Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

In 1940, John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. In 1962 he was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The same year he wrote a letter to actor and fellow writer Robert Wallsten, in which he offered six tips on writing. Continue reading Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

Book Review: The Autumn of the Patriarch by G.G. Marquez

For those who enjoy Magical Realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the biggest names out there. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, he is undoubtedly one of the best stylists of this century. His prose is beautiful, his stories weave a mesmerizing and intricate web of situations and characters, and his settings are spectacular.

The Autumn of the Patriarch, the author’s favorite novel, is the story of lonely dictator, a grotesque character surrounded by enemies. He’s forced to political maneuvers and assassination to ensure his control over the state, and at one point, the population starts to view him as being immortal.

Continue reading Book Review: The Autumn of the Patriarch by G.G. Marquez

Famous Writers and Their Addictions

“Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman’s name out of a satire, then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized, anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer -and if so, why?” – Bennett Cerf

Some of the world’s most famous writers have been addicts, abusing almost anything, from coffee and alcohol to sex and drugs. They often wrote about their addictions, about the way the human conditions is degraded by them.

Here’s a short list of famous writers and their vices: Continue reading Famous Writers and Their Addictions

You Are What You Read

The brain is a super-computer. A wonderful circuit board that manages to interpret what we call reality. And words are the only way this super-computer can be programmed. There’s no such thing as someone who doesn’t read. Of course, there are folks who don’t read books, who only read Facebook Status Updates and memes and news.

How would that influence your brain? Continue reading You Are What You Read

TMM: Writing

Words are powerful. They can create, they can destroy. They can motivate, inspire, offer a bit of comfort to those in need.

I use words in written form because they are almost set in stone.

They leave a trail behind.

It’s such a definitive action, don’t you think?

But it’s not the only reason.

I write because I think we’re all made of stories. I’d like to find out what my story is.

Continue reading TMM: Writing

[Review] A Tale of Skype and Surrogates

Six word review: This is a great damn story.

More than six words:

Steve Grogan does an unbelievable job at making us curious as to what is going to happen in this short story.

The premise is quite simple: Our main character, Andy, gets sent to Switzerland, and he uses Skype to stay in touch with his girlfriend, Jessica.

Now, the brilliant part of this story is that things get a little bit… heated. Also, the dynamic between the two of them slowly changes.

But this is not all, of course.

Continue reading [Review] A Tale of Skype and Surrogates

Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

From Amazon.com:

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours.

Feeling depressed? Feeling as if life’s unfair? Hard? People are mean? Read Kolyma Tales. That should make you feel better.

Don’t believe me?

“The men were not shown the thermometer, but that wasn’t necessary since they had to work in any weather. Besides, longtime residents of Kolyma could determine the weather precisely even without a thermometer: if there was frosty fog, that meant the temperature outside was forty degrees below zero; if you exhaled easily but in a rasping fashion, it was fifty degrees below zero; if there was a rasping and it was difficult to breathe, it was sixty degrees below; after sixty degrees below zero, spit froze in mid-air. Spit had been freezing in mid-air for two weeks.”

Continue reading Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov