Hello Again & Project Avantika

If you read my last post a while back, you must be wondering how I am Back! Well, I could not keep away from my baby of 4 years.

While the reasons still hold good, I thought I could limit myself to a single short post. After four years, I crave the joy of overcoming my everyday challenges and trivial annoyances.

So, after much deliberation I thought I should start “Project Avantika“! Like the habit of the heroine of my novel [365 Days of F(ib)B-ing], Avantika, I shall add a cutesy photo or inspiring quote. Then, I will add a short text about what the untold story of that photo is including gory details. Or if it is a quote, how far my reality is from the mentioned slogan. All this for 52 weeks (a whole year) straight.

After reading so many inspiring books this year, I am all excited to adopt the ‘Reframe the Context‘ techniques touted by so many authors. Basically when we distance ourselves from a negative thought or event and adopt an opposing view or optimistic perspective and recount it,  we can see the silver lining. While my life is much better than most, daily annoyances do pile up and skew the most cheerful of outlooks. So, I thought why not try it? No harm in trying. 🤔

While New Year is always a good point for fresh beginnings, I am taking a leaf out of one of my favorite authors. As Laura Vanderkam puts it, a Wednesday will do just as well as Monday or Sunday. Hence, sharing my resolve on a Wednesday.

I will officially commence posts related to the project on Dec1st. Please do encourage me as you have in the past (I missed you guys!) and maybe even join me in the journey!

To new beginnings! Dasvidaniya!

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52 Weeks of Avantika

  

Sun and Fun!

Reality? Ha ha ! Looks are so deceptive!

  • 3 degrees Celsius outside our warmed up car.
  • Sunny outside but a tantrum inside ! Not only is my angel upset that half her goldfish crackers fell down during snacktime but also that I did not talk to her at a red light. (Never mind that I was concentrating on the construction work near the signal and that the goldfish accident was her fault)
  • It’s only only 1pm. But sunset is only about 4 hours away. Definitely more bleak than it looks.
  • Aunt Flo is killing me. 

Oh well, life is like that. I did turn it around by 

  • Asking T if she wanted to do a puzzle before lunch or after. She chose after.
  • Since we were having dosas for lunch, I allowed T to choose what shape of Dosa she wanted: she got a nice Spider-dosa and one Xmas-tree-dosa.
  • Pretending we are lions basking in the sun and napping. While this was after about three hours, T did sleep. I too got about 15mins of downtime.
  • We did stop in our parking lot to admire the trees and colors for a while minute.

This post was Part of 52 weeks of Avantika. I shall post a picture and/or Quote  like the heroine of my book Avantika. But unlike the principal character of my book shall post every Saturday for a year instead of daily. 

Merging and Moving!

Dear Readers of this Post/ Blog,

I am merging this blog with my other blog over at nirupamaprv.

Why?

Because :

  • I love blogging but two personal blogs are getting hard to maintain
  • My posts will contain more value and consistency by being in the same space
  • Posting frequency will double
  •  Time and effort I spend preventing duplication can be spent on improving my writing
  • Comments will be accurate.Since, right now my comments appear with my other blog avatar, there will be no confusion.

For the past four years, I’ve had a lot of fun writing about the challenges of everyday life. But, now it’s time for the biggest challenge of my creative side. It’s time for me to stop shuttling between two blog homes and settle down on one. Which means a sad and very reluctant goodbye to this blog. I will continue to blog at nirupamaprv. I write about similar topics on my on this blog- Books, Travel, Parenting, Arts and Crafts with the kiddo, and so on. So, I hope you will join me over there and continue to be bemused by the chronicles of ordinary life and its not-so-ordinary demands and pressures.

Hoping to See you on the Other Blog! Aideu!

 

NaNoWriMo and Goals

November has begun and winter has started. Or so it feels in the chilly suburbs of Chicago. [Where are you Fall? You were late to come and quick to leave!]

