MY NAME IS IN A BOOK!


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Yes! My essay on hiking is published in a book. I can see my name in a list of contributors, can see my bio at the end of the book. My essay takes 4 pages among the last chapters.

daniel-bryan's-yes-chant

Nothing could have been better.

How Did I get here?

I follow Zee Southcombe on Twitter. A couple of months ago she asked me if I would like to be a contributor in her new book. Of course I had to say yes.

However, writing the piece wasn’t easy. I had no inspiration, no recent hikes’ memories to pull apart & prod to see how what hiking felt like. I had to go for a good hike to write this. I had a month to to write a 1000 page piece and an urgency to write it but no feelings behind it.

It had to be perfect, I kept telling myself. It had to be, because it would be the first time my name would be in a book. I have been published in a research journal and I have written ~250 posts on the web but this one is special. It had to be perfect.

On Anzac day, 25th April, I went for another hike. Rangitoto Island formed my association with Got To Get Out group and I took that night slowly going over the entire hike. What I liked, what I didn’t and which instances opened the memory banks in my head. My old hikes were fresh again and I finished the piece.

Following Months:

I know a few writers who proofread it and encouraged me. They were really happy about it and Zee loved it too!

Yes, there were grammar mistakes, lots of them ( Feel free to point them out in the comments ). But that doesn’t matter anymore cause my piece is in the book. I can say I am published now.

I received the book last night and I haven’t really gotten over my joy to read other pieces or even look at other contributors’ bios. Next Sunday, October 15th, the book’s launch takes place in Auckland city Library. I do plan on reading a small sample from my piece. Not a lot of people know that my piece got published. A few friends. My family doesn’t know either, I kept it from them as a surprise.

Lastly, thank you Zee for the opportunity. I am so excited about the launch!

Book Launch Event: https://goo.gl/95p9cy

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Daily Prompt: Cling (Fiction)


The smell clung to his self. He could never wash it out, no matter how many times he tried to wash his clothes. He tried to eradicate it out of his self by trying different techniques, by using the ways of his victims.

He traded perfumes from some of the best manufacturers of the world. They asked him just before their end what did he want. He told them. They laughed and then he joined their laughter.

After hearing him laugh, all the blood had drained from their face. They hurried to bring him perfumes, the costliest ones and the strongest ones. He used them and went out, leaving his victims to live another day.

Literally another day.

Cause he would come back the very next day, angry that the perfume did not work. They would beg more but he would not relent, not this time. You can always make one deal and when you break it, there is no going back. He never regretted doing his job.

In fact he loved his job. He got to travel all around the world. He could go to a country of peace, a country of war and a country barricaded against all of the world. He would sneak in, finish his mission and get out before anyone can notice what had happened.

They would notice after his work is done. That surprise on their faces would always amuse him and he would laugh. His laughter would be silent this time, for no one should hear him laugh.

Regardless of how much he loved his work, it was after all just his day job. The demands of the work impacted his physical appearance and it affected his odor. He cannot take it anymore, the bad odor oozing from his own self. He could smell the lifelessness from his victims radiating from him.

He hated that. Not only did he have to deal with other’s demise but also he had to carry their odor with him.

Once, he met a great tailor who bartered for a new dresscode. He agreed hopeful for the smell to cease. It did, for a day and then the fabric could no longer contain.

It was like a dam had broken and the smell just burst forth. He had killed one person by that smell alone. He went back to the tailor again and he finished his mission. It was the last barter he ever made.

Now, whenever the mission calls he gets up. He looks at his own image in the mirror. The face was barely recognizable anymore, his cheekbones looked ghastly. He tried to find his eyes but he couldn’t help but stare into the abyss.

The job had taken too much from him. Now, there was no way to stop.

He grabbed his cowl, put it on and grabbed his scythe. He had missions to complete.

Perfection


 

I was assessing year 4 math papers yesterday. As part of my new job as a assistant tutor, this is one of the responsibilities. As I assessed their papers, I recalled my school years when I used to do the same things that these kids are doing. My frustration at the concept of complex numbers, integers and sign rules, I knew what these kids were passing through.

