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Subject: London #15 - Thirteen (13)
(Posted on Apr 28, 2014 at 11:40AM ) Tags:
Is thirteen an unlucky number? I guess it depends who you ask, and where in the world you are. This Wikipedia entry covers it off well from both sides of the coin, but it sure looks like this number remains largely viewed as being more unlucky rather than lucky.

This Straight Dope piece from 1992 delves into the matter a little more, pretty much solidifying the take that 13 is really not gonna be your friend most of the time.

In the interest of fairness to the overall debate, and covering both sides, here’s a little more on why some state 13 can be your friend and not a foe. Some think the symbolic presence of 3 in there from a numerology perspective makes it all good and positive. Plus the preceding 1 is good too on its own, and putting them together means there is some greatness in union, and it's a prime number to boot. Here's some more on this thread posting on the postive aspects of 13 worth mulling as well. 



Apart from the background above, it boiled down to just one of those little things I noticed, while sitting in a church for a wedding, and looking around a bit to kill some time, and then spot the church organ pipes as below.


Yo, what was up with that? Who would build 13 pipes on an organ ? Maybe for Sunday services, it may fly and not matter, but I’m sure a few getting-married folks may well notice that, and perhaps be a little spooked by it.

This wedding happened way back in 1991, but I was recently curious to find out who built this puppy. Turns out it was put in back in 1908 by Bishop and Son in the UK, which has a history dating to 1795. I will ask them why thirteen pipes on this sucker they apparently built and see if they come back with an answer. Maybe it was all just  pure coink-e-dink, or limited by budgetary reasons on the part of the church at the time, like they only had enough do$h cum dinero for the 13-pipe version, and not a pipe more, or sumpin' like that. 

Additional church pictures of St. Nicholas in Shepperton (interior and exterior) can be found here. The stained glass windows looked nice enough, and the appreciation thereof at the time certainly may have had a helping hand by all the pints the lads consumed before the ceremony.

More pictures of the wedding  day’s venues at the pub, church, reception, and in and around the Greater London area can be found on this Pinterest Board.

Last but not least, this couple got divorced in 2008. They lasted a long time, at 17 years (beyond our unlucky 13 subject ), but not “forever” and whatever that is supposed to mean in this day and age where our average life expectancy has pretty much doubled from the point when these vows were created iand put into practice in the first place.

It would be neat to try and get some church statistics over the years to see how many couples married in this church got divorced over time, as compared to the norm locally or in the UK in general, and see if the numbers reveal something significant regarding 13 pipes on the organ being a factor (or not) in long-term marriage success. One could then use that as a bellwether for 13 being lucky or unlucky, in that limited sense only. 


Subject: Cancun #25 - Hell in Mexico
(Posted on Apr 26, 2014 at 07:54PM ) Tags:
What’s in a name, especially, when it’s Hell?

  Painting: An image of Hell, with some angel leading a soul into the party, in the style of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, and likely done by some Italian punter (oil on wood, circa 16th century). 

Supposedly, that hot “spot” has several characteristics, and certainly many names (to describe its multiple facets), judging by this here interesting and informative Islamic piece alone. Call it what you will, be it Jaheem, Jahannam, Lazaa, al-Sa’eer, Saqar, al-Hatamah and/or al-Haawiyah, but it takes on a whole new dimension when you’re down in Cancun, mid-winter, with your girlfriend, and fighting daily about anything and everything on what is otherwise supposed to be an awesome tropical vacation getaway.

Okay, so we took a break from sparring on Valentine’s Day, just for optics, priase be Allah. 

Regardless of what was going on with our personal relationaship at the time, bottomline, we were there for a wedding and had to suck it up, be nice, and make like we were a tight couple.. 

Here’s how my mindset at the time made that day in paradise for the couple come out and seem, at least upside my head. Go figure.

  Painting: Pristine Cartera Turkus

Nice work here by the way. Diggin’ that whole Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead in Ingreesch) look, even if that doesn’t really come around in reality until Halloween, and we were there in February, 

By the end of that trip, she and I had split up, but the couple married that day back in 1996 are still trucking along just fine. Maybe all that tequila on the day/night of helped a lot long term.

Despite my whole “go to destination wedding with Swedish girlfriend and break up” domestic strife siutation at the time, the wedding was set against a dazzling beach backdrop in Cancun and the area around it on the Mayan Riviera, as this Pinterest Board attests to with some great photos (all of which are NOT mine, cuz like, I didn't own a cameria). This was all well before the day of mobile smartphones and tablets with hi-res, built-in, on-board cameras. 
 
