Why I Like Realism

I call myself a realist though most of my poetry rides on the wings of imagination. I know realism is boring and harsh; modern writers have almost abandoned it but it is ironic that this hypocritical world cannot do away with realities of life that stand before us every single day. However hard we may try to escape them, we can’t eliminate them. Who would like to read about them?

Before you conclude that literary realism is dead, I would like to introduce you to an outstanding book that I stumbled upon recently. When characters accept their imperfections, when they struggle to survive and show the willingness to turn back yet feel entrenched in the situation and no Godfathers come to save them – such stark realism would lack excitement. Strangely I didn’t find this to be true. I am amazed at the relevance of this story, so close to real life.

40179809._SY475_‘It’s A Long Way Down’ by Ian Canon is a realistic and honest saga of David, who had a loving wife, a successful career and the much-awaited award of excellence yet he let himself wander into the darkest alleys of addiction. He couldn’t answer his own question – why? Was it for pleasure, arrogance or escapism? “Success can be suffocating, happiness is hard,” he tries to justify his actions. As David slithered deeper into the abyss of self-imposed addiction, his body tried to react, sending signals of resistance, self-awakening hits him and his efforts to restrain himself are superbly narrated. Despite the theme, this book is brilliantly written, with each detail that keeps you spellbound, making you wonder – what next? What would be the end, detesting the obvious outcome that could be anybody’s guess!

Canon’s style of writing is perceptive, breathing the right emotion into the situation, he shares the depths of despair, the crevasse of self-doubt; human flaws stare at your face, mixed emotions of anger and angst gnaw at your bones, making you the mute spectator of desperation. With no help in sight, this lone journey of an addict is an eye-opener for all those weak-minded individuals who seek pleasure in momentary joy or misuse drugs. David may not evoke sympathy but exemplifies a scaffold of perfect doom.

Ian gets into the mind of his characters, each one perfectly drawn and understands relationships quite well. His delectable prose mitigates the curse words that may seem necessary for the junkies. The book ends on an exquisite note, leaving much to the imagination of the reader, hinting at the power of hope. I am amazed how such a dreary topic could be converted into an excellent book.
© Balroop Singh

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

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Book Review 3 : Moments we love by Balroop Singh

I marvel at Smitha’s in-depth reading and analysis of my poetry and therefore had to share her review.  The poet in her is looking at me through her choice of words, picking up all the nuances of emotions embedded in my poems. Many thanks to Smitha for this insightful review of Moments We Love. “There is a equal mix of romanticism and rebelliousness in the poems,” says Smitha. I am touched by her observations. The comments are closed here. Please hop on to her blog to read more.

Pennings...One woman's journey

I haven’t been active on wordpress lately. My brain has been clogged with far too many things. So what does a blogger do when s/he faces writer’s block if such a thing exists? The writer reads and then writes about what they have read. I picked up this book on kindle sometime ago but managed to read it only now because I’m not much of a kindle reader. I like holding books in my hand and feeling the pages. I know I must change this in the interest of the planet. And what better way to begin with this book which talks about the love for people and the love for nature and love for oneself in the same breath, especially since the author/ poet herself had told me when I decided to write review 3 months ago, ‘ the author has finally arrived.’ It’s a sentence I derive great…

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Welcome to Day 5 of the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton @4WillsPub #RRBC

Please welcome Sarah Angleton, an awesome author who is here to talk about her latest book ‘Smoke Rose To Heaven.’ Over to you Sarah!

Divining a Novel

I think the best part about writing a novel is learning all the new things I have to learn in order to make my fictional world feel as real as possible for readers. Fiction writers, it turns out, are not necessarily experts on everything that happens to become entwined in their works.

For my first novel, Gentleman of Misfortune, that meant I had to figure out, among other things, how to make a mummy. Because this is historical fiction, I had the added challenge of trying to determine how a person living in nineteenth century America might have done it with materials commonly available. The first step was to make a phone call. Whenever dead bodies are concerned, I reach out to an old college buddy of mine who is a funeral director by trade. He was able to point me in some of the right directions and led me down many wonderful hours of rabbit holes.

My most recent release, Smoke Rose to Heaven, which is a companion to the first, also made me ask some questions, because it includes a character who is a dowser.

In case you’re as unfamiliar with dowsing as I was, it’s the process of locating something hidden, often water or minerals beneath the ground, with the aid of a pointer or pendulum. It’s considered a form of divination and those who use it are often landowners wishing to dig new wells or people looking for lost items or persons. It can allegedly even help to answer more spiritual questions. Historically, and still sometimes today, it’s also been used in treasure hunting.

