Nina: The Inconsistent Blogger

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Aug
28

Comedy and Tragedy in Suburbia

comedy

You know I’ve been talking about a lot of very serious and emotional issues lately on this blog. I feel like I used to be more fun! Was I?

I don’t know.

I mean I’ve been reading my old blog posts and I feel like I used to have a more sarcastic and flippant tone. Oh my god, is it because I turned forty? Am I turning into a boring old person already? This is bad. This could be fatal. I could die of a heart attack or something if I continue being this serious.

masks

So let’s have some fun. Let’s try to do it without making jokes about Donald Trump and see how long that lasts. He is funny, mind you. But he’s not worth my time, honestly.

I need some material, it’s hard trying to be a comic, without having funny things to say and do and be. I do great impressions of a middle-aged Jewish woman living in Brooklyn, New York. I’m Indian mind you, so it’s even funnier than it would be if I were white.

What’s funny to you? What do you find hilarious? I find my love life pretty comical I will admit. Internet dating is a joke if I’ve ever heard one. I stopped doing it lately because…I have no idea why I stopped actually. Could it be because I’m sick of little men with big heads and small, you know what’s?

I don’t like talking to potential dates online, I want to meet people in person. I don’t want to find out if we have chemistry, I just want to have it or not have it. I want to know a guy’s real name and look him in the eyes. I want to see if he is a gentleman by his actions, not just his words.

But that isn’t that funny, is it? You know what’s funny? I usually am humorous when it is inappropriate. I have laughed when I have found out people have died, before I cried of course. I have laughed when apologizing to someone for something I did wrong. It is a nervous reaction of mine. I don’t know how to react sometimes to something without laughing.

I’ve cried when laughing. I’m really good at laughing actually, especially with other people. I get in these moods where I just keep laughing and laughing and the jokes keeping getting worse, but I can’t stop laughing and at that point everything is funny. Saying hello to someone is the funniest thing in the Universe. Several people who are close to me have told me they have never laughed harder than they have in my presence. I’m honored by that compliment more than almost any other compliment I’ve ever received.

comedy writers

I’m not sure if it is because I’m actually hilarious or if I just have a contagious laugh. I like to think it’s because of my wit and sense of humor. But sometimes I feel like I’m becoming more deadly as I’m getting closer to my death. When I say deadly I mean I’m becoming less and less able to view the humor in very serious situations. Life is funny; there is plenty of material there. However, life is also a sad and complicated situation. Yet even in the midst of all this cacophonous chaos, you can always flip it around and laugh at it. You must. (I used a really big word there. I’m proud of myself.)

It is mandatory that you see the lighter side of life if you really want to live it. If you really want to live that is. I mean, after all, we could be the result of a bad joke gone wild. Maybe the gods were betting no one could make something as crazy as this earth. Maybe the gods are laughing at us. Perhaps god or the goddess thinks in our natural state we are simply hilarious.

And we are aren’t we. Need I mention the election? It seems like a dog and pony show with a dirty clown as the star. I hate clowns, but they do put on a funny show. I think the biggest reason Donald Duck, or whatever is name is, is popular because it’s so easy to laugh at him and forget how badly he sucks. (I know I said I wouldn’t mention him again, so I didn’t mention him by name.)

Stupid people are hilarious just for the fact of being so dumb. I hope I’m not funny because I’m kind of stupid…Aren’t we all kind of stupid when we start to laugh hysterically and continue to make worse and worse jokes? We all have a dumb side that can be truly humorous. When you let yourself go and don’t worry about your intellect, sometimes you are more you.

Funny, being funny is actually quite difficult and requires a lot of intelligence. If you listen to really good comedians they are usually telling us some truths that we find to be oddly true or giving us some insight into life that we never thought of. However, they go from there to stupid and crazy real fast sometimes. They can take a situation, and exaggerate it and make it something else altogether. That is an art. It takes talent.

comedy sign

Laughing at yourself is the ultimate laughter. If you can’t laugh at the absurdity of life, especially your own life, you will be miserable. Life is a joke. I mean really, isn’t it kind of? The punchline is death. We did it all to die. This whole drama, this entire theatrical production is a comedy with temperamental stars, an annoying plot, and extras who think they should be the stars. And in the last act we all end up buried in the ground, or burned to ashes.

I’m one of the extras who wants to be a star. I feel like I should be famous, or rich, or both. Hear me out here. I want to be a joke, the good kind.

Is that vain? Is that superficial? Is that wrong? Is it wrong to have dreams that you are the shit? I know a crack or opiate problem usually accompanies these dreams, but everyone has to sacrifice something, don’t they?

Anyways, back to my point: funny is as funny does. What does that even mean, though? I think comedians should rule the world, I truly want Jon Stewart to run for president. He is one of the smartest celebrities out there. He is so articulate while being so damn hilarious.

This post is not funny at all like I had planned it to be. I hope I can still amuse you after all these years. If I don’t make you laugh, hopefully, I can make you think. Think about how funny you really are.

nina

 August 28th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
26

Guest Post—Megan Cyrulewski

judge's gavel

You Don’t Have to Explain A Damn Thing

by Megan Cyrulewski

We live in a very judgmental society and it’s completely understandable. We are humans and we judge. We judge ourselves, we judge others, we watch shows about judges and the list goes on and on. When we post something on Facebook, we all wonder what others are going to think. Will they click like? Will they comment? If the post only gets a couple of likes does that mean everyone else hates me now and will they unfriend me? (Okay maybe the last one was a little dramatic.)

There is someone who is probably judging you right now for something. Maybe because you’re reading this blog instead of working and your co-worker thinks you’re a slacker. As the person who wrote this post, you’re judging me right now either nodding your head or thinking to yourself, get to the fucking point of this post already. Okay okay. My point is this: there will always be people who judge you. So what are you going to do about it?

It’s a really annoying human trait that we all have feelings and even though we say we don’t care what someone thinks, deep inside we really do. And again, that’s okay. We can’t help the way we feel. When people judge you, you might get angry or sad or hurt but you have the power to not explain anything you don’t want to.

My daughter is starting Kindergarten at a private school this fall. It was a tough decision to make because I am a strong advocate of public school education. My Aunt is a retired 40-year public school teacher. My dad was once president of the school board in the district we live in, for Christ’s sake. So why in the world would I choose a private school for my daughter? The short answer: she was tested, she has a gifted IQ, and her therapist advised that she would flourish in a private school setting.

First of all, the fact that my daughter has a gifted IQ blows me away. My high school GPA was a stellar 2.5. Don’t even get me started on her father. I was just hoping for “normal.” Instead, my daughter is like this gross incestual combination of my brother and me. Academics from him, athleticism from me.

For the longest time, I didn’t post anything on the holy grail of social media, Facebook, because I knew people were going to judge. When I first told my friends, an explanation of my decision took about 4 hours beginning with my childhood and ending with, “so that’s why I decided to go the private school route but I would totally do public school and it was such a hard decision” and then my inner monologue would continue, “you probably think I’m the biggest snob and you probably think I think my daughter is the shit yo diggity, and you probably think that I think that I’m better than you and you probably hate me and you will probably unfriend me from Facebook and block me and I just suck and need a Xanax.”

