My Writing, Writing

Mini-Update

I have been light on writing-related work this year. No Short Story Challenge, and definitely no other brand new work. I’ve spent most of my available free time on editing and whipping older pieces into shape. Per my records, I have about 28 of these essays and short stories that I need to whittle and carve to perfection, or at least start submitting them if I find I cannot revise and edit them any more.

Despite that I have a couple of acceptances to report. One was my short story targeted for a YA audience, titled Miss Quit which found a home in the lit mag Youth Imagination. I wrote this as part of the Short Story Challenge 2014, and it had been simmering ever since. When I did finally send it out I got a fairly quick acceptance.

The second was my article for writers, titled The Maturation of a Writer at Walrus Publishing. I wrote this last year on the spur of the moment one day, while reflecting on the differences I felt as a more experienced writer now compared to when I had started out.

Do read them and tell me what you think! Feel free to post links to your own recently published work in the comments below!

Book Reviews

What I’ve been Reading

I haven’t been reading much. There, I said it. I’m ashamed to have said it but it’s the truth, especially coming from me – a person who used to finish 2-3 books per week with consummate ease. 

To clarify, I haven’t read too many novels this year. But to compensate, and because I’m writing 1 short story every month as part of the Short Story Challenge, I’ve been gobbling up fiction and essays from literary magazines everywhere, mostly online. 

At the rate of 1 short story a day, I might have easily read as much as 2-3 books a week! 

Despite that, I craved my novel fixes. So I got back in the game with two of the most talked about books that have recently been made or are going to be made into films. 

 

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I came to the Divergent party a little late, because I didn’t know how much I could stomach. I was also worried that it would end on a cliffhanger and I’d be forced to read the sequels just to know what happens next. 

Luckily I’m pleased to report this was not the case. I enjoyed reading the book. It ended on a note that surely promised a sequel, but it is no loss if you choose not to. 

Though I found it very exciting, the premise felt a little too derivative to me. The sorting of people into factions reminded me of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter, and the violence between adolescents brought to mind The Hunger Games. I understand the appeal, of course, but I’m happy to see the sequels solely on screen, with my niece serving as my guide to plot lines that I may not follow. 

Here’s the trailer for Divergent:

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you haven’t read the book already, then there’s nothing I can tell you about it. I knew that there was a halfway plot twist but I didn’t know what the twist was. Briefly, all that I can tell you about the book is this: 

On Nick and Amy’s 5th wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick is the prime suspect – because, almost always, it’s the husband that did it. The book is narrated alternately by Nick, and Amy’s diary entries. 

Now that I know the twists and the endings, I can safely say – please read the book if you haven’t already!

The film is out in October. The trailer is brilliant, as is the casting for the movie:

 

Right now I’ve started on The Silkworm, written by Robert Gilbraith aka JK Rowling. So far, all I can say is, JKR is JKR. She hasn’t lost her touch, or her sense of humour, or her writing skills, one teeny bit.

 

What have you been reading lately?

TV, Writing

Stories & Ads

Since the last time I posted, I’ve had a few published pieces:

This is my first published poem – a fun, light piece aimed at writers and their obsession with big words. I enjoyed writing it and was delighted to see it published in Page & Spine. They showcase excellent fiction as well. Do check out the site and read the stories.

This is my first published YA story. A teenage girl is dragged into a football competition, and is petrified about playing and making a fool of herself. Maybe she will get lucky and not have to play after all, or will she?

Work continues on the Short Story Challenge. I submitted my first sci-fi story to the group and to my surprise it wasn’t torn to shreds. Issues were pointed out gently, of course, which proved quite a relief for me. This was also the longest story I’ve written to date, clocking in at around 4,500 words. This, from a person who couldn’t string together a flash fiction piece even if pressed to do so at gunpoint. As I sent in the story, it dawned on me how I’d grown from writing short pieces devoid of meat to 5000 word tomes that had to be pared down rather than fluffed up. It’s a welcome change, and I hope I can continue in this vein.

When I’m not writing in my spare time, I’m watching TV. The last few months I’ve become engrossed in House of Cards, and Elementary. Both have sharp writing and dialogues, and are a treat to watch. Of course, I’m honing my writing skills watching television! Who says I’m only getting entertained?

Speaking of television, a recent ad quite amused me:

Presenting, the Daddy Cool ad of Blue Star AC:

It reminded me of Christopher Walken’s superb performance in Fatboy Slim’s video:

Enjoy both the masterpieces of dancing!