Sunday, February 28, 2021

In that space is our power




HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Lucky lucky (and smart you) for being here today!

 Let me introduce you to Damyanti Biswas. Here’s how we met: Damyanti was on our schedule for First Chapter Fun. (You know it, right? If you don’t, more on that later.)

To prepare for reading the first chapter of her book YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN out loud, I, um, had to read it. (You can watch the reading here. And hear some amazing things about what Damyanti does.) And I fell in love with it. Then I read her bio, and fell in love with her. Then we exchanged emails, and blogs, and interviews, and then she asked me to do a guest blog and I asked her to write a short story for the Bouchercon anthony. Which turned out to be one of the best stories ever.

And now, if you don't already know her from her amazing writing blog or her book or her work, you get to meet Damyanti, too.


And you tell me whether this changes your life. It did mine.

In that space is our power

By Damyanti Biswas


Last year, during this week in February, I’d begun to hear of covid in distant news: it was happening in other countries. I was upset for my Chinese friends in quarantine. Then of course the world as we knew it changed, and we all got a taste of isolation, anxiety, and a crippling loss of certainty.


With nowhere else to go other than parks, I discovered many green places not far from where I live, and rediscovered the joy of an activity I’d forgotten: nature walks. When walking, I couldn’t doom-scroll and consume the barrage of negativity that was my social media and newsfeed. I could control where I was going—and better still, take refuge in the green.


Cocooned in my privilege of not having to know all that’s going on in the world, I switched off my social media and landed in a weird but increasingly welcome mind-space of blank stillness. Strolls brought new pleasures. The much-spoken-about joy of noticing the small things. The way a road curves in a series of arcs. Weeds by the highway, flowering. Tiny butterflies no bigger than my nail flitting among them. Snails sliming their way onto mossy walls. Beetles and birdcalls, big and small. Dewdrops lingering on spiderwebs in stray sunlight. A dog panting up at its owner, all adoration, frolic, eagerness.


These are (poetic but undeniable) reassurances. Things that go right, creatures and people about their business, the security of knowing I’m a link in this chain, in interaction with it all. That I’m a part of the picture in other people’s eyes. The world goes on, despite humanity’s cumulative attempts at destroying it. We are getting a lot of things right.


I also got hooked on podcasts as I walked. Many of them were about fantastic books. I tried making my way through all those recommended reading lists during the day or at bedtime, but soon realized that an anxious mind could not focus for more than five minutes.


This was when someone suggested audiobooks. I’d never taken to them before because they either tended to put me to sleep, or sent me into a daydream. I wondered if they might work with my morning walks. By this time, I was putting in 2 hours of walking every day, beside the sea, under the shade of trees, in neighborhood parks.


The first audiobook I listened to was Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. The long lyrical nature descriptions hooked me in. It didn’t hurt that the reader had a soothing lilt. Simple as the concept was, having a story read into my ears as I walked turned out to be an experience I hadn’t considered or imagined before.


The Austrian holocaust survivor, psychiatrist, and author Viktor E. Frankl once said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”


The first two hours of my day will be my self-care, I’ve decided, the stimuli I seek in my life. Unless someone in the family needs immediate medical attention, you’ll find me walking, often before sunrise. I’m fortunate to live in a tropical country, but on mornings with tropical downpour, I head to an indoor stadium. Audiobooks plus walks is my new formula for sanity, even on days my anxiety makes it hard to breathe.


I find myself in absolute agreement with Søren Kierkegaard, who said, “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”


I heard this passage in an audiobook, during one of my morning walks.


HANK: See? How much is walking a part of your life, reds and readers? Does it work for you like this?

All author proceeds from You Beneath Your Skin go to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks.

Damyanti Biswas is an Indian author currently based in Singapore. Her short fiction has been published or is forthcoming at Smokelong, Ambit, Litro, Puerto del Sol, Griffith Review Australia, as well as other journals in the USA and UK. Her work is available in various anthologies in Asia, and she serves as one of the editors of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her debut literary crime novel, You Beneath Your Skin, was published by Simon & Schuster, and optioned for screen by Endemol Shine.




YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN



LIES. AMBITION. FAMILY.

It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.

Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the center of it all …

In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.

92 comments:

  1. I agree, Damyanti, walking is such a pleasure . . . here whenever we walk we are apt to see deer wandering through the pines.

    “You Beneath Your Skin” sound amazing . . . I’m looking forward to reading it.

