Saturday, August 30, 2008
Hello! I am Bhaswati Ghosh, the person behind Talk Text. A little about me and my work:
Working across a wide range of writing/editing related job profiles over the past eleven years has helped me develop a variety of writing styles. I have worked in television (news and features) as an assistant producer writing scripts for news stories, as a content developer for a children’s portal, and in editorial positions at a couple of publishing houses. I have a master’s degree in English literature.
My working style is transparent and collaborative. I always keep the channels of communication open with people I work for. This helps me receive feedback at every stage of a particular assignment and keeps the clients satisfied. A win-win scenario for you and me.
Qualified as Master of Arts in English from Annamalai University .
Graduated as Bachelor of Journalism from Delhi University .
Working as a freelance editorial consultant for students applying for higher studies abroad. Work involves editing student essays and providing consultation to students regarding the same.
EDITOR IN DORLING KINDERSLEY PUBLISHING HOUSE
Writing promotional articles for print publication.
1. Worked as a producer in ANI—a South-Asia based television news agency working in collaboration with Reuters.
2. Worked in Sahara India Television Network as Assistant Producer in the News and Current Affairs department.
3. Worked with Business India Television International (BITV) as Assistant Producer (NEWS) for a period of two and a half years.
4. Worked with Etcetera Communications, New Delhi as an Editorial Executive for two television shows—Writers at Work, and The Arts Quiz Show.
Worked as a Senior Writer with ‘Pitara Kids Network’.
* Feature story, On Angels' Wings
Published in Letters to My Mother anthology, Adams Media, F+W Publications.
* Feature article on writing memoirs
Published in ByLine Magazine , USA .
* Feature article on Modern School , New Delhi
Published in Teenage Buzz magazine, Orange , CA , USA .
* Feature article on the surfeit of news channels on Indian television
Published in Chowk—an online platform for debate and discussion on
issues concerning South Asia .
* Feature article on the state of theatre auditoria in Delhi
Published in The Pioneer.
* Review of a play by the Summer Theatre Workshop, Bal Bhawan, Delhi
Published in The Times of India.
* Feature article on contemporary Punjabi theatre and culture in the capital
Published in The Times of India.
* Interview with author Upamanyu Chatterjee
Published in The Times of India.
* Feature article on regional theatre in Delhi
Published in The Pioneer.
This month I am celebrating two years of my work-at-home status. There’s reason for celebration, too. Besides enabling me to earn from the convenience of my bedroom desktop (or any-room laptop, as the case may be), these two years have seen me gain good health—something that eluded me during my decade-long affair with office jobs. The past two years have revealed to me how working at home can actually be a godsend when it comes to acquiring a healthy lifestyle. I have discovered that freelancers working from homes have an edge over their office-going counterparts in the keeping healthy department.
From Calling in Sick... Permanently
WHY (Work.Home.You) Magazine, Nov-Dec 2007
Writing about your past can be painful and scary in places. Some of it may be hard to even write out, let alone share with the world. Don't let that make you selective about memory; that's only a form of denial in my opinion. The resulting book may be superbly written, but it won't be sincere. And that will show. Rather, like a talented writer friend of mine always suggests, "Write as if no one will ever read your book." Be uninhibited and non-judgmental. Many writers will attest to the cathartic powers of writing. This is particularly true in the case of memoir writing. Show integrity to your vocation as a writer; even if it hurts, do put it down on paper. You may be startled to find out how liberating that can be. Not only that; writing with abandon would make you more compassionate toward others. No matter how biased you are; when you observe your story from a distance (created by time), you end up getting a better perspective on others' actions that may have seemed repugnant and hurtful at the time they happened.
From Penning the Past
ByLine Magazine, January 2007
For more than five decades, she has kept her date with Indian masses and classes alike. She’s bulky and imposing, accomodating and comfortable, steady and faithful. No wonder, in an age when things change within a matter of seconds, she has held court unfailingly. Meet the Ambassador or ‘Amby’ as she is affectionately called, India’s very own brand of car. She happens to be one of the most important icons of post-independence India, with the honour of being the official carrier of the country’s politicians and bureaucrats. She is to India what Chevrolet is to America and Holden to Australia. The only thing foreign about her is the original design, which was based on the British Morris Oxford of 1948.
