poetry: language of smoke

First published in Lockjaw Magazine

every poem i’ve ever written is hungry in a
slow-wheeze way, as if foxes were tearing

apart a rabbit as i spoke. they huddled near the
underbelly of something prehistorical and now,

a pitted coconut or a plum heaving from it’s perch,
remind me of how shiva spoke to me in the

language of smoke. as a tinderbox blushes red,
birch trees eulogized, an almond is clenched in

my tongue. (shiva asks about the glut of silk.)
and fishmongers haggle for tin hooves.

i sift through birdseed and the murky remains
of driftwood. a cathedral lies jaundiced between

us (shiva summons ganga.) i dither in the shallows,
blasphemy knotting into hysteria. with the river

swelling lazily, (shiva smites mandir), i am nothing but
a nomadic dilettante stabbing a bloodclotted lamb.

(shiva waits, bristling, primed for hibernation.) i wait,
goosehollowed, and stung. callused appetite returning.

a foamrinsed persimmon slides past. (shiva tilts his
head back.) and the rain erases our footprints.

 

poetry: sweet

 

First published in Sooth Swarm Journal

 

suppose i dress for another night,

hair unfurled, skimming my bruised

shadow. i wait out the rain & raise the

damp month to dry, the days fluttering

with all the grace of moths battered against

a window. it’s oct 14th & i have one chance to leave.

creamy pinpricks of light fist my hair

& it’s shorn in one go, forming an exit wound,

sweet & unfamiliar like trisha and her broken

iphone buzzing in the movie theater.

the wind is bloated. pebbled curtains sop up

spilled milk. i knock on wood & worry about

the sunken portrait of a pear propped up in the

kitchen sink, which is overflowing with light &

twenty poems on post-its.

the day is wrung from my soapy palms,

trisha’s smile sagging like an afterthought.

 

book review: flame tree road by shona patel

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Publisher: Mira
Release date: June 30 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

From the acclaimed author of Teatime for the Firefly comes the story of a man with dreams of changing the world, who finds himself changed by love

1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood—shunned by her loved ones and forced to live in solitary penance—Biren devotes his life to effecting change.

Biren’s passionate spirit blossoms as wildly as the blazing flame trees of his homeland. With a law degree, he goes to work for the government to pioneer academic equality for girls. But in a place governed by age-old conventions, progress comes at a price, and soon Biren becomes a stranger among his own countrymen.

Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world.

MY REVIEW

I don’t usually read historical fiction but I borrowed Flame Tree Road from the library because I was intrigued by the premise. As an Indian girl living abroad, I don’t know as much about Indian culture as I’d like to so I embraced this opportunity to learn a few things about India in 1870s.

I like the style in which the author addressed issues like the caste system and discrimination against women through the main character’s perspective. Although Biren’s efforts to effect change are often thwarted (sometimes the people he works with don’t care enough about educating girls or there’s resistance from the traditional), he remains hopeful and doesn’t allow the mammoth nature of the task to overwhelm him. Biren is a very driven and passionate character. After his mom becomes a widow, she is treated as an outcast and this makes Biren realize that he wants to change things for the better for others like her. Flame Tree Road follows Biren throughout his life so we watch as Biren is born and slowly grows older. 

The author’s writing style is lovely and I truly got swept away by the story. All of the characters are incredibly vivid and unique so I didn’t find it difficult to keep track of them. But I wish certain characters had more time on the page – for example, Chaya and Yosef.

I don’t, however, understand why this story is labeled as a “love story” because all the romance primarily occurs in the second half of the book. In some ways, that aspect of the book made it more dull because of the long flowery passages from Biren’s perspective. He tends to obsess about the appearance of Maya and I didn’t find that particularly interesting. This second half of the book is also where Biren’s focus shifts from effecting change to looking out for his loved ones. This is where the consequences (e.g. not being able to spend time with family) of Biren’s single-minded drive to establish schools for girls are further explored.

While the ending was realistic, I wanted to read more about the results of Biren’s hard work. After all the build up, I just wanted more details. 

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Yes, despite its faults, Flame Tree Road is a beautiful book. If you’re in the mood for a relatively slow-paced book, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s also worth noting that while most of the plot twists are unpredictable, the overall plot of the book is quite similar to what is described in the blurb. Therefore, I think it would be better to read this book without knowing what to expect. 

new year’s resolutions for 2017

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My goals don’t change a lot from year to year and while I did get some things done in 2016, I (once again!) didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted to. According to this post I wrote a year ago, I wanted to finish the first draft of Vivid, post something on Wattpad, and write a book for NaNo. The reality is that I had to ditch Vivid because I realized it was slightly problematic and I needed to do more research. I posted a few things on Wattpad and then unpublished them because they weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. I didn’t write a book for NaNoWriMo because I was busy writing poetry to submit to literary magazines and writing contests.

