To New Friendships…

A person listening to radio
Of times gone by…

Nostalgia!

I am thinking of old times… missing people, missing moments, and missing old songs. In those days not so long ago, Google Plus was still home for a huge group of us poets and poetry lovers. It would not be wrong to say that I learnt a lot of my craft from those wonderful poets who opened their hearts to me.

Woman's hands searching through vinyl records
Finding something that fits the mood

There was something about that group, an easy camaraderie, a feeling of oneness and a love that was truly cherished. Wednesday was my day to post an oldie and most often my choice was a love song. I remember that my song collection with 3000 odd followers was almost as popular as my poetry collection. However, the songs were a lot more fun, and I can still visualize all those friends who would be posting their own songs, almost in conversation with mine…

It is not the moments or things that are special. They are made special by the people who we share them with.

Today, I am sharing an oldie with you all, as a way of saying “thank you for making a place in your life for me!” I hope that these strains of love will touch your hearts, spark new friendships and birth beautiful moments that will hold a special place in our memories for years to come… and maybe, bring some answering songs to my page as well!

Wishing you a fabulous day full of love and laughter!

Advertisements

Poems Without Words

Hey! It’s a glorious morning, a little bit of sun, a few clouds… and it’s #WorldPhotographyDay!

And why do I love this day? Because I love to take pictures. Yes, that is another one of my favourite things to do. Thank God for the great phone cameras, at least I don’t miss my camera at the sight of every flower, wild mushroom and a dog lolling his tongue! Well, I do miss it, but the intensity is not too bad.

Isn’t it said that pictures are worth a thousand words? I agree.

When I am not writing poetry, I am creating poems without words with my camera.

Rain falling on leaves
Drops Of Heaven

This day finally gave me the push to restart my old photography blog called “Focal Blurs”, now renamed Manic Sylph Photography and once again visit my account at National Geographic. I did like the old name better but I felt that it wasn’t very easy for people to realise what the blog was about from just the name. We win some and lose some, sigh!

I would love to post pictures more often, but time always runs faster than I can. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep to some kind of a posting schedule, but I am tentatively committed to posting when I can. Hopefully! Fingers crossed…

Do have a look, I’m sure you will enjoy a few light moments with me and my camera.

Have a wonderful new week ahead!

How Not To Kill Sentences With Adverbs

Blog Graphic with a woman writing , and Those Deadly Words written on it

How would you like your coffee made…quickly or in a jiffy?

But I’m sure you would like to drink it slowly err… savour every sip to the last!

There you have it- those deadLY words that turn your awesome story into mundane chatter.

Stories struggle, not always because they are not good, but often because they are lost in the transition from imagination to ink. They lose impact because the words that carry them are too many, or the wrong ones, or the right ones placed wrongly.

No one is born perfect. Some of us just decide not to stay that way.

Nothing can make up for continuous improvement in grammar and writing techniques on the part of the writer. Varied and judicious use of different parts of speech can add flair to your creations and every trick and word is there to be used. Adverbs too have a function and reason to exist, and it would be foolish to remove them from your writing altogether. However, too much of a good thing can be, well, just too much.

This is beautifully illustrated by the words of the master-craftsman Stephen King

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s—GASP!!—too late.”

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

So, how to go about removing these offenders from your work?

One way is to make sure that you don’t need to say “he spoke timidly”. The scene should tell the reader that he is timid and his words “the room is too dark!” should tell you that he was scared to go inside. The context here is paramount. You can read more on how to eliminate adverbs here.

Another important tool is to use stronger, more expressive words in place of an adverb. You can always cuddle instead of holding lovingly or grumble rather than talk irritably. This article on ways to reduce adverb abuse has a great list of words that you can use instead of adverbs.

What are your favourite ways to write better? Share your tips and tricks, I would love to hear all about your secret weapons!

Right now, I’m off to try and put this into practice and see if I can take my words a notch or two above the ordinary. Until then, Happy Writing!

 

Image used in the graphic by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay 

POEMITAS: A book of short poems, a celebration of my journey online

It is five years since I came online!

