Liebster Award, AprilRiMo, and WOW, TIME SLOW DOWN A BIT, WHY DON’T CHA?

In which I randomly pop back over here after going AWOL for, like, weeks. If you were wondering, of course I’ve been gone devouring cakes and books. Why else would I get that distracted?

In all truthfulness though, I’ve been procrastinating intensely, working, and trying to make up for my laziness by trying to get organized.

I know ya’ll missed me!!!! *FLAPS AROUND FRANTICALLY TO CATCH ANYONE’S ATTENTION*

I have a ton of catching up to do, but first I’ll start with an award I was nominated for, a HUGE event coming up pretty soon, and something personal that will hopefully be a small step towards becoming a better, more consistent blogger.


I was nominated for the Liebster Award!

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First off, I’d like to thank TJ Edwards for nominating me. TJ Edwards is an aspiring author who was so awesome to reach out to me and nominate me for this award. I love knowing that the book community provides such wonderful opportunities to connect with new bloggers. You won’t believe how amazing it made me feel to be noticed by other, more established bloggers and writers. I spent a couple minutes squealing and flapping around because OH MY GOD, I’VE BEEN NOTICED AND A RAY OF SUNLIGHT IS SHINING DOWN UPON ME AND AHHHHHH BLOGGING FEELS FANTASTIC!

So, I’ll be answering some questions and being  A W K W A R D as normal. Take a seat and grab some food cos ya’ll gon be here for a while. ENJOY!


  • Why did you pick the genre you’re writing in?

I’m writing Fantasy right now because I want to explore a new genre. I’ve always been used to writing Contemporary and my current story started out as a Dystopian novel at first. I quickly got bored with that idea because I felt that all my ideas were very dull and I was losing interest in reading Dystopian novels at the moment as well. I eventually decided to completely restart and it was a winter break from school when I changed my genre to Fantasy and THANK GOD IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I’VE MADE IN MY LIFE BECAUSE

IDEAS!! SO MANY IDEAS!! AND SO MUCH SPACE TO CREATE MY OWN CHARACTERS AND WORLDS AND *FLAIL CITY*

  • What was the first thing you were proud of writing?

I’ve always been proud of my writing because, honestly, any little bit of writing that I do, I see as improvement of my skills and that makes me happy. This past NaNoWrimo, I felt so proud of my accomplishment and I started crying of course.

  • Why did you start blogging?

There are many reasons why I started blogging. First off, at the moment that I decided to start blogging, I was actually so motivated to start a YouTube channel but I was terrified of being exposed like that so I thought that a blog would be a little better and more convenient because I could also get better at coming up with ideas AND I’D SPEND SO MUCH TIME WRITING SO OF COURSE BLOGGING IS SO AWESOME LIKE THAT!

  • Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo and either way, what’s your highest word count?

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo this past year (2017) and it’s been the most wonderful experience EVER!!! I ended up writing 50k and 26 words and DARN IT, I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!

  • What inspires your writing?

*P I N T E R E S T * Apparently, I’m visually inspired and I spend so much time on Pinterest while claiming that I’m writing. AESTHETICS INSPIRE ME, OKAY, STOP JUDGING ME.

  • What was the last book you read and when?

The last book that I read was Exit, Pursed by a Bear by E.K Johnston and I’m reading this specifically because I’m doing research for my own book. I finished it last week, I think.

  • What is your favorite book or story?

I always answer this question with *laughter* and “Why would you think someone that reads as many good books as me could ever possibly choose just one?”, but now I’ve decided to just answer with whathever book has had me hyped for a long time. In that case, I’ll be saying that Six of Crows is definitely a book I’ve been in love with since forever BECAUSE IT IS ABSOLUTELY FAN TAS TIC AND OF COURSE, LEIGH BARDUGO WROTE IT SO HOLD ME PLEASE I THINK I FLAILED TOO HARD

  • Who is your favorite character (book, movie or otherwise)?

