Awards galore! :O :D

This post is a little late in coming.. however, better late than never! While not exactly a beginner at blogging, I have always been sporadic and impulsive in writing posts. I’ve gone months without writing anything, and never truly focused on maintaining an active blog, until very recently. My participation in the Blogging 101 challenge has only reinforced this new endeavour – I blog a lot more regularly now, I have more “friends” in the blogosphere, whose content I read avidly, and I also make a more proactive effort to blog-hop and find new blogs that I can add to my reading list.

Therefore, on completing the challenge, I was truly surprised to find proof that I’ve come a long way from where I started! πŸ™‚ A couple of weeks back, a lot of lovely people nominated me for some awesome blog awards. It seems that these awards are specifically meant to encourage new bloggers. Here goes the list πŸ˜€

The first award I got is the “One lovely blog award”:

one_lovely_blog

I want to thank Tyler from Learning to thrive in 1455, Belo, and Life – in the momentΒ for giving me this award! πŸ™‚

I was also nominated for the “Liebster award”:

liebster21

For this, I want to thank mrsmulford from chemineblogΒ and journeylovengrowth! πŸ™‚

Apart from the awards, the number of people who are actually interested in reading what I have to say, a.k.a. follow my blog, have increased from a paltry 15 to a whopping 75! Β Moreover, the number of visitors to my blog is hovering somewhere around 950, and is all set to touch 1000 very soon! πŸ˜€

I am honestly trying to be modest, trust me! However, I intend this post to be a culmination of the Blogging 101 challenge – and I do want there to be some record of where I was, and how far I’ve come in a short span. So I thank all of you who’ve visited and read my blog regularly, and also those who’ve hopped on to my blog one fine day, found it nice enough to stick around. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have come this far without the stoic support of my fellow participants in the Blogging 101 challenge! Thank you all. πŸ™‚

Now, it’s time for me to point out my favourite blogs, and bestow some well-deserved awards. Go ahead and check these out πŸ™‚

The One Lovely blog award goes to:

Sophie-sticated

Learning to thrive in 1455

Aishu

Little bits of granola

The Liebster award goes to:

Oh the places you’ll go

Mindless whispers

Thank you all once again. But this is the end of only one chapter, and the beginning of a bigger and better one! πŸ™‚

Love,

Writer on the rocks.

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Destiny’s child!

This is what I am at my core – I am a Deist. I believe in a superior higher order, who is in control of everything that happens in life. I truly believe in Destiny or fate or whatever else it is called. I believe that the superior power always does things for a reason, and does what is best for us.

I can go on and on about this topic – but for a change, today, I’m NOT going to write long paragraphs explaining why I’m a Deist. That’s a post for some other day. But this post is a part of the Blogging 101 challenge – where we have to try a new posting style! Since I suck at visual representation, I figured I’d push myself and see what I make of it! Nothing fancy.. just a couple of quotes that represent what I believe in. πŸ™‚

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passionate - universe will help

This is only a representation of the overall belief – Destiny is certainly not a concept that can be explained easily. I have plenty of examples of destiny’s manifestations in my own life. And some day, I would love to write a lengthy ruminating post on it.

But until then,

Love,

Writer on the rocks.

Blogging 101 – Update, and a new feature! :)

Hola! So I’ve been successfully working on the Blogging 101 challenge this past week – and I’ve completed most of the exercises! Hurray! Just a couple more left.. and I fully intend finishing them this week. I love it when we can work at our own pace – I believe it makes us commit better to our goals. Okay, maybe not always.. sometimes it is difficult to commit to, and achieve a goal without a specific timeline. But thankfully, this time it worked for me! πŸ™‚

So although I haven’t posted anything in a week, I’ve got so much done behind the scenes! I created a couple of pages – my blogroll and my new challenges page. Correspondingly, I’ve taken up a new book-reading event/challenge, since Blogging 101 is now officially over. I missed the start of Blogging 201, since I was still eons behind in 101; but somehow, strangely, I don’t regret it. I need to take up something different for a while, and then maybe I’ll get back and do the #201 challenge.

