Bird by bird is a book on writing by Anne Lamott, to say that it’s only a book would be a bit of understatement. It’s a holy grail, and I feel a pinch of pain in my heart because I got to read it so late in my life. The book was recommended to me by my friend Nitin who himself is a writer and blogs @Tidbit. He is also an avid reader, so when I asked him how come he is so regular with his writings, he told me about this very book that is his bible for writing. So, with trembling hands, I picked the Kindle version of the book and started reading it. After reading two pages, I paused to let everything sink in. It felt like as if every single line was sitting there to be discovered and understood by me. Never before, I have highlighted so many passages and lines in a book. I never thought that I would add notes for my future reference in a book, you can, of course, exclude the course books.
I usually don’t re-read my books, what? Yes, now listen to me entirely, first of all, I am a slow reader, I read only a few books in a year, so I try to focus on reading just new books. After all, so many books and so little time to read them all. Also, I have realized that we tend to like books as per our age, sentiment, and stage of life. So, I found only a few books that are universal in their approach and time.
But this time was different, and I knew all along that I would keep coming back to this book. This book has so much to give to you if you are an amateur writer like me, who thinks of writing a book someday. The writer talks about each aspect of writing bird by bird. You will understand this phrase once you finish this book. There is a dedicated chapter for every topic that concern’s a writer’s psyche. It not only imparts knowledge but adds perspective to your writer self. You will realize over the course of the book that what is vital if you want to become a writer. It gives you an insight of all the hurdles or disappointment that one faces on this path. It makes you think of the time when somewhere within yourself, you thought about doing it for the rest of your life, or you had the notion that this is what makes sense to you, or this is what gives you a purpose. Maybe you are someone who hasn’t figured it out yet, the reason behind your fascination with writing. Then this book will make you think about that too.
I don’t want to disclose any of the things or the topics that are discussed in the book, because I want you to dive into this book with an open state of mind. I want you to feel the gamut of emotions that surged inside my own heart while reading it. I hope you find this book as fascinating and as uplifting as me and my friend see it. I hope this book brings some perspective to your writing life.
I will like to end this post with this quote from the book “To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal, but you have to care.”
PS: If you have already read this book, then let’s discuss your feelings about it in below comment section.
Be Prepared – Because tragedy always catches us when we are unaware.
It is the beginning of a new month.And Augusts are always special. Often, there are an umpteen number of holidays and festivals lined up in August – which would naturally mean fun time with family. August Is a very special month for me too. Both my father-in-law and husband have their birthdays in August and our marriage anniversary is in August too. Incidentally my grandparents too were married in August. Hence, the month had always been special for me.My son having completed his board exams this year, my husband and I had planned for a gala wedding anniversary this year. But what we hadn’t planned for was a future without one of us. So, here I am – facing the August rain – alone!
Death, sickness and separation isn’t a pleasant thing to talk about but standing at this juncture I’ve realized that it is wiser to look at the…
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You may have forgotten that face but what about that memory that keeps lingering in some corner of your mind. Once you were watching a movie and a scene left you in splits of laughter and tears came rolling down your eyes. In that same moment, came the memory of that face from the hidden corner of your mind, leaping at you, guffawed, you couldn’t fathom it out, and now your tears have changed their course, they are no longer tears of joy but of misery and pain.
At some another time, on some another beautiful night, you were enjoying the pretty fairies of dreams. Suddenly you see that face, the face which meant so many things to you at a time, but no longer holds any value. Slowly your dream starts changing, and abruptly you are in another world with a different vision, which keeps going around that particular face. It doesn’t stop, even if you try thousand times to prevent it from going beyond that point, but the reins have left your fingers, and now you are on a wild journey, exhausted you wake up, with the memory of that face and dream. And you no longer know what to do with all of this or what does it all mean.
You start feeling all the pain rushing back into your heart. Your heart doesn’t know if this pain will ever cease to exist, but your mind tells you if you stop thinking, someday it will. But how would you stop thinking, when the heart is still holding the grains of your past’s dust.
Now the only thing you can do is pick up your pen and write with your all might, to clear up all the weeds of your past. So that once again the grass of your present become clean, and you can go back to your life peacefully.
As we already know that Wimbledon got over last weekend and Novak Djokovic became the Winner for the fourth time, I had something to talk about it. I didn’t watch the final, just saw the snippet of the best shots and the award ceremony.
This post is not about the winner but instead about another great player who didn’t reach the final but won my heart, Rafal Nadal. I watched only the last two sets of the semi-final between Novak and Rafa, on Saturday 14th. Actually, the semi-final began on Friday 13th but got halted due to Wimbledon’s 11 pm curfew time after Djokovic had saved three set points in a gripping third-set tiebreak to move one set ahead. The timings were pretty late for IST zone people. My husband and I were disappointed by missing this opportunity of watching the two best players face each other 52nd time. But all was not lost, as we woke up on Saturday with this news of the game halt. Voila, here we were watching the Saturday game which begins with the following score:
- Nadal 4,6,6
The 4th set was terrific, bringing Nadal on equal terms with Djokovic with each of them having two sets each in their baskets. And the highlight of that set was Djokovic’s frustration by angrily smashing his racket into his shoe when Nadal won the fourth set due to his forehand error.
This scene surprised me a lot, as I have never seen Djokovic that way before. While on the other hand, Nadal was comfortable in his situation. Of course, it was a very tough match, and the stakes were a bit higher for Djokovic as he hasn’t won any Grand Slam in the last two years. Moreover, his ATP rankings have slipped from the top three players to No 12. So yes, the situation was pretty bad for him but losing control like that wasn’t a good idea. He was very aggressive throughout this Wimbledon series. In fact, in his quarter-final, he had a scene with the chair umpire.
I have seen very few matches of Nadal, so I never noticed much of his behavior on-court. But on Saturday when I saw him playing, I noticed that he played every single shot with such precision. Every time he missed his mark and Djokovic got the point, he felt bad, but there was no aggression or anger on his face. It felt like for him playing a great match matters more than anything. For me, he was the true gentleman of the game.
I know maintaining calmness in such tense situations is not a cup of everyone’s tea. Some people have a high patience level since birth and some work towards it. This one of the most required quality in today’s time. Because you may win a game or two, but you never win people’s heart. Like Boris Becker said in his commentary “Djokovic knows that people love Federer and Nadal, and respect him, he wants to win their love too.”
No one started loving them overnight, and they have earned every bit of that love.
If you want to earn respect be good at what you do, be sincere, people will respect you but if you want someone to love you, show your heart <3.
“Never forget the earth beneath you, even when you’re flying high.”
PS: You can’t forget this little munchkin who absolutely stole the show and hearts of people.