Tag Archive | Author Ellie Pulikonda

WORDS On WORDS … By, Ellie Pulikonda

Today’s word:  READING

When you read, you are listening in on someone else’s thoughts.  This is especially true of non-fiction, where the author’s reason for writing is to impart some ‘truth.’  But it is also true of most fiction and especially true of great fiction.  The author’s ultimate aim is to share a belief with you, the reader.
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The author presents his own take on ‘truth’ through the unique and clever use of words, and you, the reader, are free to agree or take exception to it.  Still, just presenting that truth, those new slants, some differing ideology, or certain closely held beliefs may be the genius that gives the finished work its influence.  That could lead to the author’s desired outcome of convincing readers of a given position.  At the very least it likely makes them stop and think.

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This is, I believe, the reason we are drawn to books and short stories, works of fiction.  They impart the author’s ‘truth’ in an entertaining way and we derive pleasure in exploring that truth.  Even if, in the end, we do not fully agree with the premise, I suspect it serves to make us ponder and, perhaps, even alter our own closely held ideas, however slightly.

Literature is almost always presented as entertainment and we are free to agree or disagree with any ‘message’ it contains.  But even if we disagree,  the work itself still challenges us to examine our own cherished beliefs and that challenge may result in either altering the belief or in holding to it more tightly.

The choice is always the readers.

READ ON!

~ Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer  ~

(My Books are available on  Amazon.com ) Come visit me at  Grants Pass Writers Blog

New Words on Words by Ellie . . .

WORDS on WORDS

Today’s words: Success and Failure

As an elementary school student (and if truth be told, as a high school student) I measured myself by my successes and failures. I loved the ‘soft’ subjects: reading, writing, and later English, social studies, and history. I aced them. The so-called ‘solid’ subjects were my downfall. I failed chemistry, twice, in high school, barely made it through algebra (math was always a struggle) and would have had to repeat geometry except the class was full. One presumes it was full of students who could actually understand it.

I am just now coming to the realization that ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are not absolutes and certainly that any one person is either/or. One is not either a success or a failure. There is an enormous amount of middle ground between those two opposites that we need to lay claim to. As an author, you can appreciate that your book is a success even if it does not meet with overwhelming acclaim. It’s not likely that my work will ever be on the New York Times bestseller list, and even less likely that it will be a Pulitzer Prize winner.

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At the same time, I have stories to tell, stories that I hope will entertain and enlighten those who pick up my books and read them. The whole process of taking a book through the writing, editing, and publishing process is a new kind of learning experience and one that is frustrating, difficult, painstaking, and exhilarating.

And I am grateful for the readers that I do have, those who ask me “When is your next book coming out?” And especially those who say they can’t wait to read it.

So my audience may be small, my fame may be non-existent, my income from writing may be minuscule, but my gratification is enormous. And so I’ll keep on keeping on. And I encourage every ‘would-be’ writer out there to do the same. Success and failure are, after all, just words.

Until Next Time Writers!

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Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer

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Words on Words by Ellie . . .

TODAY’S WORD?  AGE

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Age comes to all of us. No matter how we try to hide it, ignore it, fight it, cover it up, each day we become a day older. And the days add up to weeks and months and years, and suddenly, you’re old. It’s almost as if life distracts us while working its alchemy on our skin and hair and bones and health. It seems as if only a month ago I was in my prime; life was good, things were going my way, old age was a very far country. Today it’s sitting in my living room, thumbing its nose at me.

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One good thing about the age we live in (both definitions intended) is that we have access to information and health care that can delay or eliminate many of the ravages of growing old. Word is that there is the promise of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that may eliminate that bogeyman from our golden years. Treatments for cancers have shown more and more promise over the years so that it is no longer an automatic death sentence. Diet and exercise, those bugaboos we love to hate, also give us a doable handle on prolonging our healthy years. Keeping our minds active, keeping our bodies in the best health we can manage, keeping our attitudes in check all contribute to many good years as a senior citizen.

