Friday, June 30, 2006

Moments Make Memories

The Collection of Moments website is up and running.

You can now log onto for more information about the project as well as regular updates on the development of the book, the CD and the short film. More features will be added soon. Make sure you bookmark it!

There was a piece about the recording in today's Bahrain Tribune. And you can read about my account from the first session on the new website.

And the GDN ran a piece about the MoS: The Journey book in yesterday's paper.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Again & Again

I'm going into the studio in less than two hours to start recording the audio book. We are going to start with the longest story in the lineup which is Goodbye Humanity.

I'm not nervous, which I suppose is a good thing. But I hope it will all go smoothly. You will be able to read and learn all about the developments on Project Moments through a new website I am working on as we speak.

The website will be entirely dedicated to the project and its three elements, printed book, audio book and short film. I will post the link as soon as the site is up and running.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Turn Into

It appears I have spoken prematurely. The date and venue for the launch of Models of Success: The Journey has been changed. Now, it will be hosted by the National Cultural Forum at their premises in Al Musala on July 1st from 7pm onwards.

A press release will be issued within a day or two with all the details of the event and the evening's programme, which, I hear, will likely to include a screening for the film for those who missed earlier screenings.

I've done a little writing here and there the past few days. A bit on chapter 20 of Buried – which by theory should've been completed by now – and a few bits on a couple of other stories I got on the sides.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to meet up with Hashim (at Mellostudio) to pick up on things with the audio version of Moments. And for your eyes only, here is a prototype of the cover for the audio book CD package.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Upcoming Book Launch

On the evening of June 25th, Al Riwaq Art Gallery in Adliya will be hosting the official book launch of Models of Success: The Journey. Finally the book will be released after almost a two month delay from the initial launch date.

And yes, yes I know. It'll probably mean missing at least one of the two Second Round fixtures of the World Cup that day, but hey, come on, this will certainly be more fun!

There'd been a few glitches and going back and forth with this one, but the final word was that the book has finally been put to bed (gone to press) last night. Details of the event will be announced in the local media shortly.

In other news, I need a shave!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Out Of Nothing

I've completed re-editing and abridging five short stories for the planned Moments audio book. One of them is probably going to be dropped but I am not sure which one yet. The selected stories are: Bow, Lost, Goodbye Humanity, Fly Away and Beautiful Whispers.

I really found the process of re-editing and abridging very useful and was getting into it as I went along. I suppose it made me realize the truth in what I've been hearing and reading about chopping things up a bit sometimes.

I think a couple of these stories up there (such as Bow and Goodbye…) read a lot better now. The trick is to create a flow, to tightening things up and at the same time make it all clear and to the point for the reader.

Now I understand the benefits of omitting superfluous phrases and redundant words (boy did it take time or what!?), so much so that I was contemplating doing the same thing all over again through the entire manuscript of the Moments collection.

But I'm feeling pretty confident about it now. I'm hoping to meet with the published next week or so to talk about my book. Fingers crossed I can convince him to take on Moments. If he does, expect the book to come out in a month or so.

Back to the audio… Hashim at Mellostudio tells me he's all booked out until the end of the month, which means no recording sessions for me until then. We'll put a schedule together soon inshallah.

To end with, the World Cup has started. So you might hear a lot less from me over the next three to four weeks.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wouldn't Change A Thing

It may sound strange saying things, but I suppose writers feel more attached to certain stories they write, more than others. More often than not, that story wouldn't be their finest or best.

What I find sometimes is that I grow fond of one or two lines in a story. In that every time I read those lines, they make me smile, giggle or shake my head! More often than not, also, is that these lines wouldn't make any sense to anyone else, standing on their own.

Take this for example, a line taking from the children's tale in progress Pillow:

"Rana’s tummy rumbled and grumbled and made noises like the noises the little people living under her pillow made when they were singing."

Or "She ran off. Maybe she didn't like sandwiches." Which is from the short story, The Bullshitter.

There are other examples which I won't bore you with. But that made me wonder about how readers react to such lines or statements within my stories. It's hard to separate the self from your fiction.

To me that's the magic of it, to what people who read my stories get from them and how each has their own interptations.

Speaking of stories, yesterday I finished writing A Sheep Called Marlon and even though I think the story could be a lovely bedtime story, I was satisfied with how I ended it. It felt a bit rushed. Something that my Karen pointed out to me as well. And you know, she's usually right and all that.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Red Eyes is perhaps known as one of the best established online writing communities around. The website – launched by the one and only Francis Coppola – is a more of a workshop for serious writers and filmmakers and is a great place to have your work reviewed and critiqued.

I decided to put up my first draft of the Red Hand film script. So far two members, with screenwriting and directing credits under their belts, have had positive things to say about the script, which I am understandably quite pleased with.

"The Red Hand presented a very personal slow-paced introspective story of a man's search for truth in his life. I thought your characters and their dialogue was the strength of your short script. I related to all of them. They were well described, and both their dialogue and action was generally both relevant to the story and characteristic of their roles." - Kurt St. Angelo.

"I found the story very interesting. I kept wondering about the Red Hand. It and all the other elements created a great story that kept me wondering. It was a pretty original story and was somewhat different from anything I’d read or seen before. It really felt like it had cinematic quality. So much so that I was surprised you did not make it a feature script." - Christopher Joel Traub.

Here is the overall rating the Red Hand script received:

Overall: Good
Character: Very Good
Plot: Good
Dialogue: Good
Originality: Good
Quality of Writing: Good
Cinematic Quality: Good

I'm expecting more reviews to come in and I'll share them with you once they do. Once I get enough feedback I will begin working on a new draft for the film. One issue I am facing is that it is written in English, but is based in Bahrain.

I was a little disappointed when a potential local producer turned it down last year because he felt it was a little too 'taboo' to make and that it was 'controversial'. Well, that's the whole point. We always look the other away instead of dealing with such issues in these parts of the world.