From What’s in a Car? India’s Tryst with Amby
Dispatch Literary Ezine, June 2006
Every morning, a large human mass gravitates toward various offices in the bustling Connaught Place (CP), the most happening commercial center in New Delhi, India’s capital city. Amidst this giant mass of office goers stream in a few thousand young people, ready to shape their future in a place called Modern School. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, this expansive structure is hardly as imposing as many of the buildings in the area. But for more reasons than one, it stands out.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
by Janrae Frank
How do you describe a forest? Green, towering trees, and loveliness? Let me describe for you a forest as I have known it. A forest forlorn and without hope, and yet it drew me irresistibly into its bosom, and embraced me in a way both carnal and arcane, marking my life forever.
My father was King Carles of Gormond's Reach – my brother William rules now – but that's another tale. At the time of my story, I was sixteen. Ah, what that was like! There was a wildness in my soul that could not be quenched. My father wished to make a proper match for me, a king, a prince, or a duke. But I would have none of them. King Vansolo of Minnoras was too hairy. Prince Marcellus of Shaurone was too slight of build. Duke Lachlan laughed like an old woman. Freeholder Euen of Darr was too rough mannered. I found fault with them all. So my father sent me off to his least favorite hunting lodge to meditate upon my choices. And that is where it all begins.
I leaned out the deep-set window ledge of my room and stared at the forest. On the west side of the stream, the forest was green and what you would normally expect it to be; on the east side of the stream, it was dark, always dark – from as far back as I could remember. Even the leaves were black despite the thickness of the foliage. It was not dead, yet it did not live. Yes, I know that is a contradiction – I know no other way to describe it.
My father sent me here whenever he was unhappy with me. That forest had always both frightened and attracted me in manner which grew into an obsession as I matured. I often fancied that there was something out there looking back at me.
"You can't spend all day staring out the window," said Mina, my ladies' maid.
I turned and gave her a nasty smile. "I can do anything I wish." On impulse, I rephrased it. "I can do anything I damn well please."
Mina's sky-blue eyes blinked in startlement and then she snapped back at me. "That's not ladylike. That's not ladylike at all."
"Oh, don't be so prim! I'm stifling in here. I want to go outside."
I roved the room, running my fingers along the furniture.
"We're not supposed to go out. You're supposed to be thinking."
"I'll think better outside, Mina."
I didn't dislike Mina exactly, but I disliked my father's reason for sending for her. She was my cousin, my father's sister's daughter. He had asked her to set me an example for good behavior since none of the governesses he had provided had been able to handle me. Mina was considered one of the true beauties of the court with her pale translucent skin and creamy hair, delicate features and slender frame. They called me handsome because I was everything that Mina wasn't. I had my father's strong features and heavy bones, his cinnamon hair and dark skin. The only feature I got from my late mother was her eyes like large turquoise stones well polished.
Mina crossed her arms. "Well I don't wish to go out."
"Then you're my jailor and I'll treat you as such!" I flounced to a sofa and threw myself down on it with my head turned away from her. "If I go mad from boredom, what are you going to tell my father?"
"You're just being childish," Mina said, following me to the couch.
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are, Marian."
"I'm suffocating!" I fled to the window again to stare at the darkened forest. Did I see movement beneath those black trees? What could possibly be out there? I felt this overpowering urge to ride there and see for myself. The wind shifted as I stood there and a breeze wafted from that forest to my window with a scent that made my body shiver. It was intensely sweet, and yet, odd. Like the sweetness of a lotus wrapped around a freshly opened orange on a tabletop spread with rose petals. Call me mad, if you will – they all do – but that was how it smelled.
And then I heard the voice. At first I thought I was hearing it with my ears, and then I realized that I wasn't. It was inside my head somehow. "Come to me, Marian. Come to my arms and know joy. Your true one awaits."
I trembled violently and felt chill, although the day was warm. "I want to go outside."
"We could walk in the courtyard," Mina suggested.
