Monday, January 29, 2007

In Process

Work on the Elham website is steadily progressing. The fine people of WMP (check out their new website, its ultra cool!) have been gracious enough to offer creating the site for us, so we thank them aplenty for that. The first design wasn't up for scratch so we worked together to come up with a new concept. Here is a sneak preview of how the site is most likely gonna end up looking like.

Speaking of Elham, our second evening which was held last week, was another big success. Everybody has a wonderful time and our "talents", Phoebe, Suha and Arthur all had interesting and enjoyable contributions. Both Phoebe and Suha read from their books and talked about their work, focusing on portriature and spirits! The music, provided by Arthur on the guitar, added a lovely, fun atmosphere.

As soon as the site is up and running we'll make an annoucenment and then you can keep uptodate with new happenings.

For those of you who missed my Sunday's GDN column, in which I talk about Ashoora and my memories of it, can read it online.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Someone Said

Not that anyone would wana know, but the reason I've not posted anything for about a week is that I've been overloaded with deadlines and writing to do, and, as if that wasn't enough, a bad cold. I've been home for three days, at least two of those I spent in bed.

Lots happened, which I honestly can't bother delve into right now. Maybe later. For now, I'll leave you with a little tale I wrote a while ago…

Once upon a time
Someone said hello
But no one said hello back
Because Someone was alone
In the room
Which he thought wasn't empty
But he wouldn't have known that
And he was only trying to be polite
That Someone was blind
Or pretended to be
And now he sits in one corner
Waiting to be found


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Elham's 2nd Evening

The second Elham evening is set for Tuesday (January 23rd) at Al Riwaq Art Gallery from 7pm. Click on the invitation to the left to get all the details and to learn more about who is going to be featured on the night.

Do join us and drag along whomever you like. This should be another pleasant evening of literature, art and music! Wana know more about Elham? Send an email to or leave a comment here with your email.
I had a really bad day yesterday. It was one of those days in which things could've only gotten worse. Someone wasn't happy with something I've done. Had car trouble. Someone canceled on me. And, at the end of the day, I fainted in the bathroom and landed hard on my bum, which is now sore.
It was more dramatic than it sounds. Trust me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Caught Hiding

Caught Hiding
Originally uploaded by *A*L*I*.
At the Manama souk the other we shot 'visual' protraits of shopkeepers, shoppers, old men, and these three kids. The project is an extension of Phoebe Boswell's project (Bahrainona: Drawing from Life) and this video is a collaboration between her, myself and Sami Sayyar. It will be shown during her art shows and exhibitions.

We had a good time. It was a bit odd at first but we found that most people were very welcoming and friendly. I've not been down to the old souk in quite a while, so it was nice to go back.

It was interesting to see the different reactions from people to what we were trying to do, the idea was to capture their 'portraits' on film and to see how they reacted in front of the camera, which was in a way similar to how some might react whilst they were being 'drawn'. Some got very uncomfortable, some made jokes, other just didn't know what to do with themselves.

I picked those image because I enjoyed the way these three kids behaved during filming. They were very shy at first, but then they got more at ease with it. There are a few more images from the day on my flickr account.

It was quite an interesting and fun experince.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jaguar Bite

Yesterday I was at the Bahrain International Circuit test driving the hot-sexy new Jaguar XKR. How can you not fall in love with it? It's, well, gorgeous.

The day was freezing cold out in the desert, but the day turned out to be a lot of fun.

I've never raced down the track before, but I've been taken around it a couple of times – once in a Ferrari 355 GT. But this time was different, I was behind the wheel. The XKR is a beautiful fast car. Comfortable, easy to handle and the more time I spent in it, the more I wanted to get more out of it.

By the fourth and final round, the instructor next to me was urging me to 'break now' and 'slow it a bit'! I was hittin 250! It's my new 35K Dinar dream!

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Need I say more?! Anyone? Hello?!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Elusive Dream

Why can't I turn my days into a fairy tale?
Why can't I live that fairy tale the way I dream it?
Why can't that dream become a reality?
Why can't our reality be simple?
Why can't this simplicity be our way?
Why is the way long and uncertain?
Why is it that I still see your face when I close my eyes?
Why can I feel your presence in the emptiness of my bed?
Why is my bed forever cold?
Why do you hide behind that pole?
Why don't you just give in?
Why don't you just let love in?
That's what I did.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Against the Wind

I started Against as a novella. But now it's looking more like a small novel. After writing a few hundred more words of it, I realized that the estimated target of 45000 words won't be enough. I reckon I'm in the vicinity of 60% of how much of the story I've gone though so far. That leaves me with 40% to go. I'll most definitely need more than 12000 to tell that. So I've upped it by another 5k - as the meter on the sidebar suggests.

