Finding Heart

Hello you guys!

I know I quit the blog for a while now, and I just posted a story last week (again, quoting that I’m really not coming out of hiatus). But, I can’t help it anymore. I am coming out of my break, having accomplished close to none of my hiatus-goals.

Seems depressing, doesn’t it?

Only, it’s not.

I have never loved myself or my life more than right now and I wanted to spread that very love over here on WordPress. Hell, I’d missed this!

I’d missed writing for no reason and actually resented my own book for streamlining me into boredom. I know it really is not boring, and I know that I actually have a piece of my heart etched into the plot, the characters, and the story line. But, I was sick and tired of forcing myself to write for my mind (which wanted me to focus only on my book). Now, I want to write for my heart and for the poor souls reading my ramblings.

Because, you know what? At the end of the day, all that matters is whether you spent that day following your heart or being prudent.

Can all of you swear that your entire day has been about the love you had for the activities you had carried out? I’m sure that most of you would frown and shuffle the topic away if I posed that above question.

That’s okay. I won’t be mad. I would react the same way.

As human beings, we are set in such discipline that survival, earning a livelihood, responsibilities, pride (yes, pride), and self-imposed rules all matter very much and influence even involuntary thoughts.

Have you really laughed out loud when you type ‘LOL’ into a text message? No? I didn’t think so. Then, why do you type it at all? It was force of habit and nothing else. You are hardwired into giving that reply.

Next time (when you actually have the breathing space for it; not when you are in an all-important hurry), question yourself. Live the moment as you see it happening and love the mystery of it all.

The human emotions.

The involuntary reactions.

The sudden gasp of horror at a slipping coffee mug.

Things like that.

There you will see the Heart in it. The Heart in everything you do and say and every way you choose to behave.

Love yourself.

Love,

Priya

PS : Totally random, and slightly insane. Definitely involuntary. I love it!

PPS : This is the kind of act I’m talking about! 😀

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

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 you 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

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? 😀

The NaNoWriMo Disease

I’m back so soon!

This post is coming after the record shortest gap between posts, and I’m very, very excited about that!

Okay, rants aside, let me elaborate on the concept of today’s post. It is that time of the year again, November’s here, and it’s up and running!

I AM talking about NaNoWriMo! It’s the National (I don’t know which country; seems like a world-wide phenomenon to me) Novel Writing Month!

(I know for some of you it’s actually No-Shave-November, but it doesn’t apply to me!)

So, this post is kind of mandatory. I wanted to write about my past experiences with NaNoWriMo, and my plans for this year.

The Past

I have been a part of this in 2015. You see, what happened was this. I stumbled onto this competition for short story writing last year called the Write India Campaign, and I tried and tried each prompt as they were announced. But, it turned out that I was incapable of writing brief, short stories! This fact actually pissed me off because I’d been writing plot lines and poetry and what-not since I was about 12, and I figured I’d lost some of my flair for writing.

Slowly, I came to understand that the main reason for my suddenly hampered imagination was the fact that my reading list had been empty since I’d left school. That freaked me out even more and I was practically a mess.

Slowly getting out of this mini-depression was the worst phase ever. It took me quite a while to do it. I had so much help from my close friends and I turned back to my closest ones, my books. The Reading Challenge 2016 from Goodreads was literally my lifesaver.

One of the short story prompts which I’d left of half-written, had given me a grain of an idea. I’d got this idea back in 2015 before November, and NaNo 2015 seemed like a confident, doable dream with it. But then, my slow pen and my will power gave out within a week and I landed in the freaking-out phase. And this was the state of my pathetic NaNo 2015.

Lessons Learned :

  • Do not attempt NaNoWriMo while battling depression (not even simple, non-chronic ones).
  • Pantsing might not be the best idea when you battle to win a kingdom (kingdom, meaning a Novel).
  • Habits and routines will have to undergo modification during the battle.
  • Placing yourself in a state of productive anxiety will NOT help.
  • Family, friends, roommates, and co-workers can be safely approached for help as you attempt this mega-war. No one will judge or ridicule you, rather, you’ll get all the help you need from the ones you love.

The Present

This year has been much more positive than the last in several ways. For one thing, I got over my mini-depression. I have learned so much about self-confidence and stringing loose ends together. My empty reading list has been constantly full since and I absolutely love it! Bringing back my teenager self has been such a beautiful journey that I’ve fallen in love with myself again.

Coming to the novel idea, it has festered like an annoying but happy feeling. I’ve attempted Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July with very little success, but I’ve loved every minute of understanding my characters. They’ve been the best companions for me for quite a while now and I now know them as if I’d met them in person. And the little confidences I’ve made with my family and close friends about my writing plans have given me so much ideas which would help me stick to a schedule and just write. After all, writers are not made with their creativity so much as they are made with their persistence.

Learning from 2015, and from the pep talks for 2016, I’d decided early on that I would be plantsing this year. It would be a combination of a planning and a pantsing writer. I’d had a bit of struggle with sticking to schedules last year, mostly owing to my five-days-a-week full-time job, and my obstinate decision to ‘relax’ on weekends (it means I was lazing around and re-watching the many TV shows I like). And my not-always-helpful notion was that I’d write with much enthusiasm when I don’t know the plot line myself, that I’d write more fervently because I want to find out the story.

The last three problems gave birth to a new writer version of Priya this year.

Decisions Made :

  • Plot line is fixed in my head, details I’ve left to the fates of my imagination as I write.
  • Rehearsed shunning social media in case I feel like my deadlines are falling apart during November.
  • Given myself up into my natural planning mode because my giving it up hadn’t helped one bit last year.
  • Timeline graph of my characters is laid down for reference.
  • Put off all travel plans, shopping plans, and adopted a quiet, happy lifestyle of home food (cooking which would be one of my relaxation points), reading books which had been a part of my childhood, and little workouts accomplished at home.

So, all in all, my plans for NaNoWriMo have never been more concrete, and I’ve never felt happier about my decisions than I feel right now.

Do any of you write? Did you participate before? Do you plan to participate now? What are your plans? What have been your problems before? What-

Hold on, I’m getting too excited about this. I’m letting you guys talk about it in your own way.

Bye bye for now! *waves madly*