"No, I want to go outside. I want to go riding."
"Your father says you are to stay within the lodge until you come to a decision.
We argued, but in the end Mina won and I lost.
That night I lay tossing and turning on my bed, consumed with the need to see what lay beneath those forest eves. The night was cool, but I was hot, feverish with a desperate longing. I dreamed of a man waiting at the edge of the forest for me. He was more handsome that I ever believed a man could be. He had black hair that hung past his waist and an arrogant, wild glance that spitted me to the core. His shoulders were broad, his waist narrow, and his hips perfection atop his shapely legs.
"Come to me, Marian. Come to me, my one true love. You want no other. You know it. You have always known it."
I woke from my dream disturbed, my loins wet. I went to the window and peered out at the forest. There he was, limned in the silvery light of the full moon, motioning for me. Reason left me. I could think of nothing, save that I must go to him.
"Come quickly," came his voice in my head.
I did not bother to dress, simply wrapping my robe around me and stole from my suite. It was a snap to elude the guards on watch, I had done it often enough as a child, and went down into the courtyard. The gardens were in two sections and I slipped through a rose bower. Along the wall was the secret gate that my brother and I had found years ago. Ivy had grown over it, but I ran my fingers along until I found the tiny crack that held the locking mechanism. I thrust my finger through and the gate creaked softly open. To my dismay, the gate caught and would not open completely. It must have gone without care for much too long. I sucked in my tummy, and pressed my breasts down with my hands as I squeezed through, scrapping my arms on the stones. My nightgown and dressing robe snagged, I pulled and they tore free. I wondered briefly how I would explain this to Mina.
Then I heard him calling again, and I forgot about Mina.
I ran to the place where scattered stones made a slippery path across the stream. The moonlight made the wet surface of the rocks gleam brightly. I skipped across them, thinking only of my lover to be, and reached the other side. He stood there, beckoning to me with outstretched arms, my dream made flesh.
My heart seemed to catch in my chest as I approached him at last. I stood before him, waiting for him to take me in his arms, to tell me his name�. And then he smiled�. And I saw his fangs.
"Oh, gods, no!" I screamed, snapping out of his spell at last. Mina had been right; I should never have left the lodge.
He grabbed me by my arm and ripped my gown open. I twisted, and kicked him between the legs. He howled in pain, and his hold loosened. I jerked away from him, and in confusion, fled into the forest.
Vampire, demon, or monstrous sa'necari necromancer, I knew not what, except that I had to escape. Yet instead of running back to the lodge, I thought only of hiding in the forest. I now realize how foolish that was. I could not escape him. I held my hems high to free my legs and ran for all that I was worth.
He caught me. His powerful hand closed on the back of my robe and ripped both it and the nightgown beneath it away. I screamed and flailed at him to no avail. He struck me on the back and sent me sprawling on my face. It hurt and I whimpered as I gained my hands and knees, trying to crawl away from him.
And that was when I saw the tree.
It was a tremendous tree sitting alone in the center of a tiny glade. And, wonder of wonders, it was green with a mahogany sheen to the bark. It seemed to glow in its own light and it beckoned to me, promising safety. I scanned the branches as I kicked again at my attacker. None of them appeared to be low enough for me to climb onto, and yet I felt compelled to go to it. I gathered myself and lunged away into the clearing.
"Come back to me," my false lover called.
But this time his spell could not ensnare me. I fled to the tree and wrapped my arms around it. Don't ask me how, I can't explain it. I still wonder, at times, if I imagined it, and yet, I couldn't have. But the branches dipped down and lifted me up, higher and higher until I was well out of my attacker's reach.
I could hear him raging beneath the tree, shaking his fists in impotent fury.
Then another voice spoke to me.
The tree spoke.
"Give me all that I wish of you and I will force him away. I will purify the forest, for I am divine."
I looked down at that ugly death-eater and pressed tighter to the tree. It seemed a simple decision. I could either be raped and probably killed by the fanged creature below or I could be molested by a tree. Either way, it was very clear that I was losing my maidenhead that night. I wondered what my father would say. Mina would be very unhappy with me. I heaved a great sigh. At least, I would not have to worry about suitors any longer: they all wanted a virgin.
