Writing is Ego Qua Meaningfulness

“Hi Stephanie, wow what a great and well-written review. Thank you very much for posting it on your blog! We will share it on our Facebook page and have also retweeted it!” 

A very well-written and comprehensive review of our new book on Marie Antoinette. Check out the blog post and discover more about this controversial queen of France.



My book review of Marie Antoinette: A Captivating Guide to the Last Queen of France Before and During the French Revolution, Including Her Relationship with King Louis XVI by Captivating History was posted on the publisher’s Facebook today. Although I held no intention of being publicized by the publisher of the book when writing the review, it’s certainly good to be recognized by such a credible, esteemed establishment.

I write not to impress anyone, but I simply like doing it out of sheer egotism and aesthetic pleasure, both of which strike the chords with George Orwell’s reasons for why he writes. Writing is in fact an act of fulfilling my creative and experiential values that chimes the notes of Viktor E. Frankl’s Logotheraphy, a third Viennese School of Psychotherapy based on existential analysis focusing on ego qua meaningfulness, i.e., will to meaning as opposed to Adler’s Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud’s will to pleasure.

Kurt Vonnegut’s immutable, timeless adage should resonate with bells and trumpets to remind us of the nobility of being a creator of art: “To practice art, no matter how well or badly, is to make your soul grow. So do it.” That’s so patently true. Remember the ever popular catchy advert phrase? Just do it. Think Nike.


Eleusinian Craft of Lady Alchemist

IMG_3985She writes, and speaks to a soul in many sorts of music. She sometimes invokes inspirations from her favorite Muses: Kalliope for epic poetry; Clio for history; and Euterpe for lyric poetry. In fact, she feels most ecstatic when the divine inspirations become one with her body and soul creating the ineffable rapture of the body and elevating the excitement of the soul in zenith. She is no less a dilettante of amateur music aficionado and an apprentice of alchemy of literature and history than Seraphina by herself.

She also has a secret: that she practices her secondhand acoustic guitar she bought from a traveling troubadour who with his finely cultivated artfulness of sweet talking laced with a streak of medieval chivalry, tempted her to possess it three years ago at a reasonable price of $100. And it turned out that the crafty troubadour was a nice sort of reprobate who could make your otherwise bleak life a bit more cheerful and jovial to live because Seraphina loved the guitar at first blush and has played it since the farewell of the sportive wayfarer.


Seraphina is an Aquarius, and therefore an independent beauty. She is an autodidact and is at best when she’s least self-conscious and left alone. She has been teaching herself to play the guitar in hope of playing the songs she loves flawlessly by changing the chords swiftly in keeping up with the rhythms. One of her repertoires for her guitar practicing is “As Tears Go By” by Rolling Stones – not the version of Marianne Faithful – It is another secret that Seraphina sings the song while playing the guitar in her room, and she loves the moment of doing it because she feels like a Jane Birkin or a Joni Mitchell or a Francois Hardy.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “To practice any form of art, however good or bad, is to make your soul grow, so do it.” In accordance with such supportive tenet of art, Seraphina thinks that it’s all about unlocking the artist from within. Surely, not everyone of us can’t make our names marked in the world, but then each one of us is something of a creator of a life. In her ideal firmament, being an amateur artist means being able to create her own artistic world unsullied by the material demands of life that often yield myriads of existential vertigo. But then who would know what might bring Seraphina into changing her weltanschauung in future? After all, we think we know what we are, but know not what we may be. In the brevity of life, Seraphina thinks to herself, ‘Sweets to the sweet: Farewell to worries!’



Walk like Poet Henry David Thoreau!

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Sally, the Thinker

“Give me a box of bonbons and a pouch of fruit candy assorted with gummy worms to sweeten my vapid imaginations! Oh, and a cup of Hazelnut coffee with a little bit of half-and-half to spark up my dormant spirit that resists to awake after a day-off.” Sally was hoping to make a new Monday as vivacious and jovial as possible, so she decided to meet with her lovely alter ego Bonnie for brisk morning sauntering. Yes, sauntering. Or even perambulating, which in fact reminded her of a baby perambulator.

“Hi, Sally!” Bonnie’s euphonious soprano voice manifested her presence like a spirit conjured up by a magician in an esoteric ancient language. Sally saw her dear friend approaching her from a distance waving effervescently at her with genuine smile. ” Oh, Dear. You look a bit pale… Have you eaten well? And please tell me not you are in a diet because you need it not.” Bonnie was concerned about a noticeable difference in Sally’s outward view: she looked thinner than before, and it did not look becoming to Sally. No, it was not out of that cardinal jealousy of womankind that knew neither friendship nor truth. In the eye of Bonnie, Sally looked prettiest with her round cheeks and dimpled elbows.

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“No, I am not on a diet, but I just did not have any appetite… I like walking than eating! Well, let’s call it our “sauntering” as the great poet Henry David Thoreau defined. Do you know Thoreau himself was an aumbulater nascitur non fit? He was an avid walker who used to spend about two hours walking in nature. His study was out of doors like his poet pal William Wordsworth.” “Oh, I did not know it, Sally. I only know that Thoreau was a great naturalist poet and died from consumption. “Yes, Bonnie. That too was right. Soon both adorable ladies were embarking on their ritualistic morning sauntering along the Avenues of trees and flowers with larks and bluetits vivaciously chirping and tweeting, all in nature’s symphony that could make you forgive your foes and love humankind at least for that pristine moment of pleasure.

Bonnie, La Bonne amie

Thoreau was right: the act of sauntering in nature would blot out the strains and cares of contemporary life and anesthetize your weary body and minds against the strains of everyday life. It’s absolute freedom from all worldly engagement. Like Thoreau, Sally thought that sauntering was not an exercise but a kind of enterprise, an adventure of a day that invigorated her spirit and mind. And Sally was hoping that Bonnie would share her pleasure of appreciating the symphony of nature. “You know Thoreau was something of an eccentric genius,” Sally decided to add some tidbit of gossip on the poet. “Oh, really? How so? ” Bonnie seemed intrigued.  “Well, he never went to church but believed in God; did not marry, nor did he cast vote, nor did he pay taxes! But this very individuality endowed him with a crown of literary ascendancy, I think.” “How could he not pay his due taxes as it’s his sacrosanct duty and responsibility as a citizen? You know what, Sally? That’s why I do not like any of these intellectuals who put ideas before their civic duties and personal responsibilities.”

Bonnie’s truculent remark was a bit startling aberration of her usual diplomatic modus operandi of expressing her opinion. But come to think of it, she couldn’t agree more with her friend about the duplicity of so-called the intellectuals, the new ecclesiastical estate of our modern society. And Sally was inwardly glad to have a friend as thoughtful and truthful as Bonnie. But still, Sally wanted to spare Thoreau from the supercilious learned elites.


The ante meridian sun was suavely sunny in the fiercely blue sky that would remind you of the celestial garb of the Virgin Mary in Rembrandt’s paintings.  The Italians would call the color “azure,” and they were good at making the pigment for Renaissance painters who raved about its lucidity and vivacity of the exquisite hue. And the fragrant breeze was a blessing of the beautiful Titan-goddess Aura for their friendship bound by mutual understanding and love of history and literature. As the two good friends were continuing to enjoy their sauntering in nature, it seemed right that without even going to church on Sundays, you could find the evidence of the Creator in awe of nature’s beauty and feel the presence of the existence just as Thoreau and the late Pope John Paul Second had felt and expressed.