Is Your #Coffee Wildlife-Friendly? #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestWe are the World Blogfest is here with its seventh edition.

To spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest. In a world where news and social media are awash with negativity, we aim to turn the focus on to small but significant stories that renew our faith in humanity.

The co-hosts for the August 2017 WATWB are: Michelle Wallace , Shilpa GargAndrea MichaelsPeter NenaEmerald Barnes

Please go and visit them– they’ve been doing a wonderful job of cohosting the #WATWB behind the scenes.


Would you try wildlife-friendly coffee ?

In the spirit of “In Darkness, Be Light,” I’d like to share the story of Avinash Sosale and Dr. Krithi Karanth, the Indian husband and wife team who have founded Wild Kaapi, a unique endeavour to make wildlife-friendly coffee. Dr. Karanth has decades of wildlife study and conservation experience behind her, and Sosale is an entrepreneur and coffee lover. In India, where wildlife cover and biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate, the world’s first ‘certified wildlife-friendly’ coffee brand is a heartening initiative.

“Wild Kaapi started as an offshoot of a three-year research project (part of a grant by the National Science Foundation to study coffee, areca and rubber plantations in the Western Ghats). Karanth, of the Centre for Wildlife Studies — with Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr Ashwini Chhatre of University of Illinois — measured biodiversity, and studied labour practices and market dynamics of the farming areas.

During the project, she interacted with over 1,000 planters in the three coffee growing areas of Karnataka — Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan — and realised how frustrated they were “because they weren’t getting value for their coffee due to the middlemen involved”. That’s when the idea for Wild Kaapi originated, and the duo is now exploring new ways to get a premium price for products that support wildlife.”

coffee

Since they ship internationally, and maintain excellent quality standards, I’m planning an order soon. I shall let the coffee-lover in the family try it out, and do my best to support this fledgling company that has such a laudable mission statement:

‘The idea behind setting up Wild Kaapi was to find a way to keep them wildlife friendly, reduce deforestation, minimize the usage of chemical inputs, implement good labour practices and at the same incentivize the process for the farmers.’

If you found this piece of news heartening, and would like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. Add your post HERE so we can all find it quickly.

#WATWB also wants to link to charities supported by the co-hosts, and you could choose to donate to some of them or add links to local charities you support. Here’s the organization I’ve come to love and support: PROJECT WHY— and here’s one of my previous posts on the work they do. Feel free to send them a little of your help– every little bit counts.

 The We are The World Blogfest Community Page on Facebook will continue to show links to the various blog posts. So you don’t have to hurry through. You can always enjoy one a day. Like the page and share your posts on the thread for the purpose.

Would you support a wild-life friendly brand? Are you a coffee lover? What heartwarming story have you heard recently? Do you have stories of wildlife or environment-friendly brands that you’d like to share?

We Are the World BlogfestPlease join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click on See First).

If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button. (Feel free to share this post if you like it. You’ll find icons to re-blog it via WordPress and Blogger to the left of this post.)

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How Did You Find This Blog Post? #Blogging

Blog directionBlog promotion, or promotion of any sort, is not really my strong suit.

This blog is old, and does have regular subscribers (Thankyou so much!), but I’ve really never made much of an effort to find out more about how those who read it, get here.

I’m happy that I get to interact with my blog friends, and since this blog is more of a passion than an avenue for monetization, blog promotion has never been on my mind.

Recently, a friend asked me what my blog was about, and what direction I wanted to take it in.

I said, I’d like to keep doing what I do, write about reading, writing, the occasional travel, ask questions about life and blogging, and some about compassion and goodness in our world.

And who is your target audience? This friend said. You could use some targeting, and blog promotion.

I know my readers find the posts on writing useful: I try and interview experts, and host posts from those who know about the business of writing and publishing. As to the rest, folks who come here seem to like the interaction, the freedom to express themselves, and answering questions–most of my posts in recent years have been question-oriented. I’d rather listen than talk, because that way I get to learn much (and of course, hide my foolishness from all and sundry.)

My friend, who knows a thing or two about blogging, says that’s not nearly enough.

To humor my friend, and also because I’m interested, I wanted to ask you: how exactly did you reach this post?

Could you please take a few seconds to click on this poll?


If you’re a subscriber, a follower, or a return visitor (Thanks very much, I’m honored!) what made you return?

For every friend I’ve made on this site, I’m grateful.

I feel like I know you, even though we’ve never met. That we’d get along very well if we do ever get to meet. That I’d love to listen to you talk. In the last 9 years, this blog has sometimes been my lifeline– and even though I’m never too personal here, this blog holds immense personal value.