The wedding, coupled wirh the GF split, all made for one of the more memorable and unique wedding experiences in my life, as some single stumblebum hitting matrimonial events all around the planet. 


Subject: Wedding Chronicles - Location Photos on PInterest
(Posted on Apr 20, 2014 at 10:18AM ) Tags:
Wedding Chronicles is a novel about some single guy's global wedding travels and humorous misadventures, plus a whole lot more.

There are no pictures as a formal part of the tale for each event in the book, but there are Pinterest boards to paint the international wedding backdrops. They feature the specific places, surrounding areas, actual venues and other cultural elements like the food and booze that formed a part of the trip. 

There are boards for all thirteen weddings in this first instalment of the eventual trilogy. They visually dive into the exotic locations in the book, from Tenerife, Cancun, Santiago, Mustique, and Hawaii, to Amman, Barcelona, Iceland, and Singapore among them. Additional photos are being added continuously in drip fashion to fill the boards out even more. 

Visit Bob's Pinterest page to check it all out, by clicking on the following icon.  

Note that these aren't Bob's photos. He has only slapped them all together up there in a scrapbook / album fashion. When one isn't into photography and rarely takes photos, reliance is placed on others' photography talent to convey what is desired. Good thing there is no shortage of that out there on the Internet.


Subject: Barcelona #62 - When Storms Happen
(Posted on Apr 16, 2014 at 05:23PM ) Tags:
After all those weddings over the years, there have only been a handful where the weather didn’t cooperate, and even fewer when one was outside at the time and Mother Nature was keen to show who's da Boss. 


On that late afternoon back in May 2002 in the mountains of Sant Cugat del Vallès outside the city, the memory of the storm that descended on the outdoor wedding ceremony sticks out to this day. The weather changed for the worse really quickly, the skies darkened, and we were all a little in awe at how intense the rain, hail, thunder and lightning  got, all perfectly timed of course for the ceremony, peaking with the couple’s vows. We were surprised again at how fast it all went away and the sun came out thereafter. Throughout, the couple were really calm, and seemed completely unfazed by it all. There was a METAL roof over our heads (nice for attracting lightning strikes), but the sides were all open air, allowing for the wind to whip the rain and hail into the left side of the seating area.

This completely separate video shot here on an August 2008 evening shows what things can get like in Barcelona in terms of electrical storms. Keep in mind that the wedding that afternoon was in the hills where all the lightning happens here in this video, so we really felt like we were in the thick of things.



The storm's impression certainly made for a memorable experience overall on that day, but it was all quickly put behind us when the sun came out and bottles of cava were being cracked open in volume. 

Overall, Barcelona’s an awesome place, and I always feel blessed to have been able to live there for two years of school between 1991 – 1993 and get to experience a good deal of all that the city and its surrounding areas have to offer, incluidng some spectacualr electrical storms.

While the wedding on this day was just outside the city proper, I have been to four others there in or around the core that will be covered off in future chronicles in the trilogy.

If you have never been to BCN, maybe the aluure of these two highlight videos will tempt you to put it on your own bucket list.


Hilarious, clever and unique!

A hilarious and well written read. Through the life milestone of a series of weddings, Bob Boguslavski, the colourful narrator, takes us on a journey through time and culture, immersing us in the climate of each of his settings. Through his interactions, beginning when he is young, Bob introduces us to a group of lively characters, friends and guests, and these people affect and reflect the man we come to know.

We get to eavesdrop on Bob’s conversations as he cleverly and lightly pokes fun at the concept of marriage and provides insightful social commentary. We have all been to weddings. Boguslavski gives us a new and unique perspective. His witty, gritty, and direct style will appeal to both men and women. Read this book. You will laugh yourself silly. Bob is not yet ready to settle down. I look forward to hearing more from him. 

Rating: 5 / 5 *

Original Posting: Ben11222 | April 06, 2014 | Source Link: Apple iBooks (CA) 
I really wanted to like this book because the author provided it to me for free and was very nice about it, but I just found it painfully boring. It was trying to be a sort of sociological look into weddings in different cultures, but it didn't really provide any insight into those cultures, it just showed you dull conversations that happened to occur at those weddings. It was also trying to tell some interesting wedding related stories, and it failed at doing that too.

