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Reading less, writing more, living less, dreaming more

My characters are driving me nuts

Going crazy writing

The last few days, I’ve been feeling a little out of it all. I remember the feeling from before, something I describe at the end of this post: Writing about Reading: Fishing in the Rivers of Light

Only, this time, it is not about reading. I’m still reading, yes, three books at a time, again: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters, and They Whisper, by Robert Olen Butler.

I’m living more in my head than in my life, and as a result, I’m trying to tread carefully: I double check the lock when leaving home, double check the alarm while baking bread, constantly pat my handbag for my phone, make sure I’ve switched off the treadmill before I jump down, or the gas after I’ve finished with the stove, and so on and so forth, in order to avoid anything from a minor disaster to a major catastrophe. I’m simply not paying my normal attention to life.

One of my characters just drowned, another is failing at suicide, a third is asking a lot of difficult questions for which I have no answer. Yet another has decided to learn the salsa at 81, and broken her hip. Like demanding friends (or enemies, if you prefer) they’re whining away in my head, and I often find myself listening to them rather than the person speaking to my face. Dreaming more than living can’t be good for me. Or anyone.

I have begun the new year going nuts, it seems. Blogging is an attempt at regaining sanity.

The only good news I have to offer is that another of my short stories found a home, and since this is a story based in India, I’m entirely happy it found publication in an Indian literary journal. Last year was not too bad for my publishing credits, but it could have gone a lot better.

My first week into work— I feel a few stories bubbling within me, a river of them, actually, and a long work or two. Some revisions. No, make that a lot of revisions.

Bring it on,Β  2011!

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • bronxboy55 says:

    “I have begun the new year going nuts, it seems.”

    I thought you had everything you needed to succeed. Now I’m sure of it.

  • Damyanti says:

    Gladys, just read this, and thought should pass you the link:

  • It can be bought direct from my own Magpies Nest Publishing:
    where you can read two chapters (or about 40 pages) to get a sample of any of my books before purchasing. We now have PayPal installed. Post free in the UK (other countries will have postage reduced by that amount). Some books are heavier than others. RED BOXES is light compared with my novels. It is full of line drawings and cartoons. It is also quite humorous. You might possibly get a second-hand book cheaper through Amazon but not a New Edition (which has extra cartoons and four extra chapters.) You can also have books signed and dedicated at Magpies Nest Publishing, should you so wish.
    All profits from Red Boxes go to Save the Children Fund. I still hope one of the big publishers will take it up. Quite a bit has already been donated (mostly from local sales) but how wonderful if a nought or two were to be added to the Β£1,500 or so, already raised! (It won’t happen with books printed in batches of 30 or 50 β€” no margin for profits unless sold locally. The first run of the first edition was 750. Huge discounts are required by book warehouses. Retailers a lesser amount. But some outlets handed over the full retail price. This does not happen now.)
    I am just happy to have books read. A gift to share.

  • My ‘When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES’ (extended second edition) is already in print. The first edition (sold very well) only goes up to when I was married. The later one up to when our children were born, my teacher training and moving to Cumbria. My teaching years and Church (lay) ministry years would be volumes in themselves. However, with so many others involved who would be recognised it is not likely to happen!

    • Damyanti says:

      Do write it, even if you don’t publish it. Where can I get β€˜When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES’ ?

  • Must read that story when finished. I don’t expect you get to see much UK TV. Strictly Come Dancing was a ‘must watch’ for me. There were a few ‘over sixties’ and an ‘over seventy’ who amazed me. In my mind I was young again β€” nippy on feet, swirling, bending backwards, being lifted and floating. Rock-n-roll, tango, quick step, fox-trot, all the modern Latin-American and 1930’s. Sure my hands and arms do the actions, my body sways, my feet twiddle β€” all to the time of the music. We didn’t get to do much dancing when young. We didn’t have the ‘means’. My first real dance was the Nottingham Arts Ball in 1948 when I was sixteen. It was a heavy cost for me and I had to borrow a dress. It was a green net bridesmaid dress. My dad painted my sandals red but a nail caused runs in my stockings. No one asked us (my friend was with me) to dance. BUT next year I could afford material to make a proper evening dress. I was seventeen and partners all night. Pity the boy who stuck with me couldn’t dance and all we did was shuffle! But I have good memories of dancing too.
    Your writing is quite poetic, you have a great blog here, and I’m sure you’ll go far.

  • Damyanti says:

    Gladys, she does dance again. If that story sees the light of day, you will be the first to know πŸ™‚

    thank you for your kind wishes, your comments always make me feel better about myself somehow…!

  • DarcKnyt says:

    Congratulations, Damyanti! Another publishing credit! Woo! Fantastic!

    And while I miss you blogging regularly, I do love hearing you’re writing more. Love it!

    Hugs from across the oceans! Happy New Year, sweetie!

    • Damyanti says:

      thank you thank you…..friendship is a strange thing. Though we have never met and who knows if we ever will, I can feel the warmth of your wishes πŸ™‚

      Happy New Year to you and yours too, big bro, and a big bear hug!!!

  • Sounds wonderful to me. In fact incredible!
    Long may the writing continue! The reading too.

    As for the lady learning the salsa at eighty, I hope your character recovers to learn and dance all that her heart desires. I’m close to that age myself but can only dance within me. I married someone with two left feet and dancing was left behind. Even so, I daydream about going to dancing classes. Sadly my knees tell me I have left it too late!

  • indigobunting says:

    It’s wonderful to read you/this/here!

    • Damyanti says:

      thanks Indigo πŸ™‚ it is wonderful to have you back here too, missed you! Have not been to your blog lately since Fb keeps me updated but that is no excuse…