3.2.14.

Oh, and the mermaids know that their lads will drown

The lads don’t see now, dear holy ground

But the looking glass is mean

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The god of small things by Arundhati Roy- Book Review.

Remember when in Harry Potter, Snape mocks Harry for saying muggle shit like reading minds and then further explains that there is no such thing as reading minds plain and easy like they’re books because a person’s mind is layers of thoughts and memories with no sequence, without a defined before or after. Reading the god of small things was just that except for it was one mind, two people.

*BIG TIME SPOILER ALERT*

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The 10 things list of ‘I wasn’t thinking when I said this’

What I intend to do by writing this list of madness is provide all the potential writers out there with a crafty ‘10 things’ list of phrases that belong to real people in their real weird, real unedited moments which I give away with full permission to use for whatever reason. What you can do is use these unexpected, particularly graphic, generally creative slip of tongues in your stories. They’re funny when they are done being offensive. Read and enjoy the part where they were not meant for you.

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The only writing playlist you’ll ever need

Right here is a playlist that will put you out of your misery. Because you should never underestimate the role of music in the writing process. Here is a particularly long list of what I call good music but it’s not nearly long enough. It’s not fun making a list of 100 from a list that generally goes way over two thousand. I really hope you enjoy this one and if anything this should put you in the mood to write.

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The Good and Bad of Penny Dreadful.

The story line:

Vanessa Ives is an unusual woman. She has an aura about her which draws danger to her and not because she is vulnerable but because all the twisted things feel at home with her. She lives with Sir Malcolm, a seemingly old but incredibly powerful man. They both approach Ethan Chandler, a mysterious American, because of his skill with guns. They set off on a mission to find out where Sir Malcolm’s daughter is and to kill the vampires who’ve taken her. They ask for Dr. Frankenstein for help who agrees because of his obsession with death and resurrection. Meanwhile he has to come face to face with an old experiment of his that wasn’t as much a failure as he would have hoped.

The Good:

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The kids that your parents warned you about- Skins

Here is what you need to know about Skins. It was originally a short story written by Jamie Brittian when he was 15. Sid and his father are characters based upon Jamie and his dad. The first and foremost character to have been created was Tony Stonem. Luke Pasqualino who plays Freddie in the second generation originally auditioned for the role of Tony and was cast as an extra in the second trailer. The part then went to Nicholas Hoult. The most prominent character of Effy Stonem, played by Kaya Scoldelario appears in all seasons except for season 5 and 6. The only other character to have made it to more than two seasons is character of Pandora played by Lisa Blackwell. The Skins cast all consisted of people who had no previous experience with acting. Skins was a breakthrough for all of the people involved. The writers for Skins throughout were an average of 21 years of age.

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10 things I know about artists

Here is a peculiar list of things I know about artists by living with one.

1- ) They rarely know what they’ve made:

So this is an exercise I have with my sister, who is an artist, after she makes any piece. I ask her what it’s about, she looks at me like I asked her god knows what. It’s not that there isn’t a story behind the art work. It’s just not a part of their work to think about explaining it. Explanation kills art and you should just look at it and make something up because trust me they don’t know.

2- ) They make use of their hands:

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A day in the life of…

For the idea of this blog post, a day in the life of, I have to credit someone else- Thequietpeople.com

A day in the life of me includes first of all waking up early. And I do that because I sleep early too. As boring as the very introduction sounds, it is what it is. I wake up early, I work out and I do a lot of other very healthy and responsible things. But this is probably the only good habit I have that I’m very proud of. Usually after that I have to get ready in time for a dreaded 8:30 class but in  vacations there’s none of that. I have breakfast and then for the most part I do aimless stuff like fix my room, check my tumblr/ instagram e.t.c

I take pictures. Lots of pictures. If I had to do something I love other than writing, I’d pick modeling. Except for I’m not tall enough to be a model (proud member of the small people community)

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Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, your new favourite.

Max Delany isn’t a usual kid. He doesn’t like change, or people, or wearing more than a number of things. Although the book Memoirs of an imaginary friend never confirms it Max does show signs of suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder. His parents worry about him constantly. They do everything they can to make him normal except for treat him like he is ‘normal’. Yet this story isn’t about Max Delany. This story is about his imaginary friend, Budo who isn’t imaginary.

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13.4.14.
His reigns will tighten right around your neck
His eyes will falter in all the damned ways
You’ll tremble in a great fear
and then he’ll fade away
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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – A review. #PrideMonth

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy  is the ultimate pick for Pride Month and it will take you places. It starts from the old Delhi, a time before Coca Cola had laid siege to the Roofafza empire. We meet Aftab when he is just a boy with a beautiful voice and a dream to change. The story takes us to a war-torn Kashmir that declares ‘normalcy’ over pools of blood and it walks us through a reminiscent India where it is luck to have been born a Hijra (Transgender) , but bad luck to have been born a Muslim.