I publicized my blog, and also created a Blavatar, which I’m in love with! πŸ˜€ Last but not the least, I’m starting a new feature on my blog next week – The Book Review feature!

get-lost

I’m happiest when I’m reading a book. Although I’ve sporadically written book reviews, I’ve never been fully comfortable posting my opinion on a book for all the world to see. So this feature is designed to push me a little out of my comfort zone, but not so much that I’m stumped! πŸ™‚ Also, I’ve recently renewed the habit, and I’ve been reading books very regularly during the past 3 months. I’ve also just taken up an African-book-reading challenge; so there should be no dearth of books to write reviews on. πŸ˜›

Details of the feature: One book review.

Date and time: Every other Sunday (because 15 days is approximately the time I take to finish a book.)

Feature starts on: November 9

Unless I lose access to my laptop or the internet (which unfortunately seems to happen surprisingly often), I will make this a regular feature – I swear I’ll post unswervingly, every Sunday! πŸ™‚

Be sure to keep visiting this space and give me all the love,

Writer on the rocks.

Fact or fiction?

I swear, my computer is out to get me! Like I said earlier, first the Wi-fi conked off, and it took ages for the Airtel guys to fix it. And then when we finally got it working after 2 weeks, and I had barely posted an update that I’m continuing where I left off, my laptop’s touchpad went kaput! That took another week to fix, and so here I am, having fallen way behind in the Blogging 101 challenge. Never mind though, I’m still continuing exactly where I left off…

So this challenge is about making a daily prompt personal.Β I initially went to the Daily Prompts page with the idea of writing something based on today’s prompt – but then saw that it was about baseball, my knowledge of which is zilch. So I took a slight detour and went back to the prompt that was posted the same day that we were given this challenge. And I kinda hit the jackpot with this one, because it is about one of my favourite topics – Books! πŸ˜€ You can view the prompt here: The Great Divide

The question is, as you have already guessed from the title, whether I prefer reading fiction or non-fiction? For me, this is a no-brainer. I prefer fiction, hands down! The reason is simple; one of the reasons I read books is to lose myself into another world – to find an escape from reality. Non-fiction is way too close to reality!

Of course, there was a time in my childhood when I used to read anything and everything that was written or printed on paper. But as I grew up and read more and more, I started to gravitate towards the fictitious stories where a whole world of imagination and possibilities lay. The pure joy of losing myself into a different world, reading about descriptions of faraway lands, being able to imagine such things as magic wands and time turners, and most of all, that pang when I finish reading a book and am forced to come back to reality, the perpetual hunt for the next world that I can immerse myself in – is a heady and addictive combination.

It is also a combination that has made the single greatest ambition in my life – to get locked up in a library, and blissfully read book after book after book, without having to worry about such mundane things as eating and sleeping! πŸ˜€

I never made much of an effort to read non-fiction though; I just gave it up as a bad job after the first few tries! Even today, after having recently made myself start reading the kind of books that I usually don’t read – I still head straight for fiction – maybe from different ages, different authors and different styles, but fiction nevertheless. The “improving knowledge by reading fact” achievement remains blissfully locked! πŸ˜›

Until the next challenge,

Love,

Writer on the rocks.

Blogging 101 – Quickie Update!

No sooner did I write a post on how well I’ve committed to the Blogging 101 challenge, than some evil force jinxed it! The Wi-fi connection at my home conked off, and I’ve been off the grid these past 2 weeks. I do have a fully functional Wi-fi at work; but obviously, I am too busy at work to actually use it for any other purposes!

I’ve now fallen way behind in the Blogging 101 challenge! 😦 I have a backlog of around 12 assignments. But not one to give up, I am going to get going and clear that backlog! So starting tomorrow, you’re going to be seeing a lot of posts on this space, mostly the assignments of the past 2 weeks – one at a time!

