[AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE] Bloggers Who Are A Serious Threat To Your TBR //Part-1//

You see them. You like them. You hit follow.
That’s how it goes with your favorite blogs, doesn’t it?

Well, you forget to take into consideration one very VERY important aspect of this process – the genius and scheming minds of the bloggers behind those posts that you so adore! They have been waiting for you, lurking behind their computer screens – getting you hooked on their writing ever so slowly until one day you’ll find yourself completely trapped in their beautiful webs.

I have suffered at their hands, guys. And what’s more? I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SUCH SUFFERING!

So today I present to you some bloggers who are A SERIOUS THREAT to everything you hold dear – and I mean your TBR.

[NOTE: There are MANY MANY MORE DELIGHTFUL THREATS LURKING AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE and I will do them justice in the subsequent parts of this series. 😉 )


Tessa

When I first discovered her blog, it seemed like a normal one. Her enthusiasm for books was enchanting and she was super friendly. I thought I had found the perfect blogger friend! And I WAS SO SO HAPPY.

Little did I know what I was getting myself involved in. gasps

As I came to know more about her, I realized that she is a very, very dangerous person, indeed. If you get in contact with her, read her blog – there is NO WAY YOU ARE COMING OUT OF IT UNCHANGED. Her passionate reviews will change you. She will force you – FORCE YOU TO READ WHAT SHE LIKES – and she’ll do that in the politest way possible! 

She is a THREAT to your TBR, people. Her reviews? A threat to your mind because THEY WILL ULTIMATELY CONVINCE YOU to drop everything and just go buy the fucking book that SHE is recommending. 

She will brainwash your mind and have you craving thrillers all day long with her beautifully written reviews! 

You have been warned.

Kat.

Where do I EVEN BEGIN?! Kat is the kindest and the sweetest person you will EVER meet. She is absolutely AWESOME. And THAT is EXACTLY WHY SHE IS SO DANGEROUS.

As you’ll get to know her better, you’ll come to love her and appreciate her content more and more. And as that happens, she stealthily sneaks her way in your mind…..

…..and replaces the books that YOU want to read with the ones that SHE WANTS YOU TO READ! 

I admit I was a little slow in arriving to this realisation. When I first read her review, I loved it and was impressed by the way she structured them. That was it. But little by little, I started looking out for her posts. Her posts started playing on my mind – I was baffled! I no longer wanted to even LOOK AT MY EXISTING COLLECTION! I just wanted to read WHAT SHE WAS READING.

THAT is the power of her posts. 

You see now? Kat is one of the most dangerous bloggers out there, I am telling you.

Lashaan

Okay so, let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

I came across Bookidote in 2017. Back then I just used to read Trang’s posts. I was unfamiliar with Lashaan’s writings. And I wasn’t going to read ’em either – not until two years later!

When I came back to blogging last year, I got hooked on his posts. He reads comics a lot and what shocked me was that although I wasn’t interested in them like AT ALL – I still found myself actively seeking out his reviews! 

Crazy, isn’t it? 

I would look out for his posts and jump with excitement every time he published a new one. The way he writes is just MAJESTIC. His words pull you in, wrap themselves around you, make you a captive, and then you just – you just want to agree what he is saying, want to read what he is reading! *shrugs*

He changes the very direction of your mind! You cannot help but read his reviews and leave in awe of how brilliantly they are worded.

You have NO IDEA how many comic books I have added to my TBR JUST BECAUSE OF HIS REVIEWS. I mean COME ON I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY DESIRE TO READ THEM! And yet, here I am – prioritizing them like CRAZY. 

To be honest, Lashaan, my other books are getting jealous of you now. 

Sofii

This proudly Latina blogger will stop at nothing – I MEAN NOTHING – to brainwash your mind. And this she does with her sweet soul and kind disposition. First, she makes friends with you. Then best friends. Then VERY VERY BEST FRIENDS. Soon, you just wanna talk with her again and again and again – BECAUSE SHE IS SOOO EASY GOING! 

And then? What does she do?

SHE ATTACKS WITH HER BEAUTIFUL AND AESTHETIC POSTS – and she does so in a way that will have you believing that IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

DAMN! She has to be THE BIGGEST THREAT OF ‘EM ALL! runs and hides

She will stop at nothing to enchant your heart. She words her reviews in such a sweet and comfortable way that you cannot help but be convinced. There have been SO MANY BOOKS that I wanted to read at first but decided not to JUST BECAUSE OF HER REVIEWS. And sooo many more that I had no idea I even wanted to read but her reviews sold them to me in the SWEETEST WAY POSSIBLE.

And now, here I am, standing with a TBR that’s sky-high. I am scared, I am worried but there is JUST NO WAY AROUND IT.

It is what it is and ITS ALL THIS SWEET BLOGGER’S FAULT! 😭

Orangutan Librarian

Yes. There she resides – in her beautiful library, surrounded by her beautiful books – hatching plans of increasing your TBR to such an extent that you will probably die under it! 

The sheer beauty and excitement in her posts will soon leave you overwhelmed and push you over the edge – you’ll fall and fall and fall and land directly over a pile of books that our beloved librarian sneakily pushed on you! 

You will soon be hooked on her reviews and before you know it, you’ll follow her advice wholeheartedly, without a single question because…well…HAVE YOU READ HER WRITING? It’s too fucking clever and convincing!

