Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I want a Roman Gladiator, but that doesn't mean my story's heroine does.

I am writing a story, which keeps growing in size, and I don't know what it will end up being; whether it will be one of those long short stories, or a novella, or a book, who knows?

I just have a habit of starting stories, working on them a while, putting them away, then forgetting about them, then picking up right where I left off for another round of good writing life. This seems like a cycle that is still in its adolescence, because I have yet to finish a story written in this fashion.

It may take years to write a good story with all kinds of stops along the way like that, but I guess it's better that way, because more often than not, the time I've spent away from a piece has turned out to be good for the piece, so I'm not worried.

But I wanted to talk about this particular story I'm working on at the moment. It is one with characters that could be written a number of different ways to make each of them more or less unique literary figures, depending on what route I decide to take.

There is one particular character, the male hero of the story, who I have written as a successful chef, with a popular TV show. So far, I've made him out to be in his thirties, living with his mother, who is bed-ridden, and whom he takes care of, and someone who is shy, almost to the point of being afraid of women. Now, at first glance, in real life, such a character would not exactly be your ideal male figure in a story where there is a romantic relationship developing between him and a strong-willed woman--a doctor, no less-- but I think that could be what makes the story all that more interesting and challenging to write.

In no way am I saying that there aren't stories with these types of characters in them mixed together out there already, but in my case, up until now, I've always written men in such a way that makes them fit to be fighting lions at the colliseum in Rome, instead of handy with a whisk. I do that mostly because I like to escape with writing, and what better escape than the kind you create yourself by writing a man the way you want him to be?

But really, writing my idea of a fantasy man isn't going to create anything but cliche-filled reading material that interests no one with a hunger for something deeper than a character profile of a romance novel hero. Alongside my sword-wielding-ready men, I also like to write women who are strong-willed, stubborn and not afraid of anything except heights. That is something I don't feel like changing just yet, but my male characters are getting an overhaul.

On top of him being a TV chef, I am enjoying making this one a house-slipper-wearing, soft-spoken and laid back individual, who does laundry and lets it dry on a clothesline to make sure the fabric stays like new. Did I also mention that he keeps a walkie-talkie handy so his mother can always get a hold of him when she needs him? That's aside from his cellphone, which he answers even if he's on the air, all for his mom. He may sound like a wuss, but behind every such man is a great woman who makes him a true man.

I don't know how fun this will end up being for a read, but I'm sure having fun writing it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Boo. Not the Casper kind.

Most days, life treats me nice. I live in a beautiful place, surrounded by people I love, who love me right back, and are there for me no matter what. I can't complain too much about the hand I've been dealt, because my life is pretty much a bowl of cherries.

But, as with everything, there are rains that ruin my parade. Most of my parades are only interrupted by tiny showers that only last long enough to wet the concrete and end with that amazing after-rain smell, but every once in a while, it'll pour. It'll pour so much that I end up hydroplaning, veering totally off course from my generally happy existence.

I know I am being melodramatic, but there is no rain worse than that of getting a ticket. Or, perhaps I should say, getting a ticket for something that seems like a ridiculous offense, because in your mind, you haven't committed an offense that offensive.

The situation was this: I was driving home past 10:30 at night, and turned right at the light on Mainstreet (which was red), the same turn I have made for a decade now. All of a sudden, after I had driven a bit of a distance, a police car was flashing its lights behind me. I stopped and cooperated with the officer, who stopped me for not coming to a complete stop at a red light, he said.

Now, I understand that a red light is a red light, but again, in my mind such a minor thing is absolutely ridiculous to award with a $68 ticket and two points on my license.

What makes it even more ridiculous is the fact that we are talking about past 10:30 at night, in the suburbs, on a Monday night. There were no cars, practically, except apparently for that one cop who happened to be bored enough to notice that I didn't come to a complete and full stop.

To add insult to injury, the way the officer marked this offense on the little summons form makes it sound like I maliciously ran a true red light, like I had just gone across an intersection, risking my life and the life of other drivers. Ridiculous, I tell you!

So, it's ridiculous, over-priced, and a total rain on my parade, this late night ticket. Boo.

Monday, March 8, 2010

For some moments in life, there are no words.

Nonetheless, they say that a picture is worth a thousand.

I am simply at a loss for something to say that would describe the beauty that has been brought into my life and made me an aunt. All I can do is stare and marvel at my niece, hoping that one day soon I will be able to write something that isn't redundant. In the meantime, a picture will have to explain the beauty I have the pleasure of seeing and experiencing everyday.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I am now Auntie Reem!

If you follow me on Twitter, or are my friend on Facebook, you probably already know the big news that I am now an aunt to a beautiful niece, who I have already nicknamed Awesomesauce. Awesomesauce's real name, which has a slight chance of changing before she leaves the hospital, is Zubaida.

Zubaida was born at 8:12 A.M. on Sunday, March 7, in Denver, Colorado. She weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz., and measured at 19 inches.

Congratulations to my brother and his wife for bringing such a beautiful addition to the family.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's good to be in touch with pop culture

For years, I've failed at staying in touch with pop culture, and in fact, I had no real interest in it. I still don't have any genuine interest in pop culture, but it is a great way to oil the writing engine, and in turn, write more marketable pieces than just whatever pops in my head that has nothing to do with what's going on outside of my own world.

I say this now, in particular, because I wrote a piece recently that I published on my own in Intrepid Media's gallery, and ended up landing a feature spot for that piece.

I wrote the piece titled "The Awkward Ref," after watching the new NBC show "The Marriage Ref," and hating it.

The purpose of this post is to spread the word that I have been featured again, and also to talk about the significance of this particular featured piece, which will be smack dab on the homepage of IM through Monday, I believe.

You see, for perhaps the first time in my life as an independent writer I wrote about something so timely, that the piece I wrote was featured on IM on the day that something was set to happen. For me, this is a huge step toward producing things that publications want to publish, which will inevitably broaden my horizons-- that is, if I continue to stay in touch with what's happening in a timely fashion.

Although "The Marriage Ref" was something I came across on TV, I feel that the way I will keep at being up to date is with the help of Twitter.

I've had Twitter for a while, but I hardly ever used it or even signed into the service until I began following the Winter Olympics through NBC's iPhone app. The app included tweets from the Team USA athletes. Seeing as how I was especially interested in Apolo Ohno, I began to follow him on Twitter and quickly became obssessed with Twitter altogether. I tweet constantly now. I went from following just a handful of people, to 59, ranging from friends, to individual celebrities, to the TV show Dexter, to all kinds of news outlets, and the list just keeps on growing.

The way we get information has evolved, and after a long time spent resisting the switch from newspapers and perfume-scented magazines to mysterious tweets that are no more than 150 characters long, I have surrendered. To resist is to remain ignorant, and left behind in a fast-moving world.