Do not get confused.. just stand by me and support me in this endeavour, like you always do! πŸ™‚

Until tomorrow,

Love,

Writer on the rocks.

Blogging 101 – Update!

So as you all know, I started Blogging 101’s course a couple of weeks back, and I’ve been having great fun with it!

From being a sporadic blogger who didn’t know how to go about being a more active part of the blogging community, I feel like I’ve already come a long way! I now have a fabulous, and very attractive theme, title, tagline, background, sidebar et all! (At least I think so!) πŸ™‚ I have also written more than 5 posts in a span of less than two weeks.. which might easily be one of my biggest achievements so far! πŸ˜€ Oh! I completely forgot.. I now have 55 followers, and I’m also following a good number of blogs! πŸ™‚

But I think my biggest takeaway from this is – I’ve learned that I actually have the ability to commit! Irrespective of how busy my days were, I’ve somehow managed to stay committed to this challenge – and completed all the assignments set by the Blogging 101 community. With that huge accomplishment, I’m only even more excited to see what the rest of this challenge brings! πŸ™‚

Until next week,
With love,
Writer on the rocks.

Fit in or stand out?

A few days back, I was reading through some blogs as part of Blogging 101’s “Know your neighbour” activity. This post by Dhanya on conforming to societal concerns immediately stuck a chord with me. The following post has been inspired by Dhanya’s post. πŸ™‚

No matter which country or culture you’re born in, there is always this invisible but permanent feature attached, called ‘The Society’. There may be so many things that you want to do, but you invariably end up doing what you’re “supposed” to do. And who decided what you’re supposed to do? Obviously, the society!

1. Go to school and get good grades
2. Go to a reputed college
3. Get married before you turn 25.
4. Pop out a kid within 2 years of marriage max.

And so on go the dictates of the society. You try varying even slightly from the norm, and you can be sure that you will have to answer a barrage of questions from all quarters. More importantly, you have to be mentally prepared to be “frowned upon”.

I wanted to study English Literature once I finished school, because even by then, I had realised that language is something I’m passionate about. However, these were the reactions I got from people.

“Are you crazy?”
“What! You didn’t good grades in your boards?”
“It doesn’t matter. You can study whatever you want. Anyway you’re a girl. Your husband will earn enough for the both of you!”

Of course, my own parents didn’t allow me to study English. They decided that I need to study something that will give me a lucrative career; so I ended up studying Journalism, which allowed me to focus at least partially on my passion – writing.

At least, I had the good sense to take up something that is connected with what I want to do. I have a number of friends who bowed to societal pressure and took up a professional Engineering course, because that was the fad then. Society respected you only if you were an Engineering student. As it turns out, those Engineering students are currently in the same job as I am – a customer service oriented job which any graduate can perform.

A couple of years later, I met the love of my life, and we decided to tie the knot pretty soon. When my marriage was fixed, I was only 21. You know how I said the society wants us to get married “before 25”. Apparently, they have even more specific criteria – “get married between 23 and 25”. 21 is too soon, obviously!

“Why are you marrying off your daughter so soon? Does she have any health issues?” – this one was to my dad.
“You studied in a college for women! How did you meet a guy?”
“You must be a responsible woman and earn for your parents. Why do you need love at this age?”

…were the questions that followed. The first time, I succumbed to societal pressure. This time, I didn’t. I knew what I wanted, I knew how to get it, and so I did!

The point here is that there are always people telling us what we should do. But whether we do what they say or not, is thankfully our prerogative. We needn’t do things just for the sake of conforming to society. It doesn’t matter what everyone else does or doesn’t. We should do what makes us happy!

You want to abandon a corporate job and start a music band? Go do it!
You want to take a few months’ break to write a book? Definitely do it!

These are just examples. Happiness means different things to different people. And as individuals, we have the power to choose to do what makes us happy. Whatever we do or don’t do, our decisions need never be based on what ‘the society’ thinks, says, or does! πŸ˜€

Until the next post,
With love,
Writer on the rocks.