Monday, June 17, 2013


ITALY is known for its food and fashion, its festivals, modern-classic furniture, its sense of fun along with its historicity and affiliation to religion. It has also been a grand patron of arts through the centuries. A country of Popes, master craftsmen and masterpieces. A country filled with unique cities offering unique flavors of entertainment, everything that our spoilt, new age eclectic palates crave. Is it any wonder that artists and the purveyors of the arts, past and present, have found their muse in boot-shaped Italy.
And what could be more inspiring than a floating city? 
VENICE. The sinking city. The city where Casanova flirted and doges ruled. Where a rich lord rode his faithful horse up seven flights of spiraling stairs every night to stable the horse in a private penthouse. Where a jealous husband drowned his faithful wife and her phantom lover in a well like some Venetian Othello only to be haunted by the pair for the rest of his short life.
Speaking of wells...artesian wells bored along the periphery of Venice's lagoon, that once provided water to its industries, is the reason why Venice is sinking- rather was sinking. The wells have been banned since the 1960's and apparently the sinking has lessened if not stopped. So jump up and boogie that Venice won't become another Atlantis. 
For those of you who haven't yet had the personal pleasure, here are some pics for inspiration. For those of you who live/have visited Venice, check them out anyway...

What's your favorite holiday destination?

Saturday, June 15, 2013


From Dante Alighieri to Dan Brown to must-visit holiday destination, Italy, in particular Florence, seems to be a universal favorite. 
Florence is visceral, beautiful, a crystal ball view into the past. It leaves one struck dumb with awe every second of their visit. Travel there during the blazing summer months and you will  understand why Dante and Dan...a million other travelers through time...are inspired, tortured and haunted by it. Florence is an Inferno of a city, inside and out.

Dan Brown's Inferno is a quick read; part riveting, part nonsensical. Not as gripping as the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, Inferno is more of a tribute to the renaissance and what it spawned. Certainly a tribute to Dante and his works. The book is a race through Florence, Venice and Istanbul, an exciting treasure hunt cum travel guide. 
Robert Langdon is at his worst and yet is in hot pursuit of Man's future, which seems to be on the brink of extinction (what else?). He's aided by a genius/introverted/too good to be true female, and thwarted by a couple of powerful organizations (really?). Thankfully neither the Opus Dei nor the Vatican featured in this time. No albinos appeared either just some super genius crazy  dead dude, the Black Death and a mechanical drone.
Could Dan have done a better job with the prose? Undoubtedly.
Was the premise of Inferno too farfetched? Maybe not. 
Man's future is definitely something Man should consider most profoundly.

Here are some pics of my trek through the scorching locales mentioned in the book:

Next, we follow Langdon and the female genius as they ride the canals of Venice...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Writing is a secluded occupation. An imbalanced profession where the writer must put his needs first or not yield any profit. Personally, I need peace and quiet, my own uninterrupted space to write constructively. When I'm in the throes of a new story, I resent any invasion on my world. I defend my world. Hoard it. Protect it. Shelter it. Alas, world invasions are not exclusive to fantasy novels or blockbuster movies, they are a fact of life. 
So, how does one defend one's world without murdering, cursing, insulting, annihilating all alien (and familial) threat? 
How do I not do the groceries so my kids can have wholesome meals? Or ignore phone calls from friends? Stop Facebooking? Not entertain guests who've come to visit from 3000 miles away? 
And yet, if I don't do all of that. If I don't cull out my own time and space and reject the outside world, I will never get any writing done. 
It is a difficult conundrum that I deal with on a day to day basis and sometimes wonder how the authors that have gone before me (some having written 200 plus novels and still going) did it? How did they juggle their two worlds? How did they find that balance that makes everyone happy? Or is balance an illusion? How does one stop a cosmic explosion?

Anyone have any ideas?

For photo:Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>