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    1. It is a terrific and life-changing book!

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    2. I'd love to meet deer on my walks. If I walk in the mangrove forests here, I do see an occasional water monitor, or squirrel.

      Strolling through the pines has always been a dream ever since I first encountered them in the Himalayan hills, and on my trips to Japan. There's something about the scent in the air, and at least in Asia, a million cicadas singing!

      Thanks so much for looking up You Beneath Your Skin. The two causes of Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks will also appreciate the support!

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  2. Fellow walker here! At least 10K steps a day since May 1. I've always been a big walker but now I'm compulsive about it. I don't miss days. It's helped a lot.

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    1. That 10,000 steps a day thing is really amazing… I swear by it, too!

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    2. Lovely to meet you, Lisa. Yes, I'm a 10,000 steps enthusiast, and in the past year I've been finally able to walk about 80-90k steps a week! It's a transformational thing.

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  3. DAMYANTI: Welcome to JRW! Yes, I am a regular watcher of First Chapter Fun so I was there to listen to Hank read YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN.

    After retiring in 2016, the first Meetup group I joined was a group called CAPITAL CITY WALKERS. About 80% of the members are in their 60s/70s. Back then, walks were scheduled twice a week in the morning and I enjoyed exploring new areas in the city while learning about how many of them enjoyed their retirement. I was just starting to figure out my new schedule/routine and was greatly inspired by their stories. Back then, I walked about 22K-28K several times a week all year round. We get 4-5 months of winter here in Ottawa but I learned to embrace the cold/snow/ice and as long as I dressed properly, it was fun walking in winter.

    But after several leg injuries (broken ankle, plantar fasciitis) in 2017 and 2018, I had to drastically cut back on the distance walked.

    During the pandemic lockdowns last spring, I did a lot of solo walks. Although I live in the downtown, I can reach a multi-use pathway in 5-10 minutes and commune with nature. I now average 12-15K (or 10 km/6 mi) on those walks. And I still occasionally join the Capital City Walkers which now has walks 6 days a week. But since we were restricted to a max of 5 people under lockdown until last week, it is pretty hard to secure a spot.

    So walking has been a necessity for me most days, and I enjoy the time outdoors a lot.

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    1. You're such an inspirations Grace! Remind me how you kicked plantar fasciitis because right now mine is kicking my butt!

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    2. Roberta, when mine flared up (when I was an active distance runner), I used a lightweight boot at night to keep my foot flexed, and a good sports orthotic in lace-up shoes every day. Plus ice and ibuprofen.

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    4. ROBERTA: I basically had to stop walking long distance for about 3 months. And I did daily exercises to relax my fascia muscle every morning. Like Edith, I also now use an orthotic in my running shoes/boots and I have not had a flare up since 2019. The orthotic is not expensive, just a generic one bought at the pharmacy for $15.

      FIXING MULTIPLE TYPOS FROM THE DELETED POST...I REALLY SHOULD DRINK SOME COFFEE NOW!

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    5. I used some of the exercises that Bob & Brad posted on Youtube:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED04Qf0S2wA
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL8fCYABjm8

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    6. Grace, I'm also a big fan of Bob & Brad.

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    7. Grace you are definitely an inspiration to me! I too have had all kinds of foot, ankle, leg, knee problems and if I could just get out there I could walk them all away. I'm still a bit troubled with the Achilles tendinitis but the sciatica and plantar fasciitis have abated.

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    8. Grace! You are such an inspiration!

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    9. Thanks everyone! Just back from a morning group walk in the snow and fog. The sun finally came out and I was able to enjoy a coffee break outdoors with fellow walkers on a restaurant patio with space heaters. The first time I have been able to do that since the summer...this little bit of normalcy was blissful.

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    10. Grace, this is an incredible story of power and resilience against the odds. I've taken up other practices, but the walks are part of my life now--I wouldn't miss them for the world. I have 'flat feet' so I wear special shoes, but I do hope I can continue to walk without pain for years to come.

      Thank you for sharing you walking story, and for listening to First Chapter Fun--Hank is a wonderful reader!

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  4. Hello! I walk with my husband once or twice a week as part of my regular exercise routine, but just around our local neighborhood, which doesn't have very inspiring scenery. On nice weekends, though, we can drive out to our local state park for longer hikes in and around a bald cypress swamp that is really lovely. I sure miss the west coast, though, where the variety of scenery is so much greater than it is here In southeastern Virginia...