And as it is done regularly by some of the fictional characters in my novel, it was also practiced by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, one of the central historical figures wrapped up in the conspiracy theory that forms an important part of the book. I knew I couldn’t be faithful to my setting and story if I didn’t do a little research.

Because I did not have a dowser among my contacts, I began my search with the American Society of Dowsers, which I learned is the largest organization of professional dowsers in the world and has a convenient online list of its members identified by region. There I found the name of a gentleman working in Western New York State, the very setting of my novel. He listed water dowsing as well as missing persons and objects as his area of particular expertise, which worked perfectly for what I needed.

I reached out and received a very warm response. We spoke for more than an hour over the phone and exchanged numerous follow-up emails. He patiently answered all of my questions about how dowsing feels and even how it could be faked by a conman. He then offered stories that illustrated aspects of dowsing that would never have occurred to me to ask about. Many of these extra fascinating little tidbits became part of the novel and added a richness I could not have achieved by reading a few articles on the internet.

I didn’t become a dowser. As I tend to be a somewhat skeptical person, I’m not even sure I could say I came to believe it really works. But I did manage to get a feel for how my characters might perceive it and how it might be woven into the culture of my setting. I also learned how to write respectfully about something that is outside the realm of my own experiences and knowledge so I could share it with readers.

And that is definitely the best part about writing a novel.smoke-rose-to-heaven-by-sarah-angleton

 Book Blurb:

New York, 1872.

Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers.

When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins at his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim’s bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else’s secret may save Ada’s life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

Author Bio:

sarah-angletonSARAH ANGLETON is the author of the historical novels Gentleman of Misfortune and Smoke Rose to Heaven as well as the humor collection Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one loyal dog near St. Louis, where she loves rooting for the Cardinals but doesn’t care for the pizza.

 

Social Media Links:

https://twitter.com/SarahAngleton

https://www.facebook.com/sangletonwrites

https://sarah-angleton.com

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t7RS9g

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2U9pwXk

Sarah is giving away 5 e-book copies of SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN and all you have to do for a chance to win a copy is to leave a comment below.
To follow along with the rest of her tour, please drop in on her 4WillsPub tour page.
If you’d like to take your book or books on a virtual blog tour, please visit  4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com and click on the VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR tab.
Thank you for supporting this author’s tour.

Where Is He?

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To my mind
He was…
Just an unknown entity,
A focus to inspire, to guide.
A self-created image
To give succor
A mirage!
So unreasonable, insensitive!
So confusing, open to interpretations
Self-evasive, far away
Invisible by choice.

Till I met this man!
I wonder…
Could there be anyone
More positive, more selfless
More caring, more forgiving
More generous, more peace loving?
Who never doubts your intentions
Who doesn’t care about pretentions
Who could mold you with his goodness.
His presence convinces me
God is not invisible.

© Balroop Singh

This poem is dedicated to the most loving person in my life, who is an embodiment of patience, forgiveness, humility and understanding. He has defined LOVE for me.

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

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The Song Of A Stream

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Sue Vincent’s #photoprompt

This image evokes the memory of a sagacious song that each bounce of water whispered into my ears; the unforgettable lyrics… having the quality of a lilting and enchanting tune, unique in its form.

As the stream gurgled down with glee, I tried to sing with it and soak in those fleeting moments of unexpected joy. I marveled at its sparkling surge and luminosity that never loses its sheen.

I admired the freedom that nature endows us with!

I wondered at the message that was written on its ripples, the message of surging ahead, of making its own way through the impediments, of singing happily despite the turbulences created by the unforeseen circumstances.

Isn’t life like that? Can we detach it from water, its lifeline?
Is it imaginable without the rocky surface and inevitable incidence?
Can we stop its flow and speed? Can we evade change?
Its childlike innocence, its radiance, its twists and twirls remind us of little joys of life. Its depth and fortitude speak about the stormy weather, which is knitted into the fabric of our lives.

I have spent countless days in the lap of Nature, watching the movement of clouds and the orange glow that spreads across the sky, dancing in the sudden hailstorm, sliding in the snow, walking in the woods and deriving solace from the whispering pines but the impact of that song, which I had heard thirty years ago is far more profound and eternal. Some memories are indelible.
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Choice.

You can click here for my poetry.

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.