The Things I Learned About Myself After Becoming A Published Author


As I sat down to write this blog post, I realized the title is all wrong. It should be ‘The Things I Learned About Myself After Completing My First Book’.  You see, I’m a published author, but my first book that came out in print is a poetry anthology, a collection of 61 famous love poems and which doesn’t sound like a lot to my own mind because last two years I have spent writing my upcoming literary mystery ‘Tied to Deceit’. But as it will be publishing in a few months (June 2018), I decided the title of my post was apt.


I’m arrogant…

Writing my novel was a gruelling process: I forced myself to sit down and think: write, cut and edit: rewrite, some more edit, and cut: rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite until I took my manuscript to 130, 000 words and then some more painful cuts, rewrite, edit until I took it back to 85, 000 words finished manuscript. It was exhausting.

Writing a book is a gruesome process…just on its own. I did all this while taking care of my household chores and two young children and managing a move to a new house in a new city. All this makes me feel extremely proud of myself because there are not many people who can do that. I have always been a haughty person, but now I feel awesomely good about myself, I feel proud.  And that’s quality of someone who is pretty smug? Isn’t it?  Writing does that to you.


I’m tough, and I know how to deal with pain…

By the time, you finish your first draft it should be a time for celebration, a few days’ work left to get your manuscript ready for publication. But that’s not how it happens. After I had finished celebrating and jumping up and down with excitement, the time arrived when I had to start polishing my manuscript. As I started working on more edits, I realized I have to part with some of my best written words: I’m not talking about just a few lines here and there: I had to cut whole paragraphs, full chapters.

Imagine you are in love with these two chapters but to continue the story, one has to be taken out. Your creations, the words you spent hours working on has to go. That’s awfully hard. It breaks your heart. It is painful. But you do it, despite everything. You learn you are one tough cookie: you are strong.


Confused? Me?


If there was one thing, I had understood about myself before I decided to become an author ― I knew where I stood on a specific matter. I could make up my mind in a jiffy, take a decision, and stand on it (For as long until I take a new one and overwrite the earlier one…at least!).  I had no patience with people who take days to make up their mind about something. I constructed a plot, formulated it based on one idea about the story, and despite temptations on the way, I stayed single-minded.

But after I finished my book, I learned I could no longer be proud of my ability to take quick decisions. I have ‘Tied to Deceit Final Edits no.  1 to Tied to Deceit Final Edits 27’…yes! 27 copies of the manuscript sitting on my hard drive (I’m not counting the other 8 first drafts). Now don’t imagine number 27 is final for me. Number 27 is the one, when I decided enough was enough and sent the copy to my editor for copy editing/proof reading. Every time I read my manuscript, I cut, edit, rewrite.  The most bothersome thing is I will continue to feel the urge to do so even after the book comes out in print in June of 2018 (At least there I know where I stand!), because that’s how I feel about my poetry anthology as well. So yes, I learned I’m one of those confused people who never can make up their mind about a particular thing. It was a revelation!


I’m courageous…

After I finished writing my book and put up another one for publication, I took to social media and announced my newly achieved author status to the world. I put my writing up in front of others, shared the thoughts I had in my head and bared myself to their scrutinizing eyes. And that, in itself, is courageous.


I know how to take rejection…

Writing is a gruelling process. Completing a book is exhausting.  But the hardest part arrives when you start making queries to literary agents (The times have changed. The publishing house wouldn’t consider unagented queries). You are proud of your work. You think your book is awesome. The agents tell you the same (few of them who care to reply) but they have to let you go because they already have their hands full. You are rejected…again and again. I learned I could take rejection gracefully. Their rejection failed to make a dent in my infinite creative ego which stayed intact despite everything.


People are too sensitive and I’m wickedly awesome…

After I had started sharing my writing (not my book-related) on my personal social platforms, I learned I couldn’t put another word on paper without hurting someone’s sentiments. Imagine yourself proudly announcing your LGBT inclination in front of a LGBT rights opposition activists or vice versa. There are people who will object to all of your opinions, your personal beliefs, your thoughts, and troll you if they differ from theirs. Fighting back is easy but staying silent and not let it bother you is difficult. I learned I couldn’t care less about their opinion.


If you are a writer, and you have worked tirelessly on your manuscript giving it your best shot, you are awesome, but I probably don’t have to remind you that because you already know it😊


Neena lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband and is a full-time mom to her two children and a daring German shepherd.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic poems under her pen name Avira N.




What it Means to be a Supermom?