I would like to declare my love for Kaz Brekker as this moment. FLAIL FLAP FLAIL

  • What scene gave you chills (book, movie or otherwise)?

THAT SCENE IN SIX OF CROWS WITH THE FIRST DREG HEIST WHERE KAZ, MY LOVE, MY CHILD, DIDN’T EVEN FLINCHED WHEN THINGS DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED BECAUSE HE ALREADY KNEW ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND HE TWISTED IT TO HIS ADVANTAGE AND *shivers*

  • The dimensions have torn and book worlds have merged and become one with reality. You must gather a group of four fictional characters to help you on your quest, who do you pick and why?

THIS IS NOT A HARD QUESTION TO ANSWER

I would pick Nina from Six of Crows because she is equal amounts of sass and awesome butt kicking female hero and we’d be great friends, Janna from Saints and Misfits because I love meeting other hijabs and her strength in the book makes me so proud of her, Grace from Some Boys BECAUSE DARN IT GIRL YOU’RE SO FLIP TARTING BRAVE AND STRONG AND AH-MAZING, and Alex from Stormbreaker because I’ve always been obsessed with his espionage skills and I think I could pick up a thing or two on how to escape sticky situations.

 

*I will be nominating people in my next post after I come up with some questions of my own :)*


AprilRiMo

IT IS TIME TO WRITE AND GO SLEEPLESS AND BE BRAVE AGAIN!

In a week, Camp NaNoWriMo April will begin and I can’t wait to start writing the novella that I am writing as a backstory for one of my characters.

WHO WILL BE JOINING MEEEEEE??!!! *drags you in anyway*

I need to hype myself up though because April is the last full month of my college classes before this summer starts and I think teachers just get a little too homework and test happy around that time so I might get lazy.

I WILL BE WRITING 20K THIS COMING MONTH!! Why? Because 50k seems like FAR too much and I know that I will never complete it if I set that as my goal. 20k however seems do-able.


THERE ARE 45 DAYS LEFT TILL RAMADAN 2018

*THROWS CONFETTI EVERYWHERE*

And, I originally had the idea to do a “BLOGADAN” of a post every day of Ramadan and I think that if I really put my mind to it, that I can actually do it.

I JUST WANT RAMADAN TO GET HERE ALREADY BECAUSE THE ATMOSPHERE ALONE GIVES ME SO MUCH HYPE!!!

ALSO, RAMADAN STARTS WITH A WHOLE MONTH STILL LEFT IN SCHOOL BUT NOTHING CAN TAKE MY HAPPINESS FOR RAMADAN AWAY SO HONESTLY I’M NOT THAT BUMMED!!

Also also, I’ve started writing in capital so that means I’m way more excited than I can show through normal sized letters 😛


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FLAIL WITH ME!

WHO WANTS TO JOIN ME FOR APRILRIMO??? Do you guys have any specific posts you want me to add during Blogadan? 

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All We Have Left by Wendy Mills (I M P O R T A N T. M U S T R E A D.)

There are moments when you read a certain book when you immediately know that it will change your perspective of the world. 

Besides having a hard time learning to breathe properly after finishing this book, I am a wreck of emotions and feeling very reflective right now.

This book was a heart opener and shredder. Sometimes that’s what we need. It’s a book full of pain and tension and suspense. It is now officially one of my favorite books and I learned so much from it. I definitely recommend it and I am right here to hold you if you want to cry on my shoulder.


All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

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This cover looks so innocent and then we realize what’s really in the inside and the depth of the story

Background: I feel like I always talk about being Muslim on here and it’s totally fine, honestly so I don’t know why I feel awkward sometimes. I wasn’t born in America and I came here when I was 6 years old. I was born about 2 and a half weeks before 9/11 happened. I learned about it for the first time ever when I was in 6th grade. I am raised in a religious home and I’ve always seen Islam as a peaceful faith but when put into context as what had happened on September, 11th, 2001, I had to pause and think it through. Yes, I was a Muslim. But, no, I would never carry out such an action. As far as I knew, my religion forbid the harming of innocent people. I wish that such an event had never happened and that all those people hadn’t lost their lives. It breaks my heart to know such a thing was done in the name of a religion that I carry with me everywhere, from the hijab I wear on my head to the way that I treat the people around me.


