Some time ago, I signed up for TED talks, as a fun and somewhat time saving way to learn new things. It’s certainly fun, although I haven’t watched as many videos as I’d like. Despite the videos not being too long, it’s rather hard to sit down and view them on a regular basis, what with a child and all. But last week, my interest was triggered again.
‘The World’s Most Mysterious Book’ — now how could I ignore this video? It describes the Voynich Codex, a peculiar book from the fifteenth century that still keeps scientists puzzled.
After watching the video I searched the internet and found the following website that shows scans of the individual pages.
The Voynich Codex is shrouded in mystery simply because we do not have an inkling on what it is about. It makes me curious whether the author has made it all up to confuse people back in those days. Perhaps the language was created like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish, which might confuse future scientists just as much if all they have is a single text without any context whatsoever. Whatever the reason might have been, it is fun to fantasize about its origins.
I wish I could call myself a Tolkien expert because I love the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but other than that and The Hobbit, my Tolkien knowledge ends. The Silmarillion has been on my to-read shelf for as long as I can remember. The rest of the Tolkien oeuvre, including all those edited by J.R.R Tolkien’s son Christopher, have piqued my interest at one point or another. However, they are difficult to come by and, frankly, I am worried they will not have the same impact as LOTR, and that they may tarnish my experience of my next rereading of it.
So, on hearing that yet again, a new Tolkien book will be published by HarperCollins on Thursday titled Beren andLúthien,I find myself gawking at the power of the gods of marketing. Of course, it is not a coincidence that they decided to publish it on the 10th anniversary since the last Tolkien book was published, The Children of Húrin? And of course, like many of the other books revolving around LOTR, this is in someway the pre-material that made up another book, in this case The Silmarillion, according to the publishers, it is a story in its own right. How authentic is it to desperately fish out every snippet of text written by Tolkien and say it is a book on its own right? Read More
Snob me once, shame on me… oh, who am I kidding, writers have no shame.
But I do.
Shame on me!
This has been many years in the making. I have not written much in give or take 3 years. I did not leave writing; I just found that after a rather tough patch in my life, I didn’t really feel like saying much. Or maybe I didn’t have anything important to say. I tried occasionally, but most of what I wrote fizzled. So, I tried another approach since just working at my writer’s block didn’t prove fruitful. I would let it sit, and sit and sit. Once in awhile I’d try again. After two years I thought I was never going to write again.
But I’m jumping the gun, before any of that happened, about 3 months into my writer’s block, I had tried getting on the saddle again. I always had a ‘cure’ for even most stubborn of blocks. Everything I tried brought up this inner voice, which would go something like: “I should take a writing course, this usually helps, especially the ones where you have writing prompts.” But I would respond to this voice: “writing prompts are for amateurs, real writers don’t need prompts, real writers write from…. from wherever it is they write from.” Eventually I ignored the voice and I started using prompts as usual. I just Googled prompts and came upon the Writer’s Digest prompts. And I loved them.
The prompts got me going, and I went and went and then it was just too much, and I staggered and slowed to a crawl, behind the Duracell bunny. They no longer worked, the writing lacked sparkle, it lacked that je ne sais quoi that all writers have when they read back their own words. The one readers also get when they pick up a book and read a couple of sentences and then buy the book. That was simply not there.
It was hard, because I thought the block was over, but it wasn’t. Certainly not in the way I had expected. It turns out when you actually have a writer’s block it isn’t that easy to climb out of the gaping blank page.
So, what happened?
Well, one day at a time, the block started to go away on its own.
Writing just is (and some days it is not), but the muses are still there, waiting and whispering, and I hear them calling.
Sofia Borgstein is half Dutch and half Mexican, although she was born in Malawi. She has been writing since she was 13 years old. She has been published in magazines in Mexico and the Netherlands. She currently lives in the Netherlands with her husband and two children, where she is working on several projects.
And we’re bigger and better. Today is officially the relaunch of Cecile’s Writers Blog with a whole new look and aim. We’re offering fresh and original content on a regular basis. So sit back and enjoy.
We’ll be featuring writers from all over the world contributing articles, reviews, reflective pieces and especially new, opinion. There are regular contributors who have joined us to make this truly an intercultural platform.
(Do you also want to write for us and share your thoughts with the world? Then check this link.)
We are happy to announce that Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine is accepting Poetry Submissions from the 1st of January until the 31st of March 2016. We intend to begin publishing poetry in our magazine in the summer of 2016. Therefore, the poems that are accepted will remain with us for a longer duration than usual, before they are online.
November 21, 2015.Reading time less than 1 minute.
Cecile’s Writers Magazine continues to grow and demands more of our time and attention. We are happy with the progress there and are working hard to ensure writers get the maximum attention we can afford to offer them so that their stories are published with us. Stay tuned for new developments and features in the near future.
We will continue to update this blog, but it will not be as frequently as we would like it to be. Thank you for your continued support and interest in both our Magazine and blog.
Lets get right down to it, I love literature and I love the different genres literature offers: prose, poetry, drama, and criticism. If I really have to choose a favourite, mine is prose. I certainly wouldn’t hold it against anyone though if they loved another genre, even if it wasn’t literary but more mainstream or commercial. To each his own. So when one friend killed another in a drunken argument in Russia, because the former insisted that poetry was superior to prose, I say it’s taking a love for literature one step too far.
My husband and I needed to clear a room, which meant I had to get rid of some books. I was heartbroken when I took three boxes filled to the brim to our local library. I couldn’t possibly bring myself to trash them, and although I can’t enjoy them anymore, I’m glad that most of them at least will get a new home and lots of new readers.
Thank goodness we still have one bookcase in the living the room that is filled with books – two rows on each shelf. I wouldn’t be surprised if late one night we are woken up by the whole thing crashing down. I wonder how many of them I will ever read again? Probably just a handful, but their presence comforts me, and I like the idea that I could lend them to friends and family who haven’t had the joy of reading them yet.
Yes, I suppose I’m obsessed, but this quote shows me that I’m not alone:
Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.