A Post About ME


I started off by writing a major told-you-so post about #Trump and #Elections2016. Wanna read what I wrote? Head over to the bottom of this post. I’ll put it there in italics. Not that it matters. We can only look ahead now. No use, as no one in my family used to say, whining because there’s only soup and cheese toast for dinner.

No let’s talk about something interesting. Me.

I mean what could be more interesting to me, other than Me? I. Me. Mine. Yep. That’s all I want, I need, I wish to talk about. Me, moi and myself alone. And if you don’t want to talk about it with me, that’s fine too. I’m quite happy talking to myself. This is going to be one of those useless posts. You should be familiar with them by now. They do try to say something. However, as you know, by now, I say it in such a roundabout way that you get bored and turn to watch cute cat videos. Mind you, I wouldn’t watch a cat video. Cats are not cute. No. Never.

So let me be direct. I can’t write.

There! I said it. I can’t. I haven’t. I finished the play and it is just sitting there, unused, unwanted, unpromoted. I’ve been told I’m too shy to shop it around. I’m not marketing it well. I think I’m not marketing it at all. I got to the point of setting up a Kindle Direct account. I tried various draft book covers and rejected them all. A friend offered to help. She did and did a pretty good job of it. I asked for some changes. I’m supposed to send stuff to her. I haven’t.

The truth is. I’m scared. What if it is a total piece of crap? The 3 people who have read it seem not to think it is utter crap. Which means it may be a little crappy, but not totally crappy. I’m really, really wondering about what I should do. In this situation all I can do is sit around, worrying. I’ve done precisely that. It hasn’t helped. What it has done is turn off the Tap of Words completely. The Well is dry. No words come welling up. Barren. Arid. The written word eludes me. I think I may have been deluded into thinking I should write. I used to have so much fun here. Now even this blog has become a chore.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, from what I can tell, I don’t seem to have any promoters. Thus my NPS ( Net Promoter Score ) is = zero. Now, NPS is the latest, greatest thing to hit the market when you are trying to market something into your intended market. The fact that my NPS = 0 is trying. I’m trying to explain how trying it is. It’s a trial. I’m a trial… so my Beloved Bangalan says. On the happier side of this trial by promoter, the NPS runs in a range from -100 to +100. Zero really means I have no detractors. No promoters, either, as we’ve already established. Apathy runs deep here at SloWord. I mean, my readership is apathetic, not me. I’m not at all apathetic. Pathetic, maybe, but not Apathetic. I’m told I’m also not empathetic or even sympathetic.

What it means is this. I’m perfectly balanced. I suppose I should feel proud of being so well-balanced.

But I’m not. Therefore, here are some cute puppies. ( No. Cats not allowed! ).

A Maltese puppy.
A Maltese puppy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

English: Golden retriever puppy, three months ...
English: Golden retriever puppy, three months old. (Daisy Parker) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to be happy – like that cute Golden Retriever! Make me happy! Say nice things! Tell your friends ( or enemies ) to come over and say stuff at me! Tell me it’s ok! The world hasn’t gone completely bonkers! Reassure me!

Remember, though: it’s “there, there, there”. Not: “They’re, their, there”. ( Ever a grammar nut.. )

Would you like to read an excerpt from Ye Famouse Playe? To kinda help you make up your mind? Do let me know.

Please.

Thank you.

< I said I would post the election post here. Post the writing of this post, I’ve decided not to post it here. Instead, I shall post it as it’s own post. Post my posting it as it’s own post, feel free to read it. And post your comments on the post. > 

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Shameless Flamboyance!


I didn’t see it coming. It was all coming along so well. It came as a bit of shock actually. But let me back track a bit and provide some backing track to the song of my life over the  past few months.

Not quite sure what this represents, but it's made of glass....
Not quite sure what this represents, but it’s made of glass….

I used to write this blog fairly regularly. When I first started it was with the belief that I’d soon get the hang of it. As you know, I tried different styles. I had the ponderous, third person of the SloMan pondering the pond we call life. He observed the specimens in the pond and pondered on the meaning of it all. He was the first.

Then I came along as myself, writing some rather nostalgic pieces. I even inflicted poetry on the unsuspecting public. Often, I fooled them into visiting by attaching a cute kitten to the piece. Once enticed, they read the poems. Some poems actually were commended. A couple were shared on social media. A fellow blogger actually reblogged one of them on his blog. Such exciting stuff! And all that from poetry! Can you imagine the ferrous quality of the situation? ( Irony.., Iron, Fe, Ferrous .. if not chemically inclined). That was a high point. Also a low point, because I’d rather someone ( could be anyone, really, anyone at all, would you please? ) shared some of my scintillating pieces of prose. Some of them are prosaic, some are inclined to talk about my proboscis, my professional life ( or lack thereof ), none were profane, but some did talk of programming, some about my productivity struggles, some simply prolonged the post for no reason at all. Some probed the profound truths and one talked about probiotics. I’ve talked about the progress I’ve made in my goals ( none, whatsoever, thank you for your concern.) Hell, LeggieLefty has also talked about the Proteas. Quite simply, then, I have been proactive in procuring for you the best prose that my head can provide. As you can see, I have a certain proclivity or propensity towards proudly proceeding to provoke a prolonged probe into the problems facing us.

