Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Urvashi Trikha

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Urvashi Trikha. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

 

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Urvashi Kumar Trikha. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India and moved to Dubai, UAE in my late twenties. I have grown to enjoy the sand of the Arabian desert as much as I adore the rain of the Indian monsoons.

Yess. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Quiet and uncluttered. A room filled with the smell of books, greenery and sunlight. A corner where I can cuddle up on a couch and read for hours and an old wood desk to work on. A shelf full of books – some like old heirlooms which I want to re-read over years and years to come and some like new shiny jewels that I can’t wait to discover.

Girl. I wanna be in yo reading room, shooo. Lol. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

An event planner! I love being a hostess. Every occasion, big or small becomes an excuse for me to organize an event which brings together friends and family. I am as enthusiastic helping a plan and execute an event for a loved one.

OK. Sounds like we are going to be good friends. I can use a planner! What skill would you like to master?

I would love to be able to stick to an idea.

LOL

Seriously, my mind seems to have so many thoughts all at once that it becomes hard to zero in on one particular thought to base a written piece on. Each thought seems to be more fascinating or more heartwarming than the other which makes it hard to choose a topic. Reading between the lines, within my thoughts is an art that I would love to master.

Got you. Urvashi, does blogging help you to write?

Blogging helps me immensely. My blog, simplyathought.com helps me become a tiny part of the lives of people across places and time zones from Iceland to New Zealand and the United States to United Kingdom. A click of a button enables me to share inspiring stories and motivational quotes with readers globally. The warm encouragement and the constructive feedback I receive from my wonderful reader family helps me better myself as a writer.

What do you think of the world we live in?

Our world is evolving rapidly with technology playing a vital role in our life. At times the changes brought by technology come to us so quickly in succession that it becomes difficult even for its inventor i.e. the human race to cope with those changes.

That’s what’s up. In your own words, define racism.

“Sexism and Racism, even when sugar coated leave a bitter taste.”

This quote of mine sums up how I feel about these two very troubling aspects of our society. Countries have grown from strength to strength over time and yet the dark shadow of discrimination based on race and gender looms dark.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about being a writer is being able to navigate through your own ideas while you are writing. You could begin penning down words inspired from one thought and find your work move into a direction away from what your original concept was. This can be both challenging and surprisingly rewarding at the same time.

The most exciting thing about writing is the need to constantly challenge yourself and to push your own self-created boundaries. A writer may, many a times not even be aware of what all he/she is capable of writing. Discovering depth, inclination and genre in terms of writing is an extremely exciting process.

Nice. Why is writing important to you?

When I share a part of myself and the world (as I see it) with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world, my endeavor is to send each one of them love, hope and perhaps make them smile. Writing is my attempt to become a part of their life by adding value and joy. I have described the importance of writing to me through my quote.

“Words, when written with the intent to entertain and motivate, have

the ability to enrich both the reader and the writer.”

Urvashi Kumar Trikha

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

I would like to use my superpower to sprinkle the magic of Faith and Belief. I want to ensure that every single person continues to believe in him/her self each day. I see so many beautiful, young lives destroy themselves as they lose faith in themselves and it saddens me deeply. Having faith in ourselves gives us the immense strength we all need in the journey of life. “Believe in yourself-Always.”

Thank you Urvashi for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you beautiful!


Copyright © Urvashi Trikha

 

Bio.

Urvashi is an Indian expat who currently lives in Dubai, UAE with her husband and son. She writes entertaining fiction, heartwarming short stories, inspiring articles and motivational quotes for her readers across the world through her internationally popular blog simplyathought.com. Calling herself a Banker by Chance – Writer by Choice, Urvashi has a master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is an avid reader, keen traveler and enthusiastic cook. Urvashi draws inspiration from cultures across the world and works to support community causes close to her heart, particularly those supporting Women’s Education and Welfare.

