April 02, 2012

My Website

Writing about web page http://rajklal.com

I have a new website where you will find ideas for writing, writing tools and inspirations to help you if you're struggling to write, book reviews, samples of my writing, information about me, weblinks, photos, and much more.

There are lots of things such as: a book review of Candi Miller's Salt and Honey, a review of Salman Rushdie's short story 'Good Advice Is Rarer Than Rubies'; photos to inspire you, tips to get you writing again if you're finding it hard - and even if you're not; what I've been up to, and...

Find out more here http://rajklal.com

February 01, 2012

Writing & Recuperation

Writing about web page https://www.facebook.com/rajklal

The last year has been a difficult one for writing. Full of bereavement for my family and too many of my friends, it left little space for writing and even less for creativity.

I hoped 2012 would be an easier writing year, little suspecting that a car accident at the end of 2011 would mean that the new year would begin writing-free too. My right arm was badly damaged, although miraculously it didn't break. Being right-handed, to say this has been frustrating would be an understatement.

However, not to be defeated, I bought a Dragon voice-recognition system and started to use that to get some writing done for uni. Using it has been fun, fascinating, and infuriating. At times it's like trying to get a voice recognition system to tell you the showing times of a film you want to watch rather than the one the speaker thinks you want to watch. Sometimes I end up shouting at the computer screen and at other times, I wonder how on earth something I said got translated into what appears on the screen! It reminds me of Chris Moyles and his team messing about with the BBC voice recognition system: they say a person's name and see who the machine tries to connect them to.

It would be fun if I had the time to play, but with an eye to the sands of time pouring through the opening into the 'lost' pile, I'm anxious to writing. I still have 30,000 words to write for uni. As my writing matures, I wonder if the 10,000 words I wrote last year for submission for Writing Fiction Workshop 2 will now be good enough. I'm trying to be positive: even if I can't use it as it is, and even if I can't use it at all for the submission, they are 10,000 words that can be redrafted/edited. If I can't use them, then I can still learn something: don't write like that again!

As my body continues to heal, especially my hand and arm, so the number of words I manage to write increases. I am really excited about rekindling my love affair with writing. Writing helps me to escape while I'm house-bound, and a very welcome one too. I wonder where I'll escape to tomorrow...

December 07, 2011

Writer's Block

Writing about web page https://www.facebook.com/rajklal

This has been a hell of year - 8 deaths in 8 months and still counting. Needless to say, the writing became the last activity on my mind, and even more so because of the creativity required.

Lack of structure and routine can have a detrimental effect on writing. You think you have forever to get something written, so you don't start, and if you do start, you don't rush because of a lack of deadlines, and so the cycle continues. How do you escape it? Write! Even if it's only a line a day, it's one line more than nothing.

I learned this the hard way, but I'm trying to write something every day, even if I only manage a paragraph.

July 10, 2011

Writing in the face of adversity

Writing about web page http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Raj-K-Lal/179694012067222

Within the last three months, there have been four close family deaths, and the first anniversary of my father's death. Needless to say, it's been a tough time for my ability to do any creative writing.

When disaster strikes and life gets in the way, how do I continue to write? I asked A. L. Kennedy this question during my last tutorial with her. Her advice was to see writing not as a chore to be performed during that difficult time, but to see it as an escape from it. So I'm going to see if I can use the writing to escape into a different world, an escape from the misery into a world of this real world to one that I've created, where trying to let the characters exist as only I can will help me to write my own story, set in a world that only I can make real.

So I think I'll ask my characters to help me. To help me to escape this death-ridden reality I find myself in. To help me to finish my academic work. To help me to finish my MA. To help me to fulfil my Dad's dream in gaining this qualification. To help me to overcome this hurdle as I have managed to overcome others. To help me to remember that I managed to finish my degree course work even after travelling to Dad's hospital bedside for seven weeks, then surviving through the aftermath of losing him.

To help me remember that if I could do that then, I can do it now.

June 30, 2011

The Draft: anthology of student writing, Warwick University

Writing about web page Note to all literary agents and publishers out there - please come to our book launch event. More details on http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198823816831277

It's been some time since I wrote an entry. I've been busy working with others to produce our own anthology of student writing, which is now ready for sale! Please come along to our London launch - more details on: Note to all literary agents and publishers out there - please come to our book launch event. More details on http://www.facebook.com/event. php?eid=198823816831277

Location: St. Anne's Church Soho
Time: Monday, 11 July 2011 18:00

The book will soon be available on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draft-Stories-Warwick-MA-Writing/dp/0956670016/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309394138&sr=1-3

April 11, 2011

Writer Networking Opportunity

Writing about web page http://www.birminghambookfestival.org

I attended what I thought would be an opportunity to meet other writers, to chat with them and mingle in their midst, maybe swap contact details with them.  I was a little disappointed to find that it was more of a structured event, with a talk and a Q&A session which in fact allowed little time to chat to others. 

However, it was great to catch up with a couple of women I'd met yesterday in the Life Writing workshop.  We had about ten minutes to have a drink, a quick chat and swap details.  I guess that was something positive.  It does leave me with the dilemma of the next networking opportunity will be.  Maybe at the Birmingham Writers' meeting?

March 01, 2011

MA Soiree Wednesday 9th March at 7.30–9.30pm

Writing about web page http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=151761098214740

The Warwick MA in Writing students cordially invite you to

                                                                                                                       The Writing MA Soirée

                                                                                                          an evening of wine, live music, and literature

Wednesday, March 9 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm at the studio in Millburn House*.
With renowned writers:

                                                                                                                Maureen Freely, Jeremy Treglown,

                                                                                                                     David Morley & Luke Kennard

performing their work, and compered by the inimitable

                                                                                                                                   Peter Blegvad

and an amazing 
Signed Book Raffle!
Up for grabs are signed titles from established and upcoming writers including AL Kennedy, China Miéville, Nick Hornby, Terry Pratchett and many more!

Proceeds from the evening will go towards producing The Draft, a fiction anthology from the MA in Writing.

Raffle tickets are a bargain at £1 or 5 for £4 and will be available on the night.
Don't miss this one-time opportunity to win signed books from your favourite authors, hear some great writers, mingle with Warwick Writing Programme folk and support new writing.

*Map to Milburn House: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/maps/campusmap/campus-map-nov-2010.jpg

February 17, 2011

A Couple Of Writing Exercises

Writing about web page http:www.facebook.com

A couple of writing exercises to try.

Exercise 1: Showing Character Through Their Eyes

Write in the first person perspective.  Your character walks into a bar.  What does he/she notice? 

You can show what your character is like through the things they see and notice.  The exercise helps to capture the detail and gives an indicator of what kind of person they are.

Exercise 2: Hidden Fury

2 people are sitting at a table. A is furious with B but not telling them. Write a short dialogue between them in the 1st person point of view of A.

Hope the exercises were useful.  Thanks to Maureen for setting them for her MA in Writing students!

Raj K Lal

February 11, 2011

What a Relief!

Wow, first big submission done and dusted today - a few days early but what a relief to get it handed in! 

January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/postgrad/current/masters/writing

Happy New Year to everyone!  I wish it is a beautiful, fruitful, creative one with health, happiness and creativity (and publishing contracts) for all writers out there.


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