By “us”, I mean “me”. I just attended a seminar where I was told that the most important person is the room was “you”, but he pointed his finger at me. Now, before you protest ( no, I’m starting that thing again.. we’re done! I am, seriously done with that – what’s that? you prohibit me? ) Ok, well, here is the thing then, I found that I was too poetic and too ah – I don’t know, “sensitive”, maybe, in my writing? Well, we can’t have that! I can’t be seen to be “sensitive”. I’m a middle-aged, red-blooded, Punjabi male, for god’s sake! It would not be right for my idiom! Besides, there were so many things that bugged me and I needed a rant or two to every once in a while. Thus, the PeevedPunjabi, was procreated ( oops ! soooorry ..).

I’m not going to talk about LeggieLefty. LeggieLefty moons about thinking and dreaming about cricket, but his writing style is a good mix of styles. That’s me, I said. Of course, I needed proof so I looked in the mirror and I confirmed that it was indeed me. LeggieLefty looks so much like me, it’s uncanny! I checked with the PeevedPunjabi and the SloMan and would you believe it! They all could pass for me, without the benefit of dark glasses, fake Assyrian moustaches or a hair makeover! How weird is that? Identical quads, with the same glasses and identical moles, facial hair and eyebrows!

Now, the sad bits. The last few months haven’t been good to me. Business has been quite bad. All the prospective clients have proceeded to turn to dust. I haven’t been able to get any signatures on the dotted line. Things are bleak. I came close once or twice, real close, but no cigar. In protest, I proceeded to work on my writing with results that I have reported elsewhere. As they Bongs say “Jahgey! Boi ta to lekha holo!” Shall I translate? Jahgey is an exclamation that loosely means “whatever”. Boi is a book. In a singular lack of qualification, boi also means movie. Lekha is written. You get the picture…. ( At least the book got written, if still befuddled. ) Now, on the Bong need to qualify. Bongs qualify most nouns. You’re not just going to the “beach”, you’re going to the “sea beach”. A longer discussion of this phenomenon will be held over until a later post. Don’t whine! I gotta have something in reserve!

To make matters worse, the coffee machine has gone away for servicing. It’s going to be away for two whole weeks! I have to either use the Italian percolator or the French Press, which is more work than lazy ass me is usually inclined to do. When feeling really lazy, like today, and down in the dumps, I’ve even resorted to instant. Now if that isn’t plumbing the depths of coffee-snob hell I don’t know what is.

Then a certain Facebook friend, rashly promised to read the blog AND write some comments. After a delay of a day or two, during which I naturally had to prod her a few times, she read a couple of the articles here. Her prognosis?

First impressions: Funny. Interesting. Runs the gamut from self deprecating humor to shameless flamboyance. Anything but dull….makes for great reading on the long commute to and from work

Shameless flamboyance! She also labelled me a “drama queen”. But wait, there’s more!

Today, while brushing my teeth I saw it….

A tiny strand, a single tendril of hair tending towards the left of my face. On the slope of my nose.

Death, where is thy sting!

Why I talk to myself


Light in the darkness (c) Ajesh Sharma
Light in the darkness (c) Ajesh Sharma

I updated my blog recently. I don’t know that you noticed, so I am taking the logical way out and announcing it. So you know. Which you won’t if you don’t read my blog. But you are, because you’re here.

You are here, right? I’m not just talking to myself? I do that a lot, I’m told, talk to myself, I mean. I have the best conversations with myself. It’s so nice to talk to oneself and know with perfect precision exactly what you mean when you say things to yourself. No one understands me better than I do myself.

Except, of course, I don’t understand myself very well. Is it really possible to know one self – completely, deeply? Do we hide our deepest secrets from ourselves? Facing up to what you actually are, how you really feel, why you react the way you do is hard. Most people don’t even attempt it or know that they should. Some don’t believe it is necessary or productive at all.

Yet, there are plenty of tests that try to map your personality and predict your reaction to situations. They describe it under normal situations and under stress. I went through some of those issues in a previous post and you can read it if you wish to get a sense of how I scored on many of those tests. They fascinate me. I’ve been fascinated with them from the time that HJ Eyesenck IQ book came into my life as a teenager. I have done those IQ tests multiple times and have consistently scored in the 120-130 range. Which means one of two things: Either I do those tests well or I’m quite bright in the brains department. Clearly these tests are bogus. I’m ( empirically proven ) terrible at tests and not particularly bright. I can string a sentence together okay and I can stand and give presentations, but does that mean I’m bright? I’m not sure it does.