Urvashi is the Founder of Simply A Thought – The Writers and Artists Collective. It is an initiative founded by her, for the resident community to help promote the love of reading and writing. There is also an added emphasis on encouraging women to share their own unique creative talents with others. “The joy of writing and reading, the satisfaction of transforming clay into sculpture, a white canvas into a rainbow, whatever your creativity may be – celebrate it, encourage it, applaud it.” (Urvashi)

Be Sure to follow Urvashi online!

Facebook: @UrvashiKumarTrikha, TheWritersandArtistsCollective

Twitter: @UrvashiKumarTrikha

Instagram: simplyathought

Web. http://www.simplyathought.com


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

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The Diary

My first practice in writing was the diary. Sometimes it wasn’t an actual diary but a journal I turned into one. It was a special thing for me because prior I had been writing in notebooks but notebooks didn’t provide the kind of privacy that diaries did. With the privacy of the diary, I could be more open which meant that I could be more real in my writing. I could express how I was feeling authentically because I knew that no one else would read my words. I could be angry, happy, sad, and excited. Unknown to me at the time, this was helping me to learn to express myself, to experiment with language and to organize my emotions.

My first diary was something I found somewhere. It had a lock on it that didn’t work and was pink and some other colors I don’t remember. But even though the lock didn’t work the cool thing about the diary is that as soon as it was understood this was a diary, people knew not to read it. To do so was an invasion so strong that you would fight someone over it. If someone read your diary it was like they had read your soul. It was deep because of how deeply you confided in it. I still remember what I felt when the events of 9/11 happened. I remember because I wrote it down.

First, our teacher turned the radio up. Something about New York and terrorists. Then, the school let us go home. When I got home, I stared at the television in the living room and watched as the twin towers crumbled to the ground. It was the first time I had seen something like that happen without it being a movie. I took to my diary to voice my opinion.

“Today is Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I am fourteen-years old. We are at war. God bless America.”

I was so corny and what I wrote was lame but because of writing it down I remember the exact day of the events and my age when it happened. I was fourteen so I didn’t understand all the politics surrounding the event at the time and of course I believed whatever the news told me. I also didn’t realize how writing this down was helping me  with my memory.

I got my next diary/journal when I was fifteen-years-old. It was pink and fluffy with a blue sparkly butterfly on the front. I got it in Cincinnati Ohio during my 8th-grade trip. I got more personal in this one. I was fifteen and the boys had gotten cuter. I wrote more about life in general in this diary. I wrote about when my favorite cousin had gotten jumped so badly that when he came over to our house his face was terribly plump. I wrote about my excitement and sadness over graduating from eighth grade. I was graduating with honors but my twin had to go to summer school. It made me sad we couldn’t graduate together. I wrote about how this boy at school had a crush on me and how I liked him but I didn’t want to “go with him” because he went to my school. I didn’t “go with” people who went to my school. I had standards.

In my next journal, I would dedicate it completely to poetry. It was a gift given to me by my cousin. I was sixteen (I got a new diary or journal almost every year) and my cousin and I thought we were poets. We would have poetry contests (and till this day he wants me to let everyone know that he taught me how to write…lies) to see who could write the better poem. I don’t remember who judged us. I think we judged ourselves. (insert eye-roll)

But I had also begun to express myself in a different way by now. This journal was green, not pink so that the color and the content of the book reflected my maturity compared to the other journals. I didn’t write about my life, I wrote poems about life instead. I started to look around me and write about the things I saw reflected in the world and not just what was reflected in me. I would look up the definitions of words and write whole poems based on those words. Most of the time it made no sense but it did help me to expand my vocabulary. I also wrote poems about sex because I was sixteen and that’s pretty much all we thought about.

At every stage of my life I always had some kind of diary or journal with me to help to organize my thoughts and feelings and I didn’t know then how it would help me with my writing later on in life. (It also helps me to be patient by writing thoughts down on paper before publishing it to the internet. Letting them sit in ink for awhile and waiting to see if  the words are even worthy of being shared with the world. Most times they aren’t.)