AHHHHHHHH!! panic attack Give me water. SOMEONE FUCKING GIVE ME SOME FUCKING WATERRRR!!!


You must see now how important it is to identify these lovely threats – TO LET THEM THREATEN US MORE, OF COURSE! 😉

What about you though? Do you know more bloggers who are the reason behind your ever-growing TBR?! LET US ALL KNOW IN THE COMMENTS so we can prepare our minds before giving them a visit.

Also, be prepared because I am going to share MANY more of such lovely blogs in the near future. 🙂 ❤


[COLOR OF THE MONTH] Pink: 10 of THE PRETTIEST Covers EVER!

I judge books. BY THEIR COVER.

undefined

YEP.
YOU HEARD IT RIGHT!

I like pretty books and I cannot lie. I am sorry but I can’t. Far too often have I went to the bookstore with the intention of buying a bunch of eye-candies. If the story turns out awesome? YAYYY! But EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, the books look fucking gorgeous on my shelf AND THAT’S ALWAYS A PLUS! *shrugs*

I am not even guilty about it. Nuh-uh. In fact, I am PROUD AS HELL of all those beautiful (if not so interesting) books adorning my shelf. (Red Queen comes to mind. Heh. xD)

And to celebrate this love of beautiful books (which I am sure ALL OF YOU SHARE AS WELL 😉 ), I am starting a new series on my blog – COLOR OF THE MONTH – where I will post the prettiest book covers with new colors EVERY MONTH!

And we are starting off WITH MY FAVORITE (if a bit cliche) PINKKK!!!

[Note: I haven’t read any of these but I am planning to! <3]

🌸 A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall : Okay, do I even NEED to tell you why this is MY VERY FIRST CHOICE?! I mean LOOK AT IT! JUST LOOOK! It’s just tooo fucking gorgeous for words. Romantic, heartwarming, the RIGHT AMOUNT OF CHEESY – AHH!!! Can’t stop gushing about it! ❤

🌸 Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe : This cover matches the story – about High school lovers turned distant parents – beautifully. I can feel the unsaid words, suppressed emotions, depression, trauma, anxiety, estrangement – EVERYTHING. An absolute beauty, wouldn’t you say?

🌸 The Royals by Rachel Hawkins: Okay, from the title itself I can tell that this will be one of those cheesy stories where the girl has no desire to be a princess or something but she is forced to and all. LIKE HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO SUCH A LAVISH LIFESTYLE?! It will always remain a mystery to me. BUT that doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy such a one-time-read romance from time to time, does it? 😉 If I do end up reading it, I won’t go in with high hopes, that’s for sure. If this book manages to capture my heart, that’ll definitely be a plus BUT EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, it’ll be nice to own such a pretty copy! ❤

🌸 The Awakening by Kate Chopin: Almost ALL of you must have heard about this book, haven’t you? I mean, you MUST have read a review or another floating around the blogosphere. Dealing with female infidelity in an honest-to-god way, there is NO WAY this book could end up being a disappointment. AND WITH A COVER LIKE THAT? NO CHANCE!

🌸 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: I’d be lying if I were to tell you that the cover captivated me more than the title. There is a certain mysteriousness, a certain complexity to the title of this book that I couldn’t help but add it to my TBR. The cover was definitely a plus and the fact that its Historical Fiction adds to the long list of reasons why I am dying to read this one. BUT OH THE COVER!!! *heart eyes forever*

🌸 The Idiot by Elif Batuman: The sheer simplicity of the cover would capture ANYONE’S heart really. You’d be FORCED TO WANT TO KNOW the contents of the book. Seriously. Just keep looking at it. No, no. Don’t take away your eyes yet. Focus on the pretty background, then the rock, then the title – rushing to the bookstore yet? 😉

🌸 The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff: I am sorry but LOOK AT IT! It’s TOO FUCKING INTRIGUING! I know it isn’t all pink but I mean COME ON! How could you NOT want to read it after the first impression like THAT? It’s a collection of horror stories – as you must have guessed by the title and the font and all – and I AM WAY TOO EXCITED to lay my hands on it ASAP!

🌸 A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow: Stephen King says, ‘There is no safe place to read this book.” and I gotta say between the title and the fact that this is a psychological thriller, he is right! The only good that’ll come out of owning it – apart from it looking pretty on your shelf – is that people will stop leaving you in charge of their kids. (insert echo voice) FOREVER. EVER. EVER.

🌸 A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard: When I first saw this cover, I immediately fell in love with it. The way it depicts silent AND chaotic states of mind – both at the same time – perfectly blends with the title. This is a story of quiet yet thunderous love and I have an inkling that I am going to adore every single moment of reading this beauty!

🌸 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: ”QUEENIE will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.” x.X I mean, for a cover as gorgeous, daring, and bold as THAT I am willing to endure ANYTHING! *heart eyes* ❤

SOOO??!??!
Did you like the covers?
Which one’s your favorite?
Have you read any of them?! PLEASE TELLL ME IF YOU HAVE!!
ALSO, what is YOUR favorite colour? ❤
Let’s talk!


[A WRITER’S LIFE] The Fickle Muse //Tips + Tricks To Keep Her Happy and Generous//

Eyes closed. Shut, more like – focusing on the dark insides of my mind. “Help me, please”, I shout. But a burst of shrill laughter is all the response I get

On the verge of tears – I beg her TO JUST FUCKING GIVE ME AN IDEA – ANY IDEA WILL DOO! 

