Give something back to the world : Free #Ebooks

tumblr_mydc34bfV91rqx86wo1_1280“Give something back to the world” was one of the 10 tips that the headmistress gave, in her last speech before her departure, to the girls in my daughters’ school in order to lead a good life. I found this tip quite inspirational despite the rest nine were quite interesting and some funny ones.
“Δώσε κάτι πίσω στο κόσμο” ήταν μία από τις 10 συμβουλές για καλή ζωή , που έδωσε η διευθύντρια  του σχολείου των κοριτσιών μου στον τελευταίο λόγο της προς όλα τα κορίτσια, πριν αναχωρήσει για το επόμενο πόστο της. Αυτή τη συμβουλή την βρήκα πολύ εμπνευσμένη παρότι και οι υπόλοιπες εννέα ήταν ενδιαφέρουσες και μερικές αστείες.

1 – Don’t grow up too quickly/Μη μεγαλώσετε γρήγορα.
2 – Eat vegetables./Τρώτε λαχανικά.
3 – Stay curious and always keep a sense of perspective ( that might be 2 half things…)/Να είστε περιέργες και και να διατηρείτε μια αίσθηση προοπτικής.
4 – Work hard but also be prepared to rock the boat (very wise, very cool!)/ Δουλεύετε σκληρά αλλά πάντα να είστε έτοιμες να ταρακούνησετε τα λιμνάζοντα νερά.
5 – Don’t ever, ever have to combine the words ‘if’ and ‘only’/Ποτέ μα ποτέ δεν πρέπει να συνδυάζετε το “εάν και μόνο”.
6 – Wear sensible footwear (except perhaps if you get given a pair of Laboutins for Christmas! Then that rule simply does not apply!)/Να φοράτε αναπαυτικά παπούτισα (εκτός αν σας έχουν δώσει ένα ζευγάρι Laboutins για τα Χριστούγεννα!Τότε αυτός ο κανόνας δεν ισχύει.
7 – Never worry too much about your appearance. It’s what’s inside that really counts/Ποτέ μην ανησυχείτε πολύ για την εμφάνισή σας. Ο εσωτερικός σας κόσμος είναι που μετράει.
8 – Treasure your friends. They will ALWAYS be there for you/Να φυλάτε τις φιλίες σας σαν θησαυρό. Αυτοί θα είνα πάντα εκεί για σας.
9 – Give something back to the world/Δώστε κάτι πίσω στον κόσμο.
10 – And quite a lot in life can be made better by dancing and singing(the singing is mine)/Και πολλά στη ζωή μπορούν να καλυτερέψουν με το χορό και το τραγούδι(το τελευταίο είναι δικό μου).

As I was inspired from this particular tip, I decided to keep my promise #GiveEBooks and released another 10 codes for each of my books.

Eμπνεύστηκα λοιπόν από αυτή την συμβουλή της και αποφάσισα να κρατήσω την υπόσχεσή μου #GiveEbooks. Ιδού λοιπόν, άλλοι 10 κωδικοί για να κατεβάσετε ελεύθερα 10 αντίτυπα από το κάθε βιβλίο μου.

Penelope Online
1. WMK4NY6KFNL3
2. 37LNYLL9NWT9
3. R6AHEHFMX4MJ
4. 4T663EK99P33
5. W6LJKNTH4TEX
6. 9LK77FEJ66P7
7. MPHJAJNNPAFT
8. 74ERNRJWKXJR
9. JTEFNF9AKN99
10. 7NRTK94RREHJ

Tζόνι κι Εγώ
1. RK6HWPRX6KK6
2. WNRYFW794YRY
3. K3XY747HEX6K
4. PKME4THE7RN3
5. WJTXEK6NRHMM
6. FA473PEHX9AP
7. 46XMEKMYYMJK
8. XETTTNXWLETJ
9. AWARM9XRELMY
10. A46PN3MHTTTK

Σας εύχομαι να περάσετε σούπερ τώρα τις γιορτές. Kαι μην ξεχνάτε  the closing line of Philip Larkin’s poem “what will survive of us is love”.

