A Writer Who Doesn’t Write.

Of all the things I’ve been neglecting lately and pushing back to the deepest, darkest corner of my mind, I think my writing has collected the most dust. I’m not just referring to blogging – though that has started to  gather some cobwebs – but rather, to what allows me to call myself a writer.

cobwebs

When I first published Puppet Parade in 2012, I was determined to release at least one book a year. More than two years have passed since then and I have yet to make a dent in that resolution. It’s not that I don’t have ideas or works-in-progress, as it happens I have one completed first draft and two novels in the making… and about a dozen ideas for future novels. The problem is that I lack time. Continue reading

How to Choose Your Next Read.

It’s finally come to the point where I have more than 200 books in my possession that I’ve got to read – 60 physical books and around 15o eBooks. It is extremely daunting, and I often spend time gazing at my overflowing shelves or scrolling through the long list on my reader and wondering how the heck will I find the time to read them all, especially if I want to find time to write and work. Of course it would help if I would stop buying more books, but I have no self-control whatsoever. I’ve shared some pictures of my shelves a while back, but here’s how they look now:

I have no more room. As beautiful as all these books look, I'm also terrified by them. Did I mention that they're right above my bed?

I have no more room. As beautiful as all these books look, I’m also terrified by them. Did I mention that they’re right above my bed?

With so many books comes a great dilemma, the greatest dilemma of them all – which book should I read next? If you’ve come here hoping I would answer that question for you, you might end up being disappointed, because I’m at a loss myself. I mean, I’ve tried a couple of ideas… Continue reading

My Vacation in Pictures

Going for nearly three years without a proper vacation can do terrible things to someone mental health, especially if that particular someone is a workaholic. So during the month of April, I went away on vacation… which would explain my long absence from the blogosphere. It was something I desperately needed, at a time when I was dealing with a lot of personal issues and where work was starting to take its toll on me.

I went to UAE for 20 days during which I stayed with one of my best friends. We had a blast I swear. It was so much fun, so amazing, that it was difficult to imagine anything else. When I woke up in my own room after I came back, it took me a moment to register that I was not in my friend’s place anymore, especially since I’d come to consider it home more than anywhere else. Still though, I had a really good time.  Continue reading

My cure for a bad week.

I’ve been having a less than stellar week, some bad things happened that culminated with the loss of my tablet, the one I use for reading eBooks. To say I was upset would be understatement; I went to bed and cried into my pillow for a bit after the incident happened. I’m coming to terms with it now, and I’m already looking for a (cheaper) replacement as I’ve completely given up hope on retrieving it.

So today I decided to treat myself, and those who read my blog know that there’s no better way to cheer me up than with books and sweets! Yes, folks, it’s time for one of those posts again. I’m thinking it should be a regular segment on this blog! ;)

I discovered that we have the Magnolia Bakery here in Lebanon (I’m guessing some of my American readers will recognize the name). As is the case with any new discovery, I tend to splurge. My sister and I shared a slice of red velvet cake, a Snickers icebox pie with cream cheese frosting, a mini caramel pecan cheesecake, a mini white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake and finally, a cheese marbled brownie. I was on a sugar high.

An extreme sugar high.

Continue reading

I miss writing.

I haven’t written a single word in any of my WIPs in a long, long time… approximately eight months. I haven’t even done any editing on my novel that I was supposed to publish last year, titled The Muse Bunny. I have all but completely neglected my blog, which I used to try to update at least once a week. I miss it terribly, more than I can express. It’s not a case of Writer’s Block, and it’s not that I lack inspiration… it’s more because my creativeness is almost fully contractually bound.

In July 2013 I signed a game writer contract, and it has been a blast. I feel this will be the best job I ever have during my entire life time, and it saddens me that my contract will end next month and I’ll be back to scouring the job market in April… but at the same time, a tiny part of me is glad… the part that yearns to write something that’s actually mine, something that does not fall under the property of the company producing this video game. Continue reading

Rescue me from your spam queues!

