22.4.15

There will be consequence.  Somewhere
In lost children. Lost elsewhere
Walking down a bridge that guarded time
Following back home a risen tide
Was that the day he chose his side?

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11.12.15

And all the word hangs in the balance of what you don’t yet have

And all you are is a matter of what you are not

Until one day when you suddenly feel

Like the skin you have has been shredded enough

When you have been in all places unkind

The better place is somewhere inside

Freedom is in the colors you hide

 

Momina Arif

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Writing prompts for your writing slump.

Whether it’s a blog that needs running or a journal that needs filling. Whether it’s a short story you’d like to write or a novel that is lacking something. Here’s a list of writing prompts to help you out of a writing slump.

  1. Date. Any date. ( And why that date)
  2. If you were a book what book would you be?
  3. If everyone you knew were a song decide what song would they be. ( And why?)
  4. The sad golden man and his 7 trophies.
  5. A myth that I read somewhere: your face in this life is the face of the person you loved the most in a past life. A face you loved enough to ask for, again. But in this life we all hate what we look like.
  6. Things that make you sad ( vent, vent, vent)
  7. A story you keep trying to write but it just doesn’t happen.
  8. Words from the oldest poem you remember writing
  9. Lights out. 11 something in the night. It’s a run away bus. But you’re staying this time.
  10. “King of the Hill, I want to see you at your worst now.”
  11. First memory you have of being treated like an adult.
  12. Write a fight scene. Bring out the guns and the swords and the frying pans. Make it bloody. So long as you don’t forget to write about the thoughts.
  13. Write about a photograph you took of someone that isn’t around anymore.
  14. Write about the future. An anxious future. A prosperous future. However you see it.
  15. Write about a book that everyone hates but you really don’t see why.
  16. Write a crime fiction piece with the theme: colors.
  17. Make a to do list of impossible things (for you).
  18. Do you know about the Japanese myth of Bake Kujira? It is basically a dead animal (in the form of skeleton or a carcass) showing up as a sign of bad luck where once the appearance of a living one was good luck. Think dystopian fiction: all the endangered species that we know deserved better but are finished off now, show up in different parts of the world to give mankind a taste of extinction.

 

Lets make this tradition.

First of all If these writing prompts inspired you to write something and make a move out of your writing slump, please share (the excerpts or the entire thing) it in the comments and  I’ll randomly pick a few to get featured on the blog.

Secondly, for that writing slump of yours there’s more here

Lastly, let me let me know in the comments below if you’d like me to share more writing prompts.

 

Momina Arif

 

 

 

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10 Ideas to give your character the perfect chink their armor.

In order for your character to be endearing and memorable you must avoid the temptation of making them all good, all strong because the perfect character is not perfect. Your characters must be flawed because that adds to the struggles and that in turn makes a story. Here’s a list of ideas for non-traditional flaws (We are tired of  reading about chipped nail paint, nervous chatter and abusive relationships) that you can give you character. This will not only give them depth but it will also make your characters stand out and  create inspiration for their individual life stories.

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Bookstagram 101

You’d be interested in finding out what exactly is a bookstagram if you are a book enthusiast, a writer, a blogger under the book-blogging niche or just someone who has been swept off of their feet by the obnoxiously beautiful images of books on Instagram   You also might have followed a certain tag to see more of these tempting images. This post will show you why you should even bother with bookstgraming. What is there to gain? How to become an A-list bookstgramer, what bookstgramers to follow for inspiration, and lastly bookstgraming hacks to make your life easier.

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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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