Showing posts with label IWSG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IWSG. Show all posts
June 05, 2013

Are You A Blog Rat?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

I won't be boring you with sad talks and usual insecurity rants.
My question is simple. Should you cut back on blogging or abandon it altogether? I haven't updated in a month, haven't done my rounds though I want to.
Starting today, I plan on just 2/3 posts a week one of which will be a book review. 
I am going to stick to a select group of old blogger friends and interact with new ones at memes and blog hops. 

Sounds like a good plan to me. What do you say?

Now for some sales talk. :) I am hosting an American soldier cum social worker based in Afghanistan on June 16th. We will be discussing her non fiction book based on her time there. Would love it if you could find time to visit and show your support and appreciation for her and others' efforts. to make a better world.

Until my next post and visit - Live Long and prosper.
April 03, 2013

C: Clarification, Conscience And Confidence - IWSG


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

I ddin't join the A-Z bandwagon this year, not with the temperatures up in the 100s (37 C) and climbing. But, if I had, this would have been my entry for C. It could also fall under P:Paid reviewer.

C: Clarification Now, before you rush to the comment tab to bombard me with your opinions, hear me out, especially if your thoughts are in sync with this gentleman.


To read more on this, read this link 
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/08/should-authors-pay-for-book-reviews/

Yes, I have recently joined a company that pays me for reviewing books. And, no, it doesn't mean I will never review books for free as I won't be getting more than one or two assignments a month.
I will continue to do 4-5 free reviews every month, a review a week. I will stop reviewing for the said company the day they they ask me to pad up my reviews. I have been honest all my life and I am not going to sell my conscience for a few dollars.

C: Conscience
Those who have been with me on this blogging journey know me fairly well. Those who have read my reviews know that they are detailed analysis of the book in question with my inputs as a reader. When I joined this book review group, I had some questions twirling in my mind.

My checklist was :
Will I be allowed to post honest, unbiased reviews? Yes.
Will I be expected to bluff and fluff up my review? No.
Will my review be worth the money? Yes. The authors may differ on this, but my reviews are as detailed and honest as before and long ones too.

The Company's FAQ

What do you guarantee?

We are going to monitor the site and we randomly select reviewers to monitor and track their jobs and check quality of reviewers if they don't get the reviews in a timely fashion.
We want to be clear that we do not guarantee a positive review. In no way will we tell the reviewer what to write. We want our reviewers to have the freedom to be honest and xxxxx will not work under unethical conditions. Also, we can't guarantee a 5 star review. We ask the reviewer to give their own personal thoughts and opinions of what they read. Remember, it may not be exactly what you wanted or expected but it will be from your reading audience. Honest reviews go much further with the readers than a fluffy, raving review. You can earn our "seal" of approval on your book when the reviewer rates it with 5 stars. Our seal can be used on the author's site or blog or be posted directly on your review.
We do not assign books to the reviewers; you choose the reviewer to review your book(s). Carefully evaluate the reviewers, look at their prior reviews and check out what they like to read to ensure it's a perfect match. If you have questions, you can send them a message on the portal. Reviewers have been encouraged to keep an unbiased outlook on all reviews.
xxxxx highly recommends you ensure the reviewer will be a "good fit" for your book by reading their bios and looking at their samples thoroughly.

C: Confidence

What are the benefits of entering a controversial arena? 
Kirkus's paid freelance reviewers and paid newspaper reviewers are respected but not an individual reviewer who  rarely finds opportunities to be compensated for  the time and effort spent reading books, and some really bad ones at times.

I get paid for doing something I like, something that keeps me mentally stimulated.
I get a entire day off from writing blog posts and web articles for money - to read other books  and my own collection - and provide free reviews for bloggers, indie authors who can't pay, with two such reviews - as an Indian earning in dollars.

It may not be Kirkus or Publishers Weekly that I am working with; it isn't even 1/10 th of what they charge an indie author for a negative, bashing blurb they call reviews. What it does is supplement my income, and keeps my insomniac mind at ease knowing that neither am I a generic five-stars-for-all-books kind of reviewer nor a sock-puppet for an author bashing up another's book.

Don't believe that honest paid reviews are possible, just wait till my review gets posted.

The only thing I can guarantee with both types of reviews is that the book will be read without any bias. Free reviews of three stars and above will  continue to get posted within one-three months on this blog, and I will continue to beta read when asked to and have no time constraints. 


