Why 2 blogs?

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So a few weeks back I started a new blog called Curing the Itch.

I thought I would use that blog for exploring my new journey toward Visual Arts (sketching/digital painting/motion graphics/vfx) and would use this blog for my regular writing/poetry/book reviews stuffs.

But in these few weeks, I have had two new revelations:

1st: It is utterly difficult managing two blogs at the same time. It is also very confusing for myself and my readers.

2nd: Art is art. No matter how it is expressed. Be it be illustrated, written, sang, animated, etc. So… why two blogs!?

There really was no point in creating a separating a blog for writing, the other for sketching, and maybe a third for motion graphics, or whatever. All those are a part of me and I can express all those through this one platform.

Many of you did me great honor and favor by following both my blogs. But I don’t want to make it any more confusing on my part, and want to deactivate the other blog (for now!) before too many others follow it.

I apologize to all the followers of “Curing the Itch”.

Thanks for staying with me!

 

 

P.S. If anyone else has gone through similar problem and have any feedback or suggestion for this… it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Leave a Link

Invitations for another Meet n Greet, bloggers!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Think and dream big words written on chalkboard Think and dream big words written on chalkboard

Okay, leave me a link in the comments and I will reblog today through Sunday.  One link per post and please, nothing off-color, racist or generally mean.  Some language is okay, but excessive eff bombs will not be reblogged on my page.

Other than that leave as many links as you would like, but remember to return the favor and reblog this link.

Danny

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Overcoming My Biggest Fear

A story that I could sooo relate to:

Words for Thought

Not so long ago, by the smoke of a campfire, some of my friends decided to talk about their biggest fears. It was this big thing. They went around in a circle and said things like:

“Snakes.. hands down!”

“Getting lost.”

“Bugs.”

“Death”

“Heights.”

“The unknown.”

Then suddenly it was my turn. I was awfully quiet. “What are you afraid of?” My eyes danced from person to person and my heart was doing that little pitter-patter uneasy thing. I was burning my marshmallow. “Um… I don’t know.” Subject change.

I really had no idea what to say. I couldn’t just shove my fears into one phrase like spiders or snakes. Truthfully, I had no real fear of anything they mentioned. So what was I afraid of? Why was I the odd one out? How can you know yourself if you don’t even know what scares you? This bothered me for…

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All Hands: Project Nepal in Kathmandu

This is so touching for me. Thank you all involved with the All Hands project! I’m sorry, I didn’t know sooner about you! But we can’t thank you enough for your hard work and selfless service in our time of need!

Moving Mindful

Since our last post, about our experience delivering school supplies to students in Saurpani, Gorkha, Ben and I decided to return to Kathmandu.

The monsoon season had started and sadly, based on our experience driving to and from Saurpani, we could see the roads were already deteriorating. Landslides would soon become the norm and some roads were expected to wash out completely. For the next three months these remote villages would now be even further cut off from the aid they desperately needed. We decided we would continue supporting relief projects in these areas, but would do so based out of Kathmandu.

We have been living in Kathmandu for the past month and have loved our experience here. We’ve spent our time volunteering 6 days a week with an organization called All Hands. They are an American NGO that has international volunteers on the ground, working in various communities in…

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Cheers to Writing!

BLOG POST IN A NUTSHELL: Introduction to Camp NaNoWriMo — rambling about how cool this is — further rambling about my July writing project — some cheap promotion of my “book cover” talents (such as they are) — and a not-so-subtle call to join me.

Me badge!

ME BADGE!

The July camp is almost here. Cabins will be assigned from tomorrow, and we will have about ten days of time to plot, outline, or simply muse about the story that we shall later flesh out throughout the month of July. Exciting time to be a writer, is it not?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First for those who’ve got no clue what I’m talking about, let me clear up that I’m, of course, talking about Camp National Novel Writing Month (Camp NaNoWriMo) — the famous sibling of, an even more famous, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that happens in November.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo celebrates the month of November as the writing month (that’s right, Movember is not the only thing that’s cool about this month). During this, writers all over the world take on the mammoth of a challenge of writing 50,000 words or more. The name says Novel, but you could write anything else — poetry, fan fiction, movie scripts, translations of your favorite books! The only thing that matters is you WRITE DOWN THOSE WORDS!

