Anjali Patel

writer & software engineer

a fresh start and oh look i'm a social media vegan now

Yes! I am trying to get this off the ground again!

I’ve mentioned it before, but the thing that always gets in the way of me committing to any type of blog/newsletter/etc. is knowing when to declare a post finished. When left to my own devices, I tinker endlessly. So I am imposing restrictions on myself:

I have already broken both rules. Now! For the sake of economy, some rapid-fire questions.

Why are you resurrecting your blog now?

I deactivated my social media accounts a couple months ago, and in lieu of that I want to maintain some type of digital footprint. Hopefully this can be a nice way to stay in touch with people (I’m sorry that I chose such a one-sided medium).

What will it be about?

What I’m reading and writing and some life updates.

Writing! Are you going back to writing full time?

No. I’m lucky to have found a fulfilling career and I’m not looking to leave that any time soon. Rather, I love to write and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m more comfortable with the vulnerability it demands. I’m in a couple of writing groups and getting ready to (finally) submit work to markets.

What type of writing do you do now?

Fiction, though I'm open to getting back to writing book & pop culture reviews on the side. More specifically: science fiction/fantasy/horror and all the things in between. I have a soft spot for folklore and bending the laws of physics, so make of that what you will. Right now, I’m focusing on short fiction to hone my chops a bit before I tackle longer work.

Wait, you deactivated social media?

Technically my Facebook is still up, though I haven't used it since 2016 or 2017. But yes, I my deactived Instagram and Twitter, which to me feels the same as going vegan.

...Why?

Because you all stress me out. Sigh I’m being flippant. This answer need its own post. Some day.

Is this a blog or a newsletter?

Both! I’m publishing to my site (anjali.fyi)[anjali.fyi] and cross-posting to (substack)[https://anjalipatel.substack.com/] for the newsletter portion. I had planned to bundle everything together and aggregate the content directly from my site to people’s inboxes, but, uh, I broke some things at the last minute. Rather than endlessly tinker with it cough I am moving forward with what I can and will figure the rest out at some point.

What do you do with your free time now that you’re off social?

I refresh my email. I pet my dog. I text someone back. At least I think — it’s hard to say. Nothing concrete has crashed in to fill the void. It doesn’t feel like it’s added any hours to my day, and I don’t feel more productive or available. It’s more like I’ve taken a piece of furniture from the room, and only now after it’s gone do I realize how much clutter it had added before. For me, this works.

How is Romeo?

Good, good. He just cuddled too hard with his blanket and shocked himself with static and now looks very perplexed.

And here’s what I’ve been reading: #

The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka (novella)

I thought this was brilliant! Sorry to anyone who hated it in high school! I’m sure I would have, too! I closed the book days ago and I still keep getting hit by waves of claustrophobia and despair. I know I should focus more on the commentary on capitalism & labor, but the degree to which we get inside Gregor’s head — thought by thought, minute by minute — and his excruciating devolvement into all-consuming anguish was so damn haunting and effective. It felt like a master class on head-hopping and point of view. Just...agh. And why couldn’t his family just talk to him? I’m sads.

A Land of Blood and Snow, by Cooper Anderson (short story)

Rubs palms together. Gorgeous prose and grim, fantastical worlds hit a sweet spot for me. Highly recommend if that’s your jam, too. Read it here.

1919, by Eve L. Ewing (poetry anthology)

A collection of poems inspired by the Chicago race riots of 1919. Longreads says, “Every poem leaves a bruise," and I think that is a perfect summation.

The collection heavily references “The Negro In Chicago: A Study On Race Relations And A Race Riot,” a sociological study composed by a council of six black men and six white men after the riots. You can read all 800+ pages (!!!) (here)[http://moses.law.umn.edu/darrow/documents/The_Negro_in_Chicago_1922.pdf]. One of the poems — “(Countless Schemes)[https://therumpus.net/2018/06/rumpus-original-poetry-three-poems-by-eve-l-ewing/],” a response to proposed solutions to the “Negro problem” referenced in the report — still hurts to think about.

And a snippet from my writing compost bin: #

“The sky was a grey, featureless blanket: too stagnant to promise rain or snow, but viscous enough to dampen sound and cast the world in tepid shadow. Everything felt a little duller, a little...less.”

Until next time!
-Anjali