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Want To Know What Am I Reading Now?

As we all know, writers must read a lot in order to sharpen our writing skills and I tend to read as much as I possibly can. But of course, we all have our own preferences and I am no different.

I mostly like to read rather serious and heavy books, mostly based on people, humanity and world’s serious issues, and I also read books about philosophers, successful people and important histories of the world. I am sorry to say that but I don’t fancy reading much of science fiction, mystery or romance, paranormal, horror, and most of the general fictions. But I can happily read spy thrillers and even have a plan of writing one someday in the future.

I also want to write a romance novel someday along my writing career but not sure of when that can be done. We will have to wait and see…

I must admit I am not a typical writer as you might have expected and I don’t have a writing desk with piles of books around it. But when I became a writer, I knew I need to read a lot, and decided to read books from all the Nobel laureates.

I found ‘The dream of Celt’ by Vargas too complex, ‘Summertime’ by Coetzee forgettable, and ‘Soul Mountain’ by Gao contains too much sex for my liking. Similarly, ‘In a free state’ by V.S. Naipal and ‘My son’s story’ by Nadine Gordimar were forgettable, ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison thought that it was mainly written for black people, and ‘Sandalwood death’ by Mo Yan was too Chinese.

I read few more books by other Nobel laureates but I am sorry to say that I wasn’t impressed that much and I have already forgotten about them.

If ‘The Norwegian wood’ by Murakami was magical, I was similarly disappointed with ‘A wild sheep chase’ by the same author. I really liked ‘The satanic verses’ and Midnight’s children by Rushdie, but I still have to find out why the Muslim world was offended by his book at the first place.

Although I didn’t realize it at the beginning, I still think that ‘One hundred years of solitude’ by Marquez was still one of the best books I ever read and the complexity of prose and multitude of different characters in the book were two main reasons why I thought it was a great book.

I also like classic books by great authors like Dickens, Hugo, and Tolstoy and I try to read them whenever I got any chances.

At the beginning, I genuinely thought that books by Hemingway, Twain and Steinbeck were too simpletons and didn’t realize the greatness of simplicity in writing, now I know why they were called the greatest authors of our time, and couldn’t agree more.

I also read a lot of books by fellow authors, but mostly they are in exchange for a favor rather than choice, and such practices are pretty common in our small writing world.

In addition, I read news, current affairs magazines and literary journals in a regular basis and try to keep myself up to date with the world.

Reading is an important habit of our life, it helps us to understand the world and one should try to have one as early as possible in life.

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

So, Who Is Bishal K. Gurung-Rai-Magar Then?

Due to widely diversified background, Nepalese in HK is certainly a much divided community and finding a leader who can unite them all is almost impossible. It’s not only different ethnicity, race and custom but also tradition as well as way of life that separate them and integration between them is mostly neglected, if not discouraged.

Most frustratingly, it’s the centuries long feudal caste system, which is still as lively and widely practiced now as it was from the medieval period, that prevents the whole community to unite and become one. It gradually transformed into a community with many tribes, each tribe created representative in order to protect its interests, and they never got the chance of uniting again. As a result, small groups and communities started sprouting out like mushroom and they got embroiled so much so into their own small world that they never got time to think over big things in life.

On top of all this, add politics, and all you got is a plethora of small and mismatched organizations that is neither big enough to make significant changes nor small enough to go away quietly. Nepalese community in Hong Kong alone has more than few hundreds such organizations and all they do is serve their own piffling interests.

If we were to be in a position where we can have our say, what we need is a strong and united community and without one, anything else is meaningless.

I had the opportunity of talking with some community leaders from HK Nepalese community recently and wasn’t surprised at all. We were desperately in need of a leader, who has to be not only smart, charismatic and visionary but also experienced enough to lead the whole community in the governmental level. Most importantly, he/she has to be accepted by the entire Nepalese community and the possibility of having such a divine individual was almost none to zero.

But then, serendipity has its own way and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Since the moment I have met this person, I am awestruck and I have nothing but only good things to say about him. All I can say, in a nutshell, is I think our call has finally been answered and HK Nepalese community is saved once and for all.

Meet Bishal K. Gurung-Rai-Magar, a tall, handsome and intelligent guy of 45 who has achieved great in life. He seemed polite yet firm, highly educated yet kind, and rich yet humble. He is the 2nd generations of former Gurkha and happily married with two children, done MBA in IT and runs his own private multinational firm, resides in one of the prestigious locations of HK, is fluent in English/Cantonese/Mandarin, and does voluntary services in weekends. Sounds unrealistic? You are not alone.

