Bits From Life, Uncategorized

The Prologue of ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’

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‘I was in a dilemma when the time to fix a suitable title for this short story collection arrived. I narrowed down the list I had written down to a few titles, out of which I finally selected ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’, for when I pondered deep, I came to the conclusion that life was indeed a turbulent vortex of chaos. Each day we spend in this world is an amalgamation of the multifarious emotions that flow through us as undercurrents. We laugh, we cry, we fear, we smile. The reactions are innumerable. ‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’ is a collection of fourteen heart rending stories, which bring to life the intensity, complexity and sheer beauty of human emotions.

The stories are varied; delving mostly in to the vagaries of life and the many tricky circumstances that life throws at us unexpectedly. Each individual reacts to those situations in a different manner. During times of happiness, one may shriek out of joy; another may erupt in to bouts of soulful tears. Similarly, during times of sorrow, one may be numb out of despair, another may spend long hours wailing and lamenting, whereas some others may even find themselves entrapped in the clutches of psychosis.

The trail that is life is not entirely laden with velvety petals. We encounter stumps, thorns and shards along the way, which breathe life into the moments that form our days. The depressing taste of tear makes a sip of happiness worthwhile. Therein resides the unerring magic of life.

Here, through these stories I have made an attempt in dissecting the shreds of human mind to the best of my ability. One factor that is ubiquitous throughout the book is an implicit stress on the subtlety of human emotions. There are two other factors as well which are interlaced inseparably in to most of the stories- the worth of hopefulness and the magnanimity of compassion. There are stories that are smeared with melancholy too, which would touch your heart and soul, for there is no human being who hasn’t come across the darker facet of life. I hope the readers would savor each story with equal engagement. If the stories linger in your minds a little while longer than you expect them to do, then I would consider my job well done.

Finally, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for picking this book up. We are connected by an invisible, albeit strong bond from this moment on. I wish you a good time reading my book.’

~ Maliny Mohan

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Uncategorized

My Publishing Journey – The Way TICOL Happened

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I never thought I would write a book, well not at least till five years back. The thought of writing a book took inception in my mind around then, when I was preparing for my PG Entrance examination. The fact that I would end up craving the outflow of my creative juice exactly at a time when my hands are tied with academic responsibilities is something that has been happening to me for quite a long time now. I had this strange temptation, which descended on me out of the blue, to sit down and write a book. I used to blog back then, but it wasn’t about writing anything, it was about giving birth to a form of writing which would be receive proper acknowledgement.

The decision had to be put on hold, as I had one of the most important exams of my life to give. I continued to blog in the meantime. I should thank blogging for making me a better writer. I saw many of my blogger friends getting published and realised that with a little effort I could get published too ( only that it was not that little an effort in hindsight)

Even after my exams I wasn’t in the right mood to dedicate myself to writing a book. I let the dream hang tight while I pursued my higher studies. After giving my final PG exams, I took a break for a few months. I was intentionally jobless. That was when the spark grew once again in me. I decided to start thinking of writing seriously. Like many of my author friends, I let my publishing journey start by contributing stories to short story anthologies brought out by publishers. Few stories and few poems into the run, I realised something important. If I could write six or seven stories in total and contribute it to multiple anthologies, why couldn’t I sit down and write around ten stories and compile then to form a single book, that was penned entirely by me, that would belong to me and me alone. The though hit the right targets and that was how, I started compiling stories for a short story collection of my own.

I wouldn’t consider myself grown enough to write a full fledged novel yet. People say writing short stories is harder than writing a novel, but yes, I am comfortable writing short stories more than considering writing a novel. I believe I am at my creative best when I write short stories. It is important that we as writers know our creative strengths. It would be a folly to jump onto the bandwagon and write romance simply because it sells well. If you are not comfortable writing it, if you cannot write something/ a genre from your heart, there is no use writing it at all, for however hard you try, the result would appear half baked. Well, if you take enough effort to excel in it that is another matter altogether, but then that would seem you are genuinely interested in or even fine with the genre and are ready to find success in it no matter what.

I wrote 13 stories in a period of one month and wrote one more sometime after that. Editing took two more months, for which I approached the professional editing service ‘Pen Paper Coffee’ and then I started pitching the manuscript to traditional publishers. I was adamant that I wouldn’t spend unnecessarily in the name of publishing, and I had little belief in my marketing skills. Self publishing was not an option with these rules. I received rejection letters from all the major publishing houses, but I was secretely happy that they atleast bothered to reply. More than one publisher asked me help from my side to publish my book, as they didn’t believe short stories would sell on their own. Few publishers were more interested in knowing about my marketing skills and how many copies I would be able to sell. Another publishing house asked me to wait for a few months if I wanted traditional publishing as they had a vanity publishing wing as well, which would publish books in a matter of few weeks. I was stuck onto traditional publishing and I decided to wait.

