Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Harry Potter And The Importance Of Dreams

Quote of the day: 

Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. Paulo Coelho 

Credit: Amazon UK

So it has been 20 years since the iconic Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone novel written by J.K. Rowling came out. Hard to believe but true. Her books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and translated into 68 languages. Asides watching a few of the Harry Potter films, I haven't read any of her works. But that is some incredible achievement isn't it?.

Through her works a whole new world opened up to both the young and old, a world of dreams and fantasies, chronicling the life of a young wizard and his friends. It is the best selling book series in history and with a movie franchise that continues to expand. I think its great that it got children reading again (not that they ever stopped), and adults too.

And to think Rowling has lived a 'rags to riches' life, from having to survive on state benefits to writing a book -she had got the idea for Harry Potter while on a delayed train many years before. And it is worthy to note that she got a lot of rejections before the first book was published. It all goes to show that in this world anything is possible and the word impossible does not seem to exist. Even when things seem impossible no hope should be lost. The idea you have today may be worth a lot tomorrow. You may not be the next author with a breakthrough novel, or the next creator, photographer, singer, painter, or genius, but if you do not take the risk you will never know.

Those very ideas that you have tucked away in the recess of your mind may not be worthless after all. It is a great lesson to learn. To face your fears you have to live your dreams. Underneath those fears lies immense opportunities waiting to be realized.This is all part of the theme for Harry Potter. Being fearless, aging with wisdom, rising above rejection and chaos, and above all to remember that the power of love conquers all.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Doris Day - The Way We Were

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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The 22 Little Joys of Happiness in Life

Quote of the day: 

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. -William Arthur Ward

Petrichor is a term used to describe the smell of rain, after the drops hit the ground and mixes with dirt. It is the earthy scent produced when it rains and often lingers in the air long afterwards. It is hard not to fall in love with this smell. When you inhale, pause, and exhale, such a simple act but also liberating. Rain has no smell, as it falls from the sky. But upon hitting the ground there is a reaction, a bonding, like two souls interlaced, to produce this fragrance of rain. This is one of the joys of life.

We sometimes cross paths in life with people and situations. We may become better off with great energy and purpose, or worse off being less fortunate. Especially at this time of the year, pressure can build up. Losing sight of our basic values, dreams planted, goals set and promises made. It is not too late to get right back on track, to find our trail again and it shouldn't take an affliction or tragedy to remind us all of the important things in life. Our time is not limitless, but the potential of our mind is.

Start thinking of yourself as a raindrop. You are a raindrop. A LITTLE speck in a vast world. You nourish others with your presence, values and ideas. And because of it you are better off in the end. And you understand that there will be days when your presence or ideas would not be appreciated. It is therefore okay to take a moment to enjoy the little joys of life.

Simple pleasures in life can go a long way. And I can imagine mine would include some of these shared below.

1. Taking a cold shower on a hot day -and vice versa
2. Getting things done after procrastinating -goodbye lazy days.
3. Looking in the mirror - and admiring the near perfection staring back.
4. Being valued when least expected.
5. Finding happiness in different places and circumstances. Playful squirrel and pigeon, I see you.
6. Intense laughter carried over by the wind.
7. The moon glowing in the sky on a cloudless night.
8. The sight of a sunset after a long day-painting a wonderful picture.

9. A cozy shelter and environment -no place like home
10. Rain showers after a lengthy and dry spell -run and play in the rain if you can.
11. The earthy smell of rain that lingers in the air after a rainfall.
12. Finding an old but memorable photo -no one has to see how I dressed back then.
13. Burping aloud after downing a fizzy drink -sorry not sorry.
14. Learning something new every day.
15. A hot cup of tea on a cold day. Nothing warms your insides better.

16. Making almost perfect pancakes. Too good to eat with just jam. 
17. Finding money in your pocket -my past self knew I would need it now.
18. The heavenly taste of ice cream. Insert your craving here.
19. The thrill of flipping through a book. Sorry kindle.
20. Being grateful.
21. Giving a helping hand to the needy. We all need help at some point.
22. Choosing happiness and contentment over everything.

What are some of your little joys in life? Have a joyful week!

Peace. Love. Light* 

Free stock images:

Current Listen: Charlie Parker - All the things you are

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #55

Quote of the day: 

It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited. -Lewis B. Smedes 

Credit: Jyll Justamond

Jyll Justamond, 40,  of Colorado, reunited with her father Al Annunziata, 63, for the very first time a week before father's day. After decades of speculation she finally tracked him down on Facbook on April 3 -on her 40th Birthday. Annunziata, from Cliffside Park, said when Justamond's mother got pregnant four decades ago she had told him that someone else was the father. He believed her but doubts still lingered in his mind. Justamond had only a first name to work with but was able to track him down eventually. After a paternity test proved he was the real father, Justamond traveled to meet with him a week before father's day.

