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David Gaughran is a prolific author and a veteran self-publisher who writes fiction and non-fiction. He uses his blog to share tips, insights, and excerpts from his books on self-publishing to encourage authors to direct their own book-publishing efforts. David’s about to release his second book on self-publishing: Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed, And Sell More Books. We recently asked him some questions about his writing process, why he self-publishes, and why he gives so much of his trench-earned publishing knowledge away for free. Do you have a question you’d like to ask David? Post a comment.

You’ve got a new book coming out — can you give us a sneak peek into what it’s about?

Sure. It’s called Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed, And Sell More Books and it’s the follow-up to my self-publishing guidebook Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why…

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I'm Afraid Of The Dark

This is the most significant post I have written so far and I can’t even begin to explain how difficult it is for me to write. How can I express that we have effectively murdered thousands without readers wanting to turn away?

Midway is one of the most remote places on Earth. It is 2000 miles from the closest continent. The juxtaposition of the natural beauty of Midway and the undeniable truth that our consumerism is killing it, is shocking.

There is little difference between us dropping a bottle in the street and our country dropping a bottle in the ocean. Rather than considering this a problem for higher powers to solve, remember that you are the country and together we must prevent further damage.

We have to care for the world because who else is there? The birds haven’t established courts of law and governments but then again the…

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Geneva(Switzerland)

I will give a brief introduction,why I chose to write about Geneva.Our International Airlines ‘Air Canada,’ was holding a competition.We were required to write about a place,we were interested to visit. The deadline has passed,I’m eager to write,not for any reason,but I was told,it is a beautiful city to visit. Whether I will or not is immaterial.I’d like to check it out and therefore some research is necessary.

English: Rhône river in Geneva. Français : Le ...

English: Rhône river in Geneva. Français : Le Rhône à Genève. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Geneva,is the second most populous city in Switzerland.Situated where the Rhone exits Lake Geneva,it is the capital of the republic and Canton of Geneva.It has a population of 192,385 (as of June 2012).It is a global city,a financial centre and worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important U.N international co-operation centre with New York.It has numerous international organizations,including head quarters of many of the agencies of the united nations and the red cross.It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed.

A 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third highest quality of life. It is also ranked  according to 2009 and 2011 survey as the fourth and fifth expensive city in the world.

Traditions and customs: Geneva observes Jeune Genevois on the first Thursday following the first Sunday in September.By local tradition ,this commemorates the date of the St.Bartholomews Day massacre of Huguenots reached Geneva .

Since 1818 a particular chestnut tree has been used as the official”herald of the spring.”

English: Montage for the Geneva article on Wik...

English: Montage for the Geneva article on Wikipedia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music: The opera house, the grand Theatre de Geneve ,which officially opened in 1876,was partly destroyed by fire in 1951 and was reopened in 1962.It has the largest stage in Switzerland. It features Opera and dance performances,recitals,concerts, and occasionally theatre..The victoria hall is used for classical music concerts. It is the home of Orchestre de Suisse Romande.

Museums: Museums and galleries are everywhere i n the city.The Palace of Nations,home of the United Nations headquarters  can also be visited.

Sports: Ice hockey is the most popular sport in the city.They also have a football team in Geneva.

Transport: The city is served by the Geneva Comtrin International Airport.It is connected by Geneva airport railway station with both Swiss Federal Railways network and the French SNFC network including Paris.Public transport by bus,trolleybus or tram is provided by Transports Publics Genevois.

Climate: Climate is temperate,winters are mild,usually with light frost at night, and thawing conditions during the day. Summers are pleasantly warm.Precipitation is adequate and is relatively well distributed throughout the year.Autumn is slightly wetter than the rest of the seasons.

Geneva trolleybus 699 was built in 1988 by NAW...

View of Geneva in 1860

View of Geneva in 1860 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weekly Writing Challenge All About Me

I chose this because I thought,it would be fun writing about me. I am the main character.I did not have the privilege of doing this before.I told myself I don’t know much about me.Maybe the readers and I will know  me from this piece of writing.

I am the seventh child of my parents.I went to school at an early age.My Dad thought I was too talkative.School will be the only place where it can be fixed. So I started school,if my home work was not done,I played sick or too cold.My dad did not have any issues. Who knows what he thought.My big sister did not leave me alone. After passing the hurdle of school, I was faced with a new animal called college. I zipped through it and reached the grown up stage. I started university,suddenly I realized I have to be serious,this is no joke.Now that I am here I should make the non-believers take me as a serious student.I am not just going to squeak by,but make some noise while passing through. I did make some noise,it was not loud enough for my friends or folks to take notice.I completed my university degrees comfortably.

With not much to do I decided to apply for a scholarship to do B.Ed.Fortunately I was successful.It took a year to complete it.I took a job in a local school,taught for eleven months.I was advised to look for a job in the big city. I got the job.I was told I should stay single for seven years.Well I gave up the job after two years.Once again I tried my luck to go to England ,I applied for a scholarship and God was kind once more. I completed the hurdle of school.

