Announcing : Blogging Hiatus

Hi everyone!

Very short post here. As my New Year post quoted here, I am officially swamped due to my novel commitments. I had hoped to balance WordPress and writing with a bit of self-motivation and courage. But, my novel is on tenterhooks right now and I have seen very minimal progress. Also, I assume that the guilt of not posting here has distracted me a little in this (along with my usual procrastination tendency).

Hence, I hereby declare a hiatus on WordPress. I am extremely sorry and sad that I have to do this. And anytime I have a pressing inclination to blog, I swear I will be posting that. But, officially, I am closed for the next few months, at the very least.

So long, and wish me loads of luck with the book!

Bye!

Priya

When Life gives you Lemons…

Hello everyone,

This is the sober post I was talking about in the previous post here.

(inspired by Real Life Events)

Everyone learns this proverb in middle-school English.

When Life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade!

I know of it for years now like everyone else. But something changed my perspective on this one recently. I’m not saying I disagree with it; I just take it to mean more profound things.

What is Lemonade?

From what I gather, Lemonade points to something sweet and delicious. When life is sour to you, find the sweetness in it and put the Universe to rights as you’d prefer.

What are Lemons?

Sticky spots. Split-second decisions. Anything that pricks you in the process of happening.

But, think of situations which seem dire all around. I do not need to quote examples here. Because everyone knows. That feeling of profound helplessness. That day which you never want to re-live again. That empty hollow in your heart. That throat-drying fear. That croaky voice with which you whisper rapid prayers. Those moments from which you were salvaged. The Saviour was not you. You did not find Lemonade. You merely wasted away till He came.

What if you are handed those Lemons again? Where do you find the Lemonade then?

I say this.

When Life gives you Lemons, make Pickles.

Pickles are sour and sharp. Pick up one of them every once in a while. Make things right.

You do not wish to face the same Lemons again, do you? Suck on one of the Pickled Lemons for ages. Learn the things which brought you the Lemon. Re-live the incident in your mind. And learn. Memorise the things which were your fault in the whole incident. Stew the taste in your mouth.

NEVER let it find its way to you again.

Build your sunning stand for the Pickles.

And you’ll fly far away when Lemons find you again.

Love,

PPD

Blogger Recognition Award!

Hi everyone!

I had a totally different, totally sober post in mind for this week. But, BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD!!!!!!!!!

I am too excited to chill! Now, moving on to the Interview!

Thank the person who nominated you by linking their blog

Thank you so much for nominating me, Sudalai. I am very honoured to be nominated by such an awesome poet.

Please check out Sudalai’s blog for Tamil and English poetry!

Write a post to show your award

Duh. This is the post!

Tell how you started blogging

Interesting question. I believe I started blogging after very successful diary records of my thoughts (successful because the audience, a.k.a. I, totally loved the diary). My first blog at Google Blogger was a poetry blog due to an emotional upheaval I was going through about seven years ago. I took it down because I felt the poems too personal to share.

(You can check two of them out at Wattpad; Shattered and Canvas of My Life)

Then, I started a more comprehensive blog on my thoughts, also at Blogger. Somehow, college exams, interviews for job applications and irritability got in the way and I gave it up. And last year, I yearned to live my Writer’s Life and my very good friend suggested WordPress. Let me tell you one thing, WordPress is Love.

*beams in pleasure*

Advice to new bloggers

  1. Never give up on your blog. You might write an essay-sized post one day, but draw a blank slate on another. Despite it all, never give it up. Write about a beautiful cloud shape you saw that day if you can’t think of anything. The blog will induct more abstractness into it, for all you know.
  2. Read a lot of blogs and voice your opinions on them. This is a lesson still in progress with me. I don’t read a lot on WordPress. And I really want to change that. As you explore, several blog ideas pop up and you can also stand in awe of the Writing World here. It’s beyond beautiful.

Nominate 15 bloggers

Like I said, I don’t read a lot on WordPress. So, I’m just going to nominate some blogs which I have read in the past. I have no idea if they’ve at all received the Award previously (most likely, they have).

  1. Pages that Rustle
  2. Discover Deepika
  3. BEcoming Bala
  4. Hanady Kitchen
  5. Frank Solanki
  6. Musings Lounge
  7. Small World, Smaller Girl
  8. America Maaplai
  9. Beauty Beyond Bones

Love and lots of thanks,

PPD

The Battle of Magic and Logic

Hello, hello, hello!!!

