So What’s Next?

In my latest post, I discussed what exactly makes my imagination click.I thought it would be most appropriate to now carry forward the discussion to where my imagination takes me next, at least in the current scheme of things.

Ever since I started my PhD back in September 2017, my focus has largely been towards completing my course requirements for my degree. This has taken a predominant amount of my time, barring me from any measure of progress in my personal writing goals. Now, with the academic year having come to an end, I look forward to a summer extravaganza of writing and a revival of my previously planned projects.

The prior summer I had published my second work in A Little Bit Of Everything, a spiritual successor to my first work, Our Last Summer.

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Both books shared a similar origin in that the foundation of their plots were largely based on my life experiences. Having written the two books, I felt a great measure of happiness in coming to terms with various significant events that had occurred in my life over the span of the last few years.

Closing the page on my personal experiences, I wished to set the stage for my next writing challenge in a series of projects I had envisioned covering the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and politics etc. Intermixed with my new passion to write comics, I’ve spent the last year gradually aggregating ideas on the plots for two different books I intend to write over the course of this summer, and possibly well into next year.

One of these books will be a comic while the other will be a novel, with both being relatively unfamiliar grounds to tread upon. Having taken an extensive course in figure anatomy, I have only just begun my journey in becoming an artist. It is a difficult path, most recognizable in the horrible doodles I have had to endure with far whenever I put my pencil to paper. On a similar note, I have never written a novel, and in the case of the one that I have in store, my goal is to get it published at a traditional publishing house unlike my self-publishing efforts so far.

As I have done earlier, I hope to share my progress on this new journey, amidst my other weekly posts,with everyone on this blog. Tomorrow will be Day 1, and hopefully in a year from now, I will be close to, if not, accomplished my goals with regards to these two books. Let’s see what the year brings!

With that being said, I look forward to entertaining everyone the following weekend with a new post. Until then, toodles!

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What Makes My Imagination Click?

Just about anything to everything, and trust me, that speaks volumes.

In fact, my imagination is largely reflective of my approach to writing, which in the works I have published in Our Last Summer and A Little Bit Of Everything, can be described as an internalization of the reality that is my daily life. This process of internalization has paved the way for the construction of a landscape of epic proportions filled with a randomized but continuous menagerie and flux of thoughts and ideas that I frequently document in my journal. As such, more so than often, when I begin a new story, I would tend to look back to notes and inspirations I had garnered years earlier.

Moving forward from there, it would be a game of connecting the dots,

intermixed with the logical intricacies of how to put together a good story, and how well I emotionally synchronized with the characters and the worlds I wished to portray. Not surprisingly, the completion of said stories would leave me in an almost melancholic stupor stemming from my inability to accept the ending of the very realities I had created.

In that vein, I could say that I exercise my imagination at an almost constant basis through an assortment of activities from:

Transient visions drawing my interest on anything that randomly strikes my mind on an occasion where I may be bored as heck (particularly during university lectures).

Vivid dreams that would lead me out of bed and to the solitude of my desk on those frequent late nights where I would flesh out the details of my thoughts.

Inspirational knowledge from what I read in books, to what I watch on TV including anime, movies, the news, and of course, the internet, and at times even my own research. Speaking about books, it helps to live a block away from the Edmonton Public Library and Chapters bookstore, not to mention, a bunch of other outlets such as Wee Book Inn, making it all the more perfect to maintain my thirst for reading.

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And last, but not least,

Personal introspection, which is almost like a favorite pastime of mine.

Bat-Mode on…Time to introspect on my decisions and choices.

This could be the sweet stock of my imagination, as a large part of it is infused with the inspiration I find in relating to my daily experiences, from everything including friendship, family, love, and life as it is. Consequently, a crucial element of my writing is to translate the complex intricacies of emotions and feelings I experience in confronting the realities I face or learn from in my daily life, perfectly summarizing the internalization I mentioned earlier.

And that’s pretty much all there is to it.

Though it may seem that all I have said thus far may be geared towards writing, I’ve recognized their greater application in my recent foray into art and comics. I could even go so far as to say that it is my own way of life, and one that I find personally fulfilling as it offers me the sweet reminder in not missing out on the beautiful opportunities that lie around every corner, waiting to tickle my imagination.

All the same, it also provides me the inspiration to follow up on the things that I love most, and in a way, bring the desires and wishes I express in my writing to become the reality I live and seek…

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It’s always nice to take a step back and just immerse yourself in what is around you…

Braving The Storm

It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy all the while braving the storm that has been my PhD studies. While I’m only three months into my new degree (and a good 3.75 years remain until its completion), not surprisingly enough, I’m swamped with work. Thankfully, it is the enjoyable kind that comes with a research topic of my liking.

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Nevertheless, it has been slightly frustrating that I haven’t had the chance to post as frequently as I would have wished on the blog. 