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    1. It is just a perfect thing to do together… You don’t even have to talk if you don’t want to, but it really is connecting.

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    2. Hi Kerry, I do drag my husband on neighborhood walks, and walks in the park. He's not really into it yet, but he's getting there, I hope :).

      A walk in a bald cypress swamp sounds fascinating--I'd love to see pictures!

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  5. Walking and being outdoors is so important - I also couldn't have survived the last year without it. I'm glad you discovered it, Daymanti.

    I live in a quiet town and take a long brisk walk every day after a morning of writing. I've said it here before, but when I'm writing first draft, it's also my plotting walk, because ideas rise up about what needs to happen next. I never listen to anything but the birds, though. I need quiet and nature in my head when I leave the house.

    The new book sounds stunning and I look forward to reading it, as well as your story in the anthology. (Hank, which anthology Bcon anthology is it? Did it come out and I missed it?)

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    1. Edith, this is for the New Orleans Bouchercon in August

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    2. Forgive me for misspelling your name, Damyanti!

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    3. Yes, Lucie is right, the Bouchercon Anthology that is scheduled for August! And I agree with the silence of your plot walks— walking is really the only time in my life is quiet.

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    4. Hi Edith, My walks often happen before my writing, and like you, on some days I crave the quiet.

      Those days I take off to the parks--where you don't hear mechanical noises. My neighborhood parks are small, and I find an audiobook more soothing than traffic noises.

      Love that you get plotting ideas while walking--it happens to me when I'm drafting, too. The best things float up only when my body is engaged in something else, like chores or walking!

      Thanks for offering to read the book--the proceeds go to non-profits, so they would appreciate the support!

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    5. I lived in Japan for two years in the 70's. A beautiful place.

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    6. Edith, Japan must have been fascinating in the 70's! It is still very beautiful, especially places like Kyoto. That's a country where I'll never tire of walking.

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  6. Walking is a sheer delight. I often take the path up our hill and into the woods in the spring, summer, and fall. It requires snowshoes in the winter, but is well worth the effort.

    Your book sounds so powerful. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Kait, the hill and woods sound magical. Having lived in tropical climes all my life, I tend to (mistakenly, I know) romanticize snow!

      I've walked up the hill in snowshoes in Kanazawa when I was in Japan, and it was an exhausting but absolutely exhilarating experience.

      Thanks for reading You Beneath Your Skin. The non-profits that benefit from it will also appreciate your support!

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  7. In the Before Times, I walked twice a day to and from the bus on my way to and home from work. Now, I have no need for commuting and have lost the rhythm of that daily activity. The winter months here on the Canadian prairies can make walking challenging -- not the temps but the conditions of the not-always-cleared sidewalks. I am looking forward to better conditions once spring arrives.

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    1. AMANDA: I hear you. I have fallen down on sidewalks 4-5 every month this winter despite wearing ice grippers and high-tech winter boots. It's no fun. Hope the spring thaw heads your way next month.

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    2. The rhythm of the daily activity is such an important thing… We should discuss that. I have no idea how I am going to get back into that, or if I even want to…

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    3. GRACE: Staying upright is so important! Sorry to hear you've taken a few falls...Warmer temps should be here by week's end. Hooray!

      HANK: Daily activities and routines would be an interesting topic, for sure. Where have they gone and will we ever get them back?!?!

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    4. Amanda, I hear you on the loss of daily routine. Here in Singapore, my husband has started working from office, because there's no covid, so I have my days back. I've worked from home these past 16 years, so I've had to create my own structure to my days.

      Walking on sidewalks when the snow is not cleared can be tricky!

      Grace: I'm sorry you took those falls and salute your resilience--I'd stay home after one fall. Hope spring arrives soon, and you're able to walk freely again.

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  8. Welcome Damyanti! Your book arrived at my house this week and I'm excited to read it!

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    1. Oh wow, Lucy! I look forward to you reading it. Thanks so much for your support!

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  9. Congratulations Damyanti for You Beneath Your Skin ! Looking forward to read it.
    Can you tell more about your association with Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks ?

    I have to get out and walk everyday to keep sane ( body and mind ). Living in the country, I prefer enjoying the nature, all my senses on the lookout.
    I can't pretend to walk as long as you or Grace do and at this winter time in Quebec, it can be difficult but the regularity of it soothes me.