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Several months passed and there was no positive news from them. That was when I decided to pitch my proposal to Story Mirror, an upcoming, yet promising publishing house then. For that I contacted Sulaiman Sait, a fellow blogger who was about to be published by Story Mirror. He had only good things to say about the publisher and that inspired me and consolidated my decision to move forward with them. They replied in a few weeks’ time and I was elated to say the least. Right then, I sent out mails to a couple of publishing houses who had expressed interest in my manuscript saying that I was accepted elsewhere ( You have no idea how jubilant I felt doing that, for once to be not on the receiving end!) and all of them replied back wishing me good luck.

From there began the joyous journey of seeing my dream take form, slowly but alluringly. I have a lot more to say on the rest of the journey, but that would form a new post altogether. Do wait for that 🙂

 

P.S : The book is slated to release in a few weeks’ time. Be ready for it 🙂

 

Bits From Life, Uncategorized

Book Cover Release! – TICOL

When the designer at Story Mirror asked me to provide inputs to work on the cover of my book, I remember telling her that even though the title of the book screamed chaos, I would rather not have a cover which looked bizarre or outright. The stories in this book deal with human emotions, but they are portrayed with a definite tinge of subtlety and are not displayed in a pompous, explicit manner. Sneha Jolly at Story Mirror absorbed this and drew a design co operating her designs and voila, the book cover of TICOL was ready. I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving her best shot in creating this cover, which I am sure is sure to steal hearts. 

Why The Title?

Human minds are chaotic; there is resilience, there is weakness; there is passion, there is vulnerability; there is joy, there is sorrow; there is ecstasy, there is despair.

‘The Inimitable Chaos Of Life’ is a celebration of those emotions, which are craftily ingrained in human lives. Through this book, I have tried to illustrate them with a veritable tinge of subtlety, not overplaying their effects for the sake of it. There are undercurrents of intensity, but they are not displayed in an outright manner akin to creating pandemonium. It is true that no two situations in life are similiar. No two incidents are an exact reflection of each other. They are but as deep and scarring as blazing fire. They are but as exhilarating and enthralling as that one piece of good news you have been awaiting for long.There in lies the inimitability of life. There in lies the inimitability of its chaos.

So here it is! The book cover of TICOL!

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It is beautiful, isn’t it? Do leave behind your feedbacks before you go 🙂

Author Talk, Uncategorized

Author Talk – Ruchi Singh

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Today, at ‘Author Talk’, we have an interesting and equally enlightening column on the writing process of one of my favourite authors – Ruchi Singh. Ruchi Singh is the author of multiple books, the Winner of TOI Write India Contest, who writes in two genres – romance and romantic thrillers. Her latest book, a short story collection, titled ‘Hearts and Hots’ released few months back and has been gathering rave reviews. If you haven’t read the book, you should be reading the same today, for the book is a heart-warming, nerve soothing collection of stories, which is sure to transform your Sunday for the best. 

Ruchi Singh

Read my review of Hearts and Hots – Here

Read on to know what the author has to say :

 

            My Writing Process vis-a-vis Published Works

                                          – Ruchi Singh

Thank you Maliny for having me on your blog and giving me the choice to choose the subject for this post. Having published two books, I thought it would be interesting to introspect on the writing process for each of them.

In my twenty years of experience in the corporate world and three years in the creative field I have realized that nothing remains same. No two moments are the same. No two projects are similar. Life, people, habits, keep evolving and become better over time. The same have been reiterated during the writing of my two books; the novel ‘Take 2’ and the short story collection ‘Hearts & Hots’

While Take 2 has been my debut effort published in 2015, and I panstered (wrote without an outline, keeping only the characters in mind). As the story took shape I wanted a nice twist at the end which would entertain the readers. But, since it was not a planned endeavor it took me awhile to come up with a scenario which would tie up all the loose ends. It was then I decided that the next one I will outline to the last scene and then write.

To an extent, I followed my resolution with novel-2, but fate always has something else planned. My next wasn’t getting anywhere near my satisfaction level, and the year 2016 was just drifting by. I was desperate to release at least one book in 2016.

Along with the novel, I was also working leisurely on a short story collection and had planned to release at least ten short stories in the collection. I had thought each of them would be around 2k to 2.5k word count, bringing the collection to a decent 25k. These stories too were planned well in advance but somehow I wasn’t able to finish writing them because each of them was hell-bent on expanding themselves.

So, in order to have at least one release in 2016, I switched my attention to this collection. I selected five stories from the ten, which concentrated on issues faced by women in our society. I tried to give them different flavors by focusing on different stages of love, varying age of the protagonists, changing the locational setting and even varying the writing voice. Thus ‘Hearts & Hots’ came into existence.