"I'm yours," I told the tree.
Twigs like gentle fingers removed the remnants of my clothing, and to my amusement, dropped them on fangface. He called out curses and imprecations, but the tree ignored him. A soothing languor spread over me as the tree's fingers stroked my body. I arched back and rubbed against his bark, which smoothed to silk as I touched it. He – somehow I could not think of the tree in such an impersonal pronoun as it – pinched my nipples and kneaded my breasts. It had never felt this good when I did it for myself. My nipples became hard and erect. He tormented them into ecstasy.
I moaned in pleasure, and pressed my pelvis to his trunk. He cupped my buttocks with his many hands to support me, and a single finger probed the intimate door in my ass. An unimaginable thrill went through me as he worked deeper into my body. Suddenly I trusted him and no longer clutched in panic at the branches. Instead I slid my hands along his trunk and felt what? Sleek skin and powerful muscles and an intense aura of overpowering masculinity.
Fingers ran along my inner thighs and I quivered with anticipation. He seemed to have an infinite number of hands and long fingers, all bringing me to readiness to receive him in my most precious place. He pressed my clit and began working it until I wanted to scream and weep at the intensity of sensation that overloaded my awareness of self with lust. Then something long and thick and hard bumped the entrance to my womanhood, and I knew the moment had arrived.
He entered gently, tearing away my hymen in a thorough fashion. It hurt, but I wanted him inside me too much to mind the pain. His thrusts quickened, going satisfyingly deep and hard, touching all those seats of pleasure where I had dreamed of having a man. I sobbed when I came, and his seed spilled into me, filled me.
I rested for a time in his arms, and then we began again. In that way we whiled away the night.
At some point I fell asleep, and I awoke the next morning lying nude before the gates to the lodge. I felt something in my hand and spread my fingers. In it, hanging from a slender chain, lay the silver bear rune of Willodarus, God of the Woodlands and Wild Creatures.
Needless to say, the guards found me. I was bundled up and examined by the midwives. They Read me and saw that I was pregnant. I told them the story, but no one believed me.
The next day the black forest turned green.
I took a party of my guards into the forest. We found the clearing. My clothes lay were they had fallen. Yet, the tree was missing.
No one wanted me after that. The suitors disappeared. No one says it to my face, but I've heard the whispers of "Moonstruck Marion" spoken behind their hands.
My daughter is a striking child, if large for a girl, cinnamon-haired with sapphire eyes that seem to peer into your soul. I named her Nans. When she was a very solemn-eyed six-year-old, I gave my daughter the rune that her father had placed in my hand as I slept the morning that he left me at the gates to the lodge. I always believed that it was meant for her and not me.
They say that Nans is odd. She talks to the animals, and they obey her. She possesses incredible strength. She lifted a broken cart of stones off a man who had fallen beneath it – and she's only seven-years-old. If that does not mark her as a child of divinity, I do not know what would. I point this out to anyone who will listen, and while they humor me I can tell they don't believe me – and they call me mad when I try to describe what happened that night eight years ago.
about the author
Janrae Frank is the publisher, owner, and Lizard-in-Chief of Daverana Enterprises. She manages the business end of matters. Submissions should not be directed to her. Queries about PR materials and advertising should be directed to her.
Janrae started out in publishing thirty years ago with a sale to Amazons, the DAW anthology edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, which went on to win the 1980 World Fantasy Award for best anthology. She had a varied career ranging from journalism to editorial work, and has settled into her chosen profession as literary curmudgeon.
by Mark Orr
"He's here again."
"That guy over there. Creepy Joe."
"Why does he hang around here?"
"He likes emergency rooms."
"I asked him that once. He said it's like what Willy Sutton said when they asked why he robbed banks."
"He said, 'That's where they keep the money'."
"So, Creepy Joe said he hangs around emergency rooms because that's where they keep the pain."
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
by Mark Orr
It may be that printing the instructions in Urdu was not a good idea. By the time Wilson Anderson finished putting together what started out to be a kid's bike, it was actually something altogether different.
