The Writing Mind

Where the Journey Begins!

The Good Men Project is Re-inventing Media on IndieGoGo!

Wanting to be more aware of men and their perspectives, I came across The Good Men Project by surfing the internet, and saw that GMP is truly the place to go in having an impactful conversation about the changing roles of men- and in the 21st century. I was then inspired to improve my own writing and storytelling abilities by being a weekly contributor. 

Its many contributors makes this site have a global reach, and because of there not being a barrier between writer and reader, this site is a "Participatory Media" resource where in depth conversation can happen. The editors of the Good Men Project are very supportive of their community of writers once someone is signed up to be a weekly contributor, and is ready to guide someone along into becoming a better writer. Their depth that also goes behind the material for each of their online classes is incredible! As a fellow community member of writers on Facebook, I am inspired by what I see, as other members share insightful and relevant articles that they have either written for The Good Men Project or elsewhere. We as members are wonderful as well with inspiring each other with what we come across. Along with having supportive and informative online classes, GMP has also recently branched out in creating Social Interest Groups that are live phone calls about difficult topics that people from anywhere in the world can join and get seated around a virtual campfire. 

Now in expanding these Social Interest Groups, The Good Men Project has launched their IndieGoGo campaign to really re-invent media and make the conversation bigger. Helping people process a rapidly changing world with information that can be too much and at the same time conflicting, as well as getting to the heart of a real issue is important at The Good Men Project!  

GMP's enthusiasm of this global conversation through these Social Interest Groups is exciting to me, and I am thrilled in supporting their efforts! I hope that you can join me in supporting this effort too by checking out their campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/join-the-conversation-no-one-else-is-having-community-media/x/16856557#/ where sharing and donating to the cause would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your consideration into this campaign!

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Hoping and Waiting

On a Beautiful Monday Afternoon I am sitting in the public library, an actual book within reach and a cover designed as a book holding my iPad staring back at me.

As usual, my mind is ablaze with thoughts and memories, but these thoughts and memories are in-coherent, and nothing to offer one whose spirits are down nor creative enough in painting a picture.  Turning my head to the left though, I see that the sky has turned darker and the clouds reflecting whatever sunlight would be left of the day.

It is Daylights Savings Time for the winter months in Western Massachusetts, and as a result it gets dark early, and in no time at all it will completely be dark outside.  The stars still shine brightly though, and there has been a full moon in the sky–in fact we are expecting the moon to be its closest to the earth after a long time!

Nature has stood by me in my highest of highs, and my lowest of lows.  Just because it has turned dark early doesn’t mean that I would go with the night, as the night time can be a dark mistress with either the mistress being wrought with evil from the unknown, or perhaps a force filled with adventure and imagination–harnessing the darkness in creative ways!

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An Impactful Impact

As I am finding my voice, and reflecting this “superpower”, I decided to have the powers that are within Google to give me a topic to reflect on.  It so happened that today’s “Google Doodle” was honoring Mr. Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the Father of Microbiology.  Picking out a site of his then, I read through it, and EUREKA a connection emerged!

Having an interest in the sciences, I studied Microbiology and Biology–and just remember how much brainpower one would need in memorizing the many many facets of the natural world!  “Doctor” Leeuwenhoek discovered tiny organisms that encompassed the discipline of Microbiology, and had a genuine interest and curiosity doing so, though his education wasn’t formalized in the sciences.  He made over 500 microscopes by grinding lenses, with his interest peaking from curiosity, and then proceeded to use these instruments in observing what he saw.  Within his lifetime he discovered bacteria, sperm cells, blood cells, nematodes, rotifers–and so many more tiny organisms!  He was the one that observed tiny organisms in the mouth, that also reminded me of my biology class with one of our labs focusing on the bacteria that was found in the mouth!

“. . . my work, which I’ve done for a long time, was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more than in most other men. And therewithal, whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.”

This quote from Antony van Leeuwenhoek from a letter dated June 12, 1716 also highlights my own sense of curiosity and amazement of the natural world, and I would hope that being curious would be a good thing!