Come to think of it, the name could have just as easily been “International Whatever Writing Month”. But the obvious problem with this name would be it’s uncool acronym, “InWhaWriMo”. Meh. NaNoWriMo kinda’ gets to you.

Coming back to Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp NaNo is a bit different than the November NaNo in regard that the former happens every April and July. Also, there’s no minimum 50,000 word challenge. You get to set your own goal. You also get to be in a cabin with a fixed set of previously known or unknown writers.

That easy?” you ask.

“I can set 5000 words target and write “whatever” and win and get me some exciting prizes!”

Yeah, not.

I mean, you could of course “win”, but there won’t be any real prizes. Except for the prize that you will find — wait for it — inside you. See how I went all Zen in there?

But it’s true. The prize that you do really win is, most of all, a feeling of camaraderie. It feels good to know that there are writers all over writing alongside you, albeit virtually. And there’s also this big motivation to push on, to bleed on the paper (or on your word processor), and to complete the project you’ve started. I’ve heard there are writers who would kill for those things. Although, that’d be stupid. To kill, I mean. Not to… well, you get the idea.

See, the gist of it is that the event celebrates WRITING (no matter what age, profession, ability, or genre) and as a writer it shouldn’t hurt much to give it a try. Unless you go haunting for publishers heads-on from December itself.

My Project

Word Count Target: 30k to 50k

Series: Lightdrifter Chronicles (Because I just know I can’t stop after one book on this)

Title: The Boy of Light OR Long Live the Drowned (The first title is based on the protagonist. The second around major plot)

Behold the cover!
Cover based around a Major Event in the book!

Cover 1 (based around a major event in the book)

longlivethedrowned_2

Cover 2 (based around the setting)

Meh. Novice work. I know. I’m trying. And these need not be perfect. It’s only for the motivation to pull me through the project.

So…

After all this preparation, and after failing to meet my word-count goal for the last four Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m set for yet another failure. Or not. Who’s to say? I won’t find that out without trying.

So I won’t stop. I will participate, again and again. And again.

Will you?

 

 

LIEBSTER AWARD: Me, nominated? No way!

the-liebster-award

So. Liebster Award.

Here’s what I know about it so far. Besides that it is awesome. And I got nominated!

Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers by the means of simple nomination. There’s no real Golden Globe as promised by some. It’s basically a thing that celebrates growing bloggers — an encouragement, if you will. It works kinda like a chain letter — only it’s less annoying. And… Liebster is a German word, apparently,  rather than a peculiar sea creature (thanks, Wording Well).

DISCLAIMER : As a nominee, there are few rules that is expected of you to follow. As per one of the the rules, I have nominated 10 other bloggers whom I feel deserves the award. The blogs that I have chosen had content that I found really interesting, and it is something that I’d would like to return to, time and again. If by nominating you and involving you in this chain nominating-awarding thing, you feel intruded upon, I apologize in advance.

The rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated me and link to their blog.

2. Answer 10 questions asked by my nominator.

3. Nominate and link 10 other bloggers (with about less than 200 followers).

4. Notify all the bloggers I’ve nominated.

5. Create 10 new questions for my nominees to answer.

STEP 1: THANK YOU, MY NOMINATOR!

A big thanks to C.S. Wilde for nominating me. Without you, I would have never come across few of the beautiful blogs that I have further nominated below.

STEP 2: THE TEN-ACIOUS QUESTIONS ASKED UPON ME

1) Game of Thrones: Yay or Nay?

Super-duper YAY, all day long! Why should it be anything else? Politics, plotting, murder, battles, magic, fantasy, DRAGONS!, Erotica… all merged into one! Sign me up, now!

2) Batman or Superman?

Batman. Superman’s cool too. But Batman… is, well, BATMAN. His every action, so much as even narrowing of eyes (of what can be seen, at least), is intriguing and exciting.

3) What celebrity irritates you the most? If you answer anything other than the Kardashians, do let us know why.

Interesting. The question immediately puts the Kardashians in the picture and that automatically makes it impossible to imagine anyone else more irritating. Maybe, Kanye? After that song with the Lady Kardashian?

4)What’s your favorite book?

