Tag Archives: WordPress

Making the blog more navigable…

Hi everyone!

I have been on the blogging scene for close to three years now. I have said this before: I started this blog as an author’s platform. Back in 2015, in my final semester of college, the bug to become an author bit me, and hence, without much planning, I started this blog.

Since then, the primary motivation behind the blog has changed. These days, I am far removed from writing a book. However, since I have always loved writing, I come back to the blog to share bits and pieces of my life.

The layout of the blog, however, have largely remained same. I kept on creating content without much thinking how people would be accessing them, especially the new users who visit the Home page.

With this in mind, and largely due to a phone call with my ex-professor and travel blogger, Mr. Rangan Datta this evening, I decided to change some things about the blog and make it more reader-friendly. Thank you sir, for the motivation. It actually meant a lot.

This primarily means that I have redesigned the menu bar and creating and organizing the categories. Earlier today, my menu bar primarily consisted of writing-related menus, while I kept dumping all other posts in the General category. Keeping in mind that these days most of my post are more lifestyle and travel-centric, I have created separate categories for these. Under travel, I have created sub-categories for all the places that I have visited and created posts about.

All my writing related stuff are still there: poetry, essays, short stories, but now they are under the label Writing on the menu bar. The struggles of a newbie author, as I experienced while publishing my books, are also now under writing. So are the tips and suggestions on writing that I have shared over the years.

I have renamed Reviews to Book Reviews (I might end up reviewing movies some day, so do not want it to be ambiguous).

I have also edited individual posts and added them to the right categories.

Do have a look at the revamped Home page and let me know what you guys think. I would be happy to accommodate any changes that you guys suggest.

Love, ❤



Top Five Posts on Scribbles@Arpita 2017

Hello everyone!

It’s my favorite part of year! It’s that time when the roses and the marigolds are blooming in the gardens. It’s the time of the year when I look at the year in retrospect and think about the good, bad and great things that happened in this year. It is also the time for those resolutions, which will perhaps be followed only till March of the next year. But hey, it’s fun making them, right?

So this month, you will see a lot of posts along those lines. But for today, I wanted to share with you guys some of the most viewed posts in 2017. As always, please do leave your thoughts and comments below. I have not been very active on the Reader myself and have not been able to engage with a lot of your posts, but I do when I get the time. As I appreciate the time that you guys take to read my posts and share feedback. This other day, a fellow reader commented how she had seen me grow as a writer on this blog and that was one of the biggest compliments of all time. As a writer myself, I do understand how my writing has changed over the years. But it is the biggest achievement when your readers can see it too.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the top posts by views in 2017 (note that all the posts however, are not necessarily written in 2017):

  1. Five magazines to submit fiction (and/or non-fiction) in India

    This has been the most viewed post of all times on my blog. As lots of you already know, when I started off this blog, it was intended to be an author’s platform and help newbie authors in India to find their footing. My goals have somehow shifted and this list is no longer updated, but I have received many positive feedback on this post from lots of writers over the past months.

  2. Last Day in College: Gosh! Am I an engineer already?

    This post was written right after I graduated college. The search term that would generally lead you to this blog post is last day of college/what to write on shirt on the last day of college. It was an emotional post to write and has lots of pictures of the college shirt on which my friends scribbled farewell messages. If you are missing college and want to revisit the memories, do check it out!

  3. Thoughts on the short story “So you’re just what, gone?” by Justin Taylor

    There was this time when I was in serious writer-mode. I was regularly reading up stories on New Yorker. I remember not understanding the story at the first go (that’s also the premise of the post). But later, after reading the writer’s point of view, the story became clearer. As I was writing this post, I ended up reading my review of it and the story as well. This time, however, the story was much clearer. This is probably because I have myself sat through planes and had somewhat similar situations in my life and also have been watching more of American high school TV series to know the voice of teenagers (13 Reasons Why was amazing!).

  4. Street Harassment: Fear of the Road (A Guest Post)

    This is the first post in this list which is actually published in 2017. It’s part of a series of guest posts I was doing at the time. It’s by Pradita Kapahi, a blogger I have huge respect for. It’s as relevant a post today as it was in January this year, so please do give it a read.

  5. Letter to my younger self

    This was written in June 2017, as a request piece by Earnest. I love how candid it is. The title is self-explanatory – it is a letter from my 2017 self to my college self. I read it again for writing this post and it sounds as authentic as when I had written it.

Okay, so that’s about it! I had a wonderful time writing this post. I hope you have as much fun while reading it.

I will see you in another post and until then, live your life with full battery mode and just rock it up! ❤

You and Me Tag || The Blogger with a Recorder

Her forehead still bears proof of the overload of vermilion dumped on it on her marriage day. Her hands jingle with the sound of the conch shell bangles they put on the same day. Her always-bare hands are suddenly full of marriage jewelry. At times she still gazes at her hands and wonders if it all really happened.