Many Thanks to the University of California at Berkeley: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/leeuwenhoek.html !

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On the theme of “Money”

First Presented at a Story Slam that was hosted by Wordxword at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on July 10, 2016–and then modified even more afterwards!

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” according to Lao Tse, and I’m sure many others who have paraphrased and uttered this sentiment, and as I am reflecting on the theme of money I can’t help but remember my introduction of being away from home.  Not only was I going to an unfamiliar environment where immense freedom could be had-for it was college and one could drink, smoke, and get a tattoo to no end-but I was also going to be encountering new faces, ideas, and talents.

Of these new encounters six women and eight men from Jordan, four women and three men from India, six women from Belize, and so many more women and men from Cape Verde, Sudan, China, and Brazil entered into my life–along with those that lived in the United States.  Sharing meals and spending evenings listening to tunes from the Ud as well as going to Six Flags encapsulated the joy I felt with my Jordanian and Cape Verdean “Brothers and Sisters” during my first summer at college, and as time went on and learning more about these “cultural ambassadors”, I further was overjoyed.  I would come to learn about the beautiful island nation of Cape Verde as the majority of the campus body also came from there, as well as the reality of daily living in war torn areas.

Things though do have a beginning and an end, so the beginning was meeting these wonderful people–but they too had an ultimate goal of earning their Masters Degrees– and so the end is them accomplishing their missions in getting their Masters in Computer Science, English, Business, and Education and then going home.  My end to this story though is the closeness I felt with these people and the fact of my life becoming richer with being able to laugh, cry, and share in their company.  The Extreme Richness of Friendship began with that single step–and I still plan to walk a thousand more miles with the confidence of us being connected!

 

 

 

 

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Friendship, III

For Friendship, III I will be focusing on nature and things that aren’t human, which has also time and again proven to be as loyal to me as its human counterparts.

Growing up and Living in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, I have come to love nature and have been enjoying it more from my many walks and from taking pictures, and even the coldness that defines the Berkshire Winters doesn’t stop my enjoyment of the beauty that Mother Nature has given us! I love the fact that I get to enjoy 4 Wondrous Seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn, and Winter–where I don’t obviously complain about Summer because of the nice heat that comes from it, since I would rather be in heat than in cold!

I love her creatures as well, whether it is petting a dog to hearing birds sing in the trees, they have all made me “belong”! I learned to be strong and courageous from Nature’s ways from temporarily being separated from my group at a New York subway platform as I was just too polite so that someone in my group could go ahead of me! As a result, we both missed the train and hailed a taxi cab and met up with the rest of the crew moments later! Nature has also saved me from death, as I saw the light in a hospital bed as I once recovered from alcohol poisoning, and figured that from then on I had to respect and listen to my body. Even years later when I fractured my ankle, I was grateful to Nature as I was able to exactly know where I was in the woods to get help! The skill of patience that I also learned in academia helped me greatly too with healing, as it did take forever to heal!

Now I am bigger and bolder than ever, and of late, I have been less scared of ice–although I also shouldn’t push my luck as once I thought that I could walk across a small frozen pond!

I am grateful that Nature has been kind to me, just like her human counterpart!

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Friendship, II

Internalizing how much someone means to you exemplifies the perfect friendship, no matter how they look or are. It seems that within our lifetimes, people come and go without much appreciation for the other in between, and when they do appreciate it’s for an immediate reason. Such an instance has happened in my life, where I befriended an amazing guy–but then his amazingness was all in his looks and not much else! It was then after a few years that I saw that in every turn of us being friends that he was genuinely a friend! It’s a success story then from here on out since we now have been friends for seven years, and counting!

Being born into a Minority Group, I discovered-with his help- that I liked befriending and learning about people of other nationalities, and where suffice to say this friend in question hailed from Ukraine. In my never ending pursuit of finding out more about other cultures then, two of my weekends ended up being Eastern European and Balkan-ed themed, with a weekend surprisingly being that I would have two chance meetings with him! My friend immigrated to the United States in his early teens, and for one of our encounters I attended his Mom’s art show. Testifying to the following day’s “Ethnic Festival”, Eastern Europe and the Balkans (as well as other regions of the world) are both traditional and modern in their culture and societies, with his Mom reflecting the traditional aspect at her show. Known as either Hohloma or Khokhloma, this primarily Russian form of art that she specializes in is earthy in color and material, for nature-ly subjects are painted on wood.

My first impression of my Ukrainian Friend-Dude was that he was goofy, as he was never at a loss for projecting humor! His general warmth drew me towards him, and then-alas- it was the looks. He taught me strength and self-confidence like no one else had, as once at a team building activity he “left me stranded alone” at a balancing activity in which we had to walk on a log to the other side. He was most certainly there guiding me and my otherwise poor sense of balance but also intended that I should be centered, get balanced, and then get to the other side. When his turn came to cross, he was once again his silly self as he went forwards- backwards- and every which way, and then to the other side! Moments like this defined his caring self towards me (and to anyone else who saw it), and where he was truly my friend. By no means am I saying that he is my only friend that has ever single-handedly helped me in life, but that he is the first male friend that has done it all! I have after all had crushes on guys before my friend came onto the scene, but like mentioned before–they came and went without much thought! In carrying out my life then, I’m seeing that true happiness is a game of chance–that you could get happiness first, and good looks later!

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Friendship, I

In my time of self-reflecting, more than anything, I have appreciated the value of friendship, and that it’s a gift that is very strong, binding, and is to be taken fairly seriously. It is a great quality to be and to have a friend, and a great place marker in saying that you have actually lived and functioned in this lifetime! While I am confident that you all know what a friend is, and will thus find this bit kinda sorta boring, I hope that my Friendship Installments won’t be too too boring! Also in all my installments, I will not be naming anyone, so if you are wondering on identities–go ask the people I’m writing about!

I begin this bit with a friend that I pride in telling that I have grown up and went to grade school with. An immediate memory of her is that her name always conjured up birds because of her name also being a type of bird in North America! I know I wasn’t myself growing up, and thus, hadn’t really appreciated the fact that she was always my next door neighbor at every turn (and that we still literally live next to each other!). I was either selfish or simply inappropriate in our early escapades, with once remembering that on going to the local circus, I had gotten my way with riding an elephant instead of riding the camel that she wanted!

We indeed fluttered along our ways in school and in college, but then fate for me brought us back together more than ever at her Graduation Party. I had fractured my ankle that spring into summer, but had still wanted to be part of her momentous time! Her Mom and her, even though it was their day, still went more than out of their ways in accommodating me and it must have been through their good fortunes that I had a successful (but long and frustrating) recovery. Her Mom is truly wonderful and supportive of the both of us, and it is amazing that she has been able to provide for the both of them (and for me as the occasional dinner guest too). Suffice it to say that we have seen more of each other since the Party, and that we have been more than ever able to talk freely about life!

Maybe it just is those childhood friendships that makes the difference of the amount of love that we can show to others, for since then I have been able to live life in an open and refreshing way! We all appreciate nature, so on our walks in the outside air we have been able to enjoy each other’s company, and also for me to learn about local history! We have most of all been able to see each other, for which I have been quite happy with!

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Presenting, my mirth at finding a favorite past time of yesteryears-gone interactive!!

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Back In The Game!

After being away with contemplating, wondering, searching, and crying at what my next move would be–I can finally say that now I am sure at where I am going and what I need to do to get there!! I don’t want to say my plans out loud right now, but suffice to say that I am working in that positive direction. Along the way, I’ve had wonderful experiences that will help me, or has already helped me, in becoming a confident person!

One immediate joy I have found is the wonderful “app” or application called Instacollage, where you can digitally make collages, and then share with others (I have the free version though, but is still enough to work with!). I have had so much fun creating themed collages for friends and/or other people, and that I realize that I haven’t yet made my own personalized work of art! My method of creation for this is that I take what the friend either is to me, has told me, or what we have went through and through either outside images or our own collections of images create a picture that’s also a momento of the time or moment!