What Did I Do?

I finished the first draft of The Deadline and at 38,000 words, it’s the longest thing I’ve written so far. It’s a YA contemporary about a Indian girl who tries to write a book during the summer. The first draft definitely didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to – it’s basically a hot mess. But this is a book I’ve wanted to write for a few years now so I’m going to keep pursuing this idea. I absolutely love the characters in it and I want to further develop them. I also wrote four or five short stories and three (?) flash fiction pieces…some of which I deleted last week. But one of my mini goals, this year, is to edit old stories that have potential. I was published in fifteen literary magazines and a few other websites/collections curated by writer friends. (If you’re interested in reading my work, click here!) I also did an online mentorship (run by The Adroit Journal) and a one week creative writing course at NYU. I joined the staff of two literary magazines. Other things I did: self-published a mini poetry collection online, posted a bunch of poems on my tumblr blog, started a newsletter (and unfortunately discovered I couldn’t keep up with blogging and emailing subscribers), blogged about both bookish and writerly things here, and made an ‘official’ website. I also started outlining a book inspired by Hindu myths. 

Now for the resolutions..

1.Write, write, write.

More specifically:

  • Finish the writing projects that I start.
  • Write more short stories and flash fiction.
  • Write at least three times a week.
  • Keep track of my progress on different projects and plan out my time wisely.
  • Keep writing poetry.
  • Write a book! Edit a book!

I definitely need to rewrite The Deadline  (goal is 50,000 words!) and write the first draft of my Hindu myth book (goal is 80,000 words).

2. Be brave with my writing.

More specifically:

  • Submit my writing to more places.
  • Ask for feedback and apply it.
  • Tell IRL people about my writing.

3. Read more diverse books.

I want to continue to seek out diverse books and especially buy work from and support marginalized writers. I’ve also been thinking of joining reading challenges like #DiversityBingo2017 (which is explained in this tweet!).

4. Blog, blog, blog.

More specifically:

  • Review diverse books!
  • Blog at least once a month.
  • Do a few discussion posts.
  • Schedule posts before going on a random hiatus

5. Take care of myself.

More specifically:

  • Exercise more often.
  • Eat healthy
  • Get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Believe in myself.

It’s Tuesday evening and I’m ready determined to have an amazing year. Now, I’d love to hear from you guys! How did 2016 go for you? What are some goals you have for 2017? Are you excited? Nervous?

3 reasons why “hold” by rachel davidson leigh is awesome

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Publisher: Duet Books
Release date: October 20, 2016
Genres: YA, LGBT
Pages: 270
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

Luke Aday knew that his sister’s death was imminent—she had been under hospice care for months—but that didn’t make her death any easier on him or their family. He returns to school three days after the funeral to a changed world; his best friends welcome him back with open arms, but it isn’t the same. But when a charismatic new student, Eddie Sankawulo, tries to welcome Luke to his own school, something life-changing happens: In a moment of frustration, Luke runs into an empty classroom, hurls his backpack against the wall—and the backpack never lands. Luke Aday has just discovered that he can stop time.

MY REVIEW

Disclaimer: This review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Reason #1: Hold is a queer YA book with a great cast of characters.

Luke Aday, the main character, is an adopted Indian boy. Since Hold is told from his perspective, we really get to know Luke inside and out. Between his sister’s death and discovering his power to stop time and crushing on cute boys, Luke has a lot going on. He also has a lot of…thoughts. His mind is all over the place and this is one of the reasons why he reminded me of myself. He can be very awkward in social situations and freezes more often than not. 

Apart from Luke, there’s Marcos and Dee of course. They’re both pretty laid-back and  are the kind of friends who back you up no matter what. That was evident to me from the way they choose to believe Luke when he tells them he can stop time. I probably would have decided Luke is crazy if he’d told me. 

As for my favorite character, that was probably Eddie Sankawulo, the new student and Luke’s latest obsession.  

“I’m the big B in the LGBTQA, or whatever the acronym is today. I can’t say QUILTBAG with a straight face,” Eddie said.”

So Luke sees Eddie as this really bright cheerful guy who is constantly smiling. Eddie reminded me of people in my life who always seem so happy but like most people, there seems to be another side of him..and this naturally complicates his relationship with Luke. 

