Read some, draw some, write some, but blog none? Ho hum!

I last posted about the Song of Ice and Water series by GRR Martin. I can now declare that I am two books into the series already. With the way life’s been this past month, Martin gets the credit for this feat of mine. He weaves such a complex web of tales studded with such intriguing characters, that once caught in it, you can’t leave, until you’ve traversed along every shiny sliver that holds his web of ice and water together.

So I read some.

Then I painted a magazine cover with the portraits of three gentlemen, and now I am painting another cover with a whole mad group of toony looking people on it. I got some inquiries that made me scratch my head rather furiously and lose some hair. I’m also looking forward to painting a couple of beautiful covers for SFF author Barbara G. Tarn, who is also a long time friend.

So I drew some.

I spent some time writing some short stories around the concepts that inspired my hat paintings. I should’ve been writing a new story for the new quarter of the Writers of the Future contest, but for some inexplicable reason, I was more drawn to explore the human mind and its machinations – and so ended up writing these stories, which are more in the realm of psychological fiction.

So I wrote some.

But I couldn’t blog. There are times when you want to find a quiet corner and create. I guess that the last whole month was that time for me 🙂

 

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Creativity Carnival: Inspiration

(Note: Please disregard the previous carnival post done today.)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Creativity Carnival.  The previous carnival “Girl” wasn’t a bright and happy cue-art – and yet some fabulous bloggers bit the proverbial bullet and plunged in. Thank you for participating. I know that you want my dark spell to end.

I hope that this week’s prompt will accomplish that.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. It’s very different from all the previous cue-arts. I must tell you that this is one of my older drawings. The cue-art that I had actually created for this week, turned out to be even darker than the one I posted for the previous carnival. I think we all need a break from me 🙂

Pen and Ink Drawing of Newton biting into an apple.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

About Girl

In my opinion, Girl is one my most complex drawings. The mood that I was in the day I drew it, has a lot to do with the thoughts that became the Girl. In my mind, she is the ISIS girl. A girl who either joined them of her free will, or who was abducted, used, sold by them. She is young. Fifteen. Or she is No. 15. She has been persecuted for her faith, her family’s faith, and for being a woman. She hopes for peace but finds none. She lives in a dystopian future, symbolized by the torn calendar – with no hope, she is terrorized for footsteps coming her way…

Creativity Carnival: Girl

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Creativity Carnival.  That this edition comes to you on the anniversary of September 11 attacks makes it special. A tribute to humanity, courage, and kindness, yet a warning for the times to come, if the world took just one wrong step. It appears to me that the world, as a whole, may already have taken a few wrong steps – steps that in a few years from now could change our way of living.

Thanks for responding to the cue-art Handcuffs. It was a difficult prompt. Handcuffs usually have an immediate relevance for most of us, until of course, we venture into the realm of philosophy and psychology. And yet, the responses left me speechless.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here is the cue-art for this week. Please take it away with you, think about it, read the clues, then give a freehand to your creativity. I leave my drawing in your care.

Pen and Ink portrait of a girl - 9/11 and Terrorism. Cue-art for Creativity Carnival.

 

Here are few simple rules.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.

IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About Handcuffs.

Handcuffs were inspired by an event that I hope will never repeat itself. A rich socialite murdered her nineteen-year-old daughter. The story is complex and you can read it here. She was apprehended by the police and taken away for questioning. The image of her manacled hand, the possible reason for the murder – they didn’t leave me; they drove me to draw the handcuffs with the rose. It was a simple drawing, but a complex prompt. Thank you for participating.

Creativity Carnival: Handcuffs

Dear Creative Souls,

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Creativity Carnival. 

I finished the drawing for this Carnival just a couple of hours ago.

Thanks so much for your fantastic response on the Faces Carnival. I loved reading your entries as much as you must’ve enjoyed writing them 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

Here’s my cue-art for this week. The inspiration for this cue-art was in my environment – I just picked it up. I’ll tell you all about it in my next Carnival post. This week, this image belongs to you.

 

Handcuffs - A pen and ink drawing for the Creativity Carnival Edition 6.

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About The Faces.