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Read what the others read : Pledge #GiveEbooks

There are very few books that someone can send to the British ambassador in Greece and make really sense to him.  One of those books is “Johnny and Me”. And perhaps it’s the only Greek book that he can mirror himself  from a different point of view and understands better the people around him in this post of his career. / Είναι πολύ λίγα βιβλία που μπορεί κανείς να στείλει στον Βρετανό πρέσβη στην Ελλάδα και να του κάνουν κάποια αίσθηση πέρα από τα συνηθισμένα. ‘Ενα από αυτά τα βιβλία είναι “ο Τζόνι κι Εγώ” . Και ίσως να είναι το μόνο βιβλίο που μπορεί να λειτουργήσει σαν αντικαθρεπτισμός. Να δει τον εαυτό του και τους ανθρώπους που τον περιτριγυρίζουν, σε αυτό το πόστο της καριέρας του,  από μία διαφορετική γωνία.

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Τherefore here is the opportunity to read what the others read(see British Ambassador ) and see the way that they are thinking, as Murakami wrote in Norwegian Wood: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” And for those who still haven’t read “Johnny and me” I have some free codes to give in./ Eδώ είναι η ευκαιρία να διαβάσετε ό,τι οι άλλοι διαβάζουν(βλέπε Βρετανό Πρέσβη ). ‘Οπως έγραψε ο Μουρακάμι στο Νορβηγικό δάσοs  “Mόνο όταν διαβάζεις ό,τι οι υπόλοιποι διαβάζουν μπορείς να σκεφτείς ό,τι οι άλλοι σκέφτονται”. Για όσους δεν έχουν διαβάσει το Τζόνι κι Εγώ και την Πηνελόπη Οnline παραθέτω μερικούς κωδικούς παρακάτω:

Τζόνι κι Εγώ :

1. HHH9RJPTLEP7
2.PMA3WLWLKJLP
3.XYFFJ9PNHR7N
4. MLALRP3J3RT6
5. KEJELR3NJKRW

Πηνελόπη Online :

1. 9LPM7P7NT36J
2. 4RYJNH3HMJK7
3. LJT6T3L97E7T
4. XWNM7WR9YPWP
5.  LEWKLNERTNLY

For those that they weren’t fast enough to download the ebooks(the codes last only 3 weeks) be in tune for the next post, I will give some  more codes to download the boooks.

Don’t forget “the feel good factor” is very important element and the main cause to read the above books. The recession maybe is over  in Greece but the depression was a legendary one.

/ Όσοι δεν προλάβετε να κατεβάσετε τα βιβλία  (οι κωδικοί ισχύουν μόνο 3 εβδομάδες) παραμείνετε συντονισμένη στο επόμενο πόστ. Κοντά στα Χριστούγεννα θα βγάλω μερικούς νέους κωδικούς.

Και μη ξεχνάτε  “the feel good factor” είναι ένας από τους λόγους να διαβάσετε τα παραπάνω βιβλία. H ύφεση ίσως τελείωσε και οι αγορές άνοιξαν για την Ελλάδα αλλά τα σημάδια της κατάθλιψης και του φόβου που άφησε δύσκολα να αποσβεστούν.

Χαμογελάστε! Τα καλύτερα έρχονται !

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P.S. Πάντα είναι ωραία να έρχεται κανείς επαφή με Πρέσβεις και δη με Βρετανούς. Η ευγένειά τους σε σκλαβώνει ! ‘Ωρα για σοκολατάκι 😉 Enjoy!

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S for Spirit and Summer

“Art makes the impossible possible” I don’t remember who said this  but it was so spot on at that time when I went to see the exhibition about  The Lost Album of Dennis Hopper  at Royal Academy of Arts in London.  Watching the short imagesvideo/scene of his film “Easy Rider” where Peter Fonda is throwing  away his watch  and hitting the road  on his motorbike  with his mate (Dennis Hopper ) heading to the American desert, I fell overwhelmed and nostalgic about the sense of freedom that gives  you the motorbike riding. I was one of those who was riding motorbikes  for long time and  relatively a big one-Yamaha 125 cc. Still I remember this sense of immense freedom and exhilaration when I was riding it, mainly during the summer months, the speed and the air in my face were so uplifting!  I remember as well the constant shadow of fear that was accompanying me in every journey, until one day  it surrendered me and I ended up on a  4 wheel carrier.

Dennis Hopper’s exhibition triggered something inside me, a feeling of rebellion to do something different as the song’s lyrics in the Easy Rider say “…But I’ve never touched nothing’ That my spirit couldn’t kill…”

Still there is a spirit somewhere inside me and perhaps this Summer I will try again to do something different, something out of the norms. Perhaps, I will switch off all the social media, which I believe are a constant source of information recycling  and full of fear for doing something different and out of the box, and I will go for a ride on a motorbike to feel again the sense of freedom and a kind of rebellion against the daily routine of fabricated or not bad news, either these are about the economic crisis or about terrorism all over the world.