Anjum, formerly known as Aftab now lives in a graveyard that she over the years extends the boundaries of and strategically constructs into her own ‘Jannat Guesthouse ’. One day she finds a baby left on her pavement along with puppies and it seems her dream to become a mother has come true. She is without any doubt the most vibrant of all the characters. A combination of dark humor, sensitivity and sharp edges knotted into something unique. Anjum isn’t a typical, victimized transgender character that we come across because she has an added streak of authority and dominance. This gives new and impressive dimension to the community she represents.

We come to know her hand-picked guests as well: Tilottama, puts us at a lack of words in her description as she impersonates being nothing so easily. She is retold as an emptiness that three different men who love her have to come to terms with. Many believe this Architect turned freedom fighter is written in Roy’s own reflection.  We also meet Saddam Hussain, a vengeful dalit waiting for the opportunity to avenge his father death who was a victim of the Gujrat Massacre, something him and Anjum have in common. Unlike many that requested entrance and were shunned away, Saddam Hussain is granted entrance to Jannat Guesthouse and he become one of Anjum’s closest friends.

Speaking of Prose and the writing technique I feel a sense of relief having already read A god of small things as it makes you accustomed to the chain of events that Roy never delivers in the form of a actual chain. Indeed the book doesn’t follow a traditional plot system. As you read you already know how it ends and what brought the characters to that particular end or where it started.  The plot is woven with confidence that reflects in the personalities of the characters and demonstrates Roy’s impeccable craft.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a tragedy, a love story and yet it has an ending that fills us with hope. It comes off as a loud political statement sometimes and as a historical retelling at other times. It speaks of loneliness of these characters and yet the endearing company they come to have. The characters are marked with deep loss and profound victories. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness gives us the most flawed and fragile characters that put us in awe of their magnificent, unabashed survival over the course of many years.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is her first take on fiction since A god of Small things which despite its heightened acclaim (and Booker Prize Award), put the author under the unwanted spotlight curated by the image of a pretty face that writes a good piece of illicit romance. She renounced that image with the involvement in the non-fiction world. And after 20 years returned with a book has much of her experiences engraved in it. The book gives us a backdrop of Muslim resistance in Gujrat. It gives the leftovers of the Red Fort and The Khwabgah, surviving on the dreams of a past life as Mughal footnotes. The book moves you to tears with its depiction of the Hijra community which also becomes the most prominent feature of it.  It uses a homeless PhD. and a freedom fighter like stops to catch our breath. The reason why I picked this book for the Pride Month tag is because it is an ode to the marginalized, the minority and the misunderstood.  It is about their struggles that don’t exactly show up on the map but have helped determine the boundaries and the boundless.

Share your thoughts on about this book in the comments below.

 

Momina Arif

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Thirteen Reasons Why, Season 2 Appreciation post

The book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher was as graphic as a suicide note should be. And many of the readers felt the glorification of suicide as seen in the book was reinterpreted and made into a completely different and unanticipated as an attack on the writer of the suicide note ‘Hannah Baker‘ in the adaptation. In the first season we see the characters in the light of Hannah’s own words. And these words are quite accusational.

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How to make writing a book easy.

Writing a book is always hard. Getting it through the agents and past the editors to the publishers and all the way to the readers, having readers to begin with, is all very hard business. But the hardest part of writing is the ‘writing’. The hardest part yet is getting the pen to the paper and getting the words all out before you can decide if they’re the right ones.

The problem is that as a writer you’ve got a lot to express and more than often you have the skill to express it artistically. What you seem to lack is  the work ethic to consistently do the one thing you’re actually good at. At times you might even have the idea. It’s not that you don’t enjoy it. It’s the expectations that get in the way of the process. So here are 10 steps that if you follow will lead to nothing but pure, unedited, unaltered, practical process of actually writing.

#1 The way to really write a book is to begin writing it.

http://journalporn.tumblr.com/page/6

It may sound as the most useless piece of advice but this is only real advice. You start and it doesn’t matter how you go about it but you keep going. One chapter day or one page a day. If it takes all the strength you’ve got, write one paragraph a day. But if you want to become a writer then write.

#2 And if writing it is important, trust me finishing it is also important.

Staying motivated enough to finish is important. Writing a sentence is easy. There is no mountain between one sentence and another and yet crossing enough sentences till you get a book seems like the most overwhelming task. The idea is to be consistent so as to make it less overwhelming and to keep the interest alive.

#3 Making lots of decision.

http://shabuki.tumblr.com/post/117155964457/meganportorreal-i-think-i-write-so-much-so-one

Being can writer can mean, at times, making lots of decisions. You have to decide what your book is going to be about. You have to decide your word count milestones that you can practically achieve in the day. You have to decide what you really want to write about because the lethargy that you face when writing might as well be a sign that this theme, or this process, or even writing, is not for you. Don’t let boredom go unnoticed because there is so much we can learn from it.