A real change came into my life when I got married.I moved to Montreal,Canada. Within a year My husband and I moved to Gander,Newfoundland. I taught in an elementary school.I taught some amazing kids.

Gander is a place where the winter is long and cold.We had a lot of snow.Sometimes the snow would change into rain,melt some of the snow and the ground would freeze. I used to be scared of the ice and dreaded going to school.I had a very considerate young child in my class,he waited for me everyday to help me walk on the ice.He was always there,in fact he came early.His name was Ross Piercy.I don’t know where he is now,I hope I could tell him now, what a great kid he was!

(Patthika) Reader by Tagore Translation by ranu

English: Rabindranath Tagore ,Tamilndu,India

English: Rabindranath Tagore ,Tamilndu,India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Patthika)  Rabindranath Tagore

The wind blows at troubled speed,

the sky is overcast,

the peacock calls.

I did not work,  did not change,

the day is over, my hair untied___

I read your words.

O my poet tho,

I have never known you,

still your message embeds

a hidden image in my mind.

Your words render cloud and shadow

in a melancholic tune,

that brings tears to my eyes.

My heart yearns to understand you.

When and where you wake,

whose absence distresses you__

who is your beloved!

You are Indra, your wife is Indrani

You have painted a picture of her

with your affection.

O my dear poet ,

although the rhythm beats in my heart

I am lifeless,  a statue

I know not why I feel this way.

The woman is forever beloved

your songs praise her__

without reason your heart is elated.

Even if I had not heard her name,

nor seen her once

there is no loss in that!

If one knows not your sweetheart

one knows her by your song.

O my dear poet,

the spring is far-off

yet the blood dances in my veins.

The one you know appears

in this strange place,

as I stand among these strangers.

Your garland came around my neck.

the flowers wet with rain…

On some rainy evening your beloved’s

braid wrapped round you

the scent like a dream.

And in my heart, past lives converge.

O my poet,

know you not the soft melody

in my arbour of creepers–

You sang a song of sadness

of things that occurred long ago…

Your brooding melody

flowing into a marvel of its own.

Malta ( another one from memory lane) Posted by Ranu

Mediterranean Sea, on the coast of Malta (Sliema)

Mediterranean Sea, on the coast of Malta (Sliema) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arrivals lounge for the Malta International Ai...

Arrivals lounge for the Malta International Airport. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flag of Malta

Flag of Malta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Valletta - Malta

Valletta – Malta (Photo credit: Ploync)

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea (Photo credit: AudreyH)

Coat of arms of Malta.

Coat of arms of Malta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Malta is a group of islands in the Mediterranean sea.The terrain is low and rocky with coastal cliffs.

Malta ,in the heart of the Mediterranean is a melting pot of civilisations with a history stretching

back thousands of years. The country has been inhabited since around 5200 B.C.a significant prehistoric

civilisation existed on the islands prior to the arrival of the Phoenicians, who named the main island Malat,

meaning ‘Safe Haven.’ Later the islands were for centuries the seat of the ,’Knights of the Hospital of St. John’

and then part of the British Empire.Malta became independent in 1964.

The national language is Maltese,which is part of the Semitic language family that includes Arabic.English is also

recognised  as an official language, and many Maltese speak Italian. The capital of Malta is Valetta. At the crossroads

of the Mediterranean, half-way between Europe and North Africa lies the Maltese archipelago, consisting of three main

islands, Malta(the largest) Gozo and Comino. Gozo the second largest is more rural,characterized by fishing ,tourism

and agriculture,Comino is largely uninhabited.

We arrived in Malta from Heathrow,London.We represented twenty-three different countries. We were received by Maltese officials. Later we were taken to apartments rented for us by our university.I shared the apartment with two students,one was from Malaysia and the other was from Japan,Zakiah Ibrahim,Yukiko Adachi and Chaman. We went to three different schools for our teaching practice.

I loved the children I taught. We stayed in school for the whole day.We came back late afternoon. Zakiah took over as the boss.Our duties were divided by her. I was in charge of breakfast,we had lunch in our respective schools,Zakiah was in charge of supper. Yuki did not have to cook. she was given the duty of washing the dishes after supper.

She was a lovely person,when it came to doing the dishes,she left it for later. In the morning I would wake up and find the dishes in the sink.I had no choice but to wash them.Yuki would in a drowsy tone apologize and say:’ Chaman just wash enough for breakfast.’I washed them all and this is the way it went. Zakiah reminded Yuki of her duty,it didn’t matter,she in her sweet Japanese accent would apologize and promise to take care of her duty.Nothing changed,she continued to be in her land of dreams, while Zakiah and I took care of the rest.We spent a month teaching and sight-seeing whenever possible.The weather in the month of June was fabulous,it was a treat for us.Let me tell you London wasn’t great as far as the weather goes.