Before the internet, before social media, before Facebook posts and blogs, there was the diary. The one place where we knew that we could be ourselves without judgment. I still keep a journal with me today and even though it’s filled with business ideas and inspirational quotes, it still helps me to write down my feelings and to organize my thoughts. It still serves as a powerful tool in helping me to be a better writer.

YouTube: New Poem Added! Listen to “All or Nothing” #Poetry #SpokenWord

It’s no longer National Poetry Month but ya’ll know it’s always time for poetry around here! All or Nothing (read it here) is now available. Listen below and don’t forget to subscribe!

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Thank you for taking this Vlogging journey with me! It’s never easy stepping out and I appreciate your support. Be sure to subscribe for notification of newly added poems.

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Phyllis Babrove

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Phyllis Babrove. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Phyllis Babrove. Originally from Wisconsin, I have lived in Florida for forty-seven years.

Wow. 47yrs. It’s like you’re originally from Florida lol. Are you employed outside of writing?

I went to college at the age of forty, and six years later earned a master’s degree in social work. In 2015 I retired as a full-time school social worker. Currently, I work part-time providing supervision to social workers that are becoming licensed and as a substitute social worker in schools when someone goes on maternity leave.

Nice! You are doing excellent work. Phyllis, what’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is pink.

When Shadows Linger is available now on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite writer?

I have several favorite writers so it is difficult to say. Of course, I don’t mind mentioning a few: Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, and John Grisham. Those are just a few.

So Phyllis, married? Children?

I have been married for forty-six years. I have four adult children and six grandchildren.

Yass. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think that our world is desperately in need of repair in many areas. It makes me sad to think that we are going backward in many ways. But I am encouraged by the strength being shown in this young generation. They are the most forceful group that I have seen since the 1960s. I have a great deal of faith that they will make some positive changes.

What are your thoughts on race?

What are my thoughts on race? That there shouldn’t be any thoughts about people based on race, religion, or social economic status. We are all the same and should treat each other as such.

In your own words, what is racism?

Racism is passing judgment on a person based on his or her race, and not on whom the person really is. I grew up with a lot of anti-semitism, so I understand what it’s like to be discriminated against because of “what” I am and not based on “who” I am.

Are you religious Phyllis?

Am I religious? That depends on the definition of what religious is. I believe in God. I try to be caring, compassionate, honest, trustworthy and treat everyone with respect. So, in my mind, I am religious.

What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

“Small Great Things,” by Jodi Picoult, is a wonderful book.

Let’s talk about writing. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about writing for me is promoting my work. The most exciting is when I see the finished product and I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette is available now on Amazon.

Why is writing important to you?

I love to write. When I write, I can express my thoughts, dreams, and feelings. I am also able to put myself in places where I’d like to be. For example, my novel is set in Vermont because I fell in love with the state and I wish I could live there.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

When I envision a room that I would love to be able to write and read in, it is a room with bookshelves filled with all of my favorite books. It would have a lot of windows with views of the mountains (yes, I’d be in Vermont!), a fireplace, a light brown leather love seat (the really soft leather), and a desk. At the desk would be a big soft leather chair that rocks. The carpeting would be thick brown with specks of gold. Pictures of my family would be on the walls and different mementos that belonged to my parents.

That sounds like a great room. Very comfortable. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

If I had one superpower I think it would be to take the word “judgment” out of our vocabulary. I don’t feel that any human being has the right to judge another for any reason.

Are you into Politics at all?

I became interested in politics in 2008. For the first time, I helped a candidate campaign by going door to door. While I liked some past presidents, I don’t think we have ever had or will ever have, anyone as wonderful as our previous president was.

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend.

Awwue. Yeess. Phyllis, what is truth?

Truth to me is when I can be honest with myself and with God. Truth is the foundation of trust, so if a person isn’t honest how can they be trusted? Without trust, what are we left with?

Phyllis, thank you for spending this time with us!