#4 Let the book happen.

https://bookshelffantasies.com/book-blog-meme-directory/

One of the things that I find as repetitive advice is that you should let your trusted critiques have a look at the early drafts so they can point you into the right direction. And this is one I don’t agree to. If you let someone in on the process early on you don’t get to have the book or the draft, or the paragraph, just whatever you’ve got for the time being, all to yourself. You don’t get to write with the privilege of being completely unfiltered. And you can’t be as invested in your book if you feel in the early stages that it’s not even your book anymore, it’s just some book someone expects you to write. Isn’t writing hard enough as it is when dealing with your expectations that you go around getting involved in other people’s expectation. My advice would be to let the book happen. Writing isn’t meant to be done under a spotlight or a magnifying glass.

#5 Take the chapters seriously.

Every chapter has to be a short story of its own. It has to be a whirlwind of all the required events, all the crevices searched, all the literary devices exhausted. It has to be as complete as possible and incomplete enough to engage the reader into the next chapter. This is not necessarily a writing technique but this is how I like a book to be. I want to feel so lost reading that I’m surprised when the chapter is over that it was only a chapter that felt like a whole lifetime. This also doesn’t mean that the chapter has to be very long. It just has to be a fulfilling reading experience.

How is this writing advice? As a writer your commitment to the book should reflect in the amount of attention you paid to writing individual chapters. Individual chapters are not as paralyzing a commitment but if you write a good enough chapter you might find yourself wanting to top the last one.

#6 Blog about your book.

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2017/11/can-your-blog-become-a-book/

This might be one of those advises that contradict the previous ones. But here’s how it’s different. Blogs are different from editors or critiques. There is a variety of responses you come across and some the most unpredictable ones can make you realize something about your book. Blogging about your work is in a way staying productive while the book is in process. Blogging is can prepare you for how a ‘real’ audience will react to your work.

#7 Don’t let your ideas go missing.

https://organisedorgana.tumblr.com/

Write your ideas down on a small piece of paper and throw it in a jar. That way you have a magical jar full of ideas. If that is not interesting enough you can fill up a journal with all of these and as a writer there really isn’t anything more aesthetically appealing than the ‘written’, written word. If not that either, use Evernote which is the best app for writing out there.

#8 Leave the editing for later

The writing cannot go hand in hand with the editing. You need to write with one kind of mindset and only after you’re done with that can you do the editing and with another kind of mindset. Writing has to be done freely and without the fear of any kind of judgment. Editing is quite the opposite. You have to judge your own work like you’re the professor presented with an assignment that reeks of last minute copy pasting.

#9 Don’t procrastinate

http://journalporn.tumblr.com/page/6

As the author of many things unfinished I can say that when it comes to writing there is nothing more difficult. It’s full part procrastination with only a pinch of initiative. You can add a little reading here and there to compensate for the time you don’t spend writing. It goes far because you’ll turn in the research paper that you have due but you won’t write the poem. I do a lot of what I call ‘planning’ and not as much of ‘creating’. We can all be such wonderful writers if stop doing that.

#10 Enjoy it.

If you’re going to stress about it, which is mostly the case, you will not enjoy writing anymore. And then the worst has already happened. What makes you a writer is primarily how much you enjoy it, not how much you stress about it.

Share your writing tips, and suggestions with me in the comments and let me know if this helped you start writing.

https://www.pinterest.com/Nonamiko/

Momina Arif.

 

 

Featured Image Credit: Vinstage

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A Million Miles

You know that day never arrives
There are always a million miles
The sunset I sink into
Is always pacing through
The walls the absorb every word
Don’t even know what they heard
Where are then the happy isles
In a galaxy of manic rhymes
Because there is a deadline
To I’ll be just fine
Truth that would not show
A world that does not know
Wishes that don’t come true
The souls I peak into
Whatever way I seek
Love alone is beyond weak
Laws that are not to breach
A place you cannot reach
The bland infinity where I am caught
The eternal struggle which comes to naught

Momina Arif

 

featured image credit: Indie Space

 

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20.3.16.

Remember that there are people who don’t mind when you lie to them.

They don’t mind when you tell them stories.

So long as you tell a good one.

For they have heard many.

They need you to make them believe.

Believe the things that they don’t see.

If you lie to them

You’ll have to believe

That these are the things you can’t feel

You’re humming lies to yourself now

And you don’t see

That these are the people that never believe.

They know every story that has ever been

And for all of our lies

There are hells of equal rim.

 

 Momina Arif

featured image credit: kissedbythevoid

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15.2.16

Unless the walls shatter themselves in a collision to break free

Until the stars fall to pebbles to match the dust, you’ll see

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