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I am an Italian localization expert, writer, blogger and proof-reader living in Berlin (Germany). 

Would you like to learn Italian or do you need a localization expert / translator? 
Are you interested in intercultural communication or diversity management? 
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Monday, August 11, 2014

The simple and yet not easy trick to feel free and strong and safe and self-confident

I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way. 
Walter Stone Tevis [1928-1984]

I have to admit that I didn't read Walter Tevis' novels and short stories, but I did see The Hustler (Robert Rossen, 1961), The Color of Money (Martin Scorsese, 1986) and The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, 1976), all movie adaptations of his stories, so it is to me a little so, as if I would have known him as a writer. 

[Young, sexy and definitely jackass:
Paul Newman as the pool player Eddie Felson in The Hustler]

For sure I can relate to his experience as a reader of books, since it is the same for me: books helped me massively to get over childhood, the teenage years and a lot of other tough stuff in my life and this never changed, even now that I am an adult woman living a fulfilling life I am absolutely thankful for.

To me books were and are a chance to learn something new, to win a different perspective about things, to discover something I didn't know anything about before, to get valuable input about topics and problems that matter to me, to have fun, to get better at speaking a foreign language in a pleasant way, to find a useful solution about some issue, to challenge myself, to enjoy the time while standing in line, and so on.
Being a reader of books is magic. 

[Lovely tribute to Roald Dahl's Matilda, by Aaron Renier
Image source: Drawn blog]

I would say that I have the same feeling (or an even stronger one) about being a movie watcher, since I spent most part of my life watching a huge amount of movies, I studied cinema history at university and worked over ten years long in the cinema field. Watching movies was my life. Until I realized that living my own life is way more interesting than watching movies. And yet, being a movie watcher saved me more than once. It made me feel free and strong and safe and self-confident and smart and... you got it..

The same happens with writing.
The same happens with dancing.
The same happens with swimming.
The same happens...

It doesn't matter what makes one feel this way. For someone it can be cooking a yummy recipe, for someone else it may be working out a couple of hours at the gym, for another it can be traveling on the highway while driving a motorbike.

[Grease 2 (1982) by Patricia Birch:
a very bad musical with a couple of interesting songs 
and a coooool rider driving a motorbike Honda CL77]

The trick to me is then bringing in one's life more and more of that, while limiting and decreasing as much as possible everything (and everyone) that has a negative, depressing, disheartening influence. 
It is that simple, even if often it is not easy at all. But 'simple' and 'easy' are not synonymous, you know.

What about you?
What does make you feel free and strong?

Tags: Self-confidence, Literature, Cinema, Book reader, Movie watcher, Walter Tevis, People, Quotes

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Agatha Christie's wisdom is perfect for a bad day, when Scarlett O'Hara's strategy is just not enough

Happiness is an inside job, as I strongly believe.
And yet, one can't be happy 24/7. 
Sometimes one has bad days. Or something sad to think about. Or someone to say goodbye to.

[Agatha Christie when she was 35 years old
Copyright Mary Evans Pi/Mary Evans Picture Library]

In those days, it is absolutely important to stay calm and to remember that bad days don't last for ever. 
And that Scarlett O'Hara is still the best role model in days that one would just love to forget and delete. Like immediately. Like now. Like "oh my God this is just too much for me to deal with".

Tonight I found a beautiful quote by the famous crime novelist and playwright Agatha Christie that can be definitely useful in such days. As a child and young girl I was very fascinated by her work and her life and I read almost everything Agatha Christie wrote, including her autobiography and a couple of so-called Mary Westmacott's novels.

[Elegant cover illustration in Black and Purple by Salem Tamer
for Cat Among the Pigeons (1959),
one of the novels starring Hercule Poirot as the main detective]

The way she was able to portray human nature, a broad spectrum of emotions and feelings, interesting drama and of course misery and meanness was just brilliant, elegant and razor-sharp, to me. 
Her novels and plays are almost never about "who" did it or "how" someone did it. They are about "why" someone did it. And because of it they are still interesting today, even if the setting is often somehow old-fashioned and - let's be honest... - a little bit snob.

[Marlene Dietrich starring as Christine in 
one of the best movie versions of Christie's work:
Witness for the Prosecution (1957) by Billy Wilder,
from Agatha Christie's international stage success]

I still love titles like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, Evil Under the Sun and The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side a lot and therefore I consider the following quote even more interesting.

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE [née Miller, 1890-1976]

And have some chocolate, just in case the day is actually a very terrible one.
If the day is not that terrible, I'd love to hear from you in the comments about your favourite Christie's title.

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Tags: Happiness, People, Quotes, Agatha Christie, Literature