And I’m proposing to you to do the same, try something that you have never done before or in my case, something that it is quite exciting. Deactivate your accounts in every social and working environment and feel this freedom of a motorbike rider heading to somewhere without destination and try to dig up your hidden spirit.

Have a great Summer !

 

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” http://prezi.com/ol31g4fvggbu/a-mission-to-the-planet-of-writers/ Writing Tips : http://prezi.com/bitfd2ieuzcj/writing-tips/

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND DON’T FORGET TO FEED THE GARGANTUA!

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!

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Regent Street, London.

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London Club, St. James’s square.

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Big Ben, London.

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

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

P1080770Avenue Montaigne, Paris.

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With view to Eiffel Tower.

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Hotel Bristol, Rue du Faubourg St. Honore, Paris

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

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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!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

From nothing to something : Anonymous women sequel

As the economic crisis is going from strength to strength, it’s worthwhile to mention some other important social issues that are happening the same time because of that, in a quite paradoxical way. Heterosexuals distance themselves from the institution of marriage giving space to the homosexuals to indulge themselves by tying the knot with their partners. And the foremost weaker sex, the women are  getting ahead with their own issues by moving their campaign to a step further than that of equality and  equal opportunities in the work environment…

In the Western world,  during the month of October, there is a widespread campaign about promoting the issue of Unknown-2women’s leadership. Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook CEO and author of the book ‘Lean in’, has brought the issue on the surface and supports it in every opportunity. Around the globe and in various educational Institutions, there are a lot of happenings, conferences, lectures about  the same topic  “women as  leaders”.

It is obvious that women are learning and moving slowly and steadily to the area of being competitive rather than shuffling around the notion  “just being nice to each other”.

Interestingly, while women are getting ahead and get some important positions, (eg. Lagarde, Merkel) in some industries they are still in the stage of being anonymous. One example is the publishing industry which is traditionally populated by women and targets a bigger audience.

It was quite a long time ago that I was thinking about this phenomenon, but recently an article about Alice Munro sparked Unknownmy interest once again. It was titled “From  a quiet housewife to a Nobel Prize Winner”. As we are saying from “Rags to Riches”, the most appealing topic for storytelling  in the history of  humanity.

Looking more closely at Alice Munro’s biography, it’s worth mentioning that she has started her career as bookstore entepreneur and has continued  by having more than 30 books under her belt and  numerous awards and prizes. But all the above were details for the journalist, he had to assign to his article an attractive title.

Another example is  J.K Rowlings. Her full name was dropped intentionally by using only her initials. Insinuating that  Unknown-1John is more able and acceptable to write a blockbuster best seller fantasy fiction for children but not Joanne.Unknown-3

And another, E.L James who has raised a lot of eyebrows all over the world with her “different” shades … Ho, ho, ho, what a surprise! Who would’ve thought a woman can write another blockbuster “erotic” series of novels. Let’s put only her name’s initials and classified her as housewife, avoiding  her long and established career as producer in the BBC- to enhance audience imagination and inspired them with the idea “from nothing to something”. It goes well with all the marketing package.

Good old Penelope- at least she had an established full name from the start of her career- still  has long way to go!

For Most of History, Anonymous was a Woman

The other day, I had dinner with one of my new friends, a prominent female figure in her country, Kazakhstan. We talked about many things and mostly we were exchanging small information about our past as it happens in every new relationship.

She was telling me stories about her family and images-1how they coped after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Kazakhstan from the motherland Russia. She described this period as “the years of starvation”. No jobs,no money,no food.

Interestingly, she mentioned herself and her sister as the main force of rescuing her family. They went out to find any kind of job they were able to do in order to support their mother and 3 brothers. And they weren’t the only women that they did so. During this harsh period, mostly the women went to work  as unskilled workers, no matter of their education and status. The men, like her brothers, stayed at home cocooning with company their pride. My friend added “sometimes women didn’t want their man to work in low skilled jobs, so they took all the responsibility, in order to protect them from humiliation”.

During my friend’s story telling, I was contemplating about the women in Greece of the crisis and the uncountable examples of Greek educated women who are working in supermarkets cash counters, painting jobs … Many of them are the sole breadwinners of their family because they Can(for multiple reasons).

When the real crisis knocks the door, the masks come off and we can see how far we have come from the time that Virginia Woolf said “for most of history, Anonymous was a woman”.