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spam comments make for interesting reading

By January 20, 2018 Learning, Writing

So what is it with spam (not the canned one) but the one online? And specifically comments? It is almost a whole line of business by itself. While spam comments can be annoying, and definitely need to be dealt with – my way is to approve comments on my blog before publishing them, and also using Akismet. But, both here on my new blog (since the past few months), and on my previous blogspot blog, I have dealt with spam fairly successfully, and, had fun reading many of those comments. You have to admit, some of those comments, even if bot-automated, need some creative thinking to get them going!!

Here are a few that made their way to my blog (were not published however, and marked as spam) that I found made for interesting reading. And a few actually seemed to be copied and pasted (and rewritten badly) from some children’s story somewhere – those are the ones below

‘Effeⅽtively boys,? Mοmmy lastlʏ said after theyd giove yoս plenty off silly concepts of what
Godⅾ did for enjoyablе, ?What God really likes is when folks love each other and care for each otһer like we do
in our family.? Tһat made sense to Lee and
Larry so Lee hhgged Mommy and Larry hugged dacdy to simply make God һаppy.’

‘My flip, my turn.? Larry stated еɑgewrlʏ wiggling too get аn opportunity to
talk. ?I feel tһe most effective factoг aƅout God is that he can Ьeat up the degil because the devil is scary and imply and uglyy andd unhealthy andd Ԍod can Ьeat him uup so the
devil сan?t dqmage us like he diɗ thuose dmon stuffed individuals in Jesus day.’

‘Eveгyone ⅼauɡһed trying to think about whaat kind of
pаryу Mary and Joseph gave for Jesus when He was six.
Larгy puzzled, ?I guess he favored the iⅾenticaal kind of toys we like.’

‘Properly, Ιm suгprised ʏou all left tthe very further greatesst one for me.?
Daddy stated with a teаsing smile. ?It?s
that he despatched Jesus to die for us and give us life eteгnally
and everr and that because of that we will be a family iin heaven for thousаnds and thousanmdѕ of
yeaгs. That?s pretty good isnt іt?’

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Silent Sentinels (No Way They’re Trunkless)

By January 19, 2018 Writing
For dVerse, a response poem – a mere faint reflection(my attempt) of the mighty poem by one of the greats. Shelley..
My response poem is as a result also of our many trips to the majestic Redwoods (and in particular, the Avenue of the Giants)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Silent Sentinels

On her way from times far-away
I met this nomadic nymph the other day
To her I had this to say
“Towering trees, so grand, so old,
Stand by the highway, upright bold;
Their sheer presence, their majesty
While fills one’s heart with awe, with beauty,
Show that mother nature with care did nurture
This treasure she gifted, that we view with rapture,
As I gazed on these silent giants
These onlookers of so many pasts,
In my mind, I recalled these words
‘To be like these, straight, true and fine
To make our world like theirs a shrine’”

– Vidya Tiru/LadyInRead


The last two lines in my poem – from Strauss’ poem ‘The Redwoods

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Make Way For Peace With Words

By January 18, 2018 Writing

For dVerse Poetics, today we are illuminating quotes that inspire social justice, human rights, global peace by selecting a quote and embedding it in our own poem with a similar theme…

The quote I selected is from a song with Hindi and English lyrics called ‘Gurus of Peace’.

Song: Gurus of Peace
Album: Vande Mataram
Artist: A.R. Rahman and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

I have included the video of the song as well here. The song itself has always inspired me with artistes across the borders joining in to produce this beautiful result. The English lyrics that are part of the song are below (I used the word ‘someday’ based on the official lyrics video, while other lyric websites use the word ‘somewhere’ instead)

What are you waiting for another day another dawn
Someday we have to find a new way to peace
What are you waiting for another sign another call,
Someday we have to find a new way to peace

My take on it using the Golden Shovel poetic form. Words from the above lyrics are in bold italics in the poem..

Make Way For Peace

We will find a somewhere someday
I know not the place it is; but we
could walk hand in hand; what have
we to lose? It’s time to
be human(e) again; to find
our humanity;let us try anew;
wait not for a sign, make our way
our own instead; this road leads to
our somewhere – here will reign peace!

