A few weeks back WordPress alerted me to my ten-year anniversary with them. It jolted me from what seemed like a decade-long slumber.
When I made the decision all those years ago to create a blog/portfolio website, I had the choice between BlogSpot and WordPress. WordPress always seemed like the easier option to me. I found it simple to navigate and set up. It had the bonus advantage of not being blocked by my office network! (In case you don’t get this bit – most Indian firms deploy site-blocking software to prevent their worker ants from goofing off at their desk)
I always intended for the site to showcase my portfolio of published work, though at the time I set it up I had very little to show for my years of (sporadic) work!
I recently upgraded to a ‘.com’ domain and regret not having done it earlier, but as they say, better late than never.
Now my plan is to build it up and make it even better. Though blogging has been sporadic due to work pressures, I still hope to post at least once per month. I generally blog about my writing – successes, failures and everything in between. Since my writing and submitting has stalled somewhat, I don’t have much to report on this front. However my reading has picked up instead, and I have posts lined up for a few books and writers that have played on my mind.
What’s happening in your life lately? Any books or articles you would like to recommend to add to my ever-growing TBR pile?
In January this year the venerated magazine The Writer held an essay contest on the theme ‘Your Writing Life’. I sent in my essay with hope in my heart and a prayer on my lips.
When the inevitable rejection popped up in my inbox a few days later, I had a tough time reading the email. But I was glad I did, because at the end were the words that gladdened my heart. Though I had not placed in the competition, they wanted to publish my essay anyway!
It was scheduled for the September issue which is out now.
You can read my essay Feet in Two Boats here and do let me know what you think!
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.
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
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!
I’m thrilled to report that my story The Wedding Guest is published in Litro, as part of their TuesdayTales! Do pop over and take a look! Please let me know what you think, and leave a comment on the site.
I recently posted about my story The Demons of November up on Juggernaut. It has garnered good ratings so far.
Here’s the opener:
The Demons of November
The rooftop of our tenements affords us a direct view to Bansilal’s farmhouse just opposite. The ugly purple curtains framing his picture windows are drawn apart in that artistic style as if he’s hosting a play in his living room. Soni trains the binoculars at the window – the bania is entertaining guests. His maid must have served them exactly two biscuits and a cup of tea. He wouldn’t part with any more than that from his pantry.
Soni demands to know – is he really chatting with friends, or executing one of his “transactions”?
We each take a turn with the binoculars, but none of us can spot cash changing hands. It might be a personal visit, but with Bansilal one never knows.
The new government had marched in one day armed with bulldozers and razed the slums, leaving us homeless. They promised us new tenements, but no timeline. Shakti Uncle witnessed our plight, and eased his conscience by handing us the keys to his flat before he headed for the Gulf for a company posting. Then the water turned bad and Pinki fell ill with amoebic dysentery, and we had to hustle to buy her medicines. A week to the day of her recovery, Jivan Uncle tumbled down the stairs and fractured his leg in a freak accident.
The tenements came much later.
We light up a cigarette and pass it around. This is taking more time than we’d planned for.
The guests leave. Minutes pass, then the maid opens the door. A man enters and slumps down on the divan facing Bansilal. His bald pate shines under the chandelier lights in the bania’s house. He runs a hand over his head.
Jivan Uncle stubs out the cigarette and touches my shoulder. “That’s our cue, Amar. Let’s go.”
Security guards fall in two categories – the ones you can pull aside and slip a little more cash than they’re used to, and the other burly kind who’re gunning for a fight. The latter can knock down most opponents with a glare of their bloodshot eyes and a punch with a well-rounded fist. Bansilal’s guards hold steadfastly loyal to him – I don’t understand why – but it means Soni and I need to use our hands and knees. It doesn’t faze us. We dispatch them easily.
If you liked what you read and want to know what happens next, click through to the Juggernaut site/app and grab the rest of it! It’s free for your reading pleasure! Please do leave an honest review and rating and let me know what you thought of it!