Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Anurag Chaudhary, Poet & Writer


Anurag Chaudhary is a Mechanical Engineering graduate who is everything but a mechanical engineer. Having a passion for writing and poetry since a better part of his adolescence, he dreams to be the most beloved storyteller of them all someday. He is a staunch believer of magic, that is life. A dreamer by heart, a dreamer forever. A confused soul forever!
Define the perfect poem…

A perfect poem for me is the one which remains with the reader for a long time. If it is about life, the reader should correlate with it and refer to it whenever he faces a similar situation for example, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. If it is fantasy, then it should be brilliant enough to leave the reader exhausted with orgasmic pleasure of reading it. And I believe that a successful blank verse is the greatest and toughest form of poetry. 

Can you share a poem of your own?
My latest poem, A kid and his coca-cola. Hope you like it. Also one from past, Just that sound

The kid and his coca-cola!

Through the smeared street where he lives,
Letting his absence discrete from Ma,
He scurries his way out to the Bazaar
Ah! The Bazaar! Where resides his heaven!

There lives a chemist, who so often humiliates pa,
And then there are outlets that sell everything good in the world,
He can’t have any of them and he just knows it,
That pa doesn’t have the fuel which runs this world, the green leaves and shiny pennies

But he has an eye to look beyond these dark sad alleys
A sun always shines and he knows where,
Near Abdul Kaka’s mart lies his treasure
And the chests come not in silver or gold but bright crimson

Crates full of half-empty glass bottles of coca-cola
The potion within resembles pa’s smutty wine in color
And gosh! It tastes heaven!
This heaven unlike others comes for gratis

He never leaves a bottle un-emptied, saving himself from such a sin,
He licks every last drop of every single solitary slender in the crate
Someday, he may be moneyed enough to buy and leave the bottles half-emptied for some poor little scum like himself
Till then, he can feast on his treat with blithe and blasé.

Just that sound!!

When the tired sun groaned
And the moon just yawned
They were behind the cloudy curtains
Exchanging their places, up in the Eden
Someone I call “me” was passing by
Oh! No, not in the skies but on the road far by
Held up in some work, I had wasted my whole day
Tired, weary, I was, least to say
Unaware of what happened all around
My head swinging on merry go round.
This whole thing in the skies “the exchange of seats”
Had taken a back seat
Mother was having her share clouds
Breezes accompanying the dusty shrouds
Just when came the sound of SPLASH
What happened had happened in a flash
Followed by what we call tip-toeing
The wet concrete beneath me just got some mowing
Sun by now in his dreams
the moon was in the quilts deaf enough to hear the rainy screams
I was all alone fighting the water in dark
Finding my way was never this hard
Blindfolded by the seductive night
My feet remaining my only might
Nobody followed, nobody was either
Nobody does in such a weather
Its just that sound of my steps
Trying to wake up the milky ball behind the clouds who already slept
It was faint though
I was just walking in a row
There was no better feeling
Soft drops on cheeks only cause the eternal healing
It couldn’t have gone crazier
I was never this lazier
On the steps to my portal
I felt the relief that was immortal
Yeah I hadn’t spoken a word that night
My eyes as well were out of might
Nothing else helped me either
It was just that sound which did the favor.

Who is your favorite poet/writer?
My favorite poet...umm....wow...I love so many of them. Sylvia Plath was amazing for the way she portrayed the pain of women. Rabindranath Tagore is someone I would prescribe you to read to understand why for me; he is the greatest Indian poet of all time. Wordsworth was the greatest when it comes to describing nature. Shakespeare was well Shakespeare, a true magician of words. There are many others, Frost, Coleridge, Keats etc.. But one guy, PB Shelly. My god, he stands out. It’s the way he wrote, if I can even write with 1% passion of Shelly, I would become a great poet and I know it.

Among writers, I love O Henry and Anton Chekhov among many others.
How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

I try to look around, and many a times just start writing. I generally don't plot but let my stories and poems flow in their own ways. Trust me I have written more shits than anything because I just like to let my mind and words flow the way they want. Many a times, they don't make sense, but not every work is there to make sense or to get applaud. Sometimes I write because I am getting bored during an engineering lecture, sometimes I can’t sleep at nights because of a thought and I have to start writing no matter what time it is. I am kinda impulsive when it comes to writing.
Where do you like to write?
I am not from a writing background; I have done my bachelors from Mechanical Engineering because my parents wanted me to do. Writing is seen as a hobby at my home which shall not be taken seriously because one can’t make money out of it. This attitude has helped me in a way as I just need a pen and a paper and some free time and a wandering mind. I can write anywhere, anytime. As I said, impulsive streak. 

