A Bright Canvas, Book Case Browse

February: Book Case Browse

Here I’ll be recommending a book that I stumbled upon. This book could be a grudging member of my Book Case, or a red carpet VIP. The honest review I give out and the latest ‘pineapple’ rating addition give you your space to make the decision of the big question: To Read or Not To Read. Don’t worry, I will never be giving out the plot line so the former option will always be open.

Feature of the month: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han

I’ve read the whole series and maybe I’ll review the others too one day. But this is the one I have read recently.

This book is just as YA as its prequels, and I love it for that. To portray the though and decision processes of a teenager is pretty hard, but Han does it wonderfully. She really takes us on the highs and lows of Lara Jean’s life and her character is also very real and very relatable. The book is full of quirks, oddities, irrational decisions, love, making memories, loss, college applications and all the cocktail parts that make up a teenager’s life. I hate to admit this, but I promised myself that whatever I write on this blog will be honest so I must say this – I actually cried (in my defence though, it was just a little) when I finished the book because it brought back memories of my high school and I really replayed all the highlights and the not so great moments. Though I never appreciated it while I was in high school, looking back at it, I do really miss it a lot and would trade it in a heartbeat for the mess that university is right now.

It’s a light read which is heavily based on the previous books, so its pretty important for you to read them and know the context before you try and understand this. Youll lose a lot of information if you don’t know the kind of background that Lara Jean and the other characters come from. But if you’ve read the previous books, this is such a nice, rounded and actually finished ending to the series. Of course if Han wanted she could pick up the ending threads this minute and weave another one of these stories on Lara Jean’s college life, but for now it seems that this is where she is taking her break.

Anyhow, the story is a light read, and will 10/10 remind you of the time you were in high school. Its nostalgic and heart warming and completely lovable for suckers for romance like me!

Rating: 🍍🍍🍍.5 / 5

love,

m.v.

 

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A Bright Canvas, Lifestyle, Musings

My ONE Trick to Get Over the Writer’s Block!

For me my bed is the place to get inspiration. I sit there  under the covers, with my laptop and a notebook to jot down random ideas that go away as soon as they arrive and a snack varying in the range of different flavors of chips or popcorn. Some say chips are unhealthy, but I mean hey, potatoes? they’re gooooood. And if you disagree, I’m sorry we will never be on the same page. Ever. I will eat potatoes in almost all shapes, sizes and method of preparation. Except mashed potatoes, those are a little harder to eat unless they’re with pani-puri. That by the way, is one of my all time favorite Indian recipe. They’re literally little fried bowls of goodness!

So I’m sitting there with a bowl of chips, munching normally at the start and eventually furiously as I shove handfuls in my face because there are no ideas, inspirations or epiphanies that are coming to me. Nothing. Zilch. uggghhhhhhh.

I even try switching to a different snack. Maybe the flavor of your food is associated with your little thinking grey cells and with my salted potato chips I am defying some law of biology or whatever. So I switch snacks to sour glow-worms and other candy. But there’s still no eureka moment.

I browse other blogs that I admire, but its not stuff that inspires me to write my musings and reveries.

So how the heck do I get over this writer’s block?

 

The first time I distinctly remember getting over it was a moment of pure joy and I had a sense of achievement. I had been sitting there, twiddling my thumbs, looking around at my room trying to think of stuff when a very random word popped in my brain. Coffee. So I’m like well, that’s still more progress I’ve made the past hour, let me just go with it. Okay, so coffee its going to be.

Then I sat there associating the word ‘Coffee’ with other words. Let me give you an example.

Coffee.

What is coffee? cold or warm, energizing, caffeine, brown, earthy-toned, in a mug, bitter, espresso, latte…

Why do people drink coffee? for the energy, um because it tastes good…

Where/in what context is coffee usually drunk? people meet for coffees, or go on coffee dates, i don’t even drink coffee, in winter because people want to warm themselves up, or the exact opposite even?

 

Then I picked three of my favorites: warm, coffee dates, winter.