Credit: BBC/Apex

A group of school boys at ICSA Academy in Exeter have worn skirts to class to protest harsh uniform rules that saw them being banned from wearing shorts in the hot weather. Coupled with a UK heatwave which recorded the hottest June day since 1976, with temperature of 34.5C (94F) -I guess they had little choice but to make their grievances known. In doing so, the boys borrowed skirts from female friends and their sisters to carry out the challenge, which saw them receive mass support on social media.

As seen on ArchDaily, House in the Woods

Architects: Alma-nac

Brief: New building with a simple and clean shape to retain the feel and character of client's former bungalow, while creating a contemporary home.

Theme: Extensive glazed openings, landscape garden
Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: John Coltrane - Stellar Regions

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Back to Black and White Photography with 3 Images

Quote of the day: 

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. -Charles Dickens

A lot has been said about black and white photography and I remain inspired when confronted with such work by any photographer. What thought process did the photographer go through, what was it that caught his or her eye -enough to take out the camera to snap that moment in time and make the decision to edit it to black and white. Once the motive is understood everything falls into place. For me, each moment and photograph should tell a story in the circumstance it was taken. But the best part is not to overthink things and just go with the flow -even if a story is not immediately apparent . Because down the line you may see new revelations within an old picture.

I do enjoy photography and post on Instagram often enough, and thought I'd share 3 photos from my page in this post. In the photo below what came to mind while going for the shot was how the building cast its shadow. The people walking past were just at the right place and time all seemingly going about their lives. The subtext below the image explains my train of thought at that time.

The second photo below was taken during a rainfall, and the what caught my eye was the way tiny droplets fell from an open roof window. I thought I'd be able to capture a drop right before it got detached and this was my best effort. I believe the subtext on clarity goes well with the image.

And lastly, this last photo below was taken in Cambridge while out punting on the River Cam. I was drawn to the solitary figure, cross legged and lost in her own thoughts it seemed at the time. One has to have great confidence and focus to be able to sit in contemplation like that. A lesson that is captured in my subtext below the photo.

The art of photography continues to grow stronger thanks to technology. With just a phone you can create your own world and narrative. There will always a story lurking around somewhere and someplace. You just need to find it and capture it in your own way.

What's your favourite photo out of the 3? 
Instagram: @iamblogoratti

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: James Brown -Soul power

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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Poem: Forsaken

Quote of the day: 

In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. -Vincent Van Gogh

You were careful.
Careful in a carefree world.
Neither wavering or being impartial.
A growing fetus uncurled.

You were often unjust.
Earth spinning on its axis daily.
Tomorrow you regain life's trust.
A soul breathing baby.

You were deserted.
Trusting no one and being hush-hush.
Mysteries of the universe closely guarded.
A painter without a paintbrush.

You were mostly drinking.
Only then did your dreams come alive.
Circumspect but often misguided thinking.
A colony within a beehive. 

You sat shirtless banishing any shame.
But then again welcomed pride openly.
A picture paints a thousand words you proclaim.
A penny for each probity. 

Your blessing arrived in disguise.
Terrible wig, fake mustache and hair.
Life is a race with no trophy or prize.
A method to madness everywhere.

You cry over spilled milk today.
But take little notice of the broken glass.
Which side is the wrong side of the bed you lay.
A tip of black sand in a hourglass.


The above poem is my take on writing in second person as mentioned in my previous post. Let me know your thoughts on this form of writing. Do you enjoy reading it as a poem? Have you read any books written in such form?

Related: Another one of my poems written in such form

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers - 'Moanin'

Monday, June 19, 2017

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Choosing a Narrative: Using First, Second and Third Person Point of View

Quote of the day: 

Nobody is a villain in their own story. We're all the heroes of our own stories. -George R. R. Martin 

Does literature-either prose or poetry, hold a special place in your heart ? If yes you may be familiar with the concept of first, second and third person accounts. To elaborate here is a fun BBC page with explanations and exercises for each view.

Looking back at my poems I've concluded and gauged my writing to be more first person than not, holding prominence over either second person or third person views. After all It makes more sense to tell a story from a point of view you are familiar with, which is what the first person account tends to achieve.

First Person

The first person perspective is often told through a lens consisting of personal stories or thoughts not entirely distinct from reality. You, the reader undergo a metamorphosis and effectively watch the scenario unfold through the character's eyes -the character being me the writer of the text. This style of writing is said to be popular with personal journals, and autobiographies. There is basically a lot of 'I did this', or 'we did that'. With first person perspective there is a split between present tense and past tense. The singular form of the first person is the use of 'I', Its plural form is the use of 'We'. Others include the use of 'me/us', 'my/mine', 'our/ours'. Here is a list of popular first person books.

Second Person

The second person account on the other hand uses the 'you', 'your', and 'yours' pronouns -and can be unconventional, and the most difficult to pull off - especially when writing a novel. It suggests that the audience or reader is also a character within the story or poem. It certainly is a unique form in itself. Here is a list of popular second person books.

Third Person

The third person account is more popular with fiction writers. It involves the use pronouns such as the use of 'she', he, or 'it', when referring to a person, place, or thing. Here is a list of popular third person books.

