Word of the Week #95:

Increment

 

How long has it been since I started writing? Well, very close to four years, now.

A lot has changed in that span.

For one, I no longer have my weapon of choice, my magnificent MacBook Pro. Ah, the very thought rends my heart!

For another, my hair keep growing fewer and further apart, and are greying at an unprecedented rate… Which is obvious, yes, but upsetting none the less.

However, there are some things that have changed for the better, and I could not be more glad.

To begin with, I am now far better at what I do. Of course, this too is pretty obvious. You get better with experience and practice. Still, we do tend to forget how far we have come, and the way we cringe at a cursory glance towards our initial work is a reminder as clear as any.

More than anything else, I have now grown accustomed to my characters. I know exactly what they think and how they feel, regarding everything I throw at them. That makes it easy for me to enter their minds, and write about their adventures through their own eyes.

I am growing into a good writer, I suppose.

On the down side, that may be turning me into an exceptionally weird guy. But, I was a pretty weird guy to begin with.

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Word of the Week #92:

Retrospect

Another year has passed us by.

So, how was 2017? As always, kind of a mixed bag, right?

For me, it was quite eventful, if nothing else. I am not exaggerating when I say that my life seemed to change once every month.

Of course, ‘seemed’ is the operative word, here. In the end, we always revert back to our stable equilibrium.

For 2018, I want more of the same.

“Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

After all, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?

So, this year, I look forward to working in my own room, sleeping in my own bed and, well, what else do I even do?

Life is simple, fruitful, and fun… This year too, let us keep it that way.

Word of the Week #91:

Solace

As I mentioned last week, I hate losing.

Well, as it would turn out, I lost… And by quite a margin, if I may add… It was not even a podium finish…

“Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”
― Adolf Hitler

Of course, we all know how Hitler dealt with losing the war, so… Words to live by, right?

Anyway, it has been a while since I received the news, and after having spent a few hours sulking, followed by few more hours of brooding, I now feel relatively calm.

I can now see the bright side of things. I know it is a cliched thing to say, but I do believe I have come out stronger.

When you thinking about it, marketing and publicity was never my strong suit. Having been able to put up a worthy fight, I am actually quite proud.

All things considered, being voted as the 4th Best Author of the Year for your debut effort is a victory in itself.

No, I am not celebrating, but I am glad nonetheless.

And, as I often say, Book One was just the beginning.

Beware, 2018. Arrkaya: Immortals, coming soon…

 

Word of the Week #90:

Pander

Now, let us be honest, there are some things that we just do not like to do, am I right?

Some people do not like to drive. Given the current state of the roads in my neighbourhood, I have to agree with them, more often than not.

Some people do not like to bathe, for some reason. Now I cannot understand that, but can I admonish people for it? Hardly.

I just try not to stand downwind of them… That is just being smart.

Some people don’t like to read. Now, this, I have to admit, does irk me.

My affliction, however, is weirder than most of these. I, to the very core of my being, despise asking for a favour.

Now, seeking help from someone more skilled than myself, that is a different thing. That is just how we work, after all, by helping each other whenever and however we can.

Asking someone for a favour, though, is not the same thing.I have seen others do it, without batting an eyelash; and not just for the small stuff, either.

Yes, I definitely do despise it.

However, there is something I despise even more: Losing.

With that in mind, allow me to segue to the main topic at hand.

Looks pretty, does it not?Anyway, this point being: I want to win.

And, quite frankly, I could use all the help I can get.

So, tell your friends, and their friends, and your neighbour’s kindergarten teacher, and that cute girl you met the other day.

Tell everyone you can find, and help us win.

It is not like I ask for too much, right?

Click here to vote.

Word of the Week #85:

Revelry

Just this Sunday, my sister and I were sitting in a cab. I was looking out the window, as we whizzed past the flashing lights.

“I have a meeting till 5PM on Thursday,” she suddenly announce. “I don’t think I will be able to make lunch.”

“Huh? Okay,” was all I could elicit, at the moment, not sure what to do with this little piece of information.

It is not like her to make small talk, after all, nor is she known to volunteer information for no good reason.

Also, considering her schedule, it was almost always impossible for her to have lunch at home on a weekday, and I could not see why she would feel the need to specify it, that too days in advance.

I stared at her for another few seconds, before either of us could spoke again, and I was so wrapped in my thoughts that I do not remember even a word of what followed.

What I do remember is the sensation when, after an entire minute of befuddlement, realisation finally dawned on me: Thursday also happens to be my birthday.

It may seem odd to some, but to me birthdays do not seem like a big deal… Especially when we are talking about my own. If it is someone else’s, I would still love to make a big fuss for their sake. That is still fun.

But, you see, I have already seen enough birthdays. Their novelty has already faded. Now, it is no longer a day I look forward to for the weeks, or even days, that precede it. Moreover, I have not even been able to spend it with the entirety of my family, for the past two years. That rather dampens the effect.

Now, I do not say that I will not celebrate. It has been a good year, and all good things deserve a celebration, right?

But, more than Thursday, I am looking forward to Wednesday night. On 15th of November, 2017, we commemorate the third anniversary of the completion of the first draft of Arrkaya: Origins, after a marathon writing session that lasted 46 hours and ended only because the manuscript was complete. It is the time to remember one of the finest day in my short lifetime, and I could not be more proud.

So, the party does not start at midnight. No, it shall start at 10PM. Just as it did, three years ago…

This week should be fun.

Word of the Week #76:

Deconstruct

Editing is not fun.

Every writer will tell you the same.

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison

Of course, every writer, or at least every good one, will tell you just how important it is.

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
― Patricia Fuller

Now, the trouble is that, as many people who know me well may attest, I am a guy who would be quite capable of doing just that. Why, I am quite sure I have actually done that, more often than once.

And, therein lies the problem.

Regardless, as I mentioned in the last post, I am wiser now. I know most people cannot handle me, or my work, without being appropriately dressed.

So, how does one proceed? The solution is simple. Not easy, mind you, but quite simple, indeed.

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.”
― Don Roff

Word of the Week #75:

Sophomore

So, as you’d probably know, last week brought some much needed joy and jolly into our lives.

However, that lasted for barely a moment, before another mountain, much taller and wider than the last, stood stark in my sight.

You see, just writing a book, especially a rough, vague preliminary draft is quite similar to taking a stroll.

Of course, this stroll is long and strenuous, like the one in “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy, and completing it without losing your mind is a feat definitely worth celebrating.

Have you read that story, by the way? You really should. It is amazing.

Now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I have been doing this for years already. I know how it works. I know that, in contrast, the path ahead is not as simple. It may be short, but it is far more uphill.

So, while it still is a time for joy, we know how much more work needs to be done.

It is time to strap on the snowshoes, baby, and just keep walking.