“Definition of supermom: an exemplary mother; also :a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job”


Last month a wonderful full-time mom of a toddler was sent this excerpt from Merriam Webster Dictionary because she chooses to call herself ‘a supermom’ despite being a ‘stay-at-home-parent’ and hence, the sender wanted to educate her better on the definition of ‘supermom’.



Now the mom in question; she is kind of mother who spends hours playing, teaching new things to her baby. Literally! The toddler who has just turned three is almost ready to start reading (that tells extent of her involvement in child’s life). She’s educated, a professionally qualified woman who choses to sit at home and be there for her child instead of leaving him to servants/day cares.


Being an only daughter of her parents, she was spoiled rotten while growing up and wouldn’t even pick a glass of water herself to drink. But as a mom, she cooks homemade puddings and soups, has shifted her routine, changed her life style to suit that of her child’s. And she’s not someone who enjoys sitting at home and just taking care of a child. She has aspirations. She has ambitions to fly and do stuff of her own. She would like to pursue her professional career. She would like to go outside and make a mark of her own. But there is this child who needs her more. And she is happy just being a mother at the time. The initial years of a child’s life are so crucial. Those are the years which form child’s basic character.
“It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”
― Ezra Taft Benson
The biggest sacrifice is the one when the best thing a woman could do is to go outside in the world and do wonderful things of her own but instead, she chooses to sit at home and gets another human being ready for doing wonderful things. As an educated, a professionally qualified person, I understand how hard it could be for an educated woman to choose that path solely for well-being of a tiny new life.
I’m also a full-time mother and I love being a one. I have Masters in Business Administration, have B.Sc. and also B.Ed. But I love staying at home and just being lazy. I enjoy cooking and baking, keeping my house clean, be there for my kids when they come back from school, and I’m addicted to words, to books and sunny days; the simplest things as I’m a simple person and for which I have been taunted, laughed at. Did those taunts make any difference to me? No, not at all! Because the people who utters those things, I understand, are definitely narrow…sort of pig-headed (Guess what? They are raised by a full-time mom!What a shame!).



Now I don’t think I’m sacrificing anything by being a stay-at-home parent because I take comfort, take pride in being the one. But I know there are many others who would rather go outside and pursue a professional career. And those full-time moms are the ones who make the biggest sacrifices when they choose to sit at home, take care of their children and be happy.





Now if we come back to earlier definition of ‘Super Mom’ in Merriam Webster Dictionary, a thing to note is that all Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, which is an American company that publishes reference books.
In 1960s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) had gathered increasing support with the rise of the women’s movement. ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters (*source wiki). It was reintroduced in 1971 and passed both houses of Congress in 1972. That’s when it was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification.
The word “supermom” was used for the first time in 1974. Its origin in post second-wave feminism society of 1970s United States at the time when women’s career-oriented way of life was trending, was not merely a chance occurrence. The majority of the women in those times viewed the pursuit of a professional career along with managing traditional homemaker’s duties as a challenge.
According to Collins Dictionary, the word “supermom” stands for an extremely capable and busy mother.”
Definition of ‘supermom’ in Collins is more in context with today’s times. The pressure on women- to prove themselves professionally no longer exists (superwomen squeeze), especially, in developed countries nor does the ‘superwoman syndrome’ and ‘superwoman complex’; where a woman has high expectations from herself that she can and should do everything.


But sadly, the closed-minded people out there lack the ability to understand this kind of concept; the very simple fact that every mother: working or not, is indeed a ‘supermom’. Poor bigots!

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic poems under her pen name Avira N.



My Father – A Poem



If I have to write a poem about my father

it has to be about integrity

and kindness —

the selfless kind of kindness

that is so very rare

I am sure there will be many people

living somewhere who must be as kind as him

but what I mean to say is

I have not met one yet


and when it comes to helping others

he always helps too much

and as the saying goes —

help someone, you earn a friend.

help someone too much,

you make an enemy. —

so you know the gist of what

I’m trying to say here


anyways I was talking about the

poem about my father

it has to be about


and hard work

because you see

you cannot separate these

things from him

they are part of him as his two eyes and

two hands and his heart and his soul

and his whole being

and you cannot separate

wind and waves

or living and the universe

or earth and heavens

and although he never got any

award from bureaucracy

the students he taught ages ago

still touch his feet and some

of them are the people

you have to make

an appointment to meet even if

it is for two minutes of their time

and that’s a reward for him

bigger than any other that

some of his colleagues got

for their flattery


and also I have to write about

reliability as well

as the sun always rises

and the snowflakes are always six-folds

and the spring always comes

and the petals of a sunflower and every flower

follows the golden ratio of symmetry

my father never fails to

keep his promise


I have to mention the rage as well

that he always carries inside him

like a burning fire

for wrongdoings

for injustice


and now

he carries a bitterness too

for people-

who used him good

and discarded-

as it always happens with every good man

in our world of humans


and you must be thinking he has

learned his lessons well

you go to him —

it does not matter who you are

if he knows you

or you are a stranger from

other side of the world —

and ask for his help

he will be happy to do so


as you must know


never change

not their soul in any case.

