1 December 2010

Alaliaic Dialogue

verbolatry-devyani borade-alaliaic dialogue-ducts
‘I am getting married.’

One eyebrow rises.

‘His name is Vaayu.’

The eyebrow lowers into a straight line. Noncommittal.

‘He belongs to a different caste.’


‘A… lower caste.’

Both eyebrows come together. The forehead puckers. Thoughtful? Disapproving?

‘You’ll meet him tomorrow. I’ve told him all about you. He’s great! I’m sure you both will really take to each other.’ My voice rises and sounds defensive now. Desperate, too.

A twitch. We’ll see about that.

‘The wedding’s next month.’

Suddenly both eyebrows shoot up. Accusing. So soon?

‘Right here. I’ve arranged everything. Permissions...

Read the full article in the Winter 2011 issue of Ducts


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185 words
US publication


Words from the Wise

"Some great gestures and images here, and I like how sparse it is, plus there's a great conflict driving this piece."
Chris Heavener

"This was very interesting, very compelling. I really liked this piece."
Camille Alexa
Flash Fiction Editor
Abyss & Apex

"The writing is good, and the idea intriguing"
Fear And Trembling

"Nicely tense, and a good twist at the end."
Krishan Coupland

"I did find it crisp and wonderful on a certain level. There's a sense of right and wrong being blurred here and a sense of justice, too."
Vestal Review

"An interesting concept"
Editor (1 of 6)

"A nice idea"
Necrotic Tissue

15 November 2010

Turning disputes into decisions

“It’s a bug!”

“No! It’s a feature!”

“C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding! How can it be a feature? It’s just wrong!”

“Rubbish! You just can’t understand it. It’s supposed to work that way!”

And so saying, my colleague in Production walks off in a huff shaking his head at my supreme ‘thickness’. I, on my part, throw my hands up in exasperation and mentally shudder at the utter lack of quality understanding that permeates through my team.

That was me, half a decade ago. I was only two years old in the corporate industry and was still finding my feet. I had idealistic views and a very black-and-white concept...

Read the full article in the 2 November 2010 issue of What's New Gram


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1000 words
Corporate/Software Testing

US publication

1 November 2010

Jewel thief

“This is superb!” I said licking my rapidly melting ice-cream cone.

Mona pointed to a small mysterious tent situated in a corner of the carnival grounds. “Hey, what’s that?”

“Hmm. ‘Hocus-Pocus’. Sounds interesting. Let’s have a look,” Preeti suggested.

“Don’t be silly. It is past seven o’clock and already dark. We ought to go back now,” said Vaayu. “Besides, it’s getting cold. And I certainly don’t fancy poking around in your rotten old tents with Jack Frost nipping at my toes–“

“Nose,” Mona said.

“Toes!” Vaayu said, “in the middle of the day–”

“Nose, my dear,” Mona corrected again, “and anyway...

Read the full story in the November 2010 anthology The Wrong Side Of The Law


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4440 words

US publication

1 October 2010

Against the grain

Retirement hits some people hard. And when my father retired, no one was harder hit than my mother and us two sisters. With time hanging heavy on his hands and nothing much to do but try Mum’s patience and dole out long-winded advice much too often on Shirley’s legal cases, Dad had soon picked up the not-so-subtle hints about doing something better with himself than just being Man of the House. Tiring of the charms of daytime television, he had begun to hunt in earnest for a proper little hobby with which to keep himself occupied. After having steadily taken up and discarded solitaire (too slow)...
Read the full article in the October 2010 Family Matters issue of Chicken Soup For The Soul


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2050 words
US publication

Words from the Wise

"It is an entertaining story"
Jennifer Stackhouse
ABC Gardening Australia

"We enjoyed it"
Sandra Costich
Associate Editor
American Scholar

"Yours is a charming story--lively and whimsical... I enjoyed the story of your father's post-retirement 'employment' "

H. Emerson Blake

"Nice story. I enjoyed it"
Pat Stone

"This was very enjoyable to read"
Lorna Loveless

"I really enjoyed reading your piece... It is quite funny - I especially liked the ending, I too could picture those pain-spattered walls. You're a very talented writer with good instincts for intriguing stories"

Paula Jolin
Manuscript Reader

"You are clearly a talented writer"

