Some reviews on my Amazon books!

The document with links for the reviews, in case you want to dig in further!

https://agnijaat.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/2.docx

1.
New! Troy reviewed wildflowers in bed of rocks
Touching in its elegance January 18, 2017
A collection of sixty-nine poems, with such themes as love, beauty, and fantastic wonder, I found this book an excellent read on a cold winter’s night when the skies are clear, with the stars alight so very far away.
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2.
Troy reviewed durgapujo duti shishur duti jagat
The Bengali text is wonderful for my practice in reading the script June 1, 2016
In this, the same celebration seen through two different perspectives, I found the poetry quite pleasing to the mind’s ear. The Bengali text is wonderful for my practice in reading the script, as well as a good resource for practicing translating between it and English!
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3.
Troy reviewed barir pujo durgapuja and kalipuja
Excellent! June 1, 2016
As a big fan of things Indian, this collection of stories is not only informative in its depiction of Bengali worship celebrations, but I found the illustrations throughout with a charm evoking mystery and wonder!
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4.
F. E. Esparza reviewed The prisoner of Sand Castle
A Thinker December 27, 2015
I found this book to be interesting to read. The stories are very short and entertaining but I feel they don’t end properly as some feel like cliff hangers. I don’t know if that was the writers intention to do. On the flip side it does give a reader thoughts to ponder on what happen next. So I do have to say this book does make a reader think and captures a persons attention.
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5.
Troy reviewed myriad colours of earth
Beautiful stuff! September 9, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, with the lyrical feel of its verse, and the accompanying digital paintings that enhance it. Most excellent!
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6.
Troy reviewed of dreams and reality
This is stellar! September 9, 2015
This one evokes thoughts like a those of a mind lost between misty puffs of down in the sky, reaching for, but always out of grasp, of answers to the very deepest of questions. Well done!
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7.
Troy reviewed the heart beats on
Fascinating stuff! September 9, 2015
A collection of poetic verse and digital painting, this book was well worth an evening’s read. Congratulations to the authoress to work done well!
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8.
Troy reviewed Meghparir Gaan song of clouds
Wonderful! September 9, 2015
As a collection of poems both Bengali and English by the authoress and her own art, this made my thoughts soar to realms afar, captured perfectly in graceful script and color!
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9.
Troy reviewed Butterflies from life’s garden
Wonderful! July 5, 2015
This collection of verse got me thinking about those little questions of life that seem so difficult to articulate in words, yet whose answers can be deceptively simple once properly considered. They are butterflies of thought, flitting about the mind’s eye and avoiding one’s direct gaze until viewed out of the corners, as it were, of that same mind’s eye. Great stuff!
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10.
Troy reviewed waves that became songs
I enjoyed this! July 5, 2015
As a collection of poems, this one was a pleasure to read through, while taking in the authoress’s evocative imagery, which supplemented the text wonderfully!
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11.
Troy reviewed Moments from the journey
Awesome poetry! July 5, 2015
This is a brilliant collection, with lively and enchanting images that add a great deal of color and feel to the text.
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12.
Troy reviewed Serenade of brush and quill: colours and words waltz
Very good! May 16, 2015
This is a wonderful collection of seven line poems, and made an excellent late night first reading. This does not disappoint!
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13.
Troy reviewed For Tagore – rabikare agnishatdal
This is so cool! May 12, 2015
I love that, not only is this a book of poetry and evocative imagery, but also that it’s written in two languages, including one I’m learning while still a novice.