-Vidya Tiru/LadyInRead (2018)

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Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2018

By January 15, 2018 Books, Memes, Reviews, Writing

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Goals is the theme for Top Ten Tuesdays this week, at its new home over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl. And my bookish goals are very similar to the ones I made in previous years, with just a couple of changes.

  1. Work on my challenges – that covers many goals
  2. Read (and discuss the books we read) with my kids more
  3. Write more (those story ideas I have had since forever never made it to paper or well, the laptop)
  4. Update my book lists on my blog (TBR/completed/others) – create a new page and link to reviews wherever they are; Also update on goodreads/pinterest/bookstagram(this last one will be new to me)
  5. Start on the review of a book as soon as I am done reading it – at least a few comments/notes so I can work on it later – if I don’t then it just is not the same
  6. Find interesting bookish things – anything to do with books – and post about them (blog/pinterest/bookstagram)
  7. Write comments on my blog/goodreads for other books I have read before but not reviewed
  8. I will not continue to read books if I find them uninteresting even after 50 pages (changed from 33 before, because have noticed that some books tend to start slow). (Note: also depends on the total number of pages in the book – so this can change relative to the size – 50 pages will apply to books having around 250 pages, for my reading)
  9. Interact more with other book bloggers – one reading challenge and commenting on top ten tuesday posts/other book review posts is my plan to start on this
  10. Have fun reading and blogging and reviewing and doing all that I have stated above


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A Hello and Goodnight at the (almost) Midway-Mark

By January 14, 2018 Memes, Writing

as i wish hello to you & myself a goodnight

light greets people elsewhere

err, brain-freeze is what i face

ways to overcome it in many tries

wisely i stop right now..


It is almost the midway-mark for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and this is my attempt to get this posted for the day and a chained-rhyme (prompt from toads)


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Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be (am) too late!

By January 10, 2018 Books, Memes, Writing

Many of you must have thought of the Rabbit with his timepiece from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as soon as you saw the title of this post. And you are not mistaken. Today’s post is about Alice (well, everything I can fit into one post that I am running late on….oh dear!)

Rabbit Alice

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll tells the story of Alice who falls down a rabbit hole, into a land of wonders where she proceeds to wonder about everything, and everyone around. (And everyone there wonders too!)

Vintage Alice illustrationBefore I go into this post further, I have to admit, I do not recall reading the entire original book myself (maybe a really shortened version) and I do plan to read the original version this year (as part of one of my challenges, maybe!).

If you are like me, you can read it too – it is available to read free online in various versions and if you want the paper book, you can get those too – some of which I have mentioned below:

Some interesting facts about the book:

  • The story came about when a little girl named Alice Liddell asked Carroll to tell her a story during a boating trip.
  • Carroll took real-life inspiration for many characters in the book in addition to being inspired by Alice: one example is the dodo – he based that character upon himself.
  • If any of the other ideas for the title for this book had been picked instead, we would have been reading ‘Alice in Elfland’ or ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’, (Actually, saw this on Amazon) or ‘Alice amongst the Fairies’. I am glad he went with the option we know it as today!
  • Lewis Carroll suffered from a rare neurological disease, that affects perception and size distortion. This was later called Alice In Wonderland Syndrome. His personal experience with it is of course visible in the book as Alice experiences numerous such incidents.
Lewis Carroll

By Reginald Southey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • This series of books were banned in China in 1931; reason – animals should not use human language.
  • The author of The Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, was enlisted by Walt Disney to write a script for the movie (though Walt Disney thought it was ‘too literary’ and nothing of that script made it into the 1951 movie)
  • Carroll was one of the first authors to create a ‘franchise’ off of his book. He allowed her image to appear on cookie tins and other items; and also designed a stamp case. (need to check if there is anything like this available!)
  • The book has never been out of print since its first publication in 1865; and has since been published in 176 languages
  • The first movie version of the book was only 12 minutes long (one of the longest movies of that time) and made in 1903

My favorite character(s) in the book have to be Tweedledum and Tweedledee (in the same way that Thomson and Thompson are my favorites in the Tintin comics)!! And the book provides one with so many wonderful quotes, puns, riddles, and word-games that one cannot help but fall in love with it.

John Tenniel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).” 
— Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass)

How about you? Have you read the book? If yes, any favorite characters or quotes or memory of the book? Let me know in the comments!

