Split Personality Me

On the set of Callous

When I was a kid, there was a repeated question my father used to ask and it came to my mind today. When I was 10 years old I took piano lessons, a hobby my father supported, but at the same time I was having Taekwondo Classes, an activity my dad really disapproved of, though he gave me the freedom to pursue it. He always repeatedly say :”You are an artist, you should be a sensitive guy, why are you doing Taekwondo?”. That question, in its essence, describes me, and the reason why I am thinking about it is because of my works.

To be honest, I was the one surprised from how my father thought about it. Even though I was a kid, I found it strange that many people are surprised when someone has an interest in things that might appear to be dissimilar, and now as a 33 year old grownup-ish kid, I realize that my way of thinking is a base for the ideas that I created throughout and in the coming years. Examples that might shed some light on my obscured topic is the contrast that can be palpate between my first two books; Psychs is a thriller with ghosts… yes, as weird as it might sound, that story has all the characteristics of an action thriller with some scary elements that ended to be a fine blend. So when my next book, Kima, came out some readers expected to taste the same dish. Instead, the folklore story That both appealed to kids and adults tasted sweeter. Another example is the independent movie which I wrote and directed, Callous. Callous is a horror story, and when you hear what podcasters say about it, you would be surprised when you learned about my next work, The Last Mile.

So how can I explain that split personality in my writing? Let me try.

I think it could be traced back to my upbringing. I am by, nationality, Iraqi, but I was not born in Iraq, no, I was born in Kuwait. Now I know what you are thinking; “So you have a Kuwaiti Passport and a couple of oil fields?”. Well, the passport point would be true if I was born in Europe or the Americans or perhaps any place in the world. I couldn’t get a Kuwaiti Passport, so I was born as an expatriate and that’s how I lived my entire life. I traveled and experienced different lives and cultures, made friends from all over the world. Experienced happiness, sadness and melancholy, most probably the latter made me a writer. So that heterogenous combination split my story genres and made them more diverse. I write when I feel excited about an idea that I have, no matter what genre they are in, and I don’t like to stay committed to one genre. Also, every story I write is a combination of genres where I like to play with different emotions, because that’s life, and I like to make my reader relate to anything to their lives, in hopes that it might add something important to theirs’.

The Age Of Women

It took me a while to send my greatest wishes for the women of the world because I celebrated women’s day with my world, my mother. Women have come a long way, and they were able to do so through inspiring perseverance which was highly infectious. So much so that eventually men couldn’t be immune to their success and be inspired by them. And that is what I would like to talk about today, about the woman who inspired my new book.

You hear about women from all over the world from different countries who have managed to rise and find their purpose in the world, but My muse was someone who did not belong to any country, a displaced person with no nationality, flavored by the cultures she was exposed to throughout her life. A great recipe for an artist. Except she is much more than that.

Oh how rude of me… Here I am listing characteristics for someone I admire and I haven’t even introduce her to you all. Well allow me to break the ice.

Introducing Enas. We met during my studies in Egypt. The first thing that made me take an interest in her story is when I tried to find out where she was from. It even made me think, “What makes you belong to a place?”. She was born in Iraq to a Palestinian family, and her first childhood memories were in Hungary, but she never had a passport from neither nations, just a travel document, which at the time was more than enough. But life throws curve balls every once in a while. For Enas, that curve ball was the Iraq war. She found herself with no country. So how was she able, in spite of all that, to become a dentist, a triathlete, and an inspiring artist living in the United States? Her story touched me in many ways, and I’m very honored to have her blessing to write her story.

The Last Mile is the title of our next book and I wrote it to celebrate a woman among the blossoming women who managed to lift our spirits and to remind us to never stop thriving for what we believe.

Join me next where I will be asking Dr. Enas some questions. Do you have anything you’d like to ask Enas or me? Please don’t hesitate to ask.

My moderately severe problem: Part 1

Attacked by panic

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I was having a regular day, a routine day which starts with a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee, followed by me either writing or doing research for books I am writing. That day I did the latter. Actually, I decided to drink some new energy drink which I bought and was told that it is good for burning fat. So after having my apple flavored energy juice I sat next to the window and started reading my seventh book on Mesopotamian civilization for research purposes. Everything was going alright, just like any other day. Except, and out of nowhere, some invisible baby elephant sat on my chest in the middle of my second page. I know; weird. That is exactly what I felt, well maybe not weird, more like terror, for I had no idea what was happening, but something made me breath hard. First I thought it might be the energy drink that I was having; it might have caused my heart to pump faster. So I thought I should start exercising and whatever is happening might go away. Oddly, it did. I exercised by doing aerobics. And after I was done I took a shower.

