Monday, September 29, 2014

My Interview at Richard’s Blog

When one of my good blog buddies Richard P Hughes asked me whether I would be interested in doing a guest interview on his blog, I agreed instantly. I found the idea ‘Where I live and why I like it’ not just unusual but also very interesting.

Richard has an amazing blog where he shares all about creativity, growing old, growing young, self-publishing, freedom, the craft of writing, art and many other topics of interest.

I would appreciate it if you hop over to Richard’s blog and support us with your comments.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated treasures blogfest

I seldom participate in blogfests, because more often than not I miss out the blogfest announcements. And by the time I come to know it’s too late to join and do justice to the theme. Luckily for me, I came to know about the Underrated Treasures Blogfest the moment my good friend Alex J Cavanaugh announced it on his blog. I joined immediately.

Everyone has a favorite movie/band/book/T.V Show, that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is our chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure. 

I will talk about two books that I feel everyone should read. Both the books are my eternal favourites.

I am sure quite a few of my Indian blog buddies must have heard about the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi.’ Written by Paramahansa Yogananda, it has been translated into more than 30 languages and is considered one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century.

In the book Paramahansa Yogananda tells the inspiring chronicle of his life: the experiences of his childhood, his encounters with many saints and sages during his youthful search throughout India for an illumined teacher, his  spiritual experiences, his ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America.

While reading the book I had goosebumps many times when certain incidents were narrated. Paramahansa Yogananda takes a deep look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence. He explains the subtle but definite laws behind both the ordinary events of everyday life and the extraordinary events commonly termed miracles. I am planning to read this book again sometime in the future. Its a book I would recommend to everyone, even those who have no interest in saints and mystics.

The second book I feel is an undiscovered gem is ‘Caravan to Tibet’ by Deepa Agarwal. When I picked up this book, because of its simplistic cover and title, I had no great expectations from it. And thank God for that. The book surpassed all my expectations.
The book is about fourteen-year-old Debu’s search for his missing father. His father travelling with a caravan of traders from Kumaon (India) to Tibet has  gone missing.  When Debu sees a Tibetan trader in the local market wearing an amulet remarkably similar to his father’s, he is convinced that his father is alive. Debu joins the next caravan to Tibet to look for his father. After that the adventures flow thick and fast: Debu is forced to stay in a monastery with a young lama who takes a fancy to him, his capture by a band of bandits led by the cruel, mysterious Nangbo gifted with magical powers and a stay in the goldfields of Thok Jalong. The thrilling horse race is one of the highlights of the book. Debu’s character was very endearing and I connected with him right in the first few pages.
I am looking forward to visiting the other blogs and getting familiar with many Underrated Treasures.
P.S. Thank you Ninja Captain for this amazing blogfest.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Finally I joined the Twitter bandwagon

After procrastinating for a very, very, long time, I finally took the Twitter Plunge. The reason I delayed my entry onto the Twitter bandwagon was due to the fact that I did not know what I would tweet about. To tweet or not to tweet was my dilemma!

This week I finally made up my mind and decided to join twitter. On Wednesday, my favourite day of the week (two days down and two more to go for the weekend, that’s why I love Wednesdays) I quietly created my Twitter Profile. And also hesitantly made a few tweets. And followed a few close blog buddies. So far so good. I have survived two days on Twitter without making a fool of myself.

As it’s a new platform for me, I am concerned about my ability to handle it. And I also hope and pray that Twitter does not take over my time. That I get sufficient time to write and work on my stories.

Here is my Twitter handle.

For those of my blog buddies who are on Twitter, any tips, suggestions and advice for me? Do I have to follow everyone who follows me? What shall I tweet about? How often should I tweet? 

Friday, September 12, 2014

When a character/s hijacks your story

As I am half-plotter and half- panster, I always have a rough idea of the beginning of my stories, the middle and the end. I am a plotter where the basic outline is concerned and a panster where the individual scenes are concerned. It was the same situation for my current WIP- Scavage, about a pack of wild street dogs. I had a basic plot outline in mind about how the story would start, the scenes that would constitute the middle and how it would end. I was quite happy with my rough plot outline. For a change I had the entire plot mapped out and I started writing the first draft.

Then, I really don’t know why I introduced three new characters (who literally jumped out of the blue). Trust me when I say that these characters caught hold of my hand and made me include them in the story. These three adorable characters not only clamoured to get their stories heard but they have also hijacked my plot in another direction. Right now I am staring at my computer screen with a zombie look wondering where did my plot disappear.

Now I am in a big dilemma. Should I leave these characters alone and go back to my original outline or should I write a new outline incorporating these three characters? I am seriously miffed with myself.

Do you all have any advice for me? How do you handle such situations? What do you all suggest I do?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG Post – Tackling the feeling of not being good enough

I look forward to the IWSG posts every month. IWSG, a support group for writers started by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh posts on the first Wednesday of every month. We encourage and support other writers through our posts as well as talk of our insecurities, fears, anxieties and doubts. It’s very cathartic, venting out our feelings before other writers. For one they completely understand us and second they offer suggestions and advice which helps us cope. You can check out the IWSG website. To read the other posts click here.

This month I am going to talk of the feeling that all writers undergo. The feeling that we are not good enough. Every writer has faced this feeling at some point or the other. Especially when they have just read an awesome book that left their jaws crashing to the ground. After the brilliant book has been read, we are accosted with a feeling that we will never be able to write such a book. This feeling is also triggered by rejection.

This feeling of not being good enough also hits us when we are bamboozled with an entire host of writing advice: ranging from creating page turning stories, memorable characters which readers remember for a long, long time, ending each chapter on a cliff hangar, introducing surprise twists and turns, nailing that elusive voice, keeping the stakes high at all times and grabbing the readers eyeballs on every page.

Whew! That’s quite an achievement for one book. Keeping all this in mind, we work and work and work lots more on our stories ensuring that every bit of advice is followed and bettered.

Have you all ever felt that you aren’t good enough? How do you all tackle this feeling?