But, the prodigal has now returned, and he does hope that he would be able to keep up with his blog posts as he deems it to be in the coming weeks. The brief respite that Halloween offered came with a sweet dose of playfulness as I carried out my annual responsibility in scaring the shit out of my girlfriend…

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And deservedly getting my ass handed to me afterward. 

Winter is most certainly here as well, the first snowfall caressing Edmonton in what began as a slush soup of snow rain that alerted me of its presence most distinctly through the water that slipped through the newly discovered gaping hole in my shoe. With only a few more weeks to go before classes end for the semester, and the age of final exams to come, I hope to put up a good number of posts that I have kept waiting for too long.

I will begin with keeping my word on the anecdote I wished to write on meteor showers. The Orionid showers occurred just a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to the Geminid showers which will hit in December. Apart from this, I will soon be pulling my book, A Little Bit Of Everything, out of Amazon KDP Select so that I may distribute it through other e-book publisher chains online. The book remains available on Amazon, and hopefully the redistribution will allow for further promotions in the future.

Having closed a chapter of my life with the completion of the book, I’m also working hard on setting the stage for a trifecta of stories that I’m hoping to work on over the next few years. Two of these stories will take the form of comics, for which I have been diligently taking art classes on human anatomy, while the last will be a novel, which remains in the back-burner of ideas, and a whole load of brainstorming.

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It is pretty much a blank slate for now, but the emptiness of it evokes the certainty of greater ideas and explosive creativity.

So, for now, I leave you all with this short update as I busy myself with another late night of catching up on my art practice and contemplation on my stories. I hope to have another post up by the end of this week! Until then, toodles!

Being an Indie Writer!

Though it feels like a decade ago, it was only last year, around this point in time, when I had the opportunity to participate in Indie Author Day hosted by the Edmonton Public Library. Never did it occur to me then, that a year down the road, I would have published my second book.

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Indie writers who choose the path of self-publishing often have their work cut out for them with a slew of responsibilities ranging from editing and proofreading as well as marketing their finished product. There are of course a variety of reputed services (ranging from cheap to quite expensive) to assist authors with this, but it largely rests upon the individual’s efforts and motivation to get the book out to their readers.

Attending events such as Indie Author Day, not to mention, scouring through vast resources online I have also had the chance to engage with my fellow indie authors. My own experiences with self-publishing began with Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir. Purchasing a book publishing plan, I was provided with professional proofreading and marketing services that helped in getting my first book out to the world. While the venture was quite expensive (one that I wish I could have averted), the experience was akin to a trial through fire, allowing me to learn from my mistakes and get a clearer picture of the enormously complex industry of book publication, and marketing. Moving on, I decided to publish my second book through Amazon, being a little more observant of my budget and goals this time around.

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It is a never-ending but largely satisfactory struggle to be an Indie writer.

Though my books haven’t necessarily been successful in their own right, I can’t deny that I’m still happy with the end result. As a writer, one has to believe in their work, and take pleasure in the art of eliciting one’s thoughts, emotions, and imagination to their intended audience. My goals with the two books I have published so far have largely been to satisfy and pay tribute to particular events in my life. Altogether, Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir and A Little Bit Of Everything represent my journey over the last 15 years of my life, reaching back to my adventures in high school, all the way to where I am now.

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For so long, I have looked back upon the memories of our last summer, cherishing them, and holding them close, afraid to let go…Now, riding along the winds of a greater adventure, filled with a little bit of everything I’ve always longed for in my life, I wish to move forward toward that endless horizon spanning a brighter future.

In the end, the peace and happiness I found in writing about my life, my friends, my love, and my family are representative of what I take away from my experiences in self-publishing. Of course, I don’t deny the obvious difficulties and complications that followed in publishing and marketing my books. It is A LOT of work, and while self-publishing may grant a certain level of flexibility within every phase of publication (from budgeting to choosing selective services in marketing and proofreading etc.) it IS largely an independent and never-ending effort (one must be persistent in promoting their work even after publication).

Moving forward, I hope to explore other outlets of publishing. For a change, I have decided to go the traditional path. It is never too late to begin researching, and as I spend the next few months brainstorming my novella, I also intend to obtain the necessary resources required to eventually get me across the finish line (once I set foot on the final lap). Does this mean I’m no longer an Indie writer? Nope. To me, being an indie author is a matter of self-definition, an approach that defers to every individual writer in their approach towards writing and publishing their work. I have always identified myself as the creative director of my books, from concept to completion and beyond. The decision to vie for traditional publishing is nothing more than another opportunity to exercise my knowledge in the writing industry, and establish partnerships that may facilitate my spirit and creativity as an indie-writer while collaborating with other publishing professionals in producing a good book for my readers.

My takeaway message to my fellow Indie authors and aspiring writers would be that one should never not lose sight of their true objectives. For me, the writing always comes first. My goals with Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir and A Little Bit Of Everything was largely to share my personal experiences with my family and friends as well as mature in my own right as an individual and identify with my true passion in life, writing. In that measure, I have certainly been very successful. As of now, I’m setting my sights on a trifecta of writing projects. Two of said projects will  assist in establishing my humble beginnings as a mangaka, while the third will  hopefully become my breakout novel in the world of writing. Though my goals may be far-fetched on the outset, it is necessary to have a certain degree of aspiration (and a big dreamy heart) to succeed as a writer, and that is just what I’m going to do!

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A part of me always knew that I wanted to be a writer, even though it took me long enough to actually admit it. While I have no clue as to how my dreams will fully manifest, I delight in the mystery of not knowing, as it has only made my experiences so far all the more adventures and awesome. Now, having said all of this, it is time for me to set off on my journey, across this sea of dreams!

Bogged Down With Formatting…

It is a necessary step, but formatting is possibly the most irksome part of publishing a book. That’s pretty much where I’ve been in the last two weeks, wading through a murky swamp of page breaks, indentations, paragraph spacings, margins etc. Having completed the illustrations, along with the cover art for my book, I spent an entire week polishing said images to fit the prerequisite conditions for publication.

As of now I’m alighting upon the final few steps before clicking on that beautiful button “Publish” on my screen. I’m hoping to have the book out by next week, and prior to release, I will provide full details on the work (along with promotions), including where it will be available, and how you, my wonderful readers can get your hands on it. Following the publication, I intend to continue promoting the book on the blog, while getting back to the posts I had planned earlier.

I thank everyone for being patient, and I look forward to sharing my work with you very soon!! Have a great weekend!!

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Let’s get the ball rolling!

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to provide a general update, before putting up my review on Chapter 1 of Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden.

I know it has been a long wait, and I apologize for the delay, but I’ve experienced quite a productive, and intense week. I was finally able to complete the content editing required on Agent X, and now have a first draft of the book. I hope to pursue further editing in the future before proceeding towards any plans to publication.

I had hoped for a wonderful beginning to 2017, and on the heels of this personal achievement, I can say my confidence is at an all-time high. Having just also traveled back to visit my family in India, I’m currently recovering from jet lag. Nevertheless, the wait is now over, and it is now time for me to get the ball rolling on my plans for the blog, but before that, I’d like to thank you all for your patience!!

Now, let’s do this!

It is done!

Great news everyone! As of yesterday, I have successfully completed the first draft of my second book (Agent X, as we decided to call it on my last post).

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It took a few hours…Well, actually, an entire day of exhaustive writing, and by around 10 p.m., I was typing the last words of the epilogue. The rush of emotions that accompanied the completion of my second work was exhilarating, and in a way, bittersweet. I spent the rest of the night reminiscing about the two year journey over the course of which I had written the book.

Of course, there is still much that remains to be done. I will now proceed with the most arduous task of content editing my work. On the other hand, the end of this project brings up the excitement of various future prospects. Apart from the accompanying art work I intend to do for Agent X, I will now slowly make my transition into Manga school, while brainstorming my next three writing projects.

I will also be making a few changes to the content presentation on this blog. The purpose of this blog is to provide a free space where I can express my thoughts, as well as share my knowledge with all of you. To further help facilitate these discussions in an interesting manner, I intend to go about categorizing my daily posts. I’m hoping that a few months from now, I will have set up several categories of posts in subjects ranging from:

(1) Critical thinking

This will primarily involve weekly discussions on an interesting article of my choice in science, politics, philosophy, and just about anything that can wrack my brain.

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(2) Teaching & Problem-solving

This will be a two-fold approach that would help complement my current duties as a student tutor at the university, where I typically face the following scenarios:

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 and which I try to resolve in due fashion, with ample flair,

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Let’s get this over with.

 I have yet to decide on how to organize this part of the blog, but it may predominantly involve discussions or solutions to the most interesting questions I encounter with my students on a weekly basis, or any other cool puzzles that catch my eye!

(3) Book reviews/Read-along

This is something I have always wanted to do. So far, I have done one book review (Star Wars, The Old Republic: Revan), but I would also like to try something new where I would provide a summarized read-along discussion of sorts of the books I read. An immediate choice that I will provide posts about in the near future is Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden, which I’m currently parsing through.

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(4) My daily adventures & lots of writing!

This is fairly simple. It is what I’ve been doing so far, and will be the primary form of my communication with everyone. There is a lot to life, and everyday proves to be a grand adventure!

And that’s basically it for my update. The purpose of this post was to keep you all informed. The changes will be gradual, but I hope that you will all come to enjoy the myriad selection of posts this blog will host in the coming days!