Faces is perhaps my most detailed drawing for the Creativity Carnival yet. This drawing wasn’t of an object; it was of a thought. I had in my mind the image of a woman who has just started turning bitter, but who hides her bitterness beneath a tailored smile, and the roughness of her face under layers of makeup. But then, this woman, wasn’t always like this. There was a time in her life when she was happy and innocent, and her innocence made her feel compassion and love for others. Her face reflected her sweet nature – and she had no need to hide anything. Now she’s 27, then she was 16 – but the person she was and the person she now is; they have diametrically opposite perceptions of everything around them.

So you see, it was a thought. The pages symbolized the passage of time, and the faces belonged to a woman who had changed on the inside.

Those were my thoughts. Your responses were so beautifully diverse, so poetic – that they took the cue-art to a different, much higher plane. Thank you for that.

Creativity Carnival: Faces

Dear blogger friends,

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Creativity Carnival.

This has been a busy and tiring month for me, but I’ve loved creating the cue-arts for the carnival. I wait for Fridays. After spending the whole week reading your wonderful takes on the previous week’s cue-art and thinking of what I’d be creating next, I spend my second half of Thursday or the first half of Friday drawing that week’s cue-art for you. I draw for a story or a poem that I’d like to read; I draw for a picture that I’d like to see; I draw for an experience that I’d like to share. And it makes my drawing that much more meaningful for me.

I loved reading your interpretations of the gun-art. You wrote poetry that tugged on my heartstrings; crafted stories that catapulted me into a different time and world; and drew comics that made me laugh.  This week, among the wonderful responses on the Gun Carnival, I discovered a story and a poem – I marveled at how well the story “Hidden Murder” by Ruth Lakes  connected with the cue-art. The poem that touched my heart was  “Adieu…” by RS.

I’d also like to thank Stu for her post. If you want to visit the sites of the bloggers who have participated in the previous 4 carnivals, please click “Roll-up (Creativity Carnival Round-up Links.) on Stu’s blog

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

My Cue-art for this week isn’t an object. It’s a concept. There’s a mystery in it, which you can unravel at your leisure. As always, this artwork belongs to you this whole week.

Women faces in profile on the pages of a book - pen and ink drawing for creativity carnival by shafali.

 

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a ping back is registered. It will help other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it.IMPORTANT:

1. Links to the pages and the home-page of a blog don’t result in a ping back.
2. Links created through an image (linking an image to a post) don’t create a ping back. (Thanks, Meghan.) 

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.

Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now – what inspired me to create the gun-art and what that picture means to me.

About The Gun.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Nancy, bought a new gun. We were talking and she brought the gun out and we talked about it. For some inexplicable reason, an image of an engraved gun that I had seen somewhere, flashed in my mind. I asked her if she remembered such a gun and she said that it must have been a Colt. Now those guns were things of beauty. They weren’t just machines made for killing – they had a certain vanity associated with them. Right then when we were talking, I decided that I wanted to draw a gun.

But a lone gun has no story, except that of death, and a death without reason doesn’t inspire a story, nor a poem or a piece of art! A death with love at its heart; a death with revenge at its core; or even a death brought about by jealousy or greed – those deaths give us stories and poetry; art and drama.

This is the story of the birth of the cue-art “The Gun.”

I’ll look forward to your take on this drawing 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Gun

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Thank you so much for your wonderful response. I loved your interpretations of the Mystery Chest so much that I visited many of the posts twice. I want to mention a response that’s going to stay with me for a while. It’s a short-story by Lydia, which you can read on her blog here.  For other fabulous responses please visit the Mystery Chest post.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

 

This week’s cue-art is a little different. After the nostalgia of the pocket-watch, the romance of the bell, and the mystery of the chest…this artwork might appear somewhat…dark. For this whole week, this gun is yours. Handle it with care. I’ll share my reason for drawing this gun with the next Creativity Carnival post.

Pen and Ink Art - Gun Drawing black and White for the Creativity Carnival.

The Rules are Simple.

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a ping back is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

And now about the mystery chest that found its way into your hearts.

