Writerly Reflections

Which books did you love growing up? Which poems?
I grew up mainly reading comic books, the first being Batman, my all time favourite fictional character. Oh did you know he turned 75 today?

Do you remember your first original composition? What was it? How did you feel while writing it?
I can’t pin-point to what, just it was a drawing or painting since I did that a lot back in the day. However this is one piece which I’m very proud of, which I wrote when I was in school in 2004.

Did you secret your writing away or share it with family and friends?
I basically wrote for myself whenever I did. Still do. Alas not many are interested in it though. 😛

What sort of writing do you enjoy doing best? Fiction? Nonfiction? Creative Nonfiction? Poetry? Memoir? Other?
I enjoy creative writing. Mostly non-fiction for now. And whenever I have an epiphany (which I usually do) and aphorisms now and then.

What are your writerly aspirations? Do you write for yourself, or to become published?
For now just for myself, and have no desires to be published as an author as such. However I would love to travel around the world and document my travels/adventures someday, which is actually my long term aim. Now only the universe knows how I’m going to get there.

Why do you write?
Because I feel free.

What keeps you writing?
I just do, not much of an explanation I have I’m afraid.

Do you have a daily writing practice? Tell us about it.
For now I only follow The Daily Post and it’s writing prompts such as this one. While still have a long way to go, I’m happy to somehow keep myself alive everyday, and keep improving. 🙂

Oh, the joy of writing!

 

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Blogger in a Strange Land

What’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”?

Though I don’t quite remember the last time, there have been quite many such moments at not-so-reasonable places, including while being in the toilet/bathroom. Yep, ideas or stuff strikes at anytime when you’re aren’t expecting. 😛

Although I must say, quite many of these moments are instead lost on the likes of facebook and twitter, instead of posting on my blog(s). Sometimes I feel they kinda of ruin this.

Ghostwriter

If you could have any author – living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

ImageThe answer is pretty simply actually, for me it would be Walter Isaccson. He is a writer, journalist and more importantly in this case, a biographer, (and a very good one at it) which makes him the ideal candidate. Now while I might sound like a big ass for putting it that way, it can be said this is his area of expertise.

ImageI had read his famous biographies on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein before, and with his most recent work on Steve Job’s biography, he did get much more fame (he was already acclaimed, just that more people know him now because of it). While my favourite authors include George RR Martin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Khaled Hosseini, Amish Tripathi and in graphic novels/comic books Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison these lists go on, and he quite doesn’t come under the ‘favourite author’ list, he is great at what he does no doubt, and it would be an honor to have him write my own. Just that I need to do something worthwhile first for that matter.

And thank god the question was not an autobiography. That would have killed even myself to death.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

538287_10151310369867883_770463414_nCourtesy of IndiBlogger

As per your wish, here is not one but many happy smiles hearty laughter. And a bonus, I’m there too 😀

This was taken at a bloggers meet by IndiBlogger, India’s largest community of bloggers. Connected Music IndiMeet (we technically add ‘Indi’ before anything here, sort of) sponsored by HP. And as another bonus, here is what happened there in glorious detail (kind of) in a previous post of mine – The sound of blogging. Well okay, I already mentioned this in another previous challenge, but still that post is so awesome. (so kindly don’t jump on me please)

Coming to the title, this poem was what immediately came into my mind.

A Dream Within a Dream.

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Edgar Allan Poe

etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkjq xz

So when you read the title, sure you must have thought “what gibberish is this?” Actually that is the order of the most used letters in the English language from most to least used. You should read this article on wikipedia on letter frequency, an interesting read. Here is an excerpt from it.

The frequency of letters in text has often been studied for use in cryptography, and frequency analysis in particular. No exact letter frequency distribution underlies a given language, since all writers write slightly differently. Linotype machines assumed the letter order, from most to least common, to be etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkjq xz based on the experience and custom of manual compositors. Likewise, Modern International Morse code encodes the most frequent letters with the shortest symbols; arranging the Morse alphabet into groups of letters that require equal amounts of time to transmit, and then sorting these groups in increasing order, yields e it san hurdm wgvlfbk opjxcz yq. Similar ideas are used in modern data-compression techniques such as Huffman coding.

So what made me write this is today’s daily prompt, which asked: There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!)

I technically ‘failed’ that challenge, since I used every single one of them in the title itself. But not counting it, I still didn’t use quite some, so it’s not hard, actually not at all. Most of us can manage and must have done it times not countable, just matter of checking all those hundreds of posts (even the long ass ones) with patience.

Instead here is a funny song for you to have a laugh (hopefully):

Dystopia or Decadence?