I also got really annoyed by the borderline asinine level of detail provided about each wedding that the author couldn't possibly have remembered (exact number of guests, as an example) and which no one cares about anyway. He references people that you don't know as if you do, and generally just writes way, WAY too much. There's potential for the book to be decent if it were tightened up a LOT, but until about 50% is cut out, it's just too clunky. I couldn't finish it. 

Rating: 1 / 5 *

Original Posting: Arielle | April 01,  2014 | Source Link: Goodreads
Subject: Hawaii #54 - Celebrity Cross-match
(Posted on Mar 29, 2014 at 03:02PM ) Tags:
Wade Roe laid out the rules pretty plainly for his favorite L.A. bar game, Celebrity Cross-match, in that chapter. Okay, maybe it's a little obvious he was named after Roe v. Wade, so that one wasn’t much of an Easter Egg after all, but it may have slipped by a few folks. 

As Wade saw it, the game was much more fun and challenging than a more typical, and boring, random celebrity spotting in and around L.A. This variant required a little more quick-on-your-feet thinking and some imagination. Per his decree in the book, any twofold hybrid worked that best fit a target’s description, be it a same-sex or male-female fusion. The odd triple-mix combination was rarely permitted, as were easy dead ringer solo shots, but they were not mainstay.

In this small way, everybody was a celebrity—and if everybody was a celebrity, then nobody was a celebrity.

Sounds simple enough, but let’s put theory into practice. Here are a few examples with characters taken from that very wedding chapter, as this easily distracted single guest’s mind was prone to wandering all over the place.

1) The bride that day, Ku’ene Penelope Makamae Pe Ts'ai Fook Chang Kaneaiakala, was Anne Hathaway meets Joan Chen.
Whaddup with her über–long name too?


2) Her Mom, Paula, was Imelda Marcos crossed with Ann B. Davis of The Brady Bunch TV series fame.



3) Dad, Eala, mashed up Gregory Peck with Herman Wedemeyer (Duke, on the original Hawaii Five-O series). Note for all you detail sticklers, the original series was named with the letter "O" in the title, and the current modern-day resurrection uses the number zero "0" for sly and subtle differentiation.




4) Wade Roe was a younger Christopher Lee meets Ben Affleck..



5) Best man Isaiah Washington was pegged as Morris Chestnut morphed with Ving Rhames.



6) And, saving the best for last, perhaps Wade’s sharpest shot ever, from one night long ago at James' Beach, in Venice, CA, was a Carrot Top (aka Scott Thompson) fused with Kenny G combinaton sighted across the room from where we were hanging out nursing cocktails along.



And, if you're bored or have a little idle time on your hands, you can morph and muck about on your own at MorphThing.com.

Every now and again, if it fits, some folks get by with a pure-play, solo shot, like Jock Finn doubling for Rob Schneider. And that’s the real deal.

Subject: Wedding Chronicles Giveaway
(Posted on Mar 24, 2014 at 11:44AM ) Tags:
Sign up here at The Book Landers blog for a Wedding Chronicles giveaway drawing.

Enter fast and free for a chance to win a US$20 Amazon Giftcard or one of five ebook copies of the novel 

The drawing closes Sunday March 30, 2014 at 23:59 EDT / 20:59 PDT (North America time zones)

Here's an author interview with Bob Boguslavski!
Saturday March 22, 2014

Source Link: The Book Landers



The Book Lander: What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Bob Boguslavski: I see them as being related.

The hardest thing about writing is trying to recount something you haven’t experienced in real life. I think that in order to accurately describe or detail it, you need to do a lot of research, talk to people who have lived it, and then try to put the topic, passage or experience together from that perspective. I think this hard work is needed, so that anybody reading the piece at hand who has experienced will see it as being credible. Now you can’t necessarily do this at length for every single little thing. Further, if you are writing something from a purely imaginary perspective (i.e., science fiction or fantasy), which nobody has lived yet, then I believe a good amount of time and effort needs to be spent mapping out the “world” and how it all works and comes together. It still needs to make sense, sound credible, be logical, and not have any glaring inconsistencies. That is all hard work to do properly and create from scratch.

The easiest thing about writing is covering something you have lived or that has happened to you. It certainly helps to have a good memory in that regard, so you can dredge up all the relevant details. You can then always change or tweak it, by applying a little artistic license and imagination to make it more appealing, interesting, shocking, or humorous, as needed, but the core is always best based in something that happened, and you were there for it.

