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Showing posts from 2018

This is how I welcome the new year

Happy happy happy new year folks!!! As I type this, I can hear loud party noises and fire crackers all around.
I dislike parties. I prefer being in a quiet atmosphere with my loved ones, doing something meaningful together.
We always light the lamp at midnight. It's a family tradition. You can see the lamp in the first picture, and my altar, illuminated by the brightness of the lamp in the second.

We thank the universe for ALL the blessings bestowed upon us.
And we welcome the new year with prayers and gratitude.


With this I come to the end of my blog marathon. 31 days, and I have given you all 31 posts!
Leave me comments. I love to hear from you.

 Happy New Year once again. May all your dreams come true.

My TOP TEN books for 2018

I have read 35 books this year. If you are looking to read MORE  in the new year, I have also written a post on it : 5 easy ways to read more and transform your life.

Since the end of the year is a good time to make a list, I thought I would share my TOP reads for this year. (It would be difficult to list all 35 I read, and also I didn't enjoy all)

So here are my top  ten in no particular order. (It was very very very hard to pick just ten).
I am not writing what these books here about as you can easily look them up online,  and read what they are about. Some are non-fiction in this list. They might have been published many years back--but it is just that I read them this year.

1. Nightingale --Kristin Hannah.






2. Childhood friend --Vaikom Muhammed Basheer



3.The Last Email --Mridula Garg





 4. Little Fires Everywhere --Celeste Ng








5. Bad Blood --John Carryrou.

6. Knight of seven Kingdoms: GRR Martin


7. The Little Prince:  Antoine de saint exupéry 

8.Text Don't Call: By INF Joe (a b…

5 useful tips on keeping an illustrated journal in 2019

After my post yesterday, which Ishared on twitter as well,  I got a LOT of response and queries about my journal and the process. Many people wanted to start one, and asked me for tips. You really don't need exemplary drawing skills to start an illustrated journal. You can use stamps, stick stuff, use quotes--and do anything you want.

If you plan to keep an illustrated journal in 2019,  here are my top tips.

1. Use variety: Think about WHAT you enjoy. Some enjoy making collages. Some enjoy just writing short entries in bullet journals. Some enjoy painting. Some like quick colour pencil scribblings. I use a variety of methods. You can see in my above post--I have used only a quote.

2. Think different :If you are afraid that it will become boring, then you are probably thinking about what a journal means in a set way. Change that thinking. It can be a cross between a scrapbook, a diary, a collage and a planner. Thus a bus ticket from that day can go into the journal.

3. Start small:

On keeping diaries and journals.

In my book A Hundred Little Flames Gopal Shanker keeps a diary. I have based him on my own grandfather who used to keep diaries.

I too have kept journals and diaries ever since I was a child. This year, I am happy that I managed to write a page, every single day. In addition to my personal diary, I also kept an illustrated journal this year. I found it was great fun. I am sharing three pages from my illusrated journal, to give you an idea of what my journal is like.





You can see the date stamp on the top right corner of each page, and you can see how I have drawn something from my day. Often there is nothing dramatic in my day. They are just ordinary days. But what I like is to find something 'worthy' from that day, and draw it in the journal.
I follow just one rule for my journal--no recording negativity of any kind. I focus only on the positives.

In my personal diary, I write my thoughts--my goals, what I have to do in the future, and generally I record whatever happened tha…

'Switch off' (from) your phone

A little while ago, I was at a restaurant with my family. Whenever we go out, we have a rule--we all keep our phones face down on the table and we don't take them till it is time to leave. Similarly at home, we have the rule 'No phones at the dining table'. We follow this rule diligently. The rule is not just for the children but for the parents too. No one is allowed to flout it.

At the restaurant, there was another family seated next to us. There was a father, a mother and two grown kids. Each of the family members were engrossed in their phones, and never even looked up. They all ate their meals silently.

Let's face it---we're all addicted to our phones to a large extent. If  you are like most of us then you feel uncomfortable and restless if you do not check your phone every twenty minutes or so, sometimes even lesser.
Those goblins called Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have us on a leash, and we do what they bid, without even realising it or g…

Three quotes from Love A Little Stronger (wordless Wednesday)

Today, I am doing a wordless wednesday. 
Here are three quotes from my book  Love A Little Stronger which is a collection of TRUE stories from my life.



T


Goodnight folks.
New post tomorrow.
_________________________
buy Love a little Stronger at just Rs. 92/- paperback and Rs.&71 on Kindle.

Why some people are always lucky!

