In Conversation with Hornbill Harcel


Hornbill Harcel was born in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, and grew up in Punjab, India. She is fond of chasing wild paths, charting new courses, and seeking adventure. When she is not raiding books from shops, libraries, and trudging up hillsides, she is learning classical and hip-hop fusion dance choreographies. She is a software engineer by profession and has been working as a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) developer for the past three years. She wrote her first poem when she was 14 years old and fell in love with writing ever since. ‘Woebegone Wynds’ is her first book published by ‘The Write Order Publications’. Below are the answers she responded to Interview Times questionnaire:-Q1. What inspired you to write your first poem?

Answer- I wrote my first earnest poem when I was 14 years old but I have been writing things way before that age. It is not easy to comprehend the workings of a young mind which is my way of saying I don’t recall why I wrote it. But over time, writing became a form of therapy for me and grew into a passion. I am quite enigmatic and reserved. So, whenever I feel anxious, angry, melancholy, or buoyant, I pick up my pen and write. It is a mechanism for me to understand and release my emotions and keep my mental health in check.

Q2. Apart from writing, what else you love to do and why?

Answer– It may come as a surprise but writing is not my first love. My sister and I both came dancing from my mother’s womb. We have hundreds of video cassettes of just two children dancing day and night. I love learning different dance choreographies especially classical and hip-hop fusion. Apart from that, sketching is my Sunday hobby. I am still in the process of learning different techniques of shading and drawing. On other days, if I am not working, I am reading. I consume books as someone might consume sleep. I am also very fond of running fields. It is my another form of therapy. I keep trying my hands at different sports and things like cooking, photography, embroidery, gardening, etc. because I think it teaches me perseverance. I think the world has so much to offer if we are willing to give time, energy, and patience. Q3. How do you manage your work schedule and writing?

Answer- I am the worst person when it comes to work-life balance. When I start working on something, everything else ceases to exist. Some blame it on my domineering nature, others on my meticulous one. But writing is directly proportional to my state of mind and feelings. So, I never force myself to sit and write. The hassle arises during editing and multiple revisions of the writing process. But, it has always been a habit of mine to plan out my days in advance and organize my time and work. My friends often tease me whenever I space out that I am planning my activities for tomorrow which frankly speaking is not untrue.

Q4. What message do you want to share with people who wills to write?

Answer- I cogitate that people often give up on writing because they worry too much about other’s opinions and accreditation. So, the only message I would like to give to whoever wishes to write is to forget about likeability and write from your heart. Q5. What are the hurdles you face while writing?

Answer- The biggest hurdle is Time. With the advent of technology and evolving, time is in short surplus. The second deterrent is most uncommon. Sometimes my mind conjures up words on its own and when I look up, those words don’t exist. Blame it on my sub-conscience mind but I face it every time I am writing. Furthermore, sometimes I just scribble away things in my journal and they are not always decipherable and then there is this additional task of typing it out. Though I avoid it at most times these days, I feel my ideas pour more smoothly on paper than on a desktop. I guess this has something to do with my being an engineer and being always in constant touch with tech. Recently, I have also started experiencing pain in my hand and wrist due to the same.

Q6. What are your future plans?

Answer- Currently, I do am working on some ongoing projects. I will leave it at that. Rest remains to be seen.Q.7.What is your first book about?

Answer- ‘Woebegone Wynds’, is a reflection of one’s persona and one’s existence. The book is divided into four parts and it follows a descending to ascending sequence going from external factors and elements to internal integrands and emotions. Part I contain themes of fantasy elements and focuses on the influence of extraneous forces on our actions and decisions. Part II is dedicated to the idea of being in a war zone. It addresses being thrust into a wrong world. Part III tells stories of people who live in such a broken world. The fantasy elements get more realistic and contemporary. It exhibits stories, both ecstatic and wretched that we recognize and perceive around us. Upon reaching Part IV, we take a deep dive into ourselves fighting our demons. It confers about a port of call and unknown destinations.

Image Courtesy: Hornbill Harcel

Anyone can find her book ‘Woebegone Wynds’ on the below link:

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