You have a wonderful blog with amazing poems. Will you publish your poetry soon?
I keep sending my poems at places trying my luck and a few forums like Poemhunter.com and poempigeon have my profile. But to be published is still a dream. I would love to if I can.

I wonder about your role/writing at Sportskeeda, but I am not really into sports, I fail miserably in this area, so I ask you to share something intriguing about Sportskeeda…
Sportskeeda (meaning "sports worm") is an India based sports website with a reach in many countries. I did an internship in sports writing with the website last October and after completing my internship I was offered a job of paid writer by them. The money was meagre ( $7 a week) and I had to devote 4-5 hrs a day in my research for it. So I quit the paid job this July.
It was a great experience but writing about sports means basically putting records and numbers in words and I got bored out of it.

What are you currently writing?


I am currently working on a manuscript by the name of Shanty of Shantaram other than random poems and short stories now and then.

What are you currently reading?
I started reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe this morning itself. It is a cult classic written in 1958 and is considered as one of the greatest English fictions ever written.

Where is your favorite place on earth?

My favorite place on earth will always remain my homeland India. The reason is the colors it imparts. Unlike the sophisticated West, Indians like to live impulsively and they are never out of color in life. There is always, always so much happening in every nook of this country. It is just magically unbelievable, also it is my home and I feel safe here. Having said that, if I can, I want to explore Europe to its deepest. I am always enticed by its beauty, especially Paris and Rome.

What do you like to do in your idle time?
Other than writing and reading, I am a huge fan of WWE and Cricket, (two things I wrote about at Sportskeeda). Well, I love Indian music and I love Dylan, McLean, Harry Belafonte, Brad Paisley, Sinatra, Warren Zovan etc. I don’t mind an occasional pinch of metal either. I am more into pop though.
I am more of a laid back and a hardcore romantic person, and so is my taste in music and movies too. I like to live at my own little pace and don't compete much for anything. 

And a huge fan of "Friends" haha!
Do you have advice for novice writers/poets?
My advice for any aspiring writer, umm, is what Octivia Butler said once,"You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it." That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
So, just keep writing if you really really love it!


Connect with Anurag…

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Horse Biomechanics and You


Dawn Hill Adams, Ph.D. and Jo Belasco, Esq. announce the anticipated launch of their  30-day Kickstarter campaign to support the publication of their book

Within just a few hours, this project became a Kickstarter Staff Pick. They have wonderful supporter gifts at many levels, starting at $1! Their higher level gifts include a private biomechanics session, including the opportunity to be photographed riding your horse for inclusion in the book and companion workbook. This book is for the entire horse community; they are requesting all different disciplines, breeds and level of rider involved.

Please help them reach their goal of $1700 so they can bring this book to the entire horse community! Visit the Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103149890/the-science-of-riding-with-feel to show your support and share this status with everyone you know!

Thanks for your support!
 

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Goin' Extinct: Tales from the Edge of Oblivion


New Book Release!

Announcing the release of the anticipated thriller Goin’ Extinct: Tales from the Edge of Oblivion ! Featuring my first zombie short story Finding Tennessee as well as other great stories from my fellow writers at WPaD  - Writers, Poets, and Deviants– a successful group of highly skilled, creative writers and poets!

Goin’ Extinct is not for the faint of heart and is a collection of apocalyptic short stories exploring the myriad of ways in which life as we know it could end; from the traditional nuclear apocalypse to cosmic events, zombies, mysterious alien substances, evil corporations and even… coffee. These tales will shock, entertain and tug at your heart strings. A must-have for any fan of dystopian fiction.

WPaD is an independent publishing group made up of writers who collaborate on thematic anthologies to raise funds for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) research.

Available in Kindle and paperback, WPaD has published six thrilling books with a seventh book to be released soon!

Recommended reading - there is something for everyone in the WPaD library!

Peruse the WPaD collection, pick your favorites, and leave a review!

Connect with WPad
http://www.amazon.com/WPaD/e/B00ISILWZI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
http://wpad.weebly.com
https://www.facebook.com/WritersPoetsandDeviants

http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/06/writers-poets-and-deviants-aka-wpad.html

Friday, August 22, 2014

Press Release

 

Author, freelance writer and equestrian, Gina McKnight, shares her current interview series Equestrians from Around the World! Enjoy informative anecdotes, training suggestions, world-class riders, and much more. As seen on #HorseGirlTV and #GirlGab.com.

