Book 9: Saras and the Superstar – DONE!

Comment 1 Standard

Plot: Can Saras the School cat become friends with and help the troubled Superstar the theatre cat?

Words: 9923

Status: THE END! For CBC 12×12, 9 books completed, 3 to go!

Lessons learnt from this month’s chapter book:

1.The story is about a studious, stuck up school cat and an uneducated cat living in the neighbourhood movie theatre. So I had an absolutely smashing time writing about my opinions on Indian education system and the movie culture in Chennai. I also had to be careful not to sound too manic or prejudiced, so it took some effort to get that balance.


Two enemy cats

2. I had to make a trip again to the stretch between Srinivasa theatre and the Oxford school in West Saidapet, to get the “setting” right. Of course, the book is purely from my imagination but I have borrowed the setting :). It was a headache to do this on a hot day, but ultimately it helped me in getting a lot of details accurate.

3. What do you do when you decide to bury the hatchet and extend an olive branch to your enemy, but the other person is not interested to meet you mid-way? Writing about this dilemma actually soothed a lot of old hurts in my own life. And that’s why they say writing heals the wounds of both the mind and the body.

This concludes the first 3 books of the series… I had ideas for more, but am not going to pursue them until I sell these three first. Tall order, much? Hope springs eternal!


How Teaching Makes You Better at DOING

Leave a comment Standard

That old age – Those who can’t, teach – annoys me. I do a lot in my life, with the time I have in my hands, with the brain God has given me. And I love to teach. Does that make me a loser? I hope NOT!

Now, I am not saying I have academic credentials to teach (I probably never will, since I am now wired to only write, not study!) but I have several years’ experience in my field of expertise and it warms my heart to help others who are at the bottom of the ladder. Just my bit to make their journey a little easier.

Not only that, every time I hold a workshop, I learn something new from the participants. I am always amazed when that happens – the teacher becomes the student. The synergy happens, and its both humbling and exhilarating. In my opinion, if every qualified person in India tries to mentor just one fledgling under his wing, we would be a super power in no time.

Right, so that fantasy aside, here is an article on why How Teaching Makes You Better at DOING. It’s by Sudipta Barden-Quellen, an accomplished children’s writer and my old batch mate from the 2004 Highlights Conference in New York. Enjoy!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

IMG_5422 (1)It’s back to school season here in New Jersey (or, outside Philadelphia, as I typically refer to it) and that means big changes in my household. All summer, my kids and I are bums. We hang out at the beach, at the pool, at the mall. We travel, we sleep in, we do nothing. Summer is heaven.

But come September, my children’s lives change. Gone are the no schedule, no stress days and in their place we have wake up alarms, agenda books, and deliverables (and, it seems, a LOT of laundry!). The kids aren’t the only ones who go back to school—as a children’s book author, the school year means that I go back to school as well.

Every year, between school visits, Skype visits, and events like Dot Day or World Read Aloud Day, I connect with about 100 different schools all around the world…

View original post 1,070 more words