• Monday, May 5, 2014
  • Only one thing to do.

    Not for the first time, I find myself 80% of the way towards my deadline, with a big chunk of work done, only to find that the very foundation of my project doesn’t work. And I have to start over. From the top. When I thought I was nearing the finish line. When I barely have any time left.

    So what do I have to do?

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    When I’m scared, I remind myself that this is the ONE thing I can do well. The one thing I CAN do well. I can be hopeless in almost all other parts of my life (I just had to sell my car and so came face-to-face with the depths of my incompetence several times over the course of a week) but I can do THIS. And I’m going to be fucking brilliant and pull this fucking thing off.

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013
  • Make gifts for people

    A couple of things-

    My play ‘Monkey Love’ will have a reading (a 30 minute excerpt) as part of Ingenue Theatre’s Short Plays: South Asia festival in the exotic land of Brooklyn.

    As part of the promos, they asked for a brief thing about what inspires me to write. So I wrote this.

    Sometimes I fancy myself an invisible anthropologist.

    I was born in San Jose, CA, and moved to Chennai, India when I was nine. I lived in India till I was 20, and currently live in Los Angeles, but even today, I can’t quite figure out what ‘home’ is, exactly.

    I grew up in India always feeling a bit like an alien- but an invisible one. I looked like everyone else for the first time in my life, but somehow I couldn’t relate to the people around me. I was a stranger on the inside, and no one could tell.

    Here, of course, I’m a minority, but in one of the most diverse cities in the country, a place where most people come to, not leave from. I’m different, but in Los Angeles, that lets me blend in.

    And so I observe. Whether in India, hiding behind the way I look, or in LA, just another out-of-towner among many. I’m an invisible anthropologist. Always one step removed.

    And so, I write.

    And here’s what I discovered a few days ago through my friend Chitra on Facebook, that I absolutely love. I love this. This is everything.

    MAKE GIFTS FOR PEOPLE

    A Nice Indian Boy in particular was a labour of love. I wanted to gift the play to my parents. I wrote with them in mind, and with the excitement and anticipation of sharing it with them. It is my gift to them, in the only way I can make one. Through this play I hoped to show them that I not only loved them, but that I respected them, and that I understood them- and understood myself. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and it’s a gift to the two people I love most.

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
  • Find Untold Stories

    Find untold stories, things that fascinate you, and do your best to tell them honestly. There’s so little truth in the world these days, any small morsel of it is a precious thing that will be appreciated, and find a grateful audience.

    Don’t look for “big” stories, just look for ones that matter to you. The more you work at it, the better your work will be, and the more people will see it.

    -Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing.

    From http://lifehacker.com/5983834/how-we-work-alan-henrys-favorite-gear-and-productivity-tricks

  • Wednesday, February 6, 2013
  • Swallowed Fire

    Last night I got to meet Callie Kimball, whom I’ve known through Twitter for maybe almost three years now, and as with most of my online friends it just felt so natural and easy to talk to her in person. I also got to go for the reading of her play ‘Swallowed Fire’ done by the Absolute LA Theatre company in NoHo. This is the second reading in a row I really enjoyed myself at. So funny, so charming, so sweet, so melancholy. A woman goes down in a submarine and is forced to confront her worst fear in that underwater, claustrophobic space- her mother (in a box). The love triangle in the submarine was so delicious, so much fun, I want to write something like that too. Soon. It’s a work-in-progress, so I emailed her my thoughts later, and the structure of her piece made me think of the structure of A Nice Indian Boy- the importance of the launch, the inner life of the protagonist, and how far you can push them.

    The reading was produced by Callie’s Twitter friends too. The Internet is such a wonderful thing.

    The curator of the awesome site Dark, Lovely and South Asian shared this quote on Facebook today, and it kind of blew me away. I’ve been struggling with artistic statements for grant applications for the past couple of weeks, and this quote comes along and just… says it.

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    “You guys know about vampires? You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, ‘Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?’ And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”

    – Junot Diaz, Speaking to students at Bergen Community College

  • Wednesday, June 6, 2012
  • Stuff to tell myself.

    The Secret To Writing?

    And as I do that, I tell myself this…

    Pep talk: Your supply of creativity is bottomless, so trust that, when you’re ready to work, honest inspiration will flow. You have a real knack for this and, by virtue of your natural talent, you’re miles ahead of any imagined competition. This skill of yours can be summoned again and again and, the more that you use it, the more powerful and precise it will become. You’re the real thing and don’t you forget it.

    Today remind yourself: I have it in me.

    From Daily Pep Talk.