Sully, a movie we watched some time back,enthralled me, though I must admit that what made me book the tickets, were just two names associated with the movie—Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood. Having seen the ones Tom Hanks starred in, and the ones Clint Eastwood directed --and of course starred in too, I am a fan of the Westerns--- my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. It is a film which is a biographical drama, about the US airways flight 1549, andits pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who made a dramatic landing of his plane on the River Hudson, after being hit by a birdstrike. He saved the lives of all passengers on board. Sullenberger is a hero in his home country, and US President George Bush called him to thank him for saving the lives of passengers. Obama invited him and the entire crew to to join the presidential inauguration ceremony.
Even though he landed the plane safely, Sully is under an investigation, and stands to lose everything he has worked for his entire life.W…

A Christmas Eve post.

Hi there,

Today I watched this movie on NetFlix along with my daughter and fell in love with it. Kurt Russel SHINES as Santa. The animation is fantastic. The direction is flawless and the actions scenes had me on the edge of my seat, as I joined the brother-sister duo in their adventures along with Santa. Even though the story is somewhat predictable, what I loved was the treatment. I had a lump in my throat, I laughed and cried with the protagonists as I found myself INSIDE the sleigh along with Santa and the kids.

 I think that is what a good book or a movie does. It transports you to a different world.


CHRISTMAS EVE!! HOORAY!!

Even though I am not a Christian, I do celebrate Christmas. I know many of my Christian brothers and sisters, would be going for midnight mass.

I wish you all a very merry Chritsmas.





Incidentally, today is Day 24 of my blog marathon! I am so happy I have sincerely kept this up for this long. :) Are you? Tell me in comments.

Also tell me what are you all t…

The best bits of December

Today's post is a photo post. This is a picture of me clicked with both my children (who are not really children anymore) on my birthday which was three days ago. My children are in college overseas, and hence when they are home, the family time is always special. We play games like Pictionary, Dumb Charades and Monopoly cards. We also spend a lot of time with each other. The pets of the family --hero, the Hamster and Lostris the doberman are very happy too as they have two extra people to pamper them.

For me some of the best bits of December are my birthday, christmas, family time, the cold winter air, the warmth in everyone's hearts (okay, most people's!)

What are the best bits of December for you? What do you look forward to?

Tell me in comments.

More tomorrow!
Love
Preeti
_____________________________________







How I construct the details of the scenes in my books.

Hello,
How was your Saturday?
Mine was great!

As always, all my Saturdays begin with checking the HT nielsen best seller booklist which is published in Hindustan Times every Saturday.


As you can see, Life is What You Make It is on number 5.


It's been 8 YEARS since this was published, and it continues to be in the charts.
Many thanks to all of you who make this happen!

For today's post I thought I would discuss a tiny little scene from my book 'It's All In the Planets'.

The story is told from Aniket's perspective and Nidhi's perspective. One chapter is from Aniket's perspective, and the next is from Nidhi's. I will let you in on a secret---talks are on to make this book into a movie. It will take a while though! It is in the very early stages.  So do not congratulate me yet!!  There's a lot of work involved, and my team is  scheduling meetings. But I am excited about this :)

In this book, there's a scene where Nidhi shakes Aniket's hand.…

Forty seven things I learnt.

I turned 47 today. This is a picture clicked today. I received a lot of flowers today.


The older I get, the more grateful I am for everything that I have in my life. Today, I am living my dream. There's nothing more I ask from life!
The path hasn't been easy at all. There have definitely been so many downs. When I look back, I think for every victory of mine, there has been a failure. But I have fought. I am a fighter. I never give up.
Persistence pays.
Age has made me wiser, calmer and very very sure of many things.
Here are 47 things I have learnt along my path. These are things I practise.

1. Say NO to negativity of any kind.
2. People will treat you the way you allow them to.
3. If people really care for you, they will make time; Otherwise they will make excuses.
4. Be grateful for every one who is kind to you.
5. Better to have TWO genuine friends who truly care for you than a HUNDRED friends who aren't so genuine.
6. Fitness is everything.
7.Always have a 'nest…

5 reasons I do a blog marathon.

Hello there,

Today is Day 20 of my blog marathon. (Blog marathon simply means I blog every single day for a month).

People ask me why I do this each year--sometimes twice in the same year. They also ask me why I do not monetise my blog. You will not find a single ad on my blog. I don't make a single rupee out of my blog-posts. Many brands have offered lakhs for me to endorse their products on my blog. I have refused.
(On my other social media handles, if I believe in the brand, I might).


The reason why I do blog marathons is

1. It brings in discipline.

2. It is a challenge: It is not easy at all to write every day in a blog. On some days (like today) when there is a LOT going on in my life and all I want to do is curl up and sleep, I still have to blog.

3. It improves creativity. Each day I have to come up with a new thing to blog about.

4.It helps me connect with my authentic readers. I love it when you leave me a comment.