Age of braindance decadence: We didn’t get rid of our problems, we multiplied them.

The above lines are taken from one of the world’s most interesting genres (and my favourite) cyberpunk. (more here)

Whatever is the case, that holds true. Not only for today but perhaps in the future too. I dare say definitely and it wouldn’t be too hard to find (most) people agreeing on it. After all, balance is what’s most important. Here thanks to this week’s writing challenge, for the first time (in either case) I’m thinking of the opposite of the dreamed utopia – dystopia.

ImageNow many of us love dystopian based settings (except my laptop/browser, which fails to recognize that word and suggests to me utopian) in books, movies, tv, video games and love watching our heroes (or was it the villain?) suffer (I was being modest, actually die).

Now this always begs me to question – what if our future actually turns out to be such a dystopian? (ironically, to me we are already doing great in that regard) And what does dystopian actually mean? Decline in the world, or really, decline in people, ourselves?

urlDogs. Always a man’s best friend. For eternity.

So you’re hit by a car tomorrow and, just like in the movies, they put you on ice and wait for medical science to make it possible to revive you at some point in the future. And revive you they do, some 20, 50, or 100 years later (any later than that is just cheating). Lo and behold you’ve woken up into your personal nightmare vision of the future. Tell us what it looks like.

So that’s the scenario. While a future version of yourself is an interesting (and very common-exploited-overly-used these days) topic, being your present self thrown in the future in perhaps the closest realistic way, and considering it to be on the dystopian side, how could it be?

  • Relationships: Does love still exist? Are people allowed to choose their own partners? Has the very idea of partnership been replaced by meditating about spoons? As far as I know, people can’t seem to grasp the concept of love (for the layman) today anyways. I personally think the union between people will prevail till the world ends, despite all treachery, lies and illusion. And If I have to talk about me personally, well I rather not say. 😛
  • Privilege: Are some people much better off than others, in terms of their freedom, opportunities, or daily lives? This is sadly also going to remain. Be it a better or (much) worse world, in cases it is required, but in most others as we know it’s unjust. This image just subtly sums it up.
  • 3787_427055664034331_1950340374_nMind control: Do people have the freedom to think for themselves? I already question that even today. I dare not even think about it. No I’m not talking about the problems by the ineffective governments all around the world, that is step 2. Step 1, people themselves.
  • Politics: Have conditions pushed the world in the direction of far-right fascism, wild anarchism, or opulent anything-goes liberalism? Or has politics been superseded altogether in the presence of giant brain eating cockroaches? Politics, something (along with Religion) which I will always have to think about before saying anything. Not that I’m not right, just that I prefer giant brain eating cockroaches.
  • Technology: Have we become more dependent on technology, or has it become useless? How does technology shape the experience of our everyday lives? Technology not just shapes our lies but the whole current world and that is just exponentially increasing everyday. I wouldn’t be surprised if we witness a cyberpunk world in the future. I don’t much believe in reincarnation, but I sure would like to witness it if not in this life. And in a way, at the same time, it is also leading to our disaster, which has already started. It’s only a matter of time when something good turns evil.
  • Environment: Have changes in the environment forced us to live in Hazmat suits, or are we all living in brain-wired fantasies of infinite pleasure? That meant like in the movie Inception. Not really.
  • Gender roles: Has the gender power balance shifted, drastically or less so, in one direction or another? This is a parallel to the aforementioned privileges, only difference being that the former in cases becomes necessary for the bigger picture, while here this is an absolute necessity of being in equality. I’m not going to comment on this, as I at times feel ashamed myself of being in the so called dominant male species. You might get what I mean.
  • Food, water, shelter: Has basic survival become an everyday struggle, or is the entire planet undergoing an obesity epidemic the likes of which we’d never have imagined? The way I see it, technology and this, we often focus on only about 30% of the earth’s current population in a way, the middle class complaining about how poor they are and the upper class getting all the privileges and opportunities of life because of wealth, while they themselves complain on the contrary how humanitarian they should be. What a fucking joke. Except all the sympathetic talks and so called charity and rural development going on, is there really progress? Not limited to worldly progress, but as compared to the ‘common’ people like us how we put it. That’s one of the reasons while I like WALL-E, it’s sort of rubbish. Except the most fortunate who haven’t realized or seen it yet, most of us are already are on survival mode.
  • Post-humanity: Are humans still “on top,” or is the planet now ruled by monkeys, robots, or *gasp* monkey robots? Cyborgs and zombies I tell ya!

Apart from some of the fears I’ve written so far, being a internet lover, a way of putting this fear would be this. Truly a dystopia, which I again fear has already begun.

google-2084