Starting New Projects While Old Ones Die. Of Loneliness and Heartbreak

Ah, don’t t you just love it when blog titles promise cheery content?

 

A friend of mine and I have started recording vlogs and sending them to each other. (Private ones that aren’t really on the interwebz so don’t look.) I have always wanted a vlog but have been shy and also terrified of its implications for my job, etc. so this is kind of a great compromise. I’m so excited for it! Maybe once we start to suck less (Okay. I don’t know if she sucks; I definitely suck. She’ll send me her first vlog tomorrow. But I definitely do suck. ) and think of a good name for our vlog,  we’ll even go public!

However (There always is a however, isn’t there?) I feel a bit like I’m cheating on my blog with a vlog. Is this normal? Things that are talked about cannot necessarily be blogged about because just the act of speaking and motioning makes the topic at hand more interesting than if it were blogged about. So vlogging (in the sense of just recording and poorly-editing/not-at-all-editing a video) is easier than blogging.

Plus, once I start my new job, I’ll have limited free time, so if I have time for just one, which should I choose? I am of course accountable to my friend so I’d choose the vlog. Will my poor long-suffering blog then die out completely? How do I do this sensibly, guys? Any thoughts? I want to do both things.

On that note, I have a new job! I start on July 3rd. Stay tuned to hear about the scary misadventures of small Sindhu in large, scary law firm job!

It’s weird; I am making very few blogposts these days, and of those, a lot more of them are think-y random thought posts and very few are about books. ☹ I’m actually reading very few books and the books I read haven’t felt blog-worthy somehow. That doesn’t mean they’re bad books or anything, just that I don’t have any thing to say about them that would contribute to the discussion on them.

I don’t know why I feel like I owe an explanation about this because of all my friends, exactly one friend actually reads my blog and *he* said he likes the think-y life type posts more because he doesn’t read. As for my other followers, I don’t really know what you like, so may be let me know in the comments?

Should I diversify my blog and talk about all manner of rubbish? I feel like I could blog a lot more often then. It’s something to think about. What do you guys think?

Please comment. I really like comments.

Hoot.

SinRaowl.

 

 

The Weight of Expectation on a Tiny Book

I’ve renewed my blog domain for another year, which is optimistic considering how little I actually post these days. I chose to take it as a promise to myself to post more often and write more often and give myself more time in general. Cheers to that. 🙂

Having read and enjoyed The Orchard of Lost Souls, I’ve decided to read more books set in Africa and written by African authors. I have a couple more books matching that description which I’ve bought during my ridiculous book hauls. 

Today I’m going to start reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It’s a short book, clocking in at about 150 pages. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this author on Book tube and I had that in mind when I bought the book a little less than a year ago.

These days, I’m making a conscious effort to buy books and authors that I’ve heard nothing about just so that I can come to my own conclusions about them without my opinions being coloured by others’ opinions and the weight of my own expectations.I made this move after I realised that I was only reading books that others have read and that it was severely limiting me. That’s not to say that I’m not reading well-known or “mainstream”; I still am, but my reading experience is very different when I already know about the book or the author. 

When I pick up a book that I’ve heard good things about, I get in to it having made up my mind to love it. If I don’t love it, I experience feelings of guilt and i justify the perceived problems with the book because of my determination to love it. If I happen to review the book, my criticism is riddled with apologies. A decent or good book which isn’t as amazing as people have said it is remains forever sullied in my memory as the book that wasn’t good enough. Any book that I’ve heard is good both has to try harder and less to impress me because of a battle between my faith in certain reviewers and my objectivity. 

This is why I’m nervous to begin reading this book and am writing this post instead to know what you guys think about this problem and how you deal with it. What do you think? Have you read this book? What did you think of it? (Because after everything I just said, I still am a sucker for affirmation that I’ve made the right choice in devoting my limited time to a book.) Which is a book that you expected to love but hated? Which is a book that you were told you’d hate but really enjoyed (or loved)? Which is the last book you picked up without knowing a thing about it which you ended up adoring? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday Morning Commute Thoughts

I’m currently reading The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed. It’s the story of three Somali women who lived during the Somali civil war. It’s a beautifully written book and it prompted me to talk to you about the cathartic experience that is a good book. 