5. It is a great platform for your voice, your authentic…

How I got the idea for my novel A Hundred Little Flames

For today's post, I thought I would do a video post.


Have you read the book? Tell me in comments!

____________________________
You can my books at your nearest bookstore or order online : http://preeti.io/amazon

Illegal entrants

This is a poem which I wrote for Conde Nast Magazine. They had commmsioned me to write poetry on the theme of Travel, and I wrote four poems for them.

Here is one of them.
___________________________





Restlessness 
Desire 
Longing 
Are now constant companions 
Travelling with me
Within me
They have made themselves comfortable


They arrived as tourists
On a travellers  visa
But somehow managed to linger on
No force could banish them


My heart , my thoughts
Are yours now
My soul
Subsumed, consumed, blazing
Burning 


I live in restless hope
I  longingly dream 
Of making the journey
Across the miles
The desire to be with you 
And to linger on.


Just like my  travelling companions
I hope
To stay
Till eternity 
In your arms.

*********** © 2018 Preeti ShenoyFor more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.Buy my books: http://preeti.io/amazon ***********

5 tips for success

Hi all,

For today's post, I thought I would share an article I just published on LinkedIN.

There are two kinds of investments—one, which your financial advisors and the finance magazines tell you about, and the other, which you don’t hear about often. The second kind of investment which we do not much talk about (or at least not enough) is where you invest in YOURSELF. I am a firm believer of the statement ‘Life is what you make it.’
I have used the second kind of investment, to shape my life. In 2006, I did not have a single book to my name and nobody had even heard of me. Today, I have eleven books, several short stories, and over a hundred poems to my name. My books make a regular appearance on the Nielsen bestseller charts.
A lot of people ask me ‘How do you do it? What is your secret?’ I had never thought about it till people started asking me for ‘my secret’.
I think the ‘secret’ is.......... READ THE FULL ARTICLE  BY CLICKING HERE 


Apologies for redirecting--but I didn'…

All about my personal style! Post16

Hi there!

Yet another Sunday! I can't believe I have kept this up for 15 days now! 😅😅

Thought I would do yet anotherSunday Stealingfor today's post as it is fun and light. So here goes.



What season has your favorite looks? 

Definitely summer. I like shorts and T-shirts.

    Formal or casual?
Smart Casuals.

    Thrift store, boutique, or online?
Probably boutique between the three choices. Not online, as I am very particular about the fit. 

    What’s your favorite decade for fashion?
Present decade. I don't much believe in 'look of the decades'. I believe you can always create your own style.

    Do you like to accessorize?
Always! I think it is very important to look stylish and smart.



    What does your basic outfit look like?
Single dark colour, mostly.

    What piece of clothing do you spend your money on the most?
I usually wear designer stuff--but stuff that suits me.


    Do you wear hats?
Never :) Even when I was living in the UK, I did not. Who wears hats except the …

Love A Little Stronger. Amazon's Best books of 2018

Hello!

How was your Saturday? Mine involved a lot of travel. I came across monkeys, cats and a field of marigold flowers! You can see the videos on my Instagram  in the stories.
In case you aren't familiar with Instagram, click on my profile pic around which there is a red circle and you will see the stories :) (many tell  me that they do not know how to use Instagram and where to find stories, hence explained)

I received some terrific news today.

My publisher messaged me and told me that Love A Little Stronger was nominated by Amazon, for the best books of 2018, in the romance category.


This is a picture of my publisher (Arup Bose of Srishti) and me, clicked during the launch of Love A Little Stronger.

This nomination means a lot to me for two reasons

1.It is the first time, my book has been nominated for any award
2.The book contains  TRUE stories from my life. There's nothing which is made up. All the incidents described in the book happened to me. It is a creative non-fic…

New Covers for my books! Preeti Shenoy

Hi there,

 Today's post is a video post :)








I am so happy about it. It's a proud  and special moment for me, and I want to thank each and every one of you, who has been on this journey with me!

 Please do watch the video, and tell me in comments, which of the new covers you liked the best!
They are available at a bookstore near you.

Love
Preeti
________________________
Buy my book: http://preeti.io/amazon


A few books I LOVED reading this year. Post 13

Hello there,

It has been twelve whole days since I started my blog marathon. Time has sped by so fast. In fact, the whole year has sped by so fast. It feels like just yesterday that I was preparing my 'reading wall' which I do a the start of the year. I started this two years ago.
If you want to know what a reading wall is, clickHERE.

It's basically a list of books that I read the entire year.