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Growing old is not a choice but growing old with grace and wit and good habits, is. ” Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made.” Poet Robert Browning wrote that and it’s as true today as it was when he wrote it. If the choices are growing old or dying young, it doesn’t seem that hard to choose.

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Live it up, old fogeys. Life is good at any age!

Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer

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FindingFaithSplitSecondCovers
(Both books are available on Amazon in E-book and Paperback)

WORDS on WORDS By Ellie

TODAY’S WORD:  CRAFT

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The definition of ‘craft’ is to make something by hand. Usage, however, broadens that definition to include most anything that is made through careful application of one’s skill. So it is that the word ‘craft’ is often applied to the writing of a book. Novels, manuals, biographies and self-help books are ‘crafted’ by writers of varying skills to entertain and teach readers about something that is true in life.

Last week I wrote about perfection. We are a people who believe the ideal is to be perfect and anything short of that is criticized, at best, and scorned, at worst. So it is that new authors are sometimes dismissed by critics because their works aren’t ‘perfect’. Or aren’t as good as the established authors’ efforts. The persistent writer will work through that criticism and continue perfecting their craft. Stephen King wrote that he had a nail in the wall where he hung all the rejection letters as they were received.. But he continued to write.

 

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Not everyone is as hardy as Mr. King. Some would-be authors are so discouraged by the scornful rejection of their early works that they give up. Who knows how many potentially good, possibly even great, works are lost to us because the author didn’t have the courage to keep writing even though the work in hand was not yet up to the standard.

So, I would encourage any of my readers who are working on their writing skills to persevere. It’s through continuing to write that we perfect our craft. This is truly a ‘learn by doing’ effort. There are many excellent avenues of help to the would-be author; by all means take advantage of those that you can. But all the classes in the world won’t make you a better writer. The process of writing itself, using all the lessons learned, is the best method for honing your skills and perfecting your craft.

WRITE ON!

Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer
My New Book is now Released!

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About “Finding Faith” Now Available on Amazon & Amazon Kindle


Three women, each caught in circumstances which limit her freedom to be, to act, to live as she chooses. Each reaches out tentatively, only to fall back in anger and fear. Despair is their constant companion. Helping each other may be the only hope for each of them but their tentative bond is threatened by their fear. Trust is an elusive and alien concept to each. Moments when they are in accord are rare but they do happen, perhaps giving them a glimmer of the hope and the will they need, to keep trying. Join Mae, Mira, and Carla as they navigate the tricky path of finding faith .   .   .  .

New Words on Words ~ Ellie Pulikonda, Writer . . .

TODAY’S WORD: LABELS

When I was a child, there was in my home town a custom cannery. It was a place where you could take produce from your garden, or wild game, or fish, anything that might be preserved by canning. After processing, you took home silvery cans of food for your cellar.

However, all those cans looked exactly alike so you had to write on every can with a grease pencil to know what was inside. And sometimes the grease got smeared or rubbed out; we had lots of surprise dinners in those days.

Eventually, paper labels were introduced and they solved that problem.

Fast forward to 2016. Labels, no longer just strips of colored paper, are now applied to many things, but most of all, it seems to me, to people. Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, right-winger, leftist. In some respects these labels remind me of the grease pencils we used so long ago. It’s not altogether clear what is ‘inside’ the package labeled by these terms. Still, we act as though the labels tell us everything we need to know about another person’s beliefs or political stance or just plain old goodness or lack thereof.

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People are so much more complex than any label can begin to depict. My guess is that not very many people under the same label think exactly alike. We are complex beings with many shades of belief, nuanced ideas, and mixed emotions.

Labels tend to reduce these amazingly complex persons to one dimension: their label. The label then becomes a short-cut to sorting out “our kind” from “those others.” And while we may be taking comfort in knowing there are other folks who generally think like we do, we have to realize that any given individual will differ with us on at least a few points. Americans are far more ruggedly individual than what it seems like at the present time. All liberals do not think exactly alike; all conservatives are not in a lock step with every other conservative.