PS: Did you know which one of my review samples got me this assignment - my review on CassaStar.

If you choose to unfollow me or stop visiting my blog, you are free to do so.
March 07, 2013

Time And Tide Wait Not For This One - IWSG


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

My insecurity is a simple one - a race against time that seems to move in just one direction - forward - atleast in our space dimensions. 
There are dozens of stories floating in my head with little time to capture them all. I don't quite know how others manage it, juggling so many different roles in life.

 I work from home, am single with limited social obligations/opportunities, and yet, I can't seem to find time to put together a small book. When I do make time for the stories that my heart longs to reveal, I end up with a blank page.

Do I deserve to be called a creative writer when I have hardly written in the last six months? Poetry has eloped from my mind garden with Dreamer. I see her sometimes, just a wisp of thin air that drifts away when I utter her name.

Is time alone to blame or is there a dark force at work that I am blissfully unaware of?
So many questions and fewer minutes to answer them.
February 06, 2013

Writer's block or Writer bollocks- IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

A month has passed since I lasted updated this site and Google gave me a thumbs down for my so called writer's block - they called out on my bollocks (bullocks if that makes you feel less threatened) by downgrading my page rank from 3 to 2. Not that I mind, as this blog was a personal outlet for anger and frustration - which turned into a sort of showcase for my limited talent. Just that the freelance writer can no longer point out, with a fair amount of pride, to this beautiful home production on professional networks for quite a while.

Which brings us to the moot question, does writer's block really exist or it just an imagined state of mind used as an unwilling, unwitting scapegoat to cover up our laziness or preoccupation with other areas of life?

Can't I just say, I am so tired from writing crap copy for little more than peanuts, maybe dates, that my brain pretends to have a stroke when it comes updating this blog, forget about working on my fiction or poetry?
Truth be told, I have been missing this baby like a heroin addict just out of a failed rehab effort. While writing in isolation is still mandatory, blogging in isolation is no longer an option, not when I have a supportive community of writers that I call friends.

Relocating from cool Bangalore to pleasant for now Chennai hasn't been easy either, more withdrawal symptoms and then the farewell gift - finding that your best friend from college no longer wants to meet you in person.
The questions come pouring in, do my blog friends want to me meet me via these pages, do my characters miss me, and then Eureka, it hits me...do I miss all this?

I do, I do and so...before I chase you away, there is no writing block, not for me, just a matter of carving an hour or two and  pressing some buttons or keystrokes till something gives. A blog schedule helps too as does creating this toon...


Writer
December 05, 2012

IWSG - A Rejuvenated ME

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

My first post in over two months.

No insecurities just some blog changes given my two year journey.
I am at a better place than I was when I started out two years ago, I have never written more words- fiction or otherwise even in my so called heydays or heady youthful days.

I no longer fervently aspire to get some hard nosed Ezine to publish my work or despair at my lack of productivity in terms of a published book.

I am publishing, and on my blog (full creative control, if you ask me). I hope to make it a proper outlet with a domain name et al...have more guests telling their stories, doing more book reviews and goofy/smart musings on the quirks of life and thought.

Enjoy this Bangalore Sunset while you are here.


Thanks to everyone here who made me feel special...this blog will go on as long as I can write words and entice or entrap a few visitors along the way. ;P




August 02, 2012

RakshaBandhan And IWSG - The Connection


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

 Aug 2 2012 is Raksha Bandhan literally means bond of protection, a festival that celebrates the sacred bond between brothers and sisters - could be cousins even neighbours and friends for whom you feel a sibling like love.  It is famous in north and western India, the south has other names and rituals for the said concept. 
 The most famous of the origin stories that dates back to 1535 c.b.e is that of the Hindu widowed, Queen Karnavati of Chittor, who sent a silk, beaded thread to the Mughal Emperor Humayun, a Muslim, to save his "sister's" kingdom from the invasion of Bahadur Shah (ironically, another muslim ruler).  (I often wish that my right wing Indian brothers and sisters,  both majority Hindu and minority Muslim would look at the positive ascepts of our history and interactions). He  arrived a little late to save her life though he helped her son get back the throne, and that particular full moon day in August was celebrated as Raksha Bandhan. We even have a similar story of Alexandar's wife Roxanne and King Porus before the battle.