The weather is beautiful and even the fact that it’s Monday and I have a long day ahead of me does not take away from the joy that good prose gives me. 

As I grow older, I realise that being a writer isn’t just a childhood dream but a real, honest longing that I can’t overcome. As this longing increases in intensity, I notice the music that the written word produces more and more each day. 

Gone are the days when I sped through books, desperate to know what happens next. Now, after coming across a particularly delightful line, I set my book down and stare at the ceiling for a while, marvelling. I wonder what humans have done to deserve the delight that is language  And I thank my lucky stars for the family and the time I was born into. I hug the book to my chest. And I smile. As long as the words I’ve read dance on my tongue and in my mind, I stay smiling. 

I may take an extra day or an extra week to finish my book at this rate. And that’s okay. As long as there exist words that send me into ecstacies, everything will always be okay. 

“Kawsar closes her eyes in embarrassment, the kisses making her skin sing” That’s the latest line from the book that I’m delighting in. In case any one is wondering. But there are several brilliant lines in the book. Read it. 
Do you prefer plot-heavy stories or language-heavy stories? What kind of language are you more comfortable navigating; flowery or simple? Have you read this book or any of Nadifa Mohamed’s other books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Two Careers?!

Hello Everyone!

Long hiatus I took there. Did any of you miss me? Do you of you still remember me?! Juuuust checking!

Anyway, my unplanned hiatus is part of what I want to talk to you about.

I love my new job. My boss seems to like my work, and I’m getting a lot of responsibility, and as someone who thrives under pressure, I couldn’t be happier. I’m like an old, seasoned member of the workforce already. I groan as I leave the house each morning, I count down the minutes to weekends, I love holidays, but I wouldn’t stop working if you paid me to do it. I sometimes think about work when I’m not at work(Which is a revelatory experience after my previous job where I would go out of the way to avoid thinking about work the minute I stepped into the parking lot of the office premises)  I carry a lot of work home too. I fall asleep insanely early each night. But I’m happy.

So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, I have no time to write. Some days, I have no time to think about what I even WANT to write. So I didn’t write. I did write in my journal semi-regularly about things that are on my mind but I didn’t blog. I couldn’t blog. I’ve been reading Cloud Atlas since the end of January and I still have a hundred pages left to read!

I frequently feel wistful that this aspect of my life is just falling by the wayside. I know that I want to keep reading, blogging, finish my novel, write several other novels perhaps, but I don’t want to give up on my legal career to do it.

So that brings me to the question that’s been on my mind for a few weeks now: In the way society functions for adults right now, is it even possible to be interested in two things? Is it possible to love two diverse career paths, one artistic, one not as artistic, and still do both without dying of exhaustion and sleep-deprivation?

I know of authors who worked day jobs and wrote at the same time, but those were usually very “9 to 5”, in a manner of speaking. Do you guys know of anybody who’s written and had a career? Is it even possible? Am I just not organised enough? Do writing prompts help? Should I follow one dream to the exclusion of all others? Will I fail at both jobs at this rate? What do you guys think?

One thing I want to attempt doing is setting aside a fixed time in the morning to write. But I feel so fried mentally that it’s somewhat impossible to think creatively. Give me tips, guys.

All this aside, let’s get back to the broader question at hand: We may not have strict professional guilds anymore but are our schedules alone working to ensure that one never pursues more than one passion as an adult? (Even if that passion is just making money) Can we be artists, musicians, writers without hungry eyes and a bleeding heart? Is every person who doesn’t work 60 hours a week (At either profession) doomed to fail? Is that healthy?

What do you think, everyone? Let me know in the comments! Just thinking aloud here, and you’re welcome to do the same, even if you think I’m wrong.

 

Five Books I’d Like to See Made in to Movies

I guess old habits die hard, a dog’s tail can never be straightened, a leopard never changes its spots, etc. You can add whatever other cliches you want to add, which excuse my not posting for over a week. (Again.)

