Tag Archives: life

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

Casper

Simply Funerals …

My sister and I went out to dinner Friday night (seems like an eternity ago but I think that may be due to my Mondayitis but whatever).

Anyhow …

We came across a billboard for funerals and in an effort to silence our grumbling stomachs in the car on the way there we decided to exercise my marketing prowess (or lack of it) and come up with some slogans or punchlines.

Turns out, there are some one-liners that are pure perfection for anyone in this business, so funeral directors, listen carefully. For all the rest of us in mundane businesses like mine, we definitely have our work cut out for us.

Disclaimer: If you’re feeling particularly depressed today or death is a sore subject at the moment, please give this one a pass …

So, without much ado, here’s what we came up with:

  1. Simply Funerals – With Customer Service like ours you’ll never go back.
  2. Simply Funerals – We bring a whole new meaning to a Customer for Life.
  3. Simply Funerals – Once you’re with us, you’ll never go back. Anywhere.
  4. Simply Funerals – You’ll be so happy with us, you’ll never want a refund.
  5. Simply Funerals (for the cremation options) – We can promise you, you’ll be going out with a Bang.
  6. Simply Funerals (for the cremation options) – As a bonus, free fireworks for family and friends.
  7. Simply Funerals – Refer a friend BEFORE you use our service and get two for the price of one

I know, I know, it’s crass but hunger apparently doesn’t bring out the best in the Sharma sisters. Or, does it? I guess it depends on the angle you’re looking at it from – six feet under or above …

Any of you lovely people care to add onto the list?

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.

sick alien emoticon

This Pic is a True Account of me – Not Photoshop-ped

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve dodged a bullet only to find you’ve been slashed in the rib-cage instead?

Or maybe this just happens to me -_-

Spring is just around the corner; seriously it’s so close I can smell it.

I was secretly (because I didn’t want to jinx it. A fat load of good that did me) thrilled that I had managed to remain flu free this entire cold, harsh winter season but alas, the nasty bugger took me down last Saturday.

It’s so severe that ten days later, it’s still sinking its molars into me. And to top it all off, I had the most bizarre dream last night.

I dreamt I was RPM-ing the entire day (on a spin bike people, on a spin bike) so naturally I woke up exhausted. I mean literally, completely effing brutally smashed. Why? Who does that universe, who?

YOU that’s who!

I mean give me a break! I may have been able to forgive you if you’d just told me the name of that hot guy I was cycling next to but whatever. I would have just slobbered all over him anyway so the joke’s on you.

Well not really but I like it when I have the last say.

Now if you’ll please excuse me while I curl into a ball of woeful flu stricken misery on the floor under my desk right now. Splutter, splutter, splutter …

Writer's Block

It’s Cold & the Writing Part of my Brain is Frozen.

I swear, this is a viable condition often experienced by Writer’s in winter. It’s called Frozen Writer’s block. There’s no cure except for gluttonous extreme vegetation in front of the BBC channel for inspiration.

You know that saying, one girl’s loss is another one’s gain. You’re welcome, another week free of punishment from my brain. Don’t say I don’t give you anything.

Disclaimer: For faster results, attack the virus with a never ending supply of buttered popcorn and unhealthy salt and fake cheese infused Cheese and Bacon Balls.

Let me know if you want my address or I could just lie here with my mouth open and you can pelt junk food into it. See, there’s a positive to everything – even Frozen Writer’s Block.

There is no such thing as not meant to be …

Because it’s exactly how it’s meant to be.

Often in hindsight, when I look back on my journey I realise that when something or someone didn’t happen in my life when I really wanted it, it was for the best.

It led me to discover something better and brighter and if not, it gave me the priceless opportunity to learn.

I know it’s easier said than done but patience truly is a virtue even when all you want to do is kick its mother you know what arse to the kerb. But then again, that’s probably just me.