Glen Bianchi is an expert in his field. World-renowned for creating custom-made spurs and bits, Glen was 13 years old when he began learning the art of metal fabrication in his father’s machine shop. In 2000, Glen became a student of Texas spur maker Walt Rambo. Operating a small Hereford cattle ranch in S.E. Oklahoma, USA, Glen has a perfect view of his curly faced cows and his ranch horses while working in his shop.
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/08/glen-bianchi-spur-bit-maker.html


“I have always thought the term riding "stable" was so fitting; I never feel more emotionally grounded and "stable" than during my horse time.” A wonderful interview with visionary journalist and equestrian Jayne Thurber-Smith. From Virginia, USA, Jayne is an award-winning freelance writer for various publications including Faith & Friends, Sports Spectrum magazine, cbn.com, and more.
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/08/jayne-thurber-smith-equestrian.html


Originally from High Prairie, Alberta, Canada, Irene Stevenson began her career as a professional photographer. She started out in portrait photography but found it didn't fulfill her artistic vision as a photographer. So Irene began pointing her camera at the one thing she loves most: horses. Irene interviews about what it takes to capture the perfect photograph.
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/08/irene-stevenson-equine-photographer.html


From USA,  Equine Blogger Karen Melroy  interviews about her love of horses and much more. Despite Karen’s best efforts, she didn't get her first horse until she was in junior high school.  She won Quarter Horse Reya in a raffle at a horse show, and the rest is horse history. Enjoy Karen’s charismatic interview…
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/08/karen-melroy-equine-blogger.html


Author, equestrian, my friend and colleague, Roland Clarke, recently had the great opportunity to interview Sam Griffiths and Team Griffiths. Thanks, Roland, for sharing this amazing interview; Congratulations Sam and Team Griffiths on your amazing performance!
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/07/sam-griffiths-world-equestrian.html


Declared Horse Woman by a member of the Ottawa Tribe, Author Susan G. Cline has deep roots in America. Recently attending the American Indian Council of Indiana Intertribal Powwow, she reminisces with her readers and shares her enchanting stories. Born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast, USA, now living inland, Susan is an award winning author, writing captivating fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is a connoisseur of literature, art, poetry, and music…http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/08/susan-g-cline-author-poet.html


America's sensational Jockey Rosie Napravnik and MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® are teaming up for another effort to help Old Friends! Introducing the new Rosie Signature Hat Collection -with a portion of the sales going to the retired racehorses of Old Friends!
http://ginamc.blogspot.com/2014/07/rosie-napravnik-signature-hat-collection.html

All articles copyright protected. No duplication without permission. 
Gina McKnight, Author & Freelance Writer
Member: Ohio Arts Council & Outdoor Writers of Ohio
http://gmcknight.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Susan G. Cline, Author & Poet



Declared Horse Woman by a member of the Ottawa Tribe, Author Susan G. Cline has deep roots in America. Recently attending the American Indian Council of Indiana Intertribal Powwow, she reminisces with her readers and shares her enchanting stories. Tragically, Susan’s husband passed away several years ago and she continues to mend and recover from her loss; my sincere condolences.

Born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast, USA, now living inland, Susan is an award winning author, writing captivating fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is a connoisseur of literature, art, poetry, and music…

Welcome Susan!

Susan writes, “I am blessed and not a moment goes by that I do not thank Creator for the joys He allows me to experience. My heart is still in a great deal of pain, yet as I am sitting there among the singing and the Drums, among people who have taken time to come and see us, among those who work so hard to make these Powwows happen, my heart heals a little more. I feel very small, like a speck among all this, just another droplet or dart of light in the sky. I feel very proud to be granted a small place among all of this greatness, this life Creator allows me to experience each day. Many people face or have faced travesties, and yet they smile as they walk, ready to greet the next person. They steer their mind off their troubles and step into a new scenario for a while, so they can heal, even if it's just a little more. That is what stories do. We are all creating one of those, whether writer or not. And whether it is on paper or not, it will be shared to help heal others. It was from this standpoint I answered your questions.”
 

Do you miss the Texas Gulf Coast?  
YesYes. Moving here from Texas was a big culture shock. The gulf coast offers diversity on every level from people to diversity of customs to music and food. And of course there’s the magnanimous beach and all that goes with that. Living here has taught me how to be myself on levels I would have not learned otherwise. Now, I have many cherished friends here and have established a pleasant life.

What books have you written?
Warrior Woman –Native American Teachings for Healing the Girl Within
Into this Soul (poetry)
This Little Horse Didn’t Go to Market (the true story of a miniature horse rescued by Another Chance for Horses, written in fable and lore format)
Undaunted (nonfiction)
Inevitable Dream (nonfiction)

Novels:

What is the premise for the 'Rojo' series?
One Wolf inspired the entire series. She belonged to a friend of mine, a full blood Apache. He had a permit for her and she was his dear friend. I was among the few people allowed to interact with her. Wolves are in all the books as main characters.

