Reviewing at the #EdFringe

I do not know how many of my readers have heard about the Fringe. But those in the arts industry would have. So the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. The Fringe is a showcase for the performing arts, with show categories including Cabaret, Children’s shows, Comedy, Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus, Events, Exhibitions, Music, Musicals and Opera, Spoken Word and Theatre.
As you can imagine, various publications, online, in print, and newspapers run reviews of shows to watch (or not to watch) throughout the month. Late last month, I applied for a position as an official reviewer of theatre for an online magazine called Fringe Guru, and got it!
So I’ve been watching a lot of theatre and reviewing it for the general public audience. You can read my reviews here. Or if you follow me on Twitter, @effervescencia, I have gotten more active there as well.
Understandably, my reading has taken a backseat for the month of August, but with this chunk of good work, my writing is flying. Do let me know your thoughts – have you watched any of the shows? Do you enjoy theatre? Did you like any of my reviews?


This and that…

A long time has passed since I was left reeling in the feeling of a book long after it was over. I wish I hadn’t read it so that I could read it for the first time again… know what I mean? Read Orkney, if you get your hands/your Kindle-paws on it.

Anyway, some stuff I came across on social media…





Happy Birthday, Anais Nin!

She is not very famous. I discovered her by pure chance, for she writes the kind of stuff that people usually classify as cheap. Common themes are women’s sexuality, art, music, and the heady combination of all those. She is fantastic! The way she explores the little talked about domain of women’s needs and desires, the way she puts into words those emotions, those feelings, candidly, yet without sounding cheap is commendable.

Murakami is another author who does that really well, but at the end of the day, he is a man and I do believe that this is something the writing of which would need an experience. Also, her works are far more graphic, intended for a much more mature reader.
According to Wikipedia, and the reference is to Otto Rank, one of Freud’s circle of psychoanalysts. He was her psychotherapist I believe…

“Rank, she observes, helped her move back and forth between what she could verbalize in her journals and what remained unarticulated. She discovered the quality and depth of her feelings in the wordless transitions between what she could say and what she could not say. “As he talked, I thought of my difficulties with writing, my struggles to articulate feelings not easily expressed. Of my struggles to find a language for intuition, feeling, instincts which are, in themselves, elusive, subtle, and wordless”.

Oh you beauty!


My Second Star

I just got my second star for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ from the lovely lady behind the blog Solemn Diaries. Do visit her, she writes and writes well. Thank you!

The following still apply:

1.  Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – read here.

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award – read here.

3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5. You can now also join the award’s Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience if you choose to

6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Pictures from Italy …a review

For the last couple of weeks, I have been juggling Discrete Time Signal Analysis, Power Electronics, and Principles of Microelectronic Devices. When I took breaks from the insanity, I dove into this book, a travelogue by Dickens; his account of travelling in Italy, along with parts of France and Switzerland.

I have always loved Dickens’ style, his slow ways of painting pictures, grim and bleak scenes, and an all-pervading melancholy. Definitely my type of writing! And I have always associated that lilting style with him. I was taken aback by this book!

Not only is it lively and fast paced, it has none of the usual melancholy! In fact, if I hadn’t known who the author was and was told to guess, I would have said “Definitely familiar, but I can’t place him!” The accounts are beautiful, to say the least. He describes nature and architecture with a simplistic grace that is trademark of the language of the greats.

The edition I have is a 200th birthday edition of Tara Books, and the artwork is stupendous! This has been a lovely lovely read. I had forgotten how much I loved Dickens, while I read this, it was like coming up for fresh air. I can’t wait for these exams to get over!


The coloured pages are double folded into the book.