And thus came up with one of the very first musings that I was quite happy with. It was simple, but effective. And here’s how I edited it with a photograph and my signature frame.

 

Here’s another example to guide your grey cells a little bit. The word that was swimming in my brain was – Vodka. But how do I create a musing out of this?

Vodka.

Describe it? clear, alcohol, drunk, tequila, shots?…..

Where/in what context is vodka usually drunk? celebration, happiness, party, when you’re going out, pre-cocktail party, heartbreak….

 

Then I picked some favorites again: drunk, heartbreak, and clear (it made me think of rain for some reason)

And thus came up with another one of my very first musings! I really did and still do love this one. I felt that it spoke volumes in just 1 sentence! And here’s how I edited this one with a photograph and my signature frame.

 

So that is my one trick to getting over the writer’s block. Let me break it down into three little steps for you.

  1. If your brain is giving you word(s) that make no sense. Grab them with both hands anyway to get to Step 2. If not just think of a completely random word that could get you going. And if your grey cells are still not budging just google a list of random words. That one is fool-proof!
  2. Describe the word, situation and anything else conventionally or unconventionally associated with it.
  3. Arrange those words in different orders and your brain will now be active enough to fill the missing gaps.

AND YOU HAVE YOURSELF A LITTLE MUSING!

This can of course be expanded to several sentences or a paragraph even!

This method isn’t intuitive or even methodical to be honest. But it really works for me and if you find yourself stuck, give this a try. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t. But I’d love to hear your opinion on it anyway!

By the way, if you haven’t already, then follow me on Instagram. (@bymv_). Then you can get all my musings right in your feed and you can also show me some love and support haha! And before I wrap this one up, here’s to shameless self promotion! 😉

 

love,

M.

 

 

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A Bright Canvas, Lifestyle

Why I Write.

I have a travel notebook, my journal and pens, highlighters, and the likes in several different shades of pink scattered next to me. I’m wearing my favourite pajamas with pandas on the pants and I snuggles up all cosy in my bed with my laptop on my lap.

And I am trying to figure out ONE golden idea as a come back on my blog after I took a break from August since my semester at university started. Let me tell you it has been one demanding semester. And as I sit here curled up after finishing exactly half of my exams I am trying to push away the negative thoughts about the results (as the nervous me is always always worried).

 

So quickly moving on.

 

I’ve looked up more than several prompts online and I have tried to write something for them, but it hasn’t felt natural at all. So I promptly dropped those prompts. And I sat here twiddling my thumbs waiting and waiting and waiting. But nothing came to me. No ideas, no inspirations, and no epiphanies. Then, frustrated, I’m like why the hell am I spending this time not studying for the upcoming exams but trying to perfect one come-back post to the blog? Especially when I know that I will not be able to write for a while because of exam prep. Why do I even want to write so bad? Well, the first logical answers my brain supplied me with were: you need a break because you’ve turned into a zombie in the past weeks, and also you are a procrastinator. Then my heart chimed in and said, well you haven’t written a long piece in a while and its about time you do it.

 

And then it hit me.

 

It might not be the perfect, golden idea. Perhaps a little bit ironic since I haven’t actually written in months. But it’s me. Its who I am. And thus, a piece of truth deserves to be told.

 

So why do I write?

 

If I were to just summarize it: It makes me happy. But that is not doing it justice. See, as a child, I started reading books pretty early. I was fascinated with the fact that these pieces of paper bounded together could hold so much magic (Shout out to Harry Potter) and love and emotions and while curled up in my bed, I could travel to places I had never seen, known or heard about. Lands of fairies and waterfalls of chocolates awaited me within those bounded pages.

 

As is obvious, devouring books is where it all began.

 

Then I had this irresistible urge to paint the worlds I had been experiencing myself. As a child I had this little notebook with a hen or something on the cover. It was bright green. (The cover, not the animal). So one day I sat at my little pink desk on the little pink chair with my favourite pencil and wrote whatever came to my mind. When I finished my very first 3 page story I realized that it was already dark outside. Little me was quite proud that evening.

 

And so the efforts continued.