Ah! What indeed? Was it the Chronicles of Narnia that teleported me to a magical realm and made my childhood fantasies come true? Or was it the timeless Lord of the Rings, that opened a world of possibilities in the fantasy and introduced me to world of friendship, bravery, courage, and ORCS!? Maybe it was Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat that showed me that books could make you laugh just as well as movies? How do you make a choice between such great books!?

I’m sorry. I’m gonna cheat on this one. Can’t choose.

5) Favorite movie?

Easiest thing would be to list out the first three that pops to mind:

1. The Lord of the Rings. Because it’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS!

2. The Dark Knight

3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (I still don’t know why I loved that movie. Maybe I zone-out a lot.)

6) What’s the best TV series of all time?

Again, Imma gonna take help of my dear ally… the LIST!

1. FRIENDS

2. GAME OF THRONES

3. PRISON BREAK (only season 1)

7) What fictional character do you hate the most?

Joeffry from A Song of Ice and Fire. (Aw, I just snapped my jaw, clenching it too tight.)

8) If you could be anyone or anything in this world, who/what would you be?

Ummm…. okay… let’s see… Tony Stark, maybe? Yeah, that would be fun. But, if I can choose only a real person, it has to be  Stephen King. I just love that guy.

9) Aliens: fact or myth?

Aliens as in little green men from mars? Yeah, myth, for me. Though I’m completely open to the idea of other several highly intelligent life form (besides us) in the universe.

10) Would you survive for three days inside Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory?

Excessive cocoa intake would kill me on the morrow of the second day. That’s certain.

STEP 3: AND MY NOMINEES ARE…

1. Through Poetry

2. Niquita Sookdeo at 21stcenturyhobbit

3. Here is Neverland

5. Random Ramblings of Celeena Cree

6. One Name A Day

7. Melissa at Writing About Writing

8. The Accent of Secret Stories

9. Ashley Gardana

10. Tirza Duncan at The Ink Caster

Good luck, everyone. I hope you find time to go through the aforementioned rules! 

STEP 3: NOTIFY ALL THE BLOGGERS I’VE NOMINATED

Checked.

STEP 3: ME TURN!!!!! Huhuhuhahaha–kahakk!… ah…ahem!

10 questions for my nominees. (If you would.)

1. What is your favorite genre for reading? How often do you read beyond your genre?

2. Who is your all time favorite antagonist (any genre)? Any particular trait that intrigued you?

3. Intake of coffee, tea, or some form of alcohol increases creativity. Agree or disagree?

4. Which Lord of the Ring character are you? Or if you’re not into fantasy… who is your favorite book protagonist so far?

5. Can you go more than two days without writing (or reading, if you are a non-writer) anything creative?

6. Who is your favorite author? Any particular trait that you like?

7. Any story or character that you wish you’d have written?

8. If Justice League were to face off Avengers… who would have upper hand?

9. Do you feel more passionate when writing with a pen/cil & paper than electronically into the computer?

10. How do you balance blogging with your work (or with other forms of writing or school)?

So that’s that…

I enjoyed this. I also feel very lucky to have stumbled upon some beautiful blogs while searching for my nominees. Thank you all for inspiring.

To blogging!

NEPAL QUAKE RETURNS: A Terror That Just Won’t Go Away

12 MAY 2015

(17 Days after the deadly M7.8 Gorkha Earthquake)

The day began on a rather hopeful note. The sky had cleared up after the heavy shower of the earlier night (the night when I celebrated my supposed survival by daring to go watch Avengers: Age of Ultron 3D).

As the sun shone on my bed and basked me in its comforting warmth, my heart jumped with an epiphany.

Yes, this is it! This is how the chaos ends. It’s just too perfect!

Funny how something as simple as the clouds in the sky has such a high co-relation with the hormonal activities in your brain.

I remember making a mental note to myself at the moment that the worst was over, and now I had to do everything in my power to bring my life back to normalcy.

Little did I know.

Sometime around 12:47 pm (thanks to WIKIPEDIA)

I was watching some video on YouTube in my office, and guffawing at god knows what with one of my colleagues.

I stopped abruptly as I thought I felt a tremor. A violent shock that felt something like missing a step on the stairs — though I was unsure if it wasn’t just a random jolt of my muscle. Without a warning then, everyone around me started to rush out. Now, our office is at the second floor so you can probably imagine the panic.