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    1. DANIELLE: I am the oddball long walker and I paid the physical price of walking 5-6 hours/day in 2016-2017. Now walking 2-3 hours/day is good enough for me, I am listening to my body. But even a 30-minute walk outdoors does wonders for your health.

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    2. Yes, absolutely! If I can sneak in an extra thousand steps, I am so happy!

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    3. Hi Danielle,

      Thank you, and thanks so much for the support for the book!

      I've known Project WHY since 2009 (they work for the empowerment of underprivileged women and children), and Stop Acid Attacks (they campaign against acid violence) since 2014. I wrote about my association with them on Jungle Red, in August last year..

      The link above will take you to the story--and I'm always happy to talk about them over email!

      Walks are great as long as we take one on a consistent basis. I think it is the routine as much anything else. Just getting in a few extra steps on days I'm not doing so well soothes me. I absolutely envy your life in the country: that's my goal when I 'retire'!

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  10. Good morning, evening, or whatever time of day it is on the other side of the world, Damyanti. Nice to make your acquaintance.

    I spent several years walking four miles every weekday morning with a group of friends, and loved it so much. Life happens, though, and the group fell apart over time. My husband and I were walking/hiking for awhile, too, until I started getting a weird issue with one foot. Thanks to the pandemic I've not been able to get that addressed yet, beyond self-care.

    However, I also found the delights of audiobooks while gardening. Last year I listened to dozens of books while digging, hoeing, and planting in our new yard. We used to enjoy listening to books on long car trips, too, although we aren't doing those these days, either. We will again, someday, though, and I have a backlog of books we can enjoy when that happens.

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    1. Audiobooks are the best for long car trips, especially solo ones.

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    2. It is so strange… I tried to listen to audiobooks on car trips, and I absolutely fell asleep. Boom. Like someone reading me a bedtime story.

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    3. You must not have been driving, Hank. Or at least I hope not!

      A friend just dropped off a big bag of books on CD. He picked them up at thrift shops for his many trips between here and Louisiana. I'll probably either put them in the Little Free Library or donate them back to St. Vincent de Paul's. Most of them are not to my taste. (Heavy on James Patterson and war novels.)

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    4. Karen, I'm thirteen hours ahead of you here in Singapore, so it is bright sunshine outside the window as I write :).

      Here, life is back to almost normal--we have masks, distancing, all the measures, but no covid. I've formed several walking groups now--weekdays and weekends. I've mostly stopped meeting friends over coffee, and almost everyone seems to agree that a talk is more energizing when accompanied with a walk!

      I have a very small garden, and yes, I listen to audiobooks when I'm gardening, or doing the chores. Sadly I haven't had enough free time to do conventional reading, so audiobooks is the next best thing!

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  11. No sidewalks here but the traffic isn't too bad so I can usually walk on the side of the road. Right now getting down my icy driveway to get to the road is a challenge but with warmer temps I think I'll be able to do it soon. I always felt better after walking, even if it was a shorter one that I used to do.

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    1. Hi Judy, Icy driveways are no fun! I hope you can get back to better temperatures and a walking routine soon. Traffic is crazy where I live, so I usually escape to a park when walking.

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  12. I walk the dogs for an hour every morning. Same route, along quiet suburban streets. We're all wearing masks, so we recognize each other by the dogs we walk. It's my plotting time, my dialogue practice time, my brainstorming time. Though I prefer to spend winter mornings writing, the pandemic has forced a new schedule on me...which isn't a bad thing.

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    1. We are all re-organizing, aren’t we? So very interesting ...

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    2. Margaret, I'm a dog lover with no dogs because I used to be such a traveller. Now that's gone, maybe I should get myself a rescue companion--I see everyone walking their dogs and wish I had one, too.

      Walking can be great for first drafts--I thought up the entire story for the Bouchercon anthology for Hank during one such walk in the very park near which it is set!

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  13. You are so right about taking time to tune into nature, into the little things that surround us but we often don't take time to notice. I am so looking forward to nicer weather here in Pennsylvania so I can sit on my deck and spend quiet time, just watching and listening. I've had issues with my back that keep me from walking long distances, but you've inspired me to give at least shorter walks another try.

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    1. I so agree about sitting outside! It is so different, I know it sounds obvious, but it is so different in every way from being inside.

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    2. Even a short, five-minute walk is worthwhile, as I've found, Sherry. And sitting outside is a great idea--I hope you have nice weather soon!

