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Browsing Tag: English Lessons

English Lessons: A Birth Story (and a Giveaway)

Today is the official release day for English Lessons. I found it hard to think of what to write to mark this momentous occasion on my blog, where the origins of this book can be traced to. So I decided to tell the chronological story of how English Lessons was born. Today is its birthday after all. Why not celebrate by marking the significant events that led to its existence? English Lessons: A Birth Story September 15, 2008: I moved to Oxford and spontaneously decided to start a blog. I titled it “English Lessons.” Because I was living in England…

The Book. The Product

Well it’s here. It’s a real life, bound beauty of a thing isn’t it? I would like to talk about how this all got started. This whole book thing. I want you to know, and I need to remind myself because lately English Lessons has felt less like a book and more like something else. More like…a product. I realize this now as I reflect on my reaction when the final hardcover edition of the book arrived on my doorstep a week and a half ago. Earlier that day I had just received some disappointing news…

Should You Pre-order English Lessons? Probably. Here’s Why.

So the process of releasing a book is in full swing. This time last year I was hardly able to tell you what the book was about. Now, I can tell you everything! It’s so great. I don’t know if you’re into pre-ordering books or not. I am, but only for special books. For example, as soon as I heard Arundhati Roy was releasing her second novel, 20 years after releasing her first, I pre-ordered it online immediately. Pre-ordering ensures you will get a copy in case stock gets low. It ensures you will…

English Lessons Launch Team: How You Could Be On It

I tell a story in the book about this time in Oxford when somebody stole a battery from me. I rode a bike everywhere in Oxford. I didn’t have a car, so I depended on that bike to get me from here to there, rain or shine. It was illegal to ride a bike in Oxford without a headlight and taillight. Or, as we liked to call them, “front lights” and “back lights.” One night I went to a pub and locked up my bike outside. When I came back out, ready to go home, my front light didn…

English Lessons: The Book Cover and How Writing Makes You Crazy

Around this exact moment on this day last year, I hit SEND on my manuscript. I had spent the previous nine days in a bit of a frenzied state. I did not speak to other people. I holed up in a garage apartment in the country for a couple of days. My physical appearance got scary. All I did was write, and read out loud and go on runs. For nine days. In that time I rethought my entire book. I questioned everything I had been writing for the last two and a half years. I decided to change my…

The Truth About Writing Books and Perfection

  As I mentioned last week, I recently wrote a book. A dream come true. A freaking miracle. It’s about 65,000 words in its current state. Those 65,000 words are what I submitted to my editor. Then, there is a document hidden on my computer called “CUTS.” My dad told me about the CUTS document years ago. It’s a way to keep track of what you’re editing out in case you want to include it later or use it for something else down the line. My CUTS is about 31,557 words. Really, I have…

A Big Announcement…OkI’llJustTellYouRightNow! I WROTE A BOOK

{Written on February 1, 2016, the day my book was due.} I wrote a book. I have been wanting to write that sentence, or a variation of that sentence—I am writing a book! I am thinking about writing a book! I sort of just started writing a book!—for the last two and a half years, and now, I finally can. I’ve been refraining because until about 23 minutes ago I was afraid that articulating these words in a public space would jinx me. That somehow just writing them here, in this place that probably inspired me to…

A War with Many Battles

Believing in the worth of your craft is a war that sees many battles, and this blog is a field dotted with white flags. There was a time I posted here regularly. From 2008 to the end of 2011, I visited this space and typed words and hit publish. It was a habit. But in the last few years I’ve come here less and less. Instead of a post a week, it became one every few weeks, then every couple of months and by now I have all but puttered out completely. Words are important to me and I…