Tag Archives: Life

Find out what you’ll be in your next life!

This is just for fun, as a way to say that I’m back on track. The resource usage has been solved (I’m pretty sure, anyway) and I’m jumping back on the blog wagon. I missed this blog. It’s a place where I can share with you the weird things out there that I’d never be able to include in my books ’cause they’re just too weird.

The short test –takes about 4 minutes– lets you know what you’ll be in the next life. Of course, you can totally skew it by not being honest, but the animal you’ll come back as may surprise you. Here’s the response I received when I answered honestly:

Your next life will be as… an Octopus!

Almost 45% of people will be reincarnated as a higher form of life than you.

You’re not perfect, but you’ve lead a better life than most. With a few changes now, your next life could be even better.

Here’s what I got when I tried to skew the results:

Your next life will be as… a Shark!

Almost 45% of people will be reincarnated as a higher form of life than you.

You’re not perfect, but you’ve lead a better life than most. With a few changes now, your next life could be even better.”

Now, who decided that a shark was better than and octopus? Where’s the scientific evidence?

You can find out who you’ll be by going to the The Reincarnation Station

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Rome — Sights and Sounds

Day 2

Since on our arrival we had gone north-east to the Colosseum, we decided to walk this time to the north-west, in a great big circle that would take us through several piazzas and, of course, fountains.

tn_borghese_fountain02.JPGOne of the things I remember about Rome, and which charmed me the most, is its fountains. Water, water everywhere. Rome’s water system was one of the wonders of the world, and it still is. From the magnificent Fontana di Trevi to the nasoni (meaning big nose because of the shape of their spout), water flows constantly, pure, fresh, and drinkable. The fountain basins are clean and free of debris and the water sparkles through to the bottom. It comes from deep springs and is as pure as mineral water. It amazed me that I could find, all of a sudden, a nasone with continuously running water where I could fill my bottle with cold water and drink my fill.

Romans are great drinkers of water. In any restaurant, to ask for a liter of acqua minerale for two is normal. You have a choice of naturale or frizzante. That last word always made me want to giggle because it resembles the French word “friser”, meaning “to curl”. And indeed, the sparkling water makes your tongue curl up.

We took the tram (number “8”) to Torre Argentina. Taking public transport in Rome is an experience. It’s not only necessary to buy a ticket, but you also need to validate it once you’re on the bus or tram or train. In truth, very few seem to do it, and during the time we were there, we saw inspectors only once. The fines are steep if you get caught without a ticket, though, so it’s not a good idea to hop a but without a ticket. Tickets are also valid for 75 minutes, regardless of how many transports you take, from the time of validation. We were very impressed with the public transportation system; many buses, passing by often, were the norm, although we were in the center of town, which may be different than the suburbs.

nettuno_pa_navona.JPGWe started with Piazza Navona, which I found somewhat disappointing, maybe because it was empty of people. (We went back another day in the afternoon and it was packed. The atmosphere was quite different). The oval piazza is dotted with three huge fountains, the middle one, being restored while we were there, topped with an obelisk. It is the Fontana dei Fiumi, designed by Bernini which, of course, we couldn’t see. At each end, the Fontana del Moro and the Fontana del Nettuno, impressive in their own right.

We then went by the church of Sant’Angostino to have a look at Caravaggio’s Madonna di Loreto, a beautiful painting that created a furore because he had depicted Jesus’s mother with bare feet, resembling any woman. The painting is indeed beautiful and moving, modestly set in a side apse, as it not to detract from the sanctity of the church itself, which was very quiet and dignified. We sat in the pew for a few moments, absorbing the quiet of the place.

( Day 2 continues in the next post. Aren’t you glad we were there for a month?)

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On writing Horror AND Children’s tales

Author Mayra Calvani is launching two very different books this Fall: Dark Lullaby, a Horror story about merging reality and illusion and an unborn child, and The Magic Violin, a children’s story about self-esteem and magic.

Huh, you’ll say. Horror and children’s stories. How can they be compatible? In this guest spot, a new feature of this blog I’ve decided to start, Mayra Calvani gives us her take on writing both… and not confusing them together. Here’s what Mayra had to say:

A lot of people ask me how I can write chilling horror and sweet children’s picture books at the same time. Somehow they cannot imagine a writer doing that, switching from two absolutely different modes and wandering in such dissimilar imaginary worlds at the touch of a mouse. That question flatters me to some extend, but it also makes me wonder… am I weird? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have split personalities? I hope not!

