Penelope going global

A mission to the planet of writers

This is my  speech and presentation  for the WomenLead Association to the students  of Nazarbayev University.

What is the foremost dream of each librarian?To become an author.

What is the second dream? To become a published author.

photo 3After writing and  publishing two books  you probably think now that I have fulfilled all my dreams. If Only!When they asked Paul MacCartney, how he feels about his achievement, he answered “not good enough, there is always someone else better than you’’. I’m afraid to say, this is the truth about the human nature. Both my books look at the intercultural relationships The idea to write the first book didn’t come all of a sudden. It was hovering on my head for long time. There were unsolved issues In my inner world. As the connoisseurs say, you can write about anything you like but there must be a connection between you and your material. It is true that I had spent almost all my life in a semi situation. Born in Athens, Greece and educated and worked in Anglo-Saxon environment for long time,I felt that I was standing in two boats at the same time. And because of that, I thought that I knew very well the species of Anglosaxons. When I moved to England for good with my British spouse, I was quite confident about my familiarity with this lot. What a chimaera! Very photo 2soon, I worked out that the foreigners when they come to your country they try to adapt and mimic you somehow. You don’t know really what is happening about until you enter their own house. Not too long, I was quite sure that I had just entered into a new brave world called England. I don’t want to describe it as a shock into my system, but let’s say this experience made me to sit down and start writing the book that I had inside me. The well known quote “everyone has a book in himself/herself”. This book I had inside me took me two days to write it!
The whole endeavor was 2,000 words. Not near to 60,000 words that a famous author and friend of mine had mentioned to me about writing and publishing novel. 60,000 words novel can be achieved only by copying and pasting my first 2,000 words by 30 times. This was my fist desperate thought. Easy peasy things. Slowly, I started to expand those 2,000 words. I created characters with flesh and bones and I started adding more details into this story. Soon, I realized that I have helper in this endeavor. My subconscious was doing the whole job most of the time. Another great helper was a notebook next to my bed. All the ideas were coming before going to bed and I had to write them down at that moment, because they were disappearing like a magic from the hardware of my brain. After one year of discipline writing around 1000 words per day everyday and uncountable editing, I decided to put a full stop and say : I had finished my story. The book was ready. I had managed to write 60,000 words, to create real characters interacting with each other and the most important the whole story had a flow, a rhythm. Still, I was half away through the whole endeavor. I needed an accreditation. I needed my work to be accepted by the others. I needed to publish it. At that point I was opening a new chapter of the project. Publishing needs a whole different skills from that of writing. Be able to promote and market the product. You need to change your character from being introverted to extroverted. First thing first, I created a blog about the book and start attracting audienphoto 1 (1)ce. The same time I found a literary agent. I had quite a few rejections as it always happens in life, you need one acceptance, and then the door opens for you. I found a publisher and soon my books was on the shelves of the bookstores. Not too long, approximately after 4 months, the book was on the top 10 best seller list in Greece And 6 years now it appears on the top ten during Christmas and summer. The second book of the series “Penelope Online”  had bee published and I’m on the third at the moment. Writing slowly funny stories about Middle East. I don’t know what is the recipe for a best seller and nobody really knows, but what I know  in my situation, was that I felt every word that I had written. I think the secret of how I succeeded starting and carrying on with the whole project of writing and publishing is laying on Steve Jobs advice to the students at the commencement at Stanford University 2005.

diaprofieB “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important,have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

My Prezi presentation: ” A mission to the planet of Writers” Writing Tips :

Strolling around Plaka, Athens

“We are what we repeatedly do” Aristotle.One sunny day of February, I was back in Athens and I was strolling around Plaka, Athens. Years and years the same pilgrimage, back to my home town and strolling around the same places again and again. Never tired doing so! And every time, I’m discovering something new.

Old houses have been renovated smartly and with care, taking into consideration the environment!


In every step around this area ,the visitor will come across of different archaeological monuments :The Tower of Winds.


Another house nicely renovated. I’m sure the group of Atenistas who painted the stairs in Kolonaki had never noticed what colours have been used so far in renovating old places in Athens, or they were newly arrived immigrants from Brazil bringing with them tones of paint.



The museum of Greek folk music instruments.


Lysicrates Monument

It is supposed to be the most expensive address in Athens -Dionysou Areopagitou st.- with a view of 3000 years of history & glory-Parthenon.

Whatever is going on, there  is always a table in the sun and a friend to talk to by drinking your coffee. This is Greece for you!


