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Books Feed My Soul – Edition 3

Santorini


Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

– Unknown

What a very lovely quote that calls to me. How better to celebrate your imagination than to pursue fearlessly what sets your soul on fire. Feed your imagination and it will reward you.

Welcome to the third edition of Books Feed My Soul, my weekly rambles on everything that inspires me and encourages me to be creative. The week has been a mixed bag as it relates to my book, The Prophecy. I had two new reviews show up on Amazon; by readers taking the time to leave a candid and thoughtful opinion of the book. I have to admit  that it left me floating on air. But even more importantly, it felt like a little jolt right when I needed a sign from the universe that I wasn’t merely meandering slowly but ever so steadily down a rabbit hole. As I’m learning, getting a book, especially a self-published one, in front of readers likely to give it a chance, can be a Herculean task.  On the flip side, I have been privileged to meet many kind and thoughtful people who take the time to freely offer their hard-earned wisdom as well as words of encouragement to first-time authors like me.

The opportunities of people are limited only by their imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer.
– Charles F. Kettering

I had read this a while ago and it seemed like the right time to remind myself to reach for the sky (i.e, my own composition). After all, fiddling will always come naturally without expending much effort.

Since this week has been so much of a roller-coaster for me, I picked this week’s inspiration to be a magical place that I shall forever count as one of my favorite places in the world – Santorini.  Santorini – the island of romance, volcanoes, dreams, cities perched dangerously on the caldera’s edge, windmills, white-washed buildings topped with blue domes and ubiquitous Greek island poster cards. Oh, and Vin Santo, a fantastic dessert wine made only on Santorini. During my week long stay on Santorini, I will admit that many glasses of Vin Santo were sampled. 

Ancient Thera

Volcanic island with the spectacular views of the caldera

The Island

Santorini has a lot to offer even if you’re not enthused about spending all your time gazing at the caldera – it looks different from the same view point every minute of the day as the sun shifts its way from east to west. I remember the beautiful windmill structures on the northern end of the island. There has been a revival of ancient grape strains on the island and many wineries now offer very unique wines from ancient Greek grapes grown on Santorini. Since the island is incredibly dry with little in the way of rain, the grapes grow in little basket-looking vines where the leaves protect them from the worst of the heat and sustain them with moisture they draw from the ground. You can find these grape vines all over the island – every little bit of space has a couple of vines growing on it. Sigalas, the only winery in Oia, offers some fantastic wines. You can sample their wines at amazing prices amidst a spectacular vista of pomegranate trees, vineyard and riots of bright flowers climbing on a shaded pergola. Boutari is another winery whose wines we loved. Their Vin Santo is hands down the best I had on Santorini. Santo Wines has the distinction of having a large terrace that has some of the most spectacular views of the caldera from the south end. My other memories of the island in summer are the riots of bougainvillea everywhere and the sight of a traditionally dressed man on a brightly decorated donkey crossing the road amidst the chaotic traffic. Donkeys are ubiquitous on the island, especially on Oia, where they work hard to take goods up and down into the ports at the base of the caldera, colorfully clothed and tinkling with bells as they follow their leader amiably. One, seemingly curious donkey, stopped to give a terrified me the gimlet eye and had to be coaxed away to look for other prey. 🙂

OIA

Once an artist’s colony, it is one of the most visited parts of beautiful Santorini with accommodations for every range of traveller. It tends to get crazy crowded during high season in the afternoon, when tourists come pouring in to check out the spectacular caldera views by clambering over the roof tops of the cave houses that cling to the edge of the caldera in an unbelievable medley. The food is fantastic, although I will admit that I’m biased when it comes to Greek food in general. One of my favorite restaurants in Oia, recommended by our host, serves Cyprian food and I still remember the food, the spectacular view from the terrace and one memorable evening when island music was sung live by a trio of locals.

Red Beach

A little strip of beach hewn into rocky cliffs of red rock that can only be approached after a short hike through a path strewn with loose stones and marked by signs that warn the hiker of frequent rock slides. The water of the crystal clear Aegean sea is warm and clean, unlike anything I have ever felt before. A boat comes straight into the beach to take all comers to the White Beach, a white sand beach that can only be accessed by boat from Red Beach. This beach is at the tip of the island called Akrotiri which a lot of people believe once held a settlement we call ‘The Lost World of Atlantis’. The beaches on the Aegean Sea and the ones on the Atlantic Ocean are different but each very nice in their own way.

Akrotiri – The Lost World of Atlantis

Many believe that the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri to be the Lost World of Atlantis.