A person with three surnames cannot be for real, right? You might ask and here is the fairytale explanation why he ended up with such a rare surname. His father was a Gurung, his mother a Rai, and his father happened to be raised up by a Magar family. In respect of representing all three roots of his son’s existence, his father gave him such surname and the rest is history.

On the bright side, this anomaly of awkward surname can be a blessing in disguise. With his surname alone, he can unite three main communities of Gurung, Rai and Magar, and give ourselves a break that we have been waiting for so long.

His appearance alone can make him likable by all, his knowledge and experience on business can be a skill on managing our community, and his understanding of society and way things are done in HK make him an ideal leader.

What’s more, his proficiency in all three mostly used languages in HK is an asset that other leaders lack and it can be the one main factor that will make all the differences. In addition, he is already very rich and less likely get into corruption.

Most importantly, unlike other leaders, he is not involved on any politics and is not associated with any groups or organizations at all. As a result, he can start with a clean and pure sheet and devote all of his time on the wellbeing of the community.

I certainly cannot say for others, but as far as I am concerned, he must be the best thing ever happened to our poor community here in HK and by putting all of our differences aside, we must unite and throw our unconditional supports behind him.

I sincerely do hope that our community in HK realizes it and do the right thing. If not, only thing we will have is regret and living in regret is as we all know no fun at all.

I wish them all the best!

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

Are You Making These Mistakes As A Writer?

I have been attending a coaching course from a master who has achieved six figures in yearly book sales and working on a total overhaul of my books for the last few months. As I haven’t tested them yet, I don’t know for sure whether they will work or not. But one thing is pretty sure, at least now I know what I wasn’t doing right from the beginning and making all the necessary changes as I write.

Being a writer myself, I can understand the craving for seeing your book on print is always very strong and we tend to hurry things up without giving much attention on preparation. Without proper preparation, your book is going nowhere and it’s where most writers do fail.

If you want to have any chance of succeeding as a writer, this is the list of must do things before you actually start uploading your book in Amazon.

1. Cover – It has to be nice, professionally done and eye catching. If the cover of your book is not done properly, you will fail on the first huddle and your dream of being a successful writer will die even before it has started.
2. Title – It must grab readers’ attention.
3. Description – It has to be epic, enticing, and the best writing of your career.
4. Keywords – The keywords have to be properly selected, find the right ones, and tweak them until it works for your book.
5. Category – You must select the right category that suits your book best.
6. Writing – The writing has to be good, properly edited and proofread
7. Formatting – The book must be properly formatted by professional.
8. Price – The price has to be right for both print and ebook, if it is too high, nobody will buy.

Of course, it’s easy to list them out. The hardest part is how to perfect them on practices. It has to be done either by our own or pay someone to it for you. This is where help is needed for most of us and if you are not sure, let the experts do the job for you. It’s like the main foundation of a structure and without one, it’s going nowhere. If it’s not properly done, no matter what you do later on, it won’t have much effect on your books.

Still, there is one very important point for all to remember though. You must complete the whole list without leaving one out. It’s not a multiple choice, it’s rather like a box-set and leaving one will stop the whole circle. And all eight of them must be prepared well before the final launch of your book. Only then, whatever you do for the marketing of your book, will start working and your dream of becoming a writer will come true. Having said that however, please always keep in mind that it’s just the beginning and there are still plenty of works to do before the actual dream begins.

If you were making those mistakes like many writers, please stop right there and start rebuilding your base before you do anything else.

Last but not least, I never write as an expert, I always write from my own experiences and the only reason I do is to help other fellow writers by sharing my experiences and nothing more. I have paid for it so you don’t have to. Thank you so much and keep on writing.

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

100 WAYS TO MAKE NEPAL GREAT AGAIN…!

I wrote a piece about Nepal last year, it was rather a negative one and many had requested for a positive one. Although it took much longer than I had initially anticipated, I am still very pleased to say that I have heard you and here is my take as you have requested. As the old saying, late is still much better than never, and hope you folks will appreciate it.

Before I get to the points, there is still an issue, some readers have questioned about the definition of the word ‘Great’ and that needs to be answered. Well, the answer can vary in manifolds and I can actually write a book about that single word alone. But I will provide one simple example that should clear all the air and it goes something like this – if you are travelling the world and you are allowed to enter those new countries without any hassles and prejudices, then you can call yourself that you are indeed from one of the great nations of the world. And unfortunately, Nepal is not one of them.

