Help fund my writing!

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Greetings of peace! I’m Raidah, and I write and draw comics. I also happen to be raising my two daughters. Because of these adorable little humans who run my life, I have stopped working outside my home. On good days, I love the flexibility of writing and sketching from the privacy of my room. On bad days, I miss interacting with emotionally regulated human beings. My husband, Irfan, helps as much as he can, but let’s be honest, he gets to leave the house every day. Enough said.

Your financial support will help me fund my creativity/sanity bucket. You will give me the gift of online shopping where I can binge on Book Depository, buy tasty treats to fund my endless breastfeeding hunger and fund my other kind of hunger – I am addicted to studying Udemy courses about writing, drawing, and everything else. You will also help me keep my webcomics free. My webcomics chronicle my motherhood adventures in Malaysia, as an introverted Australian-Malay artist and writer. With your support, I can branch into other themes. I am also slowly but surely completing several writing projects: fictional short stories, a creative non-fiction, poetry chapbook and a Young Adult novel. Irfan says I should stick to one. I agree. I wish my process would agree with him too. Ha.

My family thanks you, because a creatively-supported me is a much-less-cranky me 🙂 Please click on the top-right hand side of my blog. Thank you for funding my art!

 

CoMeL and Fay Khoo Award!

 

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Today has been a big day. Alhamdulilah.

  1. I managed to attend the wonderfully inspiring CoMeL event with my baby and mum-in-law, with my husband looking after my eldest. I FINALLY GOT TO SEE HARITH ISKANDER LIVE!! And read my poem to Anse Tamara Grey! I will blog more about this soon, hopefully.
  1. While my daughters were asleep, I finally finished, edited and submitted my personal narrative for the Fay Khoo Award! It closes tomorrow, so there’s still time! Now I really should sleep. Sleeeeep.

Call For Entries 2018: Fay Khoo Award

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Image Source: https://www.thefaykhooaward.com/

My ASEAN peeps, the Fay Khoo award ends in 19 days (Sep 30)! You can read about it here, download the Terms & Conditions here. For further information, you can email thefaykhooaward@gmail.com

I had no idea this competition existed, until Sharon Bakar brought  this to my attention. Again lol. Just like the D.K. Dutt award, I didn’t know about it until Sharon’s very concerned post on the Malaysian Writer’s FB group. She makes the same point now, with the Fay Khoo award – if local writers don’t submit, then competitions will shut down. End of story.

I’ve lived and written in Jordan, Australia and Malaysia, and let me tell you that the local writing scene here is SUPER SUPPORTIVE. Like, unbelievably. I’m so grateful for this, and so happy, and am going to start on my Fay Khoo submission after I write this blog post. Really.

My DK Dutt Competition backstory: After stumbling across Sharon’s post on FB, I frantically wrote up my piece while my then 1+ year old daughter kept waking up at night, cried while I wrote it out of sheer frustration and postpartum exhaustion and hormones,  finished it just before the deadline, submitted it, and didn’t expect to win anything. I wanted to keep the local competition alive, and to my absolute surprise and delight, my entry was short-listed, and now it’s the second story in the gorgeous anthology Bitter Roots, Sweet Fruits.

Moral of the story (ha) – each of us makes a difference. So write! Edit! Submit! Good editors don’t expect a perfect piece, but they do want a polished one. And if your story has potential, they’ll help you make it shine. OK now I’m reallly gonna go start working on my entry.

 

 

Finding Jamilah and The Story of Yusuf is up on Amazon Kindle!

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.

Mama of two

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One of my brothers asked me today what it’s like having two kids. My first response was “Someone is always crying.” Then I added, “But it’s really cute when they play together.”

And that is a summary of my life, as a mama of two. Mama guilt doesn’t leave. It just multiplies, and grows extra heads. And then even the mama-guilt-extra-heads start fighting with each other. And please don’t say – “But your mum had six kids, you only have two!” because that, my friends, is a WHOLE OTHER STORY. #don’tgothere #twoisplenty

Cute moments in the car: My baby in her car seat, trying to lean forward to take a peek at her big sis. Big sis making funny faces and voices, making baby sis laugh and smile.

Not so-cute moments in the car: Trying really, really hard to do breathing exercises and stay calm in KL traffic while either Baby 1 or 2 is crying, or when both are.

I love, love, love Dr Laura Markham’s Peaceful Parenting approach. Deep thanks to Fareena Alam for sharing the Aha! Parenting website with me, all those tiring years ago ❤ If you enjoy Janet Lansbury’s Respectful Parenting, then you’ll like Dr Laura Markham’s approach too.  I just find Aha! Parenting’s three principles a lot easier to apply on a day-to-day basis. This is a nice cheat sheet to stick on the wall or – even better – memorise. The test is remembering to apply it all in the heat of the moment, when there are tears and screaming. But hey, the joy of kids is that every day, they give you LOTS of opportunities to practice lol.

I’ve definitely noticed that it’s easier for Taskeen to cooperate with me when she feels connected to me. Getting her to giggle helps her let go of tension and then she’ll say “O-kay, Mama.” Because she’s so spirited, trying to strong-arm or yell at her doesn’t work anyway. She’s compelled us to up our game, since she was very little. So we’ve been asking her “What’s the solution?” since she could understand and respond. But the hilarious downside of that is her sometimes saying, with whole-body scorn, “That is not a good idea!” lol. Irfan and I want her to be a trouble-shooter and a problem-solver, so one of the mantras I repeat to her is, “We’re a problem-solving family!” I read somewhere that the opposite of blame is problem-solving. I like that.

Little Husna is almost 7 months and has found her voice!!! She recently discovered coughing, now that she’s trying out solids. And she proudly showed me how she could cough, then she grinned. And then Taskeen started coughing too, just to show that she’s still the boss. Haha. OH MY BABIES.

 

Lunch Ticket will publish my writing!

Alhamdulilah, I’m thrilled to share that Lunch Ticket will be publishing three of my flash prose creative non-fiction writing pieces ❤ I’ll share the link once it’s up.

My acceptance letter looked like this:

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I don’t have an MFA, and am likely to be many years away from that, given the intensity of the early years of mothering small children….so aaaah I am so excited they loved my writing! Lunch Ticket is a literary and art journal from the MFA community at Antioch University Los Angeles. Aaaah!!

I edited and submitted those pieces at around 2 am in the morning a few days ago, after writing them up in the precious snippets of free time that I do have. And yes, I paid for it the next day by being so groggy while my 3 year old was jumping around, and while my 6 month old needed to be fed and changed. But ah, the joy of that acceptance letter really does make it feel worthwhile. Buuuut I do have a life goal of sleeping before 11 pm every night so that I don’t end up having adrenal fatigue and/or cranky mama syndrome. #goodluckraidah #nightowl #writingwhenIshouldbesleeping

Thank you, Sharon Bakar, for believing my creative non-fiction writing!

If you’re an exhausted mama writer, know that your words matter! Even if it takes a billion attempts, with a million interruptions….don’t give up. You and your stories are worth it.

Muslimah Writer’s Journey Summit is on!

“There is a story only you can tell because you are unique.” – Na’ima B. Robert,

I am SO EXCITED! The content is inspiring, the dashboard looks gorgeous, and the Facebook group is thrumming with supportive sister-writer love.

The Day One line up of wonderful speakers looks like this:

Na’ima B Robert – The Story You Were Born To Tell
LaYinka Sanni – The World of Your Mind, The World of Your Pen
Aishah Adams – Aishah Adams

There’s still time to sign up here! Bit.ly/MuslimahWritersSummit