February 2018 (Goals of 2018 and Monday Musing)

First Monday of Feb, 2018. I know people generally have a lot of resolutions for the year, and February is the month when all of those resolutions just fizzle down. So, last year, I decided that rather than letting my resolutions end up a slow death at the end of the year, I would actually think about them and realign them with what I really want to do in the year– in terms of the blogging, reading, writing, and personal growth as well. And so, this basic post was written on Evernote in the beginning of the year, with a reminder to go back and go back to it once more (All those office trainings of personal growth seems to be paying off! ;))

So here it is excerpt from the secret vault of my Evernote.

I want to start a small accountability thing. This is like the list of the posts that I  want on my blog. I am not yet sure how successful I will be able to, but one of the resolutions I have this year is to write more, read more (and talk less, perhaps).

1) Monday Musings: They are my favorite things ever. I love being able to recollect and condense my week once a week.
2) Top 10 Tuesdays (This is a meme from http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/ now which I used to follow but then lapsed. It looks like the meme  has also found a new home and the prompts definitely look interesting).
3) Time-out Thursdays are for all the other things in the world which I am always thinking about. They won’t be many such things, but maybe the movies and series I want to talk about. These are also the reviews but will pop only when I cannot resist myself.
4) Reviews are to be scheduled for Sundays.
5) Lastly, I want to post a small fiction once a week. This was the plan which I had last year too, but then the plan failed (badly, since the category doesn’t have even a single post).
I will probably start in February as January is already too packed.
This post is going to be pinned somewhere because there is a long list of the books that I am dying to write about–I wonder if I am going to choke someday on my own thoughts. (I have already run into the glass door in the office due to my lost-in-the-thought-and-thinking-about-the-blog habit.)
Here goes the list to be reviewed:
1) Thirteen Reasons Why
2) Forty Rules of Love
3) A Man Called “Ove”
4) Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
5) A Room of One’s Own: ❤
6) Devil in Spring (Lisa Kleypas)
7) The Make-Belief Husband(Julia Quinn)
8) Adulthood is a Myth
9) To Room Nineteen
10) Chase (Sara Portman)
11) Where There is a Will (Piorre)
12)Paris Capsule
13) From a Paris Balcony
14) Ministry of Utmost Happiness
15) The Giver
16) All the Light We Cannot See
17) It Started with A Tweet
18) The View from the Rainshadow Bay.
The  Second part of the list is the unread books:
1) Remains of the Day
2) Devotions of Suspect “X”
3) Station Eleven
4) The Djinn Falls in Love
5) Teju Cole’s Strange and Known Things
6) Graveyard Book
7) Letters to a Young Poet
8) Mann Cakes
9) We Need to Talk About Kevin
10) Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra
11) The Color of Magic (Terry Pratchet)
12) The Rosie Project
13) The Husband’s Secret
14) The White Castle
15) The Bling Assassin
And that’s the haul that I can see right now. I am sure there are more books lying in some corner of my reading world, but these are the focus for some coming weeks. See you all around as I hopefully make out through the book journey with an expanded mind and a bigger heart.
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Monday Musings, Year End, and Merry Christmas

It’s 25th of December. I know it can be read on the top of the post as well, but it’s a special day. It’s Christmas. The days are going to be longer from now (although I know the hours are going to be the same). Mostly because I have time to write again, this day is indeed special. The past few months, in fact, the whole year has been pretty bad in terms of writing. I have been uninspired, and work has totally eaten up my brain (That’s not really an excuse and hence is after an “and”). I know the time for things can be made up, but I am being honest when I tell you I must have slept at least 17 times while writing– my laptop cover on, with my head on keyboard. I was myself bored with the stuff that what I wrote.

I had plans for November, but they are still in my mind only. Not a word on paper and now, the year is on its last leg. I just don’t know where the time flew. That is an old rant now, I guess. So let us come to the real purpose of this post. Before I start making the new year resolutions, I do need to look back on the things that I wanted to do. I might have failed in almost everything, but a clean slate is how I want to start a new year. This is like my year in review in general:

1) My first off-the-chart resolution was to write 750 words daily. I don’t even want to go back to see how many words I wrote–it was that bad. Let us not even talk about the things these 750 words include. The number of times the word “coffee” is mentioned there exceeds the count of days during which I finished my 750 words. (There is a “coffee-worthy” story to it, which I will share once I have pasted back my broken heart and dreams and have written few more “coffee” journals.)

2) My second resolution was to watch a lot of series and movies to inspire myself. I think I did good in that department, and my idea book is filled with the ideas. Now if I can only find the tools to utilize those ideas.

3) Podcasts are now an on-and-off-affair. I have realized that the relationship between me and podcasts is going to be rocky. So, they are no more in my resolution list, although I am still open to listening to good episodes. My favorite will be “Modern Love” for the details it covers. But they cannot be a regular thing in my current scenario.