I must thank the authoress for this wonderful learning opportunity, and a fitting tribute to the great Bengali polymath himself!
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14.
Kevin Cooper reviewed spirits of darkness and light
Sharmishtha’s stories are captivating. Her characters although purely original … May 6, 2015
Sharmishtha’s stories are captivating. Her characters although purely original bring some of India’s mythological creatures to light with a style of writing that can only be attributed to that of a true mistress of story-telling. Nothing is what it seems as each incredible tale keeps you wondering what is going to happen next with endings that are in no way predictable. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
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15.
Troy reviewed The prisoner of Sand Castle
Enchanting! April 30, 2015
This is an excellent collection of short fiction with cool Indian themes. I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Basu’s paranormal fiction, and this is no exception! My favorites from this are the collection’s titular story, a chilling piece titled Scarecrow, and The Woman in White, of strange goings on in a nightspot. Three thumbs up!
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16.
Gayle Walters Rose reviewed The charons: the ferrymen to hell
Evil pitted against an innocent March 29, 2015
This is a gripping tale that pits evil against the innocent. The story begins with the cruelty that our own family members can sometimes inflict on us and continues with a vindictiveness that sees no end as road blocks and terrorism are used to take down an innocent human being. And as unbelievable as it may appear, this scenario is being played out with many other innocents worldwide as those in power try to take down and…Read More

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17.
Troy reviewed The charons: the ferrymen to hell
Another good one! March 11, 2015
I’ve been following Ms. Sharmishtha Basu’s blogs and writings for some years now, and I’ve just finished reading this. It is perhaps the grimmest story I’ve read in a while. It’s dark realism is different in both style, outlook, and execution from the paranormal fiction she also writes. A story of life in India, it does not paint a pretty picture, but offers a warning, along with the discoveries and hard-fought lessons of the…Read More

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18.
David Stewart reviewed The charons: the ferrymen to hell
This is a great story of senseless malevolence and the petty cruelty that … February 15, 2015
This is a great story of senseless malevolence and the petty cruelty that people can inflict on each other. It’s an interesting look into the culture of family relationships and business dealings where everyone is out to get you.
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19.
Troy reviewed A bouquet of wild flowers
Thought provoking! February 1, 2015
A collection of 70 poems, this is an insightful work by Ms. Basu. If I must choose favorites among these, they would be her verses ‘Heaven or Hell’ and ‘Change your ways India.’ Good stuff to warm a Winter’s night!
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20.
Troy reviewed spirits of darkness and light
A good read, be it a dark night or brightly lit afternoon! January 14, 2015
Ms. Basu has in this book, a compelling portrayal of supernatural beings both benign and malignant. Here, she shows her skill in writing tales on the paranormal beings of India and the mortal characters who interact with these creatures as well. Very enjoyable!
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21.
David Stewart reviewed The Lotus of Fire
Five Stars January 12, 2015
This is a great little book with great poems and wonderful illustrations.
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22.
Teagan reviewed Serenade of brush and quill: colours and words waltz
Five Stars January 7, 2015
What a treat to have this at such a great price!
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23.
Teagan reviewed The Lotus of Fire
Lovingly Crafted December 14, 2014
This book of poetry and illustrations is lovingly crafted, and the contents are imbued with it. Kudos to the valiant spirit of this author/illustrator for getting her work out there and learning about indie publishing.
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24.
Troy reviewed Tell me a story
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great collection! December 8, 2014
This is a terrific compilation of micro-fiction, featuring a wonderful mixture of genres and skillfully done as well. This is one of Ms. Basu’s works that showcases her considerable talent as an authoress!
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25.
Troy reviewed songbird sings to sun
Wonderful! November 23, 2014
This is a wondrous collection of seven-line poems! Ever since reading Ms. Basu’s many blogs over the last few years, she has shown herself to be a woman of astounding energy and vibrant imagination, and it shows in her considerable ability as a published authoress, and this work is no exception!
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26.
Troy reviewed black mist and other stories
Brilliant stories! October 31, 2014
Perfect for Halloween reading! I love the way the author has with so many different genres of dark fiction! I must say, these are good!
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27.
Brieuc Martin-Onraet reviewed The Lotus of Fire
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Great work! October 24, 2014
Lovely texts and art. Great work!
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28.
Troy reviewed The Lotus of Fire
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Excellent work! October 11, 2014
This is a wonderful collection of musings, and a wonderful collection of insights into Indian culture, life, belief, and love. It would be interesting to see it also in Bengali language and script to practice translations on in study. Just beautiful!
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Meet Troy David Loy Guest Author of Agnishatdal and Indie Adda!

Troy David Loy is an eternal student, a writer, and blogger owned by two cats, Ricky and Eccles. He is co-author with Miss Sharmishtha Basu of two published books, and solo author of three books on Amazon for Kindle, with a fourth book on the way.

