Of A Week in My Writing Room and My Views on the ‘Room’ Without A View…

The last post was like, I’ll be back in a week, with half a dozen chapters of my novel written (owing to the solitary confinement and zero networking). And it’s been a long break, but I have been back on FB early but just didn’t turn the corner to blog.

To explain my absence (if you give a damn, that is, LOL), let me tell you what I did. ๐Ÿ™‚ I took a silent break after the last post. I wasn’t updating the networks, nor writing any poetry. And I reduced talking to friends and texting and chatting. It was more like I talked only about my writing and talked with the specific readers who are giving me feedback, wrote to them. For two days I didn’t have internet connection itself. I made a kind of Room in my head. Where it was just Me and Words and occasionally some talk about my writing. Just like Jack and Ma in Room (Talking about that later in this post, scroll down.)
What I was trying to do was gather all my distracted and distorted thoughts from all those space out there that stole my attention and bring it to a focus. To the file titled ‘Manuscript‘ in the folder ‘Amidst Sandcastles‘. It had been stuck at Chapter 22 and the gaping gap was disturbing, even a bit fatally painful. I began writing this novel in June 2010 and it’s well past one and a half years since that and I am not done with it. So I had to do something.

Like setting the last date of June 2012. If I finish it by then, good. Otherwise, I might never finish it, because new ‘titles’ are emerging in my head every week and this started feeling a little bit stale. Finishing it before I got bored of the whole plot – it’s been in my head for too long – is the point.
However, things worked out according to my plan. Well, half of the things worked out. ๐Ÿ˜€ On the third evening, I took out the notepad in which I had written a paragraph about Hope. I copied it to a new word file and added another paragraph and mailed it to twoย  close friends. Heslin said she was waiting to read that new book that was emerging now. Elias as usual criticised about the detachment between the two paragraphs (natural since I wrote it at two different times) but he also added that he would kill me if I didn’t use this part I wrote in some book in future. Such a threatening encouragement that I had no choice but to start dreaming about that book and recently I began that one… ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks Elias. But for that, I have to get the first one done and there, the writers’ block fell down smoothly….
That evening, I completed chapter 22, jumped to 23, wrote it the next day (of course, broke my back in the chair late into the night) and a day later, I did 24, which was such a joy to write. And the passion was back, the fire burning… And then passed on the chapters to my friend, who’s keeping up with my novel as I write it. And I was half way through 25 and the block returned…….. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But that was last week, because of hearing about the impending exams on 23rd. I completed that chapter yesterday, after a 2-days’ break. And it feels good. But now I have to take a break for the Abominable Exams (AE). It is definitely not in my plans to score well, maybe just pass, but observing my own progress with the textbooks this week, I have put off the idea of passing the papers to the next semester.
Ask me why, I will tell you.
Materia Medica – 86 drugs (Have never read half of it.)
Gynaecology – 15 chapters
Obstetrics – 15 chapters
Surgery – I have a list of all those ridiculously extravagant topics that sound serious but I don’t know how many chapters they make.
The fourth subject isn’t a problem, ’cause I have time to check it out later.

And there are just 15 more chapters to go in my novel. So which one is easy? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, writing is. I am not saying it is easy work, but it’s enjoyable hard work. But anyway, I am pausing it for now. Until may be the theory papers are done.

Then what else happened that week? Read ‘Firefly Lane’ by Kristin Hannah. Another of her heartwrenching, bittersweet stories. ๐Ÿ™‚ I started missing my best friends from school like hell. (Yes, you two, Haya and Heslin.)