Do not be alarmed by the much-too-cheerful greeting, Reader. Life’s been a see-saw since last we spoke! I’ve had my high moments and really low moments, and I’ve had enough of regrets to last a couple of months. The greeting is just a pale attempt to perk the see-saw upwards.

Why do I regret, you ask? Good question. I haven’t the answers myself, yet. It’s all messed up and in my head. So, I’ll let you know once I know. Sorry!

Let me ask you a series of questions myself.

  1. Have you ever pinned all your hopes on accomplishing something which you’ve dreamed of?
  2. Have you ever imagined a sequence of events which were so beautiful that you wished that your life would go through that sequence just for the sheer beauty of it?
  3. Have you ever admired something or someone so much that you prayed you’d get it or get those admirable qualities in yourself?
  4. Were all these followed by a stupid epiphany from your lame-ass brain which points out all the laws of common sense that these wishes defy?
  5. Were you as flabbergasted as a mermaid who finds herself wishing to walk the earth?
  6. Did you curse that lame-ass brain for killing the dream and smashing it to smithereens?

Welcome to my life!

The biggest question I’ve been asking myself lately is this : why does the brain always get in the way of the heart?

Sure, everyone dreams. It’s a rule of the humanity in you that you yearn for that successful showbiz career, you dream of that shiny red Porsche, and you ache for that beautiful girl you’re head over heels in love with. Lesser known is that mind voice of certain individuals which always fights to defy those unrealistic dreams. It’s sometimes mistaken for common sense, but believe me, it’s the Devil in the Brain.

Of all the times I’ve cursed myself for these thoughts, they had just laughed a croaky laugh in reply and bestowed a cruel smile. I know they speak the real world to my heart and dissuade it from being broken to pieces, but who doesn’t love being lost in the midst of dreamy clouds?

*sighs loudly*

Ah, well, I can probably cook up a different dream in my heart, which might last another few weeks till the brain gets into super-protective ninja mode.

Have any of you had this experience? Tell me about it in the comments!

Love,

PPD

Learning to Love the Little Things

Hello Reader!

It has been quite more than two weeks since my last post, and seeing as that one was weird, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of writing here again. But, no matter. Writing is one of the most joyful things that occupy my time, so, I am back!

Okay, this post is going to be about the stuff named in the title. Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of negative emotions: guilt, because I wasn’t finding enough time to write my novel during the weekdays; physically bloated, due to all the junk I was consuming to overcome the aforementioned guilt; stressed, due to some work deadlines. And I realised, I was betraying one of my most basic characteristics. As a rule, I am a sunny person, who loves the happiness in the smallest of actions.

(Seriously, if you were my soulmate, all I would want from you is a simple ‘I love you’ a few times in the day. Chuck that diamond ring in the garbage can.)

So, naturally, I was flabbergasted when I realised this. This post is going to be a wake up call to myself.

  • Happiness is Mom calling you at 6 in the morning to wake me up (followed by one of your best friends at 6:15)
  • Happiness is rubbing your chilled hands together in the cold when you go for jogging in the park
  • Happiness is the view of the rising sun as you finish one lap
  • Happiness is the wind whipping across your face as you drive back home, all sweaty from the jog
  • Happiness is singing along with the track when you chop the vegetables
  • Happiness is lighting the lamp for Krishna every morning
  • Happiness is catching up on your reading during lunch break
  • Happiness is giggling when Mom and Dad video-call you
  • Happiness is spending ten minutes with your protagonists (even if they don’t progress much in that little time)
  • Happiness is ranting to your best friend about the unruly characters in your book
  • Happiness is smiling for no reason just because you felt like it
  • Happiness is scrolling through your Facebook news feed trying to fall asleep

See, what I mean? Everything one does as a part of an everyday routine is for some reasons. The deepest, most profound of them being that they make you happy. Somehow we have learnt to forget this most important one and would rather focus on how each activity is a burden on ourselves.

We worry about wasting time cooking when we could eat at the office canteen. We get irritated when we slug through our morning walk, slightly sleep-deprived, in the winter cold. We complain about not finding time for ourselves.

But, you know what? These things you struggle to make yourself do everyday? They are in your routine because you know they’re right. And if they’re right, they make a small part of you happy. And if you are dumb enough to ignore that small satisfaction or blind enough to not see it, this is your wake up call.

Be happy, be content. Love the things you do.

Love,

Priya

WordPress Live

Hiya folks!

