Earlier this week, on a whim, I started a Facebook reader group called Nasser’s Book Nymphs. It was daunting to take the leap, but I like the idea of talking about my thoughts and work behind closed doors. I’d love you to come and join us in there. I’ve been making lots of fun games and it’s… Read More My Facebook Reader Group: Nasser’s Book Nymphs
Families are busy making Christmas preparations as colder, darker days draw in here in London. There are wreaths going up on front doors, houses dressed in twinkling lights, pantomime tickets being booked, Christmas trees lugged in and decorated, and the constant ring of the doorbell as gifts arrive for loved ones. If this sounds familiar,… Read More Is there a perfect Christmas or do you grin and bear it?
Our littlest has always been an early riser. Of our three children, he took the longest to sleep through the night. Even now, after a day at nursery, he needs body contact. He’ll run to our legs, cling on and laugh when we try and shake him off, squeeze us fiercely. Most mornings he leaps into… Read More Finding his Wings
I’m 39 years old and I’m sensitive. It’s a quality that I’ve been aware of most of my life and one my parents often thought of as a flaw. To some, sensitive often means over-sensitive. It means we need to toughen up. To protect ourselves from waves of emotion. Feeling too much can complicate relationships… Read More On Emotional Range During the Pandemic
My mind is foggy. I finally found the time to unravel my thoughts here at the computer, where the rhythm of the keyboard helps me think. Home-learning started again today. I put the edits for my next book aside and helped our 8 year old with his lessons. Tomorrow, our 11 year old’s home-learning starts,… Read More Forced Change and New Year’s Wishes
Happy new year to you all! I hope the coming decade is kind to you: that you grow wiser and softer, that you enjoy good health, long walks and wonderful books, that joy and comfort never leave your side, that long-buried dreams find the light and you always find your way through storms. If you… Read More My Wishes for You
I’m sitting here in my kitchen, with my socked feet on cold tiles. We removed the rug because of our newest arrival. Outside, a lawnmower is running, although the grass is damp from autumn mists. The leaves are turning amber and burnt orange but our pup hasn’t discovered outside yet, apart from in my arms.… Read More A Puppy Brings Mayhem aka Balance in Life
It seems silly to be here talking about burnout. In some ways, the term seems such a first world invention. We don’t live in a country ravaged by war or environmental disasters. We have the money to feed, clothe and house our family. We have opportunities to learn and prosper. Burnout is self-inflicted, isn’t it?… Read More What is Burnout and What is Just Life?
For a long time, I’ve been trying to find some balance in my writing life. A balance between finding enough time for my passion and stopping it bleeding into family time. A balance between creating words and reading them. A balance between consuming story-telling in books and story-telling on screens. A balance between my words… Read More Finding Balance and Genre News
Since leaving a nine to five job, I’ve grown more introverted. My extroversion, necessary for my previous job, was always a skill learned from being part of a big, boisterous family. Today, I prefer interactions in smaller groups. Large gatherings feed my curiosity about people but are ultimately draining. In a world full of megaphones,… Read More Writerly Introversion and the Power of Silence
I didn’t make a concrete plan at the beginning of this year. I knew I had a novel to write this year, perhaps two, but other than that, I thought I would just be. The political landscape has been so tough these past few years, so draining, that living in the moment sometimes seems like… Read More Coming Out of Hibernation
It’s the start of a new year. We leave behind a year that many of us won’t miss, a year which seemed relentless with global news and human meanness. I realise now, there is a limit to our control. We can stand up for our beliefs, we can make art, and treat others with kindness… Read More In 2019, Just Be
Do you believe that each of us has a unique gift to share with the world? I do. I look at my children now and am aware of the responsibility to introduce them to new experiences and knowledge so they can uncover their passions and begin to understand who they are at their core. Recently… Read More On Self-Discovery
I am sad. There I said it. I don’t like to be the sad one. Not that there’s anything wrong with being sad: we all feel like this sometimes, and some more than others. In fact, I’d argue that if you don’t feel sad sometimes then your skin is probably too thick, and you might… Read More Sadness
I’m nearing the end of the first draft of Hidden Colours, my second novel, scheduled to be released in late autumn. The novel is set in modern day Berlin. My husband is from Berlin and we studied there together, and sometimes we dream about living there again, but that’s a story for another day. I’ve… Read More Personal Histories: A Little Boy and a Can of Coke
This post was originally published in Open Thought Vortex magazine, a wonderful place for discovering new writing. Traditions can be the smallest things. The Spanish wearing red underwear at Christmas. A football team supported by generations of a family. Your grandmother’s curry recipe. Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. Bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night. Carving pumpkins.… Read More How to Make Traditions Work for You
There is something seductive about crossing the threshold into a new year. It’s the same feeling as opening a new journal, or writing on crisp letter paper, or sliding under clean bedsheets. A fresh start holds promise. It’s like a new relationship: full of romance and possibility. Humans like symbolism. And yet, I am different.… Read More On Flow and Just Being
I’ll tell you how I’m feeling today, if you tell me too. Not for us, the false niceties papering over our humanness. Not for us, the filters to smooth out our skin on social media, to give the grey pallor of our faces a sunlight hue. I’m tired and overwhelmed, and I know it will… Read More Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?
The baby didn’t sleep last night. His need for me is wearing. I stand in the hallway, exhausted, listening to him whimper in his cot after I place him there. I cup my hands in prayer. The shape they make is at first alien, a relic from childhood rituals when our family attended the mosque… Read More On Being Human
I’ve not been here for a while. The juggling of balls has been hard this summer, and there has not been enough pieces of me to share around. The baby is eight months now, and I’ve been ready for months to smooth out a white page, to fill it with words until every corner is… Read More A Love Letter to Openness and the Creatives in my Life