Courthouse, Valletta, Malta

Courthouse, Valletta, Malta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lower Barracca Gardens, Valletta, Malta

Lower Barracca Gardens, Valletta, Malta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Llanberis,North Wales

Llanberis Lake Llyn Padarn

Llanberis Lake Llyn Padarn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Village

Village (Photo credit: johnnysam)

It is a village in Gwynedd, North Wales lying on the southern banks of Llyn Padarn in Snowdonia.It takes its name from Saint Peris,an early Welsh saint.

The village originally grew around the slate quarrying industry.

We went to Llanberis for teaching practice. We were students of London university, Institute of Education. We all stayed with a Welsh family. It was the month of November and was extremely cold.The village was a very small and attractive place. The landlady’s house was located close to the school where we taught.

We were served breakfast,lunch and dinner by the landlady during the week-end.On week days we had lunch in the school where we taught.

The children were excited to see us,we were from variety of backgrounds.There were Chinese, Malaysian,Pakistanis,Libyans,Americans,Indians, there was a student from Iceland as well.I could never pronounce his name. We were there for two weeks.We had a very pleasant time.

I remember I asked the landlady if I could have milk for breakfast,I was willing to pay for it.I used to collect pennies.One day I noticed I had enough pennies to pay for the milk. I called the lady and paid her for the milk I consumed. She looked at me and then the pennies,had the most beautiful smile on her face and said,”Where has she been singing?” Everyone in the dining room had a good laugh.

English: North Side of Llyn Padarn Thickly woo...

English: North Side of Llyn Padarn Thickly wooded hillside with the Llanberis Lake Railway hugging the shoreline. The railway used to carry slate from the huge Dinorwic Quarry (and other quarries) to Portdinorwic on the Menai Strait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: PYG Track looking towards Llyn Padarn...

English: PYG Track looking towards Llyn Padarn and Llanberis. On the lower part of the PYG Track from Pen-y-pass you can see the village of Llanberis and the lakes Peris and Padarn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sachal Sarmast

English: A view of Sachal Sarmast Shrine.

English: A view of Sachal Sarmast Shrine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sachal sarmast

Sachal sarmast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Sachal:  Thy first duty is to give up faith,unfaith,Islam and all religions.

He was born in Sindh,Pakistan in 1739,his real name was Abdul Wahab,he adopted the name Sachal Sarmast for his poetry

which means truthful mystic.He wrote mystic poetry in Arabic,Sindhi,Seraiki,Punjabi,Urdu,Persian, and Baluchi. Sachal urged people, rather than blindly following tradition,to seek truth directly.And like Ibn Arabi and others ,he taught a vision of unity called Wahdat-al -Wujud.He died on the 14th day of Ramadan in 1829 at the age of 90.

Sachal’s poetry.

Friend,this is the only way

to learn the secret way:

Ignore the paths of others,

even the saint’s steep trails.

Don’t follow.

Don’t journey at all.

Rip the veil from your face.

‘Tis not in religion I believe

‘Tis love I live in.

When love comes to you.

Say Amen!

Neither did I roll rosary nor did I ponder and pray,

I went to no mosque or temple,nor bow in adoration to any,

Sachal is lucky everyday,love is all around him.

You by yourself,know what is in your form!

Why chant ‘Allah! Allah’? Find Allah within you.

You listen,you see, Allah’s word is witness,

There is no doubt O Sachal! that the Lord is one!

We are,what are we?

We know not ,what we are!

For a moment we are blessed

For a moment we are accursed

Some moment we pray and fast

Some moment we are free spirits

Now we declare,’Only we exist’

Now we declare,’we don’t exist’

For a bit, our heart is calm

In a bit, we weep rivers

Now we say,’We are self-realized’

Now we ask , ‘Who are we?’

‘Sachal’ we are only That eternally

What other contracts can we make here?

I was sitting by the roadside ,

When the path became clear to me;

In the palace the Beloved I saw;

a glimpse the Beauty gave;

Through the window was the vision,

a glimpse the Beauty saw;

Take care of the ignorant;

Our bond was made for a reason.

I truly recognized the Lord,

My companion He sure became;

‘He is the creator of all

and intrinsic to all,

All doubts in this perished;

With happiness shall I carry

Sisters, if your trust I have.

All the journeys,all the manifestations

The Dear one’s own;

Friend Sachal  Know this correctly,

Slumber has created illusions.

Sachal regarded love as the path to spirituality:

‘Tis not in religion I believe

‘Tis love I live in.

When love comes to you,

say Amen!

‘Tis not with the infidel

that love resides,

Nor with the faithful.

Translation by Gul Agha and Jethmal Parsram Gulrajani

Posted by Ranu

(Shathi) Companion by Tagore translated by ranu

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Рабиндра...

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Рабиндранат Тагор (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Shathi) Companion   by Rabindranath Tagore

Fellow pedestrian,I salute you__

accept obeisance from the travellers.

Farewell dear,  dear loss,    dear lord of the end of day,

accept a bow from the damaged house.

O new morning daylight,   O forever in motion,

I salute you for new hope.

O coachman of life’s chariot,  I am constantly preparing the way,

I bow to you for enabling me to move on.