Sunday, October 27, 2019

"A Word to the Eyes" by Sudio Sudarsan

As a writer, it is very important that we understand and use words correctly. Words drive our plot and characters to limits otherwise we can't imagine. I remember as a child my mom and dad had my brother and sisters play the Dictionary Game. We would sit for hours searching the dictionary to find obscure, but useful words. We also played the Encyclopedia Game where we found interesting facts about people, places and things.

Now that the Internet, cell phones, and Ipads are prevalent in children's lives, those two games I played as a child seems like a lost art. This saddens my heart. Author, Sudio Sudarsan agrees with me and in her book, "A Word to the Eyes," she presents words in a very unusual way to help us recapture the lost art of vocabulary. Take a look here at an example.

I think you'll enjoy this book and increase your vocabulary while you are at it. Now let's take a closer look at the book and an interview with author Sudio Sudarsan.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, a calligram is worth a million. A Word to the Eyes is a revolutionary mnemonic tool used to boost vocabulary development and retention. Enhance your lexicon starting with the visuals within, which serve as an introduction to thousands of associated words and meanings.


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school, etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I’m Sudio! As a brand strategist, I help business owners create demand and impact through more effective use of their brand, communication, design, digital, innovation, and marketing assets. I steal time to teach MBA elective courses at premier business schools. I consult and teach in three continents. 

I was born in Madras, India, but I was made in Chicago, IL. After living in London, England, for a few years and Manhattan for a few more, I moved to the less corporate environs on the western banks of the Hudson. The Hoboken and Jersey City area around Hudson is one of the vibrant places for creatives, authors, and artists to thrive.

What was your other question? Schools? I attended five schools; I vegetated more than half my life in education. Every time I graduated, I just found myself inundated with more questions than I found answers to questions I originally had. Perhaps that’s what education should do.

What inspired you to author this book?

When people watching became boring at airport layovers, I began doodling on my iPad. Even though a voluminous literature is available across myriad disciplines that theorize cognitive operations relied on visual stimuli as referential connections, I tested a few calligrams if they enhanced information recall and/or alleviated memorization. The results from my questionnaire-based survey may have been overwhelmingly positive, but that telephone call from my delighted dyslexic friend, Alex, who explicated how such visual mnemonic techniques amply aided those with dyslexia transformed my small mind of wishes into a big heart of purpose. I quit both my vocations and completed “A Word to the Eyes.”

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

Don’t you think drawing the book cover would have been a piece of cake, especially for someone who designed hundreds of calligrams that is held between those two covers of the book? I must thank Frank at Mascot Books who reshaped my scribbles into elegant artwork.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

Many dead people have inspired me. Though an awkward public speaker, Thomas Jefferson, the author of America, was a masterly writer, and he wrote his way to the history books. He may have elided the issue of slavery and owned human property, but he believed in inclusivity and liberty; he was a professed proponent of emancipation. Nobody could have written the stirring words “that all men were created equal” more eloquently than Mr. Jefferson. These words set into motion a chain of events that even today we are seeing the fruits of his extraordinary statement of principle. Do you know many critics in his days called him a democratic dreamer; a moral philosopher who never gets things done? And yet, Mr. Jefferson single-handedly doubled the size of the US with the Louisiana purchase. Even in his death on the 4th of July in 1826, the 50th anniversary of his manifesto, Mr. Jefferson reminded the world that all men were endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Whatever I write or where ever I speak, I imagine if Thomas Jefferson was standing beside me. In October 2019, I gave a series of four lectures on “diversity” at the County of Hudson. When I was preparing the slides and script of my address, I questioned myself: will Mr. Jefferson be proud of my message, my presentation? Thomas Jefferson is such a towering personality; he has the ability to bring the best out of us.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

After drawing 200 calligrams, I ran out of ideas. I chewed many pencils and sometimes banged my head against the wall at ungodly hours.

Tell your readers about your book.

“A Word to the Eyes” is an attempt to redress the ominous neglect to vocabulary in today’s texting culture and hip hop music. This book uses calligrams approach to transform the uninteresting word “oysters” into captivating image “pearls.” Unlike insipid word lists, which are much more than stodgy dictionaries, this essential volume offers a newfangled visual mechanism that readers can use to avariciously acquire a new stock of words with fervor and flair. After all, isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? 

Who is your target audience, and why?

Primary readership would be middle and high school students, SAT and GRE test-takers, international students, and ESL learners. Their performance in standardized tests often determines their choice of school and program of study, thereby shaping fate, future, and fortune. I also find many technically-strong and diligent managers stagnate in their careers owing to the lack of soft skills, such as creativity, persuasiveness, negotiating, and leadership ability that a large vocabulary repertoire can overcome. As an auxiliary market segment, this volume could also be used as a coffee table book intended for casual reading in wait rooms, meeting areas, for it can meaningfully serve to inspire conversation. 

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I struggle with the definition of success. If “A Word to the Eyes” helps readers acquire a well-appointed vocabulary, I would have created some value in my otherwise wretched life.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Supposedly, I fused artistry with lexicon to revolutionize vocabulary learning. I found myself in a peculiar position. As a brand strategist, I create distinctive brand identities. This tome is an extension of my creative ability of word art in the context of vocabulary development. I took the GRE twice, once for an MS in engineering and the other for a PhD. I also took the GMAT twice for my MBA and PhD admission. I intimately understand how test-makers access vocabulary to evaluate critical reasoning and analytical ability.