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What Does Your #Writing Mean to You?

By 15/02/2020April 14th, 2020You beneath Your Skin
writing process

Very few things in the past weeks have been worth cheering about as I try to recover from burnout, and stay at home amid the coronavirus (controlled, but very much present) in Singapore.

Then, You Beneath Your Skin hit the Amazon top 10 in a category or two, and that wasn’t so bad. There’s other potential news I can’t talk about yet, but the best bit is that I’m writing again.

Not big things. Tiny flash pieces. And it is this that keeps me going. The small beginnings and tiny endings.

On my balcony there’s a tiny bittergourd plant that sprouted all by itself and now has the run of a small thatch I’d made for another creeper that died. I was traveling for more than a month, and upon my return I discovered among all the greenery in the thatch, a perfectly ripened deep yellow bittergourd. No one had noticed it in my absence.

The next morning, I found the thick bittergourd body burst open, its seeds glistening in the sunlight like plastic rubies from a toy princess wardrobe.

And that’s what writing is, gifts that come unbidden and lie there, perfectly commonplace, in a moment of uncommon grace.

In other news, I’m speaking with Yolanda Renee on her beautiful blog, about writing, and among other things, my addiction to butter. (Yeah, you read that right. Can’t keep my grubby hands off butter!) Every time I sit down to write, I head off to the kitchen, hack off some butter, soften it under the grill for 20 seconds and gulp down this melty-golden-salty slice of heaven. And then, the writing flows easy.

What has your week been like? What does writing mean to you? Any unlikely addictions you’d like to confess to?


Do you enjoy flash fiction ?You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is making its way into the world.

It is available in India here.

Worldwide, here. In the USA, it is at 1.99 USD at the moment.

Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.

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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 forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be 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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34 Comments

  • Leslie Moon says:

    Awesome news. Excited for you!!!!

  • Buttery writing! Sweet Bitter Gourd! 😊

  • Natasha says:

    Pssstttt! I love butter too. πŸ™‚

  • Natasha says:

    Wow D! All the hardworking as paid off and like how. Bless you loads my friend. <3

    The Bitter Groud sounds delectable – "plastic rubies from a toy princess wardrobe."
    Have you kept the seeds for yonder?

    And I'm going to steal this line with due credits to you, someday:
    And that’s what writing is, "gifts that come unbidden and lie there, perfectly commonplace, in a moment of uncommon grace."

    Big love <3

  • writershilpa says:

    Go for the butter, D, if it works for you. In fact, go for anything that gets your juices flowing, and you glowing! πŸ˜›
    My week hasn’t been good on a personal level. But on the writing front, I am having a good time. I started writing horror last month and now am always searching short horror films on YOU TUBE to inspire me. I wrote a short piece last week (taking inspiration from a real life incident that took place after my mother in law passed away), and it was selected as the best horror in 100 words at the Horror tales Facebook group, The Hive. It felt wonderful…a tiny beam of light in an otherwise dark world. Sounds melodramatic, I know, but then that’s life!
    Congrats for making it to the Amazon best sellers list! So so happy for you!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      So happy about the writing triumphs you’ve been having! And a huge fat bear hug–hope things look up on the personal front soon. And yep, I don’t think butter is going away from my life anytime soon.

  • George says:

    Writing gets you somewhere in your life!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I don’t know about that, but it sure drives you insane sometimes πŸ™‚

  • Erika Beebe says:

    I agree with Alex. Little pieces of writing helps me regain hope that yes, I can spin new ideas and different characters. I love your addiction to butter by the way. Mine is peanut butter πŸ˜‰

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Erika, I used to love peanut butter, but not entirely sure why I’ve shifted my love to butter. Yes, short story subs are helping me get back to writing.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I haven’t quite got to the point of grilling my butter … yes on something … but I do occasionally lick the buttery plate to make sure all the salty goodness is enjoyed – no need to advertise my guilty indulgences! So pleased you’re writing ‘shorties’ … but I do hope the Coronavirus gets itself sorted out soon – not easy. Good luck with all the projects – cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, HIlary. my addiction is too out-of-control to keep entirely secret now. I think we all hope the same about coronavirus. We really don’t need a pandemic to add to all our troubles.

  • JT Twissel says:

    Small moment of clarity are often all we can hope for! Birds sing, writers write!

  • cynthiamvoss says:

    Congratulations on your novel, Damyanti! I’ve been away from blogging for a while so I don’t know how long it’s been, but I’m happy for you! Best wishes for continued writing.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Cynthia, so good to see you again! Thanks for the kind wishes.

  • Pam Lazos says:

    Yay for the writing, Damyanti. I don’t get the butter addiction though. ;0)

  • Unishta says:

    where does the butter go? I too feel like snacking when writing…..

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Into an alternate universe, hopefully. I need to stop before it seriously impacts my waistline!

  • Like your bittergourd illustration writing to me is the continuous surprise at how original thoughts germinate in the mind, ripen and finally reveal their bounty. πŸ™‚

  • Tiny flash pieces – I love this! This is pretty much how I operate at the moment.

  • Jacqui Murray says:

    OK, out of everything you wrote here, the butter thing really got me. I’ve never heard of that before.

    • I was wondering about that too. Was it spread on something?

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yeah, the butter thing is new, and I don’t know how I got addicted to it. It started with slab of Organic Hokkaido butter, and it hasn’t stopped–butter equals writing, these days.

      • Over Soil says:

        Best take control of that butter thing, for you don’t want to end up ballooning. Plus of course there’s the calf issue, so that might help you stop the craving and put you off that totally. Good luck.

  • Lynn Love says:

    Fantastic that you’re writing again, Damyanti. And I love your bitter gourd analogy, those little unexpected jewels.
    Writing – when it’s going well – is just a joy, my own personal pleasure, the thing I do that’s just for me. Then it goes badly – can’t concentrate, get another rejection, start dwelling on how old I am and that I’m running out of time for ‘success’ – and I wonder why I put myself through it. I soon pick myself up again, though, and really it’s just part of who I am. Well done on your continued success – fantastic

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Lynn, thanks so much for stopping by, and your comment. I identify with so much for what you say of the writing process. It is a series of crests and troughs, and I’ve decided to surf the waves. We define our success, and I’ve concluded that it is better to focus inwards than outwards.

  • That’s great it’s hitting big on different lists.
    Little pieces of writing are better than none at all. Just relax and let it come natural and just for you.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Alex. Yes, I’m just letting it come in and am in a much better place now.

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