Category Archives: Writing Woes

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I’m so excited I got my first Troll …

… I think that has to mean I’ve officially made it, hit the big time, right?

Seriously, if someone is taking time out of their presumably “busy” schedule to stalk me about how crap I am at everything literary related it would have to mean I’m someone of (somewhat) importance.

Either that, or the you-know-what head has got seriously nothing better to do with their life than leave unassuming, try-hard jibes peppered across my Twitter account.

I’ll take the first version because you know, I’m working on my positive affirmation.

Just so you know, they ended up blocking me which I guess makes me a Troll in return.

If I’d only known Troll training was as easy as it turned out to be, I would have received my certificate ages ago.

You know what they say – it takes one to know one 🙂

Slam bam, thank you mam!

diversity-in-books

This is why Diversity sucks

Though the concept is great – it still sucks for my kind.

It conjures up images of glitter and happiness with the glitz and glamour of a chocolate advertisement but tough luck if it makes up your very identity.

Though I don’t mean to sound cruel (even if it is) here’s a reality check for you – crickets will be getting more attention.

Diversity – such a great buzzword with the oomph of a derelict forgotten martyr even the history books couldn’t be bothered teaching us about. Everyone’s talking about it.

Diversity this, diversity that but that’s about all that’s happening.

Everyone’s saying it because it’s the cool thing to say, what the in crowd’s talking about but no one’s actually doing anything about it or even understands what the hell it’s all about.

Diversity sucks but only if it’s part of your core and more importantly, only if you revel in it, brandish in it with all the glory you can possibly muster.

I’m a writer – perhaps a self-declared one, but a writer nevertheless. Perhaps a mediocre one, but a writer regardless and I’m what many would term as a lucky struggling writer because it’s a great time for someone like me to be born apparently – a great time for a diverse writer.

But what does a diverse writer even mean?

That’s a great question because though most know what diverse writing means (as opposed to diverse authors) – very few actually bother about my type.

I’m not going to lie, it’s quite annoying existing in an age where there is so much hoo-hah about diverse characters (many of which are fictional dare I say) when no one really gives a crap about their very factual diverse creators.

This is mainly due to two reasons – one, authors are rarely as interesting as the characters they create (I can attest to this personally) and two, most diverse characters being created aren’t really being written about diverse authors in the first place.

Because let’s face it, who would know better about a brown girl coming to a foreign land and dealing with all the trials and tribulations of modern day western world attitudes and stereotypes against the backdrop of very real cultural boundaries than a white writer?

As a “diverse” author who has written a novel (or a poorly cloaked semi autobiography) about just that (hello people, welcome to my life), do I find it torturously disconcerting that many of the countless literary agents I have reached out to say that my story isn’t quite real enough?

Of course I do.

In fact, I find it so agonisingly painful I actually pondered on writing a thank you reply to the one literary agent who responded by saying that though the premise was good, it just wasn’t the right time for my “type” of tale when adult colouring books were all the rage in the literary world. I thought it would be presumptuous to send him the dictionary book definition of literature when I actually like colouring in.

Others said my book just didn’t strike a chord with them because my main character was too well, normal.

Of course a “normal” brown girl is just out of the question because who would want to read about a normal diverse character? Um – maybe diverse readers like me.

It’s unfortunate that during my teenage years I had to choose between a normal white girl to relate with or a crazy, brown one with a horrific juxtaposition of identity crisis’s that outnumbered the amount of times I change my underwear (which is regularly by the way).

Clearly there are no normal brown people on the planet because we all wear hijabs, struggle daily with radicalism and have a secret life our parents would commit suicide upon discovering exactly twenty two point five years later. And let’s not mention finally participating (while not in undercover) in romantic relationships after securing our parent’s reluctant consent upon finding out about our blatant “western influenced” unlocking of our chastity belts in our late teens. Please note, this is actually supposed to be sarcastic.

Being diverse and actually understanding what that truly meant for many of us diverse teenagers growing up in a world where no one really got us is what continues to make diversity so sucks.

“Normal” for us diverse, immigrant children meant tepidly tip-toeing the tightrope of immigrant versus adopted land issues every single day. It meant explaining why your parents had to meet your “friend” before they let you date him before he even asked you out. It meant you’d get tired of hearing your own voice every time you droned on about how “discovering” yourself after high school on that once in a lifetime gap year before you joined university was never going to happen if you wanted to live past eighteen.