 No matter which account is used, consistency is the watchword. A big deal of telling a story in first person is the urgency it gives the reader to discover the psyche and sensibility of a character as expressed by the writer -in this case an author or a poet. It can sometimes be tricky to write in this manner, distorting the plot, with more emphasis placed on the character than on the narrative itself.

Delving into the whole concept of the art of writing, choosing a narrative and sticking to it fully is by no means a modest feat. For me, my lessons often come from trial and error and not overthinking what form to use when expressing my thoughts -I just write what comes to mind. However, my poems tend to lean toward the narrative or descriptive corner, telling a story in first person, with rhythmic patterns and without.

I love writing and I hope to continue to learn ways to improve my poetry and concentrate on prose as well. That is my quest, to escape my comfort zone, to write more in second and third person, and as a challenge I plan to do just that this week.

Lastly, to the writers and readers out there, which account works for you the most? First, second, or third person? And can you give a brief reason why?

Have a splendid week!

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Chris Bell - Elevator To Heaven

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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Netflix: Best British Detective Shows to Watch

Quote of the day: 

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. -Vincent Van Gogh

Netflix has a wide array of series to pick from. Truthfully, it can become a task to pick one to watch. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your mood. Netflix original series or regular series?. Do you go for drama (crime drama or courtroom drama?), comedy (classic comedy or dark comedy?), action (action thriller or Sci-fi?), documentary (crime documentary or historical documentary?), thriller (spy thriller or supernatural thriller?). I believe you are starting to get the picture.

Alas, with more and more content getting pumped out monthly by Netflix, one gets plunged further into this madness of a maze. However, luckily Netflix recommends content based on what you have watched recently or in the past. For instance, If you watch comedy, it recommends other material to you which you may find interesting.

It is worthy to note that British production is somewhat different from US production when it comes to Tv series. Different formats and such. It may be due to a lack of sufficient writers or funding, or it may be a preference for quality over quantity. Whatever it is I am clueless. British series typically contain shorter episodes in a season, say around 4 or 5, and sometimes you are left with the distinct feeling of having watched an entire movie rather than season one of a show. On the other hand US series tend to be much longer, probably due to having more writers and funding on their side, and most shows are typically 10 episodes or more.

Luther (4 Series)

A British crime drama series starring Idris Elba as 'Luther' -a sometimes dangerous, violent and passionate detective who works for his local crime unit. A popular figure well known for his ingenious ways of solving crime cases. Its creator is Neil Cross who was inspired by Sherlock Holmes and Columbo. The series is often gritty, fast paced, with great acting from the cast, including Ruth Wilson who plays the role of Alice Morgan -a research scientist and psychopath. 

Sherlock (4 Series)

You may have heard or read about the fictional character Sherlock Holmes before. Well this series is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories-a 130-year-old character. It was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as 'Sherlock Holmes', as well as Martin Freeman as 'Doctor John Watson'. Set in the present day, Sherlock is a stand out, due in part to its brilliant writing as well as Benedict's acting and charm. The series is packed with suspense and mind blowing cases, and with dialogue that will make you chuckle.

Line of Duty (6 Series)

Line of duty is a police crime drama like no other, created by Jed Mercurio and shot in Birmingham and Belfast. The whole series revolves around the investigations of anti-corruption unit AC-12. Starring Martin Compston as DS Steve Arnott who was transferred to AC-12, after the death of a suspect in a mistaken shooting during a counter-terrorist operation. The series is filled with non-stop gripping action and brilliant acting all through.

What shows are you watching or hoping to watch at the moment?

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: José Marín, Raquel Andueza soprano -Ojos, pues me desdeñáis

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #54

Quote of the day: 

Being unique is never easy, and often, by the time culture catches up with you, there are only a few people who notice. -Henry Rollins 

Credit: © C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald/TNS Dayme Delagado

This 18-year-old  Cuban-American student, Dayme Delgado, who once struggled to learn the English language is now headed to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where she has a full-ride scholarship to study theoretical mathematics. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Dayme was not exposed to the English language until she got to kindergarten, and spent the first three years in classes for English-language learners.She didn't understand most of the subjects, and the only thing that seemed to make sense was math-which she excelled in, and later on entered into competitions and tutored classmates and others.

Credit: Museum of Happiness

According to Goodnews Network, there exists a Museum of happiness, a non profit organization with no permanent location, which plans to open the world's first Museum of happiness in September in London. After raising $36, 000 in funding, they are set to open a physical museum. On their website it states their aim is: 'Connecting and inspiring people to live more fulfilled lives.' And the team is keen to make it free to visit -assuming the museum can make enough money from memberships and general programs.  

As seen on ArchDaily, Arrow Studio

Architects: Nervegna Reed Architecture + PH Architects

Brief: Build a small gallery in the back yard, where client could hang paintings and photos, as well as use as a studio space

Theme: Minimalism, frames, optical timber
Location: Hanging Rock, Woodend, Australia

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Peggy Lee -Fever