Again, the above scenario is a bit of an over exaggeration. Here’s what really happened: “so I decided to put Madelyne in a private school.” My friends: “I think that’s the best thing for her. She’ll do really well!”

Huh. So with my friends, I don’t have to explain myself because even if they don’t agree with my decision, they still want to be friends. It was then that I realized that I cared more about people judging me instead of having the confidence to back up my decisions. It was totally an “ah ha” moment. (Oprah copyrighted that phrase and I’m giving her credit so please don’t sue me.)

Let’s circle back to the beginning of this blog post. People are going to judge you no matter what because it’s human nature. You’re going to judge yourself because therapists need to earn a living too. But, at the end of the day, if you know in your heart that you made the right decision, then no explanation is needed.

So if you post on Facebook that you think Trump is the second coming of Jesus – oh yeah – I’m totally judging you. But I’m also thinking to myself, kudos to you to have the balls to post that on social media and then I’m going to grab some popcorn and watch the shit show of responses.

If you post that you can’t wait until the next episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians are on – oh yeah – I’m totally judging you. But again, kudos to you because I just binge-watched The Hills on Amazon Prime.

If you post that you are in the recovery room after your annual colonoscopy – oh yeah – I’m totally judging you (and having some really nasty images in my head of the diarrhea prep.) But again, kudos to you because at least you are diligent about getting that tube up your ass every 5 years.

Post anything you want. Say anything you want. Do anything you want. Know that people will judge. Have the confidence to smile. But always remember that you don’t have to explain a damn thing.

 August 26th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
25

Can Sexual Attraction be Racist?—Repost

interracial-dating-feat

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can Sexual Attraction be Racist?

So let me break it down for you, I was a weirdo in high school and still am.  My nickname on the school newspaper was Metaphysical Vegetarian.  So let me tell you a story about some stuff that went down in the nineties at Troy High.  If you were born during or after the nineties, I wonder if you will be shocked at what went on during this time period.  I’ve heard things have changed a bit.

So back to 1993, I wrote for the newspaper and had a crush on a particular white guy who was waaay too “cool” and popular for me. I was nerdy and kinda alternative and hung out with all the Indian kids.  So I decide to set up a “blind” date with him for the newspaper, telling my editor that I’m gonna write about blind dates etc.  Well, the guy shows up on the date expecting the homecoming queen I suspect, but he gets me.  I never went to homecoming cause I never had a date.

It’s a bad blind date.  All in all, it’s weird, uncomfortable and if I had any sense I would have realized we had no chemistry.  So we interview him after the “blind” date and he says he doesn’t find girls who are not Caucasian attractive.  In short, he only likes white girls.

So let me go over this real quick: I’m Indian and I’m not white.  I happen to like white guys, I happen to like guys period of literally any race.  My crush before him was a black guy my crush after him was an Indian guy.

Interesting.

We didn’t publish the article because I was not allowed to date in high school and it occurred to me that if I printed this in the newspaper my parents would slaughter me.  But part of the reason I would not let this go to print was because I was ashamed.  I don’t know if I was ashamed of being different, or I was ashamed that someone in the “mainstream” culture did not like me.

The thing is, the guy didn’t say he didn’t like people who are not Caucasian, he just said he’s not attracted to any girls who are not white.  I was devastated when I found out about this.  It was a different kind of hurt.  I mean I don’t know, but I felt discriminated against.  I would have been much happier if he just didn’t like me cause I wasn’t “cool.”  But the first and main reason he didn’t like me was because I was a person of color.

But the thing is, one of my Indian friends in high school at the time only liked white guys as well.  So was she racist?  Now she likes guys of other ethnicities  but doesn’t find black men attractive.  Is she racist or is she just exhibiting a preference?

I know an Indian guy who really only likes blond women.  He also told me it was a good thing that I moved in with a white girl.  What?

love color

What am I supposed to make of all this?  I like men of all races, ethnicities etc.  But people’s sexual preferences, are they up for suspicion?  Should they be analyzed?  Are their weird factors of race relations at play here?

In the olden days during slavery, many slave owners were married to white women but raped black women.  The reason I bring this up is, the white men were sexually attracted to both races but could not respect the black women.  Fast forward to the present and let’s be honest, you don’t find many white guys searching for black women, but you do find more black men with white women.

Black women will tell you a black man who chases after white women is trying to find a trophy, a way to sell out.  I bet white men, a lot of them, will tell you they are just not attracted to black women.  And then there is us, the brown people.  We meander through, white men, black men, and brown men.  Since we are a medium color, we get an experience with all of this.

In this whole weird game, is the white person the ultimate prize?

Is it because we see white people on the cover of magazines and besides the president, we see them in positions of power?  Is the ideal of beauty still white?  In Indian culture, the whiter your skin, the more beautiful you are perceived.  If you look at ads on Indian marriage websites, they will often say that they are looking for a fair skinned bride.

It makes me want to vomit and I have fair skin.  In fact, my skin is so fair she I am often mistaken for other ethnicities.  But apparently, I am not the fairest of them all, because that one guy in high school did not find my ethnic coloring attractive.

we-are-akk-humans

Trust me when I say I’m over it…but I wonder?  I got to question myself here a bit.  In my school at the time, most of the popular people were white even though there were tons of Indians and other Asians in my school.  Was part of the reason I liked this guy because he held a position of power by being white and by being popular?  Hmmm.  Was part of my attraction to him about his power? Was part of his dislike for me about my ethnicity not being part of his group which he perceived as superior to my group of friends.

I also wonder about other things.  I mean are there men who don’t find Penelope Cruz or Halle Berry attractive?  Come on?

I mean there is a natural element, people are inclined to want their own “kind” for a whole host of reasons.  A lot of it has to do with familiarity and similar upbringings.  Some of it has to do with being attracted to someone who looks similar to you.  But to not at all find anyone who is different then you attractive is kinda closed minded I think.  I don’t per say think it’s racist, I think it’s stupid.

I don’t want to judge, but I find it suspect, like when people have never tried other ethnic cuisines and only eat one kind of food.  I mean I respect the fact that some people don’t like sushi, but there is plenty of other Japanese food to like.   There is a whole world of cuisine out there, you may not know what you are missing.  Just sayin…

Pretty soon people are going to be so mixed in this country that they will be part white, yellow, black, brown etc.  Maybe soon we won’t really have a color.  I don’t know if that time will actually come, but will we have these barriers up then?

I have a friend who is in law school with some young “kids” in their twenties.  He says that all this work about equality for race and women and LGBT people has really set in their minds.  Something is working.  They are not shocked that there is a black president.  Maybe they don’t see so much difference in what races they find attractive.

I hope things have changed for real.  I hope there is hope.

As for me, I used to really want an Indian man in my twenties, I used to find that kind of man the most attractive.  Now that I’ve grown, I’m open to all sorts of men, race or ethnicity honestly does not matter to me.  I’m not against my peeps, but I’m open to all people.  But will they all be open to me?

nina

 August 25th, 2016  
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Aug
24

An Honest Facebook Post

 

reaction

What I want to say on Facebook but can’t because everyone else looks so damn happy and perfect:

I’m lonely sometimes. I have friends but I fear it is not the kind of loneliness that someone else can fill. I feel lonely sometimes when I’m around other people. This is bigger than just being alone. This is worse.

