Today was rainy but it’s Summer at last in the city. Days are longer, people are less huddled on the streets and the buildings of Manhattan get to show themselves off dazzling those who have the leisure to look up.
Picture taken from City Hall Park, Downtown Manhattan
Flowers have bloomed in many places even through the concrete.
Bowling Green Park in Downtown
Colour has returned to people’s dresses from the standard black coats which is a soothing sight for sore eyes. The readers of books have come out from their cubby holes to read under the trees.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
The parks are dotted with children and dogs and the skies are dotted with kites and the rivers are dotted with colourful sailboats and carousing boats with booming music. The food stands are an olfactory treat for those who pass by.
East Village, Manhattan
Next to Union Square
World Trade Center on a bright day
Hope you are enjoying your summer too!
(All photo credit MD except “The Thirsty Scholar” by BW.)
When you are a child, you babble away and no one listens. You talk in the kitchen and ask a thousand questions about your new world when it’s only as tall as the height of the lowest cabinet door.
When you are an adult, you have a need to do the same and there are even fewer people who listen. I mean really listen. Continue reading
I remember a woman I met a long time ago who went hiking with me in California. She was a native of those mountains, having climbed those heights often in childhood.
Me, a city person, unused to those heights, kept lagging behind.
Every few steps she stopped for me, turned back, sometimes climbed down. Often, she would stop by the wayside to show me a berry, telling me which ones were edible and which ones could kill. I trusted her judgement instinctively, tasting a huckleberry for the first time or smelling a sage leaf. Continue reading
Sometimes, a thought comes in a moment and you just record it. You type it as fast as possible and there it is.
Just so close to perfect!
As it’s coming, if someone interrupts you, walks in the door or calls or sends an innocuous email, boom! The thought is gone.
Other times, you sit for hours, construct a piece with great labour, something complex, something you think is so nuanced and hardly anyone gets it. Nor do they like it much, other than a select few, who are concerned about the same stuff as you. Always.
You wonder what happened.
What you fail to do is that you can’t draw the reader in, can’t make them care unless they already do. Continue reading
All writers must be good listeners.
They must listen to the other without interrupting, without imposing themselves, without guiding the other’s train of thought.
Later, they cannot tell. They cannot tell the specific stories of others.
Yet, tell they must.
When they tell the stories, those stories must undergo a transformation and be unrecognizable.
The reader must find every person in the one person’s story and no one person in any story. Continue reading
I thought my last post this month should be about appreciating my readers. So out of the many, many, many, many great comments, I chose the eight below from my posts in April. Continue reading
The reading police are coming for ‘em young minds because they know what’s best.
Raja Bose, almost thirteen now, has another showdown with his mother. That’s because he is not as docile, as good a boy as his younger brother Sanjeev.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Raja insists on spending the long summer afternoons reading his story books. His recent favourite is the Famous Five series, stories of two boys and two girls and one big dog and how they solve mysteries during their holidays from boarding school.
Sanjeev, the younger one, is more clever. He covers his comic books as soon as his mom comes near the study table. The book he usually uses is a big, fat one that proves a very useful camouflage because the words in the title always pleases his mother: Mathematics Made Fun Grade 5.
They do have fun. The boys have exams to take, textbooks to study and carpentry projects to finish every week—mostly those stipulated by the school. Sometimes the carpentry projects are so complicated that the maid has to be sent to the local carpenter’s to do the intricate parts for a few hundred rupees. The carpenter is a good-natured young man, just a few years older than the boys themselves.
“What will book-learned folks like you be doing with a hard, wooden stool? You boys will never sit on it,” he grins as the boys pass his store on the way to their after-school chemistry lessons. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged books, control, culture, education, entertainment, Fiction, freedom, Geeks and Nerds, genre, life, literature, Reading, reading habits, writing, young adult fiction
OR On blog content arrangement Part 4
Once readers have been drawn to your blog, they may want more. At this point, you would need some kind of underlying idea to classify your posts. The more critical thinking you put in the classification aspect, the better your blog will be. The underlying principle has to come before you make use of the great features that will enable you to group blogs such as categories or custom menus. Continue reading
OR On blog content arrangement Part 3 (after Part 1 and Part 2)
How would you guide the reader’s eye in terms of content on your blog? What would you want them to look at and for how long? Would you want to present a lot of content or only a small amount? Continue reading
OR On blog content arrangement Part 2
We talked about difficulties of navigating blogs without proper cues yesterday in Part 1. Let’s think about a few principles of arrangement of posts on the page today.
On a reader-friendly arrangement of posts
So how can we arrange content on our blog so that it’s more accessible to the reader?
There is only one answer.
The easiest way to do this is to put ourselves in the reader’s shoes.
We won’t be able to know how it feels in the reader’s shoes unless we first know what kind of content we are generating which in turn is attracting what kind of readers. Continue reading
Nothing kills creativity like the word list. So it’s counterintuitive to write a post about creativity in an itemized list. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Martin Cathrae)
I’m reminded of an old post called “Dinner and a movie-alone!” just because it’s Friday!
How many of us bloggers are out there?
A mind-boggling number very hard to grapple with for sure.
Our sheer numbers reminded me of a well known tale of Akbar and Birbal I came across recently on my flight back to the US from India. It was a version of the story in animation adapted for kids which I watched on the screen trapped in my little space in the sky.
It goes something like this: Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Akbar, Birbal, Bird, Blog, Crow, genre, India, life, writer, Writers Resources, writing, Writing process
I have often wondered why people put up pictures on their walls. Especially scenery. What it is that makes them desire a bit of the outside world onto this vertical surface that signifies a boundary, a separation of the house from the very world that the picture represents? Continue reading