Synopsis

A haunting and heart-wrenching story of two girls, two time periods, and the one event that changed their lives—and the world—forever.

Now:
Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.

Then:
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim… it’s being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia is determined to show her parents that that they must respect her choices. She’ll start by confronting her father at his office in downtown Manhattan, putting Alia in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .

Interweaving stories past and present, full of heartbreak and hope, two girls come of age in an instant, learning that both hate and love have the power to reverberate into the future and beyond.


Thoughts

The story:

  • WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU CRY
  • There are two points of views, one from Alia Susanto, a Muslim girl, who was in the towers with Travis McLaurin when the attack occurred and the other POV is 15 years in the future with Jesse McLaurin, Travis’s younger sister.
  • Travis died on 9/11 and that tore apart Jesse’s family.
  • It switches between Alia and Jesse every chapter and that just makes the whole book so suspenseful and horrific towards the end.
  • I love how it shows Muslims correctly and explains their part of the story about what happened on 9/11. There aren’t enough stories that acknowledge this and having something like this story was very crucial for me.
  • I will forever treasure this story and the message that it carries.

The characters:

Alia

  • 16 year old Muslim girl who just decided that she would wear the hijab
  • She has an unstable relationship with her parents lately and she always gets in fights with her Mom
  • I admire Alia for her bravery and her willingness to connect with people no matter the situation. She has a way with expressing her thoughts clearly and isn’t afraid to say what she means.
  • Imagining myself in her position during the course of the book made me want to break down in tears.

Jesse

  • 16 years old sister of Travis
  • She feels neglected and lonely. She hates that she never knew her brother and blames Muslims for his loss.
  • Her father has let his pain grow into hate and considers all Muslims as terrorists.
  • Her mother doesn’t know how to mourn her son properly so she tries to keep herself busy.
  • Jesse catches feelings for an idiot named Nick. I really dislike him because he is hateful and ripped off a girl’s hijab.
  • At first, I felt sympathy towards her because she lost her brother but I slowly started to realize she was a hard character to like because she made impulsive decisions that she ended up regretting. Of course, maybe that’s why I love the growth of her character. She didn’t let the fear and pain turn in hatred, even though she could’ve. I admire her strength.

Travis

  • I’ve grown to love a character that seems all too real to me.
  • I feel bad for him because he died believing that his father thought he was a coward.
  • I think he was such a beautiful character and I wish he hadn’t died.
  • The reason I get so emotional over him is because even though his death is fictional, thousands of others deaths weren’t. There were people who went about their lives on a normal day only for it to turn into a nightmare. There were thousands who lost their lives in the fires and the bombs and the airplanes and from jumping and the towers collapsing.

There are other amazing characters as well but the roles that they play aren’t for me to spoil for you. 


Quotes

  • How twisted is the world when your shoe could become part of a museum exhibit?
  • I feel like I’m a leaf fluttering in the wind, shuddering and falling down, down down. I’m crying in earnest now, because it is all so senseless. All those people who died, people who got up in the morning and went to work, laughed and cried, loved and dreamed. All of them gone, and for what? How did they deserve to die?
  • Hate is just fear. Fear that we are powerless, ugly, small, nothing, so we hate people to make us feel better about ourselves, so we don’t have to be scared all the time.

Lessons I Learned From A Book(LILFAB): 

That humans can be horrible if they choose and they can be good if they choose. Or, sometimes it’s hard to choose because there are so many other factors to deal with that come into play and so many reasons that it’s difficult to make the right choice.