From the Author:

I was born in Wisconsin and I moved to Florida as a newlywed in 1971. When my children were old enough, and with a ton of support from my husband, I decided to earn a college degree. I call going to school at the age of forty my first midlife crisis. Six years later I had earned a master’s degree in social work and had a fulfilling career. Three years ago I (semi) retired and took on my second midlife crisis and entered the wonderful world of writing. I have self-published two novelettes, one novel and have had two short stories published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine. I am also a regular contributor to “Extra Innings,” an online newsletter for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My husband and I like to travel to New England and visit small towns. We live in Sunrise, Florida with our ten-year-old Yorkie, Lars.

Be sure to follow Phyllis on her website below!
https://mirikalblog.com/


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

10 Lessons My Book Signing Taught Me

  1. You have to learn to sell to a small audience before you can sell to a larger one.

Sometimes social media can give a false perception of success, whereas we think we have to constantly be working and grinding and that we have to have a lot of people support us. The truth is that we really just need a few committed individuals to build with to lay the foundation for where we ultimately want to be. If ten dedicated readers bought a book at $10 and left an Amazon review, that’s already ten reviews and $100. This is just an example and it may not seem like much to start but over time that number of dedicated people will grow. Don’t look to other people to determine what success is for you. Start off giving your best to the few people who are already there to support you.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of your worth. People will travel for you and go through great lengths to meet you, hear you speak or buy your book.

I was worried that I had chosen a bad time for the morning signing. I knew that not everyone had that day off work and that the noon time slot meant many were still going to be at work. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony also released that same night and I don’t think myself more important than Mr. Perry in peoples list of priorities (they’ll choose him over me lol) However, the traffic turned out to be decent and a few people had traveled to buy a book in person. They came from Florida, North Carolina, and Gwinnett County Georgia.

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  1. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, things do not always go as planned. (and that’s OK)

When things go opposite of your wishes, don’t stress. That’s the plan itself and one day, you will be grateful things didn’t go as you intended. I was late for my own signing but I arrived at just the right time. The original time turned out to be too early for most people anyway but I had not taken into account lunchtime! The one, two o’clock time slot was perfect far as traffic flow.

  1. Genuine kindness goes a long way.

When I explained to people that support was not just financial and that they can take a business card if they didn’t want to buy a book, many of them changed their minds and bought a book. I wasn’t being deceptive, I actually meant what I said and was grateful for the people who did just take cards. If they couldn’t afford a book or maybe they were a passerby who didn’t know me and wasn’t sure, they could just visit me on the web. The fact that I had accepted this as a form of support (just as we do online), people were willing to go the extra mile for me just as my kindness had done for them.

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  1. Use what you got.

Another concern of mine was that I didn’t get the chance to get my poster, my colorful table coverings, and other author swag but I just focused on what I did have and put my energy into that. I didn’t have a card reader but I was at a bookstore, we can just use the register for change. I didn’t have author swag but I did have business cards which was the most important thing. I didn’t have a poster but I did have my voice, I can just speak. I shouted and got silly and communicated with the people. I made them laugh so they stopped at my table. I got up and walked around. Sometimes I was inside the store and sometimes I was outside talking to people who passed by. It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you do have that matters most.

  1. Be yourself

I learned you don’t have to have a million strategies in place; you just have to be yourself. I think one of the greatest deceptions of being online is that things are actually a lot less stressful in real life. I thought I was going to be shy and worried about what to say and how to say it and how I was going to sound but none of that mattered. When it was time, I spoke and I didn’t need to have a long list of “author strategies for a book signing.” Just open your mouth and talk. Let the words come from the heart. Just be yourself.

  1. Embrace the growth.

My life since my last big signing event (2016) has changed dramatically. I am no longer a member of the same organizations and no longer communicate with the same people. I was saddened by the reality of that change and how only a select few of some of the people I considered family was still there to support me. However, when I got the chance to sit down and look at the pictures, it occurred to me that I have an almost entirely new group of readers! Of course, there are still my most faithful readers who will always be there and I am immensely grateful for their friendship and dedication. They are the core and the foundation. When I saw all the new faces, however, it helped me to appreciate them too and to notice my growth. Life is not about preaching to the choir all the time; it is also about bringing new people in and building with them.