Stitching the two parts together seamlessly with one’s own unique style and flair is the art of the deal.

TBL: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

BB: Fortunately, writer’s block is something that has not happened to me yet, so I am lucky. If it looked like I was getting stuck on one passage or chapter, I could easily change gears by moving to another chapter, or do some research or editing on another part or angle altogether.

The way this first book was (and how future books will be) structured, on an episodic basis, albeit with many connecting tendrils between each “chronicle” or chapter, allows me to hop around from chapter to chapter. It took my editor some adjustment to work along this way as well, since the novel’s chapters were not completed in sequence, but were rather all over the place, and delivered individually for follow-on editing and review.

I realize writer’s block is a very personal thing that affects writers differently, so I imagine that everyone could have a different solution. Doing something completely different and changing your environment may work, like exercise or getting outside. I think it would be important to flag the problem area, put down some notes or placeholders, and then leave it for a while, and come back later.

Another factor could be time of day as well, as I think many writers work to different biorhythms, so knowing and understanding yourself and your zones of optimal creativity, and when you work best / most efficiently is important and can play a part in the solution, or at the minimum, staying away from recurring problematic time periods.

Music has a big influence over me, and helps my creativity, so music would be a factor as well. I always have music on as I write, to create a backchannel of random stimulation and unlock potential. Maybe that is why writer’s block hasn’t happened to me. If it ain’t broke, don’t go lookin’ to fix it.

TBL: Name a song that describes your book best?

BB: That’s a real interesting one. I’ll alter (or bend) the question a bit in terms of “a song” (i.e., single).

The book, in terms of styles and structure, (and my character) is a mix of many different traits and influences, and so I think a “song” in the realm of Mashups / Bastard Pop / Plunderphonics would be most accurately representative.

There is a lot of great stuff to choose from, but I’ll pick Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) and the album Feed The Animals. Now, technically, one may view the entire album stream as one long contiguous “song”, but it has been broken up into 14 consecutive tracks to make it more digestible.

It combines hundreds of song samples, artfully woven together in an aural tapestry to create something new. It similarly represents the way I slammed and fused many different elements on multiple fronts/topics together for the book’s tale. It is also perhaps a model for the way I think as well. If you don’t want to consider the album as one “song”, then feel free to pick any of the 14 constituent tracks for a random sample.

This Wired Magazine infographic deconstructs one track “What It’s All About” from the album, visually mapping out in time and layers all 35 samples used for that one song.


In terms of describing my character in the book, and what Bobby Bo may be thinking at the end of it all, the last three songs in the Epilogue playlist by Nada Surf, Eels, and West Indian Girl were purposely chosen in sequence to add another angle as to how to interpret the ending, and what may be going on inside Bob’s head that he isn’t otherwise communicating.

Listen to those three songs, if no others in the book, and a reader will probably come away with a modified / enhanced understanding or perspective of the ending than the one given by the text alone.

I could go on a bit more about the music in the book and its overall general purpose, but this web/blog post I did a while back sums it up pretty well.

TBL: Chocolate or vanilla?

BB: Well, let me start by saying I have generally been a savory over sweet person for quite a long time now. I will always make more room for that extra piece of pizza or another helping of the main dish, and forego dessert altogether in most cases.

But faced with a choice, if it’s ice cream, I will take vanilla as my preferred flavor, but some squares of chocolate will always trump ice cream in a face-off, but it need be dark chocolate.

White chocolate doesn’t count at all as real chocolate—strictly speaking it is considered a derivative product, and doesn’t have the cocoa solids. Milk chocolate as a choice probably will keep me sticking to savoury.

I am not a hoity-toity, fussy eater by any means, so faced with situations where there is no choice, I go with the flow, eat what’s there, and not bitch about luxury decisions. Overall, in this part of the world, many of us have it pretty good when it comes to food and lots of choices. I will eat just about anything within mainstream reason and not complain.

TBL: Any favorite things / likes you want to share?

BB: In no particular order:

Mode of transport – train, for the continuity, views, pace, and not needing to be captain; note this ain’t the same as the subway.

TV show as a kid – Ultraman (it’s from Japan in the 60s; we had this stuff growing up in Canuckistan even in the single digit channel universe at the time, pre-cable).

