Uncategorized

My baby is ONE! I have a literary agent! WOO!

2020 has been quite a year. In happy news, my baby boy turned one!

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

He’s still my squishy baby though. He has thoroughly discovered walking and reaching up high for all the things. He’s practising how to run, already, and loves doing his dragon roar and walking really fast (his head tilted forward) after his screaming sisters. You know what that means. IMMA EVEN MORE EXHAUSTED THAN EVAAA hahaha.

In book news, wooo alhamdulilah I am so, so excited to share that Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary is my literary agent! I am so, so grateful to have her as a champion of my YA book, and future books! SO EXCITED. I’m also hard at work with edits for her, so stay tuned for more book news. (Also, this is the same agency that reps Suzanne Collins of the Hunger Games so aaaaahh my agency helped Hunger Games become a MOVIEEEEE mebbe one day mine also can??? hehehe)

To anyone still in the querying trenches in this pandemic, please hang in there. Rejections are so hard, and so normal in publishing. At some point, I’ll share my rejection stats. Surround yourself with a tribe of supporters while you figure out how to improve your manuscript. Trust that the right agent for you will fall in love with your story and your vision for your long-term writing career. Trust your gut! Take mental health breaks from querying when you need to because it’s never easy to receive rejections. Personalised rejections are a nice bonus, but take the advice that resonates with you. Even though the agent who offered me a fantastic R&R didn’t offer me representation, I’m still grateful for her incredible advice.

My best tip for querying: Take. Your. Time. I know the rush that comes with finishing a novel and wanting agents to read it already!!! But. Take deep breaths. Have beta readers and CPs (especially CPs! Sending hugs to you, Sarah!) read your manuscript so you can make it even better. Right after I finished my novel (literally before I gave birth to Suhail!), Michele Sagan professionally edited it, which helped so, so much. Meredith Ireland, my incredible #DVPIT mentor, helped me revise my manuscript to an even stronger version during the 3 month MCO (movement control order) in Malaysia. That’s the version Allison fell in love with, and the one we’re working on to make even stronger before it goes on submission to editors. It takes. time.

Okay one last thing about querying, I promise. Landing the best agent for you is like…tea. Some agents LOVE Earl Grey. I love Lady Grey. But some agents already have cupboards full of Earl Grey, so even if yours is the best Earl Grey everrr – it won’t suit their list. Other agents love Jasmine tea. And that’s cool too. Some agents love Rooibos tea. Personally, I don’t, and that’s okay! It’s so, so subjective. The right agent for you has that gap in their cupboard with your perfect tea blend of a book, and it’s only a matter of time before you meet your perfect-for-you agent match ❤

Some courses I did and loved throughout my 10 month querying journey:

Back to my edits!

Uncategorized

Writing update

Novel news: Alhamdulilah I’m 33,160/60,000 words in! So my first draft is 55% complete!

Thennnnn I got stuck and wondered where my story was going. Who’ll even read it? Feels too hard! Helloooo mid-manuscript slump, which often happens to Pansters like me, versus Plotters like Hannah Alkaf and J.K. Rowling. Uh oh.

Thankfully, I’m back on track because of the incredible (and free!) writing from bestselling YA author, Tomi Adeyemi. This article was especially inspiring for me: How To Write When You Have A Demanding Job.

Why do I LOVE that article? Because I’m pregnant, have two kids under 4 and caring for said offspring is FULL-TIME Y’ALL.

All I can say is that if I pull this off, God willing, then you, dear reader, can too.

Article writing update: Alhamdulilah, my first article on About Islam is up! A Quick Guide to Forming Healthy Friendships. Big hugs to the effervescent Brooke Benoit for telling me about their openings for a writer! Hit reply if you want more information.

It’s really interesting writing for a teenage and college audience. I wrote that article’s first draft sounding like a 35 year old woman, then had to revise it and channel my inner 16 year old. (I draw the line at “totes” and FOMO, I’m just sayin’) Good practice for my YA novel :p

mindfulness, Uncategorized

Mindfulness course for parents and kids

So I’m finally somewhat recovered from our annual visit to Sydney. It’s only 8.5 hours away by flight but man the adjustment home with jetlagged little ones is…..challenging. Mindfulness helps! Noticing those big feelings, making space for them, and eventually those feelings pass. Everything passes. Sleeping earlier helps too. Oh, and tea. Lots of tea. Where would I be without tea??? I LOVE TEA. Alhamdulilah.