This post goes towards UBC, Just Jot It January, ABC Wednesday‘s round 22 – letter A (my theme for ABC Wednesday’s Round 22, as you might have already guessed, is children’s books – I will pick one popular book – classic/modern/old/new… – and write about it – be it a backstory or facts or something else completely).

this post contains Amazon affiliate links


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Reading Challenges…..short stories read, and problem solving strategies

By January 7, 2018 Books, Reviews, Writing

Short Story Reading Challenge – Deal Me In 2018

The Card: 4 of Spades RANDOM CARD

The Selection:A View from the Bridge‘ by Cherokee Paul McDonald selected from the book ‘The Norton Sampler Short Essays for Composition’.

Reading this super short story made me marvel at how much can be said in just a couple of pages. While I wondered at how the little boy was left alone on the bridge, I also appreciated the independence (and thus confidence) this would build in him for later.  McDonald uses a combination of dialog and detailed descriptions to let the reader know what is happening, visualize what he is seeing (and be the eyes, for the boy and the reader), and to feel (irritation initially for how brusquely the author treats the little boy, sympathy for that boy, and later a little warming towards McDonald as he helps the boy in his fishing and describes the catch to him, and finally admiration for the boy himself).

This story taught me the importance of observation and of detail, and how important words are. At the same, this story does not fail to be emotionally appealing. The single line that caught my attention here: as McDonald starts describing the fish to the boy, he pauses to ask him “Do you know what I mean by colors?”.  And I learned a new figure of speech – metonymy!

It also made me wonder how I would describe any everyday object to someone who could not see it, or had only heard about it, and did not know what it was at all.

This also brings me to another book I read for the Strategic Reading Challenge – ‘The Book of Think’ on problem solving. This book is geared towards kids (and also can be read by adults to help explore problem solving’s basics) and a little dated in some of the examples it presents (1976) but it does help open up our mind about how we can look around us and at ourselves, observe more closely, and approach problems in different ways to help reach the solution.  This book, while being dated (which can’t be helped as was published in 1976), does have a cool variety of exercises that it prompts the reader to do, which will help increase our observation powers and problem solving abilities.

A writing prompt for you, my readers, based on this post:  Pick some everyday object (maybe a favorite jacket or your purse) and describe it with details so others can picture it as close to real as possible.


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Goals For The Year

By January 4, 2018 Everything Else, Learning, Memes, Writing

The past couple of years, I made and updated for myself a treasure map of goals to reach. While I did not yet reach them/achieve them fully, I did try to work towards (most of) them. And that point is why, at four days into this new year, I am planning my goals for this year. And reusing some of the ones from earlier, here are my 2018 goals – to be healthy, wealthy, and wise; and a 13 point list to help work towards them!! And if I am even halfway through some or most of them, that is still more than where I am at today and I will be happy…

  1. Exercise – I need to work on this seriously, so to break it down more specifically
    • Walk towards 10k steps everyday
    • Zumba twice a week (love dancing!)
    • Yoga once a week
  2. Hydrate
  3. Eat well (reduce dessert intake/plan and follow a weekly menu)
  4. Sleep – better sleep habits, as in the saying ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy, and wise.’ So am going to work towards this habit and here are some tips I plan to use to achieve that.
  5. Spend wisely.
  6. Be in touch with family and friends more often than now
  7. Volunteer – at the shelter/soup-kitchen – with both my kids in scouting, I do get more opportunities to do this, so will work on doing it more often this year and do a RAK every week
  8. Start seriously working on my 52 week list made years ago (update as needed, but work towards checking it off)
  9. Read – My reading challenges, will hopefully take care of my reading goals
  10. Write –
    • in my journal everyday – just a line or two
    • poems – keeping a goal of six a month
    • posts on my blog – everyday during UBCs; and other months too if possible (excuse myself from this 5 days a month)
    • reviews that are overdue – book and product reviews I have been planning to complete
    • reviews for books that I read this year promptly
    • product reviews for products I truly enjoy using and know others will love too promptly
    • letters by hand – at least one a month
  11.  Learn – complete a course (even online) and earn a certificate, if possible
    • in something I love
    • in something that will be useful (even if I don’t love it!)
  12. Start learning a new language (Spanish might be a good choice as my son is learning it in high school now)
  13. Learn one new skill (need to figure out what) and relearn an older, left-in-the-sidelines one (drawing and painting)
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Leaping Zig-Zag into the New Year

By January 3, 2018 Memes, Writing

belly dancingLeap Into Love

She leaps gracefully
                Mimicking a dance
 She jumps joyfully
               Throwing him a glance
 Surprise him she does
               Puts him in a trance
 She zig-zags her way
               back to loyal fans
 Makes her final bow,
               bye-byes; lost his chance
 Maybe not! It’s her!!
               beckoning; Romance?

