NaNoWriMo 2011- An Update

You may have noticed it. I did too. I hadn’t realized that I haven’t blogged for a week now. The reason is obvious. It is that time of the year! I have been totally engrossed in the National Novel Writing Month.  NaNoWriMo 2011 is as exciting as previous years for me. I have got off  a bright start. In the first five days, I have completed 14, 500 words of my novel. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2011- An Update”

Book Review by Life Wordsmith

My debut novel, “It Can’t Be You” (Cedar, November 2010), a psychological thriller, was recently reviewed by Life Wordsmith. I was very happy to see that the effort to develop the characters in my debut novel was appreciated. Continue reading “Book Review by Life Wordsmith”

NaNoWriMo 2011

GFG2G4CUKZFE The countdown has begun. The timer at the National Novel Writing Month website showed me when I saw it last that are 27 days 4 hours left for the kick-off.  Starting, November 1, thousands of people from all over the world will set out to write 50,000 words during the calendar month of November 2011. I am as excited as most others would be.  Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2011”

Z for Zeal

Zeal or zest mean more to me than zebra or zoo which were the other two words starting with Z that came into my mind. The days have flown past , we have reached the last letter of the alphabet. I can’t believe that the Blogging from A-Z  Challenge will soon come to an end! Z then for me is for zeal. The dictionary tells us it means ” intense enthusiasm, ardor or fervor”.

Apart from everything else, doesn’t the word itself sound good?  Some words like zeal and zip sound really positive. When you say ” He does it with zeal” one can literally imagine the energetic and enthusiastic approach to the task at hand. Zeal knows no barrier of age, background or disability. The feats done by some people irrespective of their being physically challenged are astonishing. As a child, I remember hearing stories of Wilma Rudolph who had a polio afflicted left leg but went on to become a champion athlete. In the 1960 Rome Olympics she was a trail blazer winning the 100 and 200 metres dashes and anchoring her team to a gold in the 400 metres relay. She became a role model for many aspiring athletes.

This is not to suggest for a moment that zeal is restricted to people with physical disabilities. There are many who have come up from crippling circumstances, overcoming great odds to become eminently successful in their careers. You will know of many such examples so there is no need for me to list them here.

To my mind, any and all of us have it within ourselves to demonstrate zeal. One need not be specially gifted to display it. Be it writing a novel, preparing for a competitive examination, pursuing a career or carrying out our responsibilities to our families, we can do all of these as if they are a pain or we can do them with zeal. Often zeal is that factor that sets the winners apart from the ordinary.

I know you cannot generalize but it’s interesting that psychologically most of us have a lot of zeal for things that we like doing. If you an avid runner, you would think nothing of doing the marathon. You won’t have the same kind of zeal for  say, collecting stamps. Conversely the accomplished philatelist may be unlikely to have the same zeal as the runner for the marathon!

I am happy that I participated in the Blogging A-Z Challenge. I am glad too that for me it ends with Z for Zeal. May this give me the zeal to contnue writing even without the “pressure” of having to post every day as part of this challenge. I enjoyed writing 500 words per day for the last one month thanks to this initiative. The challenge ahead is to continue this practice until it becomes a habit with me.

To my fellow participants who have successfully completed the Blogging A-Z challenge, here is a message :

” A Bouquet of Compliments for your Dedicated Efforts to Finish this Great challenge. Here’s wishing you Incredible Joy. Keep Looking for More New Opportunities to Participate.  Quit Reneging! Look for Success and Tell your Unique stories. Very Warm Wishes for that something eXtra that made You complete the A-Z Challenge. Your Zeal!”

Y for Yesterday

The word “yesterday” has for me quaint feelings of nostalgia. Could it be fuelled by the words of that old favourite of the same name by the Beatles?  The 1965 song written by Paul McCartney became one of the biggest hits of all time. When I caught myself humming it this morning ( no, not singing it, I am  a lousy singer) I realized it was still appealing despite the five decades and more since it first burst on the charts.

The problem about yesterdays in general is that they are focussed on the past. Dwelling on the past is pointless unless you can do something about it. They say the best lessons we learn come from adversity and out of bad times. If we learn these lessons well, we would have gained from adversity instead of sitting around and waiting for it to happen again. Old phrases like “There’s no use crying over spilt milk” sort of sums it up. No amount of whining can bring back the past. Even if you stand on your head, the day that’s gone by, has gone by.

Interestingly, the word “Yesterday”  conjures up different images from the past not restricted to the day before today! Doesn’t your memory pick up incidents connected from different time periods? Don’t you get carried away from one memory to another until you land up in something that happened many years ago, which you were reminded of because of something that happened yesterday?

I was thinking the other day that people generally fall into two categories: those who are past focussed and those who are future focussed. The former dwell inordinately long in the past. They spend large amounts of time thinking about ‘it might have been” and  “if only I have done this instead of that” and things like that. The same stories and incidents are pulled out, viewed from sixteen different angles and analyzed to death. This is a waste of time, because you can’t do anything about what has already happened.

Those who are future focussed don’t spend much time in the past. They like to think about the future. They look ahead at the things that need to be done. They don’t waste time enjoying the past or bitching about it. They are full  of plans for what lies ahead. The operative word is hope for the future.

I realize that all of us do not necessarily fall squarely in one or the other categories. Surely the person who dwells on the past does think of the future sometimes, even if it is with dread. And yes, the person who thinks of the future also thinks of the past. Usually with a ” I won’t let that happen” again kind of resolve.

It is entirely possible that my state of health has something to do with this philosophy. Having had a heart attack in 2005 and undergone heart surgery in 2010, I guess time has new meaning for me. Every day is there to be enjoyed. Make the most of it because it won’t come back-ever!

I guess no one could have put it better than Khalil Gibran when he wrote “Yesterday is today’s memory. Tomorrow is today’s dream”.