Speaking of mindfulness, please attend and/or share the word about gloWithin‘s upcoming parent and children mindfulness workshop. It’s aimed for parents with kids aged 5-10. Teng Yan, my former colleague and friend, is a very gentle and peaceful mindfulness practitioner. Sometimes, just standing next to her feels calming. I attended one workshop while I was pregnant, and really benefited. I’ll have to wait another 1.5 years until my eldest is 5, then we can attend this together, inshaAllah.

If you’re an exhausted parent looking for better ways to connect with yourself and your child, please consider their Nov 17 & 18 workshop.  It’ll be an investment into your well-being, which will flow into your child(ren). If you’re keen but have financial constraints, please contact the compassionate gloWithin team anyway.

Here’s to peaceful parents, and happier kids ❤ Choose love and choose peace, especially when it’s hard.

 

Uncategorized

Play Therapy spot in KL!

alarm clock lying on multicolored surface
Photo by Black ice on Pexels.com

Is anyone keen on attending a 2 day play therapy workshop this weekend, titled: “Improving Behaviour Through Expressive Methods with Dr. Joyce Mills”?

I bought earlybird tickets but am unable to go as my babies and I are unwell, and we are flying overseas next week, inshaAllah. Earlybird pricing for both days is 800 RM, and I can sell it for cheaper. If you are keen, please let me know ASAP so I can notify the organisers before their deadline of 12 pm tomorrow. Thanks in advance!

Seekers Guidance, SeekersHub Global, Uncategorized

#Fightwithlight Campaign

Before December 31st, check out SeekersHub Global’s #FightWithLight campaign.

SeekersHub is doing an incredible job providing free access and support to seekers of knowledge worldwide. I work for their Answers service, an incredibly  relevant and critical interface between real life problems and authentic scholarship.

Your donations help to keep this service, and many others, going. Make this your small, consistent good deed. Donate today!

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ، عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ عُقْبَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنْ لَنْ يُدْخِلَ أَحَدَكُمْ عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَنَّ أَحَبَّ الأَعْمَالِ أَدْوَمُهَا إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَإِنْ قَلَّ ‏

Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”[Bukhari]

 

Fantasy, Life, Sci-Fi, Uncategorized, Writing

Muslims in Science Fiction? Yes! @Islamscifi

I grew up on Star Wars, Star Trek, read Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit….science fiction and fantasy were my favourite escape pods. I loved these genres as a child, and I still do. But did I ever come across sci-fi/fantasy characters who were Muslim too? Nope. Not until Alif The Unseen, by the brilliant G. Willow Wilson. She’s also the writer behind Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American Marvel comic superhero. Ah, representation matters.

Muslims in science fiction. It’s a growing thing. Click here for the super exciting ISLAMICATE SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY COMPETITION! Spread the word!

 

 

Uncategorized

Surprise!

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Source image: Tamara Redfern

It’s been months since I’ve last updated!

I’d like to share some exciting news – on the morning of 25/06/2015, I gave birth to my baby girl, Taskeen Yusra 🙂 She has very strong lungs lol.

Unbelievably, my daughter (I have a daughter!) is already almost a month old. She has single-handedly catapulted my husband and me into a trajectory of adoration and sleeplessness. The broken nights are tough, but it is slowly getting easier. Smelling her new baby smell and gazing into her big eyes always helps 🙂

I am so, so grateful for the help of my family. Even the most basic things like stepping out to use the bathroom is challenging

In the midst of the chaos of breastfeeding, diaper changes, burping and all the necessities of motherhood…I desperately miss writing. To all literary mamas out there, how do you manage to juggle writing with a newborn?

PS: I’m a protective mama bear, so I’m not going to post pics of my daughter online….come by and visit us!

Uncategorized

5 Ways to Show Kindness to a Child

Kindness Blog

L.R. Knost Quote About Raising Children Photo Credit: Pinterest

One of my favorite times of the day is dinner time.  It has nothing to do with the food, especially when I am the cook, and it has everything to do with my usual dining companions-my two daughters.  Even during the most hectic of times, sitting down together at the kitchen table for dinner is more than a tradition, it is sacred family time that I fiercely protect.  The reason I guard it so closely is that it is during these times that we share the occurrences of our respective days, dream aloud, laugh hysterically, and just enjoy being in one another’s presence, and I refuse to let anything interfere with that if at all possible.

Some evenings, we cover a variety of topics, and I find myself inspired by something that is shared among the three of us.  Tonight, the subject of what makes someone a…

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