Family is at the core and soul of the Rojo series, family connections, dismays, flaws, shames, frailties, and ultimately the eternal bond which protects each individual from the world. It is basically about two families dating back to the mid 1800’s.

In that family are the beloved Wolves, as well as the Horses. Along with that is a message of empowerment over the cycle of abuse and abuses of power. The cycle of abuse appears in every one of the novels along with the ways it is dealt with, and what happens to everyone involved, both the good and the bad.

Did your childhood influence your writing career?  
My mother was very much into the arts, all kinds of art; music, books, movies, artwork, anything and everything pertaining to art and born of art. She took me to art shows and galleries. We used to have lunch in day rooms dash antique shops. She had an entire collection of classical music. We spent a lot of early mornings in used book stores set up in Victorian houses. We spent many evenings bundled up on the couch with something she’d baked and strong coffee late at night watching old movies. My mom was a history buff, constantly reading. She was a thriving wealth of information. My mom and I laughed enough for ten people and three lifetimes.

My dad was an ex-Marine, though really there’s no such thing as an ex-Marine. We were up by seven just about every Saturday. As serious as he could be my dad was easily humored. Making him laugh was just fun. He loved science fiction and was rather philosophical. I grew up watching Carl Sagan. Dad was the best mechanic I ever knew, though later in life I met my husband who was just as good. My dad was a talented photographer. He left many of his photos with me which I use in my promotions or just to share because they’re beautiful.

We almost always had gardens and lived in the country. Even though we didn’t have a farm we had just about every other kind of critter imaginable  – birds, hamsters, fish, lizards, dogs, cats, turtles, a couple of rabbits.

So- I am pretty disciplined but easily sidetracked by something funny. I cry easily too and tend to think very deeply about everything to the point of overthinking sometimes. But I see that as strength not a weakness due to my mother’s influence. I prefer fresh raw vegetables and still cook using iron cast skillets, heavy glass or stainless steel like a chef’s skillet. My dad taught me a high tolerance for very strong coffee and hot peppers. I grew up with a lot of spices in general. I can see where all that meshed together influences the way I write.

Are your characters based upon personal experiences?
The region I grew up in is rich in lore. I was born on Galveston Island, Texas, and raised about thirty minutes inland between there and Houston. I grew up with stories of pirates and buried treasures never found. I also grew up learning about and developing a depth of respect and love for the Native American Culture.  

My personal experiences could be another book in itself, but yes many of my own developed perceptions guided me through the scenes. I also consult with Native American friends along the way so I know what not to write as much as what to pen throughout the pages. They are always the first to read my books before they’re published.

 Of all your characters, who is your favorite?
Jackson Martinez. He is passionate and flawed, extremely sensitive and brave anyway. I’ve heard from numerous readers that he can be a jerk too. Some of them even asked me to let Cassie marry Jonathon in another book because Jonathon is sweeter than Jackson.  I did try, I promise, but it just wouldn’t go, because she sees in Jackson what I do. He shuts off his emotions at will and wonders who he is and yet knows exactly who he is, and really, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks – or so it seems. He is the embodiment of life’s contradictions which he allows to mold him into a very complex man. Tragic experiences early in his life as a teenager contribute to this. He taught me about the combining of human frailty and might, and how a person can rise above their own worst mistakes; that treacherous paths can lead to healing, that absolutely nothing is beyond the realms of healing.

You are a poet as well. Please share one of your poems...
This is the one that came to me –

I’ve Seen Storms Like That
by Susan G. Cline

I’ve seen storms like that,
Soft and sweet blue.
I’ve felt rain like that,
Mossy green tumbling down trees
Pressing away swamp air
In the bayou.

Sounds of kindness in the meadow
Abound on birds’ feet
And inland, racing strong and true
Comes morning bright as light itself
On silent lightning mango cool
Around the bayou.

Gulf sings praises of another day
Heaping gravity for the Moon
Scouring shoreline clean and true
Near the bayou.

In come tourists who know it too ~
Adventure’s loping stroll
By waters of wintergreen hue
Along the bayou.
Danger so close and far from home
And nearer safety than ever before
Can await a moment where it seems
Unforbidden
To be, to long for, to recall, to feel
Night and day tomorrow once more ~
Hope lying asleep on the floor
With dogs and cats, but mittens no more
For the trek from South to North
And back again to salted shores
Where yesterday brought today, again
And lore
Of days spent knowing something
Familiar would again be once more
And that’s the people of the bayou ~
Tender and strengthened by the past
And tomorrow’s shores,
Unafraid and tourist never ~
        always a visitor
To real hardwood floors
And smoke arising with coffee strong,

And not a blushing one ~
Laughter imminent
Nowhere near forlorn ~
Intelligence between lines
And humored eyes smiling
On the bayou.