I found the tension between Luke and Eddie slightly frustrating at times because I just wanted them to talk it out. But I know if I was in their situation, I’d be acting just as weird, if not more. 

Reason #2: Luke has powers but they don’t completely take over his life.

You go into the book knowing that the main character has the power to stop time and it’s interesting to see how discovering this ability changes his life. But Luke doesn’t immediately go from grieving brother to ass-kicking superhero. Hold isn’t the kind of book where characters with powers fight crime and save the day – it’s a little more realistic. Luke has these cool abilities but he’s also your average high school student with other responsibilities and cute boys to think about. 

Reason #3: Hold is messy.

I don’t want to be cheesy but life is messy and so is this book. Hold is a short book but I spent three (four?) weeks reading it to really draw out the experience. I fell in love with these characters and even now, I’m wondering what Luke is up to.

Hold drew me in and wouldn’t let go. And so I found myself completely immersed in a book that continued to surprise and delight me as I read. I know my review is late (and I’m sorry for that) but I’m glad I took my time. And huge thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy!

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Yes! 

book review: holding up the universe by jennifer niven

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Publisher: Penguin Books (UK)
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

MY REVIEW

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

After all the drama surrounding the original Goodreads synopsis of this book, I wasn’t planning on reading Holding Up the Universe. But then I saw it on Netgalley and requested it on an impulse because I had more or less enjoyed All The Bright Places, Niven’s first book. Anyway, I’m really glad I gave this book a chance because I ended up enjoying it!

Holding Up the Universe is told from the perspective of two characters: Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby used to be “America’s fattest teen” but now she’s lost a ton of weight and she’s ready to go back to school. Jack, on the other hand, has prosopagnosia (aka face-blindness). This means he can’t recognize the faces of his family, friends, and/or neighbours. 

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Libby but I definitely admired her courage. I was bullied too and I still can’t imagine confronting haters like a badass. Libby’s also very blunt and isn’t scared to tell it how it is, which is definitely hard to do.

“It’s my experience that the people who are most afraid are the ones who hide behind mean and threatening words.”

Libby also had a tendency to justify all her decisions – especially the bad ones and sometimes I’d find myself scratching my head at her reasoning. For example, she writes a bunch of mean things about herself on a bathroom wall and….I just feel like vandalising school property (in order to write basically bully yourself?!) isn’t the best idea. But even though Libby didn’t acknowledge her bad decisions, I realized that all these little flaws only made Libby’s character more realistic (if a bit frustrating).

As for Jack, he was definitely my favorite of the two characters. He’s charming” and “hilarious” but he’s also more than that. He does some really dumb things and to a stranger, it would seem like he’s just an average teenage boy. But he’s not, thanks to his prosopagnosia.

“Everyone in my life is a stranger, and that includes me.”

This inability to recognize the people in his life leaves him feeling lost and confused. And being inside Jack’s head made me realize just how much of a show some people put on to hide the truth. There are so many moments in this book when he’s internally freaking out but on the outside, all everyone sees is a confident guy who’s just messing around. I empathized with Jack and I found myself rooting for him despite occassionally disapproving of his behavior. 

I admit I did find myself getting a little bored sometimes while reading Holding Up the Universe but overall, this book was fast-paced and interesting! I would wholeheartedly recommend it – especially for the diversity and quirky characters. 

book review: when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

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Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 288
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

MY REVIEW

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

As usual, I have no idea where to start when I’m absolutely head-over-heels in love with a book. 

tumblr_inline_mlxv0fIYR31qz4rgp.gifI was already a huge fan of this author’s writing so naturally, I started this book with  high expectations. And, (unsurprisingly), within minutes, I was completely immersed in the gorgeous prose and empathizing with the characters. 

The most memorable aspect of this book is the characters. The author truly makes them come alive with vivid descriptions.  Sam, an American Pakistani transgender boy, who can be found painting & hanging moons all over town, was my favorite character. Through Sam, When the Moon Was Ours explores gender identity and what it means to be a boy or a girl. Miel, on the other hand, is a Latina girl with roses growing out of her wrists. She “spilled out of a water tower when she was five” and doesn’t know where she came from. 