 

Until I could fit about 4 – 5 stories in the book since it was quite tiny. But to little me this was an accomplishment. I hugged the book close and placed it on the shelf with all my other favourite books. Every once in a while I’d open it once more and marvel at how I spun these stories.

From my pre-teen to teen years I maintained a diary. I tried to fill it everyday but I wasn’t regular and that was okay by me. The most important point was to write. You see, I had this overwhelming urge to tell stories. From my day, from my imaginations, or from stories I had heard. It didn’t matter where they came from.

 

It mattered that they were put pen to paper.

 

All the while, my mom being the rock strong support she is, urged me to keep doing it. And to challenge myself a bit with writing short stories. I must say I never did, but I regret that.

Eventually I filled up several journals of different styles, covers and colors. Towards the end of my teens, I felt this constant urge to write. Scenarios, moments, what-ifs and could be-s floated into my brain mid-class. And some of them were just so good that I had to write them down before they floated away once again. So started my compilation of my little musings. And that, fast forwarded, brings us to today. I have an affinity for words.

 

While constantly moving around from place to place, with most possessions going missing, my journals were the most fiercely protected items. And the words were the home that never changed.

 

This urge to tell stories is indescribable. As a person with a naturally (wildly) high level of imagination, I have a lot of scenarios brewing in my brain. Most of them make it to my journal, and now even to my Instagram account (@bymv_), but some get lost before I can save them somewhere. But either way, I crave to string words into sentences that evoke a varying range of emotions.

 

And thus I write.

 

Also, I must add, the ‘Write’ button on WordPress which you click for a new post is an endless source of inspiration to me. It makes the butterflies flutter in my tummy, and scour my memory for the best word to describe my emotions.

 

love,

M.

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A Bright Canvas, Book Case Browse

August: Book Case Browse

Here I’ll be recommending a book that I stumbled upon. This book could be a grudging member of my Book Case, or a red carpet VIP. The honest review I give out and the latest ‘pineapple’ rating addition give you your space to make the decision of the big question: To Read or Not To Read. Don’t worry, I will never be giving out the plot line so the former option will always be open.

Feature of the month: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Let me get this out: Darcy was a completely selfish bitch. I’m positive that there won’t be too many disagreements on that one. As far as the story goes, it is once again about lost loves and consequential events and stories. This one is a light read for about 7/8ths of the book and then you’re hit with a twist that you can totally buy but probably didn’t expect.

I have always felt that the need to cheat in marriages is never there unless it really is a very unhappy bond or if there was a compromise from the start.

This book deals with most things practically, except a couple, but hey, creative freedom right? As I already said before, it is a nice, light read for an afternoon where you don’t have a lot on your hands and want to dive into a book that doesn’t require a lot of effort from your side.

P.S: I think you probably already know what the ‘something borrowed’ is.

Rating: 🍍🍍🍍.5 / 5

love,

m.v

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A Bright Canvas, Musings

faces

I travel every week, from one city to another. Waiting at the train stations is a different kind of fun. I see all these faces that cross me everyday. Tourists, locals, businessmen, children, mothers, students, and so many more. I wait for my transport and wonder where they come from. What made them be here at this time. Where they’re traveling to. What are their regrets? Have they lost someone they loved? Are they broken inside? What are they running from? What are they running towards? What is the one thing they want to get from life?

The train slowly pulls up, and most of the people I had been wondering about climb aboard with me. Some are in the same coach and others scamper to different ones. I plug in my earphones, lose myself in the music.

    – and the questions go unanswered as the faces soon disappear at the station //

 

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A Bright Canvas, Musings

what my soul seeks is closure

It takes a lot of work to step out from the past and into the present. Especially for those souls that crave closures and don’t get them. Despite all those conscious efforts and attempts, the mind lurks in those corners of the past like a ghost revisiting its site of death. Watching with keen eyes and hoping that perhaps this time, it will end differently.

