Tag Archives: blogger

Throwback 2016

December, as I have mentioned in a previous post, is among the favorite times of the year for me. That is not just because of the gardens that fill with colors, the sun which is a welcome sight and the smell of the Christmas cake – it is also the time of the year when I actually take time out and review the entire year.

As a kid, I was a fan of the ‘Firey Dekha 20xx’ (Looking back at 20xx) bulletins in the news channels – where they used to summarize the most important events that happened in the country and across the world in that year.

Following suit, today I bring to you a list of posts which I published in this blog in 2016. These are not necessarily the posts which got the most number of likes/comments, but rather which I had fun writing. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed reading the old posts to collate this list:

  1. Measured Leap: Published on January 13, 2016. I was walking to office that day when suddenly a squirrel trying to jump from a tree to a wall caught my attention. Short take on how measured leaps are can save you from a broken neck.
  2. How feminist is Gone Girl?:  Published on January 24, 2016. Though I realize the content did not really do justice to the title – but I like how I drew parallels from the story and real life.
  3. What a year of blogging taught me…: Published on March 18, 2016. Written as part of blog-anniversary, it contains some gyaan for  aspiring bloggers.
  4. The Imperfect: Published on March 22, 2016. I am sure you would have ruined a book by staining it while eating at some point in your life. I am sure you would have felt guilty about doing it. But have you considered writing a story about it?
  5. Banished Princess: Published on April 22, 2016. I have not published many works of fiction on the blog this year. This post is one of the very few.
  6. How revisiting your old writings can help you grow as an author?: Published on May 2, 2016. Just as you discover the people around you as time passes, so do you discover the characters you have created in your stories when you look back at them after a period of time. You would be amazed at how the character for whom you had empathy might inspire a certain hatred as you understand more of his/her motivation after a space of time.
  7. Visiting home: Published on November 6, 2016. A warm post written on my brother’s laptop, when I went to Kolkata last month. Brought back memories from the trip. Plus, the post has a few cool pictures of the clouds I took from the plane.

Day Two of Three-Day Quote Challenge

Good day, bloggers!

I am onto the second day of the Three-Day Quote Challenge.

Yesterday having been friendship day, I decided to carry on the spirit with my favourite quote by APJ Abdul Kalam. He was the president of India as well as one of the leading men in the Indian Space Research program. More than that, he will perhaps be remembered as being one of the greatest teachers who inspired thousands of students across the country. Mr. Kalam died 27th July, 2015. Rest in peace, sir!

Enjoy this quote and make some friendships,  people!

Day 2 of 3-Day Quote Challenge

Day 2 of 3-Day Quote Challenge

See my Quote for Day One here.

Day One of Three-Day Quote Challenge

Good day bloggers all over the world!

Usually, I blog on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I will make an exception today as I have been nominated by the wonderful Debolina for the three-day quote challenge. Yay! Thank you so much, Debolina, for the nomination. Debolina has previously contributed a guest post for this blog – a review of Little Women as part of Saturday Specials in July. Be sure to check it out!

As a part of the 3-Day quote challenge, I will publish one quote each for three consecutive days. On the third day, I will nominate three other bloggers for the same who will then continue the challenge. The quotes may be taken from a book, a movie or anywhere else. It can even be your own creation.

My quote for today is taken from the first story of my book Bound by Life. The protagonist of this story (The Silent Victim), Deepa, was a victim of molestation as a child and grew up struggling with androphobia. These lines are her realization:

Quote for Day 1 of 3-Day Quote Chalenge

Quote for Day 1 of 3-Day Quote Challenge

Deepa is one of the strongest characters of my first book. I am immensely proud of her and where she reaches by the end of the story. If you’re interested in her story, don’t forget to buy my book on Amazon.

Keep blogging and have a great weekend!

Best,

~Arpita

Bound by Life: Expectations and Reality

The regular reader friends of my blog know my book, Bound by Life. I’ll go ahead and share the blurb of the book for those of you who do not know about it:

Bound by Life is the first book by Arpita Pramanick. It contains ten short stories.

