Friday, February 27, 2015

What are you #reading?

I've been on a hiatus, more about it on my other blog, here and here. Long story short, I was in Yangon, Myanmar, last week with no book to read.

I walked out on the pavements, and also to the Bagan Bookshop (a rather interesting little place with loads of books discarded by foreign tourists selling for a dollar or two each).

Pictured below are the books I found: all of them printed in the 1970's, other than Orwell's book. I read Gore Vidal, and have microwaved all the books now that I'm back: don't want any tiny critters invading my shelves.


What about you? What have you read this new year? What books would you recommend?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How Old is your #Blog ?

Does age matter?

Tomorrow, this blog would turn seven.

Not that it feels any different from when I started this blog : I did it then because every once in a while I felt the need for community, a sounding board, a support group.

When I blog today, I blog for the same reasons.

If anything, my hope for this blog is to write less, read more. There are far too many excellent blogs to read, and I don't do them nearly enough justice.


What about you? Why do you blog? How old is your blog? When visiting a blog, does its age matter to you?
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

What joys will your #Christmas Bring?

This Christmas, I'm going to take a reading break.

That Christmas tree you see to the left? It is two stories tall, and it is made entirely of books. (It's bringing in the festive season at the Singapore National Library, from where I borrowed no less than eight books.)

This week, I'll gather me those books, order me some food, curl up on the sofa and read. What with all the traveling, the work, and the writing, I've been having withdrawal symptoms-- I crave days of uninterrupted reading.


Luckily, my family doesn't mind my nerdy habits. 

What about you? Prayer, Goodwill, Friends, Food, Family? Downtime? 

Wherever you are, and whatever it is you're planning for Christmas, I hope you have a good one. See you in the New Year!



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?