He lives with his family and values his friends, family, and the flourishing and the well-being of his species in dangerous times.

He seeks one overarching goal: to help make the world a better place in his own tiny, drop-in the- ocean way, one piece of fractal artwork, essay, or story at a time. He battles the Forces of Darkness™ from his secret volcano lair in Virginia as Troythulu while his eldritch tentacled servitors from beyond time and space keep the lab in good condition.

He may be found online at:
https://kestalusrealm.wordpress.com
https://troythulu.blogspot.com
on Tumblr at https://troythulu.tumblr.com
and on Twitter, @Troythulu
His Amazon author page is at: https://www.amazon.com/author/troyloy

Meet Swati Sarangi guest author of Agnishatdal and Indie Adda!

Swati Sarangi is currently pursuing Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. She has always been so inclined towards reading and writing since childhood days. She has contributed her works to school and college magazines, different websites like learning and creativity.com, bonobology. She actively participates in various literary competitions and has won many prizes at school ,college and national level. She writes in her blogs along with her sister Sweta –

https://creative-constellation.blogspot.com
and
https://wordstoworldblog.wordpress.com

Her poems have got place in Addiqtd Book of poetry by LJLF, Anthology of poems like Shades of life-2 ,The Stage, The seasons and various emagazines like Agnishatdal and Writer’s Ezine. Her favourite form of writing is poetry.

AGNIJASHATADALAMA PAYPAL AND PATREON- THE NEXT STEP by Sharmishtha Basu

Well, finally I took the decision and embarked upon it. I have opened an online store for my creations, but have just laid its foundations, you can buy my books, that includes Agnishatdal and Agnijaat anytime you wish, the rest of the creations that will be displayed there in due time will be available too, after they are displayed there. Till then check them out and suggest me, as much as you want! you know the email ids, sermistabasu@gmail.com and agnijaat@hotmail.com.

the sites:
https://agnijashatadalama.wordpress.com
https://agnijashatadalama.blogspot.in
and
https://www.facebook.com/agnijashatadalama

If you want to buy the Ezines or become the “fuel” behind my creativity do pay a visit to my paypal and/or patreon account I will be extremely grateful 🙂

If you want to encourage the struggling artist and writer with your huge-hearted generosity:
https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

You will be able to buy the Ezines, and my other digital works, some are already up in Patreon, will be there regularly- every month.

Others are or will be available in Agnijashatadalama, where you can see the samples, directly approach me and I will send you the pdf files after you pay through paypal! Once I up my paypal account, I will tell you then! If you actually want to help me into paying my bills in return of small pieces of books and art please become my patron! The paypal account courtesy Indian red tapes is still dangling!

https://www.paypal.me/sharmishthabasu

First annual digests of Agnishatdal (Agnidal) and Agnijaat (sfulingo) in Amazon.

agnijaat ASIN: B073V1DJLR
Agnijaat Annual Digest 2017: Sfulingo 1

agnishatdal
Agnishatdal Annual Digest 2017: Agnidal 1

Agnijaat book details

Agnijaat’s Annual edition or quarterlies wont contain the usual things that the monthly Ezine holds, I will try to give it a little different taste, this edition will share you the type of works I will be publishing in future- some colourful illustrations, paintings, haiku, poems and microfictions are at your service this year. Hope you will enjoy them!

Agnishatdal book details ASIN: B073TZLPKQ

This is the first annual digest of Agnishatdal, it is a tribute to those who have made it come true- its creative group, so apart from photographs, artworks and poetry you will meet all its creators through interviews. It is a beautiful collection of splendid creativity for those who love beautiful things

I love writing, painting and reading can you help?

Let me share a little stuff with you, which is not a secret, due to some ugly people I cant go out and work like luckier people (in my dictionary)! I have been bullied into staying at home by some really filthy and dangerous people since 2007, but I keep trying to do something which will earn me my bread, I am sick of exploiting my younger brother’s generosity!