You won’t find novels on how you spent the better part of every weekday morning airing your school uniform out of that undeniable, wicked curry smell that lingers like a bad memory days after you devoured it. Or why you can use your forehead to corkscrew even the mightiest Foster’s beer bottle thanks to the countless afternoons you spent rubbing the elusive bindi off after your weekly prayers. All this just so you could rush off to see the latest movie at the cinemas without having to explain the red dot on your forehead for the millionth time. You won’t even find stories on the absurdity of forgetting French kissing when your people came up with the manual on having sex.

Why would we forget the lips in the Kama Sutra people – really, why?

Why don’t you find common day stories on the very real, normal lives of brown people?
Because there’s no way that a white author has been cursed with our version of normality. Normal, non-brown people think this is comedic which is probably why Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project has done so well.

Poor Mindy had to fabricate a normal Indian girl’s life as a comedy when most of us brown chicks know that there’s nothing funny about Mindy’s life – it’s just our version of normal.

Maybe that’s what it is.

Perhaps my premise in Un-Belonging is too real for the mainstream. Maybe all I need to get a literary agent’s attention is to tag a “normal typical brown girl problem” joke at the end of each sentence so that the general public can make a parody of my protagonist instead.

Maybe that’ll get over her not wearing a hijab bit.

Photo Credit: Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I’m Sorry …

… for being so absent lately.

Though it isn’t an excuse, I’ll fall back on that dismal aspect of human nature and attempt to absolve myself of any wrongdoings by providing you with an adequate 3 point resource on how it’s really not my fault.

Point 1 – I’ve been so busy that if I were a Troll protecting the make believe bridge to Narnia I just made up right now, well, Narnia would no longer be Narnia – it would be the next best holiday destination. I have been writing though, about an article a week but woe is me, much of my time is taken up in maintaining active social media accounts for work.

You need a Twitter, Facebook or Google + guru right now, don’t look at me. I’m fresh out of ideas.

Point 2 – I have seriously pissed karma off and I don’t even know what I did. The amount of minor mishaps I have had with my skeleton over the past month would be enough to fill up a small encyclopaedia. Seriously. From toe injuries to wrist massacring’s, it’s a wonder I still resemble a human body. Fine, maybe not an encyclopaedia but a good weekend read in a grubby motel off Highway 5. At least.

Point 3 – I blame Trump because well, why wouldn’t you?

I don’t think history has ever provided us with such an apt “he is the cause of everything that’s wrong in this world, my life and this entire solar system really” excuse, people. Ever.

I am not kidding. It’s every man, woman and child for themselves and I can’t even copyright this one. Take it. Run with it.

I’ve been busy because Trump exists.

With that being said, I make no promises except an absolute true declaration – I have missed all of you. Truly.

I’ll try and make it up for it and write some more, or at least be more present if my fingers remain from that biyatch injury infliction.

I hope you’re listening karma. I’m a Hindu and I ain’t going anywhere so let’s try and be friends, okay? Or at least civil.

See you soon my peeps xoxo

power-of-faith

The Power of Faith

As a writer, I’m ashamed to admit that I rarely allow others a glimpse into my psyche and though I will often joke about my warped brain, the fact is I have always been a thinker.

Some consider this a boon but in all honesty I find that thinking too much is more painful than peaceful and wisdom can sometimes be, well, overrated.

Why?

Because there is a certain type of profound solace in simplicity and when it comes down to it, when I reminisce about knowledge, I picture a calming, peaceful, bright hue.

Not many people know this but some years ago I hurt my back, not exactly in a debilitating way (at least from a scientific perspective) but one that nevertheless paralysed me in living a life full of happiness and positivity through my late teens and into my early twenties.

During the time, I had begun to read a book called Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama and Autobiography of a Yogi by Sri Paramahansa Yogananda.

Now, I am a Hindu but I have been very fortunate to have been reared by parents who always pressed the importance of spirituality over any religion on my sister and I and for this, I will always be grateful.

So I really do hope that you see that the faith I am talking about is not attached to any particular religion or version of “God” but rather as a testament to the supremacy of faith and belief and Creative Life Force (as Sri Yukteswar Giri defines it) that we all have within us.

I haven’t had back pain for many years now, strongly believing that I had received a miracle of my own after a kind-hearted, gentle swami of my father’s told me with complete assurance that it had been fixed. Viewing it as my own version of a miracle that mirrored an event in the Autobiography of a Yogi, my mind, heart and soul completely believed his words and soon my back pain became a thing of the past.

Late last year however, it returned. I had nagging thoughts on how I couldn’t possibly deal with the pain all over again and how maybe I hadn’t received my miracle. In one short phrase – I had been infected with doubt.