However, after assessment when I showed the marks to my supervisor, she said these results are good and they are ready to pass through to the next level. Shocked and bewildered I checked their marks again. None of them had scored a perfect score! Why would she let them pass on to the next level?

 


 

I recently got some of my interim grades for some of my assignments. None of them were that good, however to be honest I have never been very good at assignments. My strengths were always concepts and theories but not being able to artistically and articulately represent the said concepts. I was disappointed with the ‘B’s that I had received and these are just the interim grades. They are not the final grades. I know I could have done better.

Thus, I am putting so much more efforts into the upcoming assignment. I am no longer in India and here I know I have to pass each paper with flying colors(grades). I want that A+ in at least in one of the papers.

My mild OCD is slowing taking control.

 


 

When I site with the children who are learning, I cannot explain everything to them. I am given explicit instructions to not explain everything, just to nudge them in the right direction and let them complete their classwork. For me, the urge of not teaching the kids everything I know is killing me.

Okay, not literally killing me. Everything’s okay Mom, chill.

I like teaching. I did teach back in India with my classmates, with everyone who asked me. And now I cannot. So I sigh internally when I see them making a mistake and I can only do so much without telling them the error. I feel like a helpless tutor. It is not a good feeling.

On the contrary, it might be a good thing that I am not allowed to teach. These are school kids and I am in my masters’. I can finish the problems in my mind before they can read the question. It’s not arrogance and I take no pride in my capabilities when being compared with toddlers. However, if I do try to teach, how will I explain habitual calculations?

How do I explain the concepts that I have perfected by now?

 


 

When I assessed, I was alone. I winced audibly every time I saw an error. I winced even louder when I saw a very small error, a stupid mistake as my school teachers used to put it. I don’t like it as I knew the kid made a very small mistake. If the kid paid attention then there wouldn’t be any mistakes.

Regardless, my supervisor thought the kids were ready for an increment. I didn’t. I completely forgot that these are kids and not adults. I forgot that even I am not doing any good myself in my own grades in University and maybe some margin of improvement will always be there in everybody.

I forgot nobody is perfect.

The realization took its time to set in. I didn’t say anything to my supervisor, wisely as she knows it better. And I need this job to last so I should keep my head down for little issues. I mused on the way home why was I expecting such high standards from kids.

Expecting perfection from myself is not a good excuse for a change in my perception. I have too much left to learn for me too.

 

Discover vs Freshly Pressed: Why it doesn’t work for me


After I finished my NaNoWriMo, I returned to WordPress to find the best feature is defunct. The Freshly Pressed feed had provided me with loads of laughter and buckets of tears. It is now replaced with a new blog: Discover. The new blog is not bad but it does not deliver as Freshly Pressed did.

What was Freshly pressed?

WordPress has its own Editors and curators. They used to monitor the blog posts and the perfectly written and profound intimate posts were selected.

Being featured on the Freshly Pressed feed was getting stamped as the ‘Best of WordPress’. They even had a badge saying ‘Featured on Freshly Pressed‘ for the accomplished bloggers.

I have read in awe as the featured posts tore my heart; the words written reached out from  the computer screen and touched a quiet corner of my heart flipping a switch making me feel again.

I have laughed when the writer joked, smiled at the strength often overlook in our daily lives.

Freshly Pressed was the best perks of blogging. I used a read-it-later application called Pocket; it is inundated with hundreds of posts: 90% were featured on Freshly Pressed. I now follow most of the accomplished bloggers, reading more about their lives and slowly growing a companionship with them.

Now there is Discover:

Discover blog is, to my knowledge, is controlled by three or four bloggers: Ben Huberman, Michelle W,Cheri Rowlands and Kristi. These familiar bloggers are the owners of Daily Post. Ben is also the weekly author of Community Pool, a great place for gaining excellent traction for new posts.

Discover may not be bad; I may not have tapped on its true potential properly. I followed that blog and I would get at least 4 email updates. The Discover blogger would feature a small introduction of ‘Discovered’ post and a link to that blog. This is similarity with Freshly Pressed is a lot more complicated.