But maybe I’m not completely the same useless owl as before, because I’ve made one huge change in my life; I’ve beun to explore media of instruction and entertainment that are not the written word. It began with my obsession of Youtube, of course, but I have now progressed to movies and TV shows. I watched Mad Max: Fury Road recently and I ADORE it.

I have also avoided watching book to movie adaptations in particular, especially if I liked the book, becauee you know, ‘the book is always better anyway.’ Thee are glaring exceptions to this rule, such as Julie and Julia and The Devil Wears Prada, but yeah, it is generally gospel. Or so I thought.

The above was all the old Sindhu, of course, and I will add adaptations to my list of must-catch-up-on-asap movies. In addition, I’m sending out this virtual appeal to the filmmakers of the world (because the list of movies I already need to watch isn’t long enough apparently) to make movies based on the following books, which I adore by the way, so I appeal that they not be shredded to bits and reconstructed unrecognisably. Brave, aren’t I?

These are in no particular order, Here goes:

1. Americanah: Everyone who reads my blog, and their uncle probably knows how much I love this book. I want to see who is cast as Ifemelu, whose description is so unlike any actor I’ve seen, ever, and I want to see the non-linear transitions (or flashbacks?) are dealt with. I also want to see how Ifemelu’s blo posts are woven into the narrative, considering they don’t actually have anything to do with the story, but they’re kind of impotant and insightful nonetheless. I feel like the narrative styles explored in books cannot be done justice in a movie which relies on the visual so heavily, and I want to see if it can be done.

On that note, what was done in Half of a Yellow Sun? Should I watch Half of a Yellow Sun? I’m worried that the impact of some of the brutal scenes may make me cry, since the book itself had me in tears. I guess, maybe some stories are worth the pain and the tears.

2. I am the Messenger: This is one of Markus Zusak’s, and it’s nothing like the Book Thief. I quite like it when an author is prolific, because it keeps my reading diverse, even if I only read books by authors that I trust. I don’t know if that logic makes much sense, but irrespective, it shows an author’s talent.

I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the Book Thief but I’m unsure whether that is because the topic of books is closer to my heart or because I am the Messenger is actually a YA book and I like very few books from that genre as a rule. In any case, it was a good story, and I’ve noticed that YA books make excellent movies. This has a somewhat straightforward story and endearing characters, which can easily be adapted into a movie.

3. Past Continuous: This is a book I’ve raved about in the past. It’s by an Indian author called Neel Mukherjee and I bought it on a whim because I liked the cover and the synopsis on the back of the book. Here. Look:
image
It has two parallel stories, one being a story that the main character is writing, which would be fun to watch. Also, the timeless settings of Calcutta and Oxford in one movie are enough to make me go watch. 😀 q1
4.Narrow Road to the Deep North: This is the book that won the Booker Prize in 2014 and it impacted me so deeply that I wasn’t able to read for a few weeks after I read this book, because I was afraid of the effect books could have on my mind.
It flashes back to Burma during the 2nd world war and back to contemporary Australia, which would be amazing to watch. It has the potential to be a Classic war representation, if done well.

5.Ready Player One: This is one of the most perfectly paced books I’ve ever read, with an amazing plot and something for everyone. It’s dystopic, which everyone knows is my favourite genre, and it is simply divine in narration and execution, so much so that I’ve been excited and terrified in equal parts about its sequel. My apprehension is rivalled only by my apprehension about the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. :p
Movie please. I want a movie of this book more than any of the others.

Honourable mention goes to the Casual Vacancy. I adore this book and it is easily one of my most favourite books of all time. It’s the book that raised my opinion of Rowling higher than ever. I would have loved to see the execution of a movie based on this book, but whoops; they’ve gone ahead and made a BBC mini series out of it, which is way better. I plan to curl up on a free day and marathon the entire thing. ❤
Hoot
That’s all folks. 😀
Want to stalk me? 😉 Now you can. :p
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlishwriter
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Twitter: @sindrao22
Email: owlishreader@gmail.com
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Enjoy! XD

Wishing some good things needn’t end…

I went to my own farewell party yesterday. it was disorienting. I tried to push the fact that it means goodbye to the people who shared half a decade with me away and just dance like a mad person. No, really. I’m sure I looked like a mad person because I have the grace of a hippo and the dancing skill of…well, another hippo, possibly one who’s hurt his leg. You know those people who say they’re terrible dancers, but they’re actually angelic once they get on the floor? Well, I’m the person giving them side-eye and saying “AND THIS IS HOW YOU DANCE BADLY, BITCH!”