About The Mystery Chest

The concept of a mystery- or a treasure chest have always intrigued me. When I draw a picture, I usually have a story or at least a setting in mind. This is why you don’t see just one object in the image. You see other objects too. For instance in the mystery chest, you see an open locket with two portraits, a star-fish, some gold coins, and…something that nobody noticed. The Cryptex. It’s not easy to recognize a Cryptex, especially if you haven’t read/watched the DaVinci Code. It’s rumored to have been developed by Leonardo Da Vinci. So the mystery chest was indeed a treasure chest – and the Cryptex contained a coded message, which could be anything that your imagination would want it to be 🙂

I’ll look forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs 🙂

Creativity Carnival: The Mystery Chest

Dear storytellers, poets, artists, writers, bloggers,

Welcome to the Creativity Carnival.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 As always, I’ll share my thoughts about this cue-art next week. This whole week, this artwork is more yours than mine. Save it to you computer/mobile device and do something creative with it. Tell a short-story or narrate an experience, write a few lines of poetry, draw or paint something inspired by it…and then share it with the world.

Creativity Carnival - The treasure chest. A pen and ink drawing.

 

Here are a few easy rules 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


Do tag your posts “creativity carnival”. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

About the Bell

The bell was inspired by a bell that hangs in my terrace. In fact, I sat a few feet from it and drew it – but I changed the context a little. I also added that little spider, because for me romance and thrill can’t exist without each other. A bell symbolizes a call for anyone, for someone. It could be used to establish a connection between two people or even between two worlds. The creeper that you see in the artwork is a stylized representation of honeysuckle – and the spider at the center of the web, waits patiently for the bee to arrive. Beyond the apparent symbolism of the bell, exists the more mundane concept of the food-chain.

 

 

Creativity Carnival: The Bell

My Dear Super-awesome Fellow Bloggers,

Thanks so much for participating in the first Creativity Carnival – The Pocket Watch. I don’t know if it was a smashing hit by general standards, but by mine, it definitely was 🙂 I loved all your creative gems – they were super-awesome.

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Here’s this week’s cue-art 🙂 Saying anything more would be wrong, so I’ll refrain from it. Instead, I’ll talk about last week’s cue-art, The Pocket-Watch, but after I’ve introduced this week’s cue-art, The Bell.


Creativity Carnival for bloggers - cue-art - the bell - Write a story or a poem, or draw/paint a picture.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post and then click on it so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

For more details (mostly superfluous) please visit the Creativity Carnival page here.


The other suggestion of tagging our posts “creativity carnival” did well with the previous carnival 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

How the Pocket Watch happened?

I had drawn that pocket-watch because the concept of time intrigues me. I often wonder who must’ve first thought of it and how difficult it may have been for humans to have reached at an understanding of life as a finite span of time. For me, the broken glass was life interrupted; the time in the watch was the opposite of a smile (10:10 vs. 3:40.)

 

Creativity Carnival: The Pocket Watch

My Dear Fellow-bloggers,

It’s time to unleash your creativity 🙂

Creativity Carnival - Blogging event for WordPress bloggers.

Let us kickstart the Creativity Carnival with this cue-art.  This is a Pen and Ink Drawing that I finished this morning. I will not speak about the cue-art and what brought it about, because I don’t want to taint your interpretation of it with my thoughts 🙂


Pocket watch pen and ink drawing - Blogging Creativity Carnival for bloggers - by shafali.

 

The Rules are super-simple 🙂

    1. Your cue is the artwork above.
    2. You have a week to get creative and make a post that connects with the cue.
    3. You are welcome to do anything creative with the cue. Here is a list of possibilities:
      • Write a Story (tiny/short/long…whichever works for you. A tip: Shorter Stories, more reads.)
      • Share an Anecdote
      • Write a Poem
      • Draw a doodle
      • Paint a picture
      • Some other creative craft that I can’t think of – but it must explore and even extend the portrayal in the artwork.
    4. Include the cue-art in your post.
    5. Link back to this Creativity Carnival Post so that a pingback is registered and other bloggers (including this caricaturist) can visit your post, like it, love it, and comment upon it 🙂

I have another suggestion 🙂 If we tagged our posts “creativity carnival” we could follow this tag in our Reader too. I’ve already tagged this post and will be tagging all my weekly carnival posts with “creativity carnival” tag. So if you start following the tag, you’ll find the newest carnivals in your Reader.

I will look forward to visiting your blogs 🙂

Let the Carnival Begin!

A Creativity Carnival – for Artists, Writers, Poets, and other Oddballs!

Friends, I still haven’t decided upon a Feature I’d want to go ahead with, but I did have a Creativity Carnival in mind.