But November also marks the advent of NaNoWriMo mania- the time of the year where writers across the globe buckle down to attempt their masterpiece. I should know. I’ve had an account with NaNoWriMo from 2011 and also a few Camp NaNoWriMos. The point is simple. In 30 days, write 50K words. Just write. No editing. No second guessing. Write from your outline or write as you go. Zone in on the topic and genre of your choice. You can flow chapter-wise or jump from scene to scene or simply ooze the words as they come to you. Pen 1667 words every day or 50K on the last night. Every novelist is free to scribe as they like.

nanowrimo-header

Sure, the end result will not be epic. But this version will act as a suitable clay that can be moulded to the shape we like, as opposed to the annoying blank page. If you want more words of wisdom or motivation, sign up for NaNoWriMo now and get pep talks from the inspiring volunteers who manage and support the different regional groups in your inbox. There are actual meetups and virtual write-ins too, to bolster the feeling of community and cheer one other.

So, have I started on my next great novel? Maybe a sequel, prequel or series from my darling “365 Days of F(ib)B-ing“? Good question. Sad answer. Nope.

This year I shall only be a participant in spirit. Given the many study assignments I have, I realize that signing up would be certain “Yes-icide“. But, I am inspired by the spirit of buckling down and attacking a project with a set timeline. Timeboxing as we called in my software professional days. Laura Vanderkam puts it much better in her newsletter. [Susbcribe if you did not already!] Or you can read her past posts on the subject on her website.

To elaborate, I have decide that I shall tackle a long-time aspiration of mine. I shall craft thirty blog posts : ten each for my two personal blogs and ten for my newly created professional blog. I have, a few times in the past; had a queue of posts that served me well during travel and vacations. The surprising by-product was the freedom it gave me to write more and better. Without the dread of a deadline [even if self-imposed] and the agony of a blank page and possible writer’s block, it’s easier to draft a great blog post and also pander to SEO and other luxuries like Featured Images.

Especially for my professional data science blog, I have a bunch of portfolio projects that I plan to articulate. I have been meaning to convert them into blog posts to showcase my efforts and learning. November’s NaNoWriMo enthusiasm is the perfect setting to materialize those good intentions. After all, even the best of ideas wither away without action.

And if I meet my goals, who knows? It might just stir me up to attempt a night of crazy writing and complete NaNoWriMo too!

nanowrimo-logo

All the best WriMos! May the Force be with You!

Share your plans in the comments below or tap me as a buddy. I go as ‘nirupamaprv’. Enjoy NaNoWriMo!

Spare Moments 

try

One of the interesting concepts I learned from Laura Vanderkam’s books : 168 hours and I Know How She Does It is the concept of ‘time confetti’. 

Coined by Brigid Schulte, author of ‘Overwhelmed: Work, Love, And Play When No One Has The Time’, she explains the idea of “time confetti” – a fragmentation that impacts our health, quality of life, productivity and creativity. This fragmentation amounts to “contaminated time” that prevents pure enjoyment, relaxation, focus, and mindfulness. 

Interesting as it was, coupled with Laura Vanderkam’s excellent suggestion to keep a list of 100 dreams and activities to indulge in during our spare time, I am totally inspired to use all my spare Moments wisely. Considering that as a SAHM, my schedule revolves around ensuring other people’s schedules, it becomes even more important for me to keep energizing and progressive tasks at arms reach. Thus began the ‘Spare Moments’ posts: for accountability, commitment, encouragement and the clarity that comes from a written chronicle.

This week was full of spare Moments. 

 business-networking-and-sex-book 

  • The time at the car service station when T fell asleep and Hubs was on call. I made conversation with a fellow car owner and also read two chapter of ‘Business, Networking and Sex (not what you think)’

 four-tendencies-gretchen-rubin 

  • A friend came over to play Lego with T (an earlier promise to T that was made good 🙂). So, I got half hour to read Gretchen Rubin’s ‘The Four Tendencies’.
  • T caught a kind of stomach bug and was home with me for two whole days. While they were upsetting, it meant that I crooned a lot more than usual. So, my plans to practice singing got fulfilled. 
  • We are transitioning T to a separate bed. Hubs took charge of two days, meaning I got an hour’s worth of readibg done. I used this time by reading the Four Tendencies and a Harlequin Romance. 
  • Since, T was home and needed to be distracted from solid food, we did some great coloring, got some photos put up in her room, and enjoyed Lego building. We are in the process of making different castles from our imagination.

While these are not wonderful examples, I do feel ennerved that I spent the unexpected chunks of time on inspiring activities rather than wondering what to do or scrolling through social media.

Have you made a list of activities to do in spare time? Do you keep a 100 Dreams list? Have you read these books? Share your thoughts in the comments below.