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“My unconquerable soul” #Invictus

“I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.”

– William Henley, Invictus

The truth is that I have. I have winced and I have cried, but afterward I have dried my tears, set up my laptop, and written the words in my heart. Maybe not every day—I have certainly succumbed to the emotions and the difficulties of the process. But in aggregate, I have written more days than I have given up. I have spent more days fighting off the face of resistance than bowing down to it. Perhaps William Henley was stronger—he wrote those words. Without wincing or crying aloud. He stared down a blank scroll and wrote about his unconquerable soul.

I wish that I felt that strong every day, every moment, but I don’t believe that my soul is unconquerable. Some days the reality of a blank page or an unedited manuscript is too much to stomach with all the pressures and deadlines of life and a paying job. But I find strength in his words and their portrayal of the author, of the individual, as someone who can fight off all of life’s demons and uncertainties to emerge in triumph.

On the day Henley wrote those words, there is no doubt that he was inspired. His soul was unconquerable, his fight had been won. When I reflect on that moment rationally, I know that it cannot have been like that for him every day. There would have been days when he felt the same way that I have. There would have been days that left his soul feeling vapid and empty when the weight of the world overtook writing, the purpose of his soul. Yet I cannot thank him enough for giving me the vision behind those words. The unconquerable soul is not one that never falls short in the face of adversity, but one that rises again and again to battle against it. And finally to overcome it in aggregate, because while some battles may be lost, we can still win the war.

You can read the full poem here at: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182194

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter to learn about new releases, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://hyperurl.co/ahriman.

 

My book was banned in Kuwait https://youtu.be/NdZZeaW_Iq0

Check out the interview on the We B Swangin’ Show https://youtu.be/NdZZeaW_Iq0

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter to learn about new releases, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://hyperurl.co/ahriman.

 

Where inspiration comes from

A number of people have asked me where my inspiration as a writer comes from. Over time, I’ve given them a number of different answers: from travel, things I see, movies, other people, and random encounters. Each of these answers are true, but only tell part of the story.

I found myself reflecting on this today. Where does inspiration come from? It’s true that I get ideas from things that I hear and see, encompassing everything in the above list. What hits closer to home though is to see other people who spend their time day after day perfecting their craft. As such, my inspiration often comes from movies where the central character – whether a painter, a chef, an investor, or rarely an author – spends their time doing exactly this. In some cases this is central to the plot while other times it is just ancillary. Either way, those movies spark my interest. I love observing the character as they battle with their inner demons to tackle their chosen vocation.

A few days ago, I watched The Hundred Foot Journey. It focuses on an Indian chef who starts a restaurant in a small village in France and then continues to rise through the culinary ranks. I love cooking and so the scenes of him and other chefs in the kitchen are already fun to watch – what’s often referred to as food porn. What made the movie more engaging was to go through some of the uphill battles that he encounters as he returns to the kitchen again and again to prepare new exciting dishes. I’m not making a broader commentary on how realistic the movie is – only a real chef would be able to answer that, but were I to face those situations, I doubt I could have returned to my craft with so much zeal. Of course, cooking isn’t that sort of passion for me. I can only hope that each day I will continue to return to my writing with the same kind of passion that the lead character in this movie displays.

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter for a free ebook, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://hyperurl.co/ahriman.

Back to blogging

After a couple weeks off while I was traveling in Kuwait, I’m back home for the holiday season and settling back into my blogging schedule. It’s been a tough transition back from vacation to work, especially given that it’s the start of the holiday season. In a way this is a huge luxury. With the reduced pressure of deadlines, I can relax for a few days before returning to work and writing.

The extra time around the holiday season gives me time to reflect and get my “house” in order. Today I spent a couple of hours going through clothes in my wardrobe and discarding a number that I haven’t worn in ages. My kitchen has never been cleaner – at least not on a regular basis, especially when I’ve been cooking regularly. My husband and I have tackled a couple of home projects and there are a couple more in the works that we hope to have done by the end of the holiday season.  I only hope we can get everything done. I would love to have those things out of the way so that all I have to focus on in January is my writing and other deadlines.

Regardless, the holiday season is a wonderful time to appreciate what’s most important. Time with family and friends, time for relaxation and a bit of indulgence, and time to catch up on sleep and recuperate for the New Year. I’m excited about what it will bring and my upcoming projects.

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter for a free ebook, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://hyperurl.co/ahriman.

Humanity heading in the right direction?

A friend of mine posted a great picture from a couple of days ago that made me smile.

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My husband and I were celebrating our marriage with family and friends in Kuwait where I grew up. We had an amazing time with people who’ve seen me since I was a little kid, eating, dancing, and enjoying the atmosphere of a farm in Kuwait. Hard to believe, but yes they do exist.

The caption my friend put to this picture was: “A Chinese-American living in Singapore celebrating an Indian-Irish wedding in Kuwait. Tell me humanity isn’t heading in the right direction…”

That statement really made me smile. What a great way to sum up the occasion? We are so lucky that society is moving in a direction where situations like this will seem more and more usual. Thank you to our family and friends for being so warm and welcoming! I can’t wait to see this happening more and more.

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter for a free ebook, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://hyperurl.co/ahriman.
99 cents sale from November 26 to December 12. Please help me spread the word!

The importance of vacation and rest

For the last few months, I’ve been hankering for a vacation. Not the kind with a lot of activity where you have enriching cultural experiences. Not the kind where you see lots of great people but have to be completely “on” to interact with them. What I’ve been dreaming of is a vacation where all I do is sit around, read, watch some movies, and spend time with my husband.

That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy or seek out the other two types of vacations. I had a wonderful trip in Europe which fell into both of those categories. I traipsed from Paris to London to Hamburg to East Germany and had an amazing time. I just didn’t come back from the trip feeling rested. When I first got back, that didn’t matter much, but now, a few months later, I feel as if I’m hitting the wall. There’s only so many more days that I can push through and even small setbacks have been hitting me as if they were major ones. After one such occurrence on Friday, I sat back and analyzed the situation once I’d calmed down. Why was such a small thing bothering me so much? The answer is simple. I need a break. One where I can completely switch off. Without that, I’m going to hit the wall again and again.

I’ve known this for a while, but my plan was to keep up the momentum until Christmas when I would take my break. That isn’t that far away so I didn’t expect it to be an issue. This weekend I discovered that I could push no further. So I gave in and took a day off. I slept in today and relaxed. I did a few errands but nothing major. Now that the day is almost over, I can already feel my mental juices starting to recover. Unfortunately I can’t afford to take a whole week off at the moment, but just the one day has left me feeling more refreshed and much more likely to be able to push through to Christmas. I’m going to need that energy!

Starting on Wednesday I will be putting my book AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (http://amzn.to/1rJjjb0) on sale for 99 cents.  I’ll keep it at the discounted price for 2 weeks and then raise the price to $3.99 after December 12. I’ve been contacting people around to let them know about the sale, but if you have any ideas, I would really appreciate the help. Thank you in advance!

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Learn more about me at my website www.pujaguha.com.
Sign up for my newsletter for a free ebook, contests and more! http://bitly.com/1sIlG3h

My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://amzn.to/1rJjjb0.
99 cents sale from November 26 to December 12. Please help me spread the word!