Life updates you don’t really need: Heroes

Hello hello!

(Contrary to the popular belief, I am actually ALIVE and well, thank you for asking.)

I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe and healthy đź’«

The reason I haven’t been active here at all is that I’ve actually been working on a single project for over a month now (can you believe it? ME? not stuck in a writing block??). It is pathetically short for the amount of time I’ve spent working on it so far, but I’m honestly somewhat proud of how meticulous my efforts have been. An excerpt of it can be found on my Instagram page inkofhers .

I don’t know what kind of exceptional feelings I have towards this piece, but I think I will not be posting it publicly. Still unnamed for now, it retells the story of Hector and Andromache from the Iliad. Fleshing out characters ends up making you fall in love with them slowly (or: your version of them). I’ve always liked Hector, found him one of the few (relatively) sensible men in Greek Mythology, but while Andromache had a little role in the Iliad itself, discovering a strong woman while reading more into it is making me want to do her justice. I knew I wanted to retell this specific story since listening to a podcast about the Trojan War last year, so I’m glad I finally managed to pick it up. Little victories deserve celebrations.

On reading: I’ve mainly been listening to audiobooks lately, and happened to find my first 5-star book of the year. It’s an insanely intriguing non-fiction about Henrietta Lacks’s life and her immortal line of cells. Although it was published a decade ago, I’ve only personally heard one person talk about it in real life. Please give it a shot, it’s a story about humanity and science, and the ethics of both. Another audiobook is Heroes by Stephen Fry (you KNOW I’d sneak Greek mythology in here somewhere). Enjoyed listening to it on my way to and from work, and I’m just grateful Achilles wasn’t included as a hero. Let’s discuss: Achilles is a man-child that moped around for 10 years and– I’m honestly trying my best not to go off on a rant about him at this point. Finally, My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay was a poetic and beautifully written account of a child growing up in care, and all the horrors that come with it.

Maybe this is a tiny celebratory section for myself. I’ve been reading and writing more, finding happiness again after I couldn’t see it for a while. Sometimes I dip, but I am healing; I know I am.

Thank you if you’re still reading. Be good!

Return of the life updates you don’t really need: fierce women, dreamy boys, more magic

Hello hello!

(Yes, I’ve abandoned this blog. I have. I’m gonna punch myself in the mouth for it.)

How are you guys? How’s quarantine treating you? I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

Due to the fact that there practically are cobwebs growing all over this blog, I’ve decided to challenge myself into writing and posting something every single day. I’m thinking starting small, only a week, and seeing where that takes me. The initial purpose of inkofhers was to encourage me to write and post everyday, but I don’t think less than 50 posts in 3 years qualifies as success. (Edit from the future: Something about forcing myself to write just to post destroys the ‘quality’ of my writing. I didn’t want to post pieces I’m not happy with, so I’ll quietly quit the hell out of this. I promise I’m writing a lot more than usual, though!)

Remember how, in my last post, I described a strange need to delve into magic? I did; I watched Ghibli movies, read fantasy (unlike myself) and some more mythology (A LOT like myself), and listened to retellings of fairy tales on podcasts to put me to sleep. A writing project that I ended up prying out of that is a back story/character study of Lady Eboshi’s character (what can I say, I’m just too weak against women being kings). I’m trying to make it so that even people who haven’t watched the movie can enjoy it. It’s turning out much more extensive than I’d thought, so I really hope you guys will give it a shot if when I post it.

On reading: I’ve pushed myself into finishing 2 books in less than a week and discovered that I have, in fact, not lost my ability to read. I just need to relearn how to focus on things that are longer than a single damn tweet. Throughout, I’ve also been savouring the book “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones, the masterpiece behind my favourite movie by the same name. I’ve been enjoying the book tremendously; the characters are so different from the movie it’s just amusing. Movie Howl, the gentle prince of my heart, is a far cry from the insufferable, overdramatic moron in the book (who, in all honesty, still managed to snatch my heart and run with it). Sophie’s steadfastness is the same, and she’s a lovely character. Book Sophie unapologetically slides snarky comments to Howl all the time, and there’s so much bickering it’s had me laughing out loud several times (and I really never laugh while reading).

I’m going to wrap up this babble-turned-book review mess now. Thank you so much for reading if you’re still here. Please stay healthy and safe during these crazy times!

 

nonexistent reads

The preteen me, on average, probably finished more books a year than the adult me does. I suppose it is a similar issue some others face, growing up an avid reader then managing to grow out of it. Books by Jacqueline Wilson were my favorite, because there was something so real about them, and although they were meant for a younger audience, they never completely treated their readers like kids. My life as an Arab child was far different from all of the main characters’ of Wilson’s books, but they still were so human, and I remember feeling that she didn’t really shy away from exploring the complexity of emotions and presenting them to children.

I grew, and the number of books I read on a yearly basis took a nosedive (let’s keep comics out of this now, shall we?) I only remember really enjoying murder mysteries during my teenage years, and even those I read very, very few of.

I grew, and tried to get back into reading. My cousin, (shoutout: theyoungdeer) a very, very active reader, especially compared to yours truly, has been lending me all of her favorite picks, and I enjoyed a number of them. But I still haven’t found a book that I’d give 5/5, and I wonder if I ever will.

For the most part, I try to stay away from the angry, all-caps reviews on Goodreads beforehand because I’d rather develop my own opinion (which eventually becomes that angry, all-caps review). I’m thoroughly disappointed by too many new releases, and although I struggle with plots and don’t even consider myself a writer in the first place, I’ve been finding most of my reads mundane and butchered and unworthy of the praise that I find on the back of their covers. Call me a pretentious prick, I deserve it.

But the books I love are very particular, I want them to unravel, to build up and then ease down, to entangle every word put into them and grow complex, then wrap up and conclude like a gift; I like uncomfortably real characters and complicated plots and simple, beautiful writing that flows and takes the reader along. I miss having a book that I don’t want to put down.