Blog | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Writings and Readings Blog

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

An Excerpt from Chance Meetings Collection

Are you curious about the characters in my new book of short stories? Let me introduce the protagonist from “Cadmium and Crimson.” Meet Valakya, the sculptor. “He lived at the edge of the town in a mud hut roofed with cornhusk thatch. People knew him simply as the sage. Each morning, he strolled to his workplace on an unpaved path flanked by mango trees. Sounds of a waterfall and the rustling of leaves, sap green on one side and copper on the other, greeted him as he entered a clearing sheltered by woven palm leaves supported on four banana trunks. Here, he had arranged his workbench, a storage trunk, and an earthenware vessel with a few cups on the floor. Two wooden stools flanked the trunk. A piece of mahogany awaited the sage...

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Women Writers/Women Readers: A Gathering

On March 29, please join me at the Andrew Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa to celebrate Women Read/Women Write Book Festival with forty national and regional authors.  “Women Read/Women Write is Pittsburgh’s largest literary festival and is taking place on Sunday, March 29, from 11:30 am to 5 pm, at the Andrew Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa. Forty authors are gathering to sign books, talk to readers, and debate literary happenings relevant to women. I will be one of the speakers at one of the panels to discuss “Outside Looking In: Harnessing and Cherishing the Non-Mainstream Viewpoint in Literature.” We’ll discuss what challenges do writers with non-mainstream points-of-view face? What value does the ethnic point-of-view bring to storytelling and why should we cherish it? “Women Read/Women Write celebrates the books women love,”...

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Tips for Mindful Living and Writing

The weeks between Thanksgiving Day to the New Year’s Eve I posted Tips on Twitter for Mindful Living and Writing. In case you missed them here they are, somewhat modified. Converse, laugh with family & friends! Savor foods! Enjoy a movie! Hug. Kiss. Give from heart not hand! If irritation or anger envelops you, stay mum. Learn to create a silent space around you. It protects you from regret and embarrassment. If you hurt someone in anger have moxie to apologize. If someone hurts you have confidence to let him or her know. Have courage to verbalize your convictions. It will keep you sane. Gift giving is a charming tradition. Give generously. Accept gracefully. If you do not receive keep giving. Give whole day but in kind, not cash. Give so that no one notices. Holiday...

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Traveling and Mindfulness

This year in October, we travelled in Portugal and Spain for two weeks. The first time I journeyed around the world was with my students in 1997. Ten years later my husband and I decided to visit one foreign country each year. The countries we have visited so far Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, India, Mexico (some of these twice) their people, topography, history, art, architecture and ways of life have fascinated me. In Portugal we drove through woodlands of cork trees, savored kale soup with slices of chorizo, and listened to Fado music characterized by mournful tunes infused with sentiments and melancholy about lives of fishermen or the poor. I had not paid attention to the ground until I walked on the footpaths along the major streets in Lisbon, and towns of...

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Chance Meetings: Story Gists

I'll be away for the next two weeks, traveling in Spain and Portugal. In the meantime, I would like to share with you the themes of twelve stories that are included in the book, Chance Meetings. SECRET HEALER One small town boy’s journey from innocence of childhood to the injustice of servitude before finding shelter with an old man. CADMIUM AND CRIMSON Two sculptors, one goal—to make masterpieces. The older dedicates his life to art and his younger contemporary to power and possessions. Where do their intentions lead them? BLACKENED MIRROR A rag to riches artist discovers his true self. A CHANCE MEETING A young man treats a total stranger the way he wants to be treated without expecting anything in return to amazing effects. YELLOW JACKET The protagonist is unable to resolve the guilt caused by the jealousy toward his...

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Chance Meetings: Front Cover

It is my pleasure to share the front cover of my debut collection of stories, CHANCE MEETINGS to be released in December 2014 - January 2015 Part of Back Cover Text: In this collection of stories, twelve different people from different walks of life discover how one chance meeting with a stranger can change a person forever. Drawing from her own Indian-American heritage, Madhu Bazaz Wangu examines the lives of ordinary people facing challenging circumstances—cruelty, prejudiced minds, twisted family relationships, unhappy marriages—and demonstrates how these situations transcend ethnicity and background as interactions with strangers force each character to look deep within themselves, often acknowledging painful truths and long-held secrets, in order to seize control of their own destinies and forge their own paths to independence and happiness. In this eloquent debut collection, Madhu Bazaz...

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Poems for Mindful Writers #13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

MIRROR Surface of pond is agitated. Wall stationary. Why can’t I see my reflection on the stable? DOOR Don’t want to walk through it. I look at it and wonder, What is on the other side? SURFACE OF A POOL No longer agitated. Yet, I can’t see clearly. What am I searching for? REFLECTION Is this who I am? Is this the way world sees me? Do I know who I really am? TRUE SELF Mirror, Wall, Surface of the Pool-- Reflections are without. Authentic Self within. ...

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Poems for Mindful Writers # 10, 11 & 12

Hi All,The three poems posted here are from a set of five (# 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12) which I have composed to inspire mindful writers and readers. I wrote these poems especially for those individuals for whom writing mindfully is not only to progress in their professional writing but also a way of elevating their personal lives by a conscious endeavor.  Working as a professional artist for more than a decade I painted beautiful landscapes and impressive portraits. (I can say that because I no longer paint. When I look at those works hanging on the walls of other people's living rooms, I am detached; I feel as if someone else has painted them.) Since then I have realized that elevating my life is far more challenging and gratifying than creating a work of art. The best discovery I've made is that in practicing Writing Meditation...

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Poems for Mindful Writers: # 8 & # 9

  Poem # 8Simply WriteSimply write!Do not speak of writing.Do not speak of publishing.Do not speak of other people’s writing.Sit still in silence and solitude.When body, heart and mind are one,When your senses have moved inward,Let the stream flow.Unravel your knots in spontaneous words.Other writer’s success or failure does not affect you.Profit or loss does not touch you.Praise or criticism does not ruffle you.Derive pleasure solely from writing.Experience the bliss.And simply write!  Poem # 2Door of OpportunityA careless critique from a fellow writer? Return her’s with honest comments.“Here” she hands you the draft. “I have pointed out your weaknesses.”Show her where her strengths lay.She grabs the opportunity that was rightfully yours,Congratulate her on her success.By critiquing honestly,By learning from your own strengths and skills,By preparing through tough circumstances,Attain the strength no one...

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