I trust the following image captures what I had in mind for it. I’d like to thank my blogging101 friends for their inputs on it. While I am still not sure whether this should be a weekly event, I was wondering if some of us would like to give it shot, if I started it, say, coming Friday (July 31, 2015.)

Possible rules in a nutshell (Please recommend addition/deletion)

  1. Participating bloggers will have a week to make the post.
  2. The Pen and Ink Caricature drawing will serve as a cue.
  3. Participating bloggers would be welcome to write a story, an anecdote, a poem, or even draw a picture or post a doodle in response to the cue.
  4. Participating bloggers  will integrate the caricature-drawing into their posts.
  5. Participating bloggers will provide a ping-back to the carnival post so that other participants can visit their blogs and comment, like, and socialize.

Creativity Carnival for wordpress bloggers

Should I, should I not?

I had tried it once, but such an event cannot thrive on its own. I looked at the Daily Post event form – and a Creativity Carnival doesn’t fit into any of the given categories.

If you think that you’d like to be a part of it, please leave a smiley in the comments 🙂

More later – Keep drawing, writing, and smiling!

 

Half and Half make one Half Full – Let the Knights Joust.

Half and Half make one Half Full – Let the Knights Joust.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Half and Half.”

Where there’s black, there’s always some white; when there’s dark, there’s a possibility of light;
You may have to look for them, but in a world full of wrong, there are always things that are right.

This world is half-and-half, and until I saw this prompt, I didn’t realize that a lot of my illustrations are half-and-half too. One of these half-and-half illustrations is a two-page spread for the Talk Business and Politics magazine that has Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson jousting to become the Governor of Arkansas.

Half and Half - Daily Prompt - Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson Jousting for Arkansas Governor.

Left Half: Mike Ross (Democrat)
Right Half: Asa Hutchinson (Republican)

This image and the prompt together make me wonder:

These two valorous knights galloping towards each other with their lances targeting the other’s chest, hoping to throw the other off his stead, are the reason why this scene exists. The State Capitol building is essential to the scene because forms the quest, but why is the crowd there? The crowd is there because of the two knights. It is there to watch them joust.

And this makes me ask questions, that I admit, are totally unexpected of the happy-go-lucky right-brained arty-kinds.

  1. Why do we like to see fights? Why, we even make animals fight one another, and wager bets? 
  2. Why on one hand we cheer the winners and on the other, root for the underdog?
  3. What kind of thrill we get from seeing people spill blood or even kill one another?
  4. And if we don’t, if we have actually arrived at point in human history where our senses have become more refined and our battles are now fought with arguments, votes, and referendums, why still wars continue to rage through out the world?

I think there aren’t any answers to these questions, but we have opinions – and our opinions matter. They matter with all two warring-halves of the world – from the smallest halves to the biggest halves. Our opinions matter when we can influence the two halves and help them stand on the same side of the picture so we can help them become one. Our opinions also matter in bigger issues too as we can influence the course of history by voting the right decision-makers to the top-office of our country.

Until that happens, let the knights joust and the pugilists box.

 

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl (A Short Story and an Ink Drawing.)

The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl
(Fiction…hopefully.)

