Monday, July 29, 2013

Top 10 Writing Hurdles: Featured on Storizen

Top 10 Writing Hurdles - Combating the Writer's Block
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Storizen, an Indian literature magazine, showcases newly released books, book reviews, authors’ interviews and almost about anything and everything to do with books. Catch the latest issue of July 2013, featuring an article of mine - Top 10 Writing Hurdles - based on my experiences. If you write fiction, regardless of what topic/genre you write on, you must have faced at least one of these! None of these will zap you or surprise you. In all probability, these are already familiar to you. But many a times, we forget the simplest of things; the simplest of rules. So here's a simple reminder, a revision of sorts.

At the end of the day, remember.
This is how you do it. You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. – Neil Gaiman.

You can access the July 2013 issue here. What are your thoughts?

I would love to hear your views!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Keeping Busy

Nothing like a song to get you back into the mood. Right now, the radio’s playing ‘Humma Humma’ from Bombay and I feel rejuvenated. I feel like I want to write, to dance, to sing in the rain, to feel the pitter-patter of rain on my fingers, to swing my legs in the ankle deep water swishing outside our building right now. The volume of water swishing around on the roads out there, continues to rise. Bombay rains, staying true to their name, continue to pour incessantly outside the window and I reminded of bhuttas (roasted corn on the cob) and hot chai. I call Amma and she worries if it would be another July 26, 2005. I have no idea, I wasn't here then. Well, I do have an idea and heard all the stories, but living it is a whole another thing. On the phone with my husband, we talk about a family trip to Malshej Ghats. The waterfalls around the Ghats would be a sight to behold in this season. My sister and I talk about more possible trips. At this rate, all weekends of August and September would be booked!

The radio has moved on to ‘Yaaron’ – a soft number by KK. Another of my favourites. And strangely, as I listen to the radio and type, I no longer feel the pull of the internet. When I moved back home from Australia, the only part I had been dreading was the loss of internet for the first couple of weeks as we shift into a new house, settle in , buy furniture, get daily services up and running and such. But surprisingly, with the amount of work that moving entailed, I never missed it – not even for a second in all those three weeks! Didn't even have time to miss it. I mean, when could I? When I locked all of us out of the house with the keys inside, and then had to wait for my husband’s sister to come over with the extra set of keys that she had in her house?

Locked out of home and car

Or when, I didn't learn a lesson from that episode and proceeded to lock us all out of the car at DMart with the keys inside? Any other day, I would have found that funny! But it was pouring cats and dogs. And it hadn't been that way when we had reached DMart, so we had left our umbrellas inside the car. So there stands the entire family, with several other people, struggling to fit under DMart’s awning– me, my husband, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and her two kids. We had to finally call my sister-in-law’s husband to come pick them up while my husband and I went looking for a garage to get someone to open it. I tell you – if his looks could kill, I would have been dead by now. It’s a good thing I ignored those looks and focused on the fact that how easy it would be for someone to go steal a car. I mean, how did the garage guy even know if it’s my car or not? 

As if that wasn't enough, my Dell laptop and the Apple laptop which I had shunned, decided to play games of their own. They took turns shorting out keyboards! After spending precious hours spread over three days with the Dell customer service executive who was extremely courteous and helpful, I ended up ditching his recommendations and decided to take it in to the Andheri service center. Why did you think that would have solved the problem? I wasted a whole day only to discover that because we had purchased the Dell in Australia, the service center people won’t accept the laptop unless the service tag is transferred to India. Well, that was a wasted trip. I bet it took every ounce of the customer service executive’s will to not say ‘I told you so’. He must have sniggered behind the scenes for sure! So while the Dell laptop service tag transfer was initiated (something that takes about 3-4 days), I resigned myself to using the Mac and promptly shorted out that too. Initially pegging voltage conversion to be the issue (because the same happened back in 2012 too!), we finally zeroed in on the surge-protector we had been using. What an irony that the very device which was supposed to protect our devices turned out to be the very death of them! Well, a week later, the Dell laptop breathed a new life again. It was a huge relief that the technician actually came home to replace the keyboard. And throughout the entire episode, the very first customer service executive I spoke to called every day to check on the status and was extremely helpful! I highly recommend Dell customer service! And I'm not being sarcastic!

Some of my powers would have undoubtedly rubbed off on my husband too. Imagine our plight when one fine day, engrossed in watching TV in our living room, I feel a slight warmth under my feet. I look down to see some water on the floor, immediately I scoot down on the floor to look for the errant uncapped bottle only to find the entire living room and the bedroom flooded with water. Used to washing machines being hooked to the plumbing and draining systems in the US and AUS, he forgot to let the drain pipe into the bathroom. We spent 45 minutes mopping up the water. The effects of Murphy are being passed from individual to individual. Now tell me, how and when could I have missed the internet? 

Dooba Dooba’ by Silk Route’s on! Have a beautiful rainy day ahead, people!
PS: (Inspired by TF's comment below) There's much more of Murphy that I have endured. Those experiences have been written about here

I like people who smile when it's raining

I would love to hear your views!
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