[Note: This post is a roundup of the monthly series on writing how-to books thus far, for those who might just be coming to this or who might have missed previous installments.] In the last six months since I began this series of books/sources that have taught me to be a better writer, I have also begun rereading some of these books from my shelves. It has been a rather interesting experience to find more nuance, discover details I had missed the first time around, and see how much of the advice within I have actually applied versus not and why. Before I do a quick recap of the various themes covered so far, let's talk briefly about the general kinds of writing how-to books out there. For the most part, they tend to fit into one of these three categories:
A bit of good news. I've signed with the wonderful Yoda Press (India) to publish a short story collection in 2018 — my first book. These stories are about the diverse and chaotically symbiotic Indias that co-exist across villages, migrant inner-city slums, urban high-rises, Oxbridge spires, Silicon Valley, etc. Some of these stories have been published in literary journals in the US, UK, and India over the past two years. I will be forever grateful to some of the terrific editors of these journals for their invaluable, patient feedback and, in four particular cases, their award nominations.
'Disappointment' is a piece of flash fiction published in Issue #14 of Jet Fuel Review, a terrific literary journal run out of Lewis University in Illinois. A man and woman run into each other decades after their college years in Chicago, when they were briefly a couple. With this story, I wanted to explore, within the context of race and gender dynamics, how disappointment is a layered, complex emotion and how, often and without sufficient awareness, we tend to disappoint ourselves a whole lot more than anyone else possibly can. Of course, some of us are also often skilled in externalizing/projecting such disappointment onto others around us, especially our loved ones.