Everybody wore a hat

FromOneLine Volume 3 has been published and is now live! Here is around 220 pages of pure brilliance, emotions, words, and thoughts, compiled by Meghan Dargue for the third FromOneLine anthology, published by Kobayaashi Studios, United Kingdom. This anthology features poems and flash fiction from writers around the world.

Where can just one connecting prompt line take us? That’s what the FromOneLine community of writers have been exploring on a regular basis since 2019. I was privileged to be featured in the second volume in December 2021. I regret not being in the first Volume only because then I was not seriously following my creative writing passion. Around mid-July 2021, I was pulled into creative nourishing of the soul due to myriad reasons, and then magic happened.

I reinstated my blog, became a book reviewer for #ReedsyDiscovery Reedsy and the #HimalayanBookClub, got opportunity as a probono editor for a self-published author, and got published, as a short story writer and imagist poet. It was the inspiration and boost I needed in a time of self-doubt. It helped me make some significant decisions to embrace change.

Life changes course in more ways than one. My creative pursuits are not as intensive as they were at the close of 2021, however, I continued writing for the #FromOneLine prompt. It gave me much joy and artistic succor. It made me believe in my creative abilities. For me, being featured in the third anthology is a manifestation of my desire to be read and acknowledged, to be meaningful, and to make my words touch hearts and souls. It’s fulfilling and I only feel love and gratitude for Meghan Dargue for connecting personally with selected contributors and making this gorgeous cover design and poetry collection happen.

“The writings to make it into this volume were chosen from a staggeringly high number of submissions. Poems and pieces of flash fiction have danced me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Words that I have returned to time and again to discover new feelings, or just to delight in connecting with familiar ones. I hope you will enjoy exploring them as much as I have, and may they inspire many more writings and adventures to come.”

The blurb from the Amazon site says all about the stellar writings that Meg chose for this book

FromOneLine Volume 3 (paperback) is available on Amazon for worldwide delivery. In India, the book is available on Pothi.com.

https://lnkd.in/dXD5ffD2
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Book Release: Standstill

Humbled & privileged to have a poem in this collection. I got published nearly after a decade. I had taken a gap from pursuing any publishing opportunities but when I restarted this year, it’s a happy journey!
Book Release: Standstill https://t.co/9M7oP6VLZI via @writefluence

Book lover

You are the book
Nestled on my chest
Heaving in deep sleep
A story embedded
In my thoughts, as I go
About daily chores
Impatient to trace
Inquisitive finger tips
On gravely carved scripts
Turning over pages
Revealing secrets
That made me shudder
In anticipation of none other
But the distant momen when
I will curl up with you in bed

Book Review: The Nonchalant Man Between Worlds

Quite a few stories are narrative in style, imageries piling up, increasingly reflecting the complexity of perceptions. Chan clearly questions, “Has the world always been like this, both insane and chaotic, only he has not seen it as it actually is until now?” This is the theme of the book. Anguished ponderings on the chaos in our minds, purpose, and meaning of our lives, as we try to find a place as friends, lovers, and social beings.

Nonchalant Man

Book: The Nonchalant Man Between Worlds: And Other Stories

Author: William W. Chan

Genre: Fiction, Self-Discovery, Short Stories, Magical Realism

Review Copy: Reedsy

Available on: Amazon.in

The first story in this collection by William W. Chan, reminded me of Oliver Sack’s work – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Deeper into the book, a Kafkaesque feeling emerged. It is the nature of man to always seek. Some seek answers in science, trying to decipher the mysterious functioning of the brain. Many lean towards metaphysical pondering on the functioning of the heart, soul, and mind.

The Nonchalant Man Between Worlds: And Other Stories are based on this quest, chasing the pertinent question of what’s real in our world and what may lie beyond in other realms. Dreams can be derived from realities and perturb us as much as illusions in waking hours.

The human and anti-human, creatures, demons, evil, fear, all emerge in our thought-scape based on the state of our mind. What happens when something snaps within us and cracks appear in our vision; when the mind is philosophical, the heart is lonely, and the soul disillusioned? Hallucination-based stories like those told by Chan are born.

Nightmares and illusions predominate the stories. Shifting perceptions harass the characters. My personal favorite is, The Fallen, where I sensed a mystery and indulged in a guessing game of who Harold was and his fate. Many of the open-ended stories leave us wondering.

Quite a few stories are narrative in styI can derive dreamsle, imageries piling up, increasingly reflecting the complexity of perceptions. Chan clearly questions, “Has the world always been like this, both insane and chaotic, only he has not seen it as it actually is until now?” This is the theme of the book. Anguished ponderings on the chaos in our minds, purpose, and meaning of our lives, as we try to find a place as friends, lovers, and social beings.

The well-articulated stories are for anyone who has an interest in metaphysical, spiritual, and philosophical notions, motifs, and themes. Interpretation and understanding of Magic Realism shifts from one reader to the next, in fact, one day to another. Such works are not for light readers.

This is a book for rumination and not just about people going about their daily lives. It is for readers who question the happenings and perceptions of their regular existence. It demands attention and offers deep contemplation dressed up as Magical Realism. Keep a highlighter handy for some musings that are worth marking for a later read, as you relate with them.

The Myth of Great Leadership

This is also highlihted in Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, where she says that modern boardrooms should leverage the strengths of introverts, including complex problem solving, deep thinking and strategizing. Interestingly, in the first few pages the author narrates an incident where the introvert had to do the hard-sell talk and negotiate. It is not that introverts cannot talk; it is not that they are shy; they are observant, they are unassuming, and they are great listeners.

I have worked in a couple of different industries, company sizes, and, of course, different roles in my career, spanning 2 decades and counting. My observation is that in maximum cases, the ones who can really talk and hog the space in a meeting or a forum and be charming enough to indulge peers and seniors alike, are the ones who reach the top management levels faster. Smooth talkers, smooth operators are definitely liked by all and are the light and life of any organization. People adore them. Fair enough!

The disparity arises when they are only talking and take less action, and have even lesser in-depth knowledge, primarily because they think they know it all. As avid speakers, who love the sound of their voice, they are also poor listeners. Winning through speech becomes their hallmark, even a considerable part of their professional ego, and rise thereof.

In contrast, the silent slogger does most of the work, spends time researching, learning, listening, ruminating, bringing out thoughts and ideas, but if not articulate, then the dias remains a distant object. Often, such people receive appraisals that show them as mild, invisible, non-communicative. Interestingly, they are also trusted with the workload and called upon to deliver.

This is also highlighted in Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, where she says that modern boardrooms should leverage the strengths of introverts, including complex problem solving, deep thinking and strategizing. Interestingly, in the first few pages, the author narrates an incident where the introvert had to do the hard-sell talk and negotiate. Not that introverts cannot talk; not that they are shy; rather they are observant and unassuming, and are listeners. The top positions may, however, remain elusive until introverts develop and exhibit art of the glib.

This, I believe, constitutes the biggest malady of any organization, bureaucracy, even nations. Until the doers are at the helm of affairs and credited for the work they produce, everything else is smoke, mirrors, mist, and a lot of public relations events. Even at the pinnacle of power and commanding all authority, if one does not govern with compassion, decide with the support of knowledge and advice, administer with competency, and lead by example, the leadership skill is a full-blown myth.

For those interested in understanding and also explaining introversion, especially to children, BBC One in its BBC Idea series, explains the Quiet Power of Introverts in a short animated video.

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