Blog | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Writings and Readings Blog

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

FINDING A SAFE PLACE by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

"Wisdom is like a fire; people take it from others" (East African proverb)   I joined the Mindful Writers Group in 2012 just before the group went on its three months winter hiatus. I had attended only three meetings and looked forward to the Spring 2013 when the yearly session was to start. I had no idea if I would really feel at home writing in a room full of people and food (although the food was definitely a bonus). But now that I know and understand the group mindset I find it a very fulfilling experience.   The Group is an interesting exercise in trust and acceptance. Perhaps some of the writers know each other outside of the group but I do not. Yet I come eagerly every week to sit...

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Another Mindful Writer

It is my pleasure to post the mindful meditation and writing experience of yet another Mindful Writer, Eileen Enwright Hodgetts. She joined our Wednesday meetings more than a year ago. (Please see "Finding A Safe Place" on Writing and Meditation Page) Eileen says, 'as far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a writer.' When she worked part-time (1985 to 1999), Eileen wrote plays such as Titanic to All Ships, Phoebe and the Steel City Vampires, Whirlpool the Musical, For all the Saints and a number of one-act plays. As a playwright she won the Pittsburgh New Works Festival Award, and numerous national awards including Best New Play from Theatre Americana. The latter was awarded to her for Titanic to All Ships about the senate hearings into the...

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India: A Wonderful Weave

It has been two weeks since I returned from my trip to India. Distance of a decade from the country of my birth made it possible for me to observe it as an outsider.  I wondered, was I born and brought up here? So I just looked and breathed it all in. Years of my previous experiences as a young woman resurfaced as I soaked in the sights, sounds, smells and local foods. I felt saturated with the sensuousness, consumed with warmth of the people, their love. The colors, the art, the music, the ethnic food bursting with flavors revived my senses, made me feel alive. So hard to describe the experience! The month divided itself into three segments. First, the research for my second novel in the villages of Deorala...

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CANDY By Gwyn Cready

My grandmother used to read me a story about a girl who was given a magical box of candy. As long as the girl ate no more than two pieces each day, when she woke up the next morning, the box would be full again. But if the girl got greedy and ate more than she needed, which of course she did, the box would lose its magic and never refill itself again. I can think of no better metaphor for the joys of this world. If we can give up our need to dictate the terms of our joy-the amount, the timing, the flavor-we will find all the joy we could want without even looking for it. We need the red leather sandals with silver buckles, but we find unexpected joy...

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Transmuting Tragedy

Transmuting Tragedy Into Romance The day Gwyn Cready, our guest writer this month, joined the Mindful Writers Group, her poignant face and somber demeanor intrigued me. There was something about her that I felt connected to. What was it? Then last July at our one-on-one meeting, I asked her what inspired her to write romance novels. 'Death of my younger sister when I was 34,' Gwyn said. During our conversation, at certain moments, her eyes welled up. An outpouring of emotion, a floodgate of forgotten memories opened in my heart. A sorrow dormant within Gwyn stirred a latent emotion inside me. I too had lost my brother in my mid 30's. My 38 year-old-brother, my mother and my father passed away within eighteen months. Life seemed meaningless. Numbness enveloped me. When my sensation...

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A Month In India

On the morning of 5th September 1987, as I was going through the card-catalogue of Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh, a friend (also a student of world religions) informed me that a young Rajasthani woman had committed Suttee in India. A day before, an eighteen-year old woman named Roop Kanwar had immolated herself on the pyre of her dead husband. The ritual was witnessed by thousands of townspeople.  Stunned and speechless, my lead laden legs felt cemented to the ground. At that frozen moment the seed of a book was planted in my mind. But the seed stayed dormant for decades. The incident continued to sear like a wound at the back of my mind. Yet I was not emotionally ready to write about it. All these years I trawled...

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NANI, DO YOU KNOW WHAT M-A-TH-E-M-A-T-I-C-S IS?

Our grandson, Mokhta has written his first fiction book. The two-hundred-plus-words booklet has four chapters. Written with a pencil on two 8 x 11 mauve colored thin drawing papers, the pages are cut in half and then folded making the booklet sixteen pages long. The title is Basketball Meets Pin. I reprint it below without changing a word. He wrote all exclamation points himself. Chapter One Basket Ball was lonely. He met pin. They played. They talked. They had fun. One day Basketball saw a swirl. Not just swirl, a beautiful swirl. It was a single swirl with lots of colors in it with some green color. The swirl could take them 97 miles an hour! It was funny. Chapter Two Then pin came over. Can I greet you, asked pin. Yes, said Basketball I...

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MINDFUL WRITING PHENOMENON–TRAINING FOR A MARATHON by Lori M. Jones

"Just stick with it. What seems so hard right now, will one day be your warm up." I came across this quote from a running Facebook Page, but I thought it could apply to writing as well.   A few years ago, I needed a goal to maintain my workout schedule. I'm a quitter when it comes to exercise, but I enjoyed running. My goal was to run in a 5K. No measly 5K, I signed up for Pittsburgh's Great Race with 5,000 other runners. When I survived that first one, I scheduled the next and the next.   Each one became easier than the previous one. As a writer, I decided to implement the same plan for establishing a schedule and improve my writing stamina. I needed a goal. My...

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Writing in Solitude; Writing with the Mindful Writers Group

Until 2010, for twenty-five years I wrote alone in the solitude of my study. Every weekday my writer's voice emerged as I meditated, wrote in a journal and worked on my projects. The daily practice helped me overcome my fears, my internal critic and writer's blocks. I wrote for long hours, my writing improved and I was able to liberate my authentic voice from self-doubt. The practice resulted in Writing Meditation Method. I decided to share it with other writers.   In March 2011, I started the Mindful Writers Group. Lori M. Jones and four other writers joined me on this journey.  Once a week we wrote together. Since then, writing with others has enriched my experience of writing in more than one way. Over the last two and a half years...

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Summer Solstice Soiree

Come and celebrate the summer solstice Soiree evening Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at  Courtyard, 516-522 Allegheny River Boulevard, Oakmont, PA-15139, with the following authors: Kathleen Shoop* Meredith Mileti* Lori Jones* James Robinson, Jr.* Madhu B. Wangu* Bill Deasy SK McClafferty JD Wylde (*Mindful Writers)   In addition to meeting and greeting the authors you will have an opportunity to win one or more of the following raffle baskets on display: Mini-ipad Basket Coffee & Gift Card Basket Kid's summer fun/books basket Summer books basket   Don't miss this evening of meaningful conversations, music and literary gathering! See you there!   ...

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