Another chance at hello

I am back after a hiatus, during which I fulfilled some family obligations, celebrated festivals, and went on a vacation (more on that soon). I started learning Spanish on DuoLingo and am now exploring other sources to build on my interest. My other literary pursuits also slowed down in the past 2 months though I did read and review some great books on Reedsy. In the meanwhile, I got news that one of my poems will feature in an upcoming anthology.

When I finally decided to return to the world of micro poetry, I checked my favorite prompt masters on Twitter. The first one I read resonated with my current state and I penned down words that I share in this post. I hope to return to writing with more frequency but here also I may just stop and wander a little, and come back with words that help me write better.

#moonmystic prompt Another chance at hello

Another chance at hello
To greet myself
For I have been lost
In the maze of daily runs
From pillar to post
Wanting just a bit more
Out of life, never satisfied
Until I took a moment
To stand by the window,
A warm cup in hand
Wrapped in thoughts
That whispered,
‘It’s time to slow down
It’s a reminder to stop!’

Book Review: Art

Art – book cover

Book: Art

Author: Marin Darmonkow (@fontrealbooks) / Twitter

Genre: Children’s fiction, Picture book

Review copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

This magical book of inspired art lets you create your own story and give voice to its protagonist. Art, an illustrated book, reminds me of silent movies of yore when only actors’ expressions were articulated and audiences interpreted the characters in different ways. In this book of intricate imagery, the creative artist Marin Darmonkow has given voice to an autistic character without saying a word. This work of art is intense, tugging at the heartstrings, and generating empathy.

The artwork in fluorescent line drawings and colors stands out on black paper. A heavy mood hangs on the pages because the story that is hardly narrated invokes sadness. There is so much going on in just a few pages – the circus, non-verbal Art, and his stuffed toy friend, mesmerizing people with antics, yet no one knows what goes on in Art’s mind. The jester’s hat of Art and the thousand glistening crowns in the audience bring about the sharp contrasts in life. The stuffed bear, in its silent companionship, seems to be alive and supporting Art in his life’s mission of “Do what you dream!”

There is a lyrical melancholy that pulls you into the black sheets of sparkling wonder. I can imagine a parent narrating a bedtime story based on pure imagination, brilliantly transposed against the beautiful artwork. As an empath, I wonder if it is too dark or sad a book for children. Then, I think – it is not by shielding from the pain that a child grows, but by expounding truths so that compassion flows.

This inspired book can inspire many stories and poems. Bring the magic home and carve your tales, page-by-page, where the stuffed bear comes to life, and Art speaks from the heart. Truly, a collector’s edition, this book must find a place on the bookshelves of young and old. It holds a meditative power, deep insights, and imaginative streak. Make it yours because silence can be stronger than words, as we see in this book.

Words – are all that matter

Reading and reviewing books for ReedsyDiscovery has become an integral part of my daily schedule. I don’t give it a thought and yet my reading game seems to be spot on. I get the Reedsy Discovery top book reviewers for the month badge when I am least accepting it. I do not count the books I read in a month or compete to get this badge. I just pick up a book that draws me in – be it the book cover or the back cover blurb.

I read parts of a book throughout the day. Each weekend, I carve out a good 3-4 hours to write and publish book reviews. I always have a read and review task on my to-do list. Honestly, it requires discipline, dedication, time, and effort. Yet, it comes effortlessly because it is a cherished interest. It has helped me grow in so many ways.

I have read some brilliant books this year and the stories have stayed with me. I often ponder over the stories or the lessons I garnered from the non-fiction book I consumed.

The most endearing part is that the authors are also thinking about my review of their work. I receive comments and emails from authors and it warms my heart. Many request me to read another of their work or contact me with advanced review copies (ARC) when their new work is ready to be unveiled. It’s a symbiotic author-reader relationship – unique because we only know each other through words.

We build bridges across the world with our words. I can only stand in awe of all the brilliant talent out there and gaze with greedy eyes wanting to consume the brilliance of these works of art and creativity.

How to write

I want to write but how do I
In the cacophony of turmoil
The daily grind refuses to end
In lost tranquility, amidst anxiety
Thoughts are tangled, jumbled
Words lie shattered, untended
Unspoken, crushed, defeated
At the bottom of the vessel
Crumbling like sand, alluring,
Yearning, yet to be embraced
By the ocean waves, encased
Lingering for a chance to blaze
As treasures that can only elate

Book Review: The Marigold Chemise

The Marigold Chemise – book cover

Book: The Marigold Chemise

Author: Sheryl Westergreen (@SDWeste) / Twitter

Genre: Historical fiction, business

Review copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read

“The seduction had begun.” I could not resist picking up The Marigold Chemise by Sheryl Westergreen as it gave vibes similar to one of my favorite historical fiction featuring a painting – The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. The stunning book cover with yellow-orange hues was instantly attractive. I deep-dived into this book with much anticipation and undivided attention.

When young Lucida of the conservative Glavani family agrees to model the marigold silk chemise for portraits by her friend Alessia, the reader can relate to her eagerness. How can one not revel in the beauty of silken wonder almost as bright as the sun? The book does justice to these sentiments – both of the protagonist and the reader as it brings forth a mesmerizing story.

A fine lesson in history, architecture, food, decor, art, and the culture of Roman society, the author’s research features in an impactful narration. Some of the prose is poetic. The dreamy color of the marigold occurs more than once. The romantic tale thrills and the historical fiction enthralls. Halfway through the book, a nefarious element builds up and keeps the reader glued. The whispering of clandestine dealings with scandalous consequences creates further curiosity about how the characters will handle the brewing storm.

This is a young, bashful story – of two women trying to fulfill dreams and desires. As always, the base conflict is between aspirations and how to keep them alive in the face of societal bindings. The characters are well-fleshed out. Even the male characters are tender and understanding, wanting the best for their women. The story moves at a breathtaking speed with twists and turns like the cobbled streets of Rome. This book is a tribute to the artistic spirit.

Eventually, how do events transpire in the lives of a talented female painter and her gorgeous female model, wrapped in the magic of a marigold chemise? They have the same dream, but can they stand for themselves in a world that would rather have them relegated to lavish living rooms and busy kitchens? How does the marigold chemise inspire a business venture? Read this alluring tale with an artistic and feministic theme, just as I did. I have added this book to my beloved historical fiction list. It brims with the fire and the glow of the marigold. Make it yours.

Read the author’s interviews:

https://www.newswire.com/news/sheryl-westergreens-new-book-the-marigold-chemise-is-an-intriguing-21716448

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