Many of you have been asking me to recommend the 'best books'. I am reluctant to do so, because tastes vary. It is like  person asking me to  recommend what they should eat. The recommendation would  depend on whether they like South-Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Japanese , Singaporean or any other specific cuisine. It would be meaningless to recommend Idlis to someone  who hates South Indian food.

This is the reason I do not recommend books. My tastes tend to be eclectic. What is outstanding for me might me egregious for you. So, unless I know the person very well, I …

Wordless Wednesday.. Meet the newest member of my family.

This is the newest addition to our family. My entry for Wordless Wednesday.

Can you guess his name?
Tell me in comments :)
______________________
ps: Have written about Hamsters in my book Love a Little Stronger.

Little chit-chat that's not so little. Post 11

Both my children live away from home (both have left home for college and study abroad). Hence any time I get with them is precious.

Actual conversation that took place just now between my daughter and me.

'Mum, do you want to do something fun after you finish your blog post?'
'I would love to..But I have to think of a topic to write first.'
'Just write about how I can become the next president of United States.'
'That's just what I will write about !'
'Mum!!! No! I was kidding. Don't write that.'
'I will write it and show it to you. If you are okay, will hit publish'.
'Okay.'


And that is how this post came to be :)

__________________________________
Ps: If you want to read more such stuff buy Love a Little Stronger which are all true stories from my life. Click HERE

Three quotes from a Rule Breaker. Post 10

Hello there!
How has your Monday been? Mine was exhausting. I almost forgot to blog.
Almost.
For today's post I thought I would share with you some quotes from my latest book The Rule Breakers.
If you have taken a flight lately, you might have seen it in the bestsellers at the airport stores.
Many people have written to me telling me that they loved  the spunky Vidya.
Hence here are quotes exclusively from Vidya.






Do you agree with the above quotes? Do they make you think?
Let me know your thoughts in comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

More tomorrow!
Till then-- stay serene.

________________________
buy The Rule Breakers: http://preeti.io/trb

Favourite authors and other things. Post 9

Hello again!

For today's post, I decided to do something fun.

Here are questions fromSunday Stealing. (Please click on it to know more)

Favorite novel and author?

I have answered this in numerous interviews. I don't have one favourite author or book, I have many!  I love the work of Roald Dahl (his writing for adults), Audrey Niffeneger, Benyamin, Vaikom Muhammed Bhasheer, Kristin Hannah, Murakami, Paul Kalanithi,  Nadiya Hashmi, Neil Gaiman, Ruskin Bond, Liane Moriarty, Celeste Ng, Antoine de saint-exupéry,Katja Millay, GRR Martin, Natalie Babbit, Ruth Hogan, Elif Shafak, Shinie Antony, Sonia Choquette, Esther Perel---to name a few!! :)
I read a LOT.


Favorite perfume/scent?

Eternity, Chanel No 5, Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline
(now you know what to gift me :) )

Coffee or tea?
Black coffee with no sugar.

Are you a cat or dog person?
Though I own a dog, I also LOVE cats. I was recently featured in an International coffee table  book--Writers and their cats published by Chronicle books USA. I…

This is the deepest need in all of us. Post 8

Hi there,

Weekend is here! I pretty much spent my whole day reading!

I get a lot of requests for blurbing books. This means a one line recommendation, which they carry on the cover. I do not accept blurb requests from individual writers and I cannot read the stuff people send me. I have explained why in this post.

I do accept blurb requests from editors of publishing houses if the book seems interesting to me. I am extremely hard to please (and am the worst critic, especially of my own writing).
The book I read today was a historical fiction, and I am liking it.

Apart from that, I walked my dog thrice and spent time with my family.

That's all I did.  I am lucky  to be surrounded by people who just let me be myself .

Like I say in my book Love a Little Stronger (which is a collection of all true stories from my life) there is a deep need in all of us to be loved and accepted for who we truly are. The deep  satisfaction and contentment that comes from that is unmatchable and indesc…

How writing a diary helps me as a writer. Post 7.

Hi there,

Are you happy it is Friday? 

You know, I always wondered why people are happy that it is a weekend. It is probably because they don't love their jobs much, and hence need a break which the weekend brings. They also hate Monday mornings because it is the start of another work-week.

For me--I have no weekends. I LOVE my job (writing) and I write every single day. I don't feel good if I do not write. From the start of this year, I have written in my diary DAILY. Earlier, like Gopal Shanker of A Hundred Little Flames, I used to write only when something important happened. But this year, I changed that. The second last thing I do before I sleep is write in my diary.

The last thing I do is, of course read. I read till the lines blur and then I close my eyes.

This year  I have read about 32 books so far. I also have a nice diary, replete with whatever happened on a particular day in my life. It is something I enjoy doing; It gives me direction, a sense of understanding w…