Short Story Month

In case you didn’t know already, May is celebrated as Short Story Month. At Penguin Random House, they offer a list of their best short story collections. Electric Literature too is celebrating this May.

I have blogged before about the Short Story Challenge I had participated in two years in a row, which really freed up my writing muscles as I strove to complete one short story every month. The exercise placed the focus on completion of the stories, which is really important. More often than not, we start stories with enthusiasm but find that it peters out.

In May, writers are encouraged to write one short story per day. That is too much even for me. At the most I could attempt flash fiction, but even a five-hundred-word piece with a coherent beginning and end is easier said than done.

Are you planning to write any new stories to celebrate Short Story Month in May? Do share links to your stories in the comments!

Starting with Goodbye

If you write creative nonfiction, you must head over to Lisa Romeo’s corner of the web right now. I’m pleased to share that her memoir Starting with Goodbye was launched on 1st May! 

Lisa-Romeo-fuller-2015

Lisa works as an editor, teacher, and freelance book manuscript editor. Her work is listed in Best American Essays 2016, and she has been nominated for additional BAE and Pushcart Prize awards. She also serves as an editor for two literary journals.  

I enlisted her help with my creative nonfiction and I highly recommend it. If you ever feel stuck and need guidance, sign up for her services! 

You can order her book here, and watch a beautiful book trailer here!

 

What to Write When You’re Not Writing

I don’t usually post twice in one week but this time I have to make an exception. My post on What to Write When You’re Not Writing is up on the SFWA blog.  

If you have ever faced the torment of the blank page, or a dull phase in writing when you can’t pen something substantial but don’t want to lose the habit, then this article is for you.  

Do read it and let me know if it helps you. Here’s an excerpt: 

Writing when you’re in full flow is like living a dream. Who doesn’t love that feeling when the words spill out faster than you can type them? If you’re old school, the scratch of the pen as it flies over the pages struggles to keep pace with your thoughts.

The reverse scenario keeps writers awake at night. Often, we’re stuck for topics on which we want to write. Even if we do write a page or two, once we read it through, we feel that every word is junk, and destined straight for the recycle bin. The words that leave our brains and imprint themselves on the screen appear stale.

But we’re writers, so we can’t really stop writing, or stop think about writing, or even stop reading about writing. There’s one thing we know for sure – that magic of full flow always returns, sooner or later.

So the question arises – how to make it sooner rather than later? How do we achieve that feeling of full flow once again?

Here’s what I usually do when I don’t feel like writing something new, but my fingers are itching to put something down on paper nevertheless.

Read the rest on the SFWA blog.

 

World Book Day #Shelfie

In honour of World Book Day today, here are a few #shelfies to celebrate! The books don’t belong to me, unfortunately, and neither does the bookshelf. Both are the property of the erudite owners on whose property I stayed recently. They wisely kept the bookshelf locked! If they hadn’t, I am sorry to say I might have tucked a few under my arm and run off with them!

White Piping

Hola, folks! If you’re wondering why everything looks new around here, it’s because I decided my blog needed a change of scene, or should I say, a change of theme. Yep, that’s the best joke I can crack early on a Sunday morning before my cuppa. 

Also I thought what better way to declare a short story win? 

If you haven’t heard of the literary journal On The Premises, do head over there straight away! They hold nifty theme-based contests every few months. These are free to enter and offer excellent prize money. If your story becomes a finalist then they even offer a critique! 

Their last themed contest that ended in March centred on clothing, titled ‘It’s on you.’ 

I am more than thrilled to report that my story earned 2nd place in the contest! This story was particularly important to me, with all the conversations around #MeToo and #TimesUp entering the mainstream. 

This is one of the fastest acceptances I’ve ever received. I sneaked in my entry minutes before the deadline as I usually do, and a week later came to know I’d been shortlisted. Fast forward, another week and I received the fabulous news that I had placed second! 

I’d love it if you popped over to read the story and let me know what you think!

Please note: Opinions expressed in the story belong to the characters only!

Image Credit and Rights: Rare Vintage

National Poetry Month

In case you didn’t know it already, April is National Poetry Month in the US! 

I am by no means an expert on poetry, but I’ve grown from an ambivalent reader who found poems confusing at first to someone who has grown to love it. 

In my school days, we learnt a lot of poetry as part of our English curriculum. It intimidated me at first but I soon got the hang of it. Here are a few of my favourite poems from school:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Home they brought her warrior dead by Lord Alfred Tennyson

The Frog and the Nightingale by Vikram Seth

 

You can also join the Poetry Challenge on Writer’s Digest here.

Nowadays I read the poetry that fills the pages of the literary journals I read regularly or subscribe to, and I also subscribe to A Poem a Day.  

This is a wonderful way to keep in touch with poetry. Every day a brief new shiny poem will show up in your inbox and need not steal more than a few minutes of your schedule to read it and absorb the beauty of words. 

I believe reading poetry even if one doesnt write it can help writers appreciate the beauty and lyricism of words and recognize the beats in their own writing better. 

Though most poetry is non-rhyming these days, I’ve written a mix of poems, including limericks, rhymes and the like. You can read some of my poems here (scroll down to the end). 

Do you read poetry at all? If you do, what are your favourite poems? If you write poetry, please do share some links for us all to enjoy!

In The Bowels of Her Birkin

Though I am a fledgling in the field of poetry, I subscribe to Trish Hopkinson’s blog to stay inspired. She is herself a multi-published poet, and her blog is an excellent resource for poets, aspiring or otherwise. Check it out here. 

I spotted a call for submissions to a relatively new venue called Willawaw Journal, and sent out a few poems there. One of them got accepted, and the issue was published last week! 

Do take a look here! Let me know what you think. If you feel like sending something across, check out their guidelines here. 

If you write poetry, please leave a link to your poems in the comments! I’d love to read some by my fellow writers! If you don’t write poetry, feel free to leave a link to your favourite poem!