Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking back...thinking forward

My parents and husband, Francois
As with most things we do at this time of the year, I also like to reflect back on the months of 2015. Feeling a touch proud at the books I published, and more than a touch guilty for not getting everything done I had wanted to.
At the same time feeling grateful for another year with friends and family - despite the people we lost - and excited about seeing my parents again very soon. They live far away and visiting is not always a simple matter of popping over for a coffee. Thank goodness for telephones and email.
View of Port Elizabeth harbour - my parents live in PE
December is not a month of writing for me, and yet the compulsion to do so has not gone away. Must be the fact that I have written every day from 1 January to 30 November, at an average of over 800 words per day. Not an easy thing to do, not writing. Yet, I simply choose to redirect my creative impulses with paint and pencil to satisfy another, less compulsive, desire to create.
As the year draws to a close, the prospect of a new year becomes brighter on the horizon. New writing projects, new work challenges and new opportunities to live a creative life. To learn new things; to become a better human being.
zentangle fairy, Linzé Brandon, doodle art
Zentange Fairie - art by Linzé
As I spend my hours in December drawing two roses, painting a zentangle fairy, drawing a blue dragon and a spotted thick-knee my mind is already planning the year ahead. My mind drifts towards musings of spending more time with my art, and not leaving it until December. Perhaps one project each month - two or three days. Large paintings (I still have two of those haunting me) will then be completed sooner. Work on smaller projects to keep my hand in, so to speak.
Writing remains my passion and project JOURNEY will be another exceptional anthology showcasing the talents of eleven authors this time. My story, Galen's Hope, will see me challenge myself in ways I have not done before. The risk of failure is there, but so is the prospect of stretching my writing wings into new dimensions.
The fourth novel on the Nations of Peace series, Waiting for Adrian, is lying on my desk ready to start editing. And the non-fiction book for authors will soon join it.
I wrote 294,000 odd words in 2015, at an average of 800+ words per day. Of those words, 87744 ended up in published work and 27000 were published on my blog. The rest are the first drafts of potential books and blog posts to come.
Do I have a New Year's resolution for 2016? You bet I do, and it is to do more art in the year ahead. A little creative planning and I could manage it without compromising on my writing schedule.
Many new challenges, and only 365 days to complete them.
When I look ahead, for myself, my husband and all the things we are planning in 2016, the year of our 22nd anniversary is going to be a year to remember.
May your 2016 be a year of surprising success and include many hours of creative happiness.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Book feature: WHEN OUR WORLDS COLLIDE by Aniesha Brahma

About the Book
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. 
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. 
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’. 
They meet each other quite by chance. 
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives:
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. 
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her… 
When their worlds collide, 
It is not what either of them expected it to be. 
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him. 
What happens when these two become friends? 
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? 
What happens when two completely different people collide? 
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?

'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year-olds, who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. 

A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances. Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!

Book Links

Character Interview: Ayoub & Esha 

Hello Ayoub and Esha. Thank you so much for joining us. First question, could we know a little bit about you?
Esha: Yeah, totes! I am seventeen years old, extremely troubled and I have a crazy crush on Ayoub. 
Ayoub: And I am completely freaked out by that. I am 21 years old, and I help Akriti run her mother’s café. And I am pretty much Akriti’s only friend. Which honestly, is the unrealistic. How can someone be that unsocial?

Well, we can get to Akriti and her unsocial behavior later. Tell us, which is your favorite part in When Our Worlds Collide? 
Esha: When I almost force Ayoub to be my date. 
Ayoub: I guess when I’m trying to talk Akriti out of harboring a mad crush on Zayn, and everyone else mistakes it for us getting together.
Esha: You do get together, don’t you?
Ayoub: SHUT UP, Esha! 

If this book were to be made into a series, would we be meeting either of you again?
Esha: I do know that the next book tentatively named, Take On the World, is featuring the battle between me and my sister, Aisha. It would be like a companion novel.
Ayoub: *sigh* Which basically means, yes. You will be meeting both of us.

What is a companion novel, if we may ask?
Esha: A companion novel is when another story is set in the same timeline as the one you are currently reading. It is completely different from a sequel.
Ayoub: Yes, for example, Take on the World, would give you deeper insight into Esha and Aisha’s world. And it would feature same scenes when we are all together, as it had been in When Our Worlds Collide.

Why do you think readers should read When Our Worlds Collide?
Esha: One, I am sure everyone can relate to at least one of us. And two, because we are awesome! 
Ayoub: Because it is not a far-fetched fairytale. It is something people can relate to. And because it is a chance to get to know new characters, live a new story.

About the Author

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. The Secret Proposal was her debut novel, followed by The Guitar Girl. She was a contributing author with her story The Difference, in the anthology: Voices, Old & New. When Our Worlds Collide is her third work of fiction, and first novella.

Stalk Links


Prize 1: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a Handmade Book Jacket made by Diptee Raut of DIP & DIY

As Diptee says, its ideal to ~ "Keep your books cozy and warm and away from prying eyes with this book cover. A classy way to carry your book to your favourite coffee shop/library/park for a quiet read."

Prize 2: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a  Surprise gift from the Author 

Let's keep you guessing ;) Rest assured, it is going to be something pretty!

Check out the Tour Stops

The CreativeLife in review - planning, time management, and the creative life

  Hey there, creative friend! It's been a week or more since my last post but mostly because I have been taking time to do other things....