New Year, New newsletter and all that jazz.
“This is the end, beautiful friend.”
- The End by the Doors
The first time I heard this song was in a book. I was reading a thriller based on the Mayan Prophecy way back in 2010 when the world was ready to end in 2012. In the book, the protagonist was racing against time to save his love from an alien ship that was lying dormant under the crust of the earth and would launch itself into space on 21 December 2012 and destroy the planet in the process. End of the world. In the scene, he started the ignition of his car, rushing toward the mine shaft and, as it would happen, this song played on the radio.
The whole scene was written with this song lyrics interspersed with his mad rush to save her and how his thoughts spiralled out of control, trying to make sense of the prophecy and come to terms with the possible end of the world. I don’t remember what happened after, but the pace of the scene, almost 12 years later, after having read it only once, still sits somewhere in my memory. I remember the thrill I felt and how the song lyrics added a kind of atmosphere to the scene. A kind of weight. I quite enjoyed it and I’ve always wanted to incorporate such a scene in one of the stories that I write.
In 2011, I was still studying — I use that term loosely — engineering and struggling with my addiction to marijuana. Writing, I knew must come into my life soon, but before writing, reading saved my life. But this scene, this little nugget of aspiration, that “hey, this is quite cool, the way the author has set up this scene and maybe I’d like to try it myself one day” moment was the first time — that I remember in such technicolour — when I didn’t just read as a reader, but read as a writer.
I don’t want to say that reading was the first step in my journey, but it was an important one. (Worst part is, that book wasn’t so great either. I never read its sequels.)
But I digress, as I usually do. I always planned to use that song in my stories, but here I am, quoting it in my newsletter. Which is fitting, as The Owler comes to an end. Yes. The Owler was another step in my journey as a writer and now I’m on to making a new one, hopefully an important one.
This 30 December 2022 is the last of the Owler. It’s archive will exist. But from January 2023, I’m rebranding my newsletter to “Missives from an Island.” I’ll be focusing less on making recommendations and more on writing the letter on topics related to writing, life, and the adventures I’m having in London as I pursue my MA in Creative Writing.
I have a lot of awesome things planned and I hope you stick around to find out. (On your end, you have to do nothing — you’ll receive my newsletter on the 30th as usual, just under a new name and with options to sign up for more, only if you want). As the cliche goes: This the end. But also a beginning.
Until then, wishing you all a very happy new year.
All my best,
PS: If you have a couple of minuets to spare, please fill out this feedback form so I can cater to exactly what you are looking for from this newsletter. It’ll be super helpful. And if you already have, thank you! Fill form here.
You’re reading a newsletter by Akshay Gajria. This newsletter is delivered to your inbox on the 30th of every month and later next month on Medium. You can also find him on Twitter, Instagram and Medium. If you found what you read helpful, you can consider tipping him by buying a cup of tea (or three) here or buying his ebook (linked below). You can discover his work at akshaygajria.com