Night of the week – Thursday, cuz it’s busy enough to be real good, not as crowded as Friday and Saturday with lines, and even if you hurt your ass real bad partying, you can limp through the day Friday at work/school to get home and collapse on the sofa and flop out.

Song/artist – can’t peg it to one as way too much I like; my next one though is something/somebody I haven’t heard yet. Get a very small feel for selections from here.

Sleep time – 4/5am – 9/10am (5 hours); unfortunately this doesn’t jive with much real-life, grown-up activity, and is at cross-porpoises [sic] with my best writing times on the front end. I do need catch-up days with more sleep now and again though for sure.

Food – so much I like, but thin crust pizza, Asian across the board, and Mediterranean fare are all up there at the top of the pyramid.

Booze – red wine

Other drug(s) – music, travel, and the above mentioned grape juice

Life moment – It hasn’t happened yet.

Color – blue (and shades therein for variety)

TBL: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

BB: There is a lot of debate out there and ample well thought-out material has been written about the value of free with books, music and many other products / services. I certainly see and understand the multiple facets of the equation.

This Wired Magazine piece by Chris Anderson from 2008 is a good overview of the matter, and useful for getting started thinking about it all. But there is so much more out there, both pro and con.

I think this approach can be used effectively when done occasionally for brief periods of time (e.g., giveaways, contests, and short promotions) but if used constantly across the board, where does that leave a writer long term? If you, as creator, are not placing any value to your work, who else will? Any writer or other artist needs to be the biggest champion of his or her work.

In my case, I have one novel to date, with more to come. I have elected to put a commercial value on it for several reasons—it’s a highly differentiated product, initial third parties and readers have reacted favorably so far, and there are other value-added elements attached to it like the music playlists. Further, I also made sure the end product was professionally edited from start to finish. There is a lot of “free” and self-published stuff out there that isn’t edited, so that was another wrinkle in the mix.

Another consideration in my decision making on this matter is that pretty much all the e-book and online platforms provide for an adequate preview capability of the product, so any reader gets a really good “free” look at what they may be potentially plunking down part of their entertainment budget for.

When you are a first-time author starting from zero, it is tough to break into the market to begin with, given the sheer amount of new titles coming out all the time, and technology has really opened up the floodgates with increasingly sophisticated and polished self-publishing options.

Then one is also competing with all the other types of media / entertainment forms today, and social media. Then you have limited consumer mental bandwidth and time as physical constraints.

There is an ocean of free stuff out there as it is, and some evidence suggests many readers never finish or even get to start all the free e-books they amass on their reading device(s) of choice.

Providing a review copy to literary blogs/websites, highly-ranked independent reviewers, and select tastemakers / high profile folks is another matter, pretty much standard practice, and makes sense, given the volume of queries and material they contend with and would otherwise have to pay for. You never know how they will like, love, or pan it though in their review. It’s out of your control.

Whether a book is given away free or sold commercially to the public, the real bottom line investment any reader is making is in the actual time to read the book. If someone is going to allow a writer to crawl into their headspace for hours at a time to entertain, enthrall, inform, and/or shock at times too, then the currency sale price of the book paid by the reader is rather irrelevant at the end of the day when divided by the physical time spent reading, and looking at it on a $/hour basis. But that sale price revenue can certainly make a difference to the author.

You can experiment with pricing, but it can be difficult to go up in price from “zero, zero, he’s my hero,” as opposed to having the wiggle room to play with price selectively from a higher point.

In other cases, generally, the book itself, may be just a part of an overall business model with other revenue streams down the road too, such as speaking engagements, consulting, or other related revenue-generating activities, if that is what a writer desires and what kind of books are being churned out. One need to know and understand what their own end game and objectives are here, and many a time, it may not be the book at all.

At the end of the day, each writer will do what they think is right for their own situation, factoring in all the parameters at play, and where they feel they fit in the overall marketplace with their offering.

Then you can also just close your eyes, throw a dart and see where it lands on the board (or even missing altogether), and let that dictate your strategy as well. Ida know. Vega$, baby, Vega$.

TBL: Why do you write?

BB: There has never been some lifelong longing to write since childhood. It all manifested itself over time. Sure at school, one had to write essays, papers, and do projects. Then with business, there is a lot of writing as well, whether it is for planning, proposals, marketing collateral and other related biz type docs. Hell, even crafting a well-written email can be a challenge too. You are still always telling a story in some way, trying to convince someone of something, or impart something.

