Showing posts from April, 2013

Review of "Mandy Marries a Muslim," short story by Aliya Anjum

Summary: Mandy 22, breaks the news to her mother that a Muslim from Pakistan has asked her to marry him. Carol, 46, is a strong Baptist woman who has raised Mandy by herself, after her husband's untimely death. She is dead against the idea of her only daughter marrying a Muzlim man. She tells Mandy to stay away from those terrorist Muzlims. Zafar's family also opposes the match, since his mother had already chosen a bride for him in Pakistan. Mandy and Zafar met during college in her home state of Texas, where he had come to study from Pakistan. The two get married, ignoring their families protests. When both set of parents meet for the first time, it leads to surprising discoveries for everyone. Review: This is the second story I have reviewed for this author.  Both times I read her work I was left with a feeling that the story was unpolished and and possibly unfinished. Anjum's clear strength as an author is presenting compelling protagonist concep

For the Self-Employed Author

Well it's tax season.  Ick.  There's nothing quite so emotionally draining as handing all your hard-earned money off to the government.  Yes, loved ones could pass away.  But that's a different type of grief from what you experience bottoming out your car in a pothole that no one has bothered to fix with said tax dollars. But I digress. One thing short story authors really struggle with is money spent on cover art.  When cracking out a new story every week or month, it's simply not practical to spend $300 on every cover unless you're making gobs of money from some other job that you have. BUT... good quality cover art can make  you money.  People are shallow.  I'm shallow.  You're shallow.  Do you really want to spend $2.99 on a romance with a cover that looks like this? No. Would you spend money on a book that had a cover that looked like this? Come on.  He's wearing a loin cloth!  How could any woman resist that ? Point

Review of "An Arranged Marriage," short story by Aliva Anjum

Summary: Based on true events in the life of four women Physicians in the US. 23-year old Reem, married 31-year old Iftikhar, in an arranged marriage. Arriving in America after marriage, she had hoped of a joyous, beautiful life. However, Reem soon discovered, that everything about Iftikhar was a lie. Read the story of her suffering and eventual triumph, in the land of opportunity. Review: This story is a diamond in the rough.  There's a very powerful and rich message but it's covered up by choppy pacing and editing issues. The story is told stream of consciousness style from the point of view of a young woman named Reem.  There's not much in the way of description but you eventually learn that she's in medical school, smart and very career driven. Most of the story takes place as Reem takes her oath to become a United States citizen.  I felt that the setting was perfect for such a piece.  It's exactly the type of place one would become so reflectiv

The Power of Time and Experience

I just had this really cool experience while practicing my violin that gave me new perspective on writing.  I need to give a quick history though in order for the coolness of the experience to come across properly. I started playing the violin when I was 4.  So number of years invested in music = more than 20.  I don't really remember much of playing the violin when I was really young.  Just that I did.  It wasn't until I was about 10 years old that I really have firm memories of learning pieces.  The memories stuck for two reasons.  One was just that I was older.  And two because by that point I was learning more advanced pieces.  The types of pieces that take you months to work through because they're f-ing hard .  You're not on Twinkle anymore, Toto. I remember working through some of those concertos and sonatas and eventually being able to play them but they still didn't feel easy.  Fast forward a few years... I studied music in college... learned more piece