My latest attempt is creating a profile in patreon, till now it is serving my purpose, it is allowing me to pile up my money in their account because I don’t have a fully active bank account, that is, my bank account DOES NOT ACCEPTS FOREIGN CHECKS AND EFT OF ANY TYPE! So the only way you can help me is via my patreon account, by becoming my patron!

What can I do in return of your generosity?

Well if you spend $1 (every month) there I will upload Agnishatdal there every month, you can download it from there.

If you spend $2 every month you will get Agnishatdal and Agnijaat in above-mentioned process.

If you spend $3 You will get the Ezines and a book of stories Agnimalya.

If you spend $4 you will get the Ezines, Agnimalya and another book.

If you spend $5 you will get a piece from my upcoming book!

All I can offer you is my creativity!

If you become my patron there I will be able to write, paint more and read your blogs a little more regularly, because I will be able to stop worrying about marketing of my own works, that will save a lot of time! Believe me!

Will be immensely grateful to see you there!

My id in Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

Pieces from Agnijaat 16 slyphones

The pathetic level to which modern technology has allowed intrusion into our very personal lives is quite depressing.

We all use a smartphone- they should be called slyphones-because they are not smart, sometimes their stupidity will get on your nerves, like demanding you know sign languages used by every idiotic application and will decode every button’s application used by them all by yourself.. So I will call them slyphones not smartphones.

Why sly? Well, you may have to be an expert of hieroglyphics to use them at their best but they, without asking you clearly keep track of all your private things- your emails, messages, movement, conversation…. And then a sly fox can sell them to the highest bidder or one can hack into your system to get them!

This tracking your every online activity has gone down to the level of disease in android phones. Have you ever checked out how they manipulate the links in your mails? When you move your mouse pointer on them they show the site’s post address. But when you click on it, it goes via google, and of course every damn click is saved and sold! One wonders why/how corporate deals get leaked!

Try open any site from android it will open through googleweblight. Of course google does not keeps a track of your regular spots! Come on! Why will it? Awww!!! These things show up in internet marketing sites by themselves!

Now, these methodical hacking into our private lives are done by actual human beings, and they all are saints! They will never sell the money-making data to bidders!

Article from Ashwin, September Agnijaat

Like it? Want to give the Ezines a chance to flourish or their creator a chance to make her passion her livelihood? Check out my Patreon Profile, become my patron there!

If you pledge $1 per month Agnijaat every month
If you pledge $2 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal every month
If you pledge $3 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya every month
If you pledge $4 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush every month
If you pledge $5 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush and glimpses of my upcoming books in form of another mini book every month.

You know about Agnishatdal and Agnijaat, Agnimalya contains stories and Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush contains you can guess fully illustrated works of any possible type I can create!

https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

Will love to see you there! Believe me!

Swati Sarangi Saturdays 21.10.17 The defeated devil which once tried to master me

“Hahaha, see how you’ve come under my grip so easily”, laughed the devil vehemently creating a lasting impact.
“YOU CAN NEVER BEAT ME”, shouted I at the top of my voice as a reply to the devil.
“When I have been victorious in many such battles, winning the battle against you won’t be that tough for me, do you understand it very well, girl?”, asked the devil very confidently.

I replied him at an even more confident tone as, “I am bigger than you and my existence definitely has a greater purpose, I believe it strongly.”

The above has been a figment of the conversation between me and the devil sitting inside my mind. Of course, the devil has no physical existence. It has no resemblance with anyone else in real life and I can never blame my surrounding or people for anything. The devil is the result of some distorted thoughts which might have born unknowingly out of failures, insecurities or unpleasant experiences of my life. These conversations used to get so intense at times that I feel my condition to be no different from a wanderer searching for his destination.

I had to make a move as I could not tolerate the devil winning the battle against me. I soon realised the reason behind my mood swing was only the non-refinement of my though processes. Now the pertinent question arises, how I controlled myriads of thoughts that kept affecting the course of my actions.