Lycabettus hill :  View from the upper floor of the Acropolis Museum

At the entrance of the Acropolis Museum the excavations are still on.Nothing stops the archaeologists.The treasures to be found are still innumerable.


At the Acropolis museum restaurant with the most beautiful view and the simplest food which is equally gorgeous.

Still, I remember the taste the cheese pie in the picture below! The whole secret was hidden in the making of the philo.


P1080996The museum has beautiful and exclusive presents!

The nice necklace is made of silk and in various combination of colours.

And a nice tote bag(pic. below) with the picture of Athena in order to make a difference -a cultural one  ;)

London’s gentlemen’s club

It’s Saturday night and who would resist peeping into a London’s private gentleman’s club for free? The British had the knack of creating exclusive activities for the upper class and the gentlemen’s club is one of those. The following is one of the private members club in the clubland area of St. James’s. Enjoy and get some tips for decoration if you are anglophile ;)


The bar



The library


The Duke of Edinburg is the club’s patron.


The room for the ball season.

In the lobby paintings of prominent British men, the right one is Earl Mountbatten.



The restaurant


Office for the members needs for internet…


Loved the walled garden just right in the centre of London.

p.s : Μου φαίνεται, έτσι όπως το πάω, θα το γυρίσω το θέμα του μπλογκ προς τη διακόσμηση κλπ.   #-)

Paris : Window Shopping

It’s not difficult to guess the meaning of  ‘window shopping’ and as the Urban dictionary explains :When one visits a store or mall to admire goods rather than to purchase them. The ‘shopper’ seems to be looking so intently at the glass in storefront windows that he appears to want to buy the window itself, hence ‘window shopping’. Most of the time, this was what I was doing when I had some free time for myself  after the family’s responsibilities.

As I was walking along  the street of St Honore du Faubourg, I saw, in the distance , a big queue . I couldn’t imagine what was about. Someone usually doesn’t come across with queues of people in posh areas and particularly posh areas of Paris. When I approached a bit closer  the mystery solved and replaced by a big surprise. People are queuing for a pair of Louboutin. Aυτά είναι./

emma thompson

Emma Thompson with her own Louboutin at her hands,   yesterday at Golden Globes ceremony! You understand now, what it is about the whole fuss!

The shop window  had only one pair of high heels with the red sole.


Macaron is the new chocolate. La Duree,Champs Elysee, is the famous french bakery with the most exquisite macaron.


The famous Maxim’s restaurant, rue Royale no.3. Onassis, Kalas, Duke of Windsor …were regulars.


Love this cute building and the clock on the top.


Some silvers to have work to do during moody days.


Next to this synthesis there was a red one, but I preferred the white one.


I was attracted by this beautiful tutu, but I didn’t exactly work out what kind of shop it was.


Love the small chair for the little bambini. Beautiful atmosphere.


Dior for the little ones.


One of the most famous Hairdresser in Europe during the 80s.


A bit retro and beautiful dolls.

Perhaps, January is not the cruelest month but it is close. It is a long month and the big spending has already taken place during Christmas. But again, February is coming and with it, the sales season. There you are, a  good reason to feel cheerful :)


Since this is the first day of 2014, let’s start with some good news! Europe’s two main cities, London and Paris, were fully  decorated for this Christmas ! Nothing was missing from the previous years of affluence. Expensive decoration and bright lights as ever!


Regent Street, London.


London Club, St. James’s square.


Big Ben, London.


Place Vendome, Paris : Elegant as ever and the Ritz hotel is under renovation in order to serve the super rich of this planet.


Champs Elysees, Paris : The streets of Champs Elysees couldn’t be more bright.

P1080770Avenue Montaigne, Paris.


With view to Eiffel Tower.


Hotel Bristol, Rue du Faubourg St. Honore, Paris

The bad news is that  Daumier’s caricature Gargantua cannot be more timely than now!


Daumier produced Gargantua, 1831 which depicts the King as a greed giant sat in the place de la Concorde. The poor people of Paris offer what little money they have as food for the King, who excretes honours on the politicians waiting beneath this commode. Gargantua was never published, but was displayed briefly in the windows of La Caricature’s headquarters. The message of the print was clear for all to see.: the ‘bourgeois monarch was exploiting the ordinary people of Paris to keep his middle-class supporters happy, while growing fat and complacent in the process.

And if you are in London don’t miss the exhibition “Daumier 1808-1879 Visions of Paris” at Royal Academy of Arts. It will give you some insight about our times!


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