One of the worst possible human emotions and weaknesses that any of us can let creep into our lives – doubt.

My parents have my whole life really, been my very own personal “God” in many ways and even their words of reassurance had little effect on the virus of doubt that was infiltrating my pores.

About two weeks ago I got a CT scan and the results were, to me at least, devastating. The problem had gotten worst according to my radiologist, and my doctor (who can’t read x-rays) made it appear to be even worse than my radiologist’s report.

After days of depression and heart-wrenching panic, I was in pain, plagued with mental and physical agony so I did some soul searching and sifted through my Autobiography of a Yogi copy and just opened random pages to “see the light”.

By utter chance, I landed on an excerpt where a disciple of Sri Yukteswar was beside himself because all the doctors he had seen had declared that he had a maximum of three months to live. The disciple had ran to his guru to beg for help and Sri Yukteswar has laughingly chided him for believing doctors who knew nothing about the Creative Force of all Beings and had proclaimed that he would be healed regardless of what any medical practitioners or experts stated.

The disciple had asked if he should continue with the medication to which his guru had replied – it’s up to you, take them or throw them, they will have no consequence on your health. The disciple got worse and worse by every passing hour but his faith remained steadfast, after all, his Guru had said he would be fine. Just when it looked like he had no hope, the next morning the disciple was completely healed – as if a miracle had just occurred before everyone’s eyes!

Though I am not comparing my situation with the dire one of this disciple, I decided last week, after reading this passage, that I too would have complete faith on my own miracle.

I didn’t care how it would happen, but all I knew is that it would happen – regardless of what anyone said or anything I saw.

Today, I went to my physiotherapist and though I had some trepidation, my faith remained steadfast. My Creative Life Force is unbreakable, undefeatable – omnipresent.

My CT scan had been misread and misdiagnosed by the radiologist; in fact, my back has one of the most beautiful curves (my physio’s words, not mine!).

I have my miracle and it’s one of the most beautiful feelings ever.

I have learnt two lessons from this:

1 – Positive thinking is absolutely the BEST medicine out there and it’s completely free and you don’t need a prescription.

2 – If you believe, I mean, truly believe no matter what, you WILL have your miracle, I promise it!

I know this is a long piece but for those of you who are down and in despair please know you are your very own version of “God” or a superpower. It’s all you, you just have to realise, experience and celebrate it.

Once you embrace the power we all are, you will quickly come to realise that YOU are omnipresent in every way!

Writing-Words

Write non-Write Balance

I just watched a video that discredited the whole elusive work-life balance thing we all crave.

It was for work and I got through four minutes of it thinking there’s four minutes of my life I’m never getting back because it really helped me in NO possible way for my actual job. Even after trying to deploy all my imaginative, creative abilities I pride myself on having honed until now.

But whatever – Another story.

What it did mention though is how the whole work-life balance concept is a piece of you know what because when you love something you do, the lines between work and play blur.

Sounds blissfully ignorant if you ask me.

The guy then mentioned how creatives (supposedly people like you and me) don’t believe in the concept of work life balance because we can’t shut off our creative brain no matter how much we try.

I don’t know about you but I can definitely shut my creative part of the brain. In fact, I would suggest that my “creative” part often leaves me lurching in the pitch bleakness of nothingness because it’s decides to go on an impromptu dark orgy with some buddies of it.

Again, another story.

After just having spat out three articles of varying degrees of dullness, today is definitely one of those days I wish I had more write and non-write balance. So to the irritating perky dude who declares work life balance is a façade for us mere folk who would love to be a beached walrus right now, I’d like to politely tell you to shut up.

I’d get more creative with my dismissive attitude but I can’t. My creative side just left me a note that says Do Not Disturb.

It’s Time for Some Honesty

You know those days when you realise you haven’t looked in the mirror for a while.

I mean metaphorically.

I admit it – I’ve been procrastinating. Writing the last couple of months has been nothing short of an ordeal for me, like Build Rome in a Day sort of suffering rather than incinerate it.

I’m not saying I’m cured or anything but the below video really helped to put things in perspective for me once more. It’s easy to forget the love I have in my bones for this beautiful creative piece of life and though I tend to feel brain dead most days with regards to creating words out of thin air recently, this video stirred that passionate, wanting desire I have for letters all over again and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

Don’t stop what you love people, just remember, fights are a normal part of an unhealthily healthy, obsessive, hot, overzealous love you have with something or someone. So to my writing gene, I have three words for you. Bring – It – ON.