Which is why the first time Junior hopped on and spun the pedals backwards while simultaneously holding down the right hand brake, the Tyrannosaurus Rex crossed 65 million years and showed up very unexpectedly on Main Street.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Ghostly Thirteen was inspired by the Thursday Thirteen meme. You list thirteen paranormal-related things like your top 13 posts (if you have a paranormal blog), mythical creatures, gods, haunted houses, etc...
My Theme - Paranormal Investigation equipment
1. Digital Thermometer - measures temperature changes
2. Electromagnetic Field Detectors - measures fluctuations in the electromagnetic field
3. K2 Meter - sometimes used to communicate with ghosts
4. Geiger Counter - measures fluctuations in radiation
5. Thermal Imaging Camera - uses infrared radiation to form images
6. Digital Audio Recorder - used to capture EVPs
7. Air quality monitoring equipment - measures levels of gases such as carbon dioxide in the air
8. Digital camera - used to capture visual manifestations such as orbs, apparitions, ectoplasm, etc...
10. Beam Barrier Alarm - creates an invisible beam. When the beam is broken, it triggers the alarm
11. Handheld Digital Cameras - used to document investigations
12. Dowsing Rods - two L-shaped, metal rods used to help indicate the presence of ghosts
13. 2 Way Radios - vital for keeping in contact with members of your group throughout investigations.
Labels: Ghostly Thirteen
August 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm (Uncategorized)
Before beginning today’s post, I have to do something which, hopefully, won’t happen too often. I need to give a kudos to the Old Monster. While I would normally avoid any advice from this source like holy water, I have to admit that the monster has hit the coffin-nail on the head with the August 17th column. Nothing is more frightening to a writer than scam publishers - as a rule, anyone asking YOU for money is a scam publisher or a scam editor or a vanity press.
My colleagues often believe that these bloodsuckers are useless, but my colleagues are mortals, with a limited outlook. I have had quite a few scam editors as guests of honor at my bloodbaths parties, and I can tell you that hot pokers and sharp objects are quite satisfying when used judiciously. Always remember that plastic sheeting is a good way to spare the Louis XIV upholstery.
Writing, we all know, is a poor and frustrating way to keep body and soul apart (mortals might see it as a way of keeping them together, but I lost my soul nearly a thousand years ago, and would be seriously put out if if came areound to bother me again). But what are the alternatives for the nicely aged undead?
The thing might be to to do what Jarvis did. Jarvis is my butler, and has held the position for the past couple of centuries. He is ideally suited for the position, as he is that rarest of creatures, a fat vampire, and makes for a perfect butler of the Wodehousian persuasion. So, if you are a bloodless creature with a tendency towards obesity, I highly recommend it. Well preserved Zombies are probably also a good bet here (by the way, and just as a pedantic aside, doesn’t it irritate you that all the move zombies are thin? Why, if much of the world has a weight problem, are there no fat zombies in the movies?). Jarvis’s duties include dusting the coffin and mopping up the blood, which are both light enough, although feeding the rabbit from hell, who doesn’t like him for various reasons too lengthy to go into here, is heavier going.
But what if you’re one of those creatures who just doesn’t clean up that well, or looks ridiculous in a tux (werewolves, regardless of what you may have seen in the movies, this means you!)? Then I see two paths, the easiest of which is becoming a programmer. Trust me, even the tattiest zombie will look like the MC at the French Embassy gala compared to the fashion don’ts perpetrated by this crowd. I know a programmer who regularly wears a blue shirt with the Superman logo to work with a straight face.
If you have no computer skills (excusable, I guess if you were created undead during the plague years), I would go for telemarketing - or better yet, consumer service callcenters. Even raspy undead voices will be hired, and, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, you are allowed to say ANYTHING to the customers, as long as you leave them indefinitely on hold after they ask for your supervisor. Even zombies who can only manage a tortured moan should do well here. Good place for banshees, too.
If you have no pride, of course, you can do what the Monster does, and live off of whatever you find in your victim’s pockets, but that leads to a different kind of lifestyle altogether, and respectability does not lie down that particular path, even for those of us with all of eternity to save money in.