Here is a very interesting tidbit I found on the internet. Yes, on the internet, so it’s completely trustworthy. ( http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/intelligence.html )

Q group……. less than 75 75 to 90 90 to 110 110 to 125 125 and higher
% of total population 5% 20% 50% 20% 5%
% of group out of labor force more than one month out of the year 22% 19% 15% 14% 10%
% of group unemployed more than one month out of the year (men) 12% 10% 7% 7% 2%
% of group divorced within five years 21% 22% 23% 15% 9%
% of group that had illegitimate children (women) 32% 17% 8% 4% 2%
% of group that lives in poverty 30% 16% 6% 3% 2%
% of group ever incarcerated (men) 7% 7% 3% 1% 0%
% of group that are chronic welfare recipients (mothers) 31% 17% 8% 2% 0%
% of group that drop out of high school 55% 35% 6% 0.4% 0%

I see there is a 6% chance that I have some illegitimate children somewhere out there. It’s been more than 5 years since I’ve been married, so I guess I’m not in the 24% who get divorced within 5 years of marriage.

Here is a shout out to any possible illegitimate children – call me! Use the Contact me page here and send me an email. I’d love to see what I ( possibly ) created or helped to create.

By now, you’re wondering: why does he talk to himself? I don’t really have an answer to that. What? You expected an well-reasoned response to that question? Google says, universally, that people who talk to themselves are geniuses. Which is really, really funny, because I’ve been called many things in my life, but never a genius! But, like I said, it’s on the internet, so it’s gotta be true!

The other question you had, probably, was: “Update? What update?”

That’s easy to answer. I added a new menu item that links to an Awards page.

Now you have had ALL your questions answered. Or all the questions I thought you had. Which is almost the same thing, except that it’s not. It could be. But most probably not. You could still be wondering why the chicken crossed the road. Well, the answer is very simple.

To get there first, before the egg.

Stocktaking


DSC_4147
Stocklight (c) Ajesh Sharma. Do not copy or reuse.

Stock taking is the business of figuring what you do have on hand. There was a time in my life when I was fooled into thinking I should be an accountant. I spent many a time walking around in 38c weather in sunny and shadeless factories, with a tape measure and a piece of chalk, measuring steel sheets baking in the hot sun, or counting nuts and bolts in a hot stock room and comparing my numbers against the ledgers. Luckily for the world of accountants and accountancy, I found it “dull, deadly dull” and I dropped out, turned on and tuned in to the world of technology.

If you’re thinking technology lucked out, you may be mistaken. My technology career has been long, but not necessarily brilliant. right now, I live on the fringe of technology. Not quite in and not quite out. I believe that’s what “they” call “living on the edge”. How so, you don’t ask? I know you don’t, so it is quite fruitless to deny it. You have no interest in what I do for a living. However, I’m well known, to me, as a kindly soul, so I shall tell you what I do for a living.

Well, the truth is, “Not Much”. Yes, I don’t do much. Every once in a while some kindly, well-meaning person hires my brain and I go off to build something, and / or teach people how to do their jobs better. Otherwise, I sit around writing rubbish like this and worry about what this blog looks like.

For the past month, I’ve not even worried about the blog much. I told you already, back in this rant article that this blog may suffer from lack of attention. And I was right. You should have expected it, because I told you so. However, I feel it is not really fair to ignore you. Yes, I’ve also not been reading your blogs. In fairness, though, I haven’t read any blogs at all. So no one has been singled out.

I’ve been stressed out about The Play. It now has a tentative name. It’s called “Choice”. Maybe “A Matter of Choice”. Until something better comes along I shall use that. I’m now in cycle 4 or 5 of edits and it’s mindboggling how many simple things hit you in the face after weeks away from it. So many moments, where I look at the words and go “Oh really? That’s so corny!” Sometimes, there are typos, double words, “is is”, and the stage directions are very time consuming. The business of making the actors move to suit the story is hard! If the dialogues were hard, the stage sets and directions are exponentially harder. Then there is the issue of finding takers for it. I suppose the best way forward would be copyright it and publish on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Might even earn me a cent or two, if someone actually downloads it.

Then there is the Memoirs, Vol 1. I’ve taken some of the stories you may have already read, and mixed them up with a lot of stuff you haven’t and created a volume that chronicles my life in India. This is now about 50,000 words long and will grow another 10k – 20k before I start editing. I think the ultimate length will be around 60-65k or about 130 pages. Short and to the point, you know. After all, it does cover 37 years of my life.

One of the things you should start seeing on this blog is some stories about my life in Canada. This is not something I’ve covered much so far, so you have that wonderful bit to look forward to. Once I’m done with the 2 things above, I shall work on Vol 2 of the Memoirs – focusing on my life in North America.

I have also, 2 or 3 short stories lying around. Neglected, these may see some work being done on them in the later part of the year. Possibly, by Christmas, I shall have enough to create a collection of shorts.

The there is fan fiction, based on characters from Enid Blyton’s stories. Two chapters already exist on this blog, labelled, for some odd reason, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I plan to post these on the blog directly. Freebies! The germ of the mystery comes from a certain situation some European friends told me once. Then the story itself pits erstwhile antagonists as partners charged with solving the mystery. Along the way, you will see references to a past incident that was instrumental in bringing them together. How will those children handle grown up life? How do they deal with the issues of working with people with whom they’ve had major conflicts? Find out more on this blog!

This then is the stock at hand. Stay tuned for further information. I’d like to know what else you’d like to see here:

  • Travel trips – France, Upstate NY, Quebec, Saskatoon, Cuba, Cruises ?
  • Recipes – More easy sandwiches, soups, curries?
  • Rants – The Age of Superlatives, Polar Opposites, The Orange Republican, The State of God?
  • Feelgood – Upliftment ( 🙂 )
  • Wonder – Fakes and Conspiracies.

Let me know!

Redesign and a reunification


Thermometer-lazy-3
Thermometer-lazy-3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, you will notice immediately that the look of the blog has changed a wee bit.

Change log:

  1. The color purple has been replaced by a more sombre grey.
  2. Click on Home and see a brand new Featured Posts Slider. Amazing, eh?
  3. The 3 most recent posts appear in a separate band between that Amazing Slider and the rest of the posts. Just a minor bit of enhancements to keep you interested…. and on your toes.
  4. A long lost brother is back from exile! Yes, indeed, we felt bad that we had banished Leggielefty to an outhouse. We’ve kissed and made up and made him welcome back here again. We’ve given him his own page here. Now all he has to do is get off his lazy ass ( like the rest of the contributors here he is also notoriously lazy. Not surprising, actually, since he also resides in the same lazy body as the rest of them…) Don’t forget to check out his page and read some of the posts you mahe missed! I know! You probably meant to miss them. But now there is no excuse…. you don’t have to go to another blog. It’s all right here, in this here very blog!

Actually, since this body is lazy… maintaining 2 blogs was painful 🙂 🙂

I do hope you like the new changes. Do let me know, won’t you?

Enjoy!

How to write a story


Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...
Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth realms) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (Not sure why this appeared as a likely candidate for this post…. so, I thought, why the hell not?

It’s been a long standing ambition of mine to write a novel, or a story of some kind, put it in a book and have it published. I actually started writing a book in 2010 or 2011. After a few hundred words were written I began to wonder what it was I was really doing.

Many questions came up. Was it an autobiography? I decided it would be best to start with that, as actual events would be easier to describe than to make them up. If it was an autobiography then what format was I going to use? Was I going to fictionalize it? Or just hand it out, plain and simple? How was I going to deal with unpleasant events, facts? How would I Continue reading “How to write a story”

Daniels come to judgement!


We’re a judgemental lot, we are. I’m no sociologist, and far too lazy to research it, but it may be that making judgements is at the root of homo sapien’s instinct for survival. In the modern era, with the interweb weaving it’s magical tendrils all around us and enabling snappy judgements, we are more enmeshed than ever before. I’ve seen some bloggers and other writers talking about their friends, enemies and the world and I’m on Facebook too. So, of course, I wanted to weigh in on it. As I see it, judgement is everywhere; here, there and everywhere, if I may steal a song title from The Beatles. Continue reading “Daniels come to judgement!”

The Second Irregular SloWord Awards


OK, 2015 has now been consigned to history. 2016 shall prove historic, too. For the US, which means, of course, the World. In 2016, I expect either a pant-wearing lady President ( I’m getting the vapours just thinking about it…) or another republican chump, this time one without a name called Bush, but with hair like a groomed bush and a name like Trump.

Enough of the light-hearted political banter, guaranteed to make you squirm. On with the award show. Today, Continue reading “The Second Irregular SloWord Awards”

5 Great Passages


From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers - that's life....
From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers – that’s life….

Well, 2015 is almost over and it is time to take a look back. I decided to dig through and collect some quotes. The best of the best. From this blog, of course. Didn’t you know? I’m modest to a fault. It’s probably my greatest virtue, modesty is. uh… one other thing… I may not restrict myself to 5. After all, this is such a great blog, full of the wittiest writing ever written in my basement. ( See “modesty”, above. ). So here we are. First the quote, then some plug.. uh background information. Continue reading “5 Great Passages”

A Week of Achievements


Is it Thursday? Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun. So what have I done so far?

1. Completely redesigned and reengineered the Continue reading “A Week of Achievements”