Probably my earliest knowledge of knowing I could write anything entertaining and humorous, dates back to my initial international work and travel days in the late 80s and early 90s. At the time, when abroad in places like Europe, Egypt, India, and the UAE, on the go, and many a time in remote areas or with no reasonable or convenient telephone options, the best way to shoot friends and family an update on what was up in life was via postcard. The major shortcoming was speed of delivery (weeks if not months at times), and the odd one may have also gotten lost along the way.

You had the picture on one side, and not a lot of room on the flip, once factoring in space for the addressee info, and the stamp(s). I kinda cheated (or altered the boundaries of the format) by writing in bordering-on-microscopic (but still legible, at least to younger eyes anyway) print, giving me a quite a bit more room than normal to play with.

I developed my own personal informal style of telling a short story of the place, picture and life moment and/or perceptions of where I was, and delivering it in comedic and graphic fashion. So much so, that over the years, I discovered that many of those friends and family have saved those postcards to this very day, because they said it made them howl with laughter, and was some of the funniest and out there stuff they had ever read.

Years later, I managed to get some of them to scan or loan them back to me for a bit. There is some real good material in there that may see the light of day in future series about travel and/or work abroad.

I knew I had something there in terms of some raw potential nuggets of value, but it still took quite a few years before it all came together, and knowing what to do with any of it.

Along the way, there were all these experiences abroad (for work, vacation, and school) that just started piling up over the years. The topic of weddings was just the first one to come bubbling up as the vehicle to tie some of that together into a longer story packaged in book form.

TBL: What does your family think of your writing?

BB: Well, a good chunk of the family is dead (parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents) so that makes things very easy! smiley With all the funerals there to date, plus some friends too, I see the raw potential down the road for another eye-opening series, but I will save that whole approach for when all other topical series have been exhausted.

Start with weddings, and end with funerals. Hmm, I think this one may have been done once before, but I think I can do it differently enough to make it interesting.

Other family members (sister, brother-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) don’t do the e-book thing yet at all, and are awaiting the imminent (but months overdue) paperback release to dive into it, and give me their overall opinion, even though a few may have had the odd early-stage preview chapter. Younger relatives, like nephews, still have a long way to grow up before they will be wanting to read this. Also, there is no wife to worry about yet either, and what she may think. So overall, this family angle really hasn’t been a shaping factor to date.

I will wait and see how this all turns out, and get back to folks on that with a more definitive answer if this question ever gets asked again down the road. I imagine that some family members will like it (or parts thereof), and others will be shocked by a lot of it too, as the material can be quite out there, and delivered with Tucker Max like flair at times. It’s just part of my natural writing style that goes back to my postcard writing days abroad. I did however tone down my language for family (a bit anyway) in those old cards, as opposed to friends and others, which were done with more of a no holds barred approach. If I was writing those cards for grandparents with very limited English capability, I had to keep things really simple.

TBL: Do you have any suggestions to become a better writer? If so, what are they?

BB: I am really just getting going as a writer, so I ain’t like no expert or nuttin’, but from very early stages years back, I certainly valued Authonomy as a forum to throw out early versions of chapters and see what people, especially other writers who may be a little more critical, thought. Those initial comments (all based on the raw first drafts, before any editing) can still be found up here. I haven’t been really up there much anymore apart from the odd update.

At the time in late 2009 when I first started on Authonomy with a few initial chapters, the book had a working title of All Over The Map with the byline underneath of Global Weddings, Wandering and Pondering. Bad, isn’t it? It was way too long, and got changed along the way, as the current title is a better fit. I had a long list of potential titles, and batted them around with quite a few friends, family, and my editor. At various stages, I had several more chapters up there (at one point about 70% of the full manuscript I reckon), but have since culled it back to pretty much mirror what is available now in preview mode for the book retail sites online.

I knew from the start I was trying to do something quite different in terms of concept, story and structure, and each wedding / chronicle / chapter was far longer than a normal novel chapter. I wanted to get an early feel to see if I was barking up the right tree, so to speak. There were things I picked up along the way based on initial feedback, and I was able to refine and fix them, the most important being how to split up those otherwise long chapters into smaller chunks, employing a series of repetitive icons to act dually as break / separation points, and also to symbolize different days and/or day parts for the event.

