Tag Archives: writing about life

Brain Pickings on Writing


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Maria Popova. Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

Writing this post about Brain Pickings gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own writing and this blog. Apart from this post, I have two more to go before I reach 500 posts on Tribalmystic blog. Over a year ago I set out to write 1000 stories. I have told close to half of that in stories and pictures. In the beginning, I questioned my own crazy motive to do such thing. It was a goal I thought was unachievable as soon as I wrote that damn post. Then, the more I wrote, I realised that I could actually reach this goal. Some of what I write is just simply information-sharing. Not too much thought has been put into those writings and I’m grateful for the sources of the information. Others, I spent a little time on it between chores, work,  family and my other interests. That is because I believe in those posts and I feel they are important in enriching my life and if they enrich others’ lives too, that’s even better. As for short stories, I enjoy it so much, it is like a game. If I had to write a fiction short story – the game is on. I guess it is a kind of icing on my cake – short, sharp and sweet in my writing world. Mondays Finish the Story by Barbara Beacham took that edge off me, but with her gone, I have to re-direct this passion into the next part of this blog.

I also enjoy visiting, reading and learning from your blogs. Learning about you, your culture, your life, pain, happiness and what we all call life experiences. Sometimes I go back through followers list to re-visit and see the transitions and transformations, just like opening a book in the library shelf and stepping into a new moment, completely leaving the present behind. Life is but a journey of transformations. I enjoy you sharing your transformations with me.

I could name many, but one of the blogs, I visit, Brain Pickings is for my pleasure of reading, my admiration for its writings and the digest’s archives are a wealth of knowledge. I started this post by trying to think of the best way to show Maria Popova’s piece on The Agony of the Artist, to Susan Sontag’s comments about writing and many more. The post went from Popova’s writings to my 500 posts …and in the end, I thought, the best way was to connect you to Brain Pickings itself other than to only discuss a few posts.

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Susan Sontag – From Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings is one of my favourite online digests because I keep finding things I want to read which takes me into another article and that makes me want to find out about something else again and again. It is like a travelling foodie who never stops discovering a divine dish on a foodie tour. I guess it comes down to what each of us like and this content appeals to me. Blogger and creator of Brain Pickings, Maria Popova was interviewed about how she came up with her blog and why she chooses the subjects she does. This is probably something I would like to do in the future which is to interview some of my blogger friends. It is not an original idea, but it is wonderful to find out about people you talk to and share information regularly with. And Chris the Story-Reading Ape – I owe you.

I believe the real challenge in writing is knowing your reader. But, how do we get to know the reader? That is what I hope to know one day. I think Popova has covered this – knowing what is right for her readers and maintaining that interest with her content.

There are so many articles Popova has written that I wanted to share on Tribalmystic blog several times, but you can visit and read them yourself. This is a link to what she calls, seven important lessons Popova has learnt in seven years about reading, writing and living.

Here is briefly what Popova said about her writing and her blog:

“Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.”

You can listen to her interview on her About Page.

Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012.

Click here and enjoy Brain Pickings

Released at last: “You’re Not Alone” an athology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care


Fantastic Christoph! Great post.

writerchristophfischer

11705837_967531943267360_280957472_oThe wait is over:

“You’re Not Alone” an anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care has been released. A paperback version is also available! Get your copy now!

Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

You’ll find the book on your Amazon  via these links:
http://smarturl.it/YoureNotAloneAnth
http://bookshow.me/B00Y5RCOOE

You’ll find the Facebook page here: 

https://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

https://macmillan.tributefunds.com/pamela-mary-winton

100% of the royalties earned or accrued in the purchase of this book, in all formats, will go to the Pamela Winton tribute fund, which is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

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An anthology, themed on relationships, of more than 20 authors 

from around the world –  from urban fantasy to stories that bring tears to the…

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The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award


World Sisterhood Blogger Award

I want to sincerely thank MillieThom for nominating my blog, Tribalmystic, for, The Sisterhood of World Blogger Award. Millie is the author of Shadow of The Ravens. Millie makes history sound like hot romance. She writes about various subjects with many fascinating historical content, and that’s why I enjoy her blog.

Once again, the show of kindness is deeply touching. Thank you Millie, fellow bloggers, friends and readers for supporting this blog.

The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award

Five rules to follow:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

  2. Put the Award logo on your blog.

  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.

  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

  5. Nominate seven blogs.

Ten Answers About Me

1. What do you like best about blogging?

I love the writing or storytelling in blogging. This becomes more valuable with the responses I get from the readers and respect from the blogging community. I also love reading and learning from other writers/bloggers. I am driven to seek new or interesting stories for my readers. These stories can be  humanitarian news, environment and nature stories, inspiring human stories or stories about beautiful things.