I followed the crowd but was still pondering if it was even necessary. I mean I felt the tremor, obviously, but was cautiously waiting for it to pass (like those other times in the past few days). Turned out, it had no plans to do that just yet.

The journey downstairs was one of those blurred moments in life that we cannot tell with certainty if it even happened to us.

The next memory is of reaching the open parking lot of our office. Facebook and mobile apps update that the quake was of M7.3 and the epicenter was Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha. Some say it was an aftershock, others bring news that it’s a whole new monster. Either way, it was a devastating one.

We try desperately to contact our families but the connections are jammed. If it’s hard fighting a life-threatening earthquake, it’s harder doing it without the people you love the most in the world around you. Some would argue it’s harder if your loved ones are with you because then you would be scared for their safety. But they don’t know what they’re talking about. Families that are together when such a disaster strikes are already a lot luckier than those who are not.

Two (or three) days later

Our second attempt at getting back to normalcy.

We go back to work. Watch our CCTV footage from the earlier day (the day we ran for life), and laugh at ourselves. That’s right. Laughter cures.

We also thank that no one got hurt that day in the stairs. They say frenzied rushing causes more injuries than the falling buildings, and I think I now know why. But what I also know is that the next time something like this happens again (don’t listen to me God… just a puny human blogging here), we will repeat the same mistake. We have become weak. Emotionally and psychologically. And the continuous aftershocks has left little room for a quick recovery. No matter how much we prepare ourselves, we will crack under the fear. Again.

One thing is certain, though. Yes, much of it is about being lucky. Or about the timing. But how much we prepare ourselves psychologically… matters.

We, for sure, weren’t ready for the second earthquake so soon. It shook our homes and our hearts. The life is far from normal. We go to work but are often not sure if it’s even worth the trouble. What if there’s a bigger quake coming? What if Kathmandu becomes the next epicenter? What if this… what if that? Uncertainty mounts. Answers are nowhere. Well, right answers, at least, are nowhere. And don’t even think about suggesting the internet. We have checked just about every fucking site that has even a remotest of connection to the words “earth” and “quake”. Except, perhaps, the rated sites. But give it time, we’ll get there too.

The point, however, is that when it comes to earthquake, it seems no one has the tiniest of clue of what they are talking about. They explain about patterns and numbers and theories and probabilities. But the thing about patterns and probabilities is that they assume too much. They tell things with limited degree of certainty. Yeah, thank you, data guy. I’ll pass.

Now what?

So what do we do now? Bemoan forever? Wait grimly for that next inevitable tremor that is supposed to destroy all of Kathmandu? The big one which can arrive anytime in the next decade, next year, next month, week, day? Do we really wait in fear for that long? Do we just stop… living? Go Buddha?

Well, regarding this, at least, there is an absolute certainty. And that is a big fucking “no”. No, we do not. We move on. We try to take the loss in our hearts and we move on. We have to. Or else, how will Nepal? There is no system restore button on this one. And there is nothing else to do than be optimistic and hope.

Because when it comes to fighting fear, there is no greater weapon than hope.

And there, certainly, are no better “wielders” of it than us humans.

Of Manuscripts and Mayflies

What a way put it! My manuscript suddenly feels so much more important!

Entertaining Stories

This homely little fellow is a mayfly nymph. He hatched from an egg on the bottom of a stream. He lives at the very bottom of the river, down in the muck. He hides from the light and keeps between, and sometimes under the rocks.

He’ll live there for a whole year. He grows, and has to shed his skin multiple times. The withered husk simply drifts away on the stream. It kind of looks like him, but it has no soul. No personality. It’s almost like the nymph has to discard some things as he grows and evolves.

A novel starts out as a manuscript. Think of it like a novel nymph. It hatches from an outline, or even just a loose idea in a writer’s mind. It hangs out in the dark too. It’s habitat could be a spare bedroom, garage or even a closet/office. It too has…

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Nepal Earthquake 2015: Those Three Dark Days

Do you know fear?

I thought I did.