Nah, I’m just a multi-genre, multi-faceted person who is inspired by many things and who feels the need to bring those ideas to life. I don’t think I could ever write in only one genre, as many authors are able to. For me, it would feel claustrophobic! I simply write what I love and I love paranormal, suspense, satire, mystery, modern fantasy, literary, romantic comedy, picture books, tween and young adult fiction, and even nonfiction. Each genre transports me into a marvelous, different dreamland where everything is possible and where I set the rules—except, of course, when my characters take over, as sometimes they seem to think they have control over me.

darklullaby.jpgI can write a scary story in the morning, have lunch, then work on a sweet picture book in the afternoon. It’s like switching modes and happens pretty much automatically, though my mood changes as well. Of course, although the actual writing process is the same for all fiction (after all, it doesn’t matter what you write, it all must contain a good plot and flow, compelling characters, sparkling dialogue, etc.), the actual ‘atmospheric’ aids I use for writing change. For instance, I like to listen to haunting, mysterious music when I write horror and paranormal suspense. tmvcvr-3×100.jpgDuring the writing of latest horror novel, Dark Lullaby, I spent months listening to the music score of the movie The Village. On occasions I even lit candelabra on my desk. It goes without saying that I would never do this while writing a picture book! During the writing and editing of The Doll Violinist and The Magic Violin, both children’s picture books, I selected soul-filling, sublime violin music.

In the end, there is that absolute need to put those thoughts to paper, to convert those ideas to the ‘reality’ of my fictional world, yes, to bring those dreams to life until they become so real, I find myself thinking about the story and conversing with the characters day and night—no matter the genre. This is the way creativity works.

Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author and reviewer. For her horror and paranormal suspense novels, visit www.MayraCalvani.com. For her children’s books, visit www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com.

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Win a signed copy of Meter Made

Jack Meter, the private investigator in my SF mystery series The Jack Meter Case Files, loves to eat. Beside opera, it’s his favorite thing. Not only does he love to eat, but he loves to cook.

In his next adventure, Meter Destiny, Jack has settled into an apartment and has returned to his habit of cooking for comfort and thinking through cases. Jack is not a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy (unless it’s Chateaubriand with Mediterranean roasted potatoes): he likes fish, game, chicken, anything that tastes really good but that he can prepare in less than 45 minutes.

He’s running out of ideas, though, and he doesn’t have time to consult cookbooks to find new recipes. Ialysa, one of the Fates of Mythology, is missing, which is creating havoc on Earth; the telecarb he doesn’t have anymore is giving him twinges; and he thinks Isabel Giordani, his new and beautiful neighbour, may have him in her sights. Too much to think about, too little time.

So I’ve decided to run a recipe contest for Jack. The three best recipe authors (which Jack and I will choose) will receive a signed copy of Meter Made, the second book in the Jack Meter Case Files Series. I will also mention one of the three recipes, along with your name, in the next book after Meter Destiny, Meter Parents. Contest ends August 19th, 11:59pm EST.

What you do:

Submit a favorite recipe in the comments section, leaving your name or username and email address where I can reach you.

Rules:

  • recipes must take no more than 45 minutes to prepare and cook
  • ethnic recipes are encouraged; the sky’s the limit
  • Jack likes fresh, so nothing out of a can if possible (he hates anything made with cans of soup or pouches, like hamburger helper — he’s watching his fat and salt intake)
  • meat (especially red) is not a must
  • no desserts, please. Jack doesn’t have a sweet tooth

Comments on the contest are also welcome. Good luck!

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Which Sci-Fi Crew would you best fit in?

A fun quiz, and I’m gratified to fit in with the crew of what used to be my favorite show. URL to get your own quiz results at the bottom of the post. Thanks to ebenstone for pointing me to it.

You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5), The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn’t matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you’ll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)
 
100%
SG-1 (Stargate)
 
88%
Serenity (Firefly)
 
81%
Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)
 
75%
Moya (Farscape)
 
75%
Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)
 
75%
Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)
 
63%
Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
 
56%
Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)
 
50%
Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)
 
50%
Enterprise D (Star Trek)
 
50%
FBI’s X-Files Division (The X-Files)
 
44%
Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)
 
25%

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

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