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CHAT WITH ME!

What’s a book that you read that made you cry? Why did it make you cry?

Hiatus

Me: *skips along happily and hums to self*

School: *aggressively kicks me in gut*

Work: *punches me in the face*

Life: *trips me and shoves me to ground*

In other words, I love my blog and you guys but I want to keep my sanity so I’m taking a break

Remember me by reading a good book then tell me all about it when I’m back. ♥️

POTATO HAS OFFICIALLY TAKEN FLIGHT (POSSIBLY INTO INSANITY)

You know that time when life is going normally and everything seems good and calm and then all of a sudden something entirely out of the ordinary happens and time just flies by?

That’s just the Han way of saying that I was super busy since February started and I would personally like to apologize for not posting in a while.

What I’ve learned while I was gone

  • Working is stressful and my parents are amazing for being able to handle so many hours and juggle life as well
  • I WANT TO DEVOUR ALL THE SLEEP. It probably still won’t be enough, but I legit almost fall asleep all the time and I’m constantly yawning
  • I am proud to announce that I can write a three page paper in an hour (right before the class starts, as a matter of fact)
  • That it’s okay to make mistakes and feel awkward and out of place sometimes because I’m growing up and experiencing new things
  • ADULTING IS SO HARD!! DOES THIS EVEN COUNT AS ADULTING!?! IT CERTAINTLY FEELS LIKE IT!
  • Since when is all this homework legal?
  • Failure is the first step to success. Why do I say this? Because I struggled so hard with my Physics class last semester and I nearly failed the first test. I took the first test of this semester and I got a high grade. *throws confetti*

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I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so very much, @bookgraphy

Do make sure to check her out. María has AH-MAZING pictures of books on her blog and she is so sweet and easy to talk to. She’s a new blogger as well and I love that I found her because her blog is fantastic!!


One Lovely Blog Award

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers that you admire and inform the nominees

    1. I am of Somali ethnicity

I was born in Kenya, but I am Somali. I have brown skin, brown eyes, and I’m pretty short (a.k.a my younger sister is getting taller than me). I enjoy wearing home dresses, which are called baati’s in my culture, and I like eating sambusa and buur for Ramadan. I speak Somali as well.

Here’s what a baati looks like. It’s SUPER COMFORTABLE and SOFT!!

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it’s so comfy and soft and colorful

2. I got my first job this month

I did mention this in a previous post, but I just want to go over it again because it is a big change in my life. I love having a job although orientation was kind of stressful and cashiering seems like it will take awhile to get use to. I just feel like I’m stepping into adulthood and it scares me a little. I’m responsible for coming to work on time, making sure that I interact well with the people around me, and I get paid to do this. WHAATT?? Picking up my first paycheck was insane. I’m not used to it and I’m afraid that I’ll be too awkward or too loud. Talking to people I just met and I’m expected to work alongside seems terrifying, especially because I’m so self-conscious about the way that I talk and I overthink conversations for days after I’ve had them. Right now, I’m a mess of emotions about this new step I’m taking, but I know that this is an experience I’ll treasure in the future.

3. I am SUPER awkward

Maybe because I make everything awkward? I don’t know, but when I’m with my friends, I’m good and I can talk like a normal person. But, when it comes to someone I don’t know? Goodness, it’s a horror-fest in which my siblings would just grab popcorn and drinks to watch and laugh. However, I am a Queen online and my awkwardness does not exist.

