Monday, 23 November 2015

Every little thing you do is magic.

Today I was listening to ‘Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear,’ and that book struck a cord. It came at exactly the time I wanted it to, the time when I was making excuses not to participate in Nanowrimo or not to write frequent blog entries. I hadn’t written a blog entry in so long, so why bother now? But that’s when Elizabeth Gilbert (she is the author of the aforementioned book by the way) came into my life and told me to shut up and just do it. Not quite so rudely perhaps. But there were so many things she said in her book that I would like to share with you, so may be you like me, may find some inspiration to write, sing or do anything that is creative. 

I am going to start with this anecdote that she mentions about ideas and how they want to be realized, or they just move on to find other people who can give them more attention and treat them like they deserve to be treated. While searching for an idea about her novel, she gets inspired by a story her love told her, and sets forth to work on that idea. While working on it, life gets in the way and what she was working on turns into something else instead. Later on in her life she meets Ann Patchett and when conversing, finds out that she is working along the similar plot line she was ages ago. One is convinced to think of this as baloney, but it mentions another acclaimed author, I doubt she would have put it there if it weren’t true. This is what she means by ideas wanting to be ‘manifest.’ You don’t treat ‘em right they walk out faster than you can say ‘Don’t go!’. She talks about how when you are lucky enough that an idea strikes you, grab a hold of it, write it down, think about, become it, make a full commitment. It does not matter if it has been done before, has been done in a better way, or does not make sense to be done in the first place. Why this inspires me is because over the years I have had so many ideas about stories, articles, even blog entries that I have just completely ignored always making one excuse or the other. And as always, someone has ended up doing all of these. 

This is when she gets to her point about making time to live creatively. While you may be getting the vibe that she talks exclusively of writing as a creative means, but its not true. Creative living according to Gilbert is anything that fascinates you, makes you braver. Back to the making time bit. This is the part that I loved and found so relevant to me. I often blame my extensive school work load, my house chores or my general routine not to write, even though writing is something that makes me happy. She talks about how the process of writing novels for her is not just some bout of inspiration and working for three days straight, but a methodical exercise with deadlines and finish lines. She has a routine that follows and she just sits and writes. Inspiration cannot always linger on your head, and if you keep waiting for it, it will never come. This is another thing that keeps me from writing, ‘I don’t feel like it!’. How do I know I don’t feel like it if I don’t even attempt to? 

Then she says that it is not important that your work should save someone’s life or change the world. And she’s right. I mean it would be great if something you created brought about this ginormous change, but it does not have to, and neither should you feel pressured to create something that does. She mentions Harper Lee and the fact that she did not write more books, because she was burdened by her own creative work. She was scared that what she would write could never compare to To Kill a Mockingbird, and look where we are now. Neither does your work have to be original, or something that hasn’t been done before. I mean, when every other person is unique in their own way, just believe that what you create will be so too. She says a particular line that I love, ‘If you keep defending your weakness, you get to keep them,’ (or something like that, pardon me if I am misquoting). Creative living then really boils to down to if you are brave enough to let the world know what is hidden inside you. It does not matter that no one might read it or people will criticize it. Just put it out there, for the heck of knowing that you created something. 

I am not saying that you should read this book, or take what this article is saying as something out of a Holy book. I don’t think this book has to, or even will inspire everyone. Heck, I am not even a fan of Gilbert’s work. I did not like Gilbert’s ‘Eat Pray Love,’ at all (in fact, if you scroll all the way down you can read all about my discontent with it).  All I am saying is, just go out and find your inspiration because it hides out in the weirdest of places.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Bout of Books 13- Day 1

My Mr.Seuss trying to make me less scared.
Okay, its not looking the best right now guys. I have only managed to read 20 pages of Dracula, and while that is more than I usually get to read with finals, its less than what I actually wanted to read! :(
But do not despair, for it is only the first day! Besides, I get most of my reading done before bed, so fingers crossed!

While I am not sure if I will be taking part in all the challenges, I am going to try my best! 

Today's challenge is Writing My Own Fairytale – Bookish Survey.

1) How do you organize your shelves?  Well, here is the thing. I live in a one bedroom apartment with my husband. While our apartment is very spacious, there needs to be place for a lot of things besides my books. So I arrange my books every which way. Usually according to size because there is something so soothing about symmetry. My books go from tallest to the shortest, and sometimes if I have two of the same authors, it kills me to separate them if they have different sizes, but you know what they say, priorities. 

2) What is one of your favorite books that’s not in one of your favorite genres? I will have to say 1984 by George Orwell. I am not a fan of dystopian fiction at all. While I cherish it as a genre, I think its just not for me. But, 1984 was such a haunting yet beautifully written piece of work! Five months later after having read it, I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

3) What is the last 5 star book you read? Sadly it has been a while. But I will have to say City of Thieves by David Benioff. This book was absolutely stunning! Never have I felt despair and the need to survive as passionately as I did when I read this.

4) What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? I will have to say Dracula by, do I really need to tell you? This book is so so amazing! It makes me feel terrified even in broad daylight!

