Spotlight Sunday

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Harrattan Parhar

Hometown/Location: Toronto, Ontario

Do you recall how your interest in photography originated?
I just kept looking at old photo albums from my youth and I sort of drew inspiration to document my surroundings and memories through that. I started bringing my camera everywhere with me; whether it was a point and shoot, a DSLR, or even a cell phone.
Why do you take photos?

This sounds so cliché, but I just love being able to compose an image in which can never really be duplicated. Every photo can be replicated, but not duplicated. I haven’t been working on any photography projects recently because I’ve been busy with work, but I love shooting community events the most; for example, I’ve shot events such as Occupy Toronto, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and Markham Expo. All of these events involved the community in one way or another.
What style or genre do your photos fall under? If there isn’t one, how are you creating your own?
I guess you can say that most of it falls under documentary, but I think I might focus on portraiture for a while. I guess you can say a mix of both is photojournalism.
What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
When a connection between the photography and subject(s) is evident.
Do you have a favorite photographer and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Francesca Woodman has always been a favourite photography of mine. Her photographs are shot in black and white film and a majority of her work is self-portraiture. I was shocked when I first saw her work and I’m sure whoever else sees it for the first time will be shocked too.
Has writing or any other art form played a role in your work?

Not yet, but I have plenty of ideas that I hope to bring to life in the near future.
What is the most challenging thing about what you do?
I think the most challenging thing about what I do is asking people if I can photograph them, especially for the purposes of a “Humans of…” photography project I started last semester. It’s not as challenging as it was before, but I still have difficulty coming up with questions to truly engage with the subject.
Do you have a favourite quote or piece of advice that you would like to share with us?

Ball is life.
Do you have any advice for other photographers?

Keep challenging yourself and experimenting with your work. Through experimentation, you’ll learn how to master the use of your camera.

Photos By Harrattan 

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To see more photos from Harrattan visit:

Website: harrattan.ca
Blog: blog.harrattan.ca

 

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10 Ways to Know You’re a Writer

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Originally posted on Stories are the Wildest Things:

You’ve wondered, right?

You’ve asked yourself this question many times and you’re reading this post to find out, “Am I a writer?”

Like a hypochondriac checking out WebMD for signs and symptoms, you scour articles and blog posts for the telltale signs and symptoms that you’ve got what it takes to declare yourself a writer.

I do, too. That’s why I came up with this list of 10 Ways to Know You’re a Writer.

After reading the list, click on the links to the other great blog posts and articles that relate to each of these ideas.

Please leave me a comment about which symptoms you come down with most often, or add some new ones of your own.

You Know You’re a Writer if…

10. You take really long showers because you’re working on a writing problem or your fictional characters are having conversations in your head and…

View original 409 more words

Spotlight Sunday


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 Akhand Singh

Hometown/Location: Manchester NH US

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?  

My interest in writing originated mostly as a need to express myself, The very first thing I recall that I wrote was a love letter,  after that poetry and short stories captured my mind.

I have also just finished my first novel which is a teenage romance fiction, and I am currently working on my second novel.

What is your favorite genre or style to write in?

My favorite genre is Romance and slice of life.  I write fiction and poetry.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Kresley Cole is one of my favorite authors, I like the way she combines love, romance and action into words and portrays the character. I almost feels real.

 

What books have most influenced your life most? 

“The monk who sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma has influenced me alot.

Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice that you would like to share with us?

“Until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life” I have lived this quote my entire life and I always believe in being able to do anything.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

A piece of advice would be “follow your heart and write with honestly, for the words we share are the only thing that will become our legacies”

Can you tell us a little background or anything special on the piece you composed?

I have written a short story called “Crush Like Love”, this story is a confession of belief that I have, it revolves around David and all the girls he has ever loved or liked.

As the story progresses he questions himself “Can he love more than one person at the same time and can he love them equally?”, and he questions himself “Did he ever really love her? Or did he just like her? Just like he thinks he liked everyone else in the past”.

 

Below is a link to the PDF file for

 Crush Like Love

To read more from Akhand ….
Website: http://akhandsingh.com/
Blog:       http://akhandsingh.com/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/akhandsi 
Twitter: @akhand881

Please leave your feedback, comments and encouraging words. We want to uplift and engage with our Spotlight writers! If you like what you read , please share with your fellow writers!

Tuesdays with Tia- Response to Writing Prompt 8

  Still continuing with the theme of writing letters to support the Love Letter Project —www.theloveletterproject.ca . I decided to submit an open  letter of my own.  I hope you all consider writing one and submitting to support this cause!