– and of course, it never rests in peace //

 

 

 


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A Bright Canvas, Book Case Browse

July: Book Case Browse

Here I’ll be recommending a book that I stumbled upon. This book could be a grudging member of my Book Case, or a red carpet VIP. The honest review I give out and the latest ‘pineapple’ rating addition give you your space to make the decision of the big question: To Read or Not To Read. Don’t worry, I will never be giving out the plot line so the former option will always be open.

Feature of the month: When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

This YA book captured my heart in so many ways. Except one: the premise it was constructed upon. I am familiar with Indian customs, but families living in the USA aren’t all that backward that they will arrange marriages for their children at the young age of 18 years. And the children will even be open to this idea. I certainly wasn’t and supported Dimple completely for focusing on her career and getting that sort of fulfillment from life rather than hunting for the I.I.H (you gotta read the book to get this) at that age.

However, overlooking that concept (it was hard, but not impossible), the book is actually quite fantastic. And very well structured and organized. It focuses on a lot of issues that YAs deal with, without being pushy and over the top. There is absolutely nothing in this book that feels unreal or fake. Sandhya Menon has done a great job of capturing what it’s like to be in that situation and dealing with the drama that is part of the package. All characters that should be developed are very well developed and you really feel like you know their dispositions by the end of the book. And sometimes there’s nothing better than that feeling of closure.

I’ve been in a dilemma of whether to say this or not. After a lot of debating I’ll give out just one “spoiler”, only because I think I would’ve wanted to know this before I started reading the book. The book has a happy ending! There, I said it.

I haven’t watched the movie When Harry met Sally, so I can’t confirm if this plot line is similar to the movie’s (even though the title is). But it is a really great, heart-warming and mood-lifting read for all YAs and even As that have mushy hearts which reach out to absolutely lovable romances. As one critic explained it by saying that this is a book you didn’t know you needed in your life.

 

Rating: 🍍🍍🍍🍍 ( / 5)

 

love,

m.v

 

 

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A Bright Canvas, Book Case Browse

May: Book Case Browse

If you’re new here, or still unfamiliar with the series then: This is a series in which I recommend and/or review a book that has impacted me without giving away the actual story (so you can still go and read it!).

Feature of the month: Everything, Everything 

The movie is coming out on May 28th in the US so I figured now would be a good time to review the book. Firstly, just from the trailer I can tell you that the casting is not true to the book. I’ll probably still end up watching the movie because that’s who I am, but I’m not holding my breath because I know that once again the book hasn’t been done justice to.

Back to the story, it is kinda…cute, but I have read cuter books. I feel that the mother’s anguish could have been shown differently so that the readers could sympathize with her more. Maddy’s character could’ve been developed a bit more than it was. I mean, she was always at home but she had access to the internet, she wasn’t exactly limited as far as resources are concerned. The book made it sound like Maddy was living in the stone age or something. The concept itself is not to my personal taste, but I feel that nonetheless a much better book could’ve been written with the chosen story line. Yoon could have spent more time on certain topics to make the reader actually feel involved in the story as compared to a by-stander watching a movie on fast forward at times.

The characters weren’t as rounded as they should’ve been and there was very little focus on certain aspects that could’ve been brought to light much earlier. Overall, its a read for when you’ve run out of options and don’t want to use much brain.

love,

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A Bright Canvas, Book Case Browse, Musings, Series

April: Book Case Browse

If you’re new here, or still unfamiliar with the series then: This is a series in which I recommend and/or review a book that has impacted me without giving away the actual story (so you can still go and read it!).

Feature of the month: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

I read this one a little while ago and while the cover of the book made me fall in love with it, the book wasn’t exactly as promising. Arthur Pepper while cleaning out some sentimental items, stumbles upon a mysterious object that takes him on these crazy adventures. While the majority of the book was entertaining, there were certain parts that were too far fetched to be part of the adventure of a 70-something man. Patrick did a great job of building up to the climax of the book, but then it was a bit of an anti-climax for me. Okay, it was a sensible ending, but personally I would’ve preferred a bit more of an enlightenment, or a bit more of closure than what Patrick gave the readers.

To sum the book up in one sentence: It was a great read, but the ending was a bit of a bummer.

love,

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