5) What book do you recommend the most? My recommendations are custom-made. So if you are looking for a specific one, come and let's chat it up! :) But the book I usually always end up recommending is 1984 because that book, is just, amazing. Just go read it, please.

How is everyone doing in their read-a-thons? Have you read more pages than me? I think everyone has! Leave some inspiration down below! 

Also, sign up for the Bout of Books read-a-thon if you haven't yet! It will close on Wednesday midnight! Here, go crazy>>

Happy reading, everyone! :) 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bout of Books 13 Read-a-thon!

Doesn't the idea of binge reading all day long sound absolutely marvelous? Haven't you always been consumed with the desire to abandon whatever monotony your work may constitute off and grabbing hold of that book you couldn't stop thinking about all day? Well read-a-thons are perfect for that, and Much ado about nothing will be participating in its very first one!
Presenting *drum roll* Bout of Books 13 Read-a-thon!

What is Bout of Books 13 Read-a-thon you may ask? Well, I am glad you asked!

Bout of BooksThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Sadly, I am going to be preparing for my final on Monday so I won't get to do as much reading as I would like, but I have been waiting forever to participate and the inconvenience of the timing, simply cannot stand in the way! 

What I plan on finishing?
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Vicious by V.E.Schwab.
Food: A love story by Jim Gaffigan.
I've got your number by Sophie Kinsella.

This is a pretty ambitious pile considering how I have to read about 20 articles for my exams aside! I will be posting my update and wrap at the end of the read-a-thon. If you want to participate, simply go to the link above and go for it! Sign up fast though, because the signing up closes tomorrow!

Are you planning on taking part in any read-a-thons? Let me know in the comments below! 

Happy reading! :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Reading on a Budget.

All the tips you will find below are the ones which I implement in my daily life. I love and adore books, but I personally do not like the idea of spending 20 dollars on a single book when I could have gotten 6 for that price. Lets start.

1) Use your libraries. 
How many times have you heard this advice? Use your public library! And I am back again reinforcing the necessity of using your public library. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and the library system here is hugely impressive. They have almost all the latest books. They also have book nooks where you can get books from 25 cents to 1 dollar maximum. 
But, many places do not have good public libraries. For example, I lived in UAE all my life and never once did I ever hear about a good public library. In that case, search for private ones. They are the middle ground between public libraries and over-priced stores. 

2) Buy used books. 
Books for some people are collectibles as well. And if you can afford to be spend thrift in that area then what better thing is there to spend your money on? But for others who mainly read books and then prefer to trade them in for something else, there are loads of places you can buy used books. Two websites which I know of are: Bookoutlet and Thriftbooks. And also I have found a used bookstore nearby where I can trade my books in for others, or just get used books at a reasonable price. If neither of these options suit you, every time you shop at Amazon? Simply look at the used section first.

Still not found the answer?

3) Wait for sales, and collect coupons. 
Shopping for books is like shopping for anything else, you have to be smart. Websites like Bookoutlet often have huge blowout sales. If nothing else you can find coupons online for stores like Barnes and Noble giving you 30% off of one item. I know this because I receive one in my mail almost every other week. 

4) Invest in an e-reader.
If you are like me, and you have to optimize space as well as a budget, then invest  in an e-reader. I personally started using the kindle last year, and while it is no match for a real book, it comes pretty close. The books are cheaper, and you can borrow from your friends without having to live in the same place. What is more, you can look up sites where there are free books available legally.

These are all the tips and tricks I have! They work pretty well for me. I always have a stash of library books I am struggling to finish and whenever I feel like browsing, I just browse in my library! 

What are some of your tips and tricks? Let me know! 
Happy reading! 

Rereading in Retrospect- A Nancy Drew story.

Ever since I was a little girl, books were my best friends. They helped me through tough times, and introduced new worlds to me that I would never had the courage to imagine, lets put it this way, books made me brave.
There were many books I loved when growing up; Enid Blyton's Mr.Twiddle series, Goosebumps by R.L.Stine, A-Z mysteries and the Babysitters club. Another one of these lovely book series was the Nancy Drew Mysteries.
What kid grew up since the 70s' and did not hear about Nancy Drew? Not only was she a stealthy sleuth, she was also a woman, themes of female emancipation right there!
I used to love the independent and resourceful attitude of Nancy Drew along with the intriguing storyline.
Reading Nancy Drew, now that I am older, did I feel the same way?
I sure did.
On a whim I got the first book of Nancy Drew from my library and dived right into it. While I could have done without the excessive tendency of Nancy to talk to herself out loud, I could not help but be sucked in. Ms. Carolyn Keene is no Agatha Christie, but then again she does not have to be. The target audience for Nancy Drew mysteries kids in the 7-12 age group and the fact that I read them when I am 20 and still found it entertaining is a pretty good accomplishment in my opinion.
Which book did I read?
Here goes.

The Secret of the Old Clock- Nancy Drew Mysteries #1.

This first story in the Nancy Drew series is about how Nancy becomes involved in the search for a missing will of a previously deceased Josiah Crowley in their town of River Heights. Things get bumpy when she crosses paths with people that would do good not to cross paths with.
Intrigued? Not yet?
Read it and prove yourself wrong!

Happy reading!