Thursday, November 30, 2006

Smile When You're Singing

This is AWESOME!

If it doesn't make you smile, sue me. Seriously.

And if you're deadly serious about becoming a writer I strongly advise you to read these very important 'rules for writing'!

And while I'm at it, THANKS to everyone who's turned up for the 'Elham' evening at Alriwaq on Tuesday, it went all oh so well. You've earned yourself a latte for the effort, now go get it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Be A(muse)d

This coming Tuesday we will have a special 'gathering' at Al Riwaq Art Gallery which will include readings by me and two other local writers. It will start at 7pm and ALL are welcome. If you have an interest in literature, arts, music or fancy yourself a writer, poet, musician, artist, filmmaker etc, then be sure to be there. (Click image for more details)

Today I attended an art workshop, by Dutch artist Theodora Plas. It was fascinating as it focused on the connetion of music with color. I have mixed feelings about the whole experince. I struggled a great deal trying to get my mind to think in terms of colors and shapes and lines instead of words! It was actually a bit intimidating and I wasn't comfortable to begin with. If it taught me one thing, its that the two (painting and writing), even though sharing some similarties, are nothing alike... I suppose it's safe to say that you won't see me replacing my pen with a brush anytime soon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Take Offs And Landings

What a hectic few days these've been.

The events at the British Council and the Muharraq School both turned out spectacularly well. I enjoyed both immensely and I was pleased with the response I got from the students, especially at the government school, which was a very pleasant surprise.

I'm starting to enjoy these kinds of affairs. Four, three, maybe even two years ago, I would never has seen myself doing something like that, but the fact is, the interaction with the young students is refreshing and it's wonderful to see their level of interest in literature, books and writing.

This is something we (and by we, I suppose I mean my generation) never had the chance to experience. To meet with local creative people and discuss their crafts and backgrounds and professions. I wish there is more schools and more artists and writers out there doing the same.

I don't think I'd mind doing more of these at all actually.

I got my copy of The Absolute Sandman Vol. 1 yesterday and I've skimmed through it and I'm happy and ecstatic and over the moon with it! Its fabulous and I can't wait to get some time alone with it! Its HUGE!

I remember the first time I read the Sandman, I even remember how it felt reading the very first issue, which Tariq (my ex-colleague at the GDN) lent me. I got hooked instantly and I never looked back since… So in a way, I owe you big thanks Tariq!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Sad Truth

I was gonna write a detailed post about my trip to Dubai - which was fine by the way and I quite enjoyed - but I'm really tired and not in the mood. Last night, moments after I got home from the airport, we got a call telling us one of my aunts has passed away. That wasn't nice to hear at all, as you can imagine.

In the meantime, you can see some images from the trip on my flickr account. The event at the XVA was a nice, low-key event, during which I talked a little about my work and read a short piece from Moments.

My impression of Dubai - having visited it for the first time in 5 years - is a mixed one. There's plenty to do and you get to meet interesting people and it could be a lot of fun, but its a spiritless city, like a wild boar in search of a heart. It seemed to me as if it were an architectural hungry monster that would eventually devour everything (and everyone) that is around it, and within it.

Tomorrow morning I have to deliver my talk at the British Council and I feel that I am under-prepared and a little out of focus. So wish me luck.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Off to Dubai

I'm leaving tomorrow morning to Dubai for a couple of days. My first book event/appearance in Dubai will be on Wednesday (Nov 15) at the XVA and starts from 7pm. This will be followed by a film screening, I'm told. So if you happen to be in Dubai, you better make sure you be there on time! I've not been to Dubai in almost five years. Everyone tells me I'm in for a shock!

This morning we had a presentation for Models of Success at Al Hoora Secondary School for Girls which turned out pretty well. We showed the film, talked about the project and I shed light on the book, which I wrote. I am glad that the whole thing was well received. Ideally, we hope that every government school would take in a copies of the film and the book to feature in their libraries or learning centres.

I also yesterday visited the British Council to go over the details of the workshop with the council staff on the 18th. I'm told there's interest from the part of the students, so fingers crossed there'll be a good turn out.

I should probably go and pack now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Melty Cheese Is Sticky

It seems I've become more of a secretary than a writer lately. I'm my own personal assistant! Phone calls to make, planning to do, scheduling to arrange, meetings to set, dates to pur right, deadlines to be reminded of… Ok, maybe I should stop whining about it. I mean, seriously, it's not like I'm running for office is it? No, now that would be hard work. Yeah. Right.

The British Council event is all set to go down on November 18th. There will be two separate sessions at 10.30am and at 12noon. And I'll be talking to a bunch of 12 to 17 year olds about writing, creativity and whatever comes to my mind on the day really! I might end up talking about how to make a proper *egg & cheese on toast for breakfast! Details here.

Meanwhile, I'm loosing more hair than I am allowed to over planning this Dubai trip. I'm getting a bit muddled. Too many numbers you see. I hate numbers. But in case you were curious, the event will be hosted by the XVA Gallery in Dubai on November 15th from 7pm.

Yesterday we went out to scout locations for the shoot of the TV show thing I talked about before. In fact, a casting call shall be put out very soon. So keep an eye out, if you're interested in giving it a shot. A date for the audition will be revealed soon and I will post the call on this blog in the next day or so.

*the slice of cheese melts in between the egg and the toast from the heat. Sometimes that's how my brains feel.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Rush of Confusion to the Brain

Things are starting to get pretty hectic. I'm supposed to be in Dubai for a couple of day as I have an event on the 15th there, but I'm yet to sort out all the logistics of it and I'm kinda running outa time. I'll have to confirm things within the next two of three days as I'll need to start promoting the damned thing... I promise to post all the details of the Dubai-thing, as well as the other three event this month, as soon as I know them!

One of them though is a definate. The British Council asked me to present a talk/workshop for their Young Adult program students on November 18th. Should be fun, I suppose, if I don't screw it up!

As for the TV show thing I mentioned in my earlier post, well, we've officially moved into the pre-production phase, which means that we'll have to work on a whole punch of things such as storyboarding, location scouting and *gulp* casting!

And just on a sidenote, if you haven't yet seen the following films, then you MUST


Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Modern Romantic

I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning. I discovered that I am published in the latest issue of the Arabesques Review, which came out yesterday!

Apparently, my short story Yellow was accepted for publication. I didn't know about it because I most likely deleted their email as it made it to my junk folder and I never bothered checking before deleting. Today when I went through the junk folder I found, to my bewilderment, another email. This time I opened it.

Anyway, Yellow is published in a special anthological issue dedicated to modern and contemporary romance writing, titled the Modern Romance. You can purchase the print paperback book through their website (for only $13.29), or you can browse it online.

That makes it TWO anthologies in ONE month!!!

Speaking of anthologies, Goodbye, Darwin has now popped up in