4. I smell memories

Yes, this might seem weird but just listen for a little bit. Do you ever have that moment when you smell something and it reminds you of something that happened before? For me, I have those moments a lot. I honestly have so many deja-vu moments. Like, I step outside on a rainy day and I take a deep breathe. The clouds are heavy and gray with rain and I close my eyes. As I do so, I remember another day which wasn’t even rainy, but something happened in my brain that triggered the same feeling I was feeling in that weather to the one I felt on that day. Yes, it might be my superpower 🙂

5. I want to learn lots of different languages.

I speak “fluent” Somali (“” because my parents would beg to differ xD) and English. I have, however, taken 1 year of Spanish class, 2 years of French classes, and I am planning on studying Arabic in the coming school year. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved different languages, especially the ones that are made up in books and for movies. They are so intriguing and I enjoy thinking about the backgrounds to languages. Also, fun fact: I became obsessed with wanting to go to France and I decided to learn French specifically because of a book I read back in middle school called: Marie Antoinette, the Serial Killer. Another fun fact: I know how to say “I like your face” in 4 different languages and I’m just waiting for a reason to use that skill.

6. I am an over-achiever

I will legit sign up for millions of hobbies, try to write 70 books within the span of a year, and try to take over the world all at the same time. I mean, it should be impossible, but all I see is another goal I can reach and another obstacle I can cross. It does become problematic sometimes, because I get stressed and I have meltdowns. But, then I also have this philosophy that if I don’t try my hardest, I might regret the chances I didn’t take. We shall see where this leads me.

7. I like writing. Like, A LOT!!

So, I write stories, poems, songs, etc. Basically, anything that can be written, I shall write. I am also attempting to write a novella with 20k words within the next 15 days. The perfect time for me to write is when I am doing chores. I know!! It’s crazy, but I write best when I should be doing something else. For example, I have a ton of homework to do. What am I doing instead? Probably writing because ideas popped into my brain and I don’t want to forget them. 


I nominate:

1. Lu @ https://lureads.wordpress.com

2. Ilsa @ https://awhisperofink.wordpress.com

3. Cait @ paperfury.com

4. Mikaela @ https://thewellthumbedreader.wordpress.com/

5. Jill @ https://abooknerdreads.wordpress.com/

6. Ruby @ https://rubyraereads.wordpress.com

7. Ioana @ https://dragonwaffles.wordpress.com/

8. Avalinah @ http://avalinahsbooks.space/about/

9. Lia @ https://lostinastory.blog/

10. Aimee @ http://aimeealways.com/

11. Juliana @ https://blotsofinkandwords.wordpress.com

12. Elm @ https://justelm.com

13. Amelie @ https://scarypear.wordpress.com/

14. May @ https://foreverandeverly.wordpress.com/about/

15. Jackie @ https://toomuchofabooknerd.wordpress.com/


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CHAT WITH ME!

So, tell me something about yourself! Something that you would feel comfortable sharing, but most people don’t know about. I’d love to listen ♥

HOW TO CREATE CHARACTERS (+ A SIDE OF TORTURE AND THE OCCASIONAL DEATH OF FEELS)

Quick Life Update

I haven’t been uploading regularly lately, mainly due to school. My classes are kicking my butt. Your girl here is having meltdowns.

I have now officially gotten my first job as well!! I had my first orientation yesterday and THIS IS SO EXCITING AND TERRIFYING AT THE SAME TIME!! However, this does mean that I’ll be even busier than I usually am. I’M ADULTING, GUYS, I’M ACTUALLY DOING THIS!!

Blog-hopping has been a fail on my part because of my insane schedule, but I’ll try to get better at that.

I’m currently in a reading slump and in writers block which both suck, but hopefully, I’ll try to read something super good.


I love me some fine characters.

And, by fine, I mean emotionally damaged and slightly deranged characters.

You know, those characters who aren’t just well-developed, but hilarious and cause you emotional pain. Those characters you spend years dreaming about even after you already finished the book. Those characters that are relate-able and represent you. Those characters that you always have a soft-spot for.

On this post, I want to give you the steps to creating those awesome characters yourself so that you present your book in the best way and your readers become so obsessed with your babies that they can’t stop talking about them for ages. Isn’t that what all writers want?


Step 1. Come Up With A Name

Trust me, you’ll be spend quite a lot of time on baby name websites.

