Friday, August 31, 2007

A Writer of Ficion is What I Am

Am I the same person I was yesterday?
Will I be the same person tomorrow?
Life is traveling like a shooting star.
All fast and sparkling.
But, eventually, fading.
I am 29.
And I've just known what love is.
What will I learn when I am one year older?

I've been sucked into the vortex of my new job. It's been extremely busy, but the disconcerting thing is that I'm enjoying it, despire the fact that I've put in 8 hours on a Friday, something I've never done before and that I didn't think I'd even contemplate.

I've hardly had time to catch my breath. Hours and days are tinged with a sensation of timelessness, time has no more weight. And through them there is one thing that now matters to me most. One thing and one thing alone. And it's a beautiful thing.

No, I've not been writing. The truth is that I actually miss writing. I miss being a 'writer'. And all that comes along with it, the freedom, liberation, wrecklessness, carelessness... a complete disregard for reality. I am a writer of fiction. And fiction is what I write.

But I don't feel I am the same writer I was four, five or even ten years ago! I no longer write because I NEED to. There is a sense of obligation, of responsibility, an unwelcomed burden.

I want to go back to the writer I am. Go back to losing myself into the thick of it, and not the idea of it. I worry, and this is, now, my darkest worries, is that I will never be that writer ever again.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine
Originally uploaded by Alizod
I went out the other day for a photo shoot through Muharraq. The last time I did that was at least five or six months ago. There is no doubt that there is a magical thing about that place, because every time I visit I discover new things to shoot.

After a bit of dabbling with photoshop, I came up with this photo, which keeps reminding me of the film Little Miss Sunshine. The film is a beautiful treasure and I fell in love with it from the first frame. A simple story of a odd and somewhat dysfunctional family, I know it sounds too familiar, been done to death, but trust me when I say this, there is nothing like Little Miss Sunshine. That's one film that will leave such a lasting impression on you that you'll find yourself remembering for days and weeks to come.

Not to mention the fact that it have one of the most sweet-beautiful-romantic-heartbreakting-sing-a-long-happy tune I've heard in ages. If you must download one song this weekend, make it "Till the End of Time" by Devotchka.

Now go do something useful. Bake a cake or something.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fools in Love

How can it be so scary? Being happy. Being in love. I'm lost in a sea of romance, a vast ocean so deep, so warm, so engulfing. A fire. A storm. A vortex. A paradox. It's everything wrapped in one. It's thrilling, exciting, frightening, comforting, like a drug of extacy.

How can she make me want to become a dream? How can she make me want to be lost in her eyes? In her kiss? Those lips so inviting, enticing, tantalizing, always beckoning me.

She's the first thought on my mind when I wake up, like a morning song stuck on repeat, like she's everything and all i know. When I lay myself in bed I could almost sense her warmth next to me. Skin as fragile as the wings of a butterfly.

How can we be so foolish as to fall in love again?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4... Smile!

We can all do with a Feist song every now and then... and since I'm in a happy place, I wanted to share a smile with you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stardust in Their Eyes

It gave me goosebumps. It made me cry. It made me laugh silly. It made me giggle. It made me reflect. It painted my world with magic and colors and starlight. When you wait for something for so long, and then it exceeds your expectations, you're left in a beautiful daze.

I'm talking here about the wondrous Stardust, the film adaptation of one of my favorite novels of all time, of the same title, by the master of storytelling Neil Gaiman.

One would usually be wear of such adaptations, but the filmmakers got it spot on here. The film was perfect, a joy, a wonder, a gorgeous journey and a thrilling adventure, one that will no doubt makes you once again believe in love, in magic, and in dreams.

I can't stress enough the need for every one of us to see Stardust. And once you've seen it once or twice, go out and get the book (if you've not read it yet! shame on you!).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Originally uploaded by Alizod
Started the day by having breakfast with our two actors and then driving to the location, where the crew had already arrived and been prepping things up. A few minutes before 9.30, we began rolling!

The plan was to initially shoot the film over two days but due to restrictions of the use of location, we tried to shoot the whole thing on the one day (yesterday). It started off well, and everyone was in good spirits. I've never co-directed anything before, but I thrived on the role. I loved it, and I think I did an okay job for a first timer. My previous experince was being involved as a co-producer, so being in control over the creative aspect this time was quite different.

We tried to simplify the shoot and nto try anything fancy, afterall, this is a kind of a non-budget production! But we were keen on creating something to get us into gear for bigger things. It's been a relativaly pleasant experince so far, there are still certain things that I would've liked done better, preperation wise, but we had to go with what we have.

We shot for about four hours and took a break and then restarted for another three hours. But we couldn't complete the whole shoot on the day. People started getting weary and we made a decision to call it a day, to complete the remaining scenes the following Saturday. (Not much to go though, we've shot about 70 percent of it).

It was fun, the hardest bit was when I volunteered to stand on a chair and lift the camera vertically to try and get an overhead shot as high as I could. Somehow I didn't drop the camera, crisis averted! The other bit was trying to keep the crew and actors motivated all the time. There are high and low points and as a director you'd have to constantly be on a high note.

Visit my flickr to see some production images from the day.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's a Question of Perception

It's strange how a writer feels about a story that he revisits years after writing it! You find things and patterns and discover elements that you haven't noticed before. One thing I noticed while I was revising QuixotiQ was how the style of writing slighty altered throughout the story, I felt the first half of it was a little more disjointed, something that others have pointed out to me.

A couple of days ago I finally finished going over the novel. I did tweak some changes here and there, but they are so small and sparse that I'd doubt they'd be noticed. The biggest change and most notable is perhaps the first line of the beginning of QuixotiQ. I like the new line better and I feel that it instantly takes the reader into the heart of the story, especially into the world of our main protagonist Guy.

Another thing that bothered me a great deal was the cheesy cover, I mean, come on, seriously, it was cheesy. Don't be nice about it! I've designed one that I feel reflects the story much better, and, as someone who I showed it to said, looks much more like a 'real' thriller novel!

I give you an exclusive first peak of the new cover of QuixotiQ, which I hope will be published soon. It's just a matter of finding a publisher now, isn’t it always the case? Ah well.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm a Black Sheep

My first few days at work were no more than a chillout! This is just my kinda place. Sitting on a beanbag, chatting and having three-hour lunch breaks! Heehaw!

But I've really been down lately. My writing has almost come to a standstill. No more work done on the novel. Although oddly enough I found myself starting a new short story yesterday. I discovered an old piece I had written and suddenly realized that I wanted to write it as a story. It's about a teenage boy's "relationship" with God and it's called Nancy's Wine.

I also have come up with a nice little idea of a short bedtime tale that I began telling my sweetheart on the phone. All I'm going to say about it is that involves a Star. But in honesty that the last thing I need, is to start more new stories! I need to END them! I've got several stories around awiting completion.

For those interested in Elham, the new program is being finalized and will be announced by the middle of this month. We are still looking for people to showcase their work in our monthly meetings, so if you're keen, give us a shout at