It’s really very difficult to please THE MUSE, isn’t it? I mean, you never know when she’ll start acting off and leave you in the lurch with no clues and a bullet to put in your brain should you be defeated before she graces you with her presence again!

Ugh, SUCH A DRAMA QUEEN.

But fear not! Although she loves to play a mean game of hide & seek, I am going to tell you some of her most BASIC TRAITS so that you can catch her before she runs away without giving anything in return for all those hours of frustration! 


🌸3:00 AM

That is her favorite time. You might suddenly wake up – feeling groggy, afraid, or even confused – with a hint of an idea in your head, just roaming around like a fly just about to die. 

YOU GOTTA CATCH IT BEFORE IT DROPS, THOUGH! I am serious, catch it in it’s flight because otherwise you may risk losing it forever.

undefined

Get up, no matter how much you might loathe doing so, and WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t you make the mistake of “keeping it stored in your memory till the morning.” Because the muse is moody. There have been cases where she came back and stole the ideas from the mind of the writer, JUST BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WRITE THEM DOWN ASAP.

Scary, isn’t she? Well, she is the only goddess we poor writers get so we have to play by her rules, no matter what. 

🌸Troublesome

One of the things that she likes to do the most is troubling you when you are busy. She might come in to surprise you with a fantastic idea for your post, say, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF DOING THE DISHES.

Imagine having to walk to your room ALL THE WAY FROM KITCHEN – with soapy water dripping off your hands – putting your work on hold, JUST TO WRITE THE IDEA IN YOUR PHONE! 

undefined

But it’s necessary as well because if you wait until AFTER you are done with the dishes, you may not be able to remember it again – EVER – and may die of guilt! So, yeah, keep in mind that she WILL disturb you when you are busy so KEEP A NOTEPAD WITH YOU AT ALL COSTS.

Doing this just might save your writing life by helping you build a gold-mine of ideas to pick from WHENEVER YOU WANT! 

🌸Jealous

When you start getting hooked on her fantastic ideas – flowing in so effortlessly, granted that she’s in a good mood – you never go back to brainstorming and other lame practices! YOU JUST FEED HER EGO AND SATIATE HER PRIDE WITH CONSTANT AND EFFUSIVE WORDS OF PRAISE.


But, let’s say you get inspired by someone else – a friend, a relative, your dog – whoever! And you decide to work on THAT idea BEFORE working on the muse’s, SHE WILL BREAK UP WITH YOU. SHE WILL RUN AWAY – and not alone, mind you. She will take with her every single idea she has ever graced upon your monkey mind!

WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN? Because your friends and other scarce sources of inspiration cannot possibly save you EVERY TIME, can they?

So, take my advice and PRIORITISE HER AND HER IDEAS – ALWAYS.

🌸Demands Sacrifice

In the earlier times, The Muse used to demand severe payment from the writers – their favorite pair of socks, pages of their most beautiful books, ordering them not to shower for a week straight. Every aspiring writer was required to practice cooking her favorite meals as well, just in case she gets hungry while helping them write. She also used to appear in their dreams and interrupt their sleep just for fun, you know!

SHE USED TO BE VERY CRUEL INDEED.

But as times have changed, so has her demands. Be warned though – that doesn’t mean they are any less difficult to follow. If anything, I think she has chosen her form of payment PERFECTLY, according to recent times.

So, WHAT DOES SHE WANT IN PAYMENT?

She wants your focus – your COMPLETE ATTENTION. And your hard work. THE MINUTE SHE CATCHES YOU SLACKING, she blocks the creative flow FOR A WEEK – A MONTH – MAYBE MORE! *gasps*



DAMN! That woman really knows how to train her disciples!

Plus I TOTALLY speak from experience because she has done that with me before. And let me tell you – THOSE DAYS OF CREATIVITY BLOCKAGE ARE A TORTURE. I have endured them and I don’t wish to go through that EVER AGAIN!

So learn from my experience – GIVE YOUR PREFERRED ART YOUR COMPLETE FOCUS – or else you might have to pay bitterly. *sobs*

As you must have understood by now, THE MUSE is very difficult to please – always running about, always teasing you with ideas, and then taking them away. But, I hope with these tips, you’ll be better able to predict her next move and be better prepared when she comes next!

I am curious though, do you have any personal experiences that you’d like to share? Some irritating moments while writing – because THAT WAS HER TO BE SURE!
Let me knowww in the comments.

Until next time,

[A WRITER’S LIFE] Dealing with Unjust + Hateful Criticism //A Personal Experience//

I didn’t understand criticism – REAL criticism – until I faced it.
Experienced it.
Until it shattered me from the inside.
It became the biter pill I could neither swallow nor throw up.
It got stuck in the middle of my throat – like a hundred tears threatening to fall if I removed that fake smile from my face.

But I couldn’t maintain my composure for much longer. The smile did fade away. The tears did fall. I told myself- “It’s the internet after all.” – but for some reason, it wasn’t working. Because in some part of me, I knew that there were actual people behind those made up usernames, people for whom what I write was the most disgusting and untrue thing they had ever read.

People for whom my style of writing came across as desperate and needy.

People for whom my ideas were worth nothing, my words were worth nothing, my effort was worth nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Upto that point, I had only known love from my readers. And that sudden burst of hateful criticism was becoming a bit too much to bear. I ended up crying my eyes out, not going to lie. Because I was still far from reaching that point of saying a bold “FUCK YOU” to the people who didn’t like what I was writing. Sure, I wrote it – half-hearted – as a response – but deep inside, my insides were in a knot and no amount of consolation was proving enough.