(If anybody comments saying hippos are very graceful, or posts links of hippos in tutus dancing in the moonlight, I AM GOING TO THROW A FIT)

Then they played a senti song and the whole class exploded into tears. 

Everything kept setting me off. I mean, this is heartbreak. I lived with these people for 5 years! As early as my second year, I would be sitting with mum in Bangalore, at home, and referring to college as “home”. As in, “Ma, I’ll do <whatever> once I go back home.” And now I have to leave this place, this life, these people. These are people i met before I was even 18, when I was a whiny little 17 year old. These are the people who have watched me grow into a slightly less whiny, still a crybaby though, and apparently “SOOOO CUTE, SINDHU” 23 year old. Apparently, I’m very cute. Yes. So I was told. I was just like, this is the loving and profound thing you morons waited 5 years to tell me? But they’re my morons. And they’re all pretty f*7%ing precious too.

Guys, I have a lot of regrets. There were people I should have talked to that I never did. We’re talking NOW. And I can’t help feeling it’s too late. It’s really scary. If you guys have time in a place still, make the best of it ok? Friends are important. People are important to other people.

I’m sorry for the emotions. They come off out sometimes. Can’t help it.

Hoot

–Sin

PS: Here’s a picture of me throwing shade at the partayyy:

11050291_621794367965289_7933394187943628843_n1

YEAH, BITCHES. #lolawakward

Currently Reading

I haven’t read for a while. Well, a week or so, maybe a little more, except for one Agatha Christie book I read in a couple of hours in between somewhere. It’s called The Secret of Chimneys. It wasn’t very good. Her international political intrigue books…aren’t the best. I think I may be running out of good Agatha Christie books to read. Anyone have any other recommendations for good mystery novels? There’s nothing like a good mystery novel to snuggle up with in the winter.

Anyway, I’ve decided to pick up pace on the reading again after my brief break to do other important things… like sleep a lot. –sheepish smile—

I’m reading A Naïve and Sentimental Novelist by Orhan Pamuk right now. I just bought it today. I’ve read a couple of his novels before and they were good, if a bit slow-ish. I think a person who writes slow-paced novels would be good at writing essays. No? Yes.

Anyway, just a little filler update before my slew of new-year posts. I have “best 14 books I read in 2014” and 2015 reading resolutions and some more stuff coming up. Stay tuned, folks! :p

That’s all for now.

Hoot.

–Sin

Eff My Life | Tales of Unmotivation and Blahness

I don’t know how many people had expectations of seeing posts up on my blog but I had expectations for myself to post everyday. And I totally failed. I just felt like everything was falling apart and I couldn’t find it it myself to write. I started posts but what I wanted to do was cry and complain and wouldn’t make for very good reading.

I did read 4 books though because reading is something that really comforts me so I’m happy about that. I’ve read 86 books this year. 🙂

But my exams ended today. (Loud cheering) They went okay. They weren’t the best though. I was sick for all of the exams and now I have a STYE in my EYE. Yeowch! It is apparently stress-induced. Yes, because it totally makes sense to take a stressed out person and have their eye swell up painfully and have it burn with strain. It made studying a real party, I’ll tell you that. It’s burning as I type this as well. Just fyi.  Scumbag body much? Right?

Anyway, blogging scenes won’t happen the rest of the week also because I’m going to Shillong and I’m not taking my laptop. I am taking my journal, though, and my camera. So I’ll write about Shillong once I get back. I hope that makes up for my pathetic slack. Poo. 😦

Hoot.

–Sin

Oh my god, I’m so sorry!!! :(

I’m so sorry about my three day hiatus from the 30 day book challenge but trust me when I say my life went to the dogs these past few days. 😦 I’ll share some details tomorrow and also resume posting tomorrow. (Mostly.)

