A good life is a contented life;
It isn’t chasing rainbows of flighty fleeting moments of happiness, fading ever-faster into flimsy emptiness.
It isn’t your colour, race, religion or creed,
Your gender, culture, or whether you are rich or poor.
Lets-call-her-Lee had long dreamed
of changing her name
and taking a Greyhound
to someplace deemed safe
I promised that I would throw a bag at each resting stop
So he allowed me inside and I boarded the bus with a hop
At the first stop, I threw my bag carrying ‘Comparisons ‘
And the bus started again, leaving that station
On the next stop, I chose to throw the bag containing ‘Expectations’
It’s okay to be broken
And let it all out
All the words you’ve left unspoken
That you’re unable to shout
Cry little girl
You’re not out of place
Go right ahead child
Have the tears roll down your face
You are a dire necessity I know, O Poverty
Much have I had of you all my life
And long to have you all the more of yours.
The secret to excellent writing is to enjoy with ecstatic abandonment each letter and syllable we put down on paper. The pure joy of writing makes us successes; nothing else will. Those who tell us we have to struggle and sweat have not grasped true meaning in their lives. We need no approval of any human to be a success.
Could you will to enquire where we are caught,
And why the ball of fire has not touched us?
Give it some time, give what’s been said a thought
Before you put your questions, making fuss.
Let each thought causing you harm now cease; strong and brave you shall be!
Not brooding on what’s past does sound wise; exactly what we feel.
The acts you do are not done by you; there’s forces you hardly see.
Fruit, therefore, you’ll not seek even once; let’s just term all this deal!
The author, who can speak a bit of Spanish and Welsh besides swearing in Punjabi, thanks to his Indian friends at school, also stresses while accepting the reality might be hard, if one does accept, then it will take the sting off the inevitable rejections and negative reviews that all authors get. ‘With rejections, try to be level-headed when they land. First consider whether they are sincere, or whether they are just a form rejection with little thought or substance behind them. If they are sincere, then study them carefully, take on board the comments and try to learn,’ he explains, adding, ‘This is especially important if those rejections go into specific detail about what did and didn’t work. Try and see this as honest advice from top people within the industry, which, in any other scenario, you would probably be paying good money for.’
I clutch little baby hands, his body wrapped in a hospital sheet.
It’s blue and red – much like his skin; my baby.
His face is the image of peace, but there’s something
not right in the silence of it all. They take him and hide him
away from my desperate eyes, but it’s a loud silence
that has my whole chest-bursting at the ribs.
I beg every god I know that he might breathe.
Besides, Mr Frankel shares with us that being an English coach and editor, he has to make time for other essential activities as well. While he usually writes at night for a few hours and takes breaks every fifty minutes or so, we learn that during the day too, he gets interesting ideas, which he more often than not jots down immediately. ‘During the day, however, I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) besides editing other writers’ works. Then, I do my own thing, which is writing. When I want to relax, I listen to music, read, or try to sleep. Most writers are sleep deprived at one point or another, and sleep is imperative to being creative.’
I am going to stay wounded.
And I shall never trow that
I can forgive those who have wronged me.
This might surprise you, but
my soul will avenge my perpetrators.
And I won’t ever want to think that
forgiveness is an art.
She wrote the Christian superhero series entitled ‘Science, Meet God’ while being crippled for four years after having undergone knee surgery at the age of twenty four. ‘I was on the verge of paralysis before a doctor finally figured that slipping disks had severed my spinal cord in half. I had spinal surgery in 2014. The healing process was slow and painful, and I would like to thank Cliff for being the best nurse a girl could ever hope for,’ she shares with us.
In two eyes, we observe; in one eye we connect.
Two eyes make judgements that one eye rejects.
Two eyes show this one life, one eye shows the rest.
Two eyes watch the lesson; one eye takes the test.
Poet Nirmal Parashar’s writing journey began with a quote he had read in the book ‘The Light of Asia’: Leave love for love of lovers. ‘This powerful quote has only remained etched on my mind since I read it,’ says the poet, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. He tells us that because he was an introvert, he used to spend more time with books than with friends during his school and college days. ‘Nonetheless, during adolescence, the curiosity to understand the word “love” became intense,’ he states with a smile, adding, ‘And although I was hardly familiar with this, I was curious to know how it feels to love and be loved.’
While Mr Martin makes it clear that he never really thought of becoming a full-fledged writer until Pretty Flamingo happened, he says now it has become next to impossible for him to stop writing. ‘When I came up with the concept for my first novel, I believed that would be the only novel I would write. But then I found I enjoyed the whole process and I started getting ideas for other novels, so I figured I might as well keep at it. Now here I am working on my fifth novel,’ he shares with a smile.
When author Vince Stevenson was just twenty-nine years old, he’d moved to London, and for the first time, began living alone. That was exactly when he felt he’d all the time in the world. Before relocating to London, the author, now sixty-two, had worked for big companies and was heavily involved in communication. ‘In the old days, we had large dictionaries on our desks. I attended meetings and was often responsible for disseminating and documenting material, and it had to be accurate. If anything left my desk with a typo, I’d be cross with myself,’ begins Mr Stevenson, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. That was exactly when he started attending writing classes and meeting people with similar interests. ‘And I found that incredibly inspiring. I began to write short stories about the IT world, and I had many published in Computer Weekly,’ he tells us with a beatific smile.
‘Autistic kids are very particular about certain things. They want everything to be organised. Yes, they are aloof and they hardly mingle with others, but their innocence is something that moves my heart and soul. Some of them do end up finding good jobs.’