Why? Why did it feel like that? Why did I feel their hate so deeply? Had I not acquired any self-worth at all? 

The thing is, it wasn’t a question of self-worth. It was the question of self-expression. I have always poured my heart out in everything I write, in every word I type with my little fingers. And for people to discredit it was like discrediting my life – the experiences I have had – the journey that shaped me into who I am. THAT was the hard part. That was what I was having trouble accepting.

The breakdown was real. But not long. I couldn’t afford to lose what little spare hours I get during the day over crying about someone’s rather unjust words. What I COULD do, however, was put my whole self into what I was about to write next. I was afraid -afraid that my desperation as they said is very prevalent – would show. But I didn’t care. I had to write. That was the only way I could see to release the hints of anger, loathing, and irritation that had seeped into me having faced that kind of hate.

It was time to bleed.
Tell my story.
The way I wanted to.
The only way I had learned how to.
Because take that away and what do I have?
Take my authenticity away and what am I left with?
Empty letters. Hollow words. Fake experiences, just for the sake of a few people who couldn’t understand me? 

I wrote – bled on the paper, let out all of my frustration all of my anger, all of my sadness – and converted it into a flawed yet genuine piece of writing. I felt at peace. I felt the beauty of quiet satisfaction, one that I had taken for granted but never will again. I hit publish. And I knew – in my heart, I knew – that it will be loved. It will be adored. It will be understood by the people who WANT to understand. 

The rest of them? Well, it’s a wide ass world with a LOT of people living in it. How could I EVER hope to please every single one of them? How could I touch every single heart pumping in this beautiful world? 

But, if my words are able to touch at least a single one, I will consider my mission accomplished. If even a fraction of my readers are able to feel my words in the depth of their being, I will have accomplished what I set out to do – WRITE.


Well, writing this was a bit difficult but necessary. I feel like there will always be criticism surrounding anything you’ll do. The trick is to know when it’s constructive and when it’s only meant to bring you down!

And now, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on it.
How do you deal with criticism?
Any past experiences that you’ve had with trolls in general?! xD
Comment and we’ll chat!



[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Criticize Your Lover Poetically// Shakespeare’s Guide to Tough-Love//

[Note: This guide is only meant for skilled writers. If you are a commoner looking to woo your girl, I’d suggest you check out Mr. Collins’ guide instead.]

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 holds a special place in my heart. Mainly because it was my life’s first one. And it wasn’t even by choice. You see I was sitting in the library – avoiding my Political Science lecture (I hated that teacher ugh) – when I decided to bide my time going through the books available there. While mindlessly searching for something I didn’t even want, I came across this cute, little hardcover titled – ”Shakespeare’s Sonnets” I immediately checked it out. And let me tell you IT HAD SOME OF THE MOST GRAPHIC IMAGES I HAD EVER LAID EYES ON! xD

Well, needless to say, I spent the whole period – 40 minutes- reading and re-reading random sonnets. And Sonnet 130 was the one that stood out to me the most.

But it wasn’t until I came across it again the other day that I realized Shakespeare was actually trying to teach us something through it’s medium and I had been blind to it this whole time: *gasps*

THE ART OF TOUGH-LOVE 🖤

This realization was immediately followed by an overwhelming urge to share it with everyone else, so that, FINALLY Shakespeare can rest in peace, knowing that we have grasped the hidden meaning now.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Prepare a List

Love is blind – until one day isn’t. There will come a time in your life when the magic will wear off and your girl’s inner Janice will start to show – with her weird hair and annoying laugh.


undefined

You may choose to let those rather unbearable quirks slide at first but after a while, they may become too much to ignore. They almost always do.

In such cases as these, the very first thing you gotta do is MAKE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU FIND ANNOYING ABOUT YOUR PARTNER and make it as extensive as you can.

🌸 Dull Eyes? Check.
🌸Reeking Breath? Check.
🌸Pale cheeks? Check.
🌸 Wiry Hair? Check.
🌸 An unappealing Complexion? Check.

Comparisons are CRUCIAL.

As you must know already, the perfect woman must be the very embodiment of mother nature:

Her eyes as bright as the sun,
Her breasts plump and her complexion fair,
Her hair flowing, and her aroma rare.

Ever Man’s Fantasy

She must be delicate like a flower – rosy cheeks and soft to touch. Her voice should have the tenor of a goddess speaking from the heaven itself. 

All of these things should a woman possess and since YOUR lover doesn’t even come CLOSE to these standards, you are going to have to make some comparisons to hint it, in a not so subtle way.


Compose a Love-Poem

Now that you have gathered the basic material, you may find that it seems rather harsh, doesn’t it?

Well, our Shakesy has the perfect solution for your dilemma. You see, if you wanna soften the blow on your rather plain lover, you gotta compile your complaints and comparisons into a well structured love poemaka a sonnet.

Shakespeare was well practiced in the art of writing these sneaky little poemswritten to woo them girls apparently! And so, you MUST take some inspiration from his previous works to write the perfect sonnet. Also pay attention to how he cloaks his criticism with two rather conveniently placed sentences of flattery in the very end of his sonnets.

Now if you do the right amount of research and practice, your complaints should take the following form:

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
   As any she belied with false compare.

