.
So, if you're coming to the SCBWI conference, please come up and say hello!We can VELCRO® together for awhile.
And Campers--if you are going to any gathering this summer that makes you a teensy bit uneasy, a little bit insecure, maybe the following quote will help. It's helped me.
Just for today, be open to the possibility that there is nothing wrong with you.
In her room at the prow of the house Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden, My daughter is writing a story. I pause in the stairwell, hearing From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale. Young as she is, the stuff Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy: I wish her a lucky passage. click here for the rest of this poem
The poetry gods and goddesses bring Poetry Friday to Keri Recommends today. Thanks for hosting, Keri!
posted live from the floor of SCBWI's National Conference in living color and with love by April Halprin Wayland
We've reached it, almost: that time of year so precisely and richly described by Natalie Babbitt that it changed me as a reader and a writer.
The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after. -- Prologue from Tuck Everlasting, 1975
This beginning to a book caught me like hands holding my 10-year-old head on both sides, looking me urgently in the eyes and saying, "Of words we can make art, art as true as a photograph layered with brushes of color, with sound and rhythm of blues symphony, full of the woven textures of weariness, curiousness, motion and suspense. Writing can do it all."
What about you, poetry friends? What piece of literature brought you to see writing as art, made you want to live in and even make this kind of art?