She looked down her powdered nose and peered at them. She hated them all. That she was forced to walk the same earth they did, was a fact that rankled all the time, oozing acid into her heart.
“Cretins,” she mumbled, then mused, “how could they have been created by the same God who created me?”
As she looked at them under the wavering light of the torches lit in the wall-sconces behind her, a thin smile crept over her lips.
She looked through the iron-bars into the dungeon from where the tear-stained faces of seven teenaged girls looked up at her silhouette, and wondered if she was an angel who’d free them from their misery.
Free them, she would. One by one. Her eyes moved from one scared face to another, evaluating them for a purpose of her own.
“The one with golden hair and green eyes,” she turned to the gaoler and said in her strong, stern, and clear voice.
A hushed silence fell in the dungeon. The cries stopped, and twelve jealous eyes turned to the girl with golden hair and green eyes. She was going to be freed tonight. Others will remain. Right now, they were all the same, and she was different. The similarity of their fates bound them together in their hatred for her.
The girl with golden hair and green eyes looked up, and through the bars that made up the dungeon’s ceiling, she tried to look into her savior’s eyes, but her face was in shadows.
The lady turned and left. She walked through the labyrinth that took her away from the darkness of the dungeon into her palace above.  In an hour, her bath would be drawn. In the shimmering glow of a hundred candles, the silky smooth mixture of milk, honey, and blood will enter her pores and rejuvenate them. God had given her the boon of eternal youth, and this was why the same God who had created her, had created them. For her.
She smiled again. The thin, controlled smiled of a high-born lady.
Caricature - a pen and ink drawing of a proud, rich, and evil woman.
About the Artwork:
This artwork is important, both due to its inspiration and its timing. I did it about 8 months ago. It was inspired by a high-born lady who I’ve known quite well. Not directly, but through someone I deeply care about. I did this caricature-art when I was hospitalized – a day after my surgery. (That’s why the line-work isn’t clear. There’s only so much you can accomplish when you are propped up on pillows and still under the influence of pain-killers and other medicines.) This artwork is about things that are seldom spoken, and never talked about in public. It’s about mothers who should never have been mothers, about ladies who aren’t ladies, about empathy or the lack of it, and about the pain that’s inflicted upon you, merely because you are you.
The story, however, is fiction; perhaps inspired by a historical account of a countess…I think. Let me google it out. Oh   yes…Elizabeth Bathory.

Blogging Neighbors make a Modern-Day Hamlet Soliloquize.

My Blogging101 Neighbors have changed me into a soliloquizing modern-day Hamlet.

In the past 10 days I’ve made some new friends and these friends have made me ask the following to-be-or-not-to-be questions:
  1. To Cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?
  2. To run or just snuggle under the sheets for a couple-of-more-hours?
  3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?
  4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?
  5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?
  6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity or just not bother?
  7. And finally, To be a fanatic and fly at the throats of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?
I know that I have missed a lot of other fantastic blogs that’ve moved me in the past few days, and consequently deprived this post of other deep and relevant questions.  I’m known to be more forgetful than that allegorical scientist who drank the glass full of bacteria-infested water.  I hope those sweet bloggers will forgive my lapse and leave me a reminder. I can and should soliloquize some more – and your reminders will make me answer more of these important, philosophical questions.
Coming back to my list of questions, here’s what I think, and regardless of what it makes you think about me, I stand (nope, lounge) by it.

1. To cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?

I cook, but each time I cook, the same dish ends up tasting different! Why? Because I can’t follow recipes. I admit that the kitchen reminds me of a Chemistry Lab, and the recipes remind me of those chemistry experiments that I disliked and even feared. Measure, pour, heat, add something else; let it simmer; when the color changes or when there’s a distinctive smell, do something else! It’s erringly similar to a Chemistry Lab experiment. So to make myself feel positive about the kitchen and cooking, I think of myself as a kitchen-witch who brews magic potions – but that’s a different story and needs a different post.

2. To Run or just snuggle under the sheets?

Is that even a logical question to ask? If your whole family is into running, then I understand that you must – or how will you be together? Imagine breakfast time in a family of runners. Dad has already run 500 yards, son is at 250 yards mark, mom tosses the sandwich and the OJ to Dad at 50 yds/second to get it to him in 10 seconds. Can’t imagine all that action! It makes me run (no, amble) for cover! The thought of all that action makes me exhausted – but kudos to our runner mom – I can only doff my hat to her.

3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?

It jiggles a bit, alright. But getting into those yoga pants is something that I haven’t yet made up my mind on. Sorry Yoga Guru. First my boss who is now in Canada started organizing Yoga classes in our office and asked if I wanted to join. I checked my then hourglass figure in the mirror, and snickered at the idea. Later mom and dad watched me getting chubbier and slower; they tried to train me in yoga but failed. Now, I’ve begun to wonder whether I should’ve heeded their advice. BTW, Yoga is for people of all shapes and sizes. But what about those yoga-pants? I don’t want to look like a stuffed pillow, and doing yoga without yoga-pants isn’t my cup of green tea.

4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?

Is this even a question?
Of course I want to be an Earl’s cat. Why? Because then I’d speak Elizabethan English, purr a lot, and while purring, I’d casually remark upon who the Countess may or may not hoist her tail for. As a human, if I did that, I am sure the Earl would have me captured and flogged to correct the error of my ways. Earl’s cat – for sure.