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  14. I have always loved walking, and I walk my big dogs every day--or try to. I've been challenged the last couple of years by a bad knee but I am doing a bit better. (Walking two German shepherds cannot be described as low impact...) I walk in my suburban neighborhood, but I don't wear a mask (see German shepherds, above.) No one gets close to us! I do keep one in my pocket for emergencies, however. I don't listen to anything, either, because I need to pay attention to the dogs, and also it's my thinking/plotting/daydreaming time. I adore audiobooks but save those for chores, bath, and bedtime.

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    1. Yes, it's wonderful daydreaming time! And by that I mean-plotting. :-)

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    2. Deborah, I can picture you with those fierce-looking German Shepherds! And no, that's not low-impact exercise. I used to walk an English Pointer and even though he was very well-behaved, I needed my wits about me at all times.

      I find that audiobooks when not walking or doing chores would make me fall asleep. I learned my lesson after I broke my earphones by sleeping on them :)

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  15. Hi, Damyanti:

    What a delight to see you here, and to learn that your success continues and expands--and that you've made friends with Hank, who is one of my favorite people in the world. It's no surprise--you're both pathologically curious, open to experience, and kind. The dogs require of me at least one walk a day, and my wife and I have taken up bicycling, which also has its splendors (wind, silence). But walking is special, because its pace is the pace of thought. When I studied mathematics, one of my professors told me about his experience studying in Germany. They'd do classwork from early in the morning until noon, break for lunch, then take long walks and discuss the material they had covered that morning. The walking proved crucial in deepening everyone's understanding. Such a simple, humble truth. Thanks so much for sharing it, and best wishes to you in everything --David

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    1. The pace of walking is the pace of thought? Oh. That is so profound.

      (and aw, thank you...)

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    2. Hi David,

      So gracious of you to take the time to comment--I've always been moved by your kindness as a teacher and as a person. Thanks for sharing that walking anecdote--and what a profound quote: the pace of walking is the pace of thought. Some days, I practice walking meditations through the guided recordings of Thich Nhat Hanh and have have found no easier way to centred stillness.

      Meeting Hank has been lovely--I learn so much from her example, both in writing and being a literary citizen.

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  16. I love walking and used to be able to go for miles. However due to knee issues I’ve switched to bike riding which is great but can be difficult when it snows.

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    1. Oh, yes, problem...but spring is on the way!

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    2. Bikes are a great alternative, and spring should be here soon!

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  17. Damyanti, your book sounds amazingly complicated! Can there possibly be a good ending for everyone? Or maybe anyone?
    I'll walk our dog Jack if husband if unavailable but walking at a Jack pace drives me wild. Slooooow, with frequent stops. And I have to admit I am bored silly walking in our neighborhood.

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    1. Oh, yes, dogs have a different way of looking at it... And as the seasons change, the neighborhood will be different!

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    2. Pat, yes, You Beneath Your Skin is a complex novel--I'm trying to write simpler books now.

      Jack sounds like a thoughtful, take-your-time kind of fella.

      My neighborhood bores me sometimes as well, which is why the group walking in parks on weekends!

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  18. Damyanti, welcome to Jungle Reds!

    Hank, great question! Walking is a big part of my life. I managed to lose 25 pounds in a year by walking five miles every day and eating local produce from the farmer's market. I had seen an ad about eating fruits and vegetables every day. They showed different scenarios of what the future looked like for each child - diabetes in a child's future, heart attack in another child's future and so on. Because of astronominal health care bills, I wanted to prevent these expenses by preventing future diseases by staying healthy. Started eating six to eight servings of fruits/vegetables every day.

    When I lived in Washington DC, I used to walk two miles each way from my residence to work and I managed to lose seven pounds, which was a big deal when I was struggling to lose weight that year. Walking was better than running to catch the train to work. Once the doors shut on me as I was getting on the train and my arms hurt!

    Diana

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    1. Yes, it's incredible how much walking can make a difference. We are so grateful for the treadmill in our exercise room!

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    2. Thanks for the warm welcome!

      Walking can make such positive difference, and I hear you on the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Food can be the best medicine, and walking the most effective health tonic. Congratulations on all the weight loss!

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  19. I've heard wonderful things about YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN, and I look forward to reading it. Which, for me, will be either as a ebook or in print, as my audiobook consumption has gone down considerably during the pandemic. I used to drive a lot, and that was where I would listen, but needless to say, like others, I'm not going much of anywhere...