Don’t listen to the haters who ask you if you’re pregnant or whatever.

Or, answer them by explaining your babies and their backgrounds in detail until they feel compelled to call the authorities on you because of the paths you have planned for your “children”. Then, proceed to ignore them and deny everything they say.

A name is crucial for creating a character. Without a name, you might have difficulty developing a character. Sometimes, having a name can open up new doors for your characters and end up leading them somewhere totally different than you ever planned.

It’s also cool if you have a reason for why the characters are named the way that they are. That always makes the book more interesting. Or your characters could’ve had a name change and then you’ll have to find out why they have a different name now.

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It’s so cool when characters have unique/ strange names. 

Step 2: Give Them A Background

You know when you’re eating cereal for breakfast? You might spend too much time in your room trying to fit everything that your backpack barfed out the night before and your food will get cold. Then, the cereal will just be a soggy mess drowning in milk,.

You don’t want that. What’s even worse is if your readers see your character like that. You don’t want a character that ends up disappointing your audience, you want an interesting character whose background is well-developed and who gains the attention of your readers.

Tip: Make the character intricate. Conflicting characters are captivating because the reader can’t decide whether they hate them or love them. Keep everyone guessing, including the character themselves.

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You want this to be your readers once they meet your characters. Remember, CHARACTERS DRIVE THE PLOT!

Step 3: Let Bad Things Happen To Them

Yes, I know, you’re an absolute sweetheart who saves stray puppies and loves everyone and everything

BUT, STILL!

Let bad things happen to your character because that also develops character. When you put them in a certain difficult situation, you learn how exactly they response and if someone they love is in danger, you’ll realize learn something new about them based on the decisions that they make.

Now, you’ll have to do a little digging to find out more about why exactly they’d do that.

You see? The more you figure out about your characters, the even more questions you’ll have. That’s a good thing. That means you’re building the foundation for your book.

It’s good to feed them a little bit of tragedy (oops, not that much) so that they grow nice and strong. Side effects might be murderous tendencies and seeking revenge on anything that dares them.

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That one character that goes rogue

Step 4: Give Them Someone or Something That They Care About

Humans are such strange creatures. We get attached to other humans and don’t want to let them go. I know that you’d fight to protect the love(s) of your life, such as chocolate or your books.

Your characters are the same. Everyone loves something, whether it’s a person, a cause, or a material. This thing will often force your character into sticky situations and cause more problems. ALL GOOD THINGS! You want your character to go through the hard stuff. That’s how you know what they’re really made of.

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FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN WHEN A CHARACTER SAYS THIS ABOUT A PERSON OR A CAUSE!

 


Step 5: Let Them Pick A Fight

Everyone also has people or things they hate.

Give your character one of those, too.

When your character is fueled by revenge, that usually gives more insight into them as a person. Soon, your readers will be wondering why exactly they are seeking revenge and what really happened between those two characters.

Or, maybe they react differently to the person that they hate. Maybe they aren’t vengeful, but more precise in their actions in how they avoid the other person.

Then you’ll have to ask yourself why exactly they avoid that person. Thus, leading to more questions and revealing so much more about your characters than you ever thought possible

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That adorable character that isn’t so innocent when it comes to getting under someone’s skin. 

Step 6: Do Not Be Afraid Of Questions

In the writing process, you will always have to ask yourself questions such as “why is my character this way?”, “how do these two characters compare or contrast?”, and “what is unique about each of my characters that makes them different from everyone else?”.

WELCOME THE QUESTIONS!! Write them down and try to answer them all.

The constant questions will be annoying and sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve lost it, but you’ll know you’re just fine because you lost your mind two years ago.

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THIS GON BE YOUR BRAIN

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CHAT WITH ME!

Do you have favorite characters from a book you’ve read? What did you like about them? Were these tips helpful?