I went downstairs to my car. I was going to visit my family and to have breakfast. That’s when I felt the pressure on my chest and I started breathing hard. I struggled to reach home, unable to understand what was happening. Was that energy drink still acting on me? Why this is happening? So I went home and told my mom what was happening to me. She offered to take me to the hospital. I refused and she kept urging me to do so but I didn’t want to go there, telling her that it will disappear by itself; I just need to relax. But then the pressure kept building up, the baby elephant was growing bigger, and when I felt a tingling on my left arm, I ask mom to take me to the hospital.

My mom was calm at first, she kept chatting with me; her way of distracting me from whatever was going on inside my chest. She kept asking me questions and kept me talking, but the more I talked the more tired I got. I told her I can’t talk, it makes me tired. To be honest I snapped at her, and I feel guilty about it, even though I was in pain, I still feel I shouldn’t have snapped. I concentrated on breathing, and mom concentrated on driving within the speed limits, but all that changed when I started to feel something that made me frightened. My hands, both of my hands were starting to become numb. I was afraid, I told my mom that my hands are getting numb and that there is something wrong. My mom drove fast to get me to the emergency entrance for the hospital. Then I saw it, the long line of cars that stood between me and, what I thought at the time, what left of my life.

In that moment, a memory of a friend came rushing to me. A guy I knew who was a fencer who told me that he quit drinking energy drinks because his heart stopped after drinking so many before his workout. I lost it. I was very frightened. I told my mom to go to the parking lot and I will go on on foot. I went out of the car and shouted HELP as loud as I can. A porter spotted me and ran with the wheel chair. My hands became stiff, I wasn’t able to move my fingers. I wasn’t sure what was happening. Am I dying from an energy drink?

The porter wheeled me in, I looked at a doctor who was outside checking his phone and shouted for him to help me, I shouted that I can’t move my fingers, my chest hurt, HELP. But he did nothing, he just looked at me, and then went on on his phone. I got scared, and angry, I was in pain and no one cared. The porter cared because he pushed me in fast. I had to pay for a stamp, they didn’t let me in until I pay for a stamp. I couldn’t reach into my pocket because my hands doesn’t work at the time, they were stiff as a statue. I asked the porter to do it for me.

My mom came in behind, she was crying and afraid. At that moment I calmed myself. I told her I’m fine, they will let me in. I pretended that nothing was wrong, even though I was in tremendous pain. The doctor saw me, his calm demeanor infected me, I started to talk normally. He told me I was just having a panic attack and that I should breath normally. By the time I was doing my ECG, the stiffness was gone. I was left with only chest pain.

I went home after they told me that there is nothing wrong with me, that my ECG and blood tests were normal. I was completely healthy. I didn’t believe them, there was something wrong with me. They said maybe it was mental. I dismissed that immediately, thinking not me, I’m not the kind of person to be affected by stress… me?? no way. I do parachute jumps, I did bungee jumps, I traveled through Asia. Why would I be… why??… I knew why… but I was too proud to face it… So I went to stay at my parents house to recover. At night I lied down on my bed, thinking that this was the worst day of my life… how naive I was…

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

 

 

Where do I go from here?

It took me two months to get back to writing my thoughts. Usually I write what my characters are thinking or how they feel in the books that I’m writing, so I might be rusty when it comes to writing about someone you starting to feel you don’t know anymore. For example, I never thought that I would be diagnosed with moderately sever depression. I always thought I was immune to something like that, especially since I’m the kind of person who lives an adventurous life. But that’s a post for another day. I’m here to talk about how 2018 had treated me, and to be honest, it was the best year of my life. I know… weird… one minute I’m mister Blue and now I’m talking about coming out from a magnificent year. Life is strange that way, I guess.

Every year I write about what have I accomplished in the year and post it at new year’s eve, except this year I was sent to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack, and on my way to the hospital I had my first ever panic attack. My fingers became so stiff I thought my whole body was going to become stiff too. My fingers loosened eventually when the doctor calmly told me to breath normally. My fingers became loose, but I couldn’t type on my keyboard what happened to me throughout the year 2018. So here I am today to do just that; to share what happy events that happened to me, and to remind myself of them.

Here goes.

 

I have written, produced, filmed and directed my first movie ever. Oh and I also composed the music for the film… special effects… did I mention that I did the special effects too?? So yeah maybe you’re all starting to get why I might be depressed. 😀

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Got my masters in Orthodontics

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Traveled through China from West to east

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I walked on a glass bridge between buildings. Also known as a Sky Walk

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Stood under the world’s oldest known archway

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Saw my book, The Remnant, on bookshelves in Kuwait

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My movie got selected in many film festivals

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Started a new comic book about a superhero with autism

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Won an award for best feature film

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My most important even of 2018… hearing the word “Yes” from her

Where will I go from there? We will see. So far we will be going through the first quarter of 2019, and I hope it will be a great year, at least I hope to get well soon. Peace and love to all.

Halloween Story #1 “You’ll Never Guess”

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to share three tales of horror, starting with today’s tale. Gather around, and let us see what will happen to our dear Sammy.