Sonnet 130

Brilliant, isn’t it?

Now all that’s left for you to do is to –

Show it to your Lover.

And then you wait.

Wait for her as she opens the envelope in pure excitement.
Wait for her as her gaze falls on the very first line of the poem.
Wait for her as her eyebrows get furrowed and her eyes turn misty.
Wait for her as her sadness turns into pure rage.
Wait for her as her blood starts to boil and her teeth start to tatter.
Wait for her as she looks at you – not with the emotion you had expected (what DID you expect anyway?) but with rage.

AAANNDDD…

undefined

Yep, there it is. YOUR ULTIMATE REWARD FOR YOUR SEEMINGLY “tough love”

Lesson?

Steer clear of the Shakesy guy, people. He’ll drown your love-boat more ruthlessly than the fucking iceberg that drowned Titanic. *shrugs*

I TOLD YOU! This was his main intention behind writing this sonnet! We were just too dumb to see it. MAN! I love him and his abilities to surprise us DECADES after his death.

But tell me, did you like his tips?
Would you like to refine it by adding some of your own? This is your chance. Share some of your ”tough-love” tips + experiences in the comments so that the rest of can benefit from them as well! 😉

Until Next time,

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Inventor of Words, Writer of Tragedies, Master of Flattery – SHAKESPEARE

The man who gave us –

Hopeless lovers,
Stubborn shrews,
Witless men, and
Witches too.

YES! It’s BARD MONTH over here at THE WITHERING and you are all invited to celebrate it with me.

Shakespeare and I go way back because my love for him sprouted from a deep-rooted hatred!

I wasn’t all that little when my mum went to Penguin’s and got me a copy of King Lear – it was white, it was little, IT WAS DOWNRIGHT BORING. It seemed boring at least. I have been judging books by their cover since 2005 so, of course, I treated this little copy like a bad smell – avoiding it at all costs.


undefined

I was already reading classics and that’s where my mother got the inspiration to introduce me to the sneaky Bard. But this time she had miscalculated. I hadn’t read a single play up until that point and I was very prejudiced about them.

For some reason, I had developed a strong belief that reading a play wouldn’t get me the kind of satisfaction that comes from reading a novel. BUT BOY WAS I ABOUT TO BE PROVED WRONG!

Mumma started getting strict with me about reading King Lear, and I don’t respond that well to pressure. So I defied, WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT. In response, she took away EVERY SINGLE OF MY BOOKS – except, of course, that rather ugly copy of King Lear.

You see, apart from playing out with friends in the evening and arguing with my brother all day long, I didn’t have much else to do. Summer holidays had already started so no school either.

In short, I was stuck – between reading something I despised or increasing argument time with my brother.

Naturally, I chose the former. The first few pages were – TORTURE, for want of a better word. I hated it – the old man and his three daughters. I HATED THEM. I HATED THEIR GUTS, I HATED EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING in that book. But that was about to change. As the play progressed, I found myself furrowing my eyebrows less and less.

How desperately had King Liar tried to be a FAMILY MAN and how pathetically had he failed!

It was a journey of mixed emotions – frustration prevailed, but so did anger (for his daughters), anticipation, hopelessness, and an unexpected burst of sadness when, in the end, King Lear dies of a broken heart.

Over the years, although I forgot the story a few scenes were still very clear in my memory like when Lear – stricken with the realization that none of his daughters want him – runs out of their house, wanders in the snowstorm – cold and all alone! I don’t know why but that scene – the way I pictured it back then – is still stuck in my mind and sends chills up my spine whenever I think of it.

My adoration for Shakespeare crept up on me stealthily and left me craving for more. I was genuinely surprised by how my views about his writing had changed – from aversion to love – all in a matter of a few pages.

I went on to read his sonnets, Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, and THEN Romeo and Juliet. I was introduced to the rest when I started my Honors three years ago and honestly? It isn’t as much fun reading Shakespeare critically as it was back in school – because back then my ideas, my imagination wasn’t muddied by all those opinionated writers, analyzing his works to their hearts content.

BUT HEYYY! Hang on there, Rain! You are going to do the same as well so away with your bashing. *grins* Yep. That’s true! I will twist and turn his works and present them in a way that’s enjoyable to everyone – literary and non-literary folks alike. Sound good? Okay then.

Here’s to an awesome Bard Month and to start it off on a more collective note, why don’t you guys share your experiences with Shakespeare in the comments?
Your first sonnet? First play? Your favorite one?
I WANNA KNOW EVERYTHING! So, let’s chat!






[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Comment for Comment – A FAULTY SYSTEM

When you follow a blog, what expectations do you have?

🌸 You’ll get a regular supply of awesome content and make friends with the amazing blogger behind it

OR

🌸 Yay! More people to comment on my posts! 

If the former, more power to you! But if you think the latter, then you aren’t the only ones making this awful, awful mistake.

The story starts two years back – when I was still very new to book blogging and everything was like a shiny toy. I was very helpful, friendly, and true of heart. (Not that I am not these things now..🤣)

My sole purpose used to be sharing my writing and making friends in the community. I used to enjoy talking with them about my interests, loved reading about their own – it was the golden era of my blog. 

Of course the problem started when I started trying to copy the famous blogger’s writing style in the hopes of gaining more followers because THEIR content matter seemed to get more famous than mine. But that’s a different story.

