My Book Launch – A mom’s perspective

The frenzy started a week before the launch when the Chief Guest confirmed availability. The realisation struck me that my book launch was just a week away. And there was still a lot to do.

 

My son came to me, “Mom, can we please have a match of chess?” I said, “please, can it wait till after the launch?” My 5 year old came and asked me sweetly, “mom can you please make my favourite sweet?” I hugged her but just had to say, “babe, can it wait for a week, you know mom is busy for the launch, right?” and she complied.

 

It was all about the launch. The moment was building up. A week to go. ‘To do’ list was never ending. Invites done, Nourooz table done, speech prepared, days just flew…  Backdrop was yet to be done. A night before, I realised, we had not finalised a photographer. The day finally arrived and I had no MC. A friend came to the rescue….last minute changes….. adrenaline rush…  my mind went blank. Guests arrived, and I just floated… friends, more friends, relatives, guests, press and VIPs all came almost simultaneously. I couldn’t keep control of people I greeted. I got into an autopilot mode. Our brains are programmed to operate in such a mode in an event of an emergency. I experienced it. The next moment, I found myself sitting with the chief guest discussing Iran and blink, I was on stage. It all happened in super fast forward motion. And within a flash, it was all over.  Speeches over. Book unveiled. Friends flocked for autographed copies. TV interviews. And then, just as the ballroom had filled with people it got empty again…. and it hit me, what rises to the brim depletes again…. and with that awareness, my BP plummeted…. but with a relief, it was all over and all went off well.

 

Now I needed myself back, back from that autopilot mode. But couldn’t yet. I couldn’t afford to. Not yet. As the  launch got over, my 5 year old came up to me and asked, “mama is your launch now over?”  I said, “yes baby.” She smiled and said, “so now can you make my favourite sweet for me?” I couldn’t help my tears. I knew everyone around me had taken a toll at my hands. I put an end to it when the event gets over. But till then, nothing can defocus me. Obsession, perfection, focus, you can call it whatever you want. But as the event or task at hand comes closer, my focus gets on the target, and surroundings get blurred. A task may be as minor as completing a self imposed deadline of 500 words, yet, it’s a commitment. So, at that time, I hugged her tight and told her. “Yes babe. I can!” and her eyes widened, and a bright smile sparkled her naughty eyes and spread from one corner of her face to another brightening me too and squeezing all my exhaustion away. That’s my energiser smile. My destress hug and a destress kiss from my 5 yr old.

 

So the next two days, I belonged only to my kids. No meetings, no interviews, just nothing. A well deserved time together. The much awaited chess matches between me and my son and girls cheering me up. A much requested sweet for my baby. A quite dinner – just me and my kids. Aah that drained me and I had to head back to my MacBook to write. So having spent time together, I have earned two hours of writing time. And a day to lock myself off from the world. To find my words again. To focus on my next book.

 

MY PARADISE

A step
at a time
I tread.
Dive deep 
then arise
to absorb my paradise!

My soul alive,
enriched…
but
am I pleasantly disguised,
as I live my paradise?

I imbibe the nuzzle
akin a kiss
a brush against my skin
of this warm
summer wind!
A deep breath
of praise
as serenity exhaled!
For yet another
trice
savored in my paradise!

Building Characters

For a while, I have been wondering how to bring my characters to life. I want them to react the way each one of us does. Make them more believable, livable. Tonight is strange. I woke up about an hour back, when it was still 3 am and kept thinking of certain issues at hand. Just can’t go back to sleep. Whether it is the issue at hand or the double doze of antibiotics I am on, difficult to identify.
What’s interesting is the learning from the past hour, when I let my mind toy with various thoughts that crossed my mind. I am sure, this learning can be quite natural to a few of you, or maybe, well learnt as a part of some writing course, by few others out there, but for me, it was a lightening.
I realised that the characters behave out of their own experience. We need to create that experence around them for them to behave the way we want them to. If I want my character to take everything casually, I need to have his/her childhood experience or maybe some close people around them that would condition their thinking in that direction.
It is imperetive that we have a background that is a perfect match to our charater’s reactions. I cannot have a character who is happy-go-lucky when I am showing that the entire childhood of my charater was spent in turmoil and amidst violent parents.
These character traits are obvious, for some, but then, once we learn from our own experience, we know how valid they are. If I have a character who is timid, I need to have a reason for her to be that way.
Also, some of this backround can be withheld and revealed as the story unfolds, at a point where the antagonist realises the motive of the protagonist, or at a self-actualizing state.
It’s amazing, how sometimes, we get ideas at the most unexpected times of the day. I had to get up and write this and now I am off to bed again….