Saturday, January 28, 2017

#534 : 2017 : A Roadmap

After an extended sabbatical, I'm back with a bang, devouring books like there is no tomorrow. However, it's been ages since I've written a proper review. In fact, it feels like I've long forgotten the art of critiquing a book. I intend to amend that shortly.  For the next month I have about half a dozen reviews planned till now. After writing about books for 3 plus years, I've witnessed the struggles a writer endures first hand. I've also experienced happiness when a reader reads my review and discovers their next favourite book. To strike a balance of sorts, I've decided to start a feature which would connect writers with readers and in turn promote the writers books as well. This feature would be live from February 1 positively!

Given that my career is leaving me no time for other activities, I have resolved to make the best of the time I can spare. That's politely telling, you won't witness me devouring books and spinning reviews like mad. Moreover, I've decided to read more of classics and politics this year. I've started reading a brilliant book about the Israeli intelligence - Mossad.  Hoping to finish it soon! 
I also intend to finish off the book I started writing last year. I attacked NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) with gusto initially. I managed to complete 5K words before life decided to turn crazy. With my impending marriage and hectic work, I couldn't reach the target of 50K words. Now that I'm settled into a routine, I intend to find that rhythm to write. 

Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#533 : Spotlight : iRead Book Tour's Third Anniversary!


About iRead Book Tours:

At iRead, we give special attention to every book that tours with us. We are passionate about books and we customize all our tours because no two authors are alike.
We don't just market books. We help our authors get the best exposure with traditional tours consisting mainly of reviews. We work closely with our authors and pride ourselves on our highly individualized customer service.
All our staff are book bloggers and authors, so we understand the process and the hard work involved. We've built a solid relationship with our database of reliable book bloggers who are eager to read your books.

Welcome to the iRead experience!

About Laura Fabiani:
In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.
Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers--a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books.
Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!
You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours,  Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

#532 : The Note (Conclusion)

Story So far,

A woman dressed in a short black shirt and tight fitting blue shirt barged into the room. She didn't bother to knock nor did she look apologetic for barging in. Her attire did very little to conceal her buxom figure. He hair was tied up to a bun with wisps of stray hair falling all over her face making her round face look larger. With a sharp features, she looked every bit like a negative character from Indian daily soaps.

"Gita, cut the bull. I don't understand why you wanted the full board to be present for a silly harassment case. These things happen and this is exactly why I handle such silly issues. Quit being a pain and let us do our job. You are a woman and men have a tendency to be attracted to opposite gender!" said the Disha, the woman who had just entered.

Gita gave a throaty laugh. The god of irony seemed to be blessing her in abundance today.

"First of all, Althaf and me, we weren't a couple. Don't you think it's thick coming from you? Silly issues you say harassment is?" seethed Gita in anger.

"Disha please. Shut it. You weren't invited her in first place. You ruined my life 20 years ago and I let history repeat itself again. This needs to end, you bitch!" bellowed Ramesh.

Gita was shocked by her mentor's venomous tone.

"This woman here, is a sexual predator. She abused me on a daily basis 20 years ago when we first joined as interns. She threatened us, making sure her sexual needs were satisfied. It took me a good 10 years to recover from that trauma and put a full stop to her bullying. Raghu, look where this has landed. Althaf, the best we had, committed suicide! Heck! this is on you! You should have fired her when I brought this to you years ago!" shouted Ramesh.

Recovering from the shock, Gita let out a small laugh once again. Ramesh was perplexed by her urge to laugh in such a serious moment.

"Suicide?! Really? Ramesh, are you blind? Althaf was too strong for that. It's cold blooded murder. Look at the damn footage with your eyes wide open. His eyes, there is something wrong with them don't you see? And look at the reflection on the glass pane on his right side. See that shadow?" said Gita, zooming in to a point in the video. There stood a person with one arm out stretched. From the silhouette, the person looked like a woman.

Gita opened another file which played the same video of Althaf's suicide from another angle which covered the person standing opposite to him. This video had an audio track as well. The woman opposite to Althaf was threatening him. She was hypnotizing him to kill himself. Althaf had placed a small recorder behind him concealed neatly by the painting hung on the wall.

Gita stopped the video midway. It was becoming too painful for her to watch more of this. She wanted to run away and scream her head off. The room was pregnant with silence. As if on cue, the door opened and in came barging a bunch of men in uniform followed by a trim man in sharp police clothes and a woman in similar attire.

"Ms.Disha, you under arrest for sexual harassment and murder. Here is a warrant for the same. Walk with us please to the station. You are allowed to contact your lawyer once we reach the station. You know the drill mam!" said the woman before going on to stand next to Disha.

"You bitch! wait and watch! You think you can get away so easily. Don't worry! You will join your lover soon! I'll make sure of that!" shouted Disha like a mad woman before going on to pounce on her. The female cop caught Disha by her arm just before she could slap Gita and dragged her away. The male cop nodded at Raghu before leaving the room silently.

"Yes Ramesh. I should have acted back then. I know I am eternally late, but I hope Althaf forgives me some day. I had stumbled upon this video and your elaborate work when you dozed off in your cubicle the other day. I read through your notes and copied it all before waking you up. What I saw shocked me to my core. I had to put a full stop to this. I failed to save Ramesh 20 years ago when Disha troubled him. I let him suffer silently without firing her.Today, it costed me a lot more than I bargained for. Gita, please know that Althaf loved you. He loved in a way no one can possibly love you. His sexual preferences might have been different, but you were his one true soul mate. Please stay strong my girl!" replied Raghu, before patting Gita and walking away.

Note : Not the best ending, but I wanted it to be this way. Male abuse is a serious issue which seldom is acknowledged. Is it common at workplace? Not as common as female abuse is. However, abuse is a bad thing immaterial of gender or sexual preferences. A closure of sorts finally. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

#531 : Day Hundred - The Year 2017

100 days of writing daily! Phew I really can't believe I've done it. Obviously, this isn't my effort alone. Taking time out to write something daily requires support from your family. Especially when you also have a full time work to take care of. I'm indebted to my parents for encouraging me and understanding that I need time out for myself daily. I'd be failing in being grateful if I don't thank my husband. He ensured to give me time and space for myself to write right from the day we got married. I'd also like to thank one person who followed all my posts diligently and commented on most of them - Dinesh Babu KN. This guy is almost a stranger, yet he had all the niceness in the world to read what ever I rambled on and comment on it. You have no idea how much your comments boosted my self confidence! Thank you :-D

There is one person I truly have to thank. This person stung me and hurt me badly. She made me feel worthless. She made me doubt my skill to string few words together. That hit to my self confidence was a much needed lesson. It was an eye opener. If you are reading this my dear friend, remember not to provoke people like me this way. She told me it was not in the spirit of the challenge to schedule posts or have a guest blogger take over, I kept up with the spirit, no matter in which part of the world I was. Lesson learnt - When you are determined to accomplish something, no matter what the situation is, you can really accomplish it. Pointer to self - Keep up this darn determination with everything you do.

My goals for 2017,

  1. Finish off the book.

  2. Finish the short story.

  3. Read, Read and Read.

  4. Write, Write and Write.