Little by little, I started to replace those pure feelings of joy in reading others’ content with an intense desire to get more and more comments. And towards that goal, I’d try to find and follow AS MANY BLOGS AS I COULD. I didn’t wait to think whether I REALLY liked their content, whether it was my kind of tea or notI just wanted to make them feel appreciated so that THEY WOULD MAKE ME FEEL APPRECIATED AS WELL. (I wish I had only focused on the ”making THEM feel appreciated” part! 😦

Such an awful, awful trend isn’t it?

And although I have come out of it now – because within the first few months of doing so, it started becoming WAYY TOO EXHAUSTING and so I shifted my attention back to following and reading content I actually love – it’s still very prevalent among other bloggers.

And I kinda hate that, not gonna lie.

Really?
Are you just going to comment on mine if I comment on yours?
Does that arrangement seem uplifting to you?
How is it helping though?

Really, HOW will you EVER know if your writing is ACTUALLY worth reading? By the number of comments? Oh, but they comment on yours because you comment on theirs. *shrugs* NOW what you have to say for yourself, huh?

The fault in this system is that:

🌸  It encourages too much selfishness which is neither good for you, nor for the others.

🌸  It comes in the way of making friends and the overall fun of reading a blog, because all the time, you are just think about YOURS, not REALLY appreciating THEIRS, do you see?

Hey, don’t get me wrong – blog hopping and supporting new bloggers is really important but the intention behind it shouldn’t be selfish. And I am not talking about you turning into an absolute saint here! 🤣 No, no, don’t do THAT. You have a responsibility to grow your blog as well. And doing some things SOLELY for that reason is COMPLETELY FINE. I do it too.

But when you start commenting on other blogs only because you expect them to comment on yours, it’s a disservice to their content, to be honest. 

Support and show them love without any expectatons. Try doing it – just for a month – review the blogs you’ve followed and actually give thought to their writing. Do you REALLY love it? Or was your follow just a bait – for them to visit your blog and follow you as well? 

Give this a serious thought and try an unconditional approach for a while.

It will be beneficial for both you and them in countless waysthe most important being the friendship that’ll form out of your love for their content. And out of that will come everything that you want as well – yes, yes, the comments and the follows (ugh, look at YOU! No change! 🤣) 

Give love because you feel like giving it, not because you expect they’ll love you back as well and see your world shift – towards a happier and more meaningful blogging experience. 

Because this“I’ll comment on yours only if you’ll comment on mine.”  – is a very mean practice. And one day, you’re going to get tired of it. I know. I did too. And THAT day you’ll realize who your ACTUAL FOLLOWERS ARE.

You’ll stop chasing those bribed comments soon enough. You’ll realize the importance of actual readership, of REAL followers who won’t leave you NO MATTER WHAT. 😉

[A READER’S LIFE] The Crazy Book-Girl //Things I did as a kid that earned me this title// PART-2

Having had WAY TOO many crazy bookish moments in my childhood, I have been wanting to share this post ever since I wrote the part one. 

My childhood was full on crazyI’d slap someone four years older than me and then get into trouble for that, took a few things too and hid them in a place where nobody could find them and then watched everyone panic – a classic example of this was when I took my aunt’s gold ring and kept it in my room.

In my defense I was only 5 years old and that ring was very fucking shiny – it had a peacock engraved in it. IMAGINE THAT!

undefined

Yeah, so I took it – in innocence – but when she got mad at her own girls, I was afraid of telling her that it wasn’t them, it was me. And so, I didn’t speak out for the next three days – until my mum found it while looking for something in my bag. 

But, hey, THAT’S ANOTHER THING!! 🤷🏻‍♀️ Right now, I just wanna talk about some other things I did as a child that earned me the label I now wear with much pride and respect – “The Crazy Book Girl”

Let’s begin, shall we? 

undefinedGuilty of Stealing 

Ladies and Gentleman, we are gathered here today to witness the public shaming of this girl – who goes by the name RAIN.

Look at her. Just look. So innocent, isn’t she? Well, don’t be fooled by her little face because behind that innocent smile is the heart of a very heinous criminal who can and WILL destroy everything you hold dearmainly books.

The Local PD, Bookishton

undefined

Yep. They are absolutely fucking right. I did steal someone’s book once. 

Hey, hey, HEYYY! Before you come at me with torches and swords, let me explain dude.

It was the year 2005 and I was merely 9 years old. By that time, I had already fallen head over heels in love with books – those pretty little books hiding those pretty little stories! 

This one time my ”friend” – let’s call her P – brought her recently rand new social science book to school. Okay, I admit that the content wasn’t very exciting but THOSE PAGES – glossy and smooth as butter. HARDCOVER. Pretty drawings. IT WAS THE VERY DEFINITION OF BEAUTY. 

And I was jealous. And SHE FUCKING KNEW IT! That’s why she kept showing it off whole dayy! 

Well, I got mad and decided I wanted that book. And so, when she went to the bathroom – I took the book out and put it in my bag. It wasn’t too big so nobody noticed me doing so.

undefined

The first few moments I felt awesome but it soon converted into guilt. As that feeling started to overpower me, I decided to out it back in her bag but she came back right at that moment and since it was the last period, I couldn’t do it that day! 

When she went home, she must have cried a lot because her new book was missing. AND I FELT AWFUL TOO! And so, the next day – since I usually arrived in class before everyone else – I put the book on the very back seat and sat on my own bench.