Growing up in Bombay, I first tied the thread to my brother's wrist as a 11 year old and then to my cousins living nearby. (Teenaged boys dread this day since the girl they like may end making them brothers, nipping the romance in the bud.) ;)

It's been 27 years that I have continued this practice and today, my IWSG post uses this aspect to show my heartfelt thanks for his support and encouragement.

To the one who had dreams and high hopes for his sister - personally and professionally,  
to one who sat in the balcony of our second floor flat in Bombay on a summer night, explaining to his (1.6 yrs younger) sister in layman terms why the sky we see is the past life of the Universe and why star trek is improbable if not outright impossible, 
to the elder brother who told his sis - it was ok for good Indian girls to be infatuated with their college mates - as long as it didn't affect her studies or she didn't act on it, 
to the then-recently married bro who accompanied her and attended all the meetings with her divorce lawyer, having been her confidant during the turbulent days of marriage, 
to one who encouraged her to get back to writing, who takes time out of his busy schedule as a management-software consultant to read and offer constructive feedback on every poem, story or non fictional writing she emails him, 
who reads her blog whenever he can, who dreams of seeing his sister as a published author, who hates her pessimistic and self doubting/pitying attitude...
thank you for the faith in me even though I have more failures and hardly any success in my tag sheet.
Happy Rakhi :)

Your motivation, support and confidence has rubbed on me, has made me stick to writing Your reward for now, this year:
A first draft of a 32000 word romance novella which I feel will be better as a short novel.
A free poetry and flash fiction book to be uploaded sometime in August/September. 
Creating my non-fiction writing pages at Squidoo and Hubpages.
Getting back to submitting to online mags from October onwards with fresh, better work.

Don't give up on me bro, I will try my very best to make the promise of treating you to a "veg meal" in the trendiest eating spot in Singapore or more likely Dubai (since it's one place you haven't visited yet) on my 45th bday, come true. :) (If my first book/collection ever gets traditionally published) 

* sorry for the saccharine sweetness of the post... :D
* my internet connection has been acting up, so I will be checking your blogs in the evening. :(
July 04, 2012

A Book Review And the Gut Wrenching Question - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.


Today's post is a wee bit different. In keeping with the July 4th fireworks, a book review of the Ninja Captain's CassaStar and the introspective question that results. 



CassaStar
(Book one of the CassaTrilogy)
Publishers -  Dancing Lemur Press
Genre - Speculative Fiction - Soft Science Fiction - Space Opera
Ebook - Novel - Paperback - 246 pages 
Price Rs 731 - 800 (Actual Rs 914) /$15.95  - $10.00
Available at Amazon Kindle Store and Flipkart(India)/IndiaTimesShopping


Blurb:
To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard. 

Much to Byron’s chagrin the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.
As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?



This is the first book in the series by Author and fellow blogger Alex Cavanaugh and works as a standalone novel.
The story is set in a far away, unnamed galaxy and revolves around a small, elite group of fighter pilots from the planetary race of Casaans. It focuses primarily on the training and inter relations between the pilots and their navigators, and in turn with their mentors.

The concept of advanced  mind powers and the ability to to enhance their flying skills is intriguing. It opens up a whole lot of possibilities in the application of the same in other areas of their life, something I am hoping is explored in the other books in the series.


The protagonist, Byron, whose attitude and behaviour often puts him at odds with those around him, possesses the said ability in its rarer state. His journey to the elite training camp at the remote moon base, his interactions with his navigator cum friend and instructor turned mentor help in his coming out of social isolation, albeit slowly. His flying abilities and new found temperament are further tested during the first assignment which finds him in the midst of an escalating war at the edges of their space. 


The story has been crafted with care, the technology not too far fetched, and the world though alien is painted with human like qualities and emotions. Friendship, trust, courage and belief in each other forms the crux of the story. The training scenes are well drawn and the few battle scenes are gripping. The final battle is reminiscent of Star Wars and the like.


My major grouse is the lack of female characters which I understand has been addressed in the next book CassaFire. 
Believable characters and scenarios make it a pleasant, fast read. 
The dialogue was stilted and formal in places but I construed it as to be peculiarity of that race. 


While the story doesn't offer much in terms of technology and world descriptions, and thus may not find favour with hard core science fiction fans, it's a well written tale appealing to readers of character driven plot lines, first timers to the genre, and fans of young adult fiction.


As an avid science fiction reader of both the soft and hard (I may not always understand the intricacies and theories) science varieties, and someone who prefers exploration and invention  to military action and description, I found CassaStar a pleasurable read. 
For the writing, the characters and the interesting premise, I give this a between 3.5 and 4 star rating.