Getting all that right very early on was valuable to me. However, some writers might be loath to share early raw drafts of a new book for fear of rejection, nasty commentary, or having ideas stolen (or their publisher forbade it), but I didn’t see a problem with any of that and wasn’t tied to any contracts. Also, as a minor added deterrent to others copying and extending material, my editor felt early on that my style, tone and structure were quite unique, and would be hard to mimic.

I just felt I needed to test the waters early on, and was very glad I did. So that would be my only suggestion—get stuff out early on, and adjust accordingly as needed. I suppose if one is a seasoned pro, you may not care for or need that approach because you are comfortable with the whole product creation process.

TBL: What draws you to this genre?

I like to think my style of writing is rather genre-defying, as it mixes in so many different elements.

At the very least, it is a mashup, and in the way that Girl Talk wanted to turn things up several notches on the music front with his work, I endeavored to do so with this first instalment of Wedding Chronicles. I didn’t want to feel constrained or limited by standard industry labels or tags that would be applied to try to categorize it. There are too many, making it all meaningless in the end. It is what it is. It’s part of the reason why I created my own label for it, f(r)iction, and it’s explained right at the beginning of the book. We’ll see if it ever sticks over time.

Throwing fully-integrated music playlists into the mix was yet another thing I wanted to do, because music is something that is a big part of my life, and has a lot of power to help a story along (e.g., movies, TV, games) and set mood.

I intend to continue writing exactly like this. It is just me, following my own vibe, with a delivery and structure that feels comfortable and natural.

People can call it what they want in the end. I just hope they enjoy the read ride, and want to come back for more.

To close off this topic of style and genre, this Toni Morrison quote fits the bill nicely.

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”


A globetrotter's wedding adventure!

Genre: f(r)iction--"where fact and fiction rub up against each other, and nobody wants to know it regardless"

I was torn between rating Wedding Chronicles a 3 star or 4 star review. Some parts of the book I really enjoyed, and other parts, not so much. In the end, I settled on 3.5 (rounded up to 4 stars when rated on other sites.)

Wedding Chronicles is certainly one of the more eclectic books I've ever read. This work of literature is a collection of wedding adventures experienced first hand by the author himself. With nearly 100 weddings under his belt, Bob is no stranger to attending weddings, having criss-crossed the entire world. From Mexico to California to Europe--Boguslavski has already been there and done that.

In this particular book, the author recounts 13 memorable weddings, each one unique in one way or another. Readers get to learn about how different cultures manage weddings and also the conversations Boguslavski finds himself engaged in are often either humorous/mind-provoking.

However, for any spelling Nazis out there--be warned! There are some pretty innovative spelling of words in Wedding Chronicles. For example, business is spelled bidni$$ and iPhone is spelled iFone. Personally, this didn't bother me and I actually found some of these avant garde spelling of words to be quite witty. Plus, I would like to give bonus points to Mr. Boguslavski for using the word tintinnabulation in his writing. Aside from Edgar Allen Poe's work, I have never seen that word used in literature, which is really a shame since tintinnabulation is such an underrated word!

You can clearly hear the author's voice/personality through his writing. He seems to take everything in life all in stride and is willing to engage in very interesting topics of conversation at weddings.

I think my only major quip with Wedding Chronicles is that several outside references were made and I didn't understand them. (Guess I'm not as pop culture savvy as I would like to be!) However, readers who are more knowledgable in pop culture are sure to chuckle along. (I mean, I did find the references he made to be funny if I knew what Bob was talking about--like Lord of the Rings:-)

With all that being said, DO NOT READ THIS LIKE A NORMAL BOOK. I tried to do that at the beginning (meaning, I sat down, thinking I could finish this book in 1-3 sittings), but it soon became obvious it was not the way to go (at least for me.) This book ought to be read in small chunks (1-3 wedding "chronicles" at a time) to give readers time to mull over what they had just read (topics range from China's rise in global trade to different types of wine to global warming--all topics are complemented with commentaries, courtesy of Boguslavski, of course.) Also, if you're the type of person who enjoys reading stories with a strong plot line, it would probably be best if you read it in smaller chunks as well, as this book is rather like an anthology.

Final thoughts: After reading Wedding Chronicles, I think it's safe to say that my view of the world has definitely been broadened!

Rating: 4 / 5 * on Amazon.com and Goodreads; 3.5 / 5 * on blog

Original Posting: Tina Chan | March 22, 2014 | Source Link: The Book Landers