 

Sunset over the Caldera

We lived in Oia in a cave house with spectacular views of the caldera from the open air terrace, the living room and even the tiny window of our kitchenette. I have very fond memories of having coffee while watching the sun rise, lazing on the couch with a book in my hand while I waited for the glare of the sun to die down, cooking in the tiny kitchenette with fresh vegetables from the local market, enjoying a glass of wine on our private terrace during siesta while the crowds surged into the main square of tiny Oia ( with the cruise ship passengers being ferried in from the ferry terminal of Fira) and wandering the streets of Oia late at night to shop for souvenirs after a late dinner at one of many excellent restaurants on Oia. I also remember early morning walks to gorge on the sumptuous semolina cakes form the local bakery. We did venture to catch the sunset over the western most tip of Oia one evening but that was a sad crush with everyone (mostly tourists like us) squeezed rather uncomfortably into a tiny square attempting to catch the last rays of spectacular sunsets over Santorini.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

– Albert Einstein

As Einstein aptly reminds us, imagination can sometimes be more of an asset than knowledge. Remember, try and find the time to do the things that fire your imagination. And always celebrate it. Your imagination makes you unique. So, go out there and read, write, create, draw, listen, sing, dance, talk, do and be.


MINDFULNESS TIP

If you’re having a tough week, try these five restorative yoga poses from TheJournalJunkie to reduce stress and relieve tension.

 

———-

Until the next installment of Books Feed My Soul, happy reading!
#BooksFeedMySoul #Travel


If you would like to  know when I add a new post for #BooksFeedMySoul

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Note
Please sign up at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in my new releases, upcoming works or sneak peeks.


MY WORK

Please check out my book The Prophecy, Book 1 of Saga of the Chosen.
The next book to be published will be The Mercenary.

All upcoming releases are here.

 

Urban Fantasy - The Prophecy by Petra Landon

#UrbanFantasyTheProphecy
#SagaOfTheChosen


AVAILABLE

On Kindle Unlimited.
eBook on Kindle.

Paperback at Amazon and CreateSpace.


NEWS

Featured Title at OnMyKindle.
An interview with the author.


CONNECT

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Books Feed My Soul – Edition 2

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Celebrate your imagination – it is an ingredient crucial to creating anything. More importantly, it is an essential part of a human being – the essence of you.

Welcome to the second edition of Books Feed My Soul, my rambles about anything and everything that inspires me to create and be. The last month has been busy as I attempt to learn the ropes about promoting my first book, The Prophecy. Since book promotion, a Kindle Countdown Deal and spreading the word on social media has taken up most of my attention, both reading and writing have unfortunately taken a back seat. It is now time to get back to what fires my imagination. 

Traveling – it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a story teller.

Ibn Battuta

As I would like to go back to being a story teller again, this edition will focus on a trip I took a few years ago. This week’s inspiration for Books Feed My Soul comes from the majestic Angkor Wat and surrounding temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I spent a fabulous five days in Siem Reap a few years ago, wandering through the temples by day and feasting on sumptuous Khmer cuisine by evening. Siem Reap also has some fantastic and authentic Thai restaurants. Having visited Thailand before, I can certainly attest to the authenticity of the Thai food on offer in the city. At night, we wandered the night markets, to check out the lovely art being sold on the streets and occasionally, to partake of the massages offered to wandering tourists on chairs in the open air market. The occasion was always festive and the people hospitable. I remember the crisp clean air of the city as we took the half-motorcyle-half-rickshaw style transport so ubiquitous there. While Cambodia is still recovering from the war and genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, there also seems to be a fledgeling sense of optimism in its people.

Angkor WAT

The most majestic of all the temples in the complex.

BAYON

The faces of Bayon – mysterious and haunting!
I went back twice, just to ponder the faces again and again, from all the angles.

BAPHUON

The temple, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, is breath-taking.
I could spend a lifetime here, just gazing at the beauty around me.

BANTEAY SREI

Banteay Srei shines brightly with its temples made of pink sandstone.
The temples have some of the most well-preserved and intricately-carved depictions from mythology.

TA PROHM

Ta Prohm endures through the encroaching jungle and despite the gigantic roots that clasp it in loving embrace.

 

This lovely quote by Arthur C. Clarke is not only inspiration for dreamers and Fantasy & Science Fiction writers everywhere but also a motto to live by in our everyday lives. If you do not dare to dream and reach for it, you will never know if it is possible.

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

— John F. Kennedy

I leave you with another inspiring quote. Remember, try and find the time to do the things that feed your soul. And always celebrate your imagination, do not starve it. So, go out there and read, write, create, draw, listen, sing, dance, talk, do and be.