My friend called me a liar the other day. She was right, I tell white lies and try to hide things I can’t face. Still, to be found out and labeled like that kind of bites.

So even the friends that I do have, know I’m by no means perfect.

I take too many pills, I’m overweight and underpaid. I can be a lazy procrastinator.

I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer…there are good things going on in my life. I’m losing weight, I’m trying to get some work published and I’m good at teaching and writing. I’ve been feeling better psychologically since January when I started taking a new medication for Bipolar Disorder.

I’m sort of happy at the moment.

Yet the truth is, I have been in and out of depression for ten years. In the last eight months, I started this new drug and I’ve felt much better. However, I lost ten years of my life fighting off depression. Why didn’t I change medications sooner? I was afraid I might rock the boat and end up sicker than when I started.

I’m embarrassed it took me ten years to figure out this shit. I feel ashamed and guilty that I have been depressed for so long. I feel deprived of my thirties. I know it’s not my fault in my head, but not in my heart.

The good news is that I’m over that at the moment and am feeling pretty great. I’m working, writing and acting like a normal human being. Sometimes I don’t know what normal people do when they are not trying to hide from the world. I have re-entered the land of the living and sold some property on ninaland.

This is my real face that I’m showing you, it’s a verbal selfie. It wasn’t taken in a flattering light. I don’t have any makeup on and it wasn’t filtered.

I think I look fat in this picture…

****

But seriously let me tell you something, all of us have a darker side. If you are reading this perhaps you don’t feel as alone with your own struggles. I’m not suggesting that everyone go out and bare their private souls on Facebook. What I am saying is that when you are perusing social media, remember that everyone is showing their best face, in the best light, sometimes filtered.

Sometimes when I go through Facebook I feel like I’m not having as much fun as my friends who are going on vacations to exotic locales or having parties I’m not invited to, or running marathons that I would never run. Even though it is small and petty to be envious, it happens to the best of us.

I’m having fun in my life; don’t get me wrong. But at the moment I don’t have the funds to go to a faraway vacation destination. I don’t have the physical fitness to run a marathon, but I go to my share of parties and social gatherings. However, I don’t post anything on Facebook besides this blog. I’m not sure exactly why.

Perhaps I don’t post my regular life events on Facebook because I honestly don’t think anyone would be that interested. Even if I went to Hawaii and looked great in a bikini, does anyone besides me really care? Not that I begrudge your bikini pictures, but perhaps the truth is I’m not comfortable with pictures of myself because I think I look bad in pics and I always, always, always look fat. Fatter than I am in reality, I believe.

But usually, the reason I go on Facebook is to read the news and interesting articles and find out what my friends are up to. Inquiring minds want to know, and I’m no different. I want to be all up in everybody’s business just like the next girl. Most of the time when I see you looking your best and having a good time, it makes me truly happy for you and gives me some kind of hope for myself.

After examining Facebook in depth I have come to the conclusion that some people do have a ‘perfect’ life. No, I’m not kidding. There are truly happy individuals in this world who are thriving in every aspect of their lives. Good for them. More power to them. After all, isn’t that what we all want, a well-balanced peaceful and happy life?

****

Then there is the rest of us. This might be our true Facebook post:

We have trouble with mornings and Mondays and if you catch us before we have coffee you might start believing in evil. I’ve been up for four hours but am I really awake yet? I sometimes ask myself that question.

I sing out of tune in the shower but am always convinced I’m the next Whitney Houston. I have put my coffee on top of my car and drove away without picking it up more times than I care to remember. Sometimes I’m tired, crazy and moody. I’ve considered plastic surgery, mostly a tummy tuck.

I pay the minimum payments on my credit card and I’m not really sure how I’m going to retire, ever, considering I have had a negative balance in my bank account more than once. My credit is less than perfect and my BMI is higher than desirable. I’ve been on a diet since 1999. I haven’t been to the gym in more than a year, or has it been two? I honestly don’t remember.

That’s it, that’s all I got. My confessions are all on the page instead of to the priest. And remember there is much I will never tell you. Some stuff I don’t even tell god.

Is this a post you would ‘Like’?

nina

 August 24th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
23

The Pokemon Generation

pokemon-go-01

I teach millennials and work with them very closely. I have conversations with them about controversial topics in the world. What have I found so far? First of all, I think Pokemon is a metaphor for their existence, they are chasing electronic ghosts and they will go to the ends of the earth to find fake happiness. The prize at the end of the search is a cartoon character. Need I say more.

Their addiction to technology is a superficial sort of reality. Having hundreds of friends on Facebook and not being able to find a single friend you can call at 3 am when you need to hide a body, is not what I would call real. My real buds would not only be there, they would bring a shovel. The same friends would bail me out of jail, then kick my ass for being an idiot. These are real live friends that I can touch and feel and laugh with. It seems to me that this new generation would rather communicate virtually than sit in a room and face each other’s flaws.

I too have virtual friends, friends I’ve never met in real life that I only talk to on the Internet. These friends are fun to have and very valuable in their own right, but nothing makes up for human contact, eye contact, face to face interaction. We need to bring these kids back into the world of the living and human contact before they become actual robots.

Speaking of kids, isn’t a trip that my high school class is now sort of ruling the world? I’m still not convinced we are mature enough. We are no longer kids, we are the real thing. It still trips me up that I’m teaching other kids when I’m still a kid at heart. In fact, some of these kids are having kids. Where will it end?

So once again I’m at Starbucks because where else would I be except feeding the biggest conglomerate in the world that is probably exploiting people in all kinds of ways. In fact, someone once told me how Starbucks was not good for human rights, but I honestly can’t remember what they said. Listen, I may be all about saving humanity from corporations, but I like my vanilla cream cold brew iced coffee.

That’s no excuse, is it? I like the community of people on their laptops typing away, seemingly doing important things. I like to pretend like I’m doing important things. Maybe going to Starbucks makes me feel important. Who knows, but I’m personally not exploiting coffee bean pickers or whatever. I don’t know if I can do better than that.

Someone once told me we all have a certain amount of ability to do the right thing, there are lines we will not cross, but we all have different lines. I will not personally exploit any human being knowingly. When I was in India, my parents asked the servants to eat with them at the dinner table. That is unheard of in that culture. My parents shop at Walmart, the worst company in the universe, but they refer to the servants in India by saying the word: ‘aap.’ It means ‘you,’ but not just ‘you’ it means ‘respectfully you.’ It’s a greeting you use for those you deeply respect. There is another word for just you: ‘tu.’ By the way, they use ‘tu’ when talking to me.

Where are your lines? Do you love animals but still eat meat? You know what, that’s OK, who says we all have to be perfect? We are living in an imperfect world so we don’t have to have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. I mean I think alcohol is bad for the mind and is probably a self-destructive drug that is ruining the world. I still drink socially even though I know it takes me out of my senses instead of making me more insightful. Call me a hypocrite if you must, but I’m trying to live with respect to my principles, yet I fall short all the time. Maybe you do too.

Are you addicted to the very technology you think is taking you away from real life? I know I am. Right now, I’m on a device that makes me feel comfortable. I could write on paper. I could shut all my other browsers so that when I get bored of writing I do something besides surf the web. But I’m comfortable in this space right now. I could shut off my phone, but I like being in virtual contact with other people.

I need this now.