-Vidya Tiru/LadyInRead

A quadrille with the word leap; a poem that uses the word grace; a poem written using the invented form ‘zany zig-zag five‘ – this post is for dVerse Poets Quadrille Monday or maybe Poetic Tuesday (not sure if I can use it for both!!) and for ABC Wednesday‘s letter Z.

Quadrille: Rules of quadrille are quite simple:  write a poem, or short story in 44 words (excluding the title) with the specified word; this week’s quadrille word was Leap.

Zany zig-zag five: I found this in the poetrymagnumopus blog while looking for poetry forms starting with the letter Z to use for ABC Wednesday’s letter this week. On searching some more, I found the original poem written by the inventor of this form here.  Rules for this form: 5 syllable lines written in a zig-zag form that must contain movement and the words zig-zag must be mentioned; must also rhyme. For rhyming, I used the same scheme that Patricia used in her really wonderful poem – Shuffling Along.

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Throwback Thursday -13 From Past Thursday 13s

By December 16, 2017 Memes, Writing

I am sharing snippets from past posts here today, a throwback into Thursdays past on my blog – one selection each from Thirteen Thursday Thirteens for this week’s Thursday 13 

1 From Thursday Memes post,

Humbug Day is Dec 21st. The creators of this day created it to allow people to vent their frustrations. Bah! 

2 From a more recent Thursday Thirteen, where I paid tribute to a great mind

 NASA named one of it’s four ‘Great Observatories’ after him – the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The other three are the Hubble Space Telescope, the Comptom Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

3 From Memeing Through All Over Once More, where it looks like I went on a poetry-writing frenzy

dVerse – Thank you dVerse for this wonderful community of friends, poets, and for introducing me great new forms of poetry.

4 From the Treasure that is Memories:

Laugh with her – my mom and I had a sort of a mom-daughter laughter club – an impromptu one – and we would find ourselves laughing ourselves silly till our tummies hurt and the males in our family (that is,dad and brother) would pretend not to recognize us (even in our own house) – two ladies who have decidedly lost a few screws up in their heads!!:) – I would love to start this wacky tradition with my daughter and I know she will love it!!

5 From a Teetoliaciously Thursday post

Contribute   (this single word was part of that post – and in the spirit of the season, my contribution – I am hosting a giveaway on my blog starting tomorrow, so look out for it!)

6 From Hiking Trails and Tips,

Spray white vinegar on counter-tops and wipe clean (for keeping off ants)

7 From my Writing Experiments post, which has an interesting title and I enjoyed writing

Orange – derived either from Tamil நாரத்தம் naaraththam orange, நரந்தம் narantham orange, or நாரங்கம் naarangam mandarin-orange, with நாரத்தம் + காய் = நாரத்தங்காய் naaraththangaay in current popular usage

8 From another post:

Educate myself on one new thing – maybe learn something my kids are learning in school

9 From another Teetotaciously Thursday,

Dreaming – I love my dreams – the ones I have when i am asleep and those I have when wide awake! I encourage my kids to dream big too and follow their dreams

10 From Memeing Through Once Again

Cardamom,cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, chilies  – spices!

11 From Poet’s Tree,ashes from the flag

Ashes from a retired American flag – We had a flag retirement ceremony last year at a camping trip for our cub scout pack. One of the families had a flag that had to be retired – when the flag is torn/tattered, then the flag is retired by burning it in a flag retirement ceremony – this was truly something wonderful. We now have ashes from that ceremony which can be scattered, buried, or added to the ashes of another retirement ceremony – for now, we have it as a memento of that occasion.


12 From my second Thursday 13 post

For Share Your Cup my little girl and her littler cousin looked at how to draw videos and came up with this..

13 From a post in January this year

News – not the down in the d(tr)umps kind – More than 40% of California out of drought now


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