4) Last and the most important thing on my list has been reading. I have done plenty of that in the past year, especially the past two months. With all the workload that I had, reading had been my only solace. These were not short stories or even poems (there were only a few in between at times) but full-fledged novels. My Kindle is brimming with them. Soon, I need to make the list of the novels–the unreviewed ones and the unread ones– for my 2018 to be in order. I don’t want to be caught unawares again by the next year.

5) Lastly, my health– my knee had been a mess for past 8 months. Before that, it was my foot which was to be rested (Don’t ask– it was a bad time for my legs). But now, I am more or less healed and am undergoing strength training,

This is for the resolutions–secret and non-secret ones too. But there is something else I fell in love with last year. Bullet journaling and fountain pens <3. I like the idea of bullet journaling my week, my month, and my year. I fell in love with planners. I just loved the monthly spreads and the weekly spreads I discovered. They look too shiny. (Let me whisper a secret: I have already purchased next year’s journals too! *grin*).

Also, my love for Korean dramas still continue. I did not watch that many dramas like the previous year, but I did watch a few. I have another favorite drama: Because This is Our First Life. I have another favorite pair of eyes too (Can’t help it. Lee Min Ki is adorable, and his eyes are the stuff of dreams.)

I did travel a lot, and that’s another reason for not making the time for writing. 2017 must have been the year when I could make out time for quite a lot of travels– all thanks to consecutive holidays.

That’s 2017 for me in nutshell. Not too happening, but not too benign either. Thank you, 2017, for being a year of me (and “Woori”). I hope it has been a good year for you too.

Monday Musing 09.10.17

Long, long weeks ago, I had thought that Monday Musings will be my solace. They really are way to keep me energized. Yet I had not wanted to be energized. Have you ever been in a slump in life when you just don’t want to get up, you just don’t want to do anything? I mean talking and reconnecting with people feels like chore, reading is just another mind-numbing activity, and watching movie is like fizzled out firework.

No, my life has not been at standstill. I did a lot in past month–traveled (and was excited for it too), rambled, explored, even read the books–but in the end, the idea of sharing those experiences and stories with someone hurt my head. Is this called getting fed up with the people? Or maybe I am turning into an introvert ( I know this is not really true!). But the fact is that everything started feeling superficial for sometime. Probably it is the office drama catching up on me, or maybe it is just that the world around me is changing at a faster pace than I can process– I just don’t know what it is.

I have met few new people on my travels who might or might not stay as friends, so that’s also not an issue. It is just that the sheen on certain interactions have dimmed.

And that brings me to the bookish musing of today. This is coming from a book called “It Started With A Tweet” (and an encounter with a person).

So the book talks about the addiction to social media and phone, and how people might need deaddiction or rehabilitation for the same. It’s weird to hear that people get addicted to social media. I have friends who have denounced FaceBook or Twitter for some period of time because they felt it was eating up their time. I have friends who felt that social media had lost its charm and has gotten old. And I’ve always wondered– why the drastic measures? Can’t it be limited to willpower? I just didn’t treat the social media addiction as the literal addiction and just as a phrase.

But while reading the novel, I was lost in the thought of whether we are truly addicted to social media or phones? Can I live with checking my phone only once a day? I don’t know. I do go off the grid at times, but it is all well-planned thing. I met somebody in one of my recent trips who confessed that he was not on any of social media. It did not put me off, but it was just a weird statement to hear–something not expected.

I also came across an article about the social media addiction rehab. The article is linked here. And the article beautifully iterates the reason why we do go online, and these reasons includes validation, which again brought me back to the question of why am I on blogging or social media. And to this post, back again. Here are my reasons honestly listed down to ponder once again:

  1. I think blogging is because I do really have a lot to say and think. This is like a diary of the impact that the stories that have on me. I sometime like to go back and read from the scratch as well. Physical diary could work well too, but there might not be the like-minded feedback anywhere(and even validation, although it is not much in the blog).
  2. I am on Facebook in my real name, and I have no idea why. I am not in touch with half the people there. I do post frequently (once in two days must be my average), and those are the things that irritate me, makes me happy and stuff. Do I expect people to validate that? Yes, I guess I do. Even one agreement is sometimes enough to let me know I am not crazy. But this is only for few times. Rest of the times, social media is a way to share a part of my life with the people who have drifted off (some of them even my close family members). It is like a public broadcast system for me.
  3. Twitter– is mainly for promotion and to get stuff to read and know about. I am not there much anyway.
  4. Instagram is a newer foray, and it is there for sharing my photography. Validation is the only reason I can think of here (other than the filters that it has). It’s a place for a portfolio.

I am not yet sure whether I will call myself addict or not, and I will still like to think about this. But at the same time, if anyone else is reading it, do think about the reason of whatever social media (or even whatsapp) you’re using and how is it helping you. Comments are not necessary, but they are welcome.