Personal Disclaimer: This book was an original purchase used for the purpose of review, hence the post in entirety is my basic impression after reading the book. It is not based on intervention by the author or publishing house.


My IWSG question for the month. Forget the support system, the audience, the sales, will my debut book be as well crafted and interesting??


  Happy summer to many, happy autumn to a few and happy delayed monsoon to the rest. :)
May 02, 2012

Amazon Reviews And Self/Indie Publishing - IWSG

 The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.


No cribbing about cranky muse (after all, she is a part of me), no tears and nose cleaning noises over rejections...because something else piqued my interest and well enough to grace this post :
The syndrome called Amazon Book Reviews.


The Three Musketeers
Every writer knows the value of reviews either in the form of critique or comments. And the indie press and self published authors especially first timers value its weight in platinum. 
From my observations over the last couple of months...there are three categories of people involved.
1. The real ones read book lovers who may be bloggers or otherwise whose 2/3/4 and occasional 1 and 5 stars are genuine as are their words.
2. The ones with no real names and a couple of reviews all of which are 1 stars with really nasty comments, blatantly calling indie/self published as crap and demolishing the story as a middle grader's attempt. Some subtly accuse the author of purchasing four and five stars...you know what, that's the trick used by many to get a top review rank as more buyers vote these comments as useful.
3. Unfortunately, the second group is not entirely wrong. A technique of paying people for glowing reviews polished into an art by a self publisher and many more like him...check out these links to know more. They viciously attack the first group when 1 or 2 stars are given by the latter.
Don’t Trust Amazon Reviews: They’re Fake
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/technology/finding-fake-reviews-online and a downloadable report by Cornell University researchers on it.

So, where does it leave us as writers, readers and genuine reviewers?
Will the tirade against "not from Big 6 stable" and shoddy, typos ridden work uploaded hurt good indie authors in the long run?
Even the free samples quite often disguise an ebook not worth the money (Trust me, I have seen my screen seethe in agony, I wouldn't review them here since this isn't a book blog, and because of a self imposed rule of showcasing 3 stars and above books.)  Should a reader avoid Amazon reviews and rely on word of mouth or book bloggers to find new authors, try only bloggers' books or stick to reliable paperbacks?
Does a reviewer like me refrain from posting on Amazon since my 4 and 5 stars may be overlooked or considered fixed more so in case of free books received for review?

If the cartoon didn't make you laugh, these should:
1. Random Rejection Generator which has 7 rejections letters delivered to your email to develop thick skin.
I choose the nastiest option, here goes...
Dear Writer,

If we had the budget, we would hire one of the crews that cleans up toxic. Super fund sites to visit your office and expunge all evidence of your attempts at writing. Perhaps we will apply for a federal grant. We’ll let you know.

Regards,
The Editors

2. A Tshirt for writers:

















Book Releases
Today is the official release date of Fighting Gravity, book two of the Gravity series - science fiction romance by a blogger friend Cherie Reich (check sidebar).
To purchase: Amazon  Amazon UK  Amazon DE  Amazon FR Amazon IT  Amazon ES  Smashwords 

If you join her author newsletter, you can receive a coupon from Smashwords to download Fighting Gravity for free!
To celebrate Fighting Gravity's release date, Defying Gravity, book one of the Gravity trilogy, is now free through May 4th. So if you haven't snagged a copy, then please do.

I am reading Defying Gravity and enjoying it so far. 
While you are at it, don't forget M.Pax's book release party for the first book of her science fiction series The Backworlds from May
7-10 (check the sidebar once again).
April 04, 2012

Declining, The Better Way? Disinclination - Worrying Factor? - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.


No cartoons this time, humour may or may not make an appearance. I started writing again 1 1/2 years ago. Happy to post my best pieces (you can beg to differ, no sweat) on my blog, being new to the chances in the publishing world, especially online. I realised albeit 5 months back, in Nov 11 that the tiny (OK, huge, colossal...I get the point) lack of knowledge meant that 75% of my work is now unfit for online publication, even if less than a dozen souls have read each of the works. 
Then I wrote some more,  submitted, followed by the rejections. Most were standard - we can't use it now, doesn't fit  in our style and so on kinds. The first one in Dec 11 made me cry for an hour...but the thick skin developed over time. 
Until two things happened, back to back.
 A poetry of mine got brutally dissected by three editors of an Ezine with comments like too general, can't understand the point, unreadable style.

