Quotes from famous authors about writing

“Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.”
— Louis L’Amour

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
— Ray Bradbury

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’
— Toni Morrison

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”
— Neil Gaiman

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
— John Steinbeck

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
— Ray Bradbury

Me and Mr. Claus

I enjoyed the writer’s take on this topic and would like to share this post.

The Gad About Town

I know Santa Claus, which I know sounds like a tall tale …

I do not remember the moment I learned that the many Misters and Missuses Claus that we encountered in person or saw on TV were “not real”; the fact that there was no “a-ha” moment leads me to assume that I never bought the story. Maybe so, maybe not. There is at least one photo of my sister and me in a “portrait with Santa,” and I remember the typical session. I knew, just knew, that the fellow was not Santa, and I did not feel betrayed by this; I knew it was a guy overheating indoors in a snowsuit for reasons related to “things grown-ups do.” It did not make much sense to me, to be a grown-up wearing a snowsuit indoors, but I did not envy adults the many things that they did, said, claimed…

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46 years down, anything to show ?

I am 46 years old today. I have completed 46 years on this planet.  I often wonder, when I go, will I have left my mark on this planet ?

Perhaps not. Because as far as notability goes, I have done nothing that would make me famous or will make people remember me, when I am gone.

To ensure that people remember those who are dead, in many cultures, children are named for their grandparents in the hope that at least the grandparents’ memory will live through the names bequeathed on the grandchildren. Little do these toddlers know who or what their namesakes lived for.

In the past almost half century, i have I think been a good human being. I have tried to love myself, often unsuccessfully its true, but have never once felt wanting in love. Till I was 16, I was covered and smothered with love- the love of my parents, while in their care, which continues to this day. I have had a blessed childhood, filled with fun and security and the knowledge that there were kind-hearted parents who wanted me to be the best human being I could be.

As a college student, after I left home, I was less-than- average as a medical student but managed to pass all exams by the skin of my teeth, but pass I did. I have never once had to repeat a paper or go to that dreaded batch called the “B” batch. I have been ragged and bullied but when it came to my turn as a “senior” to bully, I did not bully. I feel in the college I studied in, I tried to bring about change and show them as true Christians, no ragging is justifiable. I am proud of this achievement of mine.

After marriage, I have had a lot of difficult times, balancing my career and my home- every time a choice had to be made, I chose the latter. I know that people have looked at me with pity, seeing the years go by, without anything to show for them but my two children and my family. It took a toll on my health and my self care too. Food became a solace for me. There were times when though I chose my home, my mind and soul, used to think of all that I could have done, had I not married or had children when I did. I love my children and my family but sometimes, because I have been trained as a physician, I regretted not having pursued my career ambitiously and made a ” name” for myself. Today I have a 22 year old who is on her way to becoming a doctor herself and I pride myself in the fact that she has passed all her exams, without resorting to cheating or copying. Copying is rampant in the educational system she studies under. I think her stand on this and on so many other issues is testimony to her strong faith in herself and her God.

Today I have a job, after a 2 year break- yes, it has been confirmed and I am back in the workforce again. I had been written off 2 years ago, because of my decision to voluntarily quit a potentially abusive job situation. But by the grace of God and the support of strangers, I have been led back to work. I earn well today.

I am able to take work place bullying by the horns and am able to look a bully in the eye and tell her( so far), to go away and that is no mean achievement.

If I could do something differently in the past 46 years, I would have chosen not to have taken the path of dependency on food for all my ills. Perhaps a lot of the issues I faced might have been thwarted that way. If I had gone off food instead of gone on to food during my troubled times, perhaps my life would have been different. But one thing I am sure of, through everyone of my years and the happenings of my life, through every thick and thin, I have had the guidance and support of my God who has kept me from hurting myself, even though I fell. i have gotten through the toughest of tough situations, but I have not faced any lasting harm. So much so that I can truly say, even though I walk or will walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil for I know a greater force than any on earth is there with me.

For the next year, I hope it will be filled with fun-filled days, with new and wonderful friends, strength and courage to stand up to wrongdoing and an ability to speak up for myself. Today my husband gave me the greatest gift he could ever have given me : he said, that I inspired him to deal with people without fear and with integrity and he said that it has made him love himself more. That I felt was the biggest compliment any human being could have given me.

I will try to be a good friend to all people I deal with on a daily basis and try not to think evilly of those who do me harm.

The pope and climate change

What a message to give the world ! I was watching a CNN news program by Christiane Amanpour, where she was reviewing a statement or treatise released by the Pope on this issue. He said the earth was “one massive pile of filth.”

i am so glad that someone with so much of influence on the world has brought this up and hope that some change will happen in people’s attitudes and behaviour because of the beliefs of the pope.

The pope must have meant it metaphorically, I feel. In an outward way, he wanted the world cleaned and spruced up so it can look shiny and clean but perhaps he meant that human hearts and souls, behaviour, thoughts, deeds and all such. Just think if we could extrapolate this into our lives.

In my life, I would want to clean up my addictions- to sugar, to depressive thoughts, to lack of self-confidence thoughts and so much more. If I am confident and love myself, it will be easy to make the world love me for what I am.

If I am a bully, it would do me good to love myself and change me, before I try to change others.

If I were a reckless driver, how amazing it would be if I could make my own driving safe, before I ask others to move out of my way, so I could drive faster and speedier.

In the sports arena, if fans and players would decide to play for fun and for the sport itself rather than for money, the game  would become more enjoyable and it would be closer to the original aim for which sports was set up – to bring unity among people.

Every religious leader has told us to change ourselves before we attempt to change the world. And it is so true. If we are filthy ourselves, how can we expect the world to be clean.

How I wish I could clean up the filth in my life and my house before I think of being judgmental and try to clean others up.

Flipped classroom

A term I heard recently.  Flipping a classroom means giving more participatory role to the students rather than the teacher.

Meaning that the teacher is more  a “guide on the side” and not a ” sage on the stage”.

Students have to do their homework before the class and the classroom is more for participatory learning. Sounds like fun ?

It seems to be.

Flipped classrooms are rather a new concept in teaching and perhaps it is because I haven’t heard of it before that it seems innovative to me.

I attended a whole day workshop on this today and am so excited at having learnt something new. New knowledge to me is like a new toy to a child.

The team from North Carolina taught us the nuances of the flipped classroom techniques and even used these techniques on us( without our knowledge).

The students are given notes, videos or readings to read and prepare before the class. In the class, they go through the steps of the Bloom’s taxonomy, where the ultimate aim of learning is to create something. The student, having done homework before the class, then recollects what he/she has learnt, understands it through focused learning, analyzes it, applies it, evaluates it and finally creates something out of the knowledge gained. It seems very creative to me and if it is applied in all classrooms, would create some very innovative learners.

On the flip side, I think it would take a lot of buy-in from the program organizers and universities, who might not be willing to give up traditional methods of teaching. The lesson plan creation might take a lot of time and effort from the teachers but considering that students might learn and participate more in the learning process, it might all be worth the effort.