Now that is being cleared off the way, here is the list of 100 ways, which if fully applied, might be able to make our poor nation great again.

1. Close the border with India by building an eight feet tall fence line along it.
2. Abolish the outdated caste system and stop discrimination and persecution against people purely based on caste.
3. Make family planning nation’s first priority again and educate people on having a small and happy family.
4. Stop discriminating against women, provide equal rights for both girls and boys, and introduce a new law that requires for parents to send the girls to the school as they do for the boys.
5. Girls must have the same rights as the boys to the family properties/assets.
6. Make eradicating illiteracy a national priority, provide benefits as well as necessary facilities to the needy ones and give our next generation a new hope.
7. Make teaching a respectable profession and pay them well so they can afford a decent living and don’t have to worry about the future.
8. Make practical, social and communication skills mandatory on schools by providing libraries, labs and vocational trainings.
9. Government should invest big in educating our next generation and must make sure that not a single child of the nation is left behind.
10. Make the government officials serve the public not the other way around.
11. Serve the nation not the individual.
12. Make everyone accountable for both good and bad works.
13. Make corruption punishable by prison sentences or even death if necessary.
14. Pay well to the civil servants so they don’t have to take bribe.
15. Provide equal opportunity for all.
16. Give position on merit and qualifications not on connection or favor.
17. Eradicate corruption, favoritism and nepotism by all means.
18. Make misusing of public fund a crime punishable by death.
19. Elect leaders who are honest, responsible and patriot with proper vision for the nation.
20. Educate public in the significance of safeguarding national interests.
21. Make taking and giving bribe a crime.
22. Put your nation above anything else.
23. Make ‘Nation always come first’ the main slogan of the country and put it into practices by each and every person of the country.
24. Abolish the feudal caste system and eradicate discrimination against based on caste and ethnicity.
25. Unite for the sake of nation and stop dividing the nation.

26. Stop using the word I and start the word WE instead.
27. Make personal interests least priority.
28. Abandon the motto of self enrichment at all cost.
29. Love your country and do at least one good thing for your country in your lifetime.
30. Love your neighbor, have respect and help each other.
31. Keep your house, neighborhood and village areas clean and tidy.
32. Teach good behavior, ethics and manner to your children.
33. Manage your property and assets in a proper way.
34. Never waste our natural resources.
35. Never abuse your position or power.
36. Eradicate the old habit of only talk no work. Talk less work more.
37. Abandon the perspectives of shortsightedness, selfishness and narrow mindedness – start thinking big and long term.
38. And always remember that without a country we are nothing but just a number and numbers have no values in this cruel world.
39. Building the nationwide infrastructure system is very important in the advancement of any nation, look at China for instance, and we should learn from them.
40. Invite multinationals companies for infrastructure projects, award tenders to the best ones and let them run the project until their investment is recuperated. It can be ten, fifteen or twenty years, then they will go home and the infrastructure they had built will remain there for us.
41. Open up all the business sectors, invite multinationals for establishing businesses in the country and provide necessary competitions for all the locals as well. Our people will learn from them and upgrade themselves with time.
42. Industry/business is the only way of empowering nation with wealth, without industry no country can flourish, and businesses also provide jobs for our people.
43. Given the situation we are in, Information technology or IT, services industries like banking and financing or tourism can be ideal for us and we should concentrate on those industries.
44. We should open up the markets for foreigners, provide incentives such as tax free, no restrictions on currency movement, and less bureaucracy, and they will come. This way, our people will get new jobs, learn new skills and eventually start our own businesses.
45. We can invite world class multinational companies for all the possible industries such as manufacturing, construction, IT, telecommunication, banking, financing, insurance, and other service providers, work for them until we learn the trade and start our own.
46. Make every individual and business pay tax accordingly.
47. Create a healthy and open environment for businesses to operate and let them flourish as they create new jobs.
48. And choose the best industries for our country and concentrate only on them by eliminating the least favorable ones out in time.
49. Invite Nepalese Diasporas to return home, create a new business with the skills they had learned outside and teach and train fellow countrymen.
50. Give them new and important position with honor and respect, make them feel welcomed and provide opportunities for them to contribute to the motherland.