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The morning breeze mixed with the smell of Sammy’s steaming coffee heightened his sense of admiration for the beautiful scene that he lacked back home. On vacation now, he decided to wake up early to be the first in the breakfast buffet at the guesthouse he was staying at. Sammy looked around him and saw no one here but himself. He drank from his Turkish coffee, and as he was sipping, he heard steps coming from behind him. Thinking it most probably belonged to another guest. He didn’t turn to see who he, or she was. But suddenly, and out of nowhere, something very odd happened. Sammy’s eyes were covered from behind by that person. Startled and uneasy at first, he found himself settling once that person who covered his eyes from behind spoke.

“Guess who?” The voice was familiar and unfamiliar to him at the same time, but not of someone who is very close. If it belonged to a woman, it would be a mature one, and if it was a man’s voice, it would belong to someone probably younger than he is. The hands were not too soft to notice, so he was left with so many faces from his memories. He couldn’t guess no matter how hard he tried.

“I… uh…. ” Sammy smiled “I honestly have no idea.”

Sammy felt the person leaning next to his shoulder, and felt a breath going in before the person spoke.

“You never  will.”

Sammy felt something very sharp penetrating his eyes, the hands then slid sideways and away, rubbing Sammy’s face as it did. Sammy screamed in pain, he turned around to take a swing but hit nothing but air, lost his balance and fell on the floor.

“HELP!!” cried Sammy, but he couldn’t hear anyone yet. He lied down on the floor, terrified, not because whatever fiend did this to him might still be with him, but at the reality of the idea that he will never… ever… see again.

I hope my story was entertaining. Tune in tomorrow for the second story, entitled…. “The Baby Sitter”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Why though?

So… here I am sitting, minding my own business, readying my copy of Paulo Coelho’s Aleph inside the plane, of an airline that I won’t mention that it owns a couple of football clubs, when suddenly an announcement came that took my attention away from Paulo’s story, which is very hard to accomplish. It roughly said.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now in the process of fueling our aircraft, please remain seated and do not fasten your seat belt.”

Apparently I was the only one reacting to that announcement because everyone was busy doing whatever they were doing, mainly talking or playing with their phones, I didn’t notice another reader at the time. First thought was “really? Seatbelt off??” Why? Another thought came that maybe I misheard that. But that thought was dismissed when another announcement came after a while.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are still fueling our aircraft, please do not fasten your seatbelt”

Now you shouldn’t do that to someone like me. I’m a writer with a hyper active imagination of a 4 year, sugar high, kid. What am I suppose to think now? That the seat belts are running on fuel? Is wearing a seatbelt aggressively going to cause some spark that somehow will find its way to the tank fuel? Is the airplane gonna think we’re are flying if we wear our seat belts and start to takeoff automatically?

That’s when my logical thinking started to speak to me, and it says “This might be a safety procedure, in case, god forbids, the tank accidentally caught fire and they need to evacuate the airplane, so they make sure nothing will hinder our exit plan.” But then my logical-er thinking jumped in and it made more sense “Seriously?! If they care for our safety, why did they let us in the plane while they are fueling it?”

There might be a logical explanation to this illogical announcement. The thing is, someone who works in an airliner might read what I wrote and think of me as ignorant. But that’s it, I am ignorant about flying and their rules, so are you about literature, orthodontics or dental facts. Writing this post actually made me think of the many times I was treated rudely for asking questions, for example, related to visas or residency. Guess what? I don’t work there so don’t expect me to know how things work in your place of business or country. So here I am with a confused look and with many questions on why we don’t wear our seatbelt when the airplane is fueling.

What do you think is the real reason?

A New Christmas Read…

It’s seems like it was only yesterday when I celebrated the new year’s eve, but here we are now, at the threshold of a new chapter in our lives. This year has probably moved light years ahead for me because it was my busiest year yet. And it will soon about to become more interesting.

My inspirational fantasy novella, Kima, is now set to be released soon around the end of November and the beginning of December. This novel have been in rewriting inferno for a tremendous time. Passing through purgatory now, Kima will soon shine out and be available publicly and only clicks away too.

 

     Christmas Eve 1928 gave birth to a yearly phenomenon in South Africa. A herd of false killer whales were found beached upon the shores. It has also given birth to the story of two young children who meet an old woman named Kima. Kima somehow knows why this has happened, but that’s not all she knows. The children, Alex and Alice, realize that there is more to this woman that what meets the eye, and ear. She will reveal to them a tale, a mysterious story she claims was passed on to her by a mythical Black Seagull.

Derived from both historic tales and figures, Kima is a fictional character portrayed in a way that makes her become real.

 

There will be more to reveal in the coming future, all I could say is that this is an inspirational novel that I had extreme joy and pleasure writing it. I hope in the very upcoming future I will get to share the experience and hope we can learn something from my inspirational fantasy novella.

 

 

 

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