Letters to October

Dear October,

You follow September every year, but still you come as a surprise. I’m sorry to say you’re a bit of an unwelcome guest. It’s nothing personal — I’m just a nostalgic little human. I’m usually missing what’s at the other end of my trail of footsteps. By the time it’s November, I’ll probably be wishing for you.

As you arrive, you bring with you a change in the air. You turn us deeper down the path to autumn. More leaves have begun to fall and sweaters are definitively coming out of musty drawers. There’s little hope of one last glance towards summer. Anticipation already bubbles for the Halloween enthusiasts… and for some Christmas enthusiasts as well (85 days to go).

While there’s excitement for the beginning of festivities, there’s a feeling of ending as well. This year has been a tug of war, a triumph in some areas and a failure in many others. It’s bittersweet seeing it come to an end. Unease also gnaws the edge of my consciousness. Life after January is uncertain and you, October, are a step closer to the unknown.

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Sleepy Sunday: The Writer Tag

I’ve been doing a lot more book-related posts lately, so I thought I would change things up and write about writing for once. My genius self googled ‘writer tag’ and one of the results was (surprise surprise) the Writer Tag from InkBlots and IceBergs.

I’ll be answering 20 questions about writing — try it yourself if you like and let me know so I can read your answers.


1. What type of writing do you do?
I mainly write short stories, although I’m trying to build the endurance to write longer fiction. Up until a few weeks ago I was also doing a lot of academic writing, including my dissertation which, given the amount of energy it took, I think counts for something!

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?
I read a lot of historical and fantasy, so maybe it makes sense that I tend to gravitate to those in my writing as well. As for topics, I’ll write about whatever strikes me as interesting — families, forests, fairies… etc.

3. How long have you been writing?
Since I was about seven years old, I think.

4. Are you published?
No, and this gives me severe imposter syndrome, despite reassurances that I can call myself a writer simply if I write. But deep down, I know this is what I’m meant to do (regardless of how good/bad I might be at it) so I’m going to take a leap of faith on giving myself that label.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
Probably something involving a protagonist named Sohini…

giphyI was subtle. | via Giphy, © Nickelodeon

6. Why do you write?
Because it’s fun!

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Summer Outing: A Pantoum

The summer before I started university, I did a few creative writing workshops. Once, we tried some verse poems (I wrote a villanelle). I liked following a template. It gave me a guide in the otherwise limitless and daunting realm of poetry. So I thought I would try it again for this week’s post. This time, I tried a pantoum. I followed the format of Another Lullaby for Insomniacs by A. E. Stallings as a reference point.

summer outing

the icy water’s sweet
as I wade in the river
pebbles scratch my feet
it sets my limbs aquiver

as I wade in the river
the fish begin to scatter
it sets my limbs aquiver
to think, to them I matter

the fish begin to scatter
their skin glints in the sun
to think, to them I matter
to others, I am no one

their skin glints in the sun
they think they’re in my thrall
to others, I am no one
to them, I rule them all

they think they’re in my thrall
the icy water’s sweet
to them, I rule them all
but pebbles scratch my feet.


© Sohini Kumar
Photo by John Salvino from Unsplash

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