August 21, 2009

Co-writer to the world

Ever fancied yourself as an author? Join the whole world in writing a book! The project has come up with this brilliant idea of giving every person in this world a chance to co-write a book ... a snippet at a time!

The idea is to give each and every one of us ... from you, me and Chottu down the street, to Igor , Andre, Heather, Makame and Ling at the other corners of the globe ... a chance to write a snippet of the story, continuing from the first one published online by TWWAB team . Every day a new snippet is selected from all those submitted and the story rolls forward.

There is no pre-set plot ... that's up to you (and the 6 billion odd people populating this world) to decide. You can add new twists and turns, introduce new characters or kill them off, turn a hero into a villain or vice versa ... the mind boggles!

There are no guidelines except that you can submit only a snippet of 140 characters at a time and that you have to write it in english.

And here's where it gets really interesting ... the person with the most number of accepted snippets stands to win a Grand Prize of $25,000 !
Incentive enough? I would think that the chance to have a say in which way a story sways is more than good enough. But this really does sweeten the deal, doesn't it?

This book already looks set to become a best-seller to beat 'em all. After all, who wouldn't buy a book which they've written a part of ... even if that part is only 140 characters long! That's a definite market of about 6 billion books .

So what's the story so far? Read it here.
And hopefully your name is going to show up in that column in the accepted entry list.

August 17, 2009

Too much of a good thing

The thing I looked forward to the most when I was a kid (okay, when I grew up too) was ... vacations!
Sleep late, roll out of bed late, breakfast at noon, lie on the lawn and watch the clouds drift by, stroll, hang out with friends, watch movies, read and read and read ... oh, the sheer deliciousness of it!
There is a magical something in the very aimlessness and let-your-hair-down quality that these long holidays conjures up. Something that makes you long for it and count the days till you can revel in it again.

This is exactly what my son (and his parents too) was looking forward to when he finished his Std. X Board exams in March this year. In the long, grimy, tough days while he was preparing for his exams, my favourite motivational talk was all about "study now and you'll have such a long vaction ... at least 3-4 months .... after your exams to enjoy yourself" .
And so with tempting pictures of what he would, or rather, would not do in these days of grace, I persuaded him to stick his nose to his books.

The exams wound up and sure enough, his books were flung aside. Then followed a feast of 'doing-nothing', alternated sometimes with 'nothing doing'! Football on the beach, meeting friends, making friends, movies, eating out, staying up late, watching videos till midnight, cell-phoneitis till 2 a.m., doze off at 4, wake up at noon (except when there's football on the beach!)... mmmm, nothing changes except what we choose to do , or rather, don't do during the languid days of Vacation. The deliciousness, though, remains the same .

Or does it? I wonder...
This year seems to have a record-breaking long Vacation. First there was all that drama about the online admissions and the court case about a quota for SSC Board students. And the date of reopening was extended till the first week of August when the normal date is somewhere in mid-July.

Oh that's great, he said and promptly organised some more football in the rain and more outings with his friends. And then went down to his new college to check out the place and other friends and seniors from his school who're already studying there.

He came back filled with anticipation. He had tried out for the football team and had been selected. Classes haven't started but football has!
Oh yes, and there are some college festivals he's been hearing all about and waiting to take part in...

Then, Mumbai was swamped under the swine flu epidemic and all schools and colleges have been shut till the 20th of August . Which means my son's Junior College has still not re-opened.
This time his reaction was "Oh no!" .
Actually it was more like "Oh s..t!" but I freely translated that in the interests of maintaining motherly dignity (don't know why I bother! )
Anyway, back to the son's reaction ... "When are they going to open my college anyway? Its almost the end of August! "

Hmmm .... looks like trouble in paradise. A severe case of discontent if nothing else. He's actually waiting for college to reopen now!
Maybe too much of ennui has got the better of him ?
Are too much of holidays just too much of a good thing?