    I walk several days a week with the Maine Millennial's dog, as I dog-sit on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And even though it's been a long time since I've seen any green up here in Maine, it's still refreshing and reviving. I listen to podcasts while walking - my latest is FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS by Paul M.M. Cooper. I'm just loving it.

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    1. SO happy your driving requirements have lessened, Julia!

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    2. Thanks so much, Julia. You Beneath Your Skin is available on US Amazon both as an ebook and paperback, and the nonprofits the book supports will appreciate the gesture!

      I miss walking a dog, it's been years since I owned one. I love podcasts as well--I love true crime podcasts (no surprises there) and also the New Yorker podcasts on short stories. They make some of the best picks. I'll check out the Fall of Civilizations.

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  20. I've tried to walk three miles a day, five days a week for years -- for my physical health. But it was only this year (The Year of Covid) that I realized how important it is for my mental health. And, ironically, it was only this year that I would find myself so low that I really, really didn't want to walk. And that was my cue to ... WALK. It worked. Every single time.

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    1. SO inspirational! And so wonderful that you realized it..xoo

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    2. Amy, so much YES to this. I haven't walked this morning, because, life. But this evening, I'm getting into the gear and hitting the park. SO essential for my sanity.

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  21. Your book sounds thrilling, Damyanti, and I love reading books set in foreign locations. It is going right into my to be read pile! I walk for an hour every day. I am fortunate to be close to a huge desert park, which also has a fishing and lots of wildlife. It does make the noise of the world fall away.

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    1. DO you do the same route every day?

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    2. Thanks, Jenn. Look forward to you reading it! The book is set in India, but trigger warning: it gets grim in parts.

      To be close to a wildlife park is indeed great fortune--I'm envious! I'd love an hour's walk at a wildlife park each day.

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  22. As a slug, lazy, hate the sun person you would think that walking would be the perfect fit but the slug part is still dominate. I love listening to the world outside, look forward to opening windows in the spring and letting the air in but wondering around, not so much. I used to sit under/in trees and read but running/walking and most physical activities were avoided. I did like to ride a bike but it's difficult when only the evening hours are available. I've never been comfortable in social situations, so walking groups are not going to work. Yes, I know physical activity is important and I do feel a little better when I do make a bit of effort, but it is always sort lived, I can find an excuse to stop most anytime. Maybe when I don't have to go to the office to work I can find better times and places to try.

    This book sounds fascinating. I'm looking forward to adding it to my TBR pile. Wish I had known about it yesterday when I wondered into Copperfields for a five minute look. Will add it to my wish list.

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    1. Walking around a bookstore counts...then TO the bookstore. ANd around the block. xoxoo

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    2. Deana, I agree with Hank here. Walking ANYWHERE counts.

      Also, lazy slug here as well. If I stop walking for a few days, I'll stop entirely. I keep reminding myself I actually LOVE it when I'm out there, and lay out my walking gear at night so I have NO excuse not to go in the mornings. I skipped this morning (bah, life), but have got everything laid out for an evening walk :)

      You Beneath Your Skin is only on Amazon in the US right now, I'm afraid. I look forward to you reading it--the nonprofits it supports will appreciate the gesture.

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  23. Damyanti, it is amazing how people with such diverse lives all swear to the therapeutic values of walking. Living in Singapore it almost becomes necessary to cleanse the city out of your system and I think an early morning walk is perfect.

    I came here because of Damyanti's twitter but am loving the other posts here. Thanks for writing :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Sanket. It IS cool to see everyone motivated about walking.

      I try and take advantage of Singapore being a garden city.

      This blog is wonderful, like its authors.
      I'm subscribed, and I absolutely recommend it!

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    2. Oh how wonderful! This is the best thing that’s happened all day! Thank you!

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  24. This has been lovely and I enjoyed the community here so much!

    Thank you, Hank--you're an absolute inspiration. Thanks to all the authors of this blog, and to everyone who commented. You've made this so very worthwhile, and I look forward to staying in touch!

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  25. Damyanti—i am in awe. Thank you. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when I meet you in person.
    But I cannot wait to find out.

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    1. Hank, you're way kind, as usual. So grateful to be here.

      If I ever get to meet you, I'm afraid you might have to tolerate a fair bit of of fangirling!

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  26. Damyanti's piece for this blog is so lyrical that I immediately purchased her book after reading it. Now I can't wait to read her novel!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jess. I'm so pleased you liked the post, and bought You Beneath Your Skin. The proceeds go to two excellent nonprofits, and I'm sure they appreciate your support as well!

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