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Love

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I realize that true success in life depends on having self-confidence in three ways.  The first way is to love.  The second way is to love, and the third way is to love.

For this weekend’s Trifextra Challenge (http://trifectawritingchallenge.com), we wrote as Henry James, and drew from his quote in 33 words: “Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

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Lightning Bug!

The timer is off, and I am here doing my first speed writing for The Lightning Bug!  I as of yet don’t know what I will fill this space with, but the time is ticking!  I guess I could write about my hopes and dreams, but I am finding that these wants are constantly shifting, like the time in a day.  What I could have hoped and dreamed for the morning has shifted to something else in the evening.  My love of history and the Discovery Channel led me to want to pursue Archaeology, but after many days and evenings, I found this area not suiting me.  Not all hope was lost on this front though, because now I am just studying “History” of which I am having luck with… so far!  I guess I could tell you my name, my beginnings—since it would not shift, but my story would be the same as yours.  Named Maya Bahl and raised in an Indian household, could be a story that you have heard many times.  Not having a traditional American childhood is not only common, but at the same time outlandish, for how could anyone be raised so differently?  I love to write, but isn’t that what the Lightning Bug community is here for?  Wow, 10 minutes is now up, and look how far I got!  Time flies when you write!

The Flicker of Inspiration from The Lightning and the Lightning Bug this week was to speed write for ten minutes.

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Loving Wild

Harry knew that Sally had a problem, and wild with grief, he had to check her in.  The Smith Ward was the intensive care unit within their local hospital, and taking in the sights around him now, Harry felt nervous that Sally was in a place like this.  He knew Sally was normal, but others around him felt that there was something wrong. 

They fell for each other one summer evening out in the wilderness, as camp leaders they fell in love with the other’s passion and zest in keeping happiness and safety among the other campers.  Now with the flame to their fires growing stronger and stronger, Harry and Sally lied down together under the illuminating night sky one evening.  They were away from people and civilization for this night, and knew that they would always be there for the other no matter what, marking this night as the most special night of their relationship!    

Many years had passed where one day Sally appeared to be unstable.  On a trip to the store, others noticed Sally walking funny and her irrational conversation at checkout.  She had seen many faces behind the cashier, and she felt that someone followed her, even though no one was behind her.  Harry also noticed these strange behaviors later that day, but did not say anything.  He did not want to be separated from Sally, and was confident that as a couple, they would work through this, and their lives would soon be back to normal.      

Now with Sally checked in at the Smith ward, Harry lived on the edge of humanity.  Socially separated from everyone else, Harry’s only mission now was to visit Sally and maintain a sense of normalcy with her.  She was definitely not the same person he had met, from the many medications that she was on, but he still loved her and her once lively spirit. 

Harry continued to be with Sally though, and would be there until their last day. 

For the Trifecta Writing Challenge this week, the definition of “Wild” as either  “not being controlled” or “emotionally overcome” was used.

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Trouble!

I get troubled by my own trouble of happiness, although feeling miserable is also troubling in itself. I am forced with this happiness to smile and laugh, and then to frown and cry when I get sad, with sadness naturally occurring from happiness. Living in this crazy world with opposites, and added with my own quest of seeking the truth, I get exhausted!

For the Trifecta Writing Challenge this week, the definition of “Trouble” as “An Instance” was used.

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‘logging

Almost a month went by since my last post, and well, I need to blog more often! 

There were things that I learned within that month though, such as writing things down in not only helping me prepare for presentations, but to also keep alive any and all of the progressions I am making as a person.  It not only binds the inner core to spirit, but it also strengthens the individual so that they can be more confident when speaking in public.  Last Thursday I listened to an amazing psychologist/spiritualist/author named Mark Waldman, who also encouraged things to be written down.  With a simple question, he has found people to be more aware of themselves and to be more driven in attaining their goals in life.  His all worthy question should be reflected on during mornings and spanning ten days.  He also encouraged us to really hoan in on what instantly comes to mind!

