Sunday, August 27, 2006

DesiLit,Writers, Writing

So now that I've organized my writing efforts and put my project management skills to work, I'm getting my work published online. I've gotten rejections, but the acceptances outweight the effects of the rejections. Though I could use an acceptance of my poetry somewhere (just for an ego boost!)

Anyway, check out DesiLit's first online magazine for my review of Shashi Tharoor's Bookless in Baghdad. The DesiLit editors did an impressive job in selecting quality work for their magazine and I enjoyed reading the bios of the contributors, since each seem as fascinating as their work.

As for Tharoor, I had the opportunity to meet him last year and saw him speak on two different occasions, just months apart. I wanted to see him at another event, but feared he'd call me a stalker. Here's a picture from the SAJA writers conference last year. I had asked him to sign my "Mirrorwork" book while my cousin and friends took the pictures. (We turned from smart, confident women into giggling author groupies at this event, dribbling phrases like "I loved your book.") He had read a chapter from "Bookless in Baghdad" and it would not be released in the US for a few months. Fortunately, someone brought this book for us from India.

That was a great event with speakers like Anita Desai, Suketu Mehta and Jhumpa Lahiri. For me it was most powerful to see Jhumpa on stage. I admit - as an aspiring and passionate writer - I've been jealous of Jhumpa's success. Usually I think, what does she have that I don't? From what I know, our lives and upbringing are quite similar, except that she continued with her MFA and has a Pulitzer, while I took detours and ended up with an MS in Information Science. (Damn proud of that I am!)

That day, she had come to the event with her husband and children. Her husband was taking care of the little ones and while on stage, she would nervously glance at them. Her husband was taking the crying kids out of the auditorium. As soon as she was able to get off the stage, she raced out of the auditorium and they all left. That made me realize that at the end of the day, when you're done with your Pulitzer and author presentations, you are a mom with a crying baby. This is what is always on the forefront of who you are. In that light, everything looked so different about being a literary success.

I also got over my feelings of frustration, too. I always felt, she's taking my stories. That day she read an excerpt of an upcoming novel. I listened and realized these are her stories and mine are totally different. There's not just one queue for literary success. There are many and we're in parallel queues (and mine just happens to wrap around the block!)

By the way, I blogged about this event for DesiLit.

4 comments:

yoga4dogs said...

I admit - as an aspiring and passionate writer - I've been jealous of Jhumpa's success. Usually I think, what does she have that I don't? From what I know, our lives and upbringing are quite similar, except that she continued with her MFA and has a Pulitzer, while I took detours and ended up with an MS in Information Science. (Damn proud of that I am!)

---> C'mon... I bet Jhumpa Lumpa wouldn't be able to get an MS in IS. There are some people who actually imbibe the best of both worlds to produce decent output. You could be one of them and give the Jhumpa Lumpas a taste of your gripping commentary.

By the way, is it an MS or a MS? Your blog is already making me nervous.

ps: We finally know how you feel about Jhumpa Lumpa.

later
//

Ashini said...

hey prop,
good point about the "an MS or a MS." I'll stick with the "an MS" b/c I'm saying "M" and not "Masters," which would call for "a Masters."

Speaking of Masters, I remember when I got it one of my mgrs made a comment about going for a PhD now (!!), but it doesn't make sense. With a Masters, you remain the Master. With a PhD, you become the slave to your dissertation. :-)

Anyway, this is just my first one. I will definitely get an MFA later. I might set up a 529 Tuition Plan for myself and my girl.

BTW, I really didn't dig the blog site you linked there. Too many tech acronyms for me to enjoy the site (I'm quite a pseudo-geek).

Thanks for checking my site (do you hear NPR playing in the back?)

yoga4dogs said...

# When Harry Met Sally
# Steel Magnolias
# Life is Beautiful
# The Sound of Music
# Moonstruck

Oh wow... You are probably the most "PG" person I have ever known. I have a theory about movies: it needs a certain type of support/belief system with all the trappings of wholesomeness to carve a sunny personality that likes moves such as the above. Now does this contradict with your desire to write? Don't writers have to be complex, dark, and moody?

On a different note, the blog I linked was meant to suggest the comedic timing of the writer. He is very inventive with rants and does pretty well with new verbal abuses by infusing a lot of British verbiage; which, Americans love. All in jest.

later
//

Ashini said...

hey prop,

Why would my movie choices reflect my desire to write? There's enough moodiness & drama in my real life! When I see a movie, I look for realism, fantastic dialogue, tight directing and excellent acting.

Also, if you go through my blog site, I do regular write up reviews of movies I watch and they're not all saccharine specials. I picked the movies above because they're cozy -- like being under a warm blanket with cup of something hot. I know all the words to these movies too.

I'm sure if you pulled out a list of movies, I could circle more movies as my favorites. But, these come to mind quickly. I was thinking about updating my list of favorite books, so I'll do movies too.