When I first browsed the blogpage I was discombobulated by the disjointed look of the page. I was and still am confused by the random thumbnails of posts and blogs combined, some of them being a small box and others are a huge rectangle.

Even explaining how the page looks is difficult because I cannot get it myself. To make matters worse: You cannot read the posts directly; you would have to go the original site when you find something that interests you.

Many of the featured posts on Discover are old ones; I remember reading them in Freshly Pressed.

Main Reason why I do not like it is….

I never got Freshly Pressed. I wanted to, I wrote extensively and tried to improve my writing, style to get featured on Freshly Pressed. The ever fleeing badge was the approval that I sought; it meant that I wrote a great post.

It sounds selfish and asinine to say it but yes, it is like losing the job I wanted and realizing that it might never happen again. I do not hate Discover or the work the four individual bloggers are putting into the site, I hate the closed opportunity.

 

On Writings


‘Mayur, you are a Writer!’

I remember school, over myriads of bad memories there, some few memories are ones which bring a smile to my face.

It was seventh grade when I wrote an essay and the teacher announced I had written the one which she loved the most. It was a simple one, in which I did nothing but describe Diwali (a Hindu festival).

I never wrote anything after that which gave me such rave but I never stopped trying.

Now I am sure I won’t be the only one who hates regional language subjects. I had to suffer Marathi. I have nothing against the dialect, I just always thought the coursework was obsolete. No one speaks such a language anymore!

And while I struggled to get my massive handwriting fit into the lines of the paper, to get the grammar and spellings correct, I had to write essays in Marathi too. One of my tuition teachers I will always remember encouraged us to write essays and submit it to her so she could give us feedback. And the feedback she gave

‘Mayur, you are a writer!’

I remember the look on her face, I remember the astonished faces of my classmates around me and most importantly I remember that small feeling of warmth spreading across my chest. I was proud even if my essay was full of incorrect errors, and the spellings would make my essay almost unintelligible, she understood what I wrote. She understood and she let me know I have scope. That I can write.

That was the push I will always have. The perfect motivation to pick up a pen and paper and pour my heart & soul into it. To write holding nothing back.

Around my twelfth grade I made two of the first best friends I could get. Ayush and Melvin. No matter how much I thank them it won’t be enough. While we were supposed to study and have sleepless nights being tensed, we wrote. All three of us. That was for me, my break from the entire hard work. We wrote stories, letters, poems and shared with others. I as usual brutally harassed them with my honesty. I have an imagination, reading books gave me more and more perspective.

And I kept writing after that. Ideas came to me a dime a dozen. Movies, TV shows, novels, songs, everything was my source of inspiration. Everything.

Today I have many who appreciate my writing. Some cry(like always) when they read my pieces. My blog. And then suddenly I got someone with whom I can share some of my ideas.

Someone who is also writing, which is nothing less than her life’s most primal fears. And she is sharing them with me. And I’m sharing my writing with her.

Words might make amends but to me, but it was my writing which strengthened bonds with others.

Thanks For Reading
Itsmayurremember

#17 Like The Character


Fiction:

The thing about novels is that they are full of characters. And the central character, the one who you root for, one whose love stories swell your heart and one whose death leaves you depraved is mostly one you can identify with.

All the central characters are like that. They always make the reader relate to them. Their habits, likes and dislikes always coincide with reader’s.

And that is what makes them likeable.

This has always been what the John’s mentor had taught him. Want to make the reader engrossed, make the character as ordinary as possible and then cover that familiarity with layers upon layers of pretentiousness.

And the reader will love the guy. But John decided not to take that route. He wanted something new and something unseen.

So he wrote his novel in unorthodox fashion. But by the time over months he wrote the novel, he changed. His friends first cheered his dedication to the novel, then pitied him as writing made him weaker. Eventually they despised him as he changed over time.

He became the character he wrote. He became a hater of the world. He became the murderer he wrote.

Thanks For Reading
Itsmayurremember