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