I want to be that chic who leaves all her devices behind and hikes in the woods for hours. But the truth is, I will take my phone if I do take that hike. I will probably not be able to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the world for too many hours. I can do it for a while, but I need the way that I have set up this life. I don’t want to have to apologize for that all the time.

I eat too much, I drink when I’m sad, I waste too much time on the Internet, I worry about the past and the future and sometimes forget about the present, I spend too much money on crap I don’t need, I rarely think about people in bad situations and how I can help them (ie Syrian refugees or children being used in sex trafficking). I’m incredibly self-involved. I usually think about my own problems. I’m flawed. But I think that just makes me human.

Look we are all in this together, let’s not judge each other. If someone is not living up to the standards you hold yourself up to, it’s not your place to look down on them. I mean we all compare ourselves to others and want to come out better than the rest. The truth is, most of us are just trying to get by.

I noticed that when watching the Olympics. I mean there were all these little controversies that were so trivial. Sometimes I feel like we wanted to judge these kids and adults who are far more physically talented than us. We wanted to find something wrong with them to make us feel less inadequate compared to their physical prowess. Yeah, they made some mistakes, they aren’t perfect either. But can you pole vault and then do a cartwheel in the sky?

I don’t understand how it’s humanly possible to flip in the air multiple times and then come down and not die. I can barely get up from the couch without my right leg aching for a few before I start walking. Who am I to judge these super athletes for not being perfect human beings? I mean it’s kind of sad that the swimmers acted like fools, but to cover their story on CNN for days on end when more important things are happening in the world, is also sad.

Why does the news focus on everyone’s flaws whether it is Hillary or Donald, instead of keeping their attention on the real issues? Issues like hunger and economic inequality. You know why? We can’t get enough of shaming others. I mentioned once that we get a real high off of feeling better than Donald Trump. But how much better are we than this monster who claims he wants to make America great again but makes all his merchandise in China? How many times have you bought something made in China without giving it a second thought? Do you even know where your stuff is made in? Do you even care? I’m wearing a blue cotton shirt and have no idea where it was made.

We all collectively may not be as insane as the Donald, but there is a little of us in him. If there wasn’t, he wouldn’t be showing up on our radar as much as he does. Are the rest of us better than Trump followers? Who are you following? If you are a democrat we may have no idea how corrupt the democratic party actually is. It’s just a lesser of two evils. The fact that I don’t want to know the truth of what happens behind closed doors in some political arenas, tells me enough about my own ignorance.

Is it OK to be ignorant and hypocritical? I don’t know if it is OK, but it is what it is. None of us can escape it. You will never know everything, you will always be ignorant about some aspect of the world. You will also not always know if your actions are somehow contributing to someone’s suffering.

I would rather not be a party in torturing some innocent person by consuming a product. However, every product out there may be doing that in some way. What’s a woman to do? I’m just trying to get by without inflicting too much bad karma on my soul.

How about you?

nina

 August 23rd, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
22

Narcissistic Interview (continued)…

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I ask the questions, I answer the questions…

 

So it took you 5 years to write a book that is currently unpublished. Now you write a piece of work every day and show it to the world immediately. How long can you sustain this stamina?

I have no idea. I mean none. When I say I’m clueless I’m not lying. I want to do this for a while. It’s true it took me eons to write my first novel. It might be a practice novel. Now I’m submitting a lot of work at a fast pace. I have no clue how long I can keep this up.

Why am I doing this to myself? Honestly, it gives makes me happy that I can write something and share it. It’s like a one-way conversation with the world. It’s a good practice and honestly, if you break it down I’m only writing a few pages a day. The hope is that someone will pick up this blog and want me to publish a book.

 

What makes you think you are such hot shit when it comes to writing? Why are you so confident to put your work out in public?

Well, I’m not sure if I think I’m hot shit or if I’m willing to take a risk that maybe someone would understand what I have to say. I do have some credentials. I have a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University.

But as you probably already know, you don’t need an education in writing to be a writer. You need an education in life. You need to live. You have to spend some serious time experiencing a lot of shit. It really makes for great material. Life itself that is. You have to pay attention to it.

 

Are you confident enough that you won’t write the wrong thing or write something terribly bad?

Oh, I’m not confident about that at all. In fact, I am pretty confident I will mess up royally at some point. In fact I am going to give my blog password to a good friend of mine in case I start having a manic episode and start writing crazy stuff that is inappropriate. I told her to shut this all down if I start to go insane even for a minute.

I don’t need to publicize my ugly, ugly side. I mean there is ugly and then there is ugly. You think I expose my dirty dreams but I don’t, and if I did I would be embarrassed.

 

Do you ever want to erase or take back anything you have put on your blog?

Yes. Several times I have written about things and later looked at them in shock because I exposed myself so thoroughly. I didn’t erase the posts that I thought were too revealing, however. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I don’t want people to go back and read them, but I can’t censor myself enough to take them down.

 

You make it look so easy to express yourself? Is it that easy?

No. It is most definitely not easy. It can be like pulling teeth when I’m in a negative mood and can’t seem to find my muse anywhere like she’s playing hide and seek. Sometimes I can’t find the energy to seek her out. I know she’s there though, and that’s what keeps me going. Either I will find her or she will come back to me.

In fact right now, as I write this, I am feeling very blocked and a little negative. I am trying to be more positive but I kind of think I’m writing stupid crap right now. I’m not sure. I’m honestly very unsure of many of my blog posts many times until I get some feedback.

Just to give a glimpse as to how hard this is, I got up at 4:30 spontaneously this morning and decided to write, and I had two cups of coffee so I couldn’t go back to sleep. I struggled very hard to get anything out this morning. Now it’s almost twelve at night and I’m still up and my head is foggy but I could not think of a single thing to write until just now. And honestly, I’m not sure if this is the best I can do. I’m never sure.

I get nervous sometimes when I post stuff, or even when I’m writing. Sometimes revealing yourself is really stressful. However sometimes it comes easy, is fun and is the greatest experience ever. But it’s all inconsistent, at least in my world. That’s my experience.

 

So what makes someone a real writer?

That’s like asking what makes someone a real person. There are some people that seem like phonies. The same is true of writers. There are some people who are boring and cliché. That is true of writers as well. Some people are just idiots. In the same way, some writers are just bad.

Is good writing subjective? Hmmm…not really. Good writers and good critics can easily tell the crap from the good stuff. It’s more obvious than you might realize.

 

Does your misery give you material to the point where you don’t want to happy?

Very good question, nina. Under no circumstances do I want to be miserable. Ever. I want to be happy. Always. However, since that is not humanly possible, I use my pain to invoke meaning into my life. When unfortunate things happen I’m not happy about it so I can write about it. I’m not a masochist. I also do write about my happiness as well. Writing actually makes me very happy, whether I’m writing about happy stuff or not.

 

Can you write when you are feeling normal, acting normal, and everything is going normally in your life? Do you need madness to get to your muse?

When I’m feeling perfectly average and the world is going perfectly fine, it can sometimes be harder to get to a place that is deep enough to express something meaningful. I will be honest, I’m feeling fine right at this moment, but I feel like I can’t get these words out right with the same ease as I sometimes have when I don’t feel so normal. Sometimes I’m high on writing and high on life, and sometimes my best writing comes from those times. Same with the times when I’m sad or upset. When I feel crazy I usually write terribly. When I feel totally balanced sometimes I feel empty.

