Monday, April 13, 2015

Kerala Festival - Vishu 2015


Vishu is the astronomical or zodiac New Year in Kerala and is observed on the first day of the Malayalam month of ‘Medam.’ From an astrological point of view, Vishu is of immense significance. The day and night are of equal duration on the Vishu day (12 hours).

Usually Vishu is held on April 14, but this year (2015) it is shifted to April 15th. This is because Vishu is decided based on the transition of the sun from Meena Rashi to Mesha Rashi (Meda Rasi). Vishu with Vishukkani is observed after the Sun enters Mesha Rashi. This means the transition should take place before sunrise on April 14 to observe it on the day. If the transition is after sunrise on April 14 then Vishu is observed on April 15.

Kani konnapoo- image courtesy: Wikimedia.org

What are the highlights of Vishu?

Vishukkani, Vishukaineetam and Vishubhalam are the highlights of Vishu.

Vishu starts with Vishukkani, the first auspicious thing people see on the day. It is during the Brahma Muhurtha or ideally between 0400 hrs and 0600 hrs. Vishukkani is prepared on the previous night, before going to sleep, arranged in an uruli (a traditional brass vessel). Items like rice, kasavu mundu (traditional cloth of Kerala), gold, silver, coins, mirror (usually Aranmula Kannadi or mirror with a tail), cucumber, mango, jackfruit, coconut, banana, and decked with Kanikonna (yellow flower known as Indian Laburnum) are included in the kani. The uruli with these items are placed before the idol of God, usually Lord Krishna, with a vilakku (a traditional Kerala brass lamp) lit beside it. The family members must see these auspicious scene as the first sight of the day. Special Vishukkani poojas will be held at main Krishna temples, and many people go to the temples to be a part of it.

The eldest member of the family gives Vishu kaineetam, a coin, to the members one by one and takes they in turn takes his blessings for a happy and prosperous year. (These days the coin is replaced with a big note in many families).

Vishubhalam, the prediction of the coming year, is read by an astrologer on this day.

After that, a delicious vegetarian lunch with mouthwatering payasam (a sweet dish) is served.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tips from famous writers about writing - Part II


1. Write only when you have something to say. - David Hare

2. If you want to be a writer,you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. - Stephen King.

3. I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. — Joan Didion

4. Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph - Roddy Doyle

5. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. - Anne Lamott

6. A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. - Helen Dunmore

7. The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning. – Erica Jong

8. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.- Elmore Leonard

9. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut

10.Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something. - Geoff Dyer

Go back to Part I

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tips from famous writers about writing- Part I


We all want to become better writers in our respective fields. Let us learn from the tips from the popular writers.

1. Write in the third person unless a really distinctive first-person voice offers itself irresistibly. - Jonathan Franzen

2. Never pun your title, simpler is usually better: Lolita turns out to be a great title; couldn’t be simpler. - Martin Amis

3. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me?” - C.S. Lewis

4. When you catch an adjective, kill it. -Mark Twain

5. Don’t start a paragraph with the same word as previous one. That goes doubly for sentences. - Martin Amis

6. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words. - V.S. Naipaul

7. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you're good at it, you don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill. - Elmore Leonard

8. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page. - Margaret Atwood

9. Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear). - Diana Athill

10. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. - Neil Gaiman

Friday, April 3, 2015

Story - Point of View - PoV


Every story is written with a point of view,which means how it is told to your readers. Point of view (PoV) is a term that defines from whose eyes the narrative relies upon. Basically, there are three main types:

First person
Third Person
Omniscient

Want to know more about PoV and how they are written?
Read this article.

Which is your favorite method of PoV? I mostly write in third person and sometimes in Omniscient.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

10 Motivational Quotes for Success


Sometimes we need motivational quotes to fuel our energy to continue our work. Otherwise we may feel lazy and hesitate to go forward. Check out these 10 motivational quotes which will recharge us again.

1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison.

2. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch.

3. “Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost.” ― Kellie Elmore.

4. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou.

5. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar.

6. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills.

7. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”- Winston Churchill.

8. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.

9. “People throw stones at you and you convert them into milestones.” ― Sachin Tendulkar.

10. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ― Charles Darwin.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Five Quotes on Writing


If you are looking for some interesting quotes to inspire your writing please read this list.

1. A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people - Thomas Mann

2.There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. - Somerset Maughan

3. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First Rule - Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite Hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to College. - Kurt Vonnegut

4. Just write everyday of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers. - Ray Bradbury.

5. No Tears in the Writer, No tears in the Reader. No surprise for the Writer, No surprise for the Reader. - Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tips for Third person narrative


Many of us write our novels in third person narratives. Have you ever experienced difficulty in writing third person perspective, especially when have to manage multiple perspectives?

If you are one of them, check out some of the excellent tips given by the famous writer Nathan Bransford on his blog, to solve this problem. It is worth checking out these tips, to handle such problems.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Quotes on Inspiration


1. "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems."
- John Gardner

2. "Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action."
- Benjamin Disraeli

3. "We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough."
- Helen Keller

4. "We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. "Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do."
- Orison Swett Marden