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Resurrection of the First Year of Blogging #amreading

Come January, this blog will turn 5. I haven’t ever done anything special for my blogiversaries, but Mina Lobo is holding a Resurrection Blogfest to mark her First Blogiversary.

Her requirements:

“Your blog post should prominently feature the blogfest badge as well as something from your first year of blogging
that you believe deserves some TLC, or that you’re especially proud of
and wish to showcase, or simply has sentimental value for you.”

 I read through posts I wrote on this blog in 2008, and none seemed to warrant pride. So I went for sentiment — I wrote the post below at an ebb in my life, and despite my vow to keep things impersonal on the blog, my emotions leaked in. This post also talks about my biggest love (after my husband), books; and my (very small) first foray into publication. So here goes. I hope my posts have improved since.

Writing about the enchanting Gathering

I’ve been writing about my disenchantment
with books. Not that the stuff I’ve been reading hasn’t been good,
quite to the contrary, but it’s been a long time since I encountered
magic. Anne Enright‘s The Gathering
gave me that magic. It is a bleak, almost painful book, and in parts, it
hurts. I’m not exaggerating when I say it sent me into a minor
depression. But I had to keep going back to it, much like a child
picking at scabs, making a healed wound bleed again.

I’ve moved on since to Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which is a good antidote with all its dreamlike strangeness. I sometimes feel I should read less and see more, have more conversations, but then I’m drawn back to books by an invisible elastic cord that gives me some leeway, but pulls me back again.

has somehow become an organic part of my daily routine: if I can’t find
a novel, short story, or poem, I’ll find a magazine or newspaper, if I
can’t find those, I’ll find a brochure, or a menu, or a manual. Failing
all this I’ll go a little cuckoo in my head and snap at people. Somewhat
like when I’m hungry. The minute I’m bad-tempered my hubby asks me if
I’m hungry, I guess he should add ‘do you need a book?’  Reading is the best education there is for writing, so I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining.

Been writing the past few days, and two of my short pieces got put up in the local web-zine,
so everything is mostly on the up and up. I should be happy, “should’
being the operative word, but that’s okay too, because I find I tend to write more and write better when I have this nameless melancholy.

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 next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 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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  • I think we can all relate to the 'nameless melancholy'. I know you said you hope your writing has improved since this post but I actually really enjoyed it! 🙂

    • Damyanti says:

      Thanks, Cally. Well, I guess I've always let go on my blog — been who I am, without rewrites. But I sure hope my fiction writing has improved!

  • Mina Lobo says:

    I get a kick out of the idea that an absence of reading materials can make someone as grumpy as I get when I'm hungry! 🙂 I do dearly love a good escape but can't say I'm quite that addicted…though when I find something I really enjoy, I do become obsessed with it!

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!
    Some Dark Romantic

    • Damyanti says:

      I'm the sort who would read a room service menu or the stuff on a shampoo bottle if I can't find a book. I can't imagine living in a world without the written word. For even a minute. Yep, I'm an addict.

  • M Pax says:

    Reading before bed helps me sleep better. Damn Hunger Games kept me up too late last night. Is it magic? No. But there was something about it that kept me turning the pages.

    • Damyanti says:

      I only read heavy books before bed-time. Something non-page-turning, to be sure. I'd never sleep otherwise.

  • Gina says:

    Reading got me through the worst depression in my life, and I'm forever grateful to books for that. Still, I know my limits and there are a few stories I would not try, like Romeo and Juliet. Those send me crying and all depressed for weeks. Funnily enough, I adore horror. No matter how gruesome, how many characters die, horror is my drug.

    Great post to resurrect!

    • Damyanti says:

      Gina, I don't know what I read when I'm upset, but I try not to read very many sad books. thrilled to meet a fellow book-lover.

  • Chris Fries says:

    Absolutely — it's like breathing: Reading is the inhale; Writing is the exhale. You can't exhale from empty lungs, and you can't last long without a new supply of oxygen — reading is absolutely necessary for me, too. ;^)

    Great resurrection post!

  • I don't like going without reading for a while, either. Makes me irritable.

    Congratulations on almost 5 years of blogging. That's a long time! 🙂

    • Damyanti says:

      Thannk you. It isn't five yet, though. And the poor thing won't get much celebration when it is. I'm going on hiatus in December, so January will be a slow beginning all over again 🙂

  • Pat Hatt says:

    The more we read the better we make ourselves too. Interesting concept going back to an old post, for some may not of seen. But then I myself hate repeats haha following back too!

    • Damyanti says:

      I like reading, and I don't like repeats — but that's what the blogfest asked for. Thanks for the follow!

  • I can't survive if I don't read fiction at least once a day (novels need only apply). I love to read a bedtime, even if I can't keep my eyes open for another second.

    I agree, reading is the best education for writing. 😀

    Good luck with your writing projects, Damyanti!

    • Damyanti says:

      Stina, welcome to my blog, and thanks for your good wishes. I read and read and read. That's the only thing I'll miss when I die (I think) — are there books after death? 🙂

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