Is that weird? Maybe it is maybe it is normal. What is normal anyways? It’s a myth, there may be no such thing. But when I feel close to what society deems as normal I often feel like it’s harder for me to have something to write down. Harder to have something to say. When I’m feeling happy I can often right very well. It’s not that being happy is not normal for me, but I don’t think that it’s what we consider normal in our society.

 

Is your fiction all autobiographical, and about your life?

Sometimes, sometimes I purely make it all up. I mean all of it. So don’t be so sure you can psychoanalyze a writer by looking at their work. The imagination is funny and unpredictable. I often take real people and events and twist and turn them into something new altogether.

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

The world. It’s like I’m chasing Pokemon. I will go anywhere to find good material. I think this invisible force of creativity is everywhere. I’ve written in a department store, Macy’s to be precise. I’ve written on the floor of the bathroom, I’ve written on a desk, in cafes. I usually write in my living room on the couch facing a bunch of windows that look out to some trees.

nina

 August 22nd, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
21

Cryptic, Random, Strange, Senseless Poetry

poetry

A Non-Name

 

Who influenced you?

They ask you

did you name yourself?
How did you come up

with these complicated stories

about the heart that asks

questions about the nose?

They say you can smell your life

better than you can think it.

 

Remember when you and I played

on the monkey bars

and we thought we were

important people when we fell

and scraped our knees

and cried the ugly cry for ourselves?

I remember the stink of your red shoes then.

 

Click, click, Dorothy wants to go home,

ET phones it in.

Big bird sings the alphabet

and you and you and I flip channels.

Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!

The scent of your cookie dough is better than

when you bake yourself in the oven.

Sylvia Plath, I call you when you cry.

 

We didn’t know how to cry for other people

then and we never really learned

that we are matter and matter doesn’t die and it does matter.

And we are no different than the stars

that make a dozen mistakes while looking pretty.

You ask me how can a light

be wrong? How can you smell a light?

 

I tell you, you are a light,

just because you don’t notice the scent, does not mean

You don’t have one.

Why is it that you think you are none?

The black hole even knows

I can breathe it in my nose,

and it has a name, somebody gave it one.

 

*

The Fly

 

We sat on the porch

watching the firefly’s

rehearsing a ballet in the sky.

We didn’t need to see them

to understand that beauty

can be annoying,

A buzz near your ear.

Or a black fly trying to make it

in a world that hates tiny faces

that have no name.

We plot to kill you and you know it.

I will name you my friend

you are the first to notice

that world is burning down.

You don’t know

You don’t know

how hard it is to smile while

faces and places are all around me

but I barely can recognize myself.

I’m a girl

who cannot see the nuances

you see.

I think I cannot fly.

 

*

 

Are you Free?

 

Do you think you own yourself

or do you see even that as a

betrayal of your freedom?

You cannot own beauty

So how can you be beautiful?

I think flowers in the rain

are freedom and in essence

your pain is a form of oppression.

By nature, by your mind.

 

I changed my name

so you could pronounce it.

I changed my hair

so you could like it.

I walked to the left

instead of the right

so you would know where I stood.

 

I am compulsive.

Politics aside

do you think I’m pretty?

Do you think I’m sad?

Do you wonder if I could dance

with you in a garden

of purple hyacinths?

 

Step this way and that

use your words, see your rhythm.

Don’t trip on the wire

everyone always forgets

about the chord,

in the way of our Wednesdays.

We are always in the middle

Never be too shy to fall down

in the middle of the week.

In the middle of your life,

when you can see forward and back.

When else will you be you?

 

*

Fruit

 

I was thinking of making sense

that day, when you said you

brushed your teeth for me.

And I didn’t notice that biting

into apples creates our lives.

That we need nothing more

then a fruit and a fairytale

to keep us occupied.

With lies and flies and

and strawberry lips

you kissed me with your watermelon

goodbyes. And the way

you looked at me

I could have sworn I saw the moon

in your raspberry smile.

There is a seed in your mouth

That tells me everything I need to know

about growing a garden.

 

Slices of orange and the way

I peeled a grape only to feel

its essence in my hands.

 

I felt dirty that day

And you knew what I didn’t say.

You stood there in the doorway,

singing a song you made up.

None of us are clean

like the dirt that makes the fruit.

We are also made of earth

Even though we don’t know its name.

 

 

*

Re-runs

 

I sat with the TV on watching a surprise party on a Friends re-run.

Then I turn to you and say, this one is like Golden Girls

and you look at me as if I told you the earth was triangular.

And you say how many times can we watch this episode

before we memorize the ending, know all the jokes.

And I ask you what will happen next.

You say wait until the applause, you’ll figure it out when you hear yourself

in their voices over and over again.

You lit a cigarette that time you watched the Cheers finale one more time.

You said you wanted everyone to know your name.

They don’t. You will have to tell them over and over again.

 

nina

 August 21st, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
20

The Patient Sikh: Part Three—Sonny

guitar

This is an excerpt from a novel. If you would like to read the passages that lead up to this, please visit: The Patient Sikh: Part One, and The Patient Sikh: Part Two–The Wonder Years.

Sonny

He was on the phone with Yasmine and wondered why he was so attracted to her, even though she was the kind of girl who needed commitment from a guy, he could tell by her sophisticated sentences. He knew the language of love but he wasn’t ready to speak it. Did she want him?

“I was going to try out for The Music Man, but I can’t sing to save my life,” Yasmine proclaimed on the telephone.

“I would try out but I can’t act,” he said in a chalky voice. He was annoyed he had to clear his throat three times. “Shit I’m late,” he snarled at her, and they said their goodbyes.

Sonny stared in silence at his blue guitar. Sometimes he thought his soul was in the strings of that guitar, in the invisible chords. He felt it as he sang: “Let it be, Let it be…” to himself. He stopped. He didn’t like what he heard. His voice wasn’t working, it seemed to be broken.  He was late for rehearsal and he was wasting time. As the lead singer, Sonny needed some quick tea to perk up his throat.” Ahhh,” he sang to himself. He used to think throat exercises were for losers, until his throat starting getting a bit scratchy, probably from the pot he smoked every now and then.

His band was playing in a fancy hotel Friday night and he thought about asking Yasmine to come watch him, but he wasn’t ready for that kind of intimacy. He would be singing all covers at a reunion at the Marriot. He’d been known to make women cry with the songs he had chosen, they wanted sentimental. If she came alone she would be putty in his hands and then cling on to him. He didn’t want to risk his independence for a girl. She was after all, just a girl.

What is singing anyways, he thought as he drove like a maniac to Mike’s garage. It’s kinda like yelling, a little like talking in tune. Music to him was like sex without the mess, it had rythum and pleasure. Music was all that mattered to him. He could do the Engineering thing. He thought math was much like music, it all made a certain sense to him.  But if he could do what he really wanted with his life, he would sing, make music, and make love to beautiful women.

It was a little-known fact that Sonny couldn’t read music, it was something he was ashamed of but he refused to learn. He thought the institutionalization of music was for those who didn’t really feel it.