Until the next installment of Books Feed My Soul, happy reading!
#BooksFeedMySoul #Travel


If you would like to  know when I add a new post for #BooksFeedMySoul

Sign up for my BooksFeedMySoul newsletter
Follow me on Twitter
Follow my blog feed on Goodreads
Follow my blog feed on my Amazon Author Page

 


Note

Please sign up at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in my new releases, upcoming works or sneak peeks.


My Work

Please check out my book The Prophecy, Book 1 of Saga of the Chosen.
The next book to be published will be The Mercenary.

All upcoming releases are here.

 

Urban Fantasy - The Prophecy by Petra Landon

#UrbanFantasyTheProphecy
#SagaOfTheChosen


AVAILABLE

On Kindle Unlimited.
eBook on Kindle.

Paperback at Amazon and CreateSpace.


NEWS

Featured Title at OnMyKindle.
An interview with the author.


CONNECT

Twitter | Blog | Newsletter | Pinterest | Email


FOLLOW

AMAZON | GOODREADS


Books Feed My Soul – Edition 1

The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.

– Henry David Thoreau

This lovely and very apt quote by Henry David Thoreau sums up how high I rank a sense of imagination in the larger kitty of qualities and abilities to carry with you. In my opinion, there is no equivalent substitute for a vivid imagination.

Not only is it a huge factor in helping your creative juices flow, it can also provide an escape, almost a refuge, in times of distress, difficulty or anxiety. I know I tend to disappear into my fantasy world when the real one becomes a tad difficult for me or when I simply need a respite from it. The world my imagination creates for me allows me to recharge, shed my cynicism and come back to the real world rejuvenated, optimistic, hopeful and ready to face new challenges.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

— Edward de Bono

As I embark on a new journey as a first time indie author, I would like to highlight this beast we call imagination. We, as writers, readers, artists and regular people, should celebrate our imagination. It is, after all, what helps us create, conjure, innovate, grow and just be. It is what makes each of us unique. One of our greatest assets is imagination and sometimes, the only thing holding us back is the inability to act freely on it.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

As individuals, just as our sense of imagination is unique, we all have different means of fueling our imagination. Some are obvious and others, more subtle, working their wily way through our mind until it fires the imagination.

What fires your imagination? For me, my earliest inspirations came from reading. Books feed my soul. A good book that allows me to escape into its magical world will always spark my imagination. Over the years,  I have come to realize that there are other things that fire my imagination and inspire me to create. Travel inspires me, brings me joy and fires my imagination. To see other places, revel in their uniqueness, appreciate the differences in culture, people, environs and food inspires me and makes me happy. In an ironic twist, it was a book, actually a series of books, by an author I discovered quite by accident in the high school library that first awakened a desire in me to  travel the world. I traveled as a child with my parents but those were a child’s observations with a child’s perspective. Now, when I travel, I go as an adult and, in some ways, am able to appreciate the uniqueness of each place in a different way than I could as a child.

The books and the author who inspired the travel bug in me will be left for another edition of Books Feed my Soul. For this week, I would like to highlight one of my favorite places in the world – Oregon. Every time I visit Oregon, I experience something new. Here are some pictures from a road trip we took to Eastern Oregon in late spring.

 

While flowers were in bloom elsewhere, Eastern Oregon was still covered in snow. I have seen Oregon in all its different moods and must admit that late spring and fall are some of the prettiest.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

— Victor Hugo

I leave you with another beautiful quote by Victor Hugo. Remember, try and find the time to do the things that feed your soul and always celebrate your imagination. So, go out there and read, write, create, draw, listen, dance, talk, do and be.

Until the next installment of Books Feed My Soul, happy reading!
#BooksFeedMySoul #Travel


If you would like to  know when I add a new post for #BooksFeedMySoul

Follow me on Twitter
Follow my blog feed on Goodreads
Follow my blog feed on my Amazon Author Page
Check back periodically here

Note : I’m working on a mailing list for updates on this.
Please sign up at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in hearing about my new releases, upcoming works or sneak peeks.


My Work

Please check out my book The Prophecy, Book 1 of Saga of the Chosen.
The next book to be published will be The Mercenary.

All upcoming releases are here.

#UrbanFantasyTheProphecy
#SagaOfTheChosen


BUY

On Kindle Countdown Sale for $0.99 until Thursday, March 2.

On Kindle Unlimited.
eBook on Kindle – US, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, FranceIndia.

Paperback at Amazon and CreateSpace.


NEWS

Featured Title at OnMyKindle.
An interview with the author.


CONNECT

Twitter | Blog | Newsletter | Email

FOLLOW

AMAZON | GOODREADS