Silent prayers for
success that eludes.
Journey back and forth
on an ever changing road.
Doing whatever it takes
to make time stop still,
if only for a few moments
to gather baggage and quilt.
Trudge across the finishing line,
the one, that loves playing vile tricks,
further down the road, it forever, spins.
Proclaim myself victorious,
to find, obstacles strewn across, 
newer, stronger, unexpected
Blasphemous messages to ancestors gone,
Unheard.
The mocking Gods roll over in mirth,
pointing at this "puny human" in distress.

Then a unfamiliar blogger writer added insult to injury by not just calling out to my punctuation (that's fine, I look out for genuine critique anyway) but dissed my self respect by sending me, without the courtesy of prior intimation, a 'not asked for' ebook on punctuation along with a left-handed compliment.
 I may be a struggling writer even a bad one but I can buy my own books, thank you!
Free books, good ones, I love them, who doesn't? - but that's what giveaways, contests, review forums, author approved/publisher or site sponsored  'free book' promotions are for.


Strangely, both have made me question my writing skills. As of now, I write because it's literally my lifeline in a lonely world, but publication is no longer my goal. 
 Which brings us to the title, is it better to get standard rejections? Is disinclination a death knell for my passion?


On the bright side, I am still going to create a free Smashwords chapbook of some my poetry pieces in June as a birthday gift to myself.
Much brighter, I am slowly getting out of the anaemic phase with my haemoglobin count going up. Hopefully, the clean bill of health, the magical 11.5 will come in a couple of months. Till then, my parents will have to bear the tired, irritable, forgetful Rek.
 Till then, my sensitive stomach will have to put with the iron and folate pills...sigh.
The brightest, next month's  IWSG will see a positive post, even a humourous one if I can pull it.


For the ones who still visit , a self created joke - do pamper the sick even if it isn't funny...
Why would vampires avoid the 'synthesised blood' banks?
 They prefer the organic variety to plastic.



March 07, 2012

Keeping Up On Writing Track Woes! - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and just released CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.


Too many WIPS


Last week, at around 4 p.m  as I was dozing (almost) next to my desktop, when I was supposed to be fleshing out my characters, I was mauled...
They came with their gamma ray projectiles, their mind curses, their wails and tears, swords and bombs, acid dripping words, threatening to freeze my bank account (word bank).


I am a Ninja only in name, I could fend off a lean guy with a stout stick at the most, but them with an armoury that would make not just the Indian Army but the Western ones hang their heads in shame...not a chance in the universe.


Have you ever faced a 'characters assault'? Found yourself with fingers in too many pies unable to do justice to all?
Do you start a new story just to abandon it half way through, promising to come back when better plot lines and scenes surface?
Wake up one day; to realise your collections are only 3/4 complete and need to move your butt to have them ready, edited, embellished in a few months time?


Is it just a Gemini thing...here, there, everywhere, not a moment to spare...worse still, unfinished tales to sell?



February 01, 2012

The Muse Ran Off With The Stories - IWSG


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and upcoming CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

There was a little girl who was a bit different, impulsive, hot tempered, rebellious dreaming false worlds when she should have been studying some more. The daydreams grew larger, more verbose and sometimes silly. As the space between the grey cells shrunk, she took to writing on pieces of paper... some saved, some frittered away carelessly...she never showed them to anyone lest she be mocked at by the uncaring. Then it happened, the stuff that her fears were made of. Unlike other kindred spirits, the more she read others, the less pieces of her own got written till a day when the dreams knew better and took flight to the nether regions of her mind, a self  imposed exile.

Time flew, walked, crawled, the dreams peeked out now and then and verses took shape that were protected fiercely for years and yet the best ones cast one day into the fire of battered self esteem (especially the ones dedicated to her fiancĂ©-husband who broke her spirit)....and then after years of grey bleakiness, the tumultuous life led her back to the road she had long ago abandoned, the only one left she could travel through, to save her sanity.

 The journey was risky, shaky, encouraged by loved ones who had secretly read her amateur works. And just when the adventure was getting to be fun, lady luck decided to play games again.

