Monday Rambles – Hardly gone just rambling on

If you read the title and felt it didn’t make any sense – it doesn’t! :). I know its been a while since I’ve (virtually) chatted with you all, mommy hood just seems to take up all my time these days.Despite all my good intentions to enroll Ems in preschool last year it didn’t happen. The pre school here requires that she be fully potty trained and I am proud to say WE’VE finally achieved the feat of going to the potty unassisted and she starts school next month!

She’s a good child no doubt about that. She’s not very fussy and listens to what I say, but you know as a mum you always wonder if you are actually doing enough and being over critical of your ‘mothering skills’. So I got the workbooks and the flashcards and the three line books to prepare her for the wonderful world of learning and growing up ahead of her.

She’s picking up and loves singing the Alphabet song and counting from 1-20 (with a few number jumbled up between 11 and 20) But trust me – teaching a child is no easy feat! I always thought of myself as a very patient person but I guess I proved myself wrong. I yelled, threw tantrums, had a ‘Pity Party’ (did you see that song by Melanie Martinez from The Voice? ) cried and then realized my approach was all wrong.

I had to be the PARENT instead of the BIG BABY I had turned into and set the example. I calmed down and stopped the pushing and the nagging and then things just started falling in place. Maybe a series on my experiences as a mom later.

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Hope you are all having a great summer! Have a great week guys!

Monday Rambles- What would you blog about? a.k.a The Magic of Writing

Good morning everyone! or Good evening or even Good night to some of my friends living in the different time zones across the world. Wherever you are I hope you are keeping well and have had a good start to the new week.

Its February and the climates getting better here at Salt Lake. Though its windy and slightly cold and gets even colder during the evenings, the weather is more enjoyable – children are out playing in the afternoons and I for one am loving the pops of colour in people’s outfits these days … 🙂

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So for today’s rambles I was just wondering, and this is a question to all my bloggy friends – How much time do you spend trying to finalize a topic to write about? Do you worry as to whether your readers will be able to relate to what you write? Do you consider the message or the values your writing will convey?

Since I’ve started my blogging journey I’ve come to realize how much we have in common with each other despite the geographical distances that separate people across the world. Emotions and feelings in writing are universal. We all have our peeves and frustrations and despite whats going on in the world around us we all want to be happy and successful.

I don’t know how many of my dear friends listen  to NPR (the radio channel) but there was this interesting interview with an African author last week about a new book which is an anthology of short stories by a group of young writers. She spoke about the literary scene in Nigeria and how the Western media bombards you with stories of war, poverty, child soldiers and human trafficking in Africa and how this book covers none of that. A group of young writers have collaborated to bring out a book which quite contrary to Western expectations of themes from Africa is an anthology of short stories on life – normal everyday life and the people who live it.

So the question is does writing on human emotions or people daily routine would mean that young writers of today are ‘disengaged’ from soceity? does it mean they are shallow or superficial? or does it reflect some sort of general apathy ?

Which takes me back to the literary movement of the 19th century where writers of the time propounded ‘Art for Art’s sake’ – that literature should be a means for self expression and not have a didactic and/or moral purpose or in our case a political angle. From a blogging perspective atleast in the blogs that I follow, bloggers are today using creative writing

1. As a tool for self expression

2. As a vent for inner angst

3. As a vehicle to spread the message of hope and faith

All reasons why people have been writing for ages, but that said, I guess we all realize there is a change in the way writers are choosing to express themselves in modern times. This is the ‘Age of Information’ and writers are opening up and and coming forward to share aspects of their life in a language that would otherwise be deemed taboo..So even if not all of us actually write about those topics, there is a widespread tolerance for that ‘no holds barred’ style of writing and presentation; which may explain the popularity of shows like Girlscreated and written by Lena Dunham.

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I got to watch back to back episodes of Season Two of the show on HBO a couple of Sundays ago. I must say, the raw and honest portrayal of the life and friendships of a group of twenty- something year old women, as they navigate through life coupled with their struggles with transitioning into adulthood was unique and refreshing like nothing you’ve seen before. The writing was bold and straight forward and the  feminist views presented in the series felt empowering.

However, there are scenes in the show especially the one where Hanna (played by Lena Dunham herself) plays ping pong with her much older lover (played by the dashing Patrick Wilson) in the nude, where you cringe and almost bury your head under a blanket.

Sure, nudity is nothing new when it comes to television, but the fact that Hanna is no super model and has the body of an average pear shaped woman – wide hips, flabby arms and all and yet so boldly throws her inhibitions to the air for millions to see, made me even more aware of my insecurities and how shy, self conscious I was…whether its a good thing or a bad thing – I’m still not sure…So by being blatantly open and by exposing every facet of an individuals personality both personal and public, Lena Dunham captures the zeitgeist of our times.

