Monthly Archives: December 2017

Happy New Year, lovelies!

May the new year bring good health, happiness and prosperity to you all. Be safe, be kind, and be good to others.

2017 had various ups and downs for me (as I’m sure it did for everyone else) but this was the year I fulfilled one of my dreams by publishing a novel. I never thought I would so I feel very blessed. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement because it all led towards me getting off my lazy bum and finally releasing the book.

Happy New Year!!!!

Hi!

Hello, lovelies. I hope you’re all doing well or at least hanging in there during this busy season. It’s so easy to get sucked into the “buy, buy, buy” mode but, please remember in the end, that’s all materialistic. What matters is the relationships you’ve formed, and what you shared with others – whether it be your time or yourself.

Due to some tragic events, I find myself ruminating about the importance of giving. I was blessed to know an individual (not directly, but through his work) who was a brilliant intellect but the most important legacy he left behind is what he shared with others. He was never flashy with his fortune, instead choosing to live a relatively normal life and share that wealth with others. He and his wife truly believed the saying: “With great power, comes tremendous responsibility” and lived accordingly to that.  While that’s definitely true, it’s also important to remember you don’t need great power or vast wealth to be generous. All you need is yourself. So please give what you can – whether it be your time or something else – and be more kind to others.

For all those celebrating holidays in the next week, I hope you have a safe and wonderful time with your families.

I have next week off, so I will be working on the first chapter of my new Omer/Defne fic 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Things that make you go hmm…

I’ve always been a big proponent of constructive criticism because it’s the only way to improve. How else can you get better at your attempted task if you don’t ask for feedback? Incidentally, my ability to handle feedback is one of the reasons why I was promoted. Guess what I’m saying is, I don’t take it personally if someone wants to offer constructive criticism because, in my experience, it’s always helped me improve.

So when I received a critical review (1 out of 5 stars), I read it eagerly. At first the reviewer offered valid viewpoints (which I’m already planning to take into account), but then they went off on a tangent which still boggles my mind. They complained that I wrote my novel to express my liberal views, that my characters were simply there to check off YA cliches. She had issues with the names, the fact that I have a black gay character, that I have poor people in foster systems… at that point, I started laughing.

I grew up reading romances but I could never relate to the characters. The protagonists were always white, and beautiful, and never really seemed to struggle financially. I read many Black romances as well, but never really any stories about Indian women, or Arab women, or Asian women finding love. So, as a woman of colour, I wanted to write about other WOC and that’s one of the reasons why I wrote Follow You Down.

It’s funny that having a “quirky” name, and friends who are also poor, or gay – maybe even both! – were things this reviewer objected to. Because these are not YA checklist items; they are, simply put, my reality. When you’re a WOC, you probably have friends who are also people of colour. And, believe it or not, some of these people may be gay, or bisexual, or even transgendered. One of my closest friends is a gay Asian male. He’s his own person with his own unique identity who happens to be Asian, and gay and loves playing hockey and transformers (Hi David!).

Many of my friends and I grew up poor or struggling to make ends meet, because we came from immigrant families. A lot of our names are considered “weird” or “quirky” because they reflect our ethnicity, pride in our heritage. Or you could simply have hippy parents who went to a poet and wanted an unusual name for their kid (yes, this is how I ended up with mine, and, yes, brown people can be hippies). Again,  just because characters are not named “Tom” or “Mary” or “insert any North American common name” doesn’t mean it’s being done to fulfill a checklist item – it’s simply reality for many of us.

In a way I’m glad I received this review because it reaffirmed why I’m writing what I’m writing. I want to tell stories about women of colour – romances featuring women of colour – because we exist, we’re here, and we have every right to read about ourselves and the realities we live even if it’s in something menial like love stories. Weird names, gay friends, struggling with money matters may be cliche items to some, but it’s very real for me.

I’ll write about my reality as much as I want and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it – so bitch away!

 

Novel: Alive [Chapter 20], [Chapter 21 added 05/14/18]

Title: Alive

Rating: R

Summary: Sage Alvi’s whole world turned upside-down when she lost her mother to cancer. Now forced to live with a father she never knew, she’s trying to navigate her way through a new home, city and school. To make things worse, her half-siblings hate her and she’s being bullied by the cool crowd. They say high school is hard, but this is just ridiculous.

Previous chapters here.

Continue reading Novel: Alive [Chapter 20], [Chapter 21 added 05/14/18]

Sunday Funday just turned into self-doubt day.

We all experience insecurity from time to time. It’s second nature for us human beings. I try not to wallow in it too much, instead using self-doubt to hone my skills and improve. Unfortunately, some days it’s not so easy to take the pragmatic approach.

I’m blessed to have wonderful readers like you. You guys are always so good to me and I really appreciate that. Unfortunately, that experience hasn’t carried over to real life. With the exception of two, none of my closest friends have bothered to read the novel. And it’s not a matter of finances as I gave them the manuscript months ago. They just don’t want to. I tried not to let it bother me but it does. Some of my wonderful coworkers and acquaintances have eagerly read the book because they’re so excited for me yet the people closest to me don’t care.

Oh well, such is life. Guess we can’t have it all. I’m lucky that I have amazing people like you and other wonderful readers who are happy to give my work a chance. Some people don’t even have that so I’m just going to shut up and be grateful 🙂

If you guys are ever doubting yourself or don’t feel like you’re good enough at whatever it is you’re trying to do, just remember this quote from the Great One:

It’s gotten me through many a night when I was crippled with insecurity.

Have a great week!

Hello, my lovelies!

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the holiday season. It’s been a busy one for me trying to get Follow You Down published. I still get very nervous when I think about my book being out there in the world. Anyway, I wanted to give you guys an update on what I’m currently working on:

  • Sequel to Follow You Down
  • New Defne/Omer fic. It’ll be multi-chapter, but not as long as The Ring.

Have a wonderful weekend!