Lessons learned from the April A to Z challenge in 2017

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

There should always be a post about lessons learned after finishing a challenge, an introspective view of whether I achieved what I wanted to achieve or not. That’s my motto for almost everything. That’s how one grows!

  1. Life will always be difficult. During the month of April, I thought that the month was tough. I actually wondered if what I was facing was depression—such was my mood. But then now when the 10 days of May have passed and I feel a bit better, I think I can conclude that life is going to be difficult. It is up to me only to pick myself up and move on.
  2. I failed badly at writing daily in the challenge. In fact my posts were written in the spurts of inspiration. I don’t think I lacked the will to write; it was more of the time and mood thing. Lessons learned here is perhaps I should stop wishing to write daily. This might be 50th time that I have failed at it.
  3. I need to schedule things in advance rather than writing them at the last minute. Most of my posts were written after 11:30 at night. I was in so much of rush to post them that I did not even revise them properly. I need to learn to end this last minute rush. It is too taxing for my mind.
  4. There is no alphabet which won’t inspire me. When I started the challenge, I was afraid that I might not find sufficient things to write about. But despite all this, I did find sufficient things to write about. In fact, I had to even select from the many themes I wanted to talk about. So, only thing that I need to write is the will to write and the writing instrument.

Overall, the challenge was semi-successful. I was able to regain my will to write again, but then I failed at developing the daily writing habit. The good part of it was that I managed to finish 26 alphabets in this blog at least.

For all the people who supported me and discussed my posts with me, thanks a lot.

Y=Young Love= Bookish Confession#25

My confession here is my guilty pleasure too. This is my favorite reading section in any book. The first blush of relationship, the time the love start blossoming—I adore those scenes. I could literally be heard squealing “Aww” while reading such scenes. I would smile unnecessarily recalling those scenes (People do know I am weird, ;;P)

And I am not talking about only the love that exists in YA novels. This is the love, the romance that is everywhere—the unsaid feelings, or the exploratory love(now, it sounds like the exploratory research.. :P) I have read some of those beautiful scenes in the “elderly” women too.

I rarely have any complaints against these scenes. Unless they are badly botched up, they are going to satisfy me as a reader. The only requirement that I have for these scenes to not be the scenes of instalove. Instattraction is okay, insta-hatred is okay too, insta-liking is good too, but no first sight love scenes.

Despite this, in my opinion, many of the Indian romance novels lack in the presentation of these scenes too well. I cannot put my finger on what is missing in those scenes, but there is something which disconnects the readers from these scenes. I wish our writers will grow in their skills to write such beautiful scenes.

W=witches=Bookish Confession#23

Like Gods of last post, I am going to present another word that I learned from the books and that is the witches. When I was growing up, I learned about witches in the fairy tales. They were the evil beings, old, disgruntled with their pointed hat and broom. Then came the era of TV where the Bewitched was being aired and being the witch meant just doing magic of any kind. That was the extent of my knowledge for the Witches. I remember one of the History classes when we were told about the burning of witches without trials. But then also, I did not learn much about the witches.

Come to the current era when I have read many books about witches, and I understand that some people practice witchcraft as religion. I know that there was a time when even the healers were labeled as witches. I know about Wiccans also somewhat. But honestly speaking, I still don’t know who exactly a witch is. I have tried to read about different stuff, but all I get is some historical information. One day, I would just like to talk to a witch to understand what exactly they do.

For me reading about witches is reading about a fantasy world. I do not question the rules that are made in books, but just read about them like I would read about any other fantasy.

V= Vague Gods=Bookish Confession#22

This post is not at all about religion. It is more about the ritual and inspirations about the book. I know about Greek mythology and Norse mythology because of books (in addition to the Hindu mythology). What interests me in these books is the representations of these vague gods.

I do not mean any disrespect for any of the followers, but all the lesser gods(I am making a word out here because I am not really sure what do we call the gods who are lower in the rung) are so “human”. They have their all falls and follies, and in all these mythological stories, the people we know as the heroes today are represented as higher “gods”.

It is interesting to note that even though their gods, they are not above the baser sins and desires. When the first time I read such a story(it was Aphrodyte), I was amazed when the book jacket quoted that it was a book based on mythology. Their behavior was so different from the values we were taught.  And there were just so many mistakes in the verdict of these gods. I ended up being fascinated by the “grey characters” more. Medusa had my greatest sympathy. I just could not associated with Zeus. These stories made me feel that I was cheated out of my gods. My Gods were supposed to be perfect and flawless beings, but these were the most flawed creatures. I did a whole course on Coursera on Greek myth to really understand how these creatures were developed. I read Odyssey end to end. I still am fascinated with the subject, and I still believe that reading about these Gods is a different experience.

 

 

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