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Cakes and candles: The 2017 version

24 January 2017
Posted in: Gaming, Scratchpad, Web design, Writeside, Writing | No Comments

Birthday

Here we go again, time to get excited about turning yet another year older. I’ll be honest: my favourite part about birthdays is cake (chocolate) and presents (many), not necessarily in that order. But because I don’t want to appear shallow, it helps to also make it about reflecting on the year gone by and think about what to expect in the next 365 days.

Here’s what I’d hoped to fill 2016 with:

  1. Implement the new design for Writeside.net. (It got a bit complicated. Long story.)
  2. Finish writing a book. (DONE, DONE and DONE! Yep, got two coming out this year, one an MG novel and the other a collaborative effort with another author. The US edition of Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean is also out this year.)
  3. Stay healthier than I managed in 2015. (Oops, that one might have come undone a bit.)
  4. Travel somewhere fun. (Done. Spent two weeks in the UK)
  5. Work on the workshops.(Done! Devika Rangachari and I started Royal Blue. We did three independent workshops, and have just wrapped up a 15-session creative writing programme in Amity International School, Saket, New Delhi.)
  6. Play more games. (Done! Would have been nice to get a bit more time for gaming, but shouldn’t complain.)

So, all in all, not as bad as it could have been.

But it’s that day again, so time for a brand new list, with new resolutions and aims. Here goes:

  1. Write (and/or finish) a fantasy novel: At the moment I don’t care if it’s one of my unfinished projects or series, or a new standalone novel. I just want to get back into fantasy.
  2. Start running again: Okay, I know realistically there isn’t a chance in hell of this happening if I continue to live in Delhi and if my knees don’t magically regenerate, so let’s downgrade this to “get fit enough so I can theoretically start running again”.
  3. Redo Writeside.net: Not just a new design, but maybe rethink what I’m doing with the site.
  4. Blog regularly: Plan in place.
  5. Keep playing games: My huge gaming backlog is getting huger as I keep buying games but not playing quite so much. But I’m going to do my best.
  6. Try self-publishing: Stay tuned for more on this.
  7. Travel somewhere interesting: As usual.

That’s all folks. Let’s see where we are 365 days from now.

~PD

~

Why, hello, 2017! Here already?

5 January 2017
Posted in: Scratchpad, Writeside | No Comments

Over the past few years, I find that we (my contemporaries and I, that is) have been talking more and more about how the years are ticking by faster than ever before. As it turns out, this is an obligatory topic of conversation that becomes increasingly important as one gets older (move over, weather). Scientists have even been studying it and coming up with theories on why this is so.

My favourite theory is that the older you get, the years are proportionately smaller. So, when you’re 10, a year is a 10th of your life; when you’re 40, it’s only a 40th. Add to that my personal ability to spend copious amounts of time doing absolutely nothing, this means that 2017 is likely to race by tamely. Thus, am taking the chance here to declare that 2017 will be a year of blogging. Yes, it will!

Back in 2015 I’d promised myself one short story a month. Please feel free to insert an eyeroll here. Alarmingly enough, I’m not even sure what I’d resolved for 2016, and judging by the almost-criminal neglect of the blog, it’s perhaps a subject one should leave aside.

What what’s the plan for 2017? Well, a weekly blogging plan is on the agenda, the subject will be revealed in a day or so.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year, world.

~PD

~

I’ll take the book, thank you

13 August 2016
Posted in: Scratchpad | 1 Comment

(NOTE: This blog post topic is brought to you by Marie: “Least favourite book to movie adaptation”. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to pretend that movie and TV series are the same thing.)

I started reading Stephen King’s Under the Dome after having watched the first few episodes of the TV series. It wasn’t that the TV series was bad—apart from the fact that Julia Shumway and Barbie were super-irritating—but the book dragged me in and swept me away. After that, going back to the series was frustrating and I eventually gave it up.

There may be spoilers below for the book.

So what was so terrible about the series? Hard to say—perhaps without the book, it would have kept me hooked. But if you thought that moving picture is worth tens of thousands of words, you are mistaken. First, there is Stephen King’s writing. In the book, though the cool slicing of the cow in half doesn’t happen, the disaster is so much more palpable; watching it seemed like they were doing things just for the spectacle of it.

Also, the characters. Julia Shumway was dolled up in the series, making her a younger woman, mostly to make her budding romance with Dale Barbara more palatable for sexist idiots. The relationship between them in the book was much more interesting.

I could go on and on, but the TV series was needlessly stretched and spiced up to prolong it, whereas the book is a tightly told, albeit massive, story. As far as I recall, the events in the book happened in the span of a few days or so, and there was something about smoke and heat being trapped inside the dome, slowly killing everyone. Thus, the tension was intense as well. Very few people survived. In all honesty, I can’t say how the series turned out, but even watching just one season made it clear that they were going to milk various inane storylines for all they were worth.

To reiterate, I’ll take the book any day, thank you.

~PD

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