What about you? Do you know who your target audience is? Do you write to them? Do you know where most of your blog followers come from and why? Do you think that is important? Would like to suggest ways for me to improve this site, and what you’d like to see more or less of?

——

I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment this Friday, the September 29th!

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page (Click the See First button to receive all the posts) in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button.

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Writers , Want Tips on #Reading to Audiences? #amwriting

Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome Tania Hershman, who’s been on this site before, and is one of my idols when it comes to writing short stories. She’s here to talk about one of the things I find most difficult about the writing life: performing your work in front of audiences.

So here’s Tania on writing and performing her work!

—————

I am writing this while listening to music on my computer, which seems fitting for a piece on performing your own work. Getting out of the house, getting up in front of of an audience, standing (or sometimes sitting) holding a piece of paper, a sheaf of papers, a book, or sometimes empty-handed, and giving yourself directly to a group of people. Does this make it sound as joyous as it is for me? I hope so! I know, though, that it is not a pleasure for many writers, so let’s talk about it.

I’ve been writing seriously for about 20 years, although it really all started in childhood. But a year or so ago, I changed my Twitter profile from “writer” to “writer/performer” as I realised that performing my work, giving readings, was becoming almost as important as the writing itself, or at least as important as being published. A wonderful friend with whom I am developing a two-woman poetry and prose performance sent me a quote recently from American poet Stanley Kunitz in which he talks about a writer reading her work in public as a “secondary act of creation”, and this is how it feels to me. It is not simply a live presentation of what is already on a page; it is connection with others, an intimacy of the shared physical space and time, an experience that – although it may be being recorded – is in fact ephemeral and unrepeatable. You have to be there.

Tania Hershman performing poemsLet’s talk about fear. Many of us are writers precisely because we prefer to communicate through the written word. I know I do. I’m not much of a talker. I am introverted, not comfortable socializing in crowds, preferring one-on-one conversation. I feel I am at my most fluent when I am writing. But, perhaps surprisingly, I love being on stage. This began in my twenties when I did a lot of amateur dramatics and discovered I enjoyed becoming other people, slipping into character. This familiarity with the stage turns out to be immensely helpful when you have a book out – or, nowadays, with the blossoming of the live lit scene, where writers are invited to perform at open mic events.

You might think from this that I slip into a character when I read from my own work, that I become Tania The Performer, different from Tania The Writer (who, perhaps, is different from Tania The Person). But I don’t consciously do this, I don’t put on a mask, I get up in front of people as myself, as much as possible. I don’t want to hide from the audience, I want that connection, that act of co-creation. And this has shifted as I have made the shift from writing short stories to writing poetry. When I read my short fiction, I have to look down at the page quite often, although I try and make eye contact frequently. But poetry is entirely different – I write poems out loud and in the act of editing them, I memorise them, so when I read poetry to an audience, although I have the page open, I rarely need to look at it. Performing my poems, I feel a more intense sense of co-creation: I am reading and being seen by the audience, and I am also seeing them, looking at them, at you.

Terms and Conditions Tania Performing poemsBut what of the practicalities? Well, as with writing, everyone finds their own way to read to an audience. I have been enthralled by readings where the writer hasn’t looked up once from the page. I prefer to stand completely still, but some people like to move around, to pace. I would say that you should do whatever makes you the most comfortable, what fits with your own kind of connection.

What to read? For a long time I thought I “should” only read crowd-pleasers, by which I mean light, funny pieces that make an audience laugh. No-one wants the really dark stuff, I thought. But as my confidence as a performer increased, and as I went to more events, I realised that as an audience member I am happy to be made to cry, to be shaken by a performance as I am by the page. And so now I read whatever I feel I want to read at a particular event, given the nature of the event, who else I am reading with, the length of time I’ve been given. I always make myself a “set-list” in advance, but quite often will adjust the list just before I go on – or in the middle of the performance, especially if another reader has read something that I think chimes with one of my pieces.

When, like me, you are a writer of very short things – short short stories and poems – I feel that it’s important to allow the audience to breathe in between, not to go straight from one to another. To say something in between, not necessarily (as I have noticed many poets do) explaining either what you have just read or are just about to read, sometimes in great detail. But you can tell the audience, perhaps, where you were when you wrote the piece, or a little detail about your day, or you can even ask the audience a question! A lot of my work is inspired by science and I like to mention if a particular story or poem was inspired by an article and then ask if other people in the audience read New Scientist, say, or take inspiration from science. This breaks that “fourth wall” between performer and audience. I should say that this is something I’ve only found the confidence to do very recently, after around 7 years of readings, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to do this.