The defendant, Zen of Zen Scribbles, writer, editor and chocoholic extraordinaire, charged with spamming the blogs of several innocents here on WordPress and disturbing their peace, pleads innocent! She has always left comments relevant to the subject matter being discussed in the post, and even when she had nothing substantial to say, she tried her best to be supportive in the very least.

It was a bit shocking for her to find out that for some reason the claimant, Akismet, had flagged her and thrown her into the darkest corners of the blogosphere along with genuine spam, where she was subjected to grammatically incompetent Chinese advertisements and overly enthusiastic individuals singing the praises of blogs they had never read. Not to mention the ones that looked so normal it was difficult to discern whether they were trying to trick her or not. It was a nightmare! If she wasn’t simply interested in being released, she would have pressed charges on the grounds of abuse and mistreatment!

The defendant turns to the jury and pleads with them to review the quality of her comments and decide for themselves whether they are really so bad to warrant being given the spam treatment and banished away from the public.

So… yeah, haha… I’ve found out that the comments I’ve been leaving are getting marked as spam. :( It would be awesome if you could rescue me from there, otherwise Akismet will keep flagging me and that’s… well, that’s just mean. Unless, of course, you do not like my comments… so feel free to ignore this message. >.>

While we’re on the topic, do you tend to check your spam folder at all? Have you ever been marked as spam yourself?

Purging my to-read list.

book stackEvery once in a while, I go to my Goodreads account and take a look at my ever growing to-read list… and I raid it. Very much like raiding a closet filled with old clothes and shirts that used to fit you six years ago but you couldn’t part with them because you’ll lose enough weight to wear them again (yeah right). It’s a rather interesting experience; more than just deleting books that don’t seem interesting, it’s involves some reflection – why is this book in my to-read list? Why did I ever think this was interesting? Another thriller? Why did I ever think I could tolerate reading a novel written entirely in tweets?! Oh my god I must’ve been half-asleep when I added this! … aaaand so on. Of course there are some positive thoughts too, mostly, “This book seems really cool, why do I not own it yet?” Okay, so it’s positive depending on how you look at it, since it involves spending a lot of money! Continue reading

2013 in Reading

I wanted to get this post out around the 1st of January, but unfortunately – owing to the fact that my I spent most of the first few days of 2014 suffering from a reoccurring bout of blindness and a break from all readable words – I couldn’t. Anyway, 2013 was quite productive reading-wise, but I’m ashamed to admit that I did not stick to all the reader’s resolutions I set for myself.

Resolutions checked: 

  1. did read 40 books! But it was a very close call. I almost did not make it!
  2. I read one classic – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I’d always read the abridged version and only got around to the full one now.  Continue reading

Blind.

Blindness has always been a great fear of mine. So much in my life depends on my eye sight that I feel I would be completely lost without it – writing, reading, translating, chatting with my fiancé over IM, staying in touch with my overseas friends, even watching TV and going to the movies… or just simply going about my normal life unassisted. I know these might sound like mundane things in the grand scheme of things, and I know there are probably alternatives, but these mundane things are an essential to me, and losing any of them would send me spiraling down a bottomless pit of depression.

Before I say anything else… no, don’t worry – I’m not going blind. However, during this past week, I’ve been forced to live like a blind person for a couple of days. It wasn’t some sort of dare or social experiment… but rather a result of my severe clumsiness syndrome; basically, I accidentally scratched my cornea with a pen.

Yes, it is as painful as it sounds. Continue reading

On Writing Short Stories with Devin Berglund

Today I’m giving the floor to my friend and fellow blogger, Devin Berglund, who will be talking about short stories and the proper way to go about them! Do read on and check out her website!

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Do you want to write a short story?

Did I just hear you say, yes?

Yay!!

I am so excited. This is going to be an exciting time for you.

There are three important parts of your short story.

  1. Character
  2. Conflict
  3. Setting

Usually, writers only focus on one character while writing short stories, because it is hard for readers to follow switches between character’s point of views. It can get tricky. Continue reading