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New blessings

  Trees are beginning to feel a little lighter. Leaves are changing their costumes, putting their make-up on, getting dressed to leave their old lives, making place for the new to take shape.  I try to add a spring in my step, crunching the dried leaves resting on the sidewalk. Patches of orange and green leaves, specks of yellow on a few others, deep reds peeping from the fresh greens are a welcoming sight for me. I am amazed at the way in which fall walks in year after year, accompanied by a quiet grace, making for gentle celebrations. There is a common thought that crosses my mind at the same time every year. Have I changed? What parts of me have I let go, fall away like the dried leaves that I just stomped upon? Where are my branches leading me? How much longer can I hold on to the green leaves? Am I prettier when I change color? This year is astonishingly different. The virus has changed nearly everything. It has taken away so much from us, including loved ones, jobs and the

The magic of writing groups

Writing is a solitary activity. I have seen, read and heard this line many times over and over. I have also met writers who need total silence and shut themselves away from devices and people and keep themselves open only to their thoughts and ideas. I agree that if you have quiet time and no distractions, you can churn out good content and meet burning deadlines. In today’s piece, I am going to walk you through quite the opposite of this. Writing groups. For the past five years, I have been actively participating in writing groups. When I first started out, I had no idea how helpful and inspiring it would be to write with a group of writers. Creative writing groups in public libraries and other avenues in the writing community in Charlotte have given me a taste of how it works. Though awkward and shy initially, I slowly realized that it was a community with a purpose. The purpose was to get your thoughts out on a paper or on a device. Prompts and the ways in which writers in the

My Not So Favorite Pupil

Teaching Surinder English was a nightmare. His handwriting was like ants doing a cabaret, pronunciation was a mystery since he avoided speaking to me in English and his marks were stagnant, like the puddle of rainwater, that never dried up. I dreaded correcting his test papers. His spellings, lack of structure in the sentence and the empty words filling up the page was no less than a horror movie. I was more than just worried and worried for myself, more than him. If he did not score well in the mid-term exams this year, the principal was going to be upset with me again. I would be beyond upset, not able to forgive myself for not being a good teacher. Honestly, I was doing my best. He was an average student, scoring fairly well in all subjects, except the horrifying ENGLISH. I stayed back after school hours, trying to make him read story books meant for younger kids, encouraging him to watch cartoons with English dialogue and sweated over translating every word in English from the

The Magic Carpet

I had a chance to collaborate with  https://www.instagram.com/jeanonhertravels/  for this piece. A wonderful experience and loved sharing my words about my grandmother with the rest of the world!

How I Wrote A Novel In 4 Months

I love writing! It has been a hobby of mine since I was 12 years old. As I grew older, my hobby soon turned into a passion, and then published books. As I continue to grow as a writer, I’ve developed a system of how I write my novels. I understand that not everyone will write a novel as fast as I have, still, I want to share how I wrote a novel in 4 months! 1.      Month One: Story and Outline For the first month, I write down a summary of the story. I write no more than a paragraph to start getting my writing juices flowing. Next, I write a chapter by chapter summary of what is happening in the plot. This structure I follow to set up my story: Chapters 1 through 6 are the opening/exposition, Chapters 7-15 are the rising action/climax, and Chapters 16 beyond is the falling action/resolution. I know that some chapters are maybe shorter or longer. Even in my books, it may not have this exact structure, but it’s a good layout to follow if you are stuck. 2.      Month Two: Begin to W