January has been a kind month until now. My book has been getting some great responses and I have also been picking up a couple of awards for it. MFA coursework has started taking up every minute of my day. With the beginning of the mandatory courses this week, it has become extremely difficult to read anything beyond the reference materials and write very little beyond chasing the assignment deadlines.
In the first blog post of January, I had mentioned Orange Flower Awards by Women’s Web. Last year, I had made it to their shortlist for humor and travel writing. This year, the award ceremony gets bigger with celebrity film-makers, actors, entrepreneurs, authors and a host of achievers across the industries making their presence felt on the day of the event. Amidst of thousand of entries in various categories of blogging, social media, and video blogs, it is nothing short of a privilege to announce that my writing got me nominated in SEVEN categories (Yes, you read that right!). Parent Blogging, Humor writing, Writing with a social impact, Writing on Women at Work, Travelgram, Photogram and Best use of Twitter for social impact was where I found myself listed.
July has been one of the toughest months for me this year. I was scheduled to start my MFA creative writing program and knew that the blog was going to see lesser posts than usual. As luck would have it, my health issues flared up badly by the end of June leaving me helpless and breathless. The last one was due to the severe nasal complications that I seemed to have developed recently. While it took a lot of determination to stay positive and stop myself from thinking about being productive, I need to mention that I also discovered some amazing authors and their books in the last three weeks. They kept me company as I tried to keep my hope alive about the effectiveness of medicines in helping me get back to a normal life.
And then something magical happened. On July 12th, I got a mail from Millennial Worx that my blog had made it to the top 20 shortlist of the Shining Bloggers Award and the final results of the top 10 winning Bloggers were scheduled for Sunday, July 21st. The most endearing aspect of this shortlist was that someone had nominated my blog for this award (anonymously) and I’m still trying to figure out who it was. But I feel immensely grateful that he/she considered me worth this nomination based on my work. On 21st July, the final list was and it gives me immense pleasure to inform you that soniasmusings.com won the award finishing at the third position. While I couldn’t be present in person to receive the trophy and certificate at Lucknow, the founders helped me connect to the audience through an audio visual live session.
Accolades and prestigious awards like this motivate me to write better and work harder. They serve as reminders of the reason I quit my corporate job to become a writer. Hence, I take this opportunity to thank all my readers, family members and friends who have been a constant source of support in my writing journey of 1 year 10 months. I am hoping to get back to creating some more beautiful pieces on this blog very soon.
This post has been pending for a long time. Thank you, Priya from priyareflects.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. The fact that I have written a detective novella ‘Deal of Death’ in the genre of mystery/thriller makes me feel extremely happy at receiving this award. Love the squirrel for being the cutest presenter of any award ever.
Coming to the award, it was started by Okota Enigma. She had an idea behind this award. “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
So here are the rules of this award –
1. PUT THE AWARD LOGO/IMAGE ON YOUR BLOG. LIST THE RULES. 2. THANK WHOEVER NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG. 3.MENTION THE CREATOR OF THE AWARD AND PROVIDE A LINK AS WELL 4.TELL YOUR READERS 3 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF 5. YOU HAVE TO NOMINATE 10 – 20 PEOPLE 6. NOTIFY YOUR NOMINEES BY COMMENTING ON THEIR BLOG 7. ASK YOUR NOMINEES ANY 5 QUESTIONS OF YOUR CHOICE; WITH ONE WEIRD OR FUNNY QUESTION (SPECIFY) 8. SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BEST POST(S).
The first three points are already attended to, so here’s the answer to number 4 –
Three things about me –
There are three men in my life who I love the most – my toddler, my husband and my father. There’s nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my Dad, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and playing with my toddler.
I quit my Banking job to become a writer and it is only recently that I became a published author. I nurture the dream to continue writing Detective thrillers with my protagonist Raya Ray and hope to see my book in the bestseller racks someday.
I am a night owl. I can work till the wee hours of the morning but if you ask me to wake up early, I find it extremely difficult to implement.
Now coming to the five questions that Priya had asked me –
If you were to choose a pen name what would it be?
It would be Raya Ray. It would be a lot of fun writing as the protagonist of the detective thriller itself.
Share your best memory ever?
There are too many to write especially during those years when my mom was still around. But the one memory is etched in my heart forever was when I held my son for the first time after his birth.
Tell me about your most romantic date
My husband and I have been friends for two decades now. We had lost in touch for a good number of years before meeting each other again in 2010. We met at a restaurant called Casapicola in Bangalore for lunch. When we started talking, it never felt like there was a gap in between. Even without expressing our feelings, we knew that we were meant to be together.
If you were to act in a movie (or play a literary character) which one would you choose and why?
I wish I could play Feluda – the sleuth in Satyajit Ray’s detective novels and essay the role of Vidya Bagchi (played by the super talented Vidya Balan) in Kahani. Both belong to my favorite genre of thrillers and Vidya Balan is a personal favorite.
What would be the absolute worst name you could give to a child?
If you have heard Bengali nicknames, you would know that there are quite a few names that could scar the child forever. So Pintu, Ghoton, Babla are just a few among them.
I nominate the following people for this award –
I would want them to answer these five questions –
Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows.
Which genre of books do you enjoy reading the most and why?
What is the best piece of advice or feedback that you received for your writing?
If you were stranded on an island, what things would you take with you and why?
What is the weirdest or craziest thing that you have ever done?
My best post till date is also a personal favorite –
Four months back when I quit my banking job to become a full time blogger, I had this misplaced notion that now that I was on the path of becoming a solopreneur, I could keep my social interactions to a minimum. In less than three months, I realized that my thoughts were indeed misplaced. I accepted that I was now a part of the bigger blogging fraternity and started interacting more with my fellow bloggers through WordPress, Facebook and Twitter. Some gave me a cold shoulder, others were cordial but the one who was the most welcoming was Maya. Continue reading “Blogger Appreciation Award”