The boy who was sitting there noticed the book in the first period, read her name and gave it back to her and that was that.

P, if you are reading this, I HOPE THIS TEACHES YOU NEVER TO FUCKING SHOW OFF! 

NOW GO AWAY. You were a mean bean in the later years and I HATE YOU! 😡

undefinedIt’s all about them stickers

As a child, I had a LOT of picture books. My mum used to bring me new ones every year from the book fair. IT USED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED DAY OF THE YEAR. And then, she used to give them to me at the end of every academic year – in March.

It was a lovely tradition and it helped in cultivating my reading habit. And so, I always prized those books and kept them decorated. With lots of those puffy stickers.

One of those books was titled – ”The Best Classic Fairy Tales’‘ –  It was very pretty orange colored and puffy and it had some of my favorite stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast.

undefined

I loved it and of course during those first few months of owning it, I would take it to school everyday, not to show it off though LIKE THAT P! 😡 Just to make sure that it’s alright, safe with me. 

I never took it out of my bag in the class. Never except that one time – in the social science period. Our teacher – with her typical short hair and mean eyes – noticed it and took it from me, asking me to give it back at the period’s end.

I waited impatiently for the bell to ring and as soon as it did, I was the first one off my seat and in front of the teacher’s desk. But she decided to troll me instead, saying that she wanted to borrow the book for a day – so that her daughter could read it.

I couldn’t very well refuse her, EXAMS WERE NEAR, worse luck! And so I nodded. 

The next day, however, when she returned the book, I was shocked to see what her daughter had done – torn off ALL OF MY STICKERS, leaving the pages looking ugly with all those white patches. Like this: 😦

undefined

And you know what? She pretended as if that was always the case – as if it was like that when she took it from me in the first place!

LIKE WHAT THE FUCK?! An apology would’ve been nice. 

From that day, I started being rude to that particular teacher and she’d purposefully cut my marks off for the MOST RANDOM MISTAKES.

Oh well.

undefinedHide your sweaters from me if you are a rude ass punk. 

Some of you who have read the part one of this post already know that I once beat up a guy for stealing my book. Well, that wasn’t the only bookish beating I executed.

There was one more. Just one. But this one is VERY important and I AM STILL VERY PROUD OF IT. 

I must have been around 11? years old when this happened. You see, I used to sit with this guy from my class in the bus while going back home. He and I used to read comics. The seats used to be really small so we would sit very close to each other and read from the comics – just random cartoons or something, I don’t even remember their names now.

And this other classmate of mine, call him Hasshole, he used to make fun of that. He used to gossip about us, that mean boy gossip you know, it makes me laugh now that I think about it. 

But boy did he cross his limit when he snatched the comic from us this one time and crumpled it (they used to be very thin) and started laughing like the Hasshole he was! 

He shouldn’t have done that. I got so fucking angry that I went to him, pinned him to the back of the bus, and tore his sweater a bit, starting with it’s v neck. You get the idea, yeah?

undefined

He cried and cried until his stop came and unfortunately, it was the same as mine. When his mum, standing there to pick him up, saw this she asked him about it and he told her everything.

She scolded me and took me to my mother, who then scolded me again and I wasn’t allowed to go out to play FOR A WEEK!

 FUCK THAT ”HASSHOLE.” I HATE HIM! 


*SIGH* Well, THAT was a fun ride, wasn’t it? 😉
These are some of THE MOST memorable moments of my childhood, makes them laugh to even think about them now. And I have this vague idea that THESE ARE NOT ALL – maybe I’m forgetting something?!

I GOTTA GO ASK MUMMA!

Until, next time then?

undefined

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Things I still NEED to learn

Apart from possessing the ability to churn out fresh content by the week, responding to comments on a timely basis, blog-hopping consistently, and of course, spreading love in the community, there are a few other things that a blogger needs to understand and I seem to lack in those.

I used to think that I was a kick-ass blogger. I don’t now.

Why?

Well, let’s find out:

🌸The Power of Habit

I made a post last year – titled – “What makes a Good Blogger” 

I followed every single point I made in it. But THEN, because of JUST A LITTLE BIT OF DIFFICULTY – I let it all go down the drain – MONTHS OF HARD WORK – all went away! Just like that.

undefined

Ugh. Me and my hypocrite self.

The point is, when I had that accident and decided to take a little break from blogging, I didn’t know what effect it would have on my habit of writing every day, one that I had had a LOT of difficulties cultivating in the first place.

We fickle human beings fail to recognize a little fact – our mind is ALWAYS trying to find ways to go back to being a lazy-ass dump of nerves. You can’t argue with that! 🤣

And when you decide to take those – unplanned breaks – you give it THE PERFECT AMMUNITION TO LIGHT THE FIRE IN YOU LIFEburning the good habits (that you took a LOT of time to form) to the ground. 

Well, do you disagree?! DO YA?!

But hey, that’s not to say that we can never take breaks. It’s just that there is an art to it, one that needs learning.

🌸The Art of Taking Breaks

WITHOUT ruining your habits, I should add.

As I said, the mind is a lazy-ass fuck who keeps yearning to go back to his old ways of procrastination and laziness.

undefined

And we need to find a way to tread that sensitive ground with care. Think Katniss trying to hop her way around those mines to blow up all the ammunition. 🤷🏻‍♀️

So, it all comes down to this: Finding time to make sure you are engaging in writing at least a few minutes EVERY DAY – it can be just a little paragraph – but you do it daily

When you’ll do it every day, going back to blogging won’t seem THAT MUCH OF A MONSTER TASK – because you’ll have tidbits of content at your fingertips – ready to be converted into full-blown posts should you feel the need.