This is going to be a very short post. I know, I know that this title is weird and there’s no point in writing this one. But, this is my first on-the-fly post. So, you all can excuse my total lack of a subject.

(This is inspired by Facebook Live and Instagram Live, I now realise)

I’m sitting at the railway station at Bangalore right now and scribbling with this real awful handwriting, whatever I’m seeing around me. I will flabbergast myself with the crap that is my penmanship in a couple of hours when I start transcribing.

(It really IS awful)

My earphones belt out the majestic tune of Emperor Akbar from the movie Jodhaa Akbar (its Tamil version). I watch a pair of shiny ballerina slippers in a beige colour tread past my giant red travel-trolley. I like the small flat bows atop their tips. There’s that relentless cockroach (it made me pull out my notebook in the beginning) peeking from the edge of the platform again. It vanishes as a kid in a pink sweater is being helped onto the train by his mother.

The air is cold. The opposite pages of my scribbling book flutter in the breeze. The guy next to me travelling with a Jayachandran Textiles shopping bag (Yes, the branch from my hometown) gets up to walk around with a phone pressed to his ear. The train sitting at my platform is the one that has been scheduled to leave before mine arrives. The lights are still down and people move around within its darkened carriages, holding up their phone torch lights.

A couple of people who are seeing off their friends, have been leaning against the windows, talking. The train sways on its tracks a little as the brake is lifted for a second. Those people are startled at the movement. Lights come on as if on cue.

I spy a tattered lungi walk past out of the corner of my eye. I wonder how girls travel with any peace dressed in netted taffeta materials?

I suddenly panic about missing my train and check the time. It’s only 8:07. Phew, what a relief!

My heavy laptop bag is weighing down my lap. I try to shift it away, but, it’s the only flat surface on which I can write. So I replace it on my lap.

Seems like my MP3 player has programmed itself to play only A. R. Rahman’s music. Oh, wait. I’d added only those to the player! 😀

There’s a thin old man with a shock of grey hair. He has a child of four in his arms. That mango-yellow hoodie is so sweet-looking! ❤

Okay now, you’ve gotta be kidding me! Sleeveless top with jean SHORTS? During Winter? REALLY? -_-

I think I’m gonna need my sweatshirt myself. The air is CHILLY.

Whoa! Twins! One had straightened hair, of course, she ain’t a little child! And the other has natural waves! How cool! I don’t generally meet twins ever, unless you count those who’d gone to my school, whom I’d had to meet everyday.

Finally, something smells nice! The two men sitting nearby eat their dinner. I suppress a burp as my tummy churns pleasantly.

Bangalore City Junction, Platform Five, has a pretty awning type thing keeping off rain and sun. I don’t know what it’s called exactly. I like it very much though. My feet jiggle to the new song on my player as I seek out interesting things to report.

Oh, I just remembered! I was so stupid as to forget the new dress for tomorrow’s puja at my home here before I left for the station. I curse myself once again for that. I am so NOT looking forward to tomorrow morning when my mom curses me for doing that as well.

Hmm.. I wonder how often do they scrub clean trains?

Holy-moly, there is an announcement! Oh God, a train scheduled for tonight has been re-scheduled for tomorrow morning. I’d better check my own! Be back in a bit!

I’m back!

There is no problem with mine, thank God! I was already bummed about reaching my Madurai home AFTER the Pongal has been cooked. Thankfully, there are no further delays!

Okay, what was I on, before?

Yeah, the cleaning!

I see that the external walls of this train – OMG OMG!!!!

That cockroach is scampering under my seat! Please, please, please do NOT climb up!!!!

I’m signing off! Bye bye, folks!

Forget all about the cleanliness of trains!

I do not care!

The End-of-Year Ramblings

Hello everyone!

Okay, I know I swore I wouldn’t make this blog again about apologizing for the long waits, but I kinda owe you an apology anyway. So, sorry I couldn’t make it all these days. The explanations include NaNoWriMo, family time, and hectic office work.

Anyway, coming to this post, I have mixed thoughts right now. There will be three topics in discussion.