If there is one thing I would strongly caution everyone not to do it is this: disclaimers. Do not apologise, either for your work, or for yourself and your performance. You may be trying to be funny, but this kind of self-deprecating humour, especially if the audience don’t yet know you or your work, is very difficult to pull off and it sets the audience up to expect to be disappointed. I see this again and again. “Oh, this poem is silly but I thought I’d read it to you anyway”. Be kind to yourself and be kind enough to your audience to allow them to receive your work and make up their own minds, as we do when we send written work out into the world.

Tania Performing poemsMost of all: good luck! Public speaking of any kind is acknowledged as one of the most terrifying things any of us might be asked to do. You don’t have to do it. You never have to do it. But if you think you’d like to, if you want to push yourself, it can be one of the most rewarding and elating experiences and it breathes new life into your own work and it may even change the way you write. Break a leg!

Writers, what is your experience of performing your work?

As a reader or writer have you attended poetry or prose readings? Do you have a memorable experience to share?

Do you have questions for Tania Hershman about her performances, the writing life, or do you need any writing advice?

Tania Hershman is currently to be found somewhere in the UK, reading from/performing her two new books – her debut poetry collection, Terms and Conditions (Nine Arches Press, 2017) and her third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others (Unthank Books, 2017). You can hear her read from her own work on Soundcloud and watch videos of her performing her poems and prose at her site , where there is also more information about her writings.

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button.

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What Will Happen to Your Body After You Die?

Writers after deathSome people do not like speaking or thinking of death, but is a part of the process of life, its only predictable part, the very end. Writers routinely deal deaths to their characters, and readers often bemoan these.

Death will come to all of us, and the body that has been ours for all our lives will be ours no longer.

Religions prescribe what should happen to a body after the person has passed on, but some countries allow its citizens to donate their bodies for research. I recently read about one such ‘Body farm’ in Texas— on a writers forum, of course.

I confess to not bothering too much about what will happen to my body once I die–in Singapore you are a compulsory organ donor, you have to opt out of it if you don’t want to donate. Beyond organ donation, I’m not really bothered about what happens to my body. I’d love for it to be of use to other humans, animals, plants. From dust we rise, and to dust we shall return.

Writers are often called upon by their art to imagine various situations, and readers/ TV audiences absorb a variety of stories about people, living and dead. Based on these, and your life experiences, what are your thoughts on your body after you are gone?


I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of September 29th!

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click the ‘See First’ option when you Follow). If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button above.

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What have You Published Recently? #writing #reading

Writing and getting published are both challenging. Some people call it fun. For me it is work. Occasionally joyful work, but work, nonetheless. Most of my joy comes right after I’ve finished writing something.

Publication brings validation, the much-needed pat-on-the back that we fragile creative souls need from time to time.

I received a small one last month, at the Litro UK.

Here’s an excerpt from my piece, Almost there, and back again(Click link to read the entire piece)

He sits right there next to her, nuzzling her neck, whispering half-drunken stories, not caring who’s looking, her husband’s friends, or his wife. Rob’s breath fans over her throat and ear, warming her against the light evening chill. She’s waiting for him to make a suggestion, can already hear it whisper within her. The world’s axis has tilted, she imagines the hum of bees who cannot sleep; in the back-garden around them obscene May tulips wilt, their last, gold-dirty-musk smell mingling with barbecue fumes.

published articles stories and novelsFor this weekend, I’d like to read what you all have published in the past few months, whether it is a story, a poem, an article, a novel. So I’m adding a Linky list, open till Monday, and invite you all to add links to your recently published pieces. Anything in the last few months is great.

I’ll delete spam and keep the list tidy, so if you want to browse through the list, read and encourage others, you’re most welcome. The link will remain up, till further notice. I loved the experience with reading posts on my last linky– check out the wonderful blog posts shared there!

In the linky, please do the following:

  1. Link to the piece/ novel you want read, and not to your blog. I’ll delete links that lead to home pages and websites.
  2. In the Blog Title part of the Link form, add the genre and the title (For instance: Novel: The Old Man and the Sea).

Do NOT do the following:

  1. Do not add spam links.
  2. Do not add homepage links to Websites/ Blogs.
  3. Do not add more than one link.
  4. Do not ask me to edit/ make changes to the list. (I edit typos without being prompted, don’t worry).

I hope to have a few things to read by the weekend!

Here’s the Linky:



What have you published recently? What do you think the publication experience gives you? Do you read online journals or magazines? What books have you recently read, and would recommend? What is your comment on my piece at the Litro?


I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of September 29th!

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click the ‘See First’ option when you Follow). If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button above.

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