  1. Keep writing.

I intended to sell some Stella books. I didn’t have to buy any because I still have some in stock. The reality, however, is that the final installment of The Stella Trilogy released two years ago so most people were interested in my new material (Renaissance and I am Soul). This showed me the importance of staying consistent with my writing and always having something fresh in store for my readers. Again, to sell to large audiences is to first sell to a small one and one way to take care of your readers is to consistently produce. There will always be room for older works but this weekend motivated me to write more. Whether it’s novels, poetry, short stories or blog posts! I want to give my best to those who support me.

9. Black men are supportive.

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There was a surprisingly large number of Black men who supported me! They came in droves and some of them even traveled. It was humbling. When this group of men surrounded me for the picture, I felt power and powerful. And even though I didn’t know them personally, I felt protected in a way. I could feel the energy. I also thought maybe as women we can be more supportive of each other in this same way. Let’s root for one another and support one another without preconceived notions. Let’s fix each other’s crowns without telling the world it even needed fixing. Let us crown each other the way these men crowned me.

10. Relationships sell books.

Finally, I learned that relationships sell books. Some of the people who traveled to see me did so because they had already known me over the years for my work both in publishing and in ministry. I had known some of them for several years and others I was just meeting for the first time, but they knew me because they are familiar with my work. I love to blog and I enjoy keeping up with an email list for this very reason: it helps to build relationships and to cultivate bonds. It makes live events that much better because you get to meet the people you’ve been building with over the course of time but never met. You get to put a face behind the name and verbally communicate in ways far more powerful than texting will do and that is priceless.

For more pictures of this years signing, visit the pictures page of my website HERE. I also uploaded pictures of the 2016 and 2014 signings.

New Author Tip

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Blogging has greatly impacted my writing life. The knowledge and wisdom from my fellow bloggers is amazing. I love that we build each other up and alert one another to things that may seem fishy in the publishing industry. I love that we promote each other and help advance the other’s writing life. That said, my tip for new authors is this:

This is just a suggestion, but if you are about to publish for the first time and you’ve never published a book before (and people don’t know you as a writer, maybe as other things but not as a writer) consider starting a blog at least 6 months to a year of publishing your first book. Spend that time talking about your passions, networking with other writers, readers and getting a feel for the online community. Don’t just talk about your work, talk about yourself. Post funny pictures, inspiring quotes, short story excerpts, articles and anything that appeals to your target audience and that (most of all) showcases your personality. Let people get to know you better while also getting to know the writer you. Then, when you’re ready to publish your book, you have a platform and people who are interested outside of your immediate circle.

This tip is only for those who are close to publishing. If you are still writing your book, I would say to focus on that for now. If you are publishing soon however, you may want to try blogging to test the waters. It’s a better platform for networking (in my opinion) than Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Reviews

I am trying out different things so I don’t know how much it helps, but I’ll appreciate those who can assist.

If you’ve read any of my books or enjoy my blog, would you mind leaving a review on my Facebook page?

Here’s how:

Go to My Facebook Page at

https://www.facebook.com/literarykornerpublishing

Like the Page

(if you want)

Scroll down to where you see reviews. Rate and review.

  • You can write a review based on books of mine you’ve read (so if you read and enjoyed Renaissance or Stella).

 

  • You can write based on this blog (maybe you have a favorite segment, poetry, Black History Fun Facts, Throwback Jams, etc)

 

  • You can review based on my Book Reviews.

Whatever it is about my writing / blog you like in general you can review based on that.

CAUTION.

You can comment on my pinned photo but that does not count as a review. Please leave your review under the review section for it to count.

Thanks so much for those of you who can help. I really appreciate it.

 

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Goodnight to you.

Chat soon,

Peace

-EC