Five long years… five short years… and it has not been all poetry. A lot has happened since that day when I was going through a lean phase and my daughter told me, “You need to start a blog and touch lives”. That somehow felt like the direction I had been waiting for all my life. And so began my meandering journey…

I had never been on any social media though I knew of them, and I didn’t really know what a blog was. So I began to search Google, learnt about blogs, about social media, and lots of other stuff in between. I was not ready to open up to the world and I decided to adopt a pen name. A long search and introspection later Manic Sylph was born- an oxymoron like me and an expression of what I was without saying who.

Something told me to dream big! I joined all the major social media platforms, though I hardly knew what to do with any of them, and started writing my first blog called A Gypsy At Heart. I soon realised that I needed a social media platform to promote the blog and made Google Plus my home. A bit of poetry began to come up in my writing and with the encouragement of a few poet friends, I eventually gravitated to writing poetry as my preferred form of expression. One by one, I started learning the ropes of the various social platforms and spread my wings, and here I am now, this website here my latest baby.

All this still seems like a dream at times, a beautiful dream that I never want to wake up from. This would never have been possible without the support and love I was given by the online community. I have found hundreds of lovely people here, some have become friends for a lifetime, hopefully. And what better way to thank each beautiful heart and soul than with something that I consider a part of me… my poetry!

Book Cover of ebook POEMITAS by Mona Soorma
POEMITAS: A collection of short poems

As a special gift for my wonderful online family, I have compiled some of my short poems into an eBook called POEMITAS. Well, 130 poems to be exact, some of them have been posted online, some not, but all of them a labour of my love. This book is not for sale anywhere and is meant exclusively as a free gift for you, my readers and friends on my website and other social pages. If my words can find a home in your hearts, it would be a gift that I would cherish.

You can get your copy of POEMITAS here. I hope you will enjoy reading it. Don’t forget to get back to me and tell me all about it! I’m looking forward to hearing from you…

Happy Father’s Day

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
― Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

Moment by moment, day by day, they are the ones who help us build our lives. They are the heroes every little heart wants to be like when they grow up. Nothing can beat the love of a dad.

Father holding the hand of a child
Happy Father’s Day

In today world with families growing smaller, a dad is the one who holds everything together, who at times becomes a mom too, and a friend, and an older brother when need be… We can never ever repay our parents for all the love and care they give us.

While moms are often applauded for their sacrifices, dads sometimes remain unsung for their quiet support. I can still hear the voice of my dad telling me all about the planets and the stars, they used to be my favourite stories. Now they are just memories, but they are precious ones, and this father’s day, I would like to tell every dad, “You are the stars in the skies of the little hearts who love you so much, and will remain so forever, even when the hearts grow older”.

Happy Father’s Day to every dad on earth and heaven. We love you so much!

 

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

 

CANDID CONVERSATIONS – Behind The Scenes

Hello lovely people!

Before I say anything else… a huge “thank-you” to all of you for being my wonderful support system, for reading my work even when I am absent, which keeps happening more often than I would like! However, freelance work does tend to make my schedule very irregular. And that is how it is, and it can’t be helped, but it is definitely very comforting to always come back to all the lovely comments. It feels like home.

Whatever I may be doing, or not doing, one thing never changes and that is the capacity of my brain to always be working overtime! And this time, my newest effort comes in the form of another Special Feature– Writer Interviews.

Titled CANDID CONVERSATIONS, they are rather informal chat sessions with poets and writers to get to know them better as people, to peek behind their words and see what makes them flow.

A woman interviewing a man
CANDID CONVERSATIONS – Heart-to-heart chats with writers and poets

The catch? (How can there not be one!) They were supposed to be regular written interviews until I got the great idea of taking a poll on Twitter and Instagram. The result- an overwhelming majority voted in favour of video interviews. That threw me in at the deep end. Well, I do swim, but it just takes longer than to run on the dry surface…and now I am babbling! Whatever. I decided to go with the poll and convert at least some of the interviews into video conversations.

And here is where there were more than a few potholes. It became a lot easier for the writers to just speak instead of writing out their answers, but I have to worry about the fact that I am in no way an adequate interviewer, about the way less than studio-level voice quality, and the creation of a good-looking final effort. So I had to pack my reticence in a bag and record the chat, which I finally did and fretted and fumed over the echoes and screeches and unstable images that I had.

