FIRST LINES from: On Two Feet and Wings

Read first lines from On Two Feet and Wings
By Abbas Kazerooni



It was typically hot in Tehran the day my life was turned upside down.

I was completing my homework in my bedroom which always stayed cool because of its very high ceiling. It was a spacious room, much too big for me, with very few things. My small bed stood in one corner, next to the radiator; I loved it there in the winters, where I could squeeze my toes in between the rails to warm them. Above my bed was a huge window, nearly upto the ceiling. It looked out on our back garden that led to an orchard, divided into sections, each with different types of trees. There were orange trees, apple trees, cherry trees and pomegranate trees; it is the orange trees I remember best because they would fruit every year without fail, the oranges hanging like bright balls on the heavy, dipping branches. On hot summer days, when the sun was too strong for me to play outside, I would jump onto my bed and gaze at the trees, their leaves shining golden in the sunlight.

First published as The Little Man by Tate Publishing USA in 2008.
Ebook published by Hachette India
(Text) Copyright © 2011 Abbas Kazerooni
Illustrations © 2011 Hachette India
ISBN: 978-93-5009-268-2
ISBN: 978-93-5009-388-7

Read selected chapters of On Two Feet and Wings on Amazon.


Nine Timeless Insights on Journalism From Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Wonder Sonder

“I’ve always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist.”

During an interview held at his house in Mexico City with the Paris Review, for the Winter 1981 edition of the literary magazine, Gabriel Garcia Marquez berated interviewer Peter H. Stone for bringing along a tape recorder to harness the accuracy of the exchange.Marquez

The interview, which occurred over the course of three late afternoon meetings spanning approximately two hours each, involved the Colombian artist speaking mostly in Spanish, with his sons translating much of his words.

Through it, Marquez provides illuminating insights into how a novel and a piece of journalistic literature are conditioned by the expectations of editors. Writing for newspapers versus novels impedes the flow of creativity, suggests Marquez, when he writes:

“I had to condition my thoughts and ideas to the interests of the newspaper. Now, after having worked as a novelist…

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FIRST LINES: Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

First lines from:

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s By John Elder Robison

“Look me in the eye, young man!”

I cannot tell you how many times I heard that shrill, whining refrain. It started about the time I got to first grade. I heard it from parents, relatives, teachers, principals, and all manner of other people. I heard it so often I began to expect to hear it.

Sometimes it would be punctuated by a jab from a ruler or one of those rubber-tipped pointers teachers used in those days. The teachers would say, “Look at me when I’m speaking to you!” I would squirm and continue looking at the floor, which would just make them madder. I would glance up at their hostile faces and feel squirmier and more uncomfortable and unable to form words, and I would quickly look away.

© 2007, 2008 by John Elder Robinson

Read sample pages from Look Me in the Eye from Amazon.

Did you know That Seven “that”s may follow each other and still make sense?

Yes, it’s true. Seven “that’s” may follow each other, and make sense:

For be it known that we may safely write
Or say that “that that” that that man wrote was right;
Nay, e’en that that that, that “that THAT” has followed,
Through six repeats, the grammar’s rule has hallowed;
And that that that that that “that THAT” began
Repeated seven times is right, deny’t who can.

My Lords (says he) with humble Submission,
That that I say is this; that That that, that gentleman has advanced is not That, that he should have proved to your Lordships.

~Spectator, No. 80

And that’s that!


Through joy and through sorrow, I–wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I–wrote. Through good
report and through ill report, I–wrote. Through
sunshine and through moonshine, I–wrote. What I
wrote it is unnecessary to say.

~Edgar A. Poe
Quoted in Hired Pens: Professional Writers in America’s Golden Age of Print, by Ronald Weber

It is hard to say what makes the writers write. What makes me write? It is as hard to explain that in myself as it is hard to explain in others. I too, like Poe, have written through joy and sorrow, hunger and thirst and day and night.

That is one reason why, though I am not a ‘writer’ in the conventional sense, nor a ‘journalist’ the way most journalists are, that I can sympathize and identify with writers, authors. That too is the reason why we are inviting self published authors to take part in SriLankaBookChapters; because I know the travails they go through, not just to bring out their creations into light, but into print and then into the hands of readers like you.

If you know self published authors, direct them to SriLankaBookChapters.

To all those who love to read, please visit SriLankaBookChapters and my other blog , again for inspiration because I’ve written extensively on personal development topics in the past 15 years and will be publishing those articles one by one.

To all writers everywhere, happy and productive writing! Please visit my other blog from time to time for skills or inspiration.