I’m not talking about the fear of not getting first in the class or the fear of not standing up to someone’s expectations or any of such other puny matters. No offence to anyone who’s had to feel those things, but you don’t really realize their triviality unless the real thing comes up… that genuine, real tension… that panic. That tight feeling in your guts and in your throat. When that pumping heart of  yours tries to jump out of your throat and threatens to choke you.

I know now. Only death can ignite that fear. Death of you, your loved ones, your dreams, aspirations, possessions. And I am one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to face the worst of it!

But, now that I have felt it, I realize how phony all my old fears were. Useless. Meaningless.

So many dreams. Ambitions. So much struggle in life ever since the day you were born. And one day, one major earthquake comes along and it doesn’t take eight seconds to watch all those dreams wash away.

But do we then succumb to this uncontrollable fate of ours? Do we just let go? Stop struggling? Stop making efforts?

Of course not. We cannot let the thoughts of an uncertain tomorrow demean us from the path that we take today. We must not, by any means, give up to the feeling that we might not live to see the dawn. We have to persevere. For the next generation, and for the new Nepal. For, we may not live long, but our deeds will.

Since long have we spoken of, and dreamed of, building a new Nepal. Now, perhaps, is the time to really do so.

YEAR 2015

25 April, Sunday, 11:56 NST

An earthquake (later named Gorkha Earthquake) of magnitude 7.9 Richter Scale struck Saurpani, a VDC in Gorkha. It, along with other massive aftershocks, shook 11 disctricts in Nepal, including the neighboring districts of Chitwan and Nawalparasi, Sindhupalchowk, and the capital, Kathmandu.

Gorkha faces the worst nightmare, while Kathmandu, being a city based upon the valley basin (upon sedimentary rocks), also is in the gravest of dangers. It is Nepal’s largest earthquake ever since 1934 A.D. Death toll so far is 1400+ and rising by the hour.

A cloud of dust rise over the ruins that once stood proud as the heritage of not just Nepal but the World as well. At least, 5 sites of global cultural and historical value are down, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple (to name a few)

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One of the major temples, located at Thapathali, is down to rubbles

Those who find their head under a tent are the lucky ones.

26th April, Sunday, 12:54 NST

An aftershock of 6.7 magnitude struck 17 km south of Kodari at 12:54 NST and reignited the fear that had only just started to subside. As people became more detached from their houses and the source of proper information, rumors of a even bigger quakes (some up to 9 Richter Scale) started.

Panic really doesn’t help when you’re in an ancient city, surrounded by huge buildings on all sides, and with little open space to run to.

27th April, Monday

Aftershocks gradually decrease in magnitude but people are still afraid to go inside their homes (those who have one left, at least).  Many survivors take courage and start volunteering for the rescue and support of those in needs. 

Shortage of food and water is a possibility and the threat of a major epidemic outbreak looms.

Major quakes should be behind us, though. Theoretically, at least.

28th April, Tuesday

It is almost safe but light tremors could continue for weeks. Rescue missions and aids of various international communities accelerate. But the damage done has been huge and everyone needs to play their part. Even if that means going inside your home and leaving behind your tent for the one who hasn’t left any. Or just resuming your normal chores of life.

 

The three dark days in the history of Nepal are over but have been stamped onto our hearts forever. The fear and the terror is not easily forgotten. Neither would we want to. Let this be a lesson, a remembrance. A lesson in the importance of unity, togetherness, humanity, and the bond between two Nepali, regardless of his caste or class.

Thousands of people leave Kathmandu and return to their villages. Many weren’t with their parents and the loved ones during the disaster. They will want to be with one another  for a while and make themselves believe that they really got through this.

Many will return to happier homes, many to an even sadder ones.

Many will stay where they are with nowhere to go, and once their fear subsides, the sorrow of losing everything they owed would hit upon them. My prayers goes out to them and it is them that we need to reach out first, helping in whatever way we can.

No matter what category of victim we belong to, we will all soon recuperate. We have to.

The days of darkness will pass, but we will all have to play our part for the new dawn.

 

Please #PrayForNepal and support if it is feasible for you. Thank you!

http://qz.com/391473/how-you-can-help-nepal-right-now/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Nepal/comments/33wfxi/list_of_legitimate_charities_to_donate_to_nepal/

http://www.nepaleseabroad.com/nepal-earthquake-2015/here-is-how-you-can-help-earthquake-victims-in-nepal/