This week, I read another book. A powerful one. Room by Emma Donoghue. And I am speechless because I have a number of things to say about it and it would still be not enough. Let me just say one thing: if you haven’t read it yet, read it soon. It was nominated for the Man Booker Prize and has received other awards and it was worth every award it got. I see a lot of negative reviews and kind of low rating for the book among some readers, but what I have to say to them is what I just commented on a negative review of Room in a blog I just read. Here it goes:

“Well, I guess you need to be a deeper reader to appreciate Room. ๐Ÿ™‚ It might be uneasy to read about Jack ‘having some’ and such things, but the unease was intended by the author, no doubt. But Jack isn’t a brat, not a very perfect kid but he was lovable because he was just that- a human kid with tantrums, curiosity and cute ideas and all that. The exposure to the Outside he lacks can be very much understood from his thoughts. But there are some things that really only the innocence of a kid can see through. When we listen to what Jack has to say when he experiences the Outer world, a good reader can realize how complicated we humans make life. And his innocent, naive observations convey the truth about it which the too busy human race miss out in the process of growing up and living. And I don’t know if every mother and child would have done something like Ma did with Jack in similar situations. Because you forget that everyone are different. Some may not have welcomed the very idea of having her captor’s child like Ma did. Some would have just ended their life with something. Emma Donoghue creates two individual characters here with all their specialties and differences of having had a life in ‘Room’.

Lastly, you’re not intended to feel sorry for them, like Ma herself says to TV show anchor. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are intended to just take the journey with Jack and you will know it wasn’t that irksome. ๐Ÿ™‚
Look a little Inside of the Outside. :)”

I just love the thoughts Jack has when he sees the world for the first time after being born, at five. Here are some Excerpts and Jack’s thoughts.

Driving home I see the playground but itโ€™s all wrong, the swings are on the opposite side.

โ€œOh, Jack, thatโ€™s a different one,โ€ says Grandma. Thereโ€™s playgrounds in every town.โ€

Lots of the world seems to be a repeat.

Another one:ย maybe Iโ€™m a human but Iโ€™m a me-and-Ma as well.

And: โ€œRight. Whatโ€™s new?โ€

โ€œEverything,โ€ I say.

That makes her laugh, I donโ€™t know why. โ€œHave you been having fun?โ€

โ€œThe sun burned my skin off and a bee stinged me.โ€

So, back to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week, I had been downloading and hunting for ebooks. Two days ago, I happened to come across a best-selling author’s books. Emily Griffin is the author of the books Something Borrowed (which was adapted to a movie with the same title), Something Blue, Baby Proof, etc. (I didn’t know Something Borrowed was a book. All these are in to-read list for now.) So, I was checking out her website which is very interesting, too. And in the advice to the new writers out there, she said, “First, stop referring to yourself as an ‘aspiring writer’. You might aspire to get paid for what you do, but you are a writer if you writeโ€ฆ” The first thing I did after reading that was removing the word “Aspiring” from all my author bios on the Internet that I remembered. From my website, blog, Goodreads Author page and Fan Page. ๐Ÿ˜€ (Kindly notify me if you see that anywhere else.) I have never felt so damn confident by another author’s advice! So here I am: as a writer to take the full swing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not an aspiring one. But a dreaming, working one.

Let me wind up with a thought I had some time in the past week of self-isolation.

“You are not You, at least, not until you know what you want.”

Does that make any sense to you? Well, like I told Elias today, not everything has to make sense always. ๐Ÿ™‚

Just enjoy the joy of nonsense once in a while. ๐Ÿ™‚ You will cherish the memory at some point of time when you are all old and grey and a non-walkie-only-talkie.

Day before yesterday, I found out a new obsession I have – making book titles. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have twelve titles ready to be books now, in a folder. Crazy but interesting fact is- the twelve titles are of one month each. ๐Ÿ˜€ From January to December. A title for each month. Sounds funny, kind of series-like. But it’s not, I think. Anyway, it’s good to have titles for our dreams. And that’s an advantage writers have (over the ordinary). ๐Ÿ˜€ Being able to title their dreams.