Now as I have released the two, my writing process can be broadly classified into five phases:

  • inception,
  • planning,
  • execution or writing,
  • editing.

 The sequence of stages of working on short stories is iterative. For a novel, all the phases are sequential while for a collection each of the stories will span the first four stages and then publishing can be together. The short stories are written in a standalone mode unrelated to each other, which is easier in execution. But the difficult part is to come up with different plots and stick to short story format without losing the essence of the story, hence the inception phase becomes long drawn.

Having said that my current WIP has been outlined as planned, but I am not able to write the scenes sequentially. The creative juices are scene-hopping.

All in all I have understood that there are no rules in this field. Every project has to be treated as a unique miracle and should be nurtured along with its own whims and fancies. I have learnt to respect the blessings of Creative God or Goddess, as the faith may be. 🙂

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THE BLURB OF HEARTS AND HOTS :

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Love, what is it?
A casual glance, and the heart skips a beat…
Or A chance meet and that tug of an inexplicable connection…

Love… a baffling attraction so potent that one becomes blind to entire world, or is it that unbridled passion which threatens to drown every time you see the one, or a protective urge which forces you to realize that life is not worth living without that special someone…

‘Hearts and Hots’ a collection of five short stories riding on first love, passion, and romance.

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Buy the book from : AMAZON

Contact the author at : Facebook Page

Tweet to her at : Twitter Handle

The author’s official website : Here

Buy her books from : Amazon Author Page

Know more about her books at : Goodreads

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Bits From Life, Uncategorized

I Am Not Done, I will never be – Bits From Life

 

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03-03-2017:

Be happy. Be smiling. Nothing can go wrong if you stay so. There is nothing for which you can’t find a solution. Whatever happens, you will definitely rise to the occasion then. So why worry unnecessarily now? Go out and have a fabulous day today.

08-03-2017:

Human beings are bound to be uninspired once in a while. I have been going through such a phase for a few weeks now. I have been seeking modes too to scrub free the irksome moss from my mind, but have failed miserably. Today, whether I liked it or not, even if I wanted it or not, I decided to start reading a book on kindle and was absorbed in it to the length that I wasn’t willing to pull myself up from the bed to turn on the lights when it grew dark. Well, that is a good sign, I believe.

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The first account was taken from my diary and was jotted down one morning before I went to the hospital. And the second account was written by me on my Facebook page on the 8th of March.

What does it mean to say that a doctor has had a fabulous day? It could be anything – like treating the patients well, operating a case to perfection would be the ones to fly off from the top of my head, if you had asked me this questions a few days back. When these still remain the best modes to achieve a fulfilling day for me, these days, for the same reason I have made it my word of the year, I concentrate on engaging in beautiful moments with my colleagues and friends too.  

Yet, somewhere, someday a few weeks back, I felt the dark claws of melancholy encroaching me, and that too for no particular reason. I consider despair and hollowness the utmost depressing pair. It hurts when one is devoid of the answer to one’s own heartache. You are left stranded in the dark, alone, lifeless and vapid, when the world moves around you, racy, unstoppable, passionate and most importantly with a purpose. 

I wrote down a few quarter year resolutions for this year in my previous post, which I thought would offer me a purpose. I believe that was the best decision I have made in this year. It did give me a purpose and I exercise whenever I find time and drink gallons of water during the working hours! I have started reading books back to back and right now, I am reading ‘His Bloody project: Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae’ by  Graeme Macrae Burnet,  which is a partly fictitious/ partly documented memoir of a killer which he writes from prison, but imaginatively penned by the novelist. I have only reached a mere 100 pages, but I would already recommend this book to any lover of words. 

Writing this blog post too has a purpose. To ease me out of the vacuum I feel myself trapped in. I am not entirely out of the quagmire, but I feel I could pull myself out of it anytime in the coming days with the effort I am putting into the situation. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that I am sober and alone for a considerable part of the week. Perhaps, I am someone who yearns for a good company most times of the day. Perhaps, I am someone who loves her few moments of solitude, but find it quintessential that I have few hands to clasp on to during the other times. Talking to my dear and near ones over phone does help to some extent, but that is not all. I desire dear ones to return back to at the end of the day, which being in hostel I am not entitled to. 

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Image Courtsey – Here

I have always considered myself an introvert and was proud of the same as long as I could remember. Would a human’s personality change during the course of his/her life? This whole post could merely be my alter ego talking even. Still one fact is bound to remain true. Whether I am with my favourite ones or not, being with other people, sharing talks with them, listening to their stories and telling mine sure lift my spirit and it is definitely something I am going to look forward to for the rest of my life.

Before you leave, help me out here, will you? Have you felt drained for a few days or weeks at a stretch? What do you do then?

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