The beach air is lusty on her face, playing havoc with her hair. The waves are lapping at the shore. Vacationers, foreigners in bikini, roam about, laze about on the white sands. She looks ahead to her husband, who seems busy in building a sand castle in the distance. She smiles at his dedication.

The stranger sits a few feet next to her. He is wearing a flower-print shirt and military green shorts. He has a small device in his hands. He switches it on and lays it on the sand. He then looks far ahead into the sea, a look of content in his face.

“Hey, you!” She calls out.

The stranger looks at her. “Hey, yourself!”

“Don’t mind my asking, but what are you doing?” pointing at the device.

The stranger gives a short laugh and walks over to her, picking up the device.

“It is a recorder. I am recording the sound of the waves. It relaxes me.” He holds the small, black thing out to her.

She holds it in her hand, presses the little red button and the sound of the waves start spilling, only barely audible above the growl of the actual waves.

“Wow! It’s amazing how the waves tone out every other noise. Is this a hobby or something?” She asks.

“Well, sort of! I use the sound for my website too. I am a blogger.”

“Ah! Well, I am one too… or rather, I used to be. Don’t get much time these days. I knew someone who used wave-sounds in his website as well.”

“Oh, you did? The waves are fascinating. And calming. It is a significant part of us who live by the shores.” The stranger extended his hands, “I am Savio. And you are?”

She met his hands, “Arpita here. But wait, you’re Savio? I think I followed your blog! The extra mile or something… with a lot of a’s?”

Savio beamed. “You bet it is! Wow, it’s great to meet you, Arpita! How’s your vacation goin so far?”

“Honeymoon, actually. Goa’s lovely!” she smiles a shy smile. She points at her husband, who has now completed building the castle and is busy taking pictures of it. “That’s my husband.”

Savio gets up and gestures her to do the same. Arpita follows. “Well, let’s get to know each other then,” he says as he starts to walk towards her husband. “I am happy to be your  local guide too, if you’d like.”

“Yes, of course. We’d love that,” She smiles. In her mind, she thinks, “What a small world!”

Inspired by the You and Me Tag post on Savio’s blog.

@Savio – I mostly read all the followed blog-posts on the reader itself, so I had no idea how absolutely refreshing your blog theme is. And the wave sound part was amazing – I had no clue you could add sounds to blogs. I literally finished writing this blog-post to the sound of the waves. Hope you enjoy reading it!

Copyright © 2017, Arpita Pramanick

An afternoon at home

I am sitting on the tiny balcony, an Oscar Wilde book in my hand. The air, until a little while ago, was smelling sweetly of pomelo flowers. Very sweet indeed!

Then there was this smell of dust. It is that time of the year when the roads are sandy, dusty and they soil your feet. I find it hard to breathe. There is some dog smell also.

A cuckoo is cooing sweetly, while the crows caw.

There are tiny kids playing cricket on the dusty playground few feet across. I watch the child, a girl or a boy, I do not know. They are at that age where you do not get to know what the sex is from afar, when there are no curves in the body and the hair is boyishly short. I watch the kid, smartly posing as the ball comes, bending the knees like a professional would. Impressive, I think. Myself, I have always been afraid of being the batsman in a game of cricket, afraid of embarassing myself by not hitting the ball once.

Sunlight vanishes as I write this. Conch shells are being blown by the women. Mosquitoes are nagging at my legs, time to go inside.

For years, I have sat on this balcony. When I was younger, this hour would mean the hour of light snacks and getting back to the heavy books – physics or maths. Today, I really don’t have much to do. Today, I am a grown woman visiting home on a vacation. There are only couple of days till I get back to my real life, my work life. Until then, I wish to soak in the smells, the sights and the sounds of this hour. Like a much cherished pickle, for another desolate afternoon, in a city eons away from here.

Day 19 of Writing 101: My Top Five Reads This Week

Here’s a list of the top five reads from my WordPress Reader this week. Enjoy!

1. You Are Enough

In my early months of blogging on WordPress, I scoured the Internet for any SEO-related articles – I was so obsessed about channelizing traffic to my blog. Though I have since learnt that with blogging patience is the key, I wish this article was there just after I had started to blog.

2. Programmer vs. Artist – Small Shame vs. Big Shame

Anand, of Anand’s Parodies & Caricatures will never fail to make you laugh. However, even in jest, he raises a difficult issue in this post: The parental notion that being a Programmer is less shameful than being an Artist. I am sure many who pursue Art for a living (vs. becoming a doctor, engineer or architect) may have faced similar situations at some points in their lives. I know I did, though in milder forms!

3. Crumpets at Breakfast

Can you win an argument with a woman? Find out in this hilarious short story. It left me giggling like a little girl!