I could do this through a series of actions listed below-
I had to select something, be it a goal or an emotion from past or any fear that would push me to get out of my bed early in the morning as per my time table.
I chalked out a plan for my long term goal so that I am not deviated from my goal.
I started noting down the way I spend each hour of my day.
I started doing physical exercises at least for 30 minutes in a day.
I kept some time for my hobbies apart from professional work that I’m engaged in.
I focussed on completing a task at a time before moving on to the next.
I meditated on how I want to be and how my future should be and chanted shlokas and mantras for peace of mind.
I limited my time on social media.

What acted like a challenge for me yesterday, is no longer a challenge to me for today. Everything that I have thought to achieve is completely achievable- a thought that came after carrying out the above activities seriously.
I learnt that it is the action that brings utmost satisfaction in life. After all, whatever we’ve wished to achieve in our lives is always out of our comfort zone as very aptly quoted by Joseph Campbell, “Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
© Swati Sarangi

Swati Sarangi is currently pursuing Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. She has always been so inclined towards reading and writing since childhood days. She has contributed her works to school and college magazines, different websites like learning and creativity.com, bonobology. She actively participates in various literary competitions and has won many prizes at school ,college and national level. She writes in her blogs along with her sister Sweta – https://creative-constellation.blogspot.com and https://wordstoworldblog.wordpress.com .Her poems have got place in Addiqtd Book of poetry by LJLF, Anthology of poems like Shades of life-2 ,The Stage, The seasons and various emagazines like Agnishatdal and Writer’s Ezine. Her favourite form of writing is poetry.

Pieces from Agnijaat 15 kaulinyapratha

Kaulinyapratha

This tradition is a gift of middle age to Bengal, the province where I live, I don’t think any other province of India has this custom, it is a specialty of Bengali Hindus. It became a disease in middle ages and continued till Western Education and great reformists of India like Vidyasagar and Raja Rammohan Roy succeeded into making Hindu men realize how barbaric they were to their own women, their mothers, sisters and worse of all daughters!

This system tormented only high caste people, what a surprise eh?? Gee!! You see being a high caste Hindu is not all fun, they have to do sacrifices from which low caste Hindus are spared. Now, the terms high caste and low caste are not used in actual senses, because Hinduism says a man’s caste is determined by his deeds not his birth, so, a Brahmin acting like a monster is a low caste and a Sweeper acting like a sage is a sage. Got it?

So, the high caste’s had another category (it still is very much existent) Kulins, now, everyone is confused about this categorization, some say that Kulin Brahmins and Kayasthas were actually high caste people from Kanauj brought to West Bengal to revive Hinduism, other says that the Sen Kings just separated three families each of Brahmin and Kayasthas and declared them crème de la crème or Kulins. In Brahmins they are Banerjee, Chatterjee and Mukherjee. In Kayasthas they are Basu, Ghosh and Mitra.

These people had to follow Hinduism and quite a handful of its rituals customs stringently, otherwise they were banished, out casted, that back then meant they, and their ancestors and descendants had seats reserved in hell. So, disobeying them was out of question. One of them was marrying amongst themselves- that is a Kulin Kayastha could marry only a Kulin Kayastha and a Kulin Brahmin could marry only a Kulin Brahmin.

This became a disease!

The dowry exchange became an extortion and serial grooms popped up by dozens. These men married by dozens, in stories we have read about Kulin men who had hundreds of wives and honestly, that does not sounds surreal at all. Because no matter how poor they were the parents HAD to marry their daughters off, and they had to give DOWRY. Young men were under their father’s full control, they never disobeyed their fathers, so, if they were lucky their fathers managed a good wife for them, otherwise they waited for old age and married a nice, young girl (quite often).

So many stories have been left behind by men who wrote stories back then about kids being married off to old men or men on deathbed. Then becoming widow (overnight) and living a bleak, horrible life. Being married to a man older than her father…

Boy! I wonder if we Hindus will ever be able to repent enough for tormenting those women for centuries! Just because they trusted, followed their parents and society!

Article from Ashwin, September Agnijaat

If you pledge $1 per month Agnijaat every month
If you pledge $2 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal every month
If you pledge $3 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya every month
If you pledge $4 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush every month
If you pledge $5 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush and glimpses of my upcoming books in form of another mini book every month.