In the end, I finally accepted that I am no Jimmy Kimmel and I don’t own Disney Studios and I am here only to share my conversation you and hope you will enjoy getting to know more about these beautiful creative people and their life and work. So here I am, trying to put together my first couple of conversations and hope my imperfection would be just that tiny bit perfect enough to get by!

Hoping to post my first episode of CANDID CONVERSATIONS sometime next week, and crossing my fingers… Stay tuned.

 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

To Mom With Love

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”

-Barbara Kingsolver

Mother- She is the first interaction of a child with the world. She is the nurturing force of this universe. Yet, in our race to find ourselves, we often forget the one who gave us birth.

Being a mom is the toughest job in the world. And bringing up the child is perhaps the easy part. The joy of watching her now grown-up child go out into the world is mixed with the sadness of loss, a void that nothing can ever fill. Still, she always supports her child in every way she can. I belong to that tribe…I know!

a mother's love

But do we make an effort to understand how she feels? This is a question we need to address. Put yourselves in her shoes and see…

There’s no love greater than the love of a mother. She deserves to be made to feel special every day of her life for all her silent sacrifices and tireless caring. At times, we walk so far away from our loved ones that we don’t know how to reach out to them anymore. Perhaps, that is why these days were created… the perfect opening to bridge that gap…

Let us begin today, show her that we care… all it takes is a moment to call her, or at least send a message, buy her something that she would treasure… it takes just a moment to let her know she is special!

The best tribute we can give our moms is to give back all that love to the world by being a loving mother to our own children. Keep the ball rolling…

And to all the uncelebrated supermoms, all I want to say is this…

Don’t wait for someone else to make you feel special.

YOU ARE SPECIAL.

Celebrate yourself lovely ladies,

for you are the driving force of this world.

Happy Mother’s Day!

From me to all of you, a beautiful song to celebrate moms…

Let’s have an ‘AHA MOMENT’- Build A New Word

brain cartoon
‘Aha Moment!”

Sometimes, inspiration strikes. Sometimes, we poke and prod at our brains to produce that spark. Whatever. The result is gratifying, though.

Often, as writers, or even otherwise in the course of our daily living, we do find ourselves wishing for words to aptly explain what we are feeling. I personally do keep groping for enough words to put my thoughts on paper, or rather, shall I say, on my word document! It has been a long while since I wrote anything much on paper. It is beginning to seem like a lost art to me, but writing on digital machines is what I prefer now.

However, that is not the point here at all. Let me get back to my original train of thought…the lack of enough words. I got to thinking about it when I was reading the comments of my friends scottfw and Shantanu Baruah on my Word Of The Day~Eucatastrophe post this Wednesday. If Tolkien can build words, why can’t we! After all, the language lives and flourishes because of its users who continually adapt it to the times.

So let’s get going! I invite every one of you to join in with a word you have created to speak your heart out, or many if you so desire! Build from scratch, mix words, borrow a little from another language… the possibilities are endless.

woman working on a computer
Building New Words… Oh! What fun!

Let’s write our own CREATIONARY, well, here is one word we already have to begin with (create+dictionary for anyone who might have missed it). Post your ideas in the comments and we can list them all up here as they come in. How many words can we gather… infinite, I hope! I would certainly love to use some crazy, funny, expressive words in my writing. This new resource could be a lot of fun! Just remember to credit the person whose words you use, I’m sure they would love the appreciation.

Here’s my word for today-

FLUTTERHUG: When someone’s words caress you like a hug that causes flutters in your being.

And of course,
CREATIONARY:  Our very own dictionary of newly created words.

What’s yours?

HOPELICIOUS: Hope which is delicious ( From Shantanu Baruah)

QUART: Quickly Start (From Ridhima)

 

Thank you very much for your contribution. Keep sending in your words…

 

Images by André Santana and GraphicMama-team from Pixabay 

TO ALL LIFE’S CREATION on Earth Day

eyes untamed

yet full of love

each step

sheer poetry in motion

we walk the same sand

you and I

share the same sky

then why should one be

lesser than the other?

© Mona Soorma

~to all life’s creation on

There are so many ways in which we can help reduce our negative impact on the earth. Little things like reducing wastage of resources, to plantation drives, to helping animals in distress…every action counts. No contribution is too small. And if we can do nothing else, we can at least use our pen to increase awareness. Let’s do our bit for this awesome planet.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: