Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hey guys!

I signed up for my first ever blog chain via Absolute Write. Nothing like trying something new for the new year.

The topic was fairly open.  All we had to do was write about something related to the number 13. Easy, right? I figured I'd sign up and worry about the topic later. (I'm sure we can all agree that's not always the best plan, but I think it worked out this time).

I had lots of ideas, but none of them seemed quite right. I could talk about what I was like at 13 (way too scary), 13 things about the Middle East (meh, love it, but wasn't quite right), 13 books that inspired me (again not quite showing off me).

And then I figured out what I wanted to do. I wanted to combine my topic with something else I'd been trying to figure out how to write about.

For Christmas, my husband got me an awesome camera. It's a Fuji  HS30 EXR (for those of you who know anything about cameras). It's awesome. I've wanted a big camera for a while. But I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with it.

And I don't want to be a person who has this big camera and no idea how to use it. So, I've been struggling my way through it. Taking pictures as often as I can and trying to read about things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. (most of those still seem like foreign words).

So in honour of the number 13, I thought I'd show you 13 pictures that I've taken with my new camera. Some I like, some are so bad they make me laugh, but they all just make me happy that I'm trying to learn something new.

So without further ado, here are my 13 pictures (watch out, this is about to get pic heavy).

P.S Don't forget to check out all the links at the bottom of my page for other interesting takes on 13.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Marriage Problem

To start with, I debated with posting this topic for quite a while. This blog is supposed to be a reflection of my life and my writing journey, but more and more I'm posting about topics that are important to me-topics that aren't always writing.

Hence today's entry.

Still the debate about today's entry was more about if I wanted to get into something this personal and really share my opinion on a new law in Kuwait. It's a bit of a controversial topic, and I like my blog to reflect more happy, shiny things.

But it's hard to reflect on happy, shiny things when you have something weighing down on your shoulders. And all writers know that sometimes we just have to get it out.

So here it goes.

The Kuwait government could refuse to recognize my marriage.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Dream Classroom

Starting off with a reminder: I'm a writing teacher at a school in the Middle East. I teach writing full time, to about 200 students. (But only 20 at a time).

There's been some changes at my school recently. I could bore you with all the set up of what our (K-12) school is like, but I don't want to be boring :)

Some of our classrooms are becoming empty for next year-actually, almost a whole floor is emptying out. And I've been offered the chance to move into a new classroom. My current classroom is nice. I like it, but it is small.  Actually, it's too small to have my grade 7s in it because they take up too much space.

So I was offered a new room.

Not just any new room. The best room. I'm pretty sure it's the biggest room in the entire school. It has a Smart Board, a projector, and basically enough space for me to put all my students in one area, and still have another area to do something else with (I have no idea what though!)

I've also been told to order anything I want for the room.

I get to plan my dream classroom.

And that's where my problem starts.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Query Writing

For those who don't know, a query is something writer's write (duh) to try to get an agent or a publisher interested in reading their books and taking them on as clients.

Basically,  it's supposed to be this tantalizing hook into what your book is about and make the agent/publisher say, "Gimme More!" Then, hopefully, they'll request pages and you'll be on your way to being rich and famous (or something like that).

Right now, I'm trying to write my first query.

My last entry? Not a lie. Queries are hard.

You're supposed to take your book and be able to entice someone to read more of it in about 250 words.

Doesn't sound so hard, does it? 250 words, we can write that in 10 minutes. So you try. And then you realize it's really hard to take your 50,000 word novel and pull out the really exciting, really intriguing parts and put them into 250 words.

And you decide screw it. I'm not doing this.

Except you have to. If you want to go the commercial publishing route (which I do).