retro reviewed, top entertainment

Essential reading

I wouldn’t call myself an avid devotional reader. Apart from the Bible, the devotional literature I have read is minimal. So minimal in fact, that the devotional book I’m currently finishing is the only devotional book (apart from the Bible) I’m about to finish in its entirety.

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“And The”

I am absolutely tired of how many times “And The” appeared in the Harry Potter movie titles. However, it makes sense. Children’s serials may have “And The”. It just connotes a continuing adventure of a character or set of characters in a different adventure than the one before it. There’s been the Hardy Boys series (The Tower Treasure, The House on the Cliff, for example) and those Willard Price series of books like the Amazon Adventure and Tiger Adventure. And of course, the Famous Five. Harry Potter may be the most famous series of adventures that contain magic which has made it controversial.

writer's life

Commitment level

Parts of the writer’s life are as follows: desire to write, research, writing, promotion of a book, and there may be others. Each part requires commitment, but it may be that a writer finds commitment easier in one part than another. For example, does one have enough sense of  entitlement to promote one’s book? Is one committed to the promotion? I guess if there is any hint of reservation in any of these parts then it may be best not to do it and don’t waste a publisher’s or your own time. Sick to what one is committed to and work the rest out from there.

writer's life

Never say die

With three publishers wanting to see my work, you’d think I’d be happy about that. Well, I am, but it’s just three isn’t it? It’s casual writing work. Short writing or thereabouts. Like it. Would like more avenues but am grateful for what’s in the writing department.

With avenues for writers scarce in the religious genre, the younger ones are being promoted.  Did a lot back in the day when the publishers were still going. Hope the younger ones do well.

May just find something else as well. So I keep the possibility open. Have two websites I use for information on publishing somewhere else.

With the thought of possibility, one may never let the possibility die. Opportunities may come and go, but possibility can be forever, whatever happens. Because one thinks, what if? Then you keep on going.

random words

Interesting exercise

I couldn’t have imagined how many words in Dante’s Inferno could be misunderstood, those mildly or moderately complex and very complicated words that requires a dictionary. I came up with about 300 difficult words which I randomly scribbled on a card to look up later. It became a very interesting exercise.

retro reviewed

Heavy in small, but memorable, doses

Been a week away from reading anything. Haven’t read Dante’s Inferno for a week. It concerns me because I should be reading something every day nearly.

A week is too long absent from a book. But, alas, there is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to rest from reading.

Predicting in a week I’ll be back to the book and from there on to the finish line–when the book is finished.

Reading books is interesting, but it can also take it out of you. Inferno is ‘heavy’ in the sense it’s about lost souls in hell and Dante is giving a commentary on it. His commentary is sometimes caustic though I know it’s sort of humorous because he meets people he disliked in hell. Dante is also very serious about what’s going on in the underworld–it’s horrific.

retro reviewed

The first three lines count

As writing mentors say, the first lines count. On my way to reading Canto 26 of Dante’s Inferno, the first three lines stood out as hilarious:

Rejoice, Florentia! You’ve grown so grand

that over land and sea you spread your beating wings,

and through the whole of Hell your name resounds.

retro reviewed

On!

Inspiration:

‘Whoever, fameless, wastes his life away,

Leaves of himself no greater mark on earth

Than smoke in air or froth upon the wave.

So, upwards! On! And vanquish labored breath!

In any battle mind power will prevail,

Unless the weight of body loads it down.

There’s yet a longer ladder you must scale.

You can’t just turn and leave all these behind.

You understand? Well, make my words avail.’

[Inferno, Dante Alighieri, Canto 24:49-57, translated by Robin Kirkpatrick, Penguin Classics]

retro reviewed

Inferno

I’ve been reading the first part of Dante’s Comedy, the Inferno, which was written in the medieval time. I’m getting into the part when the comedy kicks in, about half way through. According to the commentary in this translation, a Penguin classic, the half-way point is when the comedy kicks in.

I have noticed it gets funnier as it goes on, as I paid close attention. The comedy is caustic, biting, perhaps what we would call today as sarky. It’s bold humor and today stands ahead of the pack. But like all good comedy it has a point.

I look forward to how Dante progresses on his journey through hell, and into purgatory and heaven, and how the theme ‘adjusts’ in the next stage of his journey.

At the moment, Inferno is one of my favorite things.

writer's life

Current submissions

To be quite frank, my fiction and poetry submissions have been getting set backs, though sometimes I get a nice, thoughtful, considerate commendation. But the piece wasn’t picked up. Considering the piece wouldn’t be worth much, I thought better of it. One of the ironies of submitting–I wasn’t going to become rich out of this piece.

However, we don’t like being rejected. Rejection is the way it goes they tell us writers–via twitter words of wisdom and the writer’s blogs.

It’s a wonder we get entangled in such a occupation that offers the world, but can then offer very little. You just don’t know when a shot to the heart will come. Nevertheless, I always think submitting pieces is worth a shot.

So with my current two submissions I have the feeling they will come to nothing as well. Or maybe a nice comment.

As they say, wish me luck. But I don’t believe in luck. Authors must face publishing reality.

Most times the publisher rejects your work, they must be right, to the degree that they think the work isn’t the right fit, more or less, or they have better work than your’s.

I’ve accepted this reality and don’t really mind what happens. Even if you think you’ve done your’re research on the publisher, there’s the possibility it still won’t fit. Don’t worry about it. Life is bigger than that. It doesn’t really matter.