And that’s EXACTLY what I need to learn as well. Boop.

🌸Visit Your Blog Regularly

Yes. Okay, I know, I know. This one seems irrelevant. But, hear me out, alright? 

Whatever’s in front of your eyes on a regular basis becomes the dominant thought of your mind, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s the principle that will be activated when you form the habit of regularly visiting your blog yes, even on hiatuses. 

Just visit it. Don’t interact with anyone if you don’t want to. Don’t reply to comments yet, if you don’t feel like it. Don’t comment on others’ posts if you’d rather wait until you are officially back.

undefined

BUT, visit your blog regularly nonetheless. Because by doing that:

•  You’ll keep reminding yourself what absolute fun blogging actually is and how much you love it.

•  You’ll also be reminded of how much effort you’ve put into it so far and what a waste it would be if you were to abandon it all of a sudden.

And both of those realizations will keep you from falling into laziness and inactivity. 

They surely would have helped me had I visited my blog regularly. And I am sure it’ll help you as well. 

 

🌸Never Forget

Okay, this is an extension of the last point but I think it’s too important not to repeat:

You must NEVER – under ANY circumstance – forget all the hard work that goes into maintaining the blog. 

undefined

You put other things on hold to make your blog the prettiest, the coolest, the wittiest, the BESTEST! 

And all that work goes to waste if you stop giving attention to it all of a sudden. I mean, it’s like a house. A house becomes a home when you clean it every day, decorate it in your likeness, make sure that it reflects YOUR personality, your likes, and dislikes, YOUR habits.

BUT that same cozy and comfortable home turns into a cold and unwelcoming structure of bricks when you stop living in it, stop giving attention to it – doesn’t it?

Well, the same thing happens with our blog as well. It needs a similar kind of nurture and care – and that too REGULARLY.

🌸Keep in mind the people that you leave behind.

It isn’t only about writing and getting comments, is it? Blogging is also about the wonderful and welcoming communitythose friends that you make, that confidence that you build with them, their faith in you, and your faith in yourself.

Remember how much time it took you to form that?

undefined

Well, don’t leave THEM behind just because you couldn’t keep your wandering mind under a leash. THEY are the ones who make your blogging experience so fucking wholesome and fulfilling. 

And you’d do well to remember that before you decide to leave your blog – a child of your mind – unattended the next time.

Yes, I AM TALKING TO YOU RAIN! ️ I swear to god you can be so fucking difficult sometimes. UGH! 

Well, I hope that these few points will help you as I am sure they’d have helped ME as well before I decided to fall into that same cycle of procrastination.

Until next time,

RAIN 

Broken Leg and A HAPPYYY NEW YEARRRR 🤣🥳

Being too excited ALL THE FUCKING TIME isn’t THAT good of an idea, may I tell you? 😔🥺

Why am I saying this? Let me narrate.

It was a LONG NIGHT. I couldn’t sleep a wink I was so fucking excited for the following day! 😍 You see, we were throwing a surprise birthday 🎂 party for my cousin AND IT WAS GOING TO BE LOADS AND LOADS OF FUN!

I was in charge of ALL the decorations and I MUST SAY IT WAS HEAVENLY. I had gone a bit extreme with it but then, as Violet Crawley says – “NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE EXCESS!” 😉

I was in a state of continuous thrill and anticipation of the following day.

AND IT FINALLY ARRIVED.

I was up WAY BEFORE our dear sunny friend up in the skies and had already made ALL THE REMAINING ARRANGEMENTS. I was the first one dressed, made breakfast for everyone REAL QUICK, made sure papa was ready ON TIME (he always takes too long! 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣)

So, after making sure everyone was ready I went down the stairs to take out the car! It was the first time I was driving with my dad and he is a MOST SEVERE CRITIC so I was nervous and excited, both at the same time!

The promise of a wonderful and eventful day went straight into my head like a drug and before I knew it, I was hopping down the stairs two/three at a time.

What happened next shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone! 🤷🏻‍♀️

I slipped and went tumbling down the stairs like the pale of water Jack had the misfortune of losing?

My crash down the ground was almost 15 stairs long so you can imagine the impact it had on my head, my whole body for that matter!

But I suffered the most injury on my left foot, which I broke in the process and my head, obviously! 🥺

Some of my lovely friends already know this to be the reason behind my one month long absence from my beautiful blog but I wanted you to know as well.

I am back to normal again. I can walk, hop, and run – ALL WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST DIFFICULT Y, thank god!

AND I AM SO GLAD TO BE BACK HERE! SOO FUCKING GLAD! 😍😍

Just a small thing though – my computer has broken down, curse that stupid machine! 😡 So, my posts may not be THAT aesthetic for a while, I hope you’ll understand! ❤️😘

I LOVE YOUUUU GORGEOUS AND AMAAAZINGGG PEOPLE! You have made my blogging experience greater and more enjoyable than I had any right to and for that I will FOREVER BE THANKFUL TO YOU! 🥺😭

Wishing you all a most beautiful new year, full of exciting experiences! May every second of every minute of 2020 bring you happiness and joy! ❤️

Lots of love,

R A I N