51. Create opportunity for the youths at home, so, they don’t have to go abroad and wasted away.
52. Give hope and guidance to the new generations so they can feel they have a future at home and do something for the nation.
53. Create a fair, clean and open society from where new generations of good leaders with vision, charisma and skills to lead the nation can be produced and secured the future of the nation.
54. Think out of the box, go explore the world, and learn to look beyond New Delhi. There is a huge world out there besides New Delhi
55. Use our geographical position well, the only way to counterbalance India’s ongoing influence is working with China, and you need a very astute and skilful leader to pull that off. You need to know precisely how Chinese work and handle it very cautiously.
56. Chinese are enterprising people; you cannot win them with the same way as you work with Indian, and by bootlicking and talking alone won’t work with the Chinese. You have to give them not only respect and true loyalty but also the chance of making real money and only then they will come for our help. You have to treat them like a real friend, welcome them with open arms, and hide nothing from them. This can be done by offering the Monopoly of our road building, bridge making and ultimately running the whole infrastructure system for at least 1-2 decades and they can return it to us after they have recovered their initial investment with return. Unlike the Indian, The Chinese don’t want full saying on our policy making, they can be as our adviser, and as long as we take their suggestions wholeheartedly, they will be more than happy.
57. After the terms are over, they will leave and everything will be ours again. Since we don’t have money, expertise and experience to make this all, we need to give something to them who have put their money in, and it really works well for both sides.
58. And ask all of our educated, skilled and experienced people abroad to come home and do contribute for the making of the nation great again.
59. Promulgate a simple, pithy and powerful constitution that protects and benefits all people of Nepal, make sure nobody is above the constitution and it serves well for the nation before anything else.
60. Register each and every individual of the country in a central system, so nobody is left behind and everybody is treated equally.
61. It’s not only responsibility and duty of making the nation but also the benefits as well must be equally shared and trickled through to the bottom of the society.
62. With position and power, there come responsibility as well, and it must be fully understood by everyone with chair and position.
63. Powers must be centralized onto relevant institution but not to individual who heads it, and resources must be prevented from misusing.
64. People must stop following blindly to their respective leaders and learn to keep a check on them as to discourage abusing power.
65. The public must realize the power of common men, the ultimate master of their own destiny and must know when and how to use it when necessary.
66. The government is there to serve the public, the custodian of rules of law, and nothing more. That’s why the government can be changed but not the public.
67. The leaders must earn public’s respect, their trust to rule, and should never allowed to rule as their own personal fiefdom.
68. And the public must always elect the right leaders who have the heart of serving the nation before anything else.
69. Establish sports institutions in a nationwide level so each and every youth can be given a chance of showing his/her talent and be able to represent the nation in international stage. Sports not only give youths much needed discipline but also a chance of shining in the international level that can really boost the nation’s reputation around the globe.
70. Create such an environment for the sport personnel where they could not only gain respect but also earn enough so they don’t have to worry for tomorrow and can fully concentrate on the sports.
71. It also can create jobs in the coaching, training, medical, cleaning and other services.
72. Encourage local talents to grow, give them enough space and tools to succeed, and provide them a platform to serve and make the nation proud.
73. Invite experts from outside, let them find and develop whatever mines or deposits that we might hold and use it for national consumption.
74. Use wisely of our natural resources, always give the locals first priority and never sell cheaply of those resources to foreign powers.
75. We must stop the bad habits of being over-reliance on others by working on self-reliance and making a new habit of succeeding on it.

