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“Emigrando” by Silvia Alasino

On this occasion I would like to share with you some news that makes me very happy. Finally Silvia Alasino’s latest novel titled “Emigrando” has been published.

Silvia_Alasino_Emigrando

 

This is Silvia’s second published novel. This writer, who I have the pleasure of knowing well, previously released  “El Círculo”, a very sweet story you can buy here: https://www.amazon.es/El-C%C3%ADrculo-Silvia-Alasino/dp/8415377401 or in other bookstores.

Since I had the pleasure of writing the introduction of the work, I will include it so that you can see for yourself what this little jewel is about.

  • Link to get the book: https://www.amazon.es/Emigrando-Silvia-Alasino-ebook/dp/B01KHN0WHA

And here is my review:

I have received with pride and joy the task of writing the introduction for this wonderful little novel by Silvia Alasino, whose writing I have been very pleased to follow over the last few years. As always Silvia conveys her optimism and spirit, full of joy, for her rising number of followers.

However, this book shows her coming from a slightly different perspective. In fact, this novel is itself very different of what you can generally find in other literary works, whose genres are well defined and tend to be limited by political correctness and established canons. We could say we have in our hands an adventure novel, but “Emigrando” is much more than this, since it goes beyond traditional boundaries and breaks the established norms.

The protagonist of this story is Oira, a man as unconventional as he is endearing. The eccentricity of his way of being has not merely come about by chance, but is the logical result of a tough and isolating education which kept him apart from social relationships and other influences. That is the reason why his view of the world is so pure and original, since he lacks referents and outside interferences.

We could think that a person living in isolation, but with the security of what he knows and without having to fight excessively to earn a living, could end adapted to society  and  lead an existence a little monotonous, but bearable, as many other people in this world. However, those circumstances that keep Oira captive and oppressed are reinforced by destiny up to a point that this person, who was never allowed to reach maturity, decides to change his life dramatically and breaks with all that had previously formed his little universe. This is how this existential and self-discovering trip begins and the protagonist must face life, humanity, danger, fear and the unpredictable, and all of these with a sole and unchangeable aim, which is nothing more than to find what always had been denied him: the love of his peers.

This is how we find Oira who, despite having lived all his life under the control or the protection of those who surrounded him, now must face a harsh and savage environment without either money or passport, and no other guide than his own motivation. Moreover his mind, which developed in a closed environment, remained in the same state as a child, which offered him the special ability to see the world from a different and revealing point of view – and the greatness of this book is based on that.

Along this initiatory journey Oira, who is not a teenager, but a grown man, will find a number of individuals who, considered through the prism of a good part of normal society, might seem dangerous, offensive or inexplicable. But his view is free of prejudices and constraints, so he can find the good in whoever he finds along his way and allows himself to have no more guide than his intuition; and, in the way he treats others, the author finds a way of bringing up unparalleled and silenced topics such as abuse towards men, among many others. I only want to reveal that, with such exceptional events and an unpredictable character, the story occasionally turns into black humor, which intensifies our enjoyment and provokes intense feelings.

The attitude of the author when she faces these polemical questions is of a simple narrator, without involving herself in judgements, assessments or moral lessons of any kind. The only thing necessary for the reader is to enjoy the protagonist’s misadventures; thus, they are likely asking to themselves this question: how would we see society or the rest of humanity if we hadn’t been programmed with so many filters?

In the end, having such innovative ideas, we can consider this book a very atypical and modern novel whose reading won’t leave anyone indifferent. Have a good trip!

It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Don’t think twice about it and buy the book on Amazon. It is also very affordable.

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The Truth: Speaking a New Language Takes a Lot of Time

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We are tired of seeing it everywhere. A lot of sites on the internet, as well as gurus, books and methods, state without hesitation that they can get learners to speak a language fluently in such a ridiculous periods of time as three, six months or a year. In view of this, I can say without doubt that we are in front of a commercial strategy and we shouldn’t trust it much, because the truth is that:

Learning a new language is a slow process and we have to pass through some phases

Once again we have to go back to the beginning, to that epoch when we were children and learnt our mother tongue with total effectiveness. From the moment of the birth, a child is completely exposed to the language of his surroundings; however, they don’t say their first word till one year passes. Moreover, those first attempts are still very far from the true command of a language which, much we may resent it, takes some years.

That is because before we are ready to talk, we must go through an assimilation phase in which the language is slowly integrating in our mind, so that, the first step of the process is comprehension. To speak a language, it is necessary to understand it and once we have achieved it, the rest comes naturally. In fact, children start talking on their own and they do it exclusively when they feel ready for it, regardless of their parents’ wishes.

That is why I don’t recommend starting to talk for the first year

What is more, I don’t even recommend it till we feel ready for it, regardless of the time it takes, just to keep the great enemy of the learning languages process away: pressure. In fact, a lot of people fall prey to frustration and abandon their studies because they don’t see fast results, and that’s why we need to be clear how things work, accept it, understand it and set long term realistic goals, even if they take some years. With this in mind, we are certain to be successful.

So, the next time you think about the process, keep in your mind the image of the children, the best learners of the world. If they need five or six years to speak fluently a language, and that being immersed in it, imagine how much time it can take for the rest. But I also have to say that to speak a language we don’t need to be perfect and, of course, it is perfectly appropriate to jump to it in spite of our failures. Even children do it at the beginning. Knowing this, we can always shorten the timeframe.

Before all of this, we can get inside the conversations, if possible with the guide of a tutor, but knowing what we are likely to achieve and with the right expectations. I mean, if we are realistic, an adult with less than an intermediate level can have talks such as “mi favorite color is blue” or “hello, mi name is John and I work as a teacher”. While this is not bad, we have to admit that basic levels are not suitable to keep an entertaining conversation between adult people, which can lead us to boredom or what is worse, to feel frustrated for not being able to have a normal conversation. That’s why I say again:

Speaking well takes a lot of time, so it is better to release the pressure and start doing it when we feel ready and comfortable. 

Lately I have noticed that a lot of people with beginner or basic levels are looking for Skype pals to practice and this leads inevitably to failure. Unfortunately, when those students realize that are unable to develop a conversation, they think they have to give up, and this can cause them to abandon learning definitively, which is even worse.

We don’t learn because we talk. On the contrary, speaking is the consequence of having learned.

Nevertheless, in reference to this topic, there are still some appreciations to make:

  • Not all the languages are the same. If we choose a language of the same linguistic root as the one we talk, the process will be obviously faster.
  • Not everybody is the same, each one has their own pace and there are some who fell comfortable earlier. That’s one we have to consider individually which the best time is for us.
  • There are personal facts that make us different, which means that while some individuals may need a good background to start talking, other ones aren’t worried about making mistakes and prefer to start practicing.

To summarize, we could say that, as in other facets of life, people would like to know how to obtain fast and miraculous formulas, but these rarely exist. The good news is that with patient and will, we can get it, so forward!

 


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Another literary experiment

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A great writer and friend of mine,  whom I hope I can talk to soon if her last book comes to light, had the idea of suggesting to me that I take part in one of those literary challenges I like to take from time to time and something I have talked about before: literary contests.

There aren’t many of them I want to participate in for a number of reasons. First of all, because I don’t have time, given that I have a lot of work sometimes. Secondly, because the topics of most of them, or some of the conditions of the contesst don’t seem appealing to me. This last point would be even enough to develop another post. But anyway, to cut a long story short: there aren’t many opportunities. However, from time to time something that  catches my attention appears. In this case, I found a quite interesting approach: the challenge consisted in creating a story based on a given photograph. Then all the stories are posted to see the mysterious ways in which imagination leads each one of us.

The idea seemed attractive to me, and as in that precise moment I had some time to dedicate to the project, I didn’t waste the occasion.

Here is the final result: El Libro Maldito

As you can see, the story was published in the website “Solo novela negra” (only crime novel), so it is not too difficult to guess the genre. The end purpose is a bit strange because the success of the works will be evaluated based in the readings they receive, so that those which are visited more times will be awarded as winner. Only unique visitors will be taken into account for this.

Therefore, if any of you are so kind to do me a favor, please take a look at that page to see if my classification improves a bit. The final prize would consist in the inclusion of the most seen stories in a book of which winners are given some copies. This fact by itself would help to go on progressing in my career. I am aware that it is not a great thing, but all the help is good because the race is complicated and full of obstacles.

In relation to the work, I can sum up as it follows:

The strange relationship between two friends, each one of them with an opposed personality, evolves in a complicated way due to their different goals, although they keep together thanks to a great passion which bring them together: literature. However, life has unexpected shifts and only one happening of the destiny can change everything.

What it is going to happen? You need to read the story to know it. Critics said that the end is surprising and unexpected. But I still need your opinion. Hurry up, there is no much time left!

By the way, if you like writing, I have to inform you that the contest is still open, so if you like the idea you can send your work. To be honest, there is not much time left for the deadline, but there will be new calls through the year, so visit the website!


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My Most Recent Book Is Already Here!

libro-gratis

 

My Most Recent Book Is Already Here!

As those of you who have been following me for a time already know, basically due to the annoyance I caused you, that this summer I had the chance of taking part in the interesting contest organized by Másquecuentos. This contest, which resulted in both a passionate and intense experience, was aimed at presenting a number of stories to the public for them to select their favorites with their votes. They were two very moved months in which I had no other chance to ask and beg my acquaintances for daily votes and this, for a reserved person as I, was a difficult task. However, without any doubts it was worth it, not only because of the publicity I achieved, but to test the support I have. Finally I ot a satisfactory sixth position among a sample of more than eighty works. So, I can only say one thing, thank you very much all!

But, as if this wasn’t enough, the good news didn’t end there. Maybe my sixth position wasn’t enough to win one of the official prices, but the organization team had the great idea of giving an honorific mention to the best participants according to their criteria and decided to publish a book with the 25 best stories, as a reward for the two months we spent there working. And here is the good part, I am there!

Therefore, you can reach my work and take a look at it if you haven’t done it yet. Moreover, you can enjoy a set of works from a selected group of authors that will not leave you indifferent. The book comes in two formats:

  • Free digital book. Yes, it is free. Personally I appreciate this presentation more because, from my point of view, it represents more the spirit of showing us to the public and performing a cultural group action. You can download it from this link: Free Digital Book
  • Physical paper book. The event organizers have decided to continue with new contest the aim of which is to develop a unique work encompassing different arts, such as images, music, design, etc. To sum up, it is an original project consisting of the creation of a modern book, interactive and adapted to these times. To cope with the expenses, they have initiated a crowdfunding campaign and this published book is the object that you will receive in return. If you want to cooperate with the cause, you can find the information here: Paper Book

As you can see, there are options for everybody, so if you have curiosity about reading my work, you can now do it easily J. Just to clarify it, the order of my surnames was badly written in the digital book, a sad misprint. Fortunately, this mistake was corrected in the paper book. As for the rest, exceptionally this is one of those occasions in which I would appreciate every act of copy, distribution and deliver of the digital book. This is because, as I said before, the beautiful thing about this story is the fact that it helps us to be known. So go ahead, download!

 


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About Literary Contests and Other Projects

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Imagine that you spend a time preparing a work for an interesting contest you have seen: you create an idea, develop it and adapt it to the requirements asked, for example the correct font, number of words and the rest. Later, with some work and effort, you finish the job and arrive at the moment when you have to deliver it. Then suddenly you look for the link where you found the notice and surprise! There is no such site.

It is absurd, isn’t it? Well, this is what have happened to me J. I don’t know if that contest only existed in my imagination, if I lost the link or what kind of weird thing happened so that I can’t find the contest anymore. But time was running and I could not find a solution.

Then I happened to ask for the help of a friend of mine who is very keen on literary contests, to check if he knew something about this project. I informed him about the features of this particular contest, but unfortunately he could not give me any insight. So in short, I created a story, but I didn’t know where to place it. This is the synopsis:

“Imagine that you appear in an unknown place, a closed room, with your hands tied, almost without clothes and with no clues. How would you manage to find the exit and to discover the causes of your situation? Who are responsible and why? A lot of doubts and just one goal: Escape.”

What do you think about it? Do you find this idea appealing? Personally I like writing these disturbing stories that could cause some unease to readers. I like to awaken feelings and this is an area I frequently explore. But generally I think that these somehow bitter stories that tend to move out of the politically correct areas are not widely accepted, especially if we are talking about literary contests, which are a world apart, a world with some lights but a lot of shadows. Having said that, and despite corruption and other strange happenings, I can say that they have compensated me and this is the reason that leads me to go on. But I will write a post about them speaking about my experiences and impressions in the future.

Finally and against all odds, something that I could have never imagined happened. Two hours later my friend sent to me a link with information about a very similar contest, in fact I knew it was something different just because of a small detail. Immediately I wrote to my friend to compliment him for his great efficiently, but he answered to me that no, he wasn’t the one who found it. It was only by chance, because someone sent him that message just precisely in that moment. A sign? I don’t believe much in this kind of magic, however, the occasion seemed too good to me, so I understood that I should take it.

In the last moment, I decided to send another story. The truth is that the one I was talking about before still needs some important corrections and on the other hand, the date of delivery of the new contest is not clear enough, so that something told me that if I delayed myself too much, I could lose this opportunity. Maybe I was too impulsive, as in other times, but it is something I can hardly avoid.

This new story also doesn’t follow the trends. While it is true that is not as disturbing as other more current I’ve produced, it can also produce strange feelings. Nevertheless, I think that there should be materials for all sorts of readers too, no matter if they are minority groups. Either way, I would like to receive opinions, both positive and negative, to see if I can channel my projects somehow. In fact I am even thinking in preparing a book with my “weird stories”, although nowadays this is just an idea. But in the end, I have to consider this according to my own criteria and follow my gut instinct, because this is the kind of things that we do just because we are passionate about and without great expectations.

Day by day time passed and, although I wasn’t waiting for it, I received one of those messages that impulse an impulse and encourage us to go on: my story is going to be published! So finally, you can see it. This is not a great literary award, but let’s say it, publicity is the best way to be known and to get more jobs of that kind. Moreover, and this is so important, this way I can get independent reviews of my work. We all love our friends, but maybe they tend to overrate our works I understand it, since I also find great all that they do so ;).

Right now I don’t have more news about this publication, which I am eagerly waiting. Nonetheless, I will leave here the synopsis as advance, let’s see if I am lucky and you find the idea interesting.

“Lucía, the Sales Manager of a known company goes to visit one of her best clients to seal an important deal. This mission is not different to other ones she finished with a lot of success, however, a number of unexpected obstacles in her way will complicate her task. Will she be able to overcome them? The game starts. SUCCESS”

Do you like the idea? Anyone dare give me their opinion? Come on, it is not that hard!

SUCCESS will be available soon for you. In the meantime, the release of my story “The Last Day of Your Life” is everyday closer, and it already has a splendid cover.

See you soon! Have fun!