Friday, July 29, 2005

Two More

Over the past week or so, I completed two short stories. Newton's Hope can be described as a ''The Castaway'' in space! While Yellow is a tragic account of a dying young man suffering from a chronic blood disease, one that is affecting thousands of young people in Bahrain. Not decided what to do with these two yet, but Newton's Hope might be submitted to a sci-fi anthology run by the Cavan Terrill's newly launched Apodis Publishing.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Some Sort of Update

Apologies for the lack of updates and posts. I am still in the UK and I do not have instant access to the internet.

Besides, I've just recovered from a fab, busy eight days at the Cambridge Seminar on contemporary literature. Which was by all means a wonderful, insightful experince. I met many great people and several amazong established authors (such as Toby Litt, Jim Crace, Paul Baiely and Nadeem Aslam).

I would like to think that this seminar will eventually pave the way for me to break into the publishing/literary scene in due time. And it has encouraged me to get back to my writing.

During the past couple of days I had managed to write over 1300 words on the latest chapter of Buried, my second novel. I am planning on submitting this novel to several publishers and agents in the UK when it's ready.

Ah, and this may be irrelvant, but my eldest sister Hana, had her second baby just a few days ago. A baby girl named Rana. Congrats once again sis and wish you all the best.

Signing off for now.

Monday, July 11, 2005

In The News

Apparently, I've been in the news these past couple of days for very different reasosns.

The Bahrain Tribune ran an article about my recent book award and the Cambridge seminar I am currently attending.

The Gulf Daily News however, ran a piece concerning my travel through London in time with the horrible events of 7-7.

Apart from that, things are going extremely well at Cambridge and I've met a lot of very interesting and nice people. I also did a reading for two of my short stories (The Purple Rose and The Bullshitter) both of which recieved applause and praise. This must be the highlight of the event, at least for me, because reading for such an experinced and qualified group of people and earning their praise and recognition says a lot.

I was a bit nervous, but the more I read the more confident I grew, as I felt the positive response from my listeners. and in time with reading the quirky Bullshitter, I was pleased to hear them giggle and laugh at the right places.

In fact, people are still talking about that reading and keep referring to the two stories, which is wonderful.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Moments Like These

Saying that I was lucky wouldn’t be appropriate. Saying that I came close to dying, wouldn’t really be true. If you go into too many what ifs we’ll be left with a heavy heart and a defeated soul.

Today, on the morning of July 7, I was at King’s Cross station in London. I left the station, only several minutes before a series of explosions occurred at that very same area I was at.

Yes, I could’ve died today, or something. If I had gone with my intention of spending more time in London in that same area, I might not have been writing this now. Instead, I just opted to take the 8.45 train to Cambridge. And thus escaped the carrange.

Does this make me feel lucky, or more alive? No, it does not. On the contrary. It depresses me and angers me.

While I was in the station, waiting for the train and trying to make up my mind what to do next, I kept watching the many people around. I saw middle aged businessmen and I saw young lovers. I saw wild teenagers and aging mothers. Some were smiling, others had anxious looks on their face, perhaps worried about their mortgage, or their marriage. I saw moments of life. Some made me smile, some made me reflect.

Why would anyone want to harm these people? All they are doing is living their life. Nothing more, nothing less.

Once I got to the Cambridge station, I heard an announcement that there would be no more trips to London due to security reasons. I had not paid heed to this. Maybe just another bomb threat, or some railway malfunction.

It was only several hours later that I heard the details of what had happened. I was frightened, angry and very much disturbed.

Life is beautiful. Why destroy it? Why?!

It’s moments like these that should bring us all human beings closer together. We are one and the same. We are beautiful. We are life. We are love. They cannot take that away from us. We won’t let them.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cutting it Close

I'm flying tonight at 11 to London via Abu Dhabi. It's gonna be a long flight.

The awards ceremony starts at 8.30pm. This is the sort of situation where you wish you had a twin brother! Or even better, a clone!

I'm not sure if I'll make it to the ceremony of the Oustanding Book of the Year Awards tonight at the Bahrain National Museum and that's a big bummer, because I am supposed to be given a special award for my novel QuixotiQ, the first ever novel written in English by a Bahraini.

If I am lucky, I will be one of the first on the list to be honored. If not, then I'll be stuck and end up having to leave the ceremony without my award so that I can catch my flight. The ceremony might take between one and a half to two hours. That's cutting it real close, don't you agree?

In any case I'll make an appearance and see how it goes.

Perhaps I should say a few words in case I don't make it (indulge me will you? I'll probably won't get a second chance at this… you can only have a "first" once!): Thanks for the people at the Cultural Directorate for considering me and including me in their list of honors and for going as far as creating a new special award for my novel. It feels great earning such recognition. And I hope I can from now on meet the level of expectations regarding my future work.

And I also hope that this award will bring more attention to the book and that more and more people will want to read it. Remember, QuixotiQ is available through all major and leading online stores internationally and is stocked at Booksplus in Seef Mall and Al Riwaq Gallery in Adliya.

I should be wrapping up my packing now! See ya later.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Check it Out

It's finally officially on!

My new website is now online. Took a while, but it's finally there. I hope you like it and find its contents useful and entertaining.

I am leaving late on Wednesday to attend the Cambridge Seminar, thanks to the kind people at Etihad Airways for sponsoring my flight to the UK. A press released regarding the seminar will be available within the next couple of days.

Also, today I got a call from the Cultural Directorate inviting me to attend the ceremony on – check this out! – Wednesday night (yes, the same night as my flight) to the Bahrain Outstanding Book of the Year Awards 2004.

Took'em a while, but they got there!

EDIT: seems that there's a problem with the website link, please try