I enjoy writing fiction, but on this blog, most of my stories are about life. I love writing about my culture and heritage and that helps maintain my sense of identity. I also understand the greater world we live in, therefore, I cannot ignore the realities of cruelty and poverty; what we humans do to one another. As a victim of violence myself, I want to see an ending to violence against women, children and the helpless – so I write about these topics. When I feel something is not right when I am reading an article, I share the post or write about it too. My passion goes beyond mankind. It includes other living things in the ocean and all nature. Blogging about the real and the living is the least I can do. Many risk their lives every day to fight for what is right, or to save other lives. I can only do it with my keyboard and posts on this blog, from the safety and comforts of my home.

2. If you could visit any place in the world, where would that place be and why?

I would like to go to Zanzibar, Africa one day. I would learn to dance like the Zanzibar women. Sounds crazy? Well, in 1998, I was in World Festival for Island Cultures in Cheju Island, Korea. I was pregnant with my second son. In a very rhythmic  performance, I saw large women from Zanzibar dancing at the festival like I had never seen before. They were big and heavy but so light on their feet and movements. It was incredible. I come from the islands and we dance, but not like this. From that day, I thought, I would like to go there and learn to dance like that. I am sure, the music ran through these women like their own blood. I tried to learn while on Cheju but my stomach was in the way. This trip is on my bucket list.

3. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

I would like to change my pace of doing things – from fast to slow. I feel sometimes that I need to slow down and relax. I do not sleep enough. Writing is helping me to slow down, sit and think more than I have ever done in my life.

4. List 3 things that you are proud of doing / having done.

  1. Being a mother.

  2. Standing up for Women’s Rights.

  3. Being a Climate Change activist

5. What was your favourite subject at school, and why did it appeal so much?

I have never had one particular subject appeal to me – I loved many. I really enjoyed Maths and History apart from Arts, Philosophy and Literature. I loved problem solving and satisfying my curiosity. I enjoy old stories and understanding meaning of life. Social science and Geography were fun too. I could be in nature and interact with insects, animals and also people.

6. Is there any particular environmental issue that causes you concern?

What deeply concerns me is Climate Change and sea level rise in small Pacific Island nations, less than two metres above sea level. These islands will be lost soon. I would like the developed countries to lend their ears to hear us. Help us work together for a better planet for our future generation. It is not only about us sinking. We only have Earth to live on. Our earth deserves better treatment. In Australia, Prime Minister, Tony Abbott announced last week, his proudest and best decision he made was to reverse the climate policy. Two days ago, he employed a climate skeptic. The ignorance and denial of developed countries such as Australia is shameful.

7. What is your favourite childhood memory?

Being in the swamp, catching fish with my grandmother was what we did daily, for our food. One day, my grandma and I went to town with almost $5. She made this money from selling betel nut. She told me, she felt like eating bread so we went to town. It was a long walk and then a bus ride. We headed for the bakery in Lae City (Papua New Guinea). Grandma bought a whole loaf of white, unsliced bread; still hot and straight out of the bakery oven. The smell of the bread was unbelievable. Hugging the hot bread, I walked with grandma to the supermarket and she used the change to buy a tub of butter. Then we searched for a shady tree and she broke the loaf in half. She told me, it was half each.

“Eat it all” she said.

We dipped the halves in butter and ate the whole thing under the shade of a tree in the middle of Lae town. Bread was a treat. We never had that in the village. I cannot believe how much I ate that day. I can still smell the bread, 40 years later.

8. Who is your favourite character in a novel or film and why do you like them so much?

I love too many. One worthy of note is the common decency and friendship developed in Shawshank Redemption. I loved it because life has a way of rewarding us if we listen and feel more. Sometimes, because of our own perceptions, we miss the truth, opportunities and friendships.

9. What is your greatest ambition in life?

To teach more about LOVE by showing more LOVE. Hopefully it will grow and help others feel the same way.

10. What is the biggest compliment you have ever had?

I have been told that I am a good listener. That compliment is a kind one because, I am a very good talker too. I believe that being a good listener, takes skill. I hope they are right.


I have chosen these sister blogs because I really enjoy reading them, and I learn a lot from the writers. Some of these ladies make me laugh and I really like that because life is not all about being serious.

  1. A Refugee’s Journey – Vietnam to Australia

  2. Razorbackwriteraus

  3. Fifty Shades of Reality

  4. Altitude of Art

5. Poetheart

  1. L.T.Garvin

  2. Love Letters to Spam

Ten questions to nominees

  1. What makes you want to blog?

  2. What inspires you in life?

  3. What are your three favourite things and why?

  4. What is the most important thing you have ever done?

  5. Describe where you would like to live in the future and why?

  6. What do you miss most?

  7. Is there something special you would really like to do for someone and what is it?

  8. Do you have a lucky charm? Tell us about it.

  9. Have you or anyone close to you had a near-death experience? What happened?

  10. Name one thing you would like to do to change the world, if you could and how would you do that.