He could duplicate a tune when he heard one. He could make up a harmony and a melody and all the rest of it. Yasmine had once said, “Your voice is intelligent, I don’t even know what that means. But your voice tells me things.” Those were the kind of sentences that he loved, and why he liked her. He had a few ‘groupies’ he called them. He assumed Yasmine was one of them, a girl that was into him because he sang like a rock star.

No one knew he secretly wanted to make it big, go solo, lose the band and branch out. He could do it; he knew it. It was writing the songs he had trouble with, not the music, but the words. Cliché is the only way to describe it. He couldn’t get it right. Couldn’t say the right thing, at the right time, whether it was in a song or in a room with other people.

Yasmine had offered to help him write songs, she had written quite a bit of poetry. He thought about that for a moment, he wondered if they would end up kissing while writing a song, he wondered where they would end up. Would he serenade her?

He got to Mike’s house and stared at all four of the guys in the garage. It was so White, you know, all of it. This music they were making was made for White people. He wanted the music to have some kind of eclectic international flare. He wanted more funk. He wasn’t a punk, but he was more alternative than his band.

Joey played the drums and Sonny saw him cranking out some wild tune. Sonny stood there on the driveway with his tea. Sonny spent his younger years in Ireland, but he immediately got rid of his Irish accent when he moved to the States. He thought about where he learned to sing, it was in the pubs with his dad. They would sing ridiculous tunes and his dad would drink the night away.

Sonny never drank for that reason and he stared at his green tea. He left Ireland for good, left his family for good, and came as an exchange student at a local high school before he got into Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan on a scholarship. He loved Detroit. How he managed to find all these White people to build a band with was beyond him since he lived in a predominantly Black city. Most of his Indian and Sikh friends went to U of M.

Sonny was a Sikh but didn’t wear a turban. His father wore a turban and Sonny always did anything he could to not be like his father. He came to America, took off his turban and cut off all his hair. Why? Because he could. He couldn’t stand up to his dad in his presence, but now he was on his own. He was his own man.

*

He knocked on Yasmine’s door in her dorm room, girls, no women were all around the hallway. He saw a pretty blond woman with golden streaks in her hair and an even hotter black woman wearing spiral curls laughing at the end of the hall. He knew he was in the right place. He would have sung to them if he could, if it was socially acceptable to just break out into song at the drop of a hat for no reason at all. He thought women only liked him for his singing.

Yasmine opened the door and she stood there with her hair straightened, he thought she had curly hair. He had to admit she looked good with her black jeans and purple top, she smelled sweet like honey and vanilla. There was something about her, something he didn’t understand, she was like a mystery with a catch that no one but her knew. “Hi,” she said in a sort of a high pitched voice. Her voice wasn’t really that sexy, he thought.

“Hey there,” he said and smiled and looked her up and down. His eyes rested on her chest. She had a decent set of breasts. But he didn’t know, there was something missing with her. She wasn’t the woman he dreamed of. She wasn’t hot the way some of his other ‘groupies’ were She didn’t wear mini-skirts and halter tops. He thought of them as his ‘girls.’

He walked into her small dorm room with a pink comforter on a bunk bed to the left and two wooden desks to the right. He remembered why he came to Yasmine’s door to begin with: she was cool to talk to. She made him laugh, she laughed at his jokes. She was pretty. Would he do her? Yeah, but he assumed she was a good girl, a virgin. He didn’t know if he wanted to break her in.

Besides, he had many wild oats to sow. Relationships were for guys who could only get one woman. Yasmine was a ‘relationship’ kinda girl. The kind of woman who wanted flowers on her birthday and kisses in the rain. He wanted all that too, later. Right, then he wanted to have a good time. She didn’t seem like that kinda ‘fun’ girl.

“Mona is going to meet us at Java Hut.” Mona, he thought. She was hot. She was sexy. Everyone wanted a taste of Mona. There was something about her attitude, the way her ass and tits moved. He and Mona had a good vibe. He knew, though, that she wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole. Sonny didn’t even know if Mona was impressed with his singing.

“Alright, you ready?” he asked and looked into Yasmine’s eyes. He noticed a hint of excitement in his gut. He liked her; but didn’t think he should like her.

“Yeah, let’s go!” she chimed in her girly voice. He looked at her average sized lips as she spoke. She was wearing lipstick with a purplish hue. It looked pretty good on her, he wondered if she put it on for him. He imagined kissing her and getting the lipstick all over his face.

He knew one thing about her voice that seemed to only have one note. She probably couldn’t sing to save her life. He dreamed of a woman he could do a duet with. A woman who knew music as well as he did, with a beautiful voice. Someone he could sing with for the rest of his life.

They walked and talked, through the campus. He loved the campus and couldn’t believe how amazing it was, the multi-colored trees in the fall and the grassy scenery gave him chills. It all reminded him of Ireland. “Where are you guys playing next?” Yasmine asked.

“Oh we gotta gig at a high school reunion at the Marriot,” he said, still stunned by the ivy on the old brick buildings. “We will be doing all covers.” He didn’t mind singing other people’s songs, he was good at it in fact. He could make them original, make them his own, while still maintaining the integrity of the song.

There she was: Mona. She was sipping what looked like a cappuccino. She had thinner red lips, but they were still just right. She smiled a half smile when she saw them. A piece of her naturally straight hair fell from her forehead over her left eye. Damn that woman really did do something to him.

“We’re late,” Mona seemed to hum in a deep voice. He imagined that he could teach her how to sing with that voice. She looked him up and down, his jeans and corduroy shirt seemed inadequate to him from her perspective. Most of all, he wanted to go back to the boys and tell them he saw Mona, he talked to Mona.

All three of them walked towards the restaurant, he walked in the middle of both of them and felt like a stud. Two hot women were at his side. They reached Cottage Inn and saw their gang, all four of them, standing in line. “Heeey!” Tina yelled towards him. She was definitely a groupie. He liked her because she was short but had the confidence of a tall woman. She wore her hair in a bun that day and he thought about untwisting that bun.

They all said their hellos and sat at a booth by the winding staircase. Purple, green, blue, was all around him. Pretty girls, a few guys he thought were OK cool, but no competition for him. Life was good. It made up for the fact that he didn’t know if his dad was dead or alive. It made up for the fact that his mother asked him to come back to Ireland. She needed him to be the man of the house.

He couldn’t do that. He had songs to sing.

nina

 August 20th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
19

Phenomenal People Interview: Keith Blenman

This is an interview of a wonderful, witty and imaginative author: Keith Blenman. Be sure to check out his interview and check out his new novel!

keith b

1. So you wrote a book. Tell us about it.

Certainly! Where do I even begin? This is my first novel. It’s a genre-bending fantasy, horror, adventure titled Necromantica. And as long as I’m listing off genres, it’s a love story. It’s a black comedy. It’s everything. The tale itself circles around an orc invasion. Throughout the kingdom, called Fortia, entire villages are being slaughtered off. It’s a massacre everywhere. To the point that the king is gathering his remaining forces to the only remaining city. They’re going to make one final stand. So pretty much the entire novel is staged during this massive, apocalyptic battle.

As for the story itself, without giving anything away, it’s about two notorious thieves, one of which is a necromancer. The pair are taking advantage the situation. While the king’s beleaguered army is fighting for their lives, our protagonists are making their way through the city, trying to reach the king’s castle to steal a magical artifact. And I use ‘protagonists’ loosely. There really are no good guys in this story. Just different degrees of villains, all of which are battling through Hell.