Alison Weaver
Founding Editor
H.O.W. Journal

15 September 2010

Breaking the ice

breaking the ice - a fly in amberAt forty-five miles per hour, I am going faster than the maximum speed limit of several European roads. The wind screams past my ears with a high whine and wisps of clammy hair stick to my scalp like stubborn lime scales at the bottom of the kettle. All around me, people are flailing their arms wildly and tumbling clumsily on top of each other. I permit myself an un-lady-like smirk and continue smoothly on my way. Past a yelling quarrelling bunch of kids, past a boy who can’t cease spinning like a top, past an elderly couple who look like they are being tortured on a trapeze, past the three stewards...
Read the full article in the September 2010 issue of A Fly In Amber


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1325 words
US publication

Words from the Wise

"It's an enjoyable piece"
Tim Kroenert
Assistant Editor
Eureka Street

"Your crisp, detailed voice succeeds at capturing realism"
Colin Meldrum
A cappella Zoo

"The descriptions are specific and interesting"

Manuscript Reader
Quality Fiction

1 September 2010

Who are you? (How to write a good bio)

devyani borade - verbolatry - who are you? how to write a good bio - writing world"Please provide a short third-person bio along with your submission." The familiar polite request beams up at me cheerfully from the guidelines of an illustrious magazine. It is just what I have been dreading.

If you are the type who breaks out in sweat when asked to introduce yourself in front of a sea of unknown questioning faces, then you are not alone. It is the single worst request in the world, guaranteed to put anyone in an anxious quandary. What to reveal? How much of it? Why do they want to know anyway? Now visualise the number of onlookers multiplied by a few thousands, as in the readership...
Read the full article in the September 2010 issue of Writing World


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1820 words
US publication

25 August 2010

The bugs shall inherit the earth

devyani borade - verbolatry - the bugs shall inherit the earth - a world of their own
“Oh, hello. Have you only just arrived?”

Her voice was musical, the enunciation perfect with the vowels flowing like honey oozing from a squeeze-easy bottle. The pretty young thing fluttered her eyelashes coyly and stood taking in the newcomer’s appearance with the frank curiosity of a scientist on the verge of discovering a new disease.

Before the newcomer could reply, he heard an agonised yell nearby. A heavy body crashed through the dense silicon-copper-resin foliage and landed with a loud plop! at his feet. This recent arrival, with his big head, a rotund middle and long white beard...

Read the full story in the August 2010 anthology A World Of Their Own


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3935 words Humour/Fantasy/Science Fiction
US publication


Words from the Wise

"I like the plot"
Julie Ann Dawson
Bards and Sages

"It's an amusing idea"
Christopher East
Fiction Editor

"The subject matter is of interest to our readers and the story is well written"
Alternative Coordinates

"There's a good idea here"
Michael Colangelo

"Thanks for an interesting story such as this. As a software engineer by day, I enjoyed the comparisons with Newton's laws."
Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Bull Spec

"We enjoyed reading it"
Sue Babcock
Silver Blade

"It's a good story overall, I certainly liked the personification of bugs, especially with a background in systems"
J. E. Taylor
Assistant Editor

"The story caught our attention"
Adrian Simmons
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

"You have a well written and original story"
Michael C. Pennington
Aurora Wolf Journal

"It is a cute story"
Stephanie Ann Johanson
Assistant Editor
Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine

"It is a nice idea and there is a nice level of humour to the piece"
John Kenny
Albedo One

"This was a fun and light-hearted fantasy piece about personified computer bugs"
Djibril Alayad
Future Fire

15 August 2010

Turning the tables

devyani borade - verbolatry - turning the tables - writing worldSubmission Guidelines, Contributor Guidelines, Writer Guidelines or just Guidelines - every magazine has a set of regulations according to which they like to receive material for publication. Deviate from these holy decrees and there is sure to be a "Sorry, but your article does not suit our present needs" response waiting for you in the post. Some rules are easy to understand, others are complicated to follow, but all are non-negotiable. The only thing that is certain if they are not adhered to, is rejection.

Wouldn't it be nice if writers could get back at the editors of these magazines...

Read the full article in the August 2010 issue of Writing World


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535 words
US publication


Words from the Wise

"I like the work (it’s an intriguing concept and table-turner)"
Zachary Petit
Assistant Editor
Writer's Digest

"This definitely made me chuckle!"
Moira Allen
Writing World