She Reads South Asia


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's NaNoWriMo Time Again

Hi all you writer folks out there! Yes, believe it or not, another year has gone by and it's time for NaNoWriMo once again. For those not familiar with what it is, let me give you a brief synopsis and then you can go to the main site for more info and to sign up yourself.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (November). Writers have the entire month of November to write a novel of 50,000 words. Are you up to the challenge? Think you can do it? Then please join us now as we start in 1 day - November 1st!

You can also join in with other writers from your area who have decided to take the challenge too. They'll be big kick-off parties, incentives, encouragement and buddy sign-ups to help you along the way.

You can get more info and sign up here at NaNoWriMo's Website.

You can find me in the India section of Elsewhere in India. If someone is interested in moderating an India forum for us, you'll find the infomation on doing so here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Absolute Write Comment Chain #3

It's time for the Absolute Write Comment Chain #3. Starting November 1st, we have to leave a comment on each blog and do it within a week - that's 10 blogs, 7 days. Here are the participants:

Resources for Emotional Well-Being
Marilyn's Royal Blog
Karen Mary A Writer's Blog
West of Mars
Secret Government EGGO Project
A Fatman and His Dog
The Working Writer's Coach
The Road Less Travelled
Gillian's Food History
Everything Indian that's me ;-)
A View From The Waterfront

Please join us in visiting their pages and leaving a comment or two. See you there.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Writer Kiran Desai wins Man Booker Prize

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Indian writer Kiran Desai won Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize Tuesday October 10th for "The Inheritance of Loss," a cross-continental saga that moves from the Himalayas to New York City.

Born in 1971 and educated in India, England and the United States, Desai
published her first novel, "Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard," in 1998.

It's ironic that the day before this news came out, I had just purchased one of her mother's (novelist Anita Desai) older books, "In Custody".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SRK's 'Don' interview on Sabras Radio in the UK

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Don' interview with Faruk Razak will be broadcast on Sabras Radio during Faruk's show on Tuesday October 17th (just three days before the film's release) @10 A.M. (U.K. time). Don't miss it! But if you do, Raj Baddhan will replay it on either Thursday or Friday during his 'Drivetime Show'.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Countdown is On!

There are only 10 more days until the world-wide release of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Don' on October 20th!

Yet, there is only 1 more day for the release of the most talked about book on the top Bollywood actor's life. It be finally be launched on 11 October in Mumbai's Hotel Grand Maratha Sheraton. 'Still Reading Khan' by Mushtaq Shiekh is priced at Rs 3,000 and is a pictorial journey on the King Khan from his days as a struggling actor in Delhi to his rise to fame as the "Badshah of Bollywood". Om Book International is the publisher of 'Still Reading Khan' and will be releasing 10,000 first edition copies.

So all you fellow SRK fans, it's the book that we've all been waiting for!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Room to Read Celebrates International Literacy Day

On September 8, 2006, Room to Read celebrated International Literacy Day across the six Asian countries where we work. Thousands of students, teachers, parents, and community members participated in a variety of activities that we organized in numerous schools and libraries. From story writing competitions to plays, from reading quizzes to games, the activities we hosted were designed to promote literacy and education. Here are some of the ways our local teams celebrated this special day.

In India, Room to Read held a number of activities including story-telling, poem recitation, drawing and writing competitions, and even a science exhibit. These events were attended by our local team and by representatives of DHL, one of our wonderful global and local partners. Our staff also reached out to children who are not currently in school and encouraged them to attend school so that they may get an education.

To learn more about Room to Reads efforts and how you can help, please go to their Website.


Room to Read has partnered with The South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) via a unique in-kind partnership in Manhattan, New York, USA. The SAIFF is a non-profit dedicated to supporting artists from South Asia. Room to Read will present a children's film as part of the festival and speak to the audience about our mission. Look for us on October 8th as part of their Children's Afternoon schedule. The Festival runs from October 4-8, 2006. For details, go to the SAIFF

Monday, October 02, 2006

To Write or Not To Write

Talia started Round #7 of our AW Chain. She asked a very good question that all writers should ask of themselves - when should we STOP writing?

As a writer, I hope that time never comes when my writing has to cease. What would become of me if I were not able to express myself through the written word? To me writing has always been a major part of my persona, a stabilizing force in my life. But if my work or my readers suffered from it, I would definitely have to rethink the way in which my thoughts/ideas were being translated onto paper (literal or virtual).

A friend and fellow journalist recently offered some advice on what to do when our writing just isn’t what it should be. She was in the midst of writing a “very important story for a very important magazine” and was fretting over every word. Her photographer boyfriend came to the rescue with the answer. As she began to flip out with panic, he simply told her to “relax, lie down, close my eyes and just listen.”

“He then read the story out loud to me, word by word, sentence by sentence, slowly, clearly, unrushed. Hearing my story through his voice, I could see where it stumbled. I could hear the structure, the highs and the lows. The long sentences. The words, the rhythms. I could see how some passages were stronger than I’d intended. I saw where things fell flat. But most of all, as he read, I could hear what I’d written with distance and clarity. And it was good. Great, even. I stopped panicking. A few minutes later, I was able to smooth out the rough edges and send off the story with confidence.”

To find out the results of this exercise and subsequent story, please see Mridu’s blog post

Without giving it away, we’ll just say that I have taken her suggestion under advisement.

Another thing to do when getting frustrated to the point of giving up, try switching to another assignment and then come back to it; provided you’re not working under the threat of a serious deadline. Or if the type of writing or genre you’re working with simply “isn’t working”, try another one. To spice things up, try a subject you’ve never attempted before. You may just find out that you excel at it.

Or you can do something way out there like I did - co-write a Bollywood script with my writing partner. We thoroughly researched the subject that we wanted to explore. The result was a tri-cultural, semi-historical script, covering three generations, complete with song and dance sequences written in (now you know why Indian films tend to run about 3 hours long), which we hope will be accepted by a director/producer in India.

It took us over a year to complete and we had so much fun doing it. Of course we’ve also chosen which actresses and actors we want to take on the roles too. Whether or not that part materializes remains to be seen but we’re hopeful.

So I guess that would bring me to ask the question - Have you ever switched subjects/genres or written something else totally out of the ordinary for you?

Let’s see what our next linker (is that politically correct?) in the chain Gillian has to say about it.