5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?

Is this, too, even a question?
ZuZu… wait for me! Just allow me a few minutes to brew myself a cup of Felinosca potion and turn into a cat. A chubby woman scampering behind you on all fours will attract the eyes of entire Berkshire, and then you may have to drop your adventuring like a hot pot of boiling milk.

6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity, or shutter myself in?

As I grow older, I cement my views and opinions, and I become unwilling to change. What I often forget is that even the unwillingness to embrace change is a choice.    Do I want to shutter myself in, is a question that I ask myself, especially when meet someone as cool  as these two bloggers.
 I know I’ll try to remember this all, but then I can’t really trust the absent-minded kitchen-witch whose idea of a perfect day is a quiet afternoon with a Wilbur Smith novel. She travels at the speed of thought and sees the world through the words of her favorite authors…and now…bloggers!
And finally,

7. To be a fanatic and fly at the throat of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?

As I said before, if possible, I’d like to live in a world sans fanatics. I don’t like fanaticism. And so I’ll set aside the only unpleasant experience in the blogosphere, and continue to Draw to Smile!
Feeling blessed - a pen and ink drawing - shafali's art. Artists and Commissions.

Feeling frazzled but blessed!

Happy Blogging 🙂 and thanks Blogging101!

Who I am and why I’m here?

More importantly…why is this post here?

This post is here because I’ve enrolled in Blogging 101 program that will run for three weeks, and this is our first assignment 🙂 I’ve already taken the whimsy in me to task, and she’s promised to stick to the guidelines. I don’t trust her, and I warn you not to trust her either.

The first question is: Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

Answer: Bipeds are social animals. Why do you think we got up, straightened our limbs, forced our two hinds to carry our whole body weight? To free our hands so that we may use them for shaking other people’s hands. I could’ve kept a private journal, which would have been found by archaeologists in the year 3015; scanned and preserved in a 250 Zettabyte pin-drive – so that some historian could download it into her head and use it to craft time-travel stories. Oddly, that doesn’t appeal to me – I’d rather write, read, and be read, here and now 🙂

The second question (a mere guideline) is: What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Answer: No idea. I end up writing about the strangest things (People trapped inside computers, Atlantis, Tatooine, Politics, Art, Artists, Writers) and I write the strangest stuff (short-stories, parodies, serious commentary on world affairs, biographies of people who inspire/irk me.) I can, however, tell you what sort of images you’ll find here – you’ll see caricatures (people made to look funny with their features pushed, pulled, tweaked, and twisted,) cartoons (you know the stuff,) and portraits.

The third question (and a very important one) is: Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Answer: Two kinds of people:

1. Personally, Fun-loving people – those who like to see the world through glasses tinted with humor. Who step into your world and brighten it up by their mere presence. They post a “hi” in your comments, and you grow wings 🙂 BTW, most of us fall in this category…if you think you don’t, you’ve just misplaced your humor-tinted glasses.

2. Professionally, prospective clients for my illustration-work. As an artist, I illustrate for magazines, books, and novels; and I also license my images for commercial use. I have another blog where I maintain a portfolio of my works here.

And finally,

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to accomplish?

1. New Friends for my Heart.
2. New Clients for my Art.

Signing off…

and

going back to “Draw to Smile” 🙂

A Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – April 2011 – Edition 8!

Header for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Contest for fiction writers

Dear Bloggers,

Welcome to the new edition of the Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival. Call it a storytelling festival or a spark of inspiration for the writer within you – but write a story that wows your readers!

Here’s the caricature to inspire you 🙂

Cartoon caricature of three people in discussion for the story in the caricature blog carnival for fiction or story writers

The rules haven’t changed – but I should repeat them for the new storytellers.

Here are the Rules for the Participating in the Storytelling Carnival

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends on April 30, 2011.

The Four Rewards for this Story Carnival

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in May 2011, along with your blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blog-roll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

4. The first blogger to do everything right (publish the story on his/her blog with the caricature, and then leave the link of the story against this post) will get the opportunity to name one international celeb that he or she would like to see caricatured.

Important Note:

Pornographic/Obscene Language won’t work:) so keep it clean.

Happy Writing:) I’ll wait…as I always do:)

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – December 2010 – Edition 7!