76. We must send our talented youths abroad for better education, but there must be a catch, and they must serve the government at least 5 years as a return favor before being allowed to go their own way. If they don’t return from abroad, their family must be held responsibility for the no show and made them repay all the expenses.
77. The government must stop preying on those returning home as they do now.
78. And we must all unite and work hard together until we are self-sufficient and can stand on our own without much help from outside.
79. In order to avoid the fuel-embargo situation as imposed by India before, we must try to find if there is any possibility of finding fuel in our own land, if not, must find an alternative way of obtaining it. Look north!
80. The first priority would be sanctioning a railway line joining Kathmandu and Lhasa in Tibet and then allow China to build as many roads as possible on our northern borderline. Chinese are the best in engineering, building road or digging tunnels is like digging on the field for them, and they can do it with ease. What’s more, China’s railway network is extremely vast and spread all over the country and connecting with it means only one thing – access to the whole China.
81. Start importing everything that cannot be found or produced in our country from China and if we ask, China will be more than happy to oblige. We can play the rivalry game between China and India in our advantages and solve our problems without upsetting both. This is of course a very dangerous game like playing with fire, but if we can play it right, we can get away with it. It’s the reason why I have already said before that we will need a very good and skillful leader to pull it off which I am afraid we don’t have in Nepal yet.
82. Nepal is a sovereign country, it has all the rights to do business with any countries it likes and working with China shouldn’t be an issue at all. Therefore, we shouldn’t hesitate trying and have some courage to do just that. As far as I know China after working there for more than 25 years, China is always open for business.
83. Our disciplinary services like police, army and custom/immigration have to be completely overhauled, retrained and disciplined. Most importantly they have to be well paid, be respectful and make accountable to the general public.
84. The respective departments as well as governmental institutions must be allowed to operate independently and in its own jurisdiction, their duty and responsibility shouldn’t be abused or overlapped, and they should have their own rules and regulations that cannot be overruled by any individual or party as they do now.
85. The misuse of public fund or position must be deemed as a serious crime punishable by jail terms or lifetime ban from taking public offices again.
86. The future leaders must have courage to look beyond New Delhi, there is a big world outside of that, and must be ready to work with outside world.
87. Eradicating corruption is almost impossible, but it’s the root of all evil, and if we try hard, we can at least minimize it by declaring it so abhorrent and despicable act of human’s nature that people should think twice before taking it.
88. And like the old saying, we ask first what we can do for our country before asking what our country can do for us. The whole mentality has to change, only then we can start dreaming about the bright future.
89. Start taking responsibility right now from the top man to the bottom.
90. Respect yourself, your family, your neighbor, your society and your country.
91. Have some compassion and care for your people, environment and the nature around you.
92. Be considerate to all and everything around you.
93. Be grateful to all, everything around you and to your own self that you are alive and kicking right now.
94. Work hard, humans are progressive creature, and always look forward.
95. Be humble, be kind and find the things that matter the most in life.
96. Be happy, be content and learn to differentiate between materialistic and real things.
97. Be yourself, be true and try to be good to everyone.
98. Love yourself, your family, your people, your society, and most importantly love your country before anything else.
99. Protect your country as you do to your family, property and personal belonging.
100. By putting all of our differences aside, it’s about time we come together and unite as one, and start working for our country before it’s too late. Without a nation, we are nothing and living as a refugee is not fun at all. We should never forget that.

Some might ask why I didn’t elaborate all points in details. Well, I did it for two reasons. One, it’s almost impossible to write them all in here, and two, I am going to write a book about Nepal in a few years time. Until then, have a nice day and god bless you all.

If you care about your country as I do, please read, like and share this article and in the name of public’s awareness, make it reachable to all. Thank you so much!

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

How To Write A Novel In Just 30 Days!

Before anything else, please do note that I never write as an expert, I always write from my own experiences and this piece is no different.

If you are reading this piece, it means only one thing. You are either a writer or have interest on writing which mean you can write. However, we all know that writing is not always easy, we must not only have skill, talent and passion but also commitment to write, and discipline in writing is, needless to say, very important.

If I say writing is still the easiest part, many writers out there would definitely agree. Experienced and skillful writers can churn out books in a very short period of time and I can attest that too from my own experiences. I did in fact write five books in this year alone and I could have easily written more if I wanted to.

Still, writing a novel in just 30 days is still a monumental task, but not impossible. Many have done it through National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo in short, the annual novel writing month in November, and here are some tips on how you can do it as well.

Preplanning is paramount. The prose or storyline must be thought out well before the actual writing starts, at least in general, and all the small details of the story can be added on later on one at a time.

As you already know the main storyline by now, you must think out of those other small details well in advance and know precisely how to put them into words. If you do both thinking and writing at the same time, it will consume too much time and you won’t be able to write more. The best way to think it over is right before the bedtime, go through each word and sentence of the next day’s writing once more again, and the writing will become very easy and flowing the other day.

Commitment is very important. We writers have our own different choices of writing time, some prefer the morning, and the others afternoon, evening or even nighttime. It doesn’t matter which time of the day you do write, just write and write on a daily basis. If you care to ask, I write on the office hours and only write on weekdays.

A modern day novel is at least 50-60k words long, by that calculation you need to write at least 2k words in a daily basis, and must be prepared to commit your time from the start to the end. And we all know that it is not that of a big deal for most of us.

All we need is a little bit of discipline, spend less time on social media, and avoid distraction of other kinds if possible.

And avoid using big and complicated words, write in simple words and short sentences, and write in a daily basis without excuses. The hardest part is said to be making the final decision, once the decision is made, all you need is to stick to the plan to the end. And with right discipline, commitment and perseverance, it can be achieved pretty easily.

If this is still not encouraging enough for you, think about the joy, excitement and sense of achievement that it can bring along after the job is successfully completed. The experience is just phenomenal and beyond words. Are you ready to give a try? Accept the challenge with open arms and make yourself a very happy writer today!

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www/timigurung.com