4.  Not sexy, but definitely happy

With this beautiful poem, Rosema at A READING WRITER, hits right at the heart of the raging debate: Does happiness depend upon body weight?

5. Is it possible to have more than one soulmate?

Thank you for starting the conversation, Shauna. Today it is not uncommon for us to be in more than one relationship at different points in our lives. What, then, is the definition of a soulmate in the context of the modern lifestyle? Can we name more than one person as our soulmates?

I totally enjoyed reading each of these posts. What about you? Let me know in the Comments.

Scribbles@Arpita – Revamped with new theme and custom menus!

So, the other day I was looking at the free themes available on WordPress for my blog. Ever since I started my blog, I wanted it to look like an author’s website. At the same time, I wanted it to be a platform for my works, one where I could talk about the books that I had written and promote them.

I had previously been using the Big Brother theme, which was beautiful. I had arranged all my widgets on the right side (my about.me page, links to my social media, an image  of my upcoming book clicking on which will take you to its Amazon link, plus Archives and the Categories widgets,and a widget for the top posts and pages on my blog). Now, having those on the right side meant I had less space for my content, and more distraction for the reader’s eye. As an author, my pivotal aim is to focus on the content that I share with my audience. I wouldn’t want anything to distract them while they’re reading what I have written! But I haven’t always thought so. Earlier, I was like, “I really want the people on my blog to buy my book and read it! If I keep an widget of it in plain sight, the chances of them clicking on it would be greater.”

Now, my widget has been there for a long time, and people have clicked on it as well. But have I received any pre-orders yet (the book releases this 20th June)? NO!

So, it got me thinking: the only way I can probably sell my book is by putting forward content that really hooks the reader. If they enjoy reading my stuff, they would themselves look for my book and buy it.

So, this morning I shed all my inhibitions and revamped my blog for the… umm, let me check, the fourth time! Yes, that’s right. I have been experimenting with themes for a long time now (Hew, Chateau, Big  Brother, and now the Book Lite theme). And I really love my present theme! It is so simple and clutter free, and the font size is just perfect. It puts emphasis on my content. Also, I created the custom menu bar, which has all these new things that weren’t on my site before. I updated the About/Contact page, created a publication page that lists all my recent publications (including of course, my debut book Bound by Life), as well as this cool Need A Review? feature. Need A Review? is for  all you beautiful folks out there who have been trying their hands at story-telling and would like a second opinion on your works. I have forever loved to read others’ works and provide some meaningful feedback, if  possible. It helps me grow as a writer. And guess what? I received my first review request from Soumya, who has this story called Cold Barren on Wattpad (Do check the story out if you’re on Wattpad. Soumya’s Wattpad username is theLushgreenMeadow). It’s a work in the fantasy genre. I hope my feedback was useful to the author.

The one downside (or maybe it’s not really a downside) is that all my widgets now lie at the very bottom of  the page. So you kinda have to scroll down a lot to get to the Archives. I just hope those who’re new to WordPress can find it out.

Right now, I am thrilled with the look of my blog. Finally, I feel like I got the perfect look for my author’s website. Do you like it as much as I love it? Please let me know in the comments below.

The Donald Duck

What would I tell the ideal reader of my blog if I were given a chance and undivided attention? Well, given the love I have for story-telling, I’ll probably spin a story. Let’s get started then, shall we?

The Donald Duck

Arpita Pramanick

Once  upon a time, there was a little girl who studied in the third grade. One day her teacher told the class, “The school is going to publish a magazine soon. It will contains stories, poems and pictures. So, your homework today is to create something on your own for the magazine.”

The children were very excited. They went to the teacher and asked her, “Miss, will our names be printed on the book?”

“Yes! Your names will appear on the magazine. But, remember, not everyone’s writing/painting will get selected. We’ll get a lot of submissions, and we can only publish the best. And your creations are to be submitted to Ira Das of the Fourth Grade. Is that clear?”

“Yes, miss!” The kids said in unison.

Now, our little girl – let’s call her Mercy –  was very excited about seeing her name in print. On the way back home, she thought and thought and thought, wondering what to come up with for the school magazine. Later in the afternoon, while she was watching her favourite Donald Duck cartoon on TV, she had the idea.

Mercy rushed to her room, and went through her comic books. There was a big picture of the Duck wearing a blue cap and a blue sailor dress which she loved very much. I am going to draw this, she thought.

For the next two hours, Mercy sat with her painting copy, pencils and eraser, and the prized collection of sketch pens that her father had gifted her on her last birthday. When she was finished, Donald’s eyes looked more droopy than it was in the original picture, and his cap was too big for him. But Mercy thought it was perfect.

The next day, Ira came to her class. The third graders surrounded Ira, shouted and clapped as they showed each other their creations. Ira had a tough time organizing them and collecting the submissions.