When I left there
I brought it here with me ~
The bayou.

But when I go back
I leave this here,
Knowing
All I touched

Felt it too,
The bayou,
Saying,

I’ve seen storms like that ~
I’ve felt rain like that.
She’s familiar to me
Always,
That bayou island girl.
She gave me a taste
Of mossy shoreline
Scoured shining by water dust
Tasting of salt and sugar spicy tame
Wilder than shame.
I wish I’d known her better,
And can’t remember her name,
But I’ve seen storms like that
\
And I felt rain like that ~
Green on trees and blue from sky ~
I’ve felt dreams like that,
That I could both taste and smell,
Sweet, salted and spicy hot
All in one flash of a moment
And I closed my eyes
Overwhelmed with this refrain
Of a song I’ve tasted before.

But a taste is all one can handle
Who wasn’t born there
Or destined to be along her shores
So close to the Moon and Sun in one place
So close to the bayou
But of course it isn’t the bayou alone
Nor the bayou which sings her own song ~

It’s that Gulf. It’s that Gulf. It’s that Gulf ~
The only one. The only one. The only one ~
        Of her kind.

That Gulf where the Sun rises and sets in the same place
At the same time
Under the Moon and stars each day.

Fishermen could never understand that,
And knowing they weren’t meant to –
Awaited the Sun just the same.

Brighter clouds have never shown themselves
That way again,
Not since yesterday.


Where do you like to write?
These days I write at my dining room table even though I have two desks, unless I'm using my desk top computer. I like being out in the open where I can be close to my dogs. I have a heavy glass candle vessel in an iron cast holder filled with rocks my husband gave me. It sits on a flat basket right here by me.

What are you currently writing?
I am working on the sixth novel in the series, Deep Roots in Power and on a book I started in memory of my husband called Donnie’s Rock.

What are you currently reading?
My friend is sending me a book to read but she hasn’t told me what it is, says it’s a surprise. In the meantime I am reading what I have written, again.

What is the key to writing the perfect novel?
Stories are like herbs. You have to honor their power. Stories are a part of the wildest in nature, very beautiful and also intense.

It is wonderful for a person to have the innate talent of imparting stories through writing. It is also a continual learning process and a skill needing practice.

To write the perfect novel is to do the work of being you and to be willing to face the void. If all else fails, write about the void. But write. When faced with the emptiness of losing my husband, I went to pen and paper and just wrote whatever came to mind. Some of those writings have found their places either in one of the two books I’m working on or in my blog. Mindless ramblings of a journal can be hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. It is also a way to transform the travail so you don’t drench your pages with wet pain – unless that’s the effect you want. In that case, go for it.

Understand that writing is rewriting. Enjoy, thoroughly enjoy the journey. Do your research. Just write the story. Trust yourself. It’s the only way you can trust your readers.

List ten items that your fans may not know about you...
When I was between the ages of about nine and twelve, I rode a horse named Lady and I rode a cow named Lady too. The horse belonged to my Godmother and the cow belonged to my uncle.

Along with a lifeguard, I almost drowned in the Gulf of Mexico when I was fifteen and had a fear of deep water from then on. About ten years ago I took a six week private “fear of deep water” swimming class and was over my fear by the third lesson. I didn’t have to take any more classes. I still don’t particularly like deep water but it does not terrify me any longer.

I drink dark specialty beer.

I never sleep late.

I was kicked off the school bus when I was in ninth grade for leading what the bus driver said was inappropriate singing. The song was “Mama’s Got a Squeezebox (and daddy never sleeps at night).”

The very first poem I ever read was The Mending Wall by Robert Frost, which brought me to tears.

One of my closest childhood friends was a black Chihuahua named Tiny.

I saved a long haired black Chihuahua from a pack of large dogs when I was twelve. I saw four of them growling and carrying on with one slinging what looked like a black rag. When I realized it was a little dog I grabbed a stick and went running out there and scared them off. His name was Brutus and he belonged to my neighbor. He almost didn’t make it. But when he recovered he often came to my house. He often ran inside my house and headed straight for my room.

I wear my dad’s belt almost every day.

I carry my husband’s wallet in my purse.

I was given the name Horse Woman in 1993 by a member of the Ottawa Tribe who said it was due to my personality traits, which includes both strengths and weaknesses of the Horse.


Connect with Susan…