The story should take a turn now and pick up into the climax. There are still episodes that I want to get on with though and I suppose some of the characters back stories will have to be puffed up a bit. It still feels an easier novel to write if only I can focus on it more... see what I mean, I should be working on it instead of posting this!

I'm gonna go...

I went!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Getting Down & Dirty

On several occasions in the past few days, I've been told to slow down, to not spread myself thin and try to do too many things at the same time, which it sounds/or appears that I am.

The thing is, I worry that if I don't follow up every potential idea, they might all fall flat and I end up with nothing on my hands! On the other hand, they all might come through all together at the same time. Then I'd be screwed won't I?

So how do you manage yourself? God knows how terrible I am at that. Last year, I told myself that I would finish my second novel (that being Buried) by the end of spring. I wasn't even close.

The trick is to create a system suitable for my mood-swings and unbalanced behavioral patterns. Set "deadlines" for myself. But I've found that self-imposed deadlines don't necessarily work. Someone has to give me a deadline and a threat! (I sound like someone I know!)

Regardless, in 2007 I MUST do a number of things (these are basic ones. There are many other little bits that I won't go into right now) and in no particular order:

- Launch Moments internationally.

- Re-edit/re-draft QuixotiQ and release a new edition by summer.

- Complete the novel Buried (I have about 13000 words to go only!!).

- Re-write the feature-length script of the Red Hand.

- Contact as many literary agents as possible.

- Continue promoting & participating in Elham

- Make two short films (not including Lost & Found).

- Write and record a song!!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Drawing from Life

Tomorrow night is the book launch for my friend Phoebe Boswell's book of portraits Bahrainona: Drawing from Life which will be held at the Arts Centre, next to the National Museum, from 7pm. So make sure you don't miss out on this one, it promises to be quite interesting.

You can learn more about Phoebe and her work here, or here. Phoebe has done a portrait of me a few weeks ago. It was an oddly intriguing experience which I rather enjoyed. I'm told that my portrait will be exhibited at the show! What more incentive you need to go now?

I'll also try to link up my article for Ohlala in the December issue which chronicled that drawing session with Phoebe.

The Culture and National Heritage Sector
is pleased to invite you to attend artist Phoebe Boswell’s exhibition


To launch her book, 'Bahrainona : Drawing From Life'

On Sunday, January 7th, 2007 at 7.00pm
At the Art Centre, near the Bahrain National Museum.

For more information, contact Phoebe on 36647234

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It Goes Something Like This

My first published story for 2007 appears in the very first issue of the new literary magazine La Fenetre. The Purple Rose, a Glimmer Train Press award-finalist, can be read online or in the print-edition of the magazine.

Hora hora! Or something.

Flip the coin. And you'll find that I've recieved FOUR rejections within a few days. Two from Glimmer Train, one from Gold Dust magazine, and Hub magazine. Lee Harris, the editor of Hub, tells me that "Your story (that being A Sheep Called Marlon) was shortlisted from our slushpile but was not selected for publication. There was a lot we liked about the story but it was felt that it did not quite fit into our forthcoming lineup."

Well, at least they liked it. Right? Right?

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's Come & It's Gone!

For some reason I feel that 2006 has been one of the busiest years in my life so far. And the quickest (then again, I say that about every passing year). The truth is, I did feel busy through most of it and I would like to think that I did well. But that's always up for debate.

Here are the main highlights of the year for me:-

· Co-produced my first documentary 30-minute film, Models of Success
· Wrote & published visual film companion book
· Participated in a conference in Stockholm, Sweden
· Visited Frankfurt, Germany
· Published my second fiction book, Moments
· Watched the World Cup (at home)!
· Held creative writing workshops for young students
· Held my first book event in Dubai at the XVA
· Co-write the script for a short comedy film
· Set up & launch Elham, the group for creative people in Bahrain

The biggest disappointment for me in 2006 was not getting around completing my second novel, which I should've done months ago! But other than that it's been a good year during which I met a bunch of amazing people and made great new friends. I wish them (and you) a 2007 that is filled with fulfilled dreams, great times and wonderful memories.

(with lots of sugar & spice & everything nice!)

And of course....

EID MUBARAK to you all!