Two months later, the teacher distributed copies of the magazine to the third graders. Mercy was giddy when she took her copy. Her picture had to be there, wasn’t it?

Mercy turned over the pages and scanned them quickly. The pictures were printed in colour, and the names of the contributors were written underneath them.

Twenty pages… twenty-five… thirty… but where was Mercy’s Donald Duck?

At last, on the thirty-seventh page, Mercy found it! Yes, it was just what she had submitted: Donald wearing his blue cap and blue sailor dress. Wow! Mercy jumped on her seat, and showed the picture to her friend Lily, who was sitting beside her.

“But this is not your picture,” Lily told Mercy. She pointed at the name below the picture, scribbled in a small font. It said: Ira Das, Fourth Grade.

“But this is my picture! I drew it.” The tears bristled in Mercy’s eyes. How could Ira give her own name to it?

Mercy walked to the teacher, holding the magazine to her chest. Choking between her tears, she told the teacher about her picture.

The teacher wiped the tears and said, “Don’t cry, dear. Tell me something, did your write your name in the picture that you submitted?”

“No, Miss.” Mercy had been so excited to have created something that beautiful that she had totally forgotten the teacher’s instruction to write her name and grade on her submission.

“It’s okay, dear. Ira had to take care of so many submissions that perhaps she had no idea who had given it to her. It doesn’t  matter. Here, give me your magazine.”

Mercy handed her magazine to the teacher. The teacher took out her red pen and struck through Ira’s name. In her beautiful, slanted handwriting, she wrote Mercy’s name below it.

At last, Mercy smiled. Then the teacher made her stand before the class and said, “Class! I have an announcement. Please turn to page thirty-seven in your magazine. Do you see a picture of Mr. Donald?”

“Yes, miss!” The class chimed.

“Well, there has been a confusion. This sketch was made by your friend, Mercy. Somehow, they printed it wrongly under Ira’s name. So, I’ll ask Mercy to write her name on the blackboard now, and you all copy her name down under the picture, and scratch out Ira’s name, okay?”

The teacher handed Mercy a white chalk. She walked to the blackboard, and in big letters, wrote: Donald Duck by Mercy Mendoza.

In case you were wondering, the story is based on real incidents. Mercy is me in my third grade! However, there was no announcement for me in my class mentioning any confusion whatsoever, regarding the creator of the Donald Duck. I guess, I just wanted a better ending, and that’s why I wrote this story. It was my first-ever submission, after all.

I regret to say that I don’t have the copy of that magazine anymore. We moved to a different house, and somewhere along the way, the magazine got lost. I still draw sometimes. Here’s one of the pictures I drew back in 2011, under my pen name Mystic Mousumy. I have since dropped that name.


The Woman with the Sitar

© 2015 Arpita Pramanick

Take control of your title and tagline

Titles and taglines are the tiny labels that let our readers know what our blogs are all about. The more specific they are, the better.

My blog title is Scribbles@Arpita, and I love it, basically because it reminds of the random ideas I would scribble down as a child in my diaries and copies. I believe that habit has somewhat nourished the writer in me. Plus, the title got a bit of Twittery feel about it, too!

The tagline however was not something I was pleased about. Earlier it was:

Musings of an Aspiring Author

But it was too generic and I was tired of seeing the word ‘musing’ everywhere. So, I searched awhile for a quote (did I mention that I absolutely love quotes?) that might reflect the theme of my blog, and voila! I found it. Now, my tagline is this beautiful quote by Kelley Armstrong:

Storytelling is my passion, and it rises from a love of reading.

It’s totally in sync with my feelings. I love reading and writing and each exists because of the other.

The No Strings Attached Award — Nominated! Hurray!

I am honoured to be nominated by Nimi for ‘The No Strings Attached’ award. I truly enjoy reading her blog and have had the good fortune to host her as a guest in my blog earlier this month in Saturday Specials. Thank you so much Nimi for considering me worthy for the nomination. This is my first ever award nomination on WordPress, and indeed a blessed moment.


The No Strings Attached was designed on Alfreds Almanac. Details about the award are available here.

There are no rules to accepting this award. You can choose to display your award on your blog home page. If you do this, you do not need to nominate any other bloggers, unless you wish to do so. You can thank the blogger that awarded you. You have the power to do whatever you want with this award. Once you have been nominated for it, you can then pass it on to others.

The No Strings Attached Award, is an acknowledgement of respect from one blogger, to another. If you are given this award, it means that a fellow blogger likes your work and your blog.

I am fortunate to have known a few bloggers in my real life, and would like to nominate these people for the award. Please do visit their blogs and check out their stuff.

Shreedeep Gangopadhyay

Rangan Datta

Through My Eyes

When my Diary becomes my keeper

Have a great week, and keep blogging.

Until later!