The next on my huge to-read book shelf is The Glass Castle. It’s a memoir by an American Columnist Jeanette Walls. Thought I will give it a go. Like I said on New Year’s Eve, I am reading more books this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am keeping up to it. I have already read two books before the AE came (Dunno what AE is? Attention test failed. Scroll all the way up again).

So, bye-bye for today and some more days. This was a long post but I have been away for too long. Sorry for dragging, but I had to do this if I am to settle down with my textbooks at last, with just two days ahead.

Love Always, Sana

P.S. I have plans for some fun with you. How do you like some talk? I welcome you to post any question in the Guest Book here, or in my website. Anything you want to know (well, except may be my phone number). ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wondering why? Well, I have a good reason. We’ll discuss that there. So goodnight… ๐Ÿ™‚


About Sana Rose

A medico in love with the pen since 13. Author of 'The Torrent from My Soul: Poems of A Born Dreamer'. Have more collections awaiting publication. Still gliding my pen to discover new horizons in poetry. Writing fiction, too, with a passion in Family and Relationships genre. Has a thing or two for matters of the human mind and heart. When not envisaging a story, photography seems interesting. Based in Calicut, Kerala - India.
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4 Responses to Of A Week in My Writing Room and My Views on the ‘Room’ Without A View…

  1. Sana Rose says:

    Oopz! The very bio at the bottom of the blogpost says I am an aspiring writer. *Changing that.* ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Bethann says:

    Thanks so much for your thought provoking comments on my blog post about Room! I really enjoyed reading your perspective on the novel. I get where you are coming from, but for me, Donoghue just didn’t strike those chords properly. You say that “[w]hen we listen to what Jack has to say when he experiences the Outer world, a good reader can realize how complicated we humans make life.” While I enjoy the fact that you are putting some onus on the reader (we all too often fail to do that in this world of instant gratification and entertainment!) I felt that as an author, Donoghue failed to convey those sentiments to me as a reader. I liked the ideas I felt she was trying to propound, but I don’t think she is skilled enough as an artist and writer to hammer them home…for me anyway. Of course everyone will receive art and literature in their own way and she just didn’t capture it for me. My feelings for Ma and Jack flip flopped between feeling sorry and feeling annoyed, two emotions I really don’t think the author was going for. I’m not a kid person but occasionally an author creates a kid character that just feels real to me (I have to review True Grit at some point – I love Mattie Ross!). Jack to me felt forced and childish and a bit flat. He and Ma just didn’t stir in me the kind of emotional response I believe Donoghue intended to evoke. It was an engaging read, however, which is more than can be said for a lot of books. I did pick up Slammerkin just the other day, so I will give her another shot! I look forward to reading more of your reviews!

  3. Sana Rose says:

    Thanks for coming by, Beth, ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, yeah, if the emotion the author tried to evoke in us is to be something near to tears or feeling a lump in the throat, she hasn’t done that. I wasn’t emotionally evoked by the book either. I have read real emo and Kristin Hannah rules the tear glands and throat lumps. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Donoghue’s writing – I’m not up to rate it yet, since I’m a writer, too, and this won’t be how I would’ve told the story if I were to write it. I’ve yet to read her other works. This book can’t be taken to rate her writing style since it progresses mostly through conversation. And yeah, that too, a kid’s. But much of the observations in the book wouldn’t have been possible, had the narrator been Ma or an older child, say 10 years old. Of course, this piece of writing had its limits from the beginning itself. And the emotion we expect in our own heart may never come. I was amused by the characters and the situation rather than feel for them. Maybe my view came out like this because I never expected it to be heartwrenching or painful. The story might have been emotional if the characters, esp. Ma, had a past that was vividly explained in the story. It’s absent. So there’s no scope for any tissue-grabber-scenes in this. It’d never work in a story told in Jack’s POV either. In fact, the author itself had to be in a kind of literary Room to write this stuff, what with all the limits! This isn’t the best novel I read so far, but I think it was a challenge the author took and did okay. And worth a try for readers.

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