You know about Agnishatdal and Agnijaat, Agnimalya contains stories and Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush contains you can guess fully illustrated works of any possible type I can create!

https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

Will love to see you there! Believe me!

Friday Journals 20.10.17

Well, I finally decided that it will be but intelligent to create an online store for my works, that will help me in selling Agnijaat, Agnishatdal and my other creations in future.

Mostly you will see the sample books in agnijashatadalama, and announcements of my Amazon and Patreon projects, but, any sample book you see there, if you want to buy a pdf of its style (with far better contents) you know the email id to contact, or you can hop over to Patreon and become my patron there! That will be more trustworthy for you I believe. You will see me there every month with new works and I sincerely wish to see you too!!

So, here they are for you- just the foundations, if you feel like it suggest me, anything you want! If you want to display your books/works let me know. You know my email ids: sermistabasu@gmail.com and agnijaat@hotmail.com

now the urls of Agnijashatadalama:

https://agnijashatadalama.wordpress.com
https://agnijashatadalama.blogspot.in
https://www.facebook.com/agnijashatadalama

I will be waiting for your comments!
Wish me luck and join me there!

If you want to encourage the struggling artist and writer with your huge-hearted generosity:
https://www.paypal.me/sharmishthabasu
https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

You will be able to buy the Ezines, and my other digital works, some are already up in Patreon, will be there regularly- every month, others are available in Agnijashatadalama, where you can see the samples, directly approach me and I will send you the pdf files after you pay through paypal!

Pieces from Agnijaat 14 preachies

Preachies

There are preachers
and there are preachies.
Preachers mostly don’t intend
to dictate, preach.
They just want to share
their views on path of life
maybe experiences too
just to share rarely to teach.
Their feet are firmly settled
on this real world,
If they are true
they care for you!
Your welfare is what they want.
Preachies just preach
Sometimes out of arrogance
Sometimes ignorance
Sometimes sitting on spiderweb
waiting for next prey to fall.
Your welfare is not their goal.
Their words often have nothing to do
with reality or truth.
Beware of preachies
‘cause fake gems sparkle more
and the adulterated gold too does glitter.

poem from Bhadra, August Agnijaat

Like it? Want to give the Ezines a chance to flourish or their creator a chance to make her passion her livelihood? Check out my Patreon Profile, become my patron there!

If you pledge $1 per month Agnijaat every month
If you pledge $2 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal every month
If you pledge $3 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya every month
If you pledge $4 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush every month
If you pledge $5 per month Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnimalya, Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush and glimpses of my upcoming books in form of another mini book every month.

You know about Agnishatdal and Agnijaat, Agnimalya contains stories and Sharmishtha Basu’s Paint and Brush contains you can guess fully illustrated works of any possible type I can create!

https://www.patreon.com/sharmishthabasu

Will love to see you there! Believe me!

Thursday Fun n Frolics 19.10.17 is for Stephen Page

A Ranch Bordering the Salty River Book Synthesis
For more information visit https://smpages.wordpress.com

The book is the story (in verse and poetic prose) of Jonathan, a rancher who learns how to run a ranch in an environmentally conscious manner. He also learns how treat the animals humanely, and the employees justly. He ensures that a generous portion of land is kept feral as a wildlife refuge and a haven for local flora. As the years pass, he is daily battling cattle rustlers, horse thieves, contact hustlers, and to keep his family’s ranch eco-friendly. The drama unfolds until . . .

The book will mostly speak for itself as you read the intro, epigrams, and poems. Basically it is the story of a rancher who loves his wife and nature, and has learned to ranch the ecological way, with the cows, humans, and woods-birds-flowers-nature coexisting. He has problems first with the employees, who are cattle rustlers, horse thieves, liars, and malingerers. As he learns to deal with these problems and complete his dream of having a one-with-all ranch for him and his wife and the world, he is blind-sided by the state-bullying-economical pressure to change his eco-ranch into a pesticide-poisoning soy bean farm. He wants to return to the eco-ranch-woods, but . . .

Bio
Stephen Page is from Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. He holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Bennington College. His critical essays have appeared regularly in the Buenos Aires Herald, Gently Read Literature, and Fox Chase Review. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. He currently lives in Argentina where he teaches World literature.