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

  • When I decided on plantsing, I did not think it through. I surely did not anticipate that my meagre plans could be so inadequate as to split the book into TWO books.
    1. Do enough planning when you choose plansting.
    2. Be prepared for anything your characters might throw at you. Run of the mill writer’s block is only a small problem; anticipate bigger ones like change of plot or as in my case, book-splits.
    3. Don’t give up due to the offered intimidation.
  • When I started this battle, I did not break down a definite writing schedule to retain my inner muse by my side. She kept slipping away from my outstretched arms.
    1. Offer delicious temptations like chocolate or sweets to keep your muse alive and kicking in there.
    2. Devise schedules after consulting your muse and external factors like your day job and necessary travel; make sure she respects the written word.
    3.  Don’t give up due to unmet and nonexistent schedule deviations.
  • When I sat down to write, I did not empty my work area of unnecessary distractions. And I do not just mean the physical objects sitting on my desk.
    1. Put off social media. Period.
    2. Use WordPress to push your everyday writing to new heights; do not shun blogging as a loss of time when you should be concentrating on your novel.
    3. Don’t give up due to social media distractions cutting into your writing time.
  • When I was at a loss for words, I did not switch to things which inspired me to come back. YouTube and a bunch of sitcom DVDs took precedence over the classic books and prep talks from NaNoWriMo authors.
    1. Use a personalised browser while writing with bookmarks to all your inspiring blogs sitting in plain sight.
    2. Think about using notebooks to write and find a transcription buddy.
    3. Don’t give up due to a few minutes lost in watching a funny video, you can still catch up.
  • When I panicked, I did not shut my ears to the stupid panicked-voice justifications coming from my throat. I listened and heeded her dumb advice.
    1. Block out that voice which a writer is quite familiar with, the one that talks of the lameness of your plot, the mediocrity of your heroine, and the possibility of an infinite time period to finish the work.
    2. Talk to your loved ones, friends and family, who believe in your work and provide the right kind of encouragement.
    3. Don’t give up because your silly brain brings up the worst case scenarios, which won’t ever happen.

The Welcoming of the New Year

Another year has gone by!

I know I sound like a television anchor, but I can’t help it. I know everybody’s going through a case of muddled head right now. It’s two days from New Year’s Day, and I for one, have been having unsettled thoughts about my life.

What have I accomplished in the past year that I hadn’t in 2015? What will I do next year? Have my lessons gone to heart like they should have? What new things did I learn about myself? Am I a better person now?

All these questions swirled around me menacingly for the past week. And I find the following post to be quite appropriate.

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Forgiving that poor creator for the spelling mistake in the last line, I realised that that is exactly where I am. Wondering whether I’m being silly this past week or whether those questions actually matter to me. But I figured that understanding oneself should be an ongoing process, and if these questions have posed themselves, I might as well answer them.

I now present the ten things I realised/experienced/went through in 2016.

(in no particular order)

  1. I am thoroughly excited by my novel, and I hope to finish the first book in the first couple of months of next year.
  2. Family is very tough to handle when one hits the 20s. Especially when you’re a twenty-something and female.
  3. Being selfish about your physical, emotional and intellectual health is the first step to happiness. And I believe this selfishness should start at this age.
  4. My idea of a great day involves good food in my tummy, a beloved book, an hour or two spent at a happy place and conversations with my favourites.
  5. I am very specific when it comes to setting my room to order, cooking a meal in my kitchen, or planning to visit a place. Except for my used-clothes-chair, everything needs to be in perfect order.
  6. I actually discovered that I have a ‘type’ when it comes to guys! *wink*
  7. The cancerous cells to my wellness are laziness, distractions (sitcoms, YouTube, social media), and daydreaming.
  8. I have developed a previously nonexistent whim to grow my hair long, which is going to be difficult with my curly mop and its tendency to have awful hair styles when grown past my shoulders.
  9. My skincare regimen and makeup ideas have reached new levels of obsessiveness.
  10. I have magic workout sessions, a couple of which are enough to make me satisfied with my body and give up.

They are just the ones which popped into my head in the immediacy of the summon. There is much more where that came from.

The Resolve to Blog Regularly or a Blogging Hiatus

Okay, I know there is an oxymoron right there in the title. Sorry!

In all seriousness, here is what I wanted to say.

I solemnly swear that I will blog at a regular interval of seven days starting from this post, on defiance of which I will adopt a blogging hiatus for until such a time as I complete writing the first book of my two-part novel.

 

There! Those are the three topics which I wanted to talk to you guys about. I know that it has been a very long post, but I hope you have enjoyed it.

Anybody else want to comment on their NaNoWriMo? Or put forth their New Year’s message?

Please do so in the comments below and have a great time this weekend!

PS : I am planning on a large tub of popcorn and a Harry Potter movie marathon. What do you think? 😀