The title story is epistolary. An old man writes a letter to his son before leaving for an old age home. Set in the backdrop of the modern nuclear family, the story contains references to the immigrant experiences of those who came to India from the then East-Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) to escape the wrath of the communal riots post-Indian independence.

One of the stories, I am Mala, has been previously published on the eFiction magazine. I am Mala is the tragic tale of a young woman who becomes the victim of the dogmatic caste system.

The protagonist of The Silent Victim, Deepa, has traumatic past. She just started college and is struggling badly with androphobia. Will she be able overcome her past and lead a normal life?

In a previous post, I had talked about five things that writing the book has taught me. I also mentioned that from time to time I will be talking about my self-publishing journey. So today, I am going to talk to you about what my expectations were when I hit the publish button on Kindle Direct Publishing Program and what the reality is after a month the book has been on the digital shelves.

Expectations

  1.  I’d sell 10 paid copies in the first month. Ten isn’t that big a number, is it? Should I set a higher count? 20? Nah, what if I don’t reach 20? Then I will feel bad and wont be able to concentrate on anything else. So 10 it is!
  2. A week before the release of Bound by Life, I post a message on Facebook asking my friends if they want a copy of my book. Over the week, I give away around 50 copies free to people I have known from school and college days and ask them for reviews through email and Facebook. I expect at least half of them to write a review. Fairly reasonable, right?
  3.  I’d sell about a hundred copies on the free promotional days.

Reality

  1. From June 20 to July 31, Bound by Life has sold 2 paid copies. Yeah, you read that right. Only TWO! That’s 80% below my expectations.
  2. Of all the copies I have sold or given away for free, I only have three reviews on Amazon.in and one on Amazon.com. Turned out many of my friends who were willing to review were not eligible for reviewing on Amazon as they had not bought anything from the website before.
  3. On the free promotional days, July 1-2 I sold about 25 copies. I won’t even get into percentages now!

When I was writing the book I was in the middle of my final semester. When my friends were perhaps studying for exams, I was busy writing and editing in MS Word. I was planning all sorts of things I could do to promote my book. It was like a dream, thinking about the book all the time.

Now, one month removed, how do you think I am faring? Am I sick because I sold so less? Am I depressed? Sad? Numb?

Well, here it is: I am absolutely fine! I took two blogging courses from Blogging U. of WordPress recently. I am reinventing my blog. I am writing guest posts. I am reading, I am interviewing other authors. And I am trying to outline my first novel. I am enjoying every bit of my personal life.

But that said, I haven’t given up hopes on Bound by Life. I DO NOT intend to be rich by selling the book, but this book is out in the world to help me be a better writer. So, I still want reviews and for that, I need to sell. And I NEED YOUR HELP to do that!

HOW CAN YOU HELP ME?

  1. For those of you who have not downloaded my book, here is another opportunity for you to do so.  bbllYes, Bound by Life is FREE again on 5th August! Mark your calendar, add a reminder! Do whatever you wish but do not forget to download it on the 5th! Click here to find the book on Amazon or bookmark the following URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X6VG3B0 
  2. Have you downloaded my book in a previous giveaway? Great! Then please leave a review for me on the same link. Don’t fret that you’ve never reviewed anything before. All I want is your honest opinion, something you’ll tell me face to face if you had read my book. If it’s two lines, I am up for it! If you want to say what a pathetic read the book was, go ahead! Not only I care for sales, but I also want to know how I can better my writing. And your criticism does just that! So please, please, please leave a review for me on Amazon.
  3. Share this post! Reblog it! Email to a friend. Share it on your Facebook page. Start the hashtag #BoundbyLife on Twitter. Any platform you’re comfortable sharing, I am happy! Help me reach more people, so that more people download the book on the 5th.
  4. Help me spread a word about the book. Do you host author interviews on your blog? Then shoot me your questions and publish the interview on the 5th. Ask me out on blog tours.
  5. Enlighten me on other ways to promote my book! Have you marketed a book before? What helped boost the sale? I am open to all kinds of suggestions.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me through the form below. I am excited to hear from you!

HELP ME REACH NEW HEIGHTS! (1)

What books should I read?

In a previous post, I had shared my monsoon list with you. One of the to-do items in my list was reading five authors whose works I have not read before.

Since I wrote that list, I bought three books off Amazon: The Old Man and the Sea, 1984, Pride and Prejudice. I have received a few others as gifts or in giveaways: No Comebacks by Fredrick Forsyth, Deadly Fanstasies by Kelly Miller and a non-fiction book called Ctrl+Alt+Del by fellow blogger, Jahnavi Chintakunta. Since I came home after graduating college, I have completed The Old Man and the Sea, Pride and Prejudice and Deadly Fantasies.

English, as many of you may know, is not my first language. I haven’t read many of the books that English or American kids study in school. Until last month I had not read Pride and Prejudice. In a way, I feel ashamed of my poor reading pool. But I am determined to remedy this. Since I aspire to be a writer some day, I guess I should get my classics right first. For that Write me           aGuest Postreason, this month in Saturday Specials, I started a guest post column titled Re-living the Classics. In Re-living the Classics I ask you, my dear reader, to share your review of your favourite classic on my blog. There are still two spots left for the next two Saturdays, so, if you’d like to guest post on my blog, please contact me through the contact form given at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, do not forget to share your list of must-read classics in the comments section. Which book should I read in order to heal my classic deficiency? Would it be wise to read all the books of one author, or should I read a few of many? Should I go by a time period or by genre? Any suggestions are welcome!

Now onto other things: As you know, on Scribbles@Arpita, I share posts related to reading and writing. I love to think of it as my author platform. But since I came home earlier this month, I have been feeling the urge to share something more personal. I am going through a tumultuous period of life: in three months I am going to start my new job (in an analytics company) in a city more than a thousand miles away from my hometown, my little brother brother is about to leave home and start college in a few weeks and I am torn between whether to keep my dreams of pursuing a career in electronics alive or go for analytics. To deal with all that confusion, I started my other blog, Before Leaving Again. The blog will document my journey until October as I come to grips with the big changes about to happen in my life. I’d love you to be a part of my journey and help me form my decisions, so don’t forget to follow me on Before Leaving Again.


If you wish to be a part of Saturday Specials in July, don’t forget to leave your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review through the following contact form. I am so eager to hear from you!

Review of To Kill a Mockingbird – A Guest Post

Write me           aGuest Post

Today’s guest post in Re-living the Classics is a review of To Kill a Mockingbird by the wonderful Belinda. I love reading her beautiful personal anecdotes! Be sure to check out her site!

Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that, contact me through the form given after today’s post. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!


Review of To Kill a Mockingbird

Guest Post by Belinda

First, thanks to Arpita for this opportunity to review one of my all-time favorite books. While I originally had planned to take a look at Madame Bovary, current events and the imminent release of Harper Lee’s second book (Go Set a Watchman, July 14, 2015) compelled me to change my mind.

to-kill-a-mockingbird2To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) is a story of a small town in the southern U.S., where things move slowly but certainly, and a small spark of hope for the future exists. It’s a tale of friendships, family and the forgotten, and how in the end they all fight for each other.

It’s also a story of vast racial injustice and a man not willing to be resigned to it until he’s forced to be. Mostly, it’s the tale of girl growing up and learning about all that happens and all who live in this small town she calls home.

Jean Louise Finch, who goes by Scout, lives with her brother, Jem, and father, Atticus, in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.  Scout and Jem befriend a boy named Dill, who visits his aunt each year during the summer months.