Interviews
Kev’s Author Interviews Presents: Stephen Page Author of A Ranch Bordering the Salty River
https://kcbooksandmusic.wordpress.com

Kev: Tell us a bit about yourself, Stephen.
Steve: Hello, Readers. How are you? I am fantastic. My name is Stephen Page, but you may call me Steve. I was born in Detroit into a family with Irish, English, Shawnee, and Apache lineage. I am the author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River (by Finishing Line Press). I graduated with two AA’s from Palomar college, a BA from Columbia University, and an MFA From Bennington College. I currently live in Argentina and am married to a bewitching Argentine woman. I love traveling, adventuring, reading, Netflix-bingeing, spending time with my family, and occasionally throwing my cell phone off a high bridge.

Kev: What’s your latest book called and how did you come up with the title?
Steve: The title of the book is A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. I derived the name from the fictional location of a ranch/farm which happens to have a salty river along one of its borders.
The Salty River works as a metaphor for the briny relationship the main character, Jonathan, has with his employees and business partners.

Kev: Which Genre do you have it listed under and does it cross any other genres?
Steve: It is a collection of poems, a novel in verse, a work of fiction . . . so yes, it does cross genres . . . or maybe it can best be called a genre-rich book . . . a bundle of genres . . . a bound genrae.

Kev: Tell us a little bit more about it.
Steve: This book tells the story of Jonathan, a rancher who learns how to run a ranch in an environmentally conscious manner. He learns how treat the animals humanely and the employees justly. He ensures that a generous portion of land is kept feral as a wildlife refuge and a haven for local flora. He daily battles cattle rustlers, horse thieves, contract hustlers, saboteurs, and violent people . . . until . . . well, so I won’t spoiler-alert, you will have to read the book to see how the story plays out.

Kev: Introduce us to your main character
Steve: I picture Jonathan as an intellectually rugged man. He wakes early to sip coffee while watching the sun rise over fields of clover and listen to the morning birds sing. He puts on his rancher clothes and steps out of his house and steps up into his white pickup or hops on his roan horse to perform a recorrido (tour of the ranch), where he checks on the state of the livestock, makes certain security gates are locked and closed, supervises the employees on their daily routines, mandates orders of the day, ensures that his business partners who plant seeds and harvest on his land are rotating the crops properly—and most especially do not spray herbicides/pesticides that are on “the worst environmentally hazardous product lists.” He often works in the corral with the gauchos (South American cowboys). Sometimes, or whenever he can, which is never as often as he likes, he slips away and sits in the woods and sips mate (a loose-leaf tea drunk from a gourd through a metal straw) and just relishes the beauty of living on a piece of land that is rich with nature. Jonathan is an ethical person who believes in fair-play and wants to do good things in the world. He is honest but naïve in the world of business and business people—that is where the tension arises in the poems/story.

Kev: Provide a teaser/short passage from your book.
Steve: Here is the first poem of the collection, which introduces the voice of the main character, and provides the setting:

The Drought
In a field northeast of Wood
the soy is stunted,
the pods hang brown and brittle
the leaves twirl dunly.
The bees!
I never knew there could be so many!
How angry they sound in the afternoon:
hundreds of white wood hives
pueblo the edge
of Wood.
I could not reach Wood,
the bramble and burrs
were too thick
boundaring the tree line
incompatible
with my bare legs.
My ranch house sits kilometers
away, my 4 by 4 is parked
on the road behind me.
I want to enter the Myth
of Wood, the legend of its shade
to lick the dew off leaves.
The thistle has bloomed to seed.

Steve: And here are the epigrams, which help set up the story:
“I is someone else.”— Arthur Rimbaud. “The known interprets the obscure, the universe is alive with myth.” – Ernest Fenolloso. “It behooves man now not to separate himself too jauntily from any of nature’s creatures.” – Charles Olson. “The World has a soul.” – Allen Ginsberg. And “Out of our quarrel with others we make rhetoric. Out of our quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” – William Butler Yeats

***
Kev: When you wrote this work, did you write off-the-cuff or use some kind of formula like an outline?
Steve: I just started writing poems regularly out on a piece of land on the Pampas (the Argentine grain belt/plains). I often sat in the early morning hours by or in a wooded area and wrote about nature and the synthesis of human beings with the rest of the natural world. Then, after I started working on the land, I thought of an imaginary account of a rancher/farmer trying to use the land profitably yet environmentally friendly, and those topics cropped up in my poems. Eventually, I found a line threading through the poems I had been writing for over a year, and a common thesis was revealed to me with a drama playing out. So, there was no outline. Not at first anyways. The only formula I remember was that the work began poem by poem, headed in no particular direction, but then aligned arbitrarily, and consciously marched off to a satisfying conclusion.

Kev: Did you research for the backdrop of your story or any other part of it?
Steve: In order to validate to the poems and story, I did research, especially after the poems began to form a united work. I googled, read online, and bought hundreds of books about ranching, farming, managing employees, taking care of livestock, names of local fauna and flora.

Kev: What challenges did this particular work pose for you?
Steve: Time, mostly. Long hours of writing and editing after long days of running a ranch/farm. Then there was the learning how to smile when dealing with dishonest people.

Kev: What methods are you using to promote this work?
Steve: I am a writer and a reader. Usually humble, in fact I am the most humble person I know. Seriously, I am not by nature a bragger, a grandstander, or a show-off. So, promoting is something I never did before or even tried to do. I am still new at it (even after months of execution) and still learning. The people at Finishing Line Press provided me with some reading material to learn how to promote. Promoting apparently is the “now” way for writers to publish and sell books. Whereas, in the past, publishing houses did most of the promoting and selling and distributing, now most publishing houses want the writer to do the legwork and phone calling. There are lots of ways to go about promoting. In my case, I just e-mailed bookstores, alma-matters, libraries, family, and friends. I set up a book tour. I also opened Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to post notices about the progress of the book’s publication, its release, the book tour, blurbs and reviews. So, readers, if you read something on-line from a writer that rings like shame-faced self-promotion, it’s just a necessary survival tactic, an evolutionary result.

Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Steve: Just keep at it. Never give up. Always think of yourself as a writer (even if other people do not). Spend as much time submitting for publication and promoting your work as you do writing.

***
Links to and about “A Ranch Bordering the Salty River,” by Stephen Page:
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river-by-stephen-page-2/
https://www.amazon.com/Ranch-Bordering-Salty-River/dp/1635340357
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/powerofperceptionradio/2016/12/09/power-of-perception-writers-stephen-page
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32171420-a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river
https://www.facebook.com/AranchBorderingTheSaltyRiver/
https://alumni.columbia.edu/node/989741
https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/a-ranch-bordering-the-salty-river/
https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/reader-picks-for-the-holidays/
http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/bennington-college-alumnus-publishes-third-book,115448
https://www.timeout.com/detroit/things-to-do/author-signing-stephen-page
http://applause.blogs.ocala.com/18216/author-publishes-new-book/
http://thebookshelfcafe.news/author/stephen-page/

About Kev
Kev is an Author & Songwriter. After years of studying, and even more years working in education, and management in the US, he returned to his hometown in England where he finally settled down to focus on his writing and music. Links to his works can be found in the widget bar, and more information about them can be found on his pages above. He would greatly appreciate it if you would check them out. Kev has a M.Ed in Secondary Education with English as his main subject area. He also did post-graduate studies in Christian Counselling and Psychopathology after obtaining a BA in Psychology with a minor in Classical Greek.

Pieces from Agnijaat 13 mirror

Mirror
Mirror is vanity
and mirror is truth.
Mirror also teaches us humility for sure.
Look at your face
with love and honesty
and you will surely see
who you truly are.
You can lie to the world,
and fool one too many men,
but when you look at yourself
you will see what you are really.
Things that you hide
or you think you do
will clearly show up on your face,
and when they do,
don’t think that you can
fool everyone.
For just like you,
others may see the real you
by looking at you.
If your words and the man
in the mirror are not same,
maybe you should change
one of them real soon.
poem from Bhadra, August Agnijaat

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