Tag Archives: genre

Home and the Blog

What does my blog mean to me?

Many a time, as I’ve sat by myself at night when the sounds of the day have quietened down and noises of the night have become louder, such as that of the whooshing of the AC, or thud of the softly falling snow or rain, the zzzzzing of the ups and downs of voltage brightening or dimming the tubelight or the buzzzzz of a single mosquito trapped in the mosquito net, or the dulled sounds of boats in the fog or the frogs croaking outside with the glow worms, depending on which part of the world I am in, I’ve wondered what the blog means when the writing has or hasn’t come.  Continue reading Home and the Blog

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Love, Romance and Escape

If you happen to watch TV at home during the holiday season, you will notice that along with festive tunes, shades of red and green, bells, parties, food, mall sales and lights, your thoughts will turn to another seasonal item on display in our culture: the romance fantasy. Continue reading Love, Romance and Escape

Blogging and voice

Communication | ArtPrize 2010
Communication | ArtPrize 2010 (Photo credit: Fellowship of the Rich)

I wonder how many of us take a conscious decision to become the people we are and how many of us just come to be as we wander through life.

Each human being is already complex. Put one human being in touch with another and you have an even more complex set of possibilities of interaction. When you think about it, only part of that interaction is communication, only part of communication writing, only part of writing blogging and just a small part of that voice.
Continue reading Blogging and voice

What would Homer do?

There’s a lot of advice out there on how digital writing differs from traditional writing. Whenever a new way of expression is discovered, our response is exuberance and wonder at what current technology can do. Often, that kind of discussion spawns a myriad other discussions and rightly so.

Sometimes, while we build on the old, we only focus on the new as though the old is not relevant anymore. Continue reading What would Homer do?

Notes on the condition of writers in the present day

It’s a rainy day today. The river is gray, the air is dense and foggy and the drenched people huddled under their umbrellas also seem bereft of colour. It all reminds me of a line from O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi when the young woman saw a “grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.”

Likewise, my foggy thoughts have condensed with the rain today around the rather gray topic of the difficulties of the writing profession in the present age.
Continue reading Notes on the condition of writers in the present day

The Reading Police for the Young

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.

Original 3rd edition cover of the first book i...
(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 The Reading Police for the Young

Why blog?

Sketch of gallery
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay. So I decided to write something little, something small whenever I feel like it. Isn’t that really what writing is all about? I mean, writing doesn’t really move mountains, or solve the economic crisis. You may try to hit someone hard with words, but a baseball bat is better. A few years ago, I saw a big cow eat an entire book. Didn’t make the creature any wiser. She was still standing, tied to a pole, the last I remember. Continue reading Why blog?

On focusing the reader’s attention on your blog

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 On focusing the reader’s attention on your blog

On blog content arrangement

Part I

Have you ever seen a blog that you’ve wanted to see more of? You’ve tried to spend a minute or two trying to figure out how, been frustrated, and then moved on?

Haven’t you wondered sometimes how some bloggers put a lot of effort into writing a post, then select great pictures, put colourful badges, icons and a lot of other pretty things around the page and then put little thought into how the reader would navigate the blog? Continue reading On blog content arrangement

Of bloggers, Birbal and birds: How to make yourself heard

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 Of bloggers, Birbal and birds: How to make yourself heard

Secrets of popular writers

Look for These Popular Books on the Shelves
(Photo credit: Enokson)

Why are some writers popular while others aren’t?

A very difficult question with a myriad different answers I’m sure. Merit, context, luck, things outside of the writer’s control. Yes.

But on the whole, popular writing is popular because it’s smart.

Admittedly, a lot of smart writing never gets popular (or even gets unpopular enough to be popular) but all popular, even infamous writing has something about them that sets them apart and makes people want to read them.
Continue reading Secrets of popular writers

The Neapolitan Blog for Different Audiences

One of the biggest challenges of writing a good blog is the challenge of catering to different kinds of readers.

I don’t know if everyone would agree, but the act of writing a blog itself implies that the blogger is someone who believes in democratization of knowledge, especially with regard to access to reading and writing and cultural practices that are understood as important.

In other words, this means the writer cares about reaching a wider audience through their blog than simply being restricted to a select few with a taste aligned to that of their own. The blogger has respect for and aspires towards appealing to a wide audience.
Continue reading The Neapolitan Blog for Different Audiences

What’s a good blog?

What’s a good blog?

For me personally, it’s very hard to tell. I know it when I see it.

Sudan(?) Monkey riding a rhino
A blogger is a friendly person who is telling me a few things in a way I can trust (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

But what am I looking for?

One thing I know for sure–when I’m browsing a blog, I’m also looking for a good experience. Continue reading What’s a good blog?

Five ways to hold your readers’ interest in your blog posts

Kitten

This post is as much for myself as for my readers.

I’m beginning to take notes as things work and as things don’t as I blog on the blog hoping to help myself and anyone who reads this compendium of evolving experience on writing as I grope my way through the blogosphere.

So here are my words of wisdom to myself.
Continue reading Five ways to hold your readers’ interest in your blog posts

Facebook and the person within

This holiday season I have “read” many real life stories on Facebook.

A group of girls in evening dresses with cocktails in their hands smiling at the camera in a line on the 31st. Groups of people on snow covered mountain tops with their hands spread out in a posture that says we have conquered the world on the 29th. A photograph of one of those same girls in an individual picture, more awkwardly taken perhaps right before she went out, but with the full limelight, with a heap of laundry visible in the background.

Pictures that enhance the beauty of people just a little bit. These are accompanied by status updates on significant days that mention happening places or exotic food or crazy things that people are up to. And comments. “too cute,” “awwwww,” “u guyz r too cool.”
Continue reading Facebook and the person within

The feel good and the literary writing

I was at the Sacramento airport one bleak winter morning trudging up the escalator managing several scraps of paper in my two hands (ticket, baggage tag, ID to name a few) while balancing my roller-board with my elbow on the moving surface.

I am not a morning person from any angle and I always find early morning flights depressing, more so if they are preceded by long commutes in shuttles and long waits in the dark when you inevitably turn out the first passenger to be picked up by a van at 4 am.

So needless to say, I was yet to appreciate the beauty of the morning.

But today, a strange surprise was waiting for me at the long security queue at the end of the escalator.
Continue reading The feel good and the literary writing

How to come up with topics for your blog

How?

The truth is, I don’t know.

So I googled the words how, blog, topics.

Some excellent blogs about blogging came up. Some of them talked about how to find popular topics to make money. Some talked about how to find subjects to write about. Some were descriptive, some were prescriptive, some suggested how to find the perfect match between you and a topic while some were trying to encourage you to just get going. Some provided actual titles like essay questions. I was impressed.

But I guess I was looking for something a bit different.
Continue reading How to come up with topics for your blog

Valuing the impulsive word

Continuing on from my perspectives on whether we should write about everything, whether we can and whether we should wait before putting deep experiences down on the screen, I could not help but reflect on the exuberant bursts of writing on social media that we currently see by anybody and everybody.

Status updates, micro blogs, comments, captions, tweets, text messages–it’s an explosion of writing out there.

The only image that comes to my mind when I’m surrounded by all this writing is this: So far, it was the night sky in a strange planet dominated by a few yellow moons. Dependable, stable, guaranteed to rise and shine on certain periods of the month.

Now, there is suddenly a burst of sparkling firecrackers from everywhere covering the black night sky. Most of these stay only a few minutes and then disappear.

But the spectacle is great for those watching. Continue reading Valuing the impulsive word