We know from the start that Sam and Miel are in love. This love drives the characters to make decisions that, they hope, will protect the ones they love. There are layers upon layers of secrets surrounding these characters’ existence and as the book progresses, these secrets come out into the open. Part of what fuels the character’s development is their interactions with other characters – namely, the Bonner girls, who could have easily been labeled the villains of this story. But once again, Mclemore outdoes herself by creating complex, rich, characters that aren’t easily definable. In fact, the Bonner girls seemed more akin to a force of nature. These girls want Miel’s roses because they believe the rumours about her roses having the ability to make anyone fall in love with them. 

I also loved how this book explores the way culture shapes one’s life. Bacha posh, a Pakistani culture practice, was described at length. Bacha posh is when girls dress and behave like boys (partly to support their families). Eventually, they will live as fully grown women but Sam, initially believes that he is one of these girls dressed as a boy and doing so is necessary to support his single mother. This alongwith other cultural elements and practices are effortlessly weaved into When the Moon Was Ours

With great transgender and PoC representation, an amazing cast of characters, and stunning prose, When the Moon Was Ours is definitely a book worth checking out.

SO WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? HELL YEAH!

a really late recap of the last 4 months

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Hello!

Guess who got sidetracked by school and forgot to update her blog? Haha, yes, unfortunately, that is indeed me! But as you probably know by now, I never stay gone for long and I’m popping back in today to do a quick recap! 

June was a month of final exams and then, school ended and I had until August to chill..or something. I was overwhelmed by my newfound time but lucky for me, I soon found myself at NYU. And then there was the SAT prep. And before I knew it I was back at school and swamped by homework. Last month was spent similarly. I’ve also been making some progress on my YA Contemporary WIP. The first draft is a wreck but I’ve written 70% of it and that’s definitely more than I’ve ever written so far. I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be able to finish it soon so that I can take a break and work on some of the plot bunnies bouncing around my brain. And now for some links!

THE BLOG POSTS…..

BOOK REVIEWS

THE NIGHT CIRCUS // SLOW-PACED WITH GORGEOUS PROSE

BOOK REVIEW: HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOR

BOOK REVIEW: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN 

 

WRITING

#AMWRITING: IN WHICH I AM LEARNING & GROWING!

POETRY | APOLOGY

OTHER

I’m Back!

BOOK HAUL! (6?)

WHAT MAKES A BOOK BLOG UNIQUE?

Sadly, I haven’t made that much progress on the Goodreads reading challenge – I’ve read 70 books so far (including a few comics). My goal is to read 200 books and I’m thinking of changing that mostly so it’ll take the pressure of me and so I can continue to focus more on writing. I’ve been trying to make writing daily a habit but it feels so much easier to reach for a good book and curl up on my bed.
 

So I’d love to hear what you guys have been upto! Have you read any great books recently? Done something exciting? Do tell!

& some links :: main websitetwitter | instagram | pinterest | goodreads | poetry blog

book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

MY REVIEW

I just want to preface this review by saying I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was extremely hyped so I had high expectations and not all of those expectations were met.

However, I do think that The Star-Touched Queen is probably one of the most unique YA fantasies I’ve come across so far. The premise is brilliant and to me, the fact that it’s inspired by Indian mythology is also a bonusMany of Maya’s stories reminded me of summer breaks spent in India reading myths and the like. The author’s writing style is also very beautiful and I absolutely loved the prose. This is the kind of book you want to read slowly so that you can taste every single word. 

I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams,” he said brushing his lips against my knuckles. “I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars.” He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies. “I want to measure eternity with your laughter.” Now, he stood inches before me; his rough hands encircled my waist. “Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.

But I did find the characters and plot a bit lacking. Maya was a very disappointing main character and not the strong badass queen I’d envisioned. While, I suppose this could be considered refreshing since most MCs consistently and constantly kick ass, it was also very frustrating to watch Maya flounder and basically #fail at life in general. She kept making bad decisions that were the source of most of the conflict and instead of seeking the truth, she merely listened to whoever she deemed to be “trustworthy” in that moment.

As for the love interest..I will admit that I had a teeny meeny crush on him but I barely got to know him. His character is very broody and mysterious and two years ago, that would have been enough but not today. I wanted more than the little tidbits from Maya’s POV.  There was also a slightly problematic scene where Amar said: “Any farther…and I would not know how to stop.” I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to slap him because that is not romantic at all. If someone wants to stop, you have to fucking stop. 

The plot was kind of nonexistent. I say this because it was there but not all the time. The story didn’t always move forward and more often than not, got bogged down by the descriptions. I know I said I loved the descriptions but I also thought there should have been more of a balance because they seemed to replace the action. Also, everything completely hinged on Maya (who barely knew anything and didn’t even bother confronting her husband) and hence, fucked things up massively.