Poetry Is A Feeling, An Art, A Moment of Inspiration

I wish that I was still like 10th grade me

Who stared down proudly at the sheet of paper before her in Health class

She had taken a self esteem test

And she had the highest score in the class

 

Guess it didn’t last

Maybe those were my glory moments

When I wore confidence as my crown

And walked surely down every path

 

When I grabbed opportunity by the hand

And danced with it daringly

I never looked at the edge

Of the cliff beside me

 

Now, I’m afraid

Of what stands before me

And, I’m surprised

Because it’s my own reflection

 

They say fear holds you back from taking risks

But, I’d say I hold myself back as well

The monster I thought I had trampled long ago

Is back again with sharpened claws

 

Fear is haunting my steps now

Filling me with doubt of my capabilities

Am I really that good?

Can I truly do it?

 

I hold back the tears

And fight against those thoughts in my mind

There is a storm within me

And, I am trapped right in the eye

 

I’ve found myself at the edge of the cliff again

And I swing my feet

Worried about the drop

But even more terrified of what will happen if I don’t take it

 

No, I’m not considering suicide

My life is too precious for that and so is everyone else’s

I’ve lived too hard to give it up now

I don’t want to disappoint

 

That star-eyed me from the past

Who looked into the future

And whispered to herself

“One day I’ll get there”.

 

And I’ll make it perfect.

My lips can form the words

But, I haven’t said them yet

I am a girl on a mission

 

To change myself and the world around me

I declared myself an activist from a young age

I was so certain I could do it

Now, it’s time for me to face myself

 

Every battle has its victor

But, I wouldn’t be able to handle the gore

So, I step away and set my weapons down

I will be at peace with myself

 

I stand up and stare out into the vast distance before me

It is so far away and so very very big

I can’t see the end from here

But, I’m willing to take the steps towards it

 

  • I paused and thought about my condition. My heart beats with purpose. I will not give up.

Happy World Hijab Day 2018!

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Once upon a time ago…

Little freshman me walked into high school for the first time, terrified of the four years to come and excited to begin another journey. The first place I went to check out was the library and I began going through the shelves, caressing the books that would accompany me through stressful weeks.

Suddenly, something on the cover of a book got me by surprise. I pulled the book out of the shelf and saw that a girl in hijab adorned the cover. Immediately, I checked out every book by the author.

That was the year I learned that there was such a thing as hijabi characters in books. And, nothing has been better for my self esteem as a Muslim female teenager.

Goodness, there are books with characters that look like me!

So, with that story I bring to you an announcement. On Feburary, 1st of every year is a day called World Hijab Day.

That day is dedicated to not only celebrating the hijab and the women who wear them, but also teaching the meaning behind the hijab and letting others try them on.

You can find videos about World Hijab Day events on YouTube. Here are some recommendations 🙂

Today, I’ll tell you about some books with Muslim hijabi characters and then I have some stories about inspirational hijabi females in my life.

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Books With Hijabi Characters

  1. Ten Things I hate about me by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  2. Does my head look big in this by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  3. She wore red trainers by Na’ima B. Roberts
  4. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Ten Things I Hate About Me

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At school I’m Aussie-blonde Jamie — one of the crowd. At home I’m Muslim Jamilah — driven mad by my Stone Age dad. I should win an Oscar for my acting skills. But I can’t keep it up for much longer…

Jamie just wants to fit in. She doesn’t want to be seen as a stereotypical Muslim girl, so she does everything possible to hide that part of herself. Even if it means pushing her friends away because she’s afraid to let them know her dad forbids her from hanging out with boys or that she secretly loves to play the darabuka (Arabic drums).


Does My Head Look Big In This?