Quote: “Floating down narrow lanes, where carpenters, at work with plane and chisel in their shops, tossed the light shaving straight upon the water, where it lay like weed, or ebbed away before me in a tangled heap. Past open doors, decayed and rotten from long steeping in the wet, through which some scanty patch of vine shone green and bright, making unusual shadows on the pavement with its trembling leaves. Past quays and terraces, where women, gracefully veiled, were passing and repassing, and where idlers were reclining in the sunshine, on flag-stones and on flights of steps. Past bridges, where there were idlers too; loitering and looking over. Below stone balconies, erected at a giddy height, before the loftiest windows of the loftiest houses. Past plots of garden, theatres, shrines, prodigious piles of architecture — Gothic — Saracenic — fanciful with all the fancies of all times and countries. Past buildings that were high, and low, and black, and white, and straight, and crooked; mean and grand, crazy and strong. Twining among a tangled lot of boats and barges, and shooting out at last into a Grand Canal! There, in the errant fancy of my dream, I saw old Shylock passing to and fro upon a bridge, all built upon with shops and humming with the tongues of men; a form I seemed to know for Desdemona’s, leaned down through a latticed blind to pluck a flower. And, in the dream, I thought that Shakespeare’s spirit was abroad upon the water somewhere: stealing through the city.”

~ from the chapter ‘An Italian Dream’


Hundreds of books have been made into movies. Millions of books wont…

I have been reading for as long as I can remember. Understandably, I have come across good and bad books. Some have left a mark, some have scarred, some others have just passed me by. Of all the books that have left a mark, a lot were illustrated versions. I am a very imaginative person, and always visualize what I am reading. But, I can’t draw to save my life!

While I was telling y’all about digitized images to go with quotes, I was thinking of all the images in my head. Books like, say ‘The Lord of the Rings’, they’e turned into good movies. And now, when I read the book again, Legolas IS Bloom, and Arwen is Tyler! But, there are so many books for which there is no such visual representation… Take Moby Dick, for example. I read an illustrated version of the book when I was eight; and now, when anyone mentions the whale, the picture in my head is one of those in the book.

Most children books have illustrated version, I note. Not a lot of adult ones do, unless they are collectibles or something… Recently I was sent a copy of ‘Pictures from Italy’, and the artwork inside the book blew me away! It’s a travelogue by Dickens. This particular edition from Tara is a 200th birth year tribute. I’m raving about the book and I haven’t even started reading!

Some books with wonderful illustrations are imprinted in my head, the characters speak feel and love, and I can see it happening like a movie. I love TV shows of the Famous Five and stuff, but an illustrated book is so stylish!

V and I have a pact, that when I write my book, he will do the artwork. There will be one painting at the beginning of each chapter and one each for the front and back covers! And he says they shan’t be illustrations, they shall be paintings 🙂

What kind of artwork can you have for Murakami!? Imagine the possibilities! Think beyond cats 😛

Beyond books…

The world of books and reading is immense. I’m pretty sure we all know that one person, who’d rather read than do anything else! No wonder, writing, blogging, reading is such a massive market these days. And no wonder then, that there is so much else that is in the market and everywhere around us, that is inspired from books and reading, but has, in fact, nothing to do with it! Take a look at this delightful bag, for instance,


This is so awesome. You can get it for yourself, or as a cheesy present for your girl, or even better, your guy 😉 And this is just a small example… cups, candles, posters, jewellery, you name it! Everything can now be branded with your favourite quote, character, or print. And then, of course, for the people in the digitized world, there are book ‘accessories’; stands for your e-reader, lights, covers, clips, and whatnots!

Gone are the days when all you could buy for an avid reader was a bookmark 😛 The web is full of things that you can buy, all related to reading. Take a look here! Can you possibly think of anything else that’s got to be done?

There’s this blog that I read which introduced me to this shop; I personally think this guy’s work is amazing! They are definitely overpriced though… because his work is worth more than his idea here. What I mean is, I have some amazing lines in pictures in my head too! So all I need is the inclination to put it into a software. The inception of the idea will never be mine, but the work for sure, will be original.

What do you think? Have you ever bought something for a book lover, other than a book? Will you, at some point?