Pavarotti sings Lucio Dalla’s Caruso

Caruso!

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In 1986, Lucio Dalla wrote the words and music for this amazing song. The song relays the pain and longing of a man about to die while spending time with the woman he loves.

Luciano Pavarotti took it a step further with his emotional and amazing voice. Pavarotti expressed the agony and pain Dalla expressed in his song.

Enjoy Caruso, sung by Pavarotti and created by Lucio Dalla, God rest their souls.

Two of O Henry’s Beloved Short Stories

One of my favorite authors ever is O Henry. Opinions differ strongly on the man’s work but he is as realistic in his recounting as Norman rockwell was in his painting.

Having read then left his stories on a shelf for a long time, in the last few days, I ran across them when downloading books to listen to. Taking O Henry with me on my evening walk, he again inspired me. The stories he wove are simple and the characters interesting and attractive. His surprise endings remain appealing and sometimes even jarring.

The next day, I sat at my work table and drew out book covers for two of his short stories. Yes, I know we do not “publish” on paper much these days but what can I say, I was inspired. I share with you two of his stories and include places where you can get them absolutely free to read and enjoy.

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The Last Leaf

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The Gift of the Magi

Book Review: Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

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Aldous Huxley

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Book Cover: Crome Yellow

I kept waiting for things to happen in this story but you could say my mind is marred by the fast pace of the present. At a lazy and wonderful pace of the country home, things do happen.

A true 20s piece of literature, Crome Yellow describes the descent of several people on a country estate to mooch off the owner. A collection of individuals different and lost as it were in their time spend all their time eating, drinking and doing silly activities even to the extent of hurting themselves. Set in post WWI, morality clashed with life and everyone looked for the truth and reality in their life and what they learned from the horrors of the war.

Huxley satirized the home he frequented with other authors and artists. An image of Garsington Manor, Crome Yellow represented the same refuge and home of Lady Ottoline Morrell.

In the mix is our hero Daniel, a lost poet looking for the next few words. An artist, a young woman, another woman just a bit older, a woman who gambles and lives for the stars, an astrologer and author and so on. These people gather, discuss and ponder the morality of their time. In the mix is a minister who kept a sermon around for so long, it ill-fit the time he repeated it to his congregation.

A historian who is hell bent on writing about Crome Yellow reads to the group from his writings which he finished. Going back and forth between the past and the present showed morality in its best and worst. Nothing changes much as far as that goes. You either have the morals or you do not and it is personal not national.

Well worth the read, Crome Yellow left me a little dazed and much saddened.

Book Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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A Little Princess: Book cover

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Frances Hodgson Burnett

Refuse to allow the hardships of life to stop you from the joys it holds. In this charming story, through the character of the heroine, we find grace, kindness and generosity in the face of ugliness and cruelty.

With simplicity and succinct clarity Burnett wrote, drawing the reader, involving them emotionally to her characters.

Our heroine, Sara is a lovely girl of seven with dark hair and green grey eyes. At first we meet a pampered Sara, loved by her dear father who lavishes on his daughter all he could afford. In the hands of a school mistress, he places Sara, trusting the woman to care for his treasured daughter. The child demonstrates generosity of spirit and befriends those who have no one, making friends of the less fortunate and less popular.

Far away, across many miles, he dies in India, leaving his daughter orphaned and poor.

Life takes a sharp downward turn for the delightful child who uses her imagination to overcome the meanness of her caregiver.

Through several situations during her ill use, she demonstrates once again her kindness and generosity to those in even lower positions than her own.

Using her imagination and mind, Sara keeps her flagging spirits and those around her elated as best she could. Mistreated she still finds her imagination salvation to her situation.

The story has a happy ending and I found myself unable to stop from finishing the book in one sitting. It is easy to read or wonderful to follow. A charming fairy tale even adults can enjoy.

Sonia Rumzi

http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/scores/top

It was the same in 1919 as it is now.

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“But a thought that has often occurred to me in selling rare editions may interest you. The customer’s willingness to part with his money is usually in inverse ration to the permanent benefit he expects to derive from what he purchases….. Folks will pay a darned sight more to be amused than to be exalted. Look at the way a man shells out five bones fo a couple of theater seats, or a spends a couple of dollars o a week on cigars without thinking of it. Yet two dollars or five dollars for a book costs him positive anguish.

The mistake you fellows in the retail trade have made is trying to persuade your customers that books are necessities. Tell them they’re luxuries. That’ll get them! People have to work so hard in this life they’re shy of necessities. A man will go on wearing a suit until it’s threadbare, much sooner than smoke a threadbare cigar.”

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley (1919)

Kurt Vonnegut: Advice on Writing. ALL you need!

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1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Sorry It’s Not Me, It’s the Muse!

An e-mail from a fellow author:

“Sorry it took so long to respond. My younger one had a birthday and it’s always a series of events, lol! One for the friends, one for the family and the real one, the actual day, is for us. So, since Friday I had no peace, lol :D

(Not that I managed to get away from the Muse.)

Between cleaning the house and all the preparations on Friday to be ready to receive the girls from her class, I managed to ‘get caught’ with my laptop in our bedroom. Ten minutes before the girls were supposed to arrive.

My husband came in to get dressed. Imagine his shock to discover me crouching over my laptop. Typing eagerly! He stared at me with disbelieve and all I managed to say was ‘it’s not what you think’! LOL. I really felt guilty. He expected me to put my writing aside at least for our daughter’s birthday. LOL! It was a ridiculous situation :D I probably would feel less guilty if he caught me there with another man :D”

And that folks is what happens when the Muse hits and you are a writer. A writer, writes. No matter what. No matter where, a writer writes.

Zoe Saadia is a wonderful author, daughter, wife and mother. In her old life, she was an accountant. In this, her new and amazing career, she lives to write and care for her family.

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The Title of the Book Matters Little

What mattered to me was the impact it had on my reader. I am not selling you my book, I am sharing an incredible review that warmed my heart and reminded me again why I write.

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Review on Amazon for one of the short stories:
I can’t explain why this short story by Sonia Rumzi has impacted me to the depth that it has. Perhaps it is because my spouse has died, and it presents a completely different perspective on what awaits us.

Whatever the reason, I am so very glad that I read this book. It has touched my heart – dare I say, my soul – and offered comfort – for which I sincerely thank the author.

From Hibiscus

Thank you whoever you are out there. I am honored and gratified.