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Dear You,
Be patient. Things will not fall into place and be fixed over night. You are not a broken toy to be taken to the shop where the bits and pieces will be reassembled until you feel brand new. No, you are human and your heart will heal slowly and tenderly. You may feel the old aches but it is okay. When that happens just breathe and remind yourself that this is part of the process. Do not get frustrated with yourself. Your mind will whisper insecurities to you and make you second guess everything. You are working on this and it is important that you realize when you are speaking and acting from a place of insecurity. You have been hurt and shocked. Your trust in your loved ones has been shattered multiple times until you are still searching for the glass shards, carefully skimming your hand along the floor hoping to find one before it cuts you. You have been diagnosed with a milieu of  things you are determined to not let define you. You are more than scribbles on prescription papers.  These feelings can be temporary if you allow it. People make mistakes, you will make mistakes. Your anxiety will speak to you, and pull you in every direction. It will try to suck you back into the past and this time you will resist!  It will flare up in the form of impulse decisions, and impulse texts. You will just breathe. You will not hurt yourself, or others. Do not compare your progress to others.  You will not let the old pains haunt you. You will learn that what is worse than never forgiving others is to never forgive yourself. You will talk to yourself often and make sure you listen. You will know this list of things to do gets easier as the days go on, so you can do this. It’s time.
xo Tia

The Love Letter Project Submission 1

 

 

To A Rape Survivor

Annie Jadin

It never gets easier
but it does
a little.
Each breath
each heartbeat
a thud of validation
“hey,
I AM
STILL
HERE.”
You will find
soft places in your heart
(they are still there,
still beautiful)
someday
you will see
softness
in the mirror.

Annie Jadin

speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com

 

I would like to express my gratitude towards Annie for submitting this compassionate piece of poetry as a submission for the Writing Prompt 8- The Love Letter Project!

Spotlight Sunday

 

 

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 Ryan Pelaez

Hometown/Location: Louisville, KY
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
 I don’t recall it originating from anywhere in particular, really. When I was around 12 years old, I just started writing. At that time, I wasn’t very good, so I had put it down for a few years, but picked it back up when I was about 16. I look back at the pieces I wrote around then and shutter.They weren’t much to be proud of. Then on one drunken night, at the age of 22, right after a break-up, words just started pouring out of me. I looked at them the next day, after sobering up, and I didn’t hate what I was reading. It’s been snowballing ever since.
Why do you write?
It’s always been some sort of release, I suppose. These days, if I have an idea, a line, or a single word, anything to play with and write from, I have to do it. It used to be cathartic for me, but the older I get, the more it becomes obligatory. Almost as if, if I don’t write, I’ll die. I won’t know what to live for, or what to do with all of the words in my head.
What is your favorite genre or style to write in?:
 My favorite style has always been prose. Nonfictional, poetry – Prose. I’ve tried my hand at writing articles and narratives and things of that sort, but it’s never quite clicked with me, and it never fed my creativity, the way that I needed it to.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
 My favorite author is Charles Bukowski.
Everything I have ever read of his, I feel like I’ve had the same thoughts and feelings, at one point or another. His words have always hit me the hardest, and they’ve gotten me through some severely questionable times in my life. I wish I could shake his hand, because I owe so much of who I am as a writer to him.
What books have most influenced your life most? 
 I go right back to gushing about Bukowski. All of his poetry books, but mainly Love is a Dog from Hell and Sifting Through the Madness. While I feel I have a style that is all my own, I feel like those books shaped me as a writer. The books and Bukowski himself, made me feel like I could say anything. There were no barriers or lines, other than those you placed yourself.
Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice that you would like to share with us?:
“If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. If you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it.” – Bukowski
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Be completely and totally without fear. These are your words and you can spill them onto paper or onto a screen, however you see fit. Don’t let anyone dictate how you bring your thoughts and emotions into fruition, because if we all had this power of release, then we’d all be writers. It is a gift. Be your words and yours alone.
Can you tell us a little background or anything special on the piece you composed?
This piece, essentially, is what my mind reverts to whenever I feel like I’m not doing my best, or I’m not doing what I consider just. It’s my worst-case scenario for failure.

Vacancy

He shot up.
Eyes swollen, gritted teeth,
like he had been crying and pleading.
He clenched his throbbing jaw with his
fingertips, sliding it back and forth,
mopped his sweat stained hair back,
and gathered himself at the side of the bed.
It was the worst dream that he could barely recall.
He gripped the bottle,
the same bottle that had bested him hours before,
and he drained it.

He wasn’t looking so young anymore.
Stress on his skin,
as if he had looked death in the face,
and won.
Eyes colorless and cloudy, hair an ashen grey.
He caught a glance of his reflection in the mirror,
as he reached beneath the bed,
pawing for another bottle from his stash.
As he cracked the seal and swilled the liquor,
he couldn’t help but wonder where it all went awry.

Every night, he supplicated with the Universe,
to exonerate him and carry him home.
Petitioning the sky until his knees bled,
but he remained within the confines
of these four walls.
There was to be no salvation.
He was beyond saving, and he knew this.
He rose from his knees and climbed the sheets.
Coddling the bottle, he wiped the tears from his eyes,
and surrendered.
He was ready to succumb alone.

To read more from Ryan:

Please leave your feedback, comments and encouraging words. We want to uplift and engage with our Spotlight writers! If you like what you read , please share with your fellow writers!