The sad thing is that there is good on both sides of the table; of course, the opposite is true: there is not good on both sides of the table. Our job is to sort through the good and the not good and find a middle path. That will never happen as long as we’re so hung up on labels . . .

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

Ellie Pulikonda, Author, Writer, Blogger


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( Forget about political labels and read a great book! Click to Amazon)

 

Ellie’s Words on Words

TODAY’S WORD: Liberal

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Someone recently labeled me a ‘liberal.’ Not sure how they meant that but if they meant someone who cares deeply about the earth and the people who live here, then I’m guilty as charged.

My Webster’s dictionary goes further and defines ‘liberal’ as:

“A political philosophy based on a belief in progress, the essential goodness

of man, the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of

political and civil liberties.”

That all sounds very good to me. I’m at a loss to understand when and why the term became a disparaging word. I can only assume it’s because the true definition has been lost in the oceans of heated rhetoric thrown back and forth between folks who disagree on the best way to govern our country.

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My plea would be for each of us to set aside our own belief system from time to time to really hear what the other ‘side’ is saying. I’m certain there are good people on both sides of the political spectrum and that there are, in fact, areas where the spectrum overlaps. Defensively, we become so entrenched in what we already ‘know’ that we close our ears and minds to anything that appears to question that.

A democracy relies on reaching agreement and compromise in order to exist. Other forms of government close the door to discussion of the issues and apply a ‘one size fits all’ paradigm which doesn’t allow for discussion or questioning. I’m all for having both liberals and conservatives in the conversation of how to retain our democracy, a conversation I would hope would be based on the common good of our nation.

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Until Next Time Friends!

Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer

(my book now on Amazon)

 

 

 

A New Words on Words


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Today’s Word? PERFECT

What does it mean to be perfect? It’s a word we toss around rather casually. “Oh, those roses are perfect.” “Did you see that absolutely perfect sunset last night?” I found the perfect dress to wear to the wedding.” The problem comes when someone else says, “The roses are nice but if you want to see perfect you should see the ones in my garden.” We each have a picture of perfection in our heads but it’s impossible that two of those pictures are precisely the same. The way we argue about ‘perfect’ seems to propose the idea that we all can agree on what it means.

We talk about making something perfect as if that were possible. My Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines perfect as: ‘Complete in all respects, without defect or omission, flawless.’  And the reason we can’t all hold the same picture of perfection in our heads is that we can never agree on what “without defect” or “flawless” looks like. What looks like perfect to me may reasonably look flawed to you.

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We talk about making something perfect as if that were possible. My Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines perfect as: Complete in all respects, without defect or omission, flawless. And the reason we can’t all hold the same picture of perfection in our heads is that we can never agree on what “without defect” or “flawless” looks like. What looks like perfect to me may reasonably look flawed to you.

Nothing wrong in having a different mental definition of perfection from everybody else until we insist our own definition is the only valid one. When we decide that something is perfect we can’t allow that someone else might consider it less than perfect because that argues against our perception. We feel as if they’re saying to us we’re wrong.

So we argue more vehemently, talk a little faster, raise our voice to drown out the other person’s words. And ultimately become angry with them for their wrong-headed ideas. We dismiss them as somewhat sub-human. Anything rather than admit that there may be more than one way to look at something.

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Fortunately, it’s not necessary that we all agree on whether something is perfect or not. It’s far more important to agree that we don’t see that ‘something’ in exactly the same way. Doing so doesn’t make either party more right or more wrong. It just makes us all more humane.

As we enter the Christmas season it seems to be the ‘perfect’ time to think about being more generous in acknowledging that perfect is in the eye of the beholder . . .

Until Next Time!
Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer of “Split Second”
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(click book to buy a the “Perfect” holiday gift!)