And lo behold,
 The Twin, The  Muse Ran Away....
leaving behind a sci fi that is just about a quarter complete, a fantasy barely written, a poetry collection due for e publishing in March with quite a few missing pages, short stories to be drafted and rewritten from scratch.
She filled a complaint with the "Missing Muses Retrieval" writers club in December but yet to hear from them.
Anyone who sees 'Reka Sang' slouching around in the upper decks of cyber space, do cajole her to come back please...as said she is moody and cantankerous, gets offended easily. Will this be enough praise to melt her heart??


Penned bold thoughts /
Heart never speaks of /
Love this muse //
 3-5-3

 This is how the Muse looked when they last met....maybe the lady should check Facebook, for sure she is whiling away time with those mindless games or the news rooms where she is flirting with the big boys.


 The strain of these online searches and researching in her absence simply translates into
 "The Girl/woman is taking a blogging break for two to three weeks" beginning tomorrow.

December 07, 2011

The Writing Journey - Reflection Of Our Growth? - IWSG


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and upcoming CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

Writing Growth












                   

There are things, small changes I have noticed lately, related to my favourite past-times involving music, books and movies.


Been noticing that the works I loved even a decade ago are something I can't stand and even cringe at nowadays. I used to love hard rock which, now, often seems like noise. Authors like Danielle Steele, Sydney Sheldon, Indian authors like Shobhaa De, Salman Rushdie (India born and educated) even Ayn Rand whose books I used to gobble up in my late teens and early twenties are largely ignored.


Which got me thinking, does our writing reflect the change/growth in us as we age,  just like our evolving tastes in arts and other things? How often do our own personal experiences or that of acquaintances turn into short stories and novels?
Can even non tamperable genres like fantasy and sci- fi incorporate our ideologies, prejudices, dreams?
 How far is it practicable or proper to do so?
November 02, 2011

The Art Of Dialogue Writing For Stubborn Mules - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the Amazon top ten sci-fi space opera CassaStar, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.



Dialogue Writing


Dialogues how much is too much or too little?

I write short stories and poetry (making a living on them will take another post, hell, seven lifetimes - seven being an auspicious number for Hindus, forget Voldemort's seven horcruxes please!!)

Short stories generally can be written with fewer dialogues, mine has just the bare minimum...poetry is a dialogue with myself and the rare listeners, so I can get away with almost anything even dark or erotic.
My insecurity stems from lengthy dialogues needed for my NaNoWriMo (International November novel  month)  in progress ( I say, two days is progress). Given that I am attempting space opera style, soft sci-fi makes it a doubly daunting task.
 I am bad at dialogues, I openly admit. Does it have something to do with the fact that I can't converse just for the sake of it?...it has to be meaningful/useful interaction even if it's about which mascara doesn't run or whether it's going to rain in the evening, know what I mean? And as one of the commenters on a recent blogfest pointed out, when I do use them they turn out to be full of unnecessary details....

 Is there a magical recipe for perfect dialogues? How does one avoid too much or too little of it?
October 05, 2011

Random Musing of An Insecure Writer - IWSG


 Nokia tag line says "We connect people" but the ones who contacted me the most were Tele marketeers...The TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India ) now says, 100 sms/texts per Sim card is enough for a day from October onwards....which means my cellular service  provider can't connect to me even for billing. 

 This is so reminiscent of my writing journey this year. True the quill had gathered dust for years, the words lost in yellowing journals. Patience is the key....but insecurity strikes a blow to the tender bruised ego with every rejection...
On one hand writers say you need publishing credits to launch your short story collection....on the other hand even free e zines feel my work would stain their esteemed cyber pages. And in the second most populated country in the world; where every other educated person is a closet writer, maybe my work is not good enough. This toon below expresses my fears adequately


Insecure Writer



















And yet, every time I hear that a fellow blogger has broken the glass 
ceiling of the publishing world, I am gladdened and  feel hopeful
One such blogger Gail  M Baugneit has published her Pepper Bibeau 
mystery,"FOR EVERY ACTION There Are Consequences" in both 
trade and e book format. Do drop in at her blog. You may even win 
the Smashwords coupon for the remaining 3 free copies of the novel.

Since, a lot of people have blogged about her Novelette launched, 
I felt it would seem like old news.
 M. Pax a writer of short stories and novelettes in science fiction 
(one of my favourite genre) has launched her E book , 
a Space opera "Semper Audacia". 
It is available at Amazon and also at Smashwords for .99 cents. 
Check out her free short stories, especially "Small Graces".
the links available on her blog M Pax Author .





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