Advices From George R.R. Martin

Anyways, here are his 10 “rules for success”:

  1. Aim high;
  2. Want it bad enough;
  3. Love what you do;
  4. Keep things interesting;
  5. Express your beliefs;
  6. Follow your gut;
  7. Be a good storyteller;
  8. Do your research;
  9. Engage emotionally;
  10. Do the unexpected.

Writing about...Writing

This magnificent guy is my next favorite writer (after Neil Gaiman, of course).

I always look up to these guys because they do their “job”, but they never seem to do it for money. They do it because they need to. And that’s one of the characteristics of a real writer, don’t you think?

Also, I love his voice. It’s like a Gandalf smoking 10 pipes at once.

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by Tamara Mitrofanova

How a simple poem influenced famous freedom fighters like Gandhi to adapt peaceful protests and non-violent resistance.

Image for post

Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Public Domain.

Percy Shelley, a famous poet from the Romantic Era, was the first to advocate for peaceful protests and he inspired Gandhi to adopt non-violent resistance. Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance influenced Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. They had all followed Shelley’s philosophy and it helped create a new world.

When Gandhi read Shelley’s poem, “The Masque of Anarchy” (poem below) he was instantly captivated by its message for freedom through peace. It is known that Gandhi would often quote various passages from the poem to vast audiences during the campaign for India’s independence.

“Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.

And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there;
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
What they like, that let them do.

With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay,
Till their rage has died away:

Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:

Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!”

Percy Shelley wrote this poem after hearing of the tragic event known as the Massacre of Peterloo. More than a hundred working men, women and children were seriously injured when they staged a public meeting to determine how to achieve reform through “the most legal and effectual means.”

Like many others, Percy Shelley was furious over this naked governmental oppression and seized the opportunity to write what is now considered, “the greatest poem of political protest ever written in English.”

Sadly, during his lifetime his poem was considered too radical and never published until 1832, years after he died.

In 2020, this poem is still very relatable to modern events. We have seen many people throughout the world rising up in protest.

The BLM protests in response to police brutality, the Beirut explosion followed by mass protests against corruption and protests in Belarus against government oppression. The quote “Ye are many — they are few!” in the Masque of Anarchy resonates even today.

Percy Shelley’s poem had even influenced the Egyptian revolution 2011, with protestors chanting the lines, “Rise, like lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number!”

Percy Shelley is the most underrated intellectual who envisioned way ahead into the future and foresaw pacifism as the greatest weapon against despotism and injustice.

As a self-proclaimed Atheist and an advocate for freedom, he did not fit in strict and religious 18th century England. Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for atheism, broke ties with his rule-abiding father and eloped with two women, one being Mary Godwin Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Discriminated against and hunted for being a political radical, he died tragically at age 29. Despite the difficulty he experienced, he never gave up hope for a better future. Percy Shelley walked around Italy wearing a ring with the good time will come inscribed on the inner surface.

Indeed good times did come and it was his poem that inspired others to take up the scepter in creating a better world.

Wisdom Of Writers: The Practical Benefit

Writing about...Writing

Being a writer is a way of living, regardless if you write books, blog posts, short stories and so on. And as a way of living, it needs to have some practical benefits so you can, you know, LIVE!

A piece of content is not so visible in the world like building a house, but that piece of content has the power to determine 10 people to build 1000 houses.

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by Casira Copes

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

Growing up, my local library was a safe space before I even understood what that term meant.

My living arrangement was complicated in middle and high school. I didn’t take the bus. My parents weren’t able to pick me up right when school let out. I needed somewhere to go in the meantime that was safe for an unaccompanied teenage girl.

Luckily for me, there was a public library right down the road. At least 3 to 4 days out of the 5-day school week I went to the library for about an hour or two. The librarians knew me well. They looked out for me, let me and a few other students have first pick of the new YA books whenever they arrived, and were graciously forgiving of the countless fines I racked up over the years from checking out way too many books too often.

The building itself felt a little bit like home as well. I had a favorite spot I liked to sit in, and I was a regular at the weekly teen book club meetings where I would sit around a large table among my friends, eating snacks the way some might eat dinner with their families. On my 16th birthday I was surprised with a cake and the nerdiest little bookworm party imaginable in the back meeting room.

All of this to say, I loved my local library. A lot. Looking back, it’s clear to see how so many of those fond memories, mundane as they may seem, were made possible because of the unique role libraries have in meeting the needs of a community in a way that (theoretically) operates outside of a capitalist framework.

A radical inclusivity
Unlike so much of what we consider “public space” in the U.S., public libraries offer environments for people to just exist safely and peacefully, protected from the elements, without the pressure to purchase or perform some sort of service. They (again, in theory) welcome all ages, races, genders, sexualities, socioeconomic statuses, abilities, etc.

Anyone who thinks libraries are just for books has not spent a lot of time inside of one. Across the country, libraries provide technological access, employment services, enrichment and educational programs for children and teens, art, resources for immigrants and English-language learners, and much more. Every library plays a different role within its community based on the demographics and needs of said community.