“There is no romance in real grief. Only longing and fury.”

I am still not really sure if I would ship Maya and Amar because like I said, I barely knew them or the other characters. But I’m holding out hope that the next book will be even better. 

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Yes but you should definitely go into it with “modified” expectations.

 

#AmWriting: In Which I am Learning & Growing!

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This is probably my most productive summer so far in terms of how much writing I’ve gotten done. I was updating my CV the other day and it was a pleasant surprise to see how far I’ve come since I started ‘seriously’ pursuing writing. Also, speaking of which, I made a website on Weebly so that I can put all my “stuff” in one place for everyone to find. 

PUBLICATION NEWS

I was looking through my archives and I realized that the last time I made an writing update blog post was a year ago (in August!). (However, I did share some publication news in my, “I’m back,” blog post.) So this month, I have two poems in Alexandria Quarterly and one poem in Moonsick Magazine. These are two literary magazines I absolutely adore and I still can’t believe my poetry was published in them. In July, the following poems were published in Eunoia Review: “Abattoir,” “Dirge,” “Dirty Mouth,” “Eighteen,” “Impulse,” “Humility,” “little disasters,” “Kismet,” and “Modern Art.” I submitted a ton of poems because I was expecting to get rejected…only to not get rejected. So that happened. I sent out a new batch of poems today and hopefully, someone out there will fall in love with them and you guys will get to read them soon! 

ADROIT JOURNAL SUMMER MENTORSHIP

For some reason or the other, Adroit took a chance on me and I was accepted into the mentorship program. In case you’re wondering, I studied poetry and my mentor was Anthony Frame. Before the program started, I was really excited about getting to interact with other young writers & receiving feedback on my work & writing stronger pieces. Well, after the first week or so, I forgot about all of that. I was too busy churning out poems last minute and being exposed to amazing poetry. Two or three weeks in, I also travelled to New York City where I did a writing program at NYU (more on that later). So there, I found myself frantically writing “things” and panicking. I didn’t have a lot of time to chat with the aforementioned writers after all but through the Facebook group (chat) I did get to know them. And I enjoyed exchanging peer reviews even though I’d expected workshopping poetry to be more scary/stressful. But in short: I had a lot of fun. As for the poems I wrote during that time – I had to edit all of them for my final portfolio but right now, I’m only satisfied with six or seven of them. I’m planning on eventually submitting all of them to contests or magazines.  

CREATIVE WRITING: FINDING YOUR MUSE IN THE METROPOLIS @ NYU SPS

I confess I was not the biggest fan of this writing course. I think I expected something completely different. I think this course was mostly aimed at people who are deciding whether to pursue writing and/or want to know what typical writing class is like. I am not super experienced but I was hoping to learn some new things and grow as a writer. That didn’t happen. In fact, this course was five days long and we did not even write a whole story. I’ll also take this opportunity to whisper that I did not like the instructor for various reasons. All that said, it was cool to (sort of?) study at NYU and I did make a lot of great friends. I also got to meet a literary agent and a few authors (Kody Keplinger!!). Discussing writing and opportunities in publishing also made me more determined to keep pursuing my goal of getting published (someday!). 

OTHER

I’ve been looking to get more formal work experience so yesterday, I applied to positions at a few literary magazines (ie. Glass Kite Anthology) and an internship. I, personally, feel like the application process is very stressful. Since I have a lot of free time, I spent one-two hours on each application (not including the procrastination). I’m very nervous and I already have some other good news to share but I’m keeping quiet until it’s all finalized. 

I also confess to avoiding all the writing linkups because I don’t want to delve too much into my first drafts. I’m a perfectionist and I always get caught up in the mistakes I’ve made – and that usually leads to ditching the project. A great example would be Project Hot Chocolate, which I am no longer writing even though I wanted to finish it before school starts (tomorrow). But after ditching Project Hot Chocolate, I resurrected The Deadline! I doubt anyone remembers this but I came up with the idea a year ago and posted a few chapters on Wattpad before the self doubt got the best of me. According to myWriteClub, I started writing it on July 24th. It’s been a little more than 3 weeks and I have written 22,000 words! I’m being intentionally vague (and only posting snippets on Twitter) because it seems like I only get shit done when I’m not taking myself too seriously. 

I feel like this is the blog post I’ll point to if people ask me how productive I’ve been this summer..but now I want to hear from you guys! How has your summer been so far? Do you write? Do you read? (Are you human??) All very important questions of course.