I also have a book review due for Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides which I read last week. (Spoiler: I loved it.) I also finished reading Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett which I’ll try to review. Soon.

Again, I’m really sorry but life is in the dumps right now. I am posting this at 3.15 in the morning and I have an exam at 10 am tomorrow and i need to wake up at 6am. And the exam isn’t even the biggest problem. So…Yes. 😦 There’s a sneak preview into the mess that is my life right now.

Cheers.

-still faintly hooting but just barely-

Sindhu

30 Day Book Challenge — Day 12 | The First Novel I Remember Reading aka A Nostalgia Festival

Are we talking about children’s novels? I can’t remember what the first adult novel I read was.Or Young Adult.

I can’t remember what the first children’s novel I read was either but I remember that it was an Enid Blyton book. I may have read novels before this but I can’t remember. I think it was one of the Famous Five ones or one of the Five FInd-outers ones. I can’t for the life of me remember which one it was, but I do know that Enid Blyton and her children and the worlds they inhabited consumed me for many many coming years.I re-read a few favourites well into my teen years, each time I needed comforting or was just bored. Her mystery books and her boarding school stories are simply divine. I can’t wait to introduce them to my own children. I have my mother to thank for my time with these enthralling, timeless books. 

Till this point, I had read a lot of comic books like Tinkle, I had read a whole lot of Amar Chitra Katha, I regularly read Champak ,Chandamama, etc. I had read a fair number of illustrated short stories for children with those glossy illustrated pages. I devoured the stories in my English textbooks, I had read fairy tales. I had read Aesop’s fables, Akbar and Birbal, Tenali Raman, and all of those other Indian childhood heroes. I also read joke books, fact books, (or books of trivia), and also Childcraft and other Encyclopaedias. 

I just cast my mind back and I remember two humongous books of short stories that I hoarded and read in my pre-novel era. 

One was a book called the Adventures of Dennis by Victor Dragunsky, translated from Russian. It told the story of a boy Dennis and his friend Misha. I think my mum thought it had something to do with Dennis the Menace when she bought it for me because I loved those comics in the newspaper. It didn’t , but I still loved it. One particular story sticks out to me even now. It was the story of how Dennis hated that his father smoked because cigarettes “have enough nicotine to kill a horse”. His aunt Tamara gifts his father a cigarette holder but his father’s cigarettes are too short to fit in it. His dad asks him to trim the cigarettes and Dennis trims the end with the tobacco and nicotine in it. I can’t remember how this ends though. The weird things one remembers from childhood defy all logic. 

Another book that I hoarded was a book of Ukrainian Folk tales, It was a massive brown hardback and I haven’t the faintest idea how i got my hands on it but I read these weird stories again and again.

But novels? Not that I can remember.  

Anyway, let us amble back up memory lane to talk about what is actually required, shall we?

I was 9 and I had just returned from summer camp, the staying-over kind, which was for a full 10 days and it was the longest I had ever been away from home.I had had a lot of fun but I was glad to be back home. (I was and still am a bit of a homebug, happiest in my own room in my own bed.) My parents picked me up and took me home and I was looking forward to idling the rest of the summer away. But alas! It was not to be.

My mum told me I had been signed up for swimming lessons till the end of my idyllic summer vacation and I was to leave at 7 in the morning to take them.This was what annoyed me the most, I think. (I loved water and I’d still have the rest of the day after that to chill.) Even as a child, I disliked waking up early almost as much as I hated sleeping early. It’s good to think back and realise that some things never change, even if they are the things that make me a failure at life.

My mum is smart though. She knew what buttons to push on her lazy, nerdy, bookworm daughter to cheer her up. She still does, in fact. She gave me two Enid Blyton books from the new library at which she’d gotten me a membership. Those shut me up and I got down to them immediately.  And it was… the start of a new era. The era of Enid Blyton, but also, I think, the era of novels in my life. May it never end! 🙂

Also, since I need to not break the rules of the challenge, I think it was Five Run Away Together. I can’t be sure though.

Hoot.

–Sin