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.

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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.

 

Word of the Week #74:

Blitzkrieg

Now, now, I am not making a reference to World War II and all.

Sensible adults don’t need to be told that Nazis are bad, okay? That is like saying kittens are cute. You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to not know that.

No, I am referring to the title of the final chapter of Arrkaya: Immortals.

You see, this has been an amazing month, and we would like to end it with an announcement I have been waiting to make for quite a while.

After 35 chapters,
122 scenes,
513 pages,
2750 paragraphs,
92,958 words,
countless days of hard work,

I can say that, as of today, Book Two is finally complete.

Time to pop the champaign, yeah? Well Not really…

You see, this is just the first draft, and the work has not even nearly begun.

Nonetheless, we are near, and we could not be more pleased.

Arrkaya: Immortals, coming soon…

Word of the Week #69:

Tryst

So, this past week has hurtled by, as I have been forced to just sit and watch; not that I was particularly ill or anything of that sort, of course. When am I not ill, anyway…

Nah, I guess there are just some weeks like this one.

It is, however, disconcerting when we consider the fact that the end of the contract with my current publisher is no longer at the horizon—it is now very much in the forefront—and I have barely begun working on the editing and rewriting required to prepare the second edition of Book One.

I will admit, as have many readers already observed, that the first edition could have used a little more time and work than it was afforded. Well, I am wiser now.

To write is human, to edit is divine.
—Stephen King

Add to that the fact that the manuscript of Book Two is still not quite completely ready and one can very well begun to hyperventilate.

Quite honestly, this is one of those few instances where the word ‘deadline’ could literally be true.

But, as I keep proving to myself more than to anyone else, I am made of sterner stuff than that. Moreover, it have always found it easier to concentrate on a task when it begins to seem, to an uninitiated onlooker, overwhelming.

If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.
—Mario Andretti

So, now that the going has gotten tough, it is time for me to get going.

Au revoir.

Word of the Week #40:

Inferno

So, it is our first post of the year, and it comes right snack in the middle of the winter, or whatever weak replacement we have to accommodate here in our beloved tropics…

Still, it is too cold to be complaining about that, which could make you wonder to what am I referring… Continue reading Word of the Week #40:

Book of the Week #27:

Special Post

What is so special about Week #27, you ask? By itself, probably not much…

However, if you look closely at the date, and examine the rest of the blog, you will realise that it has been exactly six months since we began, here.

Happy Semi-Anniversary!

And what better way to celebrate this day, than by giving our readers the first look at our upcoming book, and the sequel to Arrkaya: Origins.

If you have not read Book #1 yet, do not worry, this contains no spoilers.

PS: Yeah, this will be a fiery one…


Immortals
[Arrkaya, Book Two]

Prologue

The Phoenix Rises

Cough! Cough!

She wiped the soot off her face, without pausing for a moment.

The cold valley was filled with mist and smoke. She ran up the slope, through the dark night. Her feet were bare and bloody, and her chest was heaving. She slipped in a pool of blood, and fell headfirst onto the charred remains of a man. With a loud shriek, she darted away, covering her mouth with both her hands.

Her tense skin, taut as that of a drum, could feel the air heating up around her. Drawing on every ounce of her strength, she raised herself to her feet, and continued scampering up the hillside. The grunts of her pursuer grew louder, and air around her grew more and more stifling. She slipped again, crashing down to her knees. With a quick stroke, she wiped off her tears, as a moan escaped her mouth. She did not need to turn around and look, to know that it was already too late…

Warm flames enveloped her body, caressing her, comforting her. She could hear her hair sizzling, as the fire singed her skin. She could feel the inferno around her, consuming her flesh and calcining her bones. And yet, she felt no pain. The fears and the sorrows in her heart seemed to have been burnt away. For the first time in her life, she had found peace.

The night was now quiet. The smoke was beginning to lift from the valley, revealing scorched buildings and charred corpses. The entire town was still. Then, from the ashes of his own mother, arose a boy. His fiery red hair, like wild flames, waved in the breeze, a grim look on his alabaster face. He took a fistful of the ash, and smeared it across his forehead. With steady, confident strides, he moved down the hill, until he stood in the centre of the valley. For the very first time, he opened his smouldering eyes, like a pair of glowing embers embedded in his skull.

“I am sorry, Mother,” he said, his voice calm, unwavering, “but it is not my fault. It is my nature to consume.”

He spread out his arms, feeling the heat around him. Drawing from the ancient voice within his head, he started absorbing energy from the scorched buildings and the charred corpses, draining them of all heat trapped within. The breeze suddenly changed direction, and grew chilly. The few surviving blades of grass wilted, as they began to glaciate.

His eyes were ablaze with this newfound power. Throwing his head back, he let out a roar that rumbled through the valley.

“I AM AZAZEL!”