If you expected me to give Waldman’s question in the last bit, congratulations on feeling impatient as I had when I had tuned in on Thursday!  Waldman truly dragged out everything but the question, so that one had to guess that the question had to be as random as: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” 

I end this post then with that question being our homework that is due indefinitely, and hope that our paths will begin from this moment on:

 What is your deepest innermost value?

 

Me

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Social Media Week

Bridgewater State University will be designating March 19-23, 2012 as a Social Media Week, which is an  already international event that recognizes the importance of being digital.  I am having the opportunity in participating in its “BlogFest” where others and I will blog for a week on specified topics relating to the campus, so be on the lookout for I will be blogging sooner than you think on “The Writing Mind”!

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Selena’s Last Concert!

Here is a concert that you are all invited to, and where you can either clap your hands for joy or you can cry to, knowing that the beloved singer Selena isn’t with us now!

Long Live Selena!

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Indieink | The II Writing Challenge

Hello Folks, Happy Holidays!

I was not on here for awhile due to:

  1. College Finals
  2. Non-Writing Surge

I am back again though, until I am not in a writing mood, which might again be soon!

Here’s a link that is definitely getting me writing: Indieink | The II Writing Challenge.  It is a weekly short story contest where random prompts are given, and we as the Writer has to make the prompt come alive with our words!

The next post from me then will be the “challenged” random topic and its short story!

Stay Tuned!

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Now we have snow!  The land looks so beautiful with it, but it being cold is another story!

I am starting to branch out more, with this WordPress blog being a product of the branching!  I can never be on a set schedule to write, because my thoughts take their time like me, but at least I am writing more than I ever have!


 

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Personality test based on Jung and Briggs Myers typology

Though this is not a perfect science, this test can still provide you with a basic assessment of yourself!

Personality test based on Jung and Briggs Myers typology.

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Let the Winter Wonderland Begin!

Fortunately, December in Dalton is snow-less now, but I do not know how much longer I can celebrate.  We have had snow already in October, and though it was for one day, it still made me sad!

Nonetheless, I still love living in this area where we have four distinct seasons, where there is change!  Though I am a summer sun girl, I don’t like if it’s just one type of weather, like there seems to be in Nevada and California!  California still seems to be a cool place, but Nevada and Las Vegas seems to be “off”. 

On our vacation there, I still remember flying over the Rockies and thinking that our plane would land on a rocky cliff, instead of a proper strip of an airport.  Vegas with all its lights just seems to rob the landscape of its terrain, for when you leave the city– you only see flat lands with rocky cliffs.  A conventional rest area isn’t a rest area, because around the stop you just see a flat road and the flat lands.  California though is just a ride that you would expect when being in a rodeo.  The land, being on top of a fault, is SO hilly that you do not know when you are going up or down! 

There is something to say about the food though, loving Mexican food, I was on cloud 9 having the cuisine almost every day when there!   🙂

 

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A Brand New Night!

As I reflect, I wonder where I have been and where I am going!

The world is a giant place, and I know that I am just one small person that is among other small beings on this gigantic plane we call the Earth.

Others I know must wonder the same thing I am wondering, but what about their voices and dreams? Are they heard, or just blend in like chameleons?

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What’s Going On – YouTube

What’s Going On – YouTube.

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The Beatles

One of THE greatest groups ever!

The Beatles.

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Here Comes The Sun!

Greetings one and all!

Here is my new official blog for any narratives-opinions-non-poetic material! I also might just throw in some of my pictures too!

I always wanted this type of sunny layout for my online space, so

“Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes the sun, and I say

It’s alright”

Needless to say that I am VERY happy at what I am seeing and I hope to make it more “sunny” as time goes on!

Sit back and wear your sunglasses as you sip on your drink and enjoy “The Writing Mind!”

Best,

Maya Bahl

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