Necromantica: Introduction reading/trailer: Click Here
  1. Tell us about some of the work you have done in the past?

I normally write shorter fiction. Novella/novelette length projects. I’ve been self publishing for years. My previous book, Tender Buttons Two is more of a performance than a story. It’s a “sequel” to Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, which she published in 1914. The story itself is about Gertrude Stein taking the English language hostage and the grammar police of Scotland Yard have to diffuse the situation. It’s a great story for English Majors, but I think all of five people in the world will ever make sense of it.

Prior to that, I’ve been working on a series of monster stories called Roadside Attraction. They’re about an immortal, hillbilly, misogynist monster hunter and his feminist lesbian sidekick hunting assorted classic monsters. The first book, Siren Night, the duo are hunting sirens. The next two books are near completion. I’ll probably publish them together. Hopefully around Halloween. In those they’re hunting vampires in one. A ghost in the other.

So yeah. I bounce around a lot in my fiction. I also have my quasi-non fictional blog, This Worthless Life (keithblenman.blogspot.com). And a fictional/fantasy blog called The Keep (largoafis.blogspot.com). That blog actually takes place in the same world as Necromantica, but is a lot more light hearted. Like it’s sort of a parallel universe/comedy version of the same world.

necro coverClick here to find the book on Amazon.com

Necromantica
War and death have swept the Pure Nation of Fortia. What began as a skirmish on the outskirts of the kingdom spiraled out of control into a full scale orc invasion. With cities falling and countless lives lost, King Stolzel has rallied his remaining forces to gather in the holy city of Dromn; to …
amazon.com
  1. Who is the book going to appeal to, what is the genre etc.?

Well, like I said, there’s a lot of genre bending going on. Necromantica takes place in a fantasy world. One of the two thieves, Mornia, is a necromancer. So she has powers that allow her to control and manipulate the dead. There is wizardry. There are orcs. There is a dragon of sorts. It’s all very much my own unique takes on this stuff, but I’m sure fans of the genre will feel right at home.

At the same time I don’t want to dissuade a broader audience from checking it out. At its core, this is a story about a relationship. It’s a love story. I’ll discuss the two main characters more later, but the two thieves, these are two people who’ve never been given a fair chance. On their own, they’re both tragic and flawed. But they’ve found each other, in a dungeon of all places, and become devoted to one another. For anybody who likes their fiction a little dark and twisted, it’s fun to explore the romance between these two monsters while picking away at all the little things that make them tick. All while leaping off fiery rooftops, swords first.

 

  1. What inspires you to write action/adventure/fantasy?

Fantasy lends itself easily to characters being put in these over the top, high stakes physical or emotional situations. It’s a fun place to play. I mean, who doesn’t have the daydream of being in a high speed chase? Who doesn’t want to say they’ve stepped foot in a haunted castle? Sure, there’s the fear and anxiety. But there’s also the intrigue. When I write fantasy, I can go back to childhood fears. I can develop entire worlds and impossible locations. Want to climb a mountain that rolls like a ball as you ascend it? Want to fight the high school bully when he’s a hundred feet tall, made entirely out of eyeballs and spaghetti? In fantasy, the rules are what you make them and you can get away with pretty much anything. Don’t get me wrong. For a good narrative, the world should never contradict its own logic and the story itself should always remain in developing interesting characters, putting them out of place, and on top of the grandeur of make believe, making sure they still experience these simple, human moments that force them through change. All that stuff. But when you’re writing fantasy, the gloves are off. It’s that much easier to discover and explore the impossible. And as a reader, it’s easier to imagine and accept the impossible.

 

  1. How are you able to create a completely original world?

Oh man. Is any world ever completely original? I mean, even in the case of Necromantica, a made up world, a made up kingdom, there’s always a pre-existing foundation. Even if you’re writing a world where gravity doesn’t exist, that world exists because of your concept of gravity. When it comes to world building, there’s no such thing as an empty canvas. And the tendency is to always focus on the things that fascinate you. This story’s kingdom, Fortia, is a reflection of so many things. I could go on and on. But if I had to single out one aspect, religion was a major influence for this story. Religion and space travel were two things that structured the environment. The debate between science and faith has always fascinated me. So this world I dreamed up has seven unique moons, and the Fortan people’s religion is based entirely around that. Every moon is named after a God. Every god represents a certain principle or portion of their moral code. King Stolzel is regarded a holy figure, a representative of the gods. This is reflected in the city itself. There’s a whole Tower of Babel thing going on. All the buildings are massive. The cityscape goes on for miles. The king’s palace is taller than the neighboring mountains. The city gives off this major vibe of manifest destiny run amuck.

To contradict that, there’s a lot the people of this world wouldn’t comprehend. Like how every moon has its own gravitational forces and how these forces are impacting the weather and shaping their planet. So something they might observe is that whenever this one moon is bigger in the sky, there are more storms. They regard that as the moon of an angry god. For the readers, it’s just a moon.

There’s evidence in the introduction of the story that there are ghosts and there is a true god or afterlife that these spirits can’t reach. But it’s also a phenomenon the characters in the story can’t observe. So there’s a distinction between the truth of their existence and the faith of the people. The construction of the world is built around that entire discussion, but it’s a fantasy so I can explore multiple sides of all the related arguments, keeping it within the context that’s just a fun, exciting adventure about two immoral people in a kingdom that incorrectly perceives itself as holy, at the brink of its destruction. Or simply, orcs are wiping out the kingdom as two thieves murder their way into a castle.

 

  1. I don’t read fantasy or action/adventure, why should I read this?

Well I hope my previous answers piqued your interest. Really, I don’t read much fantasy myself. I mean, some of the more popular things, sure. Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter (multiple times over). I think the most obscure fantasy I’ve read are the first few books of the Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore. Which is not obscure at all. For lovers of the genre, Drizzt is a household name. I can’t believe there aren’t movies of him yet. Anyway, I’m a complete lightweight in fantasy. I write genre fiction, but I’m more influenced by authors like Tom Robbins, Harry Campion, and David Mitchell. Lately, I’m on a big David Sedaris kick. I also read a ton of Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Anne Rice growing up, which is probably why I’m so into monsters meshing with science. I always tell people that even if there’s a genre you’re not a fan of, still give it a shot every now and again. Just because there’s a category you’re not wild about, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something in there that won’t appeal to you. “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” That sort of thing. Check out Necromantica because it’s a good story. Also because it’ll totally help me feed my pets. I have two other jobs so they’re not exactly starving. But if this book sells my cans-of-wet-food budget skyrockets.

 

  1. They say that the way to make fantasy accessible is to create characters that are relatable. Tell us about some of your characters.

The main characters are the two thieves. Mornia the necromancer elf. Lama, a human, best known as The Fish Thief of Luna Falls. Most of the story (not the introduction) is written in this quasi first and second person narrative. Lama tells the story as I, and Mornia is described mostly as You. I’ll be the first to say, it can be a bit jarring for some people. But it creates this wonderful intimacy where the reader is sort of given the role of Mornia. On top of that feeling of being in love. The other person always becomes You. “You’re the first. The last. My everything.” It takes some readers a bit of getting used to, but the payoff is worth it. So for me to discuss Mornia, I’m kind of describing the role that you’re playing in this narrative. She’s a young elf woman, who actually has a lot of mystery surrounding her. Right from the beginning, we know she’s a criminal. We know she’s a necromancer, a wizard who can control the dead, and that she’s heading into this battle to steal a specific object from the king. Who she truly is I’ll leave for the reader to discover.