I, of course, do none of these things, because I invested wisely after the French Revolution. But that’s another story.
The new issue is really up ....
For now, here's the direct link to the pdf download
Of The Flash Fiction Contest Issue.
http://www.whisperingghosts.com is the home page.
Be sure to keep an eye on our Magazine Discussion Board - we'll be having guest appearances there soon!
My story "Old School" is appearing in the anthology BLOOD LITE.
Here's what the folks at Publishers Weekly had to say:
Edited by Kevin J. Anderson
Pocket, $16 paper (400p)
This toothsome anthology of 21 funny-scary stories from members of the Horror Writers Association arrives just in time for Halloween. On the humorous end, Matt Venne's "Elvis Presley and the Bloodsucker Blues" recreates Presley's voice with pitch perfect swagger and sets the record straight on how he really died, while Charlaine Harris's "An Evening with Al Gore" depicts a novel way to deal with environmental criminals; both tales are truly outstanding. In a creepier vein, Steven Savile's "Dear Prudence" finds a conflicted man repeatedly revising a note where he details gory plans for his significant other, and Nancy Holder's "I Know Who You Ate Last Summer" features stomach-churning "rock star cannibals". Big names like Jim Butcher and Sherrilyn Kenyon will have comic horror fans grabbing this anthology off the shelves.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Title: Serpent's Quest Lycan Blood: Volume One
Author: Janrae Frank
Website of Author: http://www.janraefrank.com/
Length: 210 pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson
The Red Wolf Clan led by Chieftain Claw Redhand is the target of Malthus Tyrins, a bloody killer who brings Lord Daemon's enemies under his power then destroys them. Malthus is out to destroy all the wolfweres known as lycans. The Red Wolf Clan uses tests to determine whether an individual is a human, a wolfwere, a vampire or a Nibari, "the genetically-altered humans created by the vampires and sa'necari as slave cattle. Malthus is pleased to have passed all their tests.
The wolfweres are satisfyingly deceived and Malthus is able to gain control over one of the female wolves and use his fangs to taste her blood while his mind takes control of hers. After a few days, he makes a deal for a horse to go the a place called Hell's Widow and obtain a chest containing "jars of powers and bottles of liquids in strange colors." His mother sent the chest and she works as a bio-alchemist for Lord Daemon. Between her and Malthus many of Lord Daemon's enemies have been destroyed. Malthus is now targeting the Red Wolf Clan. When Malthus had most of the camp under his power, he thought himself capable of hitting on the one young wolf that irked him. The young wolf beat him in a mock fight, and the camp members, male and female alike, stoned Kynyr Maguire.
The rest of the story tells of Malthus killing several of the Lycan here in Wolffgard, but no resolutions have occurred. To read a book without any resolutions is like telling the reader that they can't have what they want unless they read all the stories in the series. This is a fine way to do installments in a newspaper or magazine, but it shouldn't be done in a novel.
Serpent's Quest Lycan Blood is a good story as far as it goes. I'm amazed at the imagination of the author who dreamed up the character names, settings, various bits and pieces of background information and other story elements; everything seems to tie together. Be on the lookout for the rest of the books in this series, I know I will be.
At age eight, while Janrae Frank was hospitalized with polio, her grandmother gave her an expensive pen and pencil set with the admonition to go out and "whip them with a pencil." Janrae interpreted this as "get good grades and write books."
She was first published in 1979, in AMAZONS (edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson), the volume that went on the win the World Fantasy Award for best anthology of 1980. She sold a handful of short stories and then a trilogy to Donning/Starblaze before leaving fiction for a 15 year stint in journalism which included pieces published in Movieline and the Washington Post. During that same period she worked as an outside editor on new age and metaphysical books for Newcastle and Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., among others.
She currently has four series out in ebook, Journey of the Sacred King, Mother Damnation, Lycan Blood, and Dark Brothers of the Light. Daverana Enterprises has released a print edition of the first book in the Lycan Blood series, Serpent's Quest. The new edition includes 10,000 words of new material.