Fasting with three small kids close in age is not for the faint for heart, so this beautiful book, Misfits In Love, arriving today (thank you Sajidah, Aisyah and Irdina!) was such a treat. I’ve been loving what I’ve read so far and the notes on the margins by the author and fellow readers like me! I’m so thrilled to get to write my own responses in the margin too!
I’ve been listening to audiobooks since my very first newborn and I forgot how gratifying it feels to hold an actual book in my hands. I’ve always wanted an ARC but have no idea how to get one, so being part of S.K. Ali’s Street Team remedied that hehe.
Also, I highly recommend deleting Twitter from your phone for a calmer Ramadan (and life, overall) experience.
I still have IG though and am AMAZED at the magic of reels, gorgeous #bookstagram…wow. Wow! What magic is this?! Such beautiful pictures of stunning books on decorative fabric along with fresh, glowing faces of bookstagrammers!
Plus – book swag! (I managed to take this photo without any of my kids sticking their hands, feet or faces in woooo)
I’m also so excited that Alhamdulilah, I won S.K Ali’s giveaway for Once Upon An Eid hurray. Yet another special gift for me this Ramadan.
If you haven’t already read any of her books – go for it! Love From A To Z is my absolute favourite of hers, being the halal love story that it is.
If you’re a fasting mama of little ones who keep waking up during suhoor/sahur because they just KNOW something is up…you’re not alone. Hang in there! Apparently they all grow up and move away some day. And until then, we’re making memories.
Ramadan greetings to one and all! Selamat Berpuasa 🙂
It is a very different Ramadan…but alhamdulilah for all the blessings we do have, big and small. Many things are different, but many things are also still the same. Namely: me finding creative ways to lie down while my kids play around me. Hahaha. My youngest is already 7 months and turbo crawling.
I have three small kids under the age of 5, so Ramadan has been indoors for me for a few years now. One thing is for sure…I WILL MISS THE RAMADAN BAZAARS!! There are online bazaars now, apparently? GetMakan looks amazing, but based in Johor. Let me know if you figure out how to order them tasties in Petaling Jaya :p
Also, if you’re looking for a grassroots way to help Malaysians in need, #Kitajagakita is a wonderful platform.
In writing news….stay tuned! I participated in the #DVPIT twitter competition and garnened a lot of agent interest. I’m so grateful for the support of Meredith Ireland, my #DVPIT mentor who gave me EPIC REVISION tips. Lockdown with kids took on a whole new meaning while I was frantically adding 10,000 words of world-building and plot tweaks, and I am SO happy I had Meredith only a Whatsapp message away. THANK YOU MEREDITH! So much of writing is solitary, so it really helps to have an experienced author believe in your book, and help you make it even better.
Finding Jamilah and The Story of Yusuf is online and available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle store 🙂 If you like coming-of-age YA (Young Adult) fiction featuring Muslim teens of colour, please read it, share it with your loved ones, and leave a review! Thank you for welcoming my stories into your life ❤ May they leave your heart a little warmer.
So back in Ye Olde Days when I had hours upon hours of unappreciated free time to devour novel after novel….I loved reading epic fantasies. Now that my hours upon hours of free time are GONE – I’ve discovered the joy of short stories. And I really, really, love them! It’s such a nice feeling to dip and out of a short story collection.
I’m currently reading Mia Alvar’s In The Country. It’s a gorgeously written collection of diaspora stories. She writes so lyrically! I love how universal her themes are: loss, displacement, identity, and the pull of family.
Love reading? Enjoy writing? Want to support local writers? Come down to Readings@Seskan this Saturday 🙂 The ever-supportive and wonderful Sharon Bakar invited me to read an excerpt from my unfinished short story collection. Thank you Sharon!
I’ve been meaning to attend for so long, and am so excited that I’m actually days away. (InshaAllah nothing cataclysmic happens from now until then, ahem)
Update: Hanna Alkaf’s Q&A at Kino was wonderful. I enjoyed hearing her story about her own journey as a prolific reader, and how that shaped her writing. I really appreciated how honest she was about how much hard work writing is.
It was great to hear how supportive her editor (Zareen Jaffery) is in not italicising words in Malay and Chinese. Makes for a much more fluid and Malaysian story. She read her first chapter and I can’t wait to read the rest of it when her book is out on Feb 5th 2019!
Her advice to me? FINISH A MANUSCRIPT. Because I have like three unfinished manscripts, but my “book is in [my] first draft,’ #hannasaid #mustlistenlah
Plus! Her stunning book cover has been revealed! So Malaysian – I mean, just look at Melati’s uniform! Read more here.
Please come and join me and the rest of the “Bitter Root, Sweet Fruit” team on Sunday 17th December at KLPAC , 3 pm 🙂
I’m so thrilled to be part of this wonderful collection of short stories. Thank you, D.K. Dutt Award team, Sharon Bakar and Dipika Mukherjee for bringing my words to life!
The night I wrote this piece, my toddler kept waking up throughout the night. This was long before she was nightweaned, and I was in those “Will I ever sleep again? Will I ever write without interruptions?” modes. I was desperate to meet the deadline, to prove to myself that I could and would still write. Despite that, and perhaps because of that desperation, I channeled all that into my writing. I didn’t expect to hear back from them, and to see my story in a book is beyond exciting!
So, if you’re a writerly mama, don’t lose hope. Short stories, at least, are still within reach – in between all the tantrums, diapers, breastfeeding, weaning, and fevers!
So when you have a spirited toddler, it can be challenging to sit down and read. This is why Audible is my friend. Yay for audiobooks, which I can listen to in the car!
I’ve always been a huge fantasy fan. My favourite book when I was 12 was Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. Here’s a list of some of my fantasy favourites, in no particular order:
Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid’s Tale, MaddAdam
Ursula Le Guin – Tales of Earthsea
N.K. Jemisin – Stone Sky trilogy
J.RR. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings trilogy
Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials trilogy
The one annoying thing though, is the lack of diversity in all of the fantasy books I know and love. Except for Le Guin’s, of course. So! This is why it’s been wonderful reading more local Malaysian work – plenty of diversity to spice things up.
I really enjoyed the audiobook version of Sorcerer to the Crown.It’s a refreshingly different fantasy story by a talented Malaysian author, Zen Cho. The two main protagonists are people of colour, which is already a big plus. She weaves a hilarious tale of magical hijinks set in England, against a backdrop of racism, sexism, and all the fun things I love to see deconstructed. Lots of witty banter!
It does take some time to build up to the action, so you’ll need to be patient. Totally worth it though, so hang in there and enjoy the story. Here’s more info on the book from Zen Cho’s website.
Next book review – N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series.
Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, welcomes manuscripts about Muslim children and young adults. Folks, start writing!
Check out their upcoming publications: Amina’s Voice and Yo Soy Muslim!
@SalaamReads, thank you for giving a voice to the many, many Muslim stories out there, just waiting to be heard ❤
I’m so excited about the diversity, peace and hope that these books offer. I grew up with Enid Blyton and other books that had characters who looked nothing like me. Now that I have a daughter, I see the importance of her reading books with more relatable characters and themes.
Speaking of which, my daughter loves “My Father’s Farm” and “My Mother’s Kitchen” – gorgeous Malaysian picturebooks filled with native joy, written by Emila Yusof. It’s so cool to see beautifully illustrated Malaysian flora and fauna.
When I point to Dina, the main character in the storybooks, and ask my daughter who that is, she grins, points to herself and says, “Taskeen!” ❤