As for Lama, her love, her partner in crime, a lot about him is discussed right from the beginning. So I’m not spoiling anything. He’s our narrator. He’s maybe not the brightest guy in the world, but an excellent thief and probably most at home while doing something sinister. Even if there’s a little piece of him conflicted about it. I don’t know how relatable his life is for everybody, but he’s a guy who was never given a fair chance. As a boy, he was born into poverty. He was abused. He was made to fight dogs for profit. So even at a young age he became a ruthless, little brawler. At one point he tried to live an honest life. He wanted to be knight and made it as far as being a squire, but was always reckless. He has quite a mouth on him. So most of his life we worked for whoever would pay. And he wasn’t too picky over the work. He was a thief. He was an assassin. Over all, a thug. A rogue.

When Lama meets Mornia, he’s been imprisoned for several years. He’s been given a death sentence and is pretty much at peace with himself. For all his crimes, he’s guilt-free. He’s reflecting over his life when in walks the girl of his dreams. They’re not exactly fast friends, but their cells are next to each other and once they form a bond it’s powerful. Hopefully, without sounding too much like a bad 80’s teen movie, she awakens something in him. She shows him a side of himself that he never knew existed. For that, he devotes himself to her. It’s not enough for him to spend his final days knowing he’s made such a connection. He feels indebted. He decides to save her from their prison. While a majority of their story takes place over through the one major battle, their relationship spans about a decade. So we get to see who they become over that time and the consequences of their bond.

 

  1. Is this a plot-driven book or a character driven book, or both or something else altogether?

Definitely character driven. The plot is fairly simple. The two murderous thieves have to get from point A to point B. Probably with a lot of carnage along the way. The why of the plot, and the driving force of the book is the relationship between Mornia and Lama. Who are they? Why are they risking everything, running into this battle between countless monsters and an army of men who want them dead?

 

  1. What is the underlying theme of the book?

I think I’m going to leave that one for the readers. I mean, I definitely pack in my layers. All my science versus religion stuff is present but by no means the main focus of the story. Any good discussion is a tapestry. There’s a lot in this tale about morality, love, nationalism, and nature. Power, faith, devotion. Different people will latch onto their own relevant points. Or none at all. Some people might read my book and say something like, “I liked the way the zombie gutted that dude.” That’s cool too. This goes back to high school English, where they claim there are no wrong answers. The feeling is always that if I say a right answer, people will stop looking for other ones. This is probably coming off way too egotistical. I’m promise I’m not this full of myself. But, you know, as writers, our nature is self-expression. We put our souls on paper every day. So all these different threads are present. If somebody reads into my madness and discovers some profound meaning or an argument in the story, whether it’s exactly what I wanted to say or some gross misinterpretation, I want them to have that. And I want somebody else to argue otherwise. That’s why we do it. The discussion. The experience. Also I get to make up kick ass fight scenes and have people leap from rooftops. That stuff too.

 August 19th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Aug
18

Me as a Machine—Repost

Multitasking

Friday, November 28, 2014

Me as a Machine:

“Dear 30 open internet tabs, which one of you is playing the music? Sincerely, Frustrated”—FunnyQuotesBook.com
What are you doing right now? If you are anything like me you are flipping through T.V. channels, Pandora stations and websites as if these things closed for the holiday and you need some kind of fix.

I have a problem, I can’t do only one thing at a time…I’m writing this blog…I’m watching a show and my fingers are busy but I want to do something with my toes. You know like those people who can do stuff with their toes. Why have toes if you can’t use them? The dad from Family Ties is on this show I’m watching.  It’s not Family Ties, though.

Remember when you just watched a show or drove a car without wanting to check your phone at every commercial or red light?

Remember when you could remember what show you were watching or where you were driving? This new show Suits is on, it didn’t exactly have me at hello…

My butt bone is hurting, it’s a new pain, probably from sitting all night. Now I changed the show to a show from England, they actually showed a pretty woman without makeup on, only the British. I’m on Match.com as well.

Nothing can satisfy me, I’m a machine.  Now I’m watching a show that is from Denmark. That’s what you do when you have Netflix. The Netflix was a gift to my friend because I could never figure out what to buy her.  So I have the password and I watch it too.  Was it really a gift to me?  Do you want the password? Maybe I should just give out the password and everyone should watch Netflix while I only pay, what is it, 7.99 a month?  Read my blog and you can stream mediocre European shows too.

Oh this is a problem, apparently the show I’m watching is in Dutch, don’t call me ignorant but what do they speak in Denmark? This is ruining my do three things at once game because ain’t nobody got time for subtitles.  Oh, I think I found a good movie, a movie that could make me put down my phone… It’s called “Call me Crazy.” Yeah I know, call me what you will…it seems good.

I’m putting my phone away…alright I’m back…that was a little too crazy, even for my taste. I’m going to put on traditional T.V. David Letterman can usually pack a punch.  Or Jimmy Fallon, whoever is not on commercial. You know I was going to do ads on this blog, but I haven’t really put in the effort.  Would you be bothered with ads, would that offend you?  Yes, I’d be making money but so little it would be funny.

This is what I have become.  Hungry for entertainment and mildly hyped up with too much Diet Coke in the evening.  What’s a girl to do?  Well, apparently John Stewart is on the Colbert Report.  Or I’m dreaming.  It’s getting late.

brain

I’m going up and down my Facebook feed like it’s my job.  I can’t find anything that catches my eye.  I’m really spending a lot of time doing nothing.  I could be reading or writing or you know not writing this, but writing the next great American novel.

Not this drivel.  Drivel is a word?

Life is beautiful and I’m on the Internet, losing my mind.

There has to be more to life than this. In fact, there is.  I sleep with my mac book in my bed, instead of a man.  Yes, it’s true.

I’m yearning for a better existence.

I remember not having the Internet.  I wasn’t that young.  I did other things with my time.  I probably lived better.  There was a time in college when I didn’t have cable TV, I had a bad antenna, there was no Internet and I didn’t have a computer.  I had conversations…I read books.  I listened to CDs.  I went on dates with guys instead of chatting with online profiles.

There was one CD in particular when I couldn’t sleep I would put on: Silsila. Songs from an Indian movie from the eighties on my little boom box.  My roommate would sometimes join me in the middle of the night and we would sing to the beautiful songs. Now we would probably watch Youtube videos of other beautiful people singing the songs.

I think I wrote more then when I didn’t have all these toys.

I used to write with a pen in a journal.

I think I wrote pretty badly then as well.

But at least I did something.

I did something besides wait for life to post itself in the form of a link or a sticker or a saying.   I didn’t wait for someone to tell me how to live life…I just did it the best I could.

So stop reading this and do something more with your life…this too shall pass…

nina

(Yes, I changed the title of my blog. I think it represents me better. Also, I’m trying to get 1000 likes on Facebook. Click here: Author Nina Kaur. If you haven’t liked my Facebook page, please do!)

 August 18th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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