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Deranged Writing

August 28, 2010

I write better when I am feeling deranged.

Oh. Right.

I was looking through my old journals the other day, and without fail, the ones where I have grabbed that notebook out of sheer despair (as opposed to bright optimism that a story will just spill out of me) are some of the sharpest, most compelling stuff I have ever written. But there’s a catch – they are formless, just a jumble of words that sometimes are striking in the way they have been placed together in a sentence. They need my un-deranged self to mold it into something…more. And here’s another thing. If I write everyday – even if it is the usual embarrassing, “Love-can-be-painful” drivel, my writing cleans itself up – but only up to a certain point.

Here’s another thing. My reading comprehension (literary reading – not report reading) totally suffers when I am feeling wooky. (see my post below on Marguerite Duras’ The Lover). Any aspiration I have to be a creative writer comes in large part due to the books I have read and loved. So when books no longer compel me, I become a writer that only exists in my own center – my own immediate self. Which might be a happening place at that derangement-moment, but then whatever comes out is precise, yet limiting and small. A writer must be able to see the world. Or be heavily addicted to hard drugs.


Send something. I might. If I can sew all my deranged moments together into a story:)

BrassMonkey has announced a ‘short fiction’ call-out.

Dear Writers,
Brass Monkey Books is a new Australian imprint that specialises in Indian literature and non-fiction about the Australia-India relationship.

This year we have published two novels by Anjum Hasan, and she will be touring Australia in August and September.
I am putting together a collection of short stories, to be released in Australia in the first half of next year, and am inviting you to submit. There is no theme to the anthology, but I am looking for fresh work that engages with contemporary India.

I am not imposing a word limit, but would prefer stories between 2000-5000 words. There is a flat fee of AUD$100 for all published stories. Submissions should reach me by the end of October. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Kabita Dhara

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