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In the meanwhile watch this clip from Girls Episode 2 where she meets an online magazine editor and discuss on possible topics she could write about… 😀

So what do you think writers should write more about? Should they write about their normal everyday lives or is it their responsibility to touch on important topics that have a more soceital or global impact? What do you like reading about?

Have a great week folks!!

Monday Rambles – The Journal and the Writing process

Hey everyone, how has the New Year been? I know…I’ve been MIA, was just taking a small break after the busy holiday season to relax and unwind.

Taking a break is a good thing for the brain because it gives you a fresher and more renewed perspective on how to take your creativity forward. That said, taking a break beyond a certain period of time from a creative hobby can be detrimental as a break will lead you to lose touch and once the inertia sets in its so difficult to drag yourself out of the slump and all the writing you end up doing will be this

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image courtesy: http://www.pajamadiaries.com

As a blogger I feel its important to put out material on a regular basis and by this I don’t mean every single day as this might not be possible because sometimes you need to fulfill the obligations the other roles of our life imposes on us and your family will start sulking and complaining because you’ve served them microwave dinners three nights in a row…Life is afterall, all about balancing our ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ lives. So setting a schedule and not leaving your blog ‘fallow’ for too long is by all means ideal.

Talking about ‘inner’ life, a few days back after Ems had quite surprisingly gone to bed early and the husband was reading/researching something online, I had some time on my hands and I decided that before my writer’s block permanently froze for the whole of winter until spring when it would maybe melt and whatever creative juices were left oozed away never to be seen again, I had to write something!

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For a change instead of my laptop, I reached out for my new journal that I had bought at Barnes and Nobles for the New Year and started jotting down some ideas for the blog.

With the growing number of electronic contraptions in my life I hadn’t realized that the actual act of writing had fallen in the shadows and here I was ‘Journaling’ after a looong time :D.

As I wrote I felt like I was having a conversation with this ‘little mousy voiced sometimes in- your- face obnoxious person in my head’ (please don’t think I’m crazy)… I jotted down points and ticked those things that I agreed with myself and crossed out those things that I well, disagreed… I scribbled, I doodled, I drew pictures and stick figures and huge animated alphabets with eyes that grinned from line to line. I was having a ball!

Dawdles Doodles apart, as I continued to write things down, I could feel my thoughts were taking concrete shape and suddenly, I felt like a Jungle explorer cutting through the thick Amazon Rainforest leading my team onto a clear jungle path. I seemed to have drawn a tunnel from my outer world and into my inner mind…And I had a list of ‘workable ideas’ … Hurrah!

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I may not consider myself as a very “methodical” writer and though for most of the time go about it in a haphazard fashion, deep down I understand that ‘Writing is a process‘ and Brainstorming is the first step – for which a journal is a very handy tool!

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image courtesy: http://www.glogster.com

Writing on a paper or blogging may seem all the same since both have the element of therapy by themselves.

In blogging as we type, words flow from our subconscious and sometimes it even feels like an out of body experience where you feel like an outsider looking inside…you break free from the imaginary shackles that limit and hold you back and that is most possible when you write fiction; but, while writing pieces like this – rambles – I am conscious of myself and have an inner ‘thought auto correct’- editing, constructing, sometimes constricting my thoughts which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing, but having an opportunity to jot them down helps you get even more closer to your inner voice and your intuition.

Sure, there will be the tech buffs and gadget whizzes who can show me how modern styluses and computer softwares and apps can pretty much do everything that you do with a regular pen and paper on laptops, tablets and smartphones. Don’t get me wrong I am not against technology by any means and I whole heartedly with open arms accept all things into my life (living beings included ;D) that comes with a guarantee to make my life easier and help me save time.

And sure there are our efforts at reducing the ecological footprint. And in my search to find eco friendly recycled paper journals I didn’t have go too far and I found these on Amazon

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So, let’s not completely disregard the benefits of maintaining a real journal. Buy one, doodle in them and keep revisiting them every once in a while even if it is just for an hour because it really is a great way to de-stress and get in touch with your inner child. Fewer minutes of streaming ‘Bones’ or ‘Scandal’ or Downton Abbey’ and more streaming ‘stream of consciousness’ and suddenly you have some clarity on the things that have been bothering you because – let’s face it – a major chunk of the problems in our lives can be sorted out with a small shift in perspective.

So, what’s your experience with journaling or with technology? Please do share…And yes – Have a great week folks!