Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Rose Much Desired is Almost Done!

As salaam alaikum,

After getting stuck on a chapter that turned out to be more important than I thought, to preserve a character that was more critical than I at first expected...I am a chapter and a half away from finishing the first full-length story that I've written as an adult. Yay!

B wants to read it. I've already given him hints, but he doesn't want to be spoiled. That's exciting, but I'm also a little nervous for him to read it, because if he only knew how much of it (especially the Desirée narration) was thinly veiled fiction, then he would instantly know tons of stuff about me.

At the same time, I'm not too concerned. I'm not worried about him knowing tons of stuff about me.

I think I'm going to go back to samba today after a two week hiatus after I twisted my ankle three weeks ago. It was a mild twist that just exacerbated an old injury, but samba for sure would have killed it. I think I'll wrap my ankle just in case, but I need to get moving again. I've also had a two week hiatus from the gym, and although I've been good at maintaining my weight so far, this week I've been a little bit of a lazy eater so it's time to get back to moving, now.

B at this time should be in DC, heading toward the rally. I would have gone, but none of my friends are going, and I figured it'd be too much if we rode the 10 hours roundtrip together, then I'd cramp his style as he was hanging out with one of his old friends. I mean, we're friends-ish, but I'm still a girl he's trying to impress, kind of, and it wouldn't be as comfortable, maybe. I don't know, I make excuses, but also I'm tired and I need to clean up my life. Tons of papers from fall 1 quarter are all around my room and I need to go ahead and put them into the binders I bought two months ago.

Yes, but RMD is almost done! Alhamdulillah! I'm going to proof it once more (because I'm OCD like that) before I give it to a couple of family members to read through. I'm nervous about this...I'm nervous that they'll say certain aspects aren't realistic, are over-the-top, or ask me why I would write about such material. We'll see. I, personally, like it a lot, but then again, I'm me.

And from there, I'm going to figure out how to get it published. A couple of my cousins are self-publishing, but I kind of want to find an agent and go from there.

But preview! I can only preview the first 120 pages or so, because around that time, the twist (!!) happens, so I don't want to give that away. But man, it's been a while since I read the first part...even though I wrote it, I forget exactly what happens. So I'm providing an excerpt. This is when Mo, very upset because he's not yet gotten into medical school, among other things, ventures over to Nisreen's apartment during her spring break, desiring to talk to somebody while all his friends are away during the break:

Nisreen steps forward, pulling the door behind her, as if ready to dismiss him. “I said, what can I do for you, Mahmud?” Mo’s scratching his head and running his fingers through his hair. He remembers he needs more gel; he didn’t have enough this morning. “You kind of caught me at a bad time. I was cleaning and didn’t expect anybody…”

“Well, you did call me a couple of days ago, telling me I should stop by, right?” He leans against the wall, supporting himself with his left arm. He watches as Nisreen gazes at this arm.

“A couple of days ago?” Nisreen chuckles curtly. “I called you a couple of weeks ago.”

Mo’s confused. Exactly how much time has passed? He did run his last gel in lab a while ago…she’s probably right. “Damn, you’re probably right. Sorry.”

Mo notices Nisreen flinch at the damn. She waves it off, though. “No need to apologize.” She’s opening the door wider and beckoning Mo inside. “What’s time, anyway, but an artificial construct to make us more comfortable in this elusive existence?” Mo doesn’t pay enough attention to Nisreen’s statement to become confused. Instead, he finds himself tracing her curves with his pupils again. Her long-sleeved shirt is clingy enough to outline the flare of her hips. He shakes himself out of it again. This is Nisreen, this is a Muslimah, a hijabi at that…if she caught him looking her up, she’d shuttle him straight out of the house and probably toss out an astaghfirullah for good measure. He’s desperate for company, so he guesses he needs to behave himself.

By the time he returns to face Nisreen, though, she’s eyeing him dubiously. Instead of apologizing, he tries to act like he wasn’t just undressing her with his eyes. He focuses on her face instead. Nisreen’s face, usually rounded because of the way she ties her scarf, is more triangular today. Her large forehead seems to shrink as she raises her eyebrows. She’s probably raising her eyebrows because he’s stood at the door to her apartment for nearly two minutes, and he’s still not coming inside.

“Mo, is there anything wrong?” Nisreen inquires, cocking her head to the side.

She called him Mo. He likes the way her O sounded, the way her lips rounded as she breathed it out. “Naw, I’m cool,” he manages to say. He swallows.

Nisreen shakes her head. “No, this isn’t right. You don’t look good at all. Come in, sit down and rest for a little bit.” Before he has the chance to protest, Nisreen grabs his left arm and drags him into her apartment and guides him to a sofa in the center of the room. Mo watches as she closes and locks the door to her apartment. She then runs into her kitchen, crashes around for a bit, and returns with two glasses of water. “I didn’t know if you prefer room temp or ice water. I’ll take whatever you don’t.”
Insha'Allah, I'll be done by this weekend!

I have tons of reading to do this weekend, and biostats homework. I plan to do the bulk of those tomorrow, returning home in time to get all spiffed up for the Djavan concert (!!) on Sunday. I'm taking B...literally, because I bought the tickets with my WorldMusic membership. Unlike two years ago, I know a few more of Djavan's songs by heart, so it will be even more of a fun concert-going experience. B is going to be surrounded by Brazilians, artsy Berklee college world music lovers, and me, the Brazil lover.

I'm also going to convince him that we should plan to have Africa Night sometime this month. He's busy a few weekends, then his birthday is coming up, then there's I'm thinking late November we can pull something together. Either that, or next weekend. I'm not sure if my roommate's parents are coming up for her birthday or not, but then next weekend wouldn't be the greatest. Then I figure he may have stuff to catch up on, as he's in DC for the rally this weekend. I also figure he needs to be back in time to do tutoring tomorrow. I feel like he just might fall asleep during the concert. I'll have to poke him.

So, I'm happy! Yay! Not because of B, or Djavan coming this weekend, insha'Allah, or being done with RMD, insha'Allah, or having two engaging new (but reading heavy!) courses this program planning and design course and my Sexuality and Public Health course. It's the sum of all of these!

I guess I should do more work today than I thought...I forgot I'm retwisting my hair tomorrow. That will take some time.


  1. Mabruk!

    love the excerpt, and the previous ones. can't wait till it's out there.

  2. Salaam! And thanks. Your encouragement and your liking of what I have so far has given me the courage to go forward and try to get this published...I'm excited! :)