– Neena H. Brar

(Copyrights Held)



Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’ , a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:



The Things Do Change



It does not matter what the people say

the time changes and many things change

the weather for example

and flow of a river

the months and the years

the flowers die

and the dreams too

the love does not last forever

and the people change

it does not matter what the people say

the time changes and many things change

Neena. H. Brar

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:







Is not it amazing

how it carries its

body, the colour of

deep ocean


wings as light and thin as silk

and flies from leaf to leaf

and how it adores

the green grass, the trees,

the flowers, the morning sun,

the summer wind

and how it cherishes

its short, humble life


while the world goes on

as it must

and we humans


dream of rising.

doesn’t it live


than us humans?

– Neena H. Brar

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:


“Hardships make or break people.” ― But what about kindness Scarlett?


When I first read Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”, I was completely blown away by this historical saga of a coming-of-age story of survival, of endurance. Despite the length of the book which was over 1000 pages, the pace never turned sluggish. I finished it in less than a week. Then, I eagerly waited for other members of my book club to finish reading it, so we could’ve a discussion. Everyone, as expected, loved the book but not for the reasons I imagined they would love. I was appalled to realise everyone else loved it because of Scarlett’s proto-feminist badass characters.

Surely Scarlett was strong, passionate, and brave. She was self-willed and a survivor. But she was also cold, calculative, and utterly manipulative. She was shallow and insensitive. She, for the entire part, could not respond to genuine emotions of those who loved her, pursued Ashley Wilkes throughout her three marriages for reasons that at most could be called inconsequential and vain. She literally seemed incapable of feeling genuine emotions. Her behaviour was considerate only in case of matters non-vital.


Scarlett O’Hara was a spoiled, selfish girl in the beginning. The adversities of the Civil War turned her into a hardened, scrupulous individual. Whereas, Melanie never lost her humility despite going through the same set of adversities as Scarlet went through. It was really shocking to realise that many people dismissed Melanie’s goodness, her self-sacrificing nature, and her gentleness as a weakness of character.

For me, Scarlett came out as a negative character. I disliked her all through the book. I was relieved to know that even in the end, Mitchel didn’t change her. Because I don’t think a person can really change, not the soul at least. Change of attitude, behaviour, habits, interest do occur; that’s just personal growth over the period of time. But a person’s soul, the inner core deep down, it never changes. I loved Mitchel for that. She took a negative character and made it her protagonist. Now if we look at general definition of a psychopath, a psychopath is a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, etc. If not a complete psychopath, Scarlett, definitely, exhibited enough personality traits to be put in the category of partial psychopaths. Many people would argue that she was considerate enough, however, her consideration was limited to superfluous matters. The things that mattered most, she couldn’t care enough.


In an interview with a Sunday Journal, broadcasted on radio in 1936, in answer to a question about Scarlett’s character, Margaret Mitchel clarified how hardship, poverty and sorrow of the war changed Scarlett from a selfish, egocentric, but otherwise normal Southern girl to a hardened adventuress. That officially should clear the matter for those who perceive and suggest that Mitchel wrote a flawless character in Scarlet.


Until a few years earlier only the term ‘feminist’ was considered trendy; the era where a woman was celebrated for her accomplishments. Nowadays, the term ‘badass feminist’ has become a trend. The term ‘badass’ was originated in 1950s: from the adjective bad + ass. Badass is defined as either — a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person or — a formidably impressive person. Nowhere, it’s defined as selfish, egocentric, corrupt person.

Badass feminism implies celebrating the women for their kick-ass attitude, but seemingly, it is purposely, insistently, and widely misrepresented and misunderstood. Instead of idolising a selfish and awful protagonist like Scarlett how about idolising Charlotte Bronte’s Jane of “Jane Eyre” or L. M. Montgomery’s Anne from “Anne of Green Gables” or Louisa May Alcott’s Jo from “Little Women” and of course Melanie! The list goes on and on. It’s disheartening to think how people in general prefer a Scarlett over a Melanie.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is: