Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What does our #Writing bring us?

Ursula K Le Guin is one of my much-loved authors. 

I loved the Left Hand of Darkness when I first read it more than a decade ago, and I adore her Earthsea series.

Last week, I saw her acceptance speech for her National Award, and it made me tear up just a little bit, especially the last part:

Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Read anything by Ursula Le Guin? Do you agree with what she says?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dear #writers , does Publication bring you joy?

I've spoken before about the experience of publication and how it affects a writer.

To quote myself from that article:

One of the joys of the writing life is to see your work in print. It isn't really my greatest joy, because that really comes from finishing a story, or from going back and reading an old story and going, Ok, that's not too bad. But I also understand that part of being a writer is to reach readers, to have a reader imagine your story in their heads.

The other day, while meeting a group of writers, I had this discussion on how important publication is to a writer. I think I was in the minority-- publication livens me up, but doesn't really give me a goofy smile all day long.

Thorax of a Blowfly: Illustration at Ducts.org
One of my stories recently got published at Ducts.org--a magazine run by the New York Writers Workshop, which is a dandy place to hang out at, from what I've heard, and a place to not just network with publishing professionals but also learn the brass tacks of writing.

For my story, I made the obligatory announcement on FB, thanked everyone, and went right back to writing. Of course, I'll be happy if the story finds its readers who comment on it (including brickbats). But in the immediate aftermath of the publication, all I wanted to do was write some more.

In other news, my flash piece, Fire, Extinguished in Extinguished and Extinct, an anthology by Twelve Winters Press, USA got nominated for the Pushcart prize some time last month. Since I know I have no hope in hell in making it to the shortlist, I smiled and spoke about 'a step in the right direction', and continued writing.

At the end of the day, for a poor dummy like me, the only joy
I get from the writing process is the process itself. If I find readers, well, I'm bowled over by that bonus. Every time my stories are read, I'm grateful. It moves me that with all the good fiction in the world, someone sat down and read my words. That's a blessing, I admit that.  But maybe I'm mean, or a nerd, or just plain weird-- the joy of a 'good' writing day makes me feel on top of the world.

What about you-- does publication bring you joy? What stories/ novels have you published recently? I've been reading all sorts of books from the library recently, and am in the market for some fascinating fiction for my bedside table. Fire away in the comments!
One of the joys of the writing life is to see your work in print. It isn't really my greatest joy, because that really comes from finishing a story, or from going back and reading an old story and going, Ok, that's not too bad. But I also understand that part of being a writer is to reach readers, to have a reader imagine your story in their heads. - See more at: http://amloki.blogspot.sg/2014/05/what-have-you-published-recently-links.html#sthash.LHNnELxT.dpuf
One of the joys of the writing life is to see your work in print. It isn't really my greatest joy, because that really comes from finishing a story, or from going back and reading an old story and going, Ok, that's not too bad. But I also understand that part of being a writer is to reach readers, to have a reader imagine your story in their heads. - See more at: http://amloki.blogspot.sg/2014/05/what-have-you-published-recently-links.html#sthash.LHNnELxT.dpuf

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

When do You stop Trying? #writing

Some days, Life ain't easy, nor is writing. On those days, I try to hang in there, be mindful, let it all flow around me, accept that not all moments would be filled with bounty-- that the lack in some of those moments shows me my blessings in contrast.

How about you? Ever think about those days when nothing works? How do you deal with them?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Which #Bloggers would you miss if they stopped #Blogging ?


Andrew Leon , Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish are again organizing the Oh, How I miss you Blogfest. Here's what they ask:

List one to three bloggers you really miss.
List one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging.
And then go let them know!

I'll begin with the one blogger I really miss, my Sister in Spirit, Tina Downey.

This is what I wrote about her when she passed on to her field of sunflowers earlier this year:

Tina hasn't left us. She's somewhere around, watching, smiling, sending out snarky reminders, laughing and crying in the same sentence. And though each time I look at her emails or messages or read another of her blog posts, I feel the tears coming-- I see that Tina would have laughed at me, and said, I'm around, Damyanti, what are you crying about? Don't you see there's a lesson in this? Tina always found a lesson in everything, no matter how sad, or senseless it seemed. And the lesson always was a version of: Life is Good-- see it with the eyes of faith, acceptance, and gratefulness.

Time hasn't healed the wounds, I still miss her. And I still try to live her message each day. With some success these days, I'll give myself that much.

The bloggers I'll really miss (if they ever stopped blogging and I hope they don't):

1. Alex J Cavanaugh : I started working with Alex during the A to Z Challenge a few years ago, and he's been a fab blog buddy ever since. He's helpful, he's supportive, and you can count on him. If he ever stopped blogging, the internet would be that much emptier.

2. Michelle James : She's been a really regular commenter on this blog for a while. If I don't see a comment from her, I begin to worry. She tweets my posts and shares them, and has very perceptive comments. Besides, she's an awesome book reviewer and I've picked up some of the books she's recommended. Haven't regretted it.

3. Daniel Antion : He's been a huge supporter of my other blog, Daily (w)rite. I also love his blog voice, his straightforward, compassionate, follow-worthy posts. If he stopped blogging, I'd be pretty upset, that's for sure.

I've been running two blogs for six years, so I know exactly how tough it can get on some days. 

To every person who takes the time to stop by and comment, I try and visit you back each time. I share in your stories, and on the days I'm rushing from pillar to post trying to get stuff done, I press Like or G+ or Facebook or Tweet on my phone-- in some small way to let you know I love your posts, that I read them, enjoy them, and would miss them if they ceased. I love you, each and every one of you- and I try to show it as much as I can in the limited online time I'm allowed.

 


So which blogger would you miss the most if they stopped blogging? Are you taking part in Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's your High?

Writing a Novel-- via iAuthor
I'm going to start on the third draft of my WIP soon.

I'm hoping it won't involve major structural changes. The mists have cleared, and I can see the world in my story quite well, thanks, in large part, to some on-location research.

I do feel some trepidation, but nothing can match the confused elation of the first draft, that feeling of being lost yet excited.

Over the years, I've grown to love revision almost as much as the first creative burst. And I think the fun I'm having while making cuts has shown results on the page. My new high these days is the joy of finishing a story, writing 'the end' in my head-- making sure each word needs to be there, each comma, every fullstop.

What gives you your high while writing? The first draft? Revisions? Reviews? As a reader, do you ever try to imagine when and how an author wrote a scene?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How do you keep track of your followers?

I must confess to being a very whimsical blogger. I try to make a total of eight posts a month on my two blogs, this, and Daily (w)rite-- but I don't make it sometimes. 

I've blogged for six years now-- and feel the need to either shut up or reinvent my blogging persona. Possibly the former.

In recent months, poor health and family situations have meant stepping back from my blogs a bit.

But when I check, I seem to have gathered a fair number of followers, and I don't think I want to let them down.

I want to ask you, my friends and fellow-bloggers, some of whom have a much huger following than this blog-- how do you blog?

Do you blog more than once a week?
How many blogs do you visit per day?
Do you blog in a niche, or is yours more of a general blog?
Do you participate in Bloghops?
What sort of advice do you have for me? ( I'm finding it tough to run two blogs, but can't make up my mind about shutting one down).

Let me have your words of wisdom in the comments!