Scout, Jem and Dill are fascinated by their reclusive and ostensibly frightening neighboring, Boo Radley. For two summers they watch and wait for him to appear. The third year, they’re bewildered to find small gestures of friendship seemingly from the shy man, yet still don’t catch sight of him.

That same year Atticus is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The entire town becomes captivated by the trial, and the consequences of the outcome shape events for months to come in a dramatic and poignant way.

The children’s fascination with Boo and the unfolding of events that follow the trial come together in the final pages in a way true to the rest of the story, the town and its characters.  This type of ending to such a complex story is rare. So often the plot line becomes convoluted or melodramatic.  Not the case here.

 The books narrative style is fluid, with bits of irony used to communicate the complex issues it covers. It’s a story you can read time and again, always with a different perspective: once with a look at racial injustice, another with an eye to class and culture in the American South of the early 20th century. It addresses human nature on a broader scale in the character of Boo Radley and how the town dealt with him in their words and actions.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It captivates me from the first sentence every time I read it, which is about once every three or four years. I couldn’t wait to read it again for this review, and look forward already to the next time.


Would you like to have your review of your favourite classic featured on this blog? To do that contact me through the form given below. Be sure to mention your name, email and the name of the book you wish to review. Thank you!

Subject: [Urgent] Require volunteer bloggers to review my first book, Bound by Life

Dear fellow bloggers (especially those of you who blog about books and books by new authors),

I am most delighted to inform you that I have finally finished my first book, Bound by Life. It contains ten short stories based on themes of unrequited love, social issues, diseases, friendship, love and superstitions. It is going to be published soon (June 20, 2015) on Amazon Kindle. You can still pre-order it here.

The first book is always special. Bound by Life familiarized me with my writing style. It taught me a thing or two about what hooks the reader into a story (I thank my wonderful beta readers for this) and overall, made me a disciplined writer.

I am excited to share my stories with the world and am eager to receive feedback. I am open to honest criticism that helps me better my writing skills. After all, I am an engineer by education and English is only my second language, so I am sure there’s room for a lot of improvement.

Over the next few weeks, I will be giving away free reviewer copies of Bound by Life. I want you, dear blogger, to read my book and review it on your blog, thus spreading a word about it on the blogosphere and beyond.

If my proposal interests you, please leave a comment in the form below mentioning why you’d like to read and review my book and I’ll get the book sent over to you in a jiffy! At present, I am giving away pdf copies only. It you’d like another version, please let me know.

Waiting eagerly to hear from you!

Warmest regards,

Arpita Pramanick

Author, Bound by Life.

P.S.: Do check out my other stories on this blog to get an idea about my writing style.

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“Who I am and why I am here”

Hiya all!

I am Arpita from West Bengal, India. I graduated last month as an electronics engineer (Yippee!). As much as I love my engineering textbooks, I care a tad bit more for the books that tell stories. So, while I figure out what to do with my career as an engineer, there’s one thing I badly want to do that has virtually no connection to engineering: write fiction!

I have always wanted to be an author (in between wanting to be an air hostess, a hair dresser, a doctor, a painter and finally, an engineer). I love to write anything: from diary entries to fiery articles on social issues. I used to blog on blogspot before I joined WordPress. I started this site almost on a whim, because somehow I felt I must have a WordPress blog if I were to be an author (it’s crazy, right? But one of my favourite authors blogs on WordPress, so you get the motivation).

The aim of my blog is to establish a readership for my stories. I have been told time and again by friends that I have a gift with the written word. I recently wrote a book of short stories, Bound by Life (click to pre-order), which I am self-publishing on Kindle on 20th June this year. So, I guess it is the right time to let you bookworms and bloggers know about my works. I am so excited to hear your feedback on my stories!

Besides that I publish interviews, reviews as well as share my two cents on the craft of writing on this blog. I also review on request, so if you got a new book coming out, feel free to send me a reviewer copy in exchange of an honest review.

So now you know who I am and what I love doing. Let the journey begin!

Much love. Keep blogging!