Monday, November 25, 2013

Tips On Writing

“In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.” - Hemingway’s first sentence of A Farewell to Arms (1929)

We should never lose sight that stories are constructed with words and sentences. Good writing not only conveys an image, advances the story, but also has elements of poetry and symmetry. In the above sentence, Hemingway offers us not only the beginning of a story, but alliteration (late, lived, looked), consonance at the end of words (summer, year river), and repetition (in a house in a village). Having been involved in theater and the spoken word for so many years, the selection of words are important to me, not just by what they mean, but also by how they sound and their relation to other words in a sentence. I try to think of the words to my stories as being spoken. After all, a finely designed sentence and the texture of words offers another dimension to the reading. The words take flight. They are active. The listener will bathe in a cascade of refreshing words.

* * * * *

I read time and again many authors have the habit of keeping books that inspire them close at hand while writing their own book. It seems it's an open secret: read books that will jump start the way you want to use words and structure sentences and that will help you move your writing in the direction you want.

* * * * *

One of the best ways to edit yourself is to read the text aloud, stopping to make notations when something doesn’t sound right. Also, always have a good dictionary and thesaurus on hand, for as Mark Twain said, 'The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.'

Check out site below for more Tips On Writing

At this time of year people are naturally thinking about gifts for the holidays. FREE shipping in USA for my book, Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest has been extended until the end of the year. 1 Book – $16; 2 Books – $32; 3 Books – ONLY $45; 5 Books ONLY $70] For more info and Tips On Writing check out my site where you can find a link to order through Paypal OR you can order directly from me at

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Let It Shine

Diwali is upon us. India’s Festival of Lights and the traditional new year. There are a number of stories associated with this festival. Several weeks earlier, Hindus celebrated a holiday, from Ramayana, commemorating the slaying of the demon king Ravana, who resided in Lanka, along with the defeat of hoards of fierce warriors and Rakshasas who pledged their allegiance to him.

Then, several weeks later, Rama, Sita and Laksmana, and accompanied by the monkey prince Hanuman, finally returned to Ayodhya after their years-long exile. They made their journey in an air-ship adorned with flowers. The city of Ayodhya spread across the plains of northern India for almost a hundred miles. The citizens, in anticipation of Rama’s return, illuminated the city with lights everywhere. And in the early morning hours, as the ship approached, Rama and Sita marveled at the countless lights which blanketed the earth beneath them.

The lights, of course, are both external and internal. How do we want to use our light? Youth is usually a time to shine the light upon ourselves. In middle age we shine the light on our families and friends and community. And as we age, it is also our dharma to shine the light upon everyone we meet, that it may reflect the blessings of God and generate peace in this world. May our lights shine a little stronger this coming year.

For November: Free shipping on my new book Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest - see my site