Header for Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival Announcement December 2010

Dear visitors, bloggers made of matter as well as antimatter, and all other esteemed treasure-seekers,

The November 2010 Storytelling Blog Carnival was…well, to be honest…it had but one participating entry – so, you can’t even say that it was a carnival 😦

But let’s not worry about the past; let us charge into the future!

Here’s the caricature for the December Carnival.

Caricature, Cartoon, Color Drawing of a Sad young man sitting on the steps - Concept image for the Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival.

What's his story?

Here are the Rules for the Carnival:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of December 31, 2010.

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in January  2011, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll, and of course in the Carnival posts that I make through out this month.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Let your creative juices flow…tell us your story 🙂

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – November 2010 – Edition 6!

Dear Visitors, Aliens, Occasional-stopperbys, and Everyone Else in this Beautiful Virtual world,

The October Carnival ended on October 31, 2010 – on a really low note (sniff!) I guess the drawing failed to get your creative juices flowing. But two brave-hearts persisted.

Here are their stories:

Now if you are wondering why I am still keen on continuing the Blog Carnival, the answer is:  I have a lot of faith in my fellow bloggers. I know that there are many who are sitting on a gold-mine of talent (including some who’ve recently visited mine,) and that one day, I’ll come up with a caricature, which will make them want to write a fabulous story.

So, here’s the Caricature for the November Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, which I hope will inspire you to write:)

A Caricature, Cartoon, or picture of Romeo and Juliet, the characters from Shakespeare's drama, in a modern balcony scene.

O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou?

The rules remain the same, but I am adding a new constraint.

Your story SHOULD have a Romeo and a Juliet, who are called Romeo and Juliet, respectively!

Here are the rules:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of November 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in November 2010, along with the blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has absolutely no tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Waiting to hear from you, O fellow bloggers! Tell us your story!

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – October 2010 – Edition 5!

header image for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for October 2010

Dear Readers, Visitors, Tourists, Treasure-hunters,  and Creative Bloggers!

The September 2010 Blog Carnival ended on September 30, 2010. Following were the stories that were written for the lady in the caricature.

Stories Written by the Authors:

I thank all the writers who spent their time and taxed their creativity to come up with their colorful stories.  Thank You:)

Now, of course, is the time to unveil the caricature for the October 2010 Carnival. This caricature is different from the previous caricatures in two ways:

  • It’s got two characters instead of one.
  • It shows more pleasant (apparently) people.

So here it is…

Caricature of a man and a woman in a wine glass for the Story Writing Blog Carnival 2010

What's their Story?

Don your thinking cap, get into your most comfortable clothes, and find a writing pad…tell us their story!

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of October 31, 2010 (Sunday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog in the first week of October, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

Never written a story?
Why not start now?

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!

Blog Carnival for Story-writers – 3 Days to go…Read the Stories that have come in!

Hello Visitors of both the Serious and the Casual kinds:)

STOP & READ THIS!

If you don’t know about it already, let me remind you that the September Blog Carnival for Storywriting “Story in the Caricature” is drawing to a close…have you written your story yet?

Here are the stories that’ve come in so far:

I am waiting to read your story:-)

Here’s a quick To-do list for participating in the Carnival:

  1. Write a story and post it on your blog.
  2. Add the Permalink to your post in the comments section of the September Blog Carnival Announcement post here.

And yes…

if you love to read stories, read the entries for the previous 3 carnivals here.

I now return to the act of drowning myself in work, but I shall return soon! Meanwhile, go for a treasure hunt in the exotic lands of your mind and bring back a beautiful story. Discover the storyteller within you:-)

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – September 2010 – Edition 4!

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Header for Edition 4 - September 2010

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to announce the fourth Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival.

Here’s the caricature, which I hope will inspire you to write a story.

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Edition 4 - September 2010

Who's sh(e)? What's sh(e) doing?

So…

What is a Story?

A story is:

“a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events”

What’s your story? What’s the “chain of related events” that jangles in your mind when you see the picture above.

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of September 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog on October 1, 2010, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

The best way to find out is – tell a story! I believe we all are storytellers…we all know how to present something very simple and mundane, in an interesting way – Honestly, that’s all there is to storytelling – so fire a print of the caricature above, stow it away in your bag or briefcase, and write a story to discover a new, creative you.

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!