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When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth…

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

Thoughts

  • IT’S A FLIPPING MUSLIM HIJABI CHARACTER! *fangirl flail flail flail*
  • Yeah, and I remember nothing much besides the fact that they were both delicious to devour and I liked it a lot so go read it
  • What? I was in 9th grade then and it’s been 2 years later
  • I can barely remember what I ate 5 minutes ago
  • Ok, don’t hold it against me

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She Wore Red Trainers

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When Ali first meets Amirah, he notices everything about her—her hijab, her long eyelashes and her red trainers—in the time it takes to have one look, before lowering his gaze. And, although Ali is still coming to terms with the loss of his mother and exploring his identity as a Muslim, and although Amirah has sworn never to get married, they can’t stop thinking about each other. Can Ali and Amirah ever have a halal “happily ever after”?

Thoughts

  • It’s halal (allowed) romance!! IN A YA BOOK! SAY WHAT NOW??
  • I’m surprised that I found in my public library over this summer
  • The romance was slightly cliched and rushed. I wanted it to last longer!
  • I don’t remember much but here I go
  • So, Ali used to have a bad reputation before his mother died because he used to not practice his faith
  • But, he reevaluates his life and starts practicing again
  • His young brother has trouble coping with their mother’s death. Having to move again makes the matters worse
  • The new place they move to has Amira
  • Amira also had a not so good past as well, because she used to hang out with what my parents call the “bad” crowd.
  • But, she as well is practicing again
  • Normal teenage crush proceeds to occur
  • Now, I’m all for halal romance and I know that it’s awkward to write a Muslim romance while trying not to mess things up, THE PLOT WAS TOO FAST! HOW DID THEY GET MARRIED SO FAST? THEY BARELY KNEW EACH OTHER!
  • However, it was an absolutely delicious short read with correct, adorable representation that had me squealing at the end ♥
  • There’s a ton of stuff that also happens BUT YOU MUST READ IT YOURSELF TO FIND OUT. GO GO GO!

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Saints and Misfits

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Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Thoughts

  • HOLY CHEESE CRACKERS IT’S ANOTHER MODERN MUSLIM CHARACTER WITH
  • wait for it
  • H I J A B
  • I love Janna ♥
  • THE HALAL CUTENESS THAT IS HER OLDER BROTHER AND HIS CRUSH *flap*
  • I love the theme of sexual harassment that is addressed in this book
  • Oh, and I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE FAROOQ. (I want him dead, please and thank you)
  • IT HAS REAL MUSLIM LIFE REPRESENTATION WITH THE MOSQUE AND THE PRAYERS, HALAL DATING BEFORE MARRIAGE WITH CHAPERONES
  • IT HAS IT ALL!!
  • I love that it showed that Janna had a crush on a non-muslim guy. It might be a surprise to yall, but I’ve done it too. Yes, I’ve had crushes on non-muslim guys.
  • SAUSUN AND NAUH AND OH MY GOODNESS I JUST WANT YOU TO MEET THEM ALL
  • GO READ THE BOOK
  • Then come back and flail with me ♥

Also, I wrote a review of it as soon as I finished reading it. I stayed up all night reading it btw because it was too good to put down. Yep, it’s one of those books 🙂

Check out the review @ here

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Inspirational Hijabi Muslims

  1. Stephanie Kurlow

So, Stephanie and her family converted to Islam in 2010. Even though she was a ballerina since she was 2 years old, she gave it up with the belief that it would clash with her faith. In 2015, she began again while wearing the hijab.

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She is inspirational to me because she’s the same age as me and she’s the first Hijabi Ballerina. I love that she doesn’t feel like her faith holds her back from anything. She worked hard to get better at what she loves and she gives me courage by showing that someone as young as we are can do something different that could pave new pathways for the future.

I actually became obsessed with ballet last summer because of her and I kinda gave up because I suck at it, but I still do pirouettes in the living room.

Also, I’ve been stalking her Instagram since 2016. So, you may now too.


Sahar Al-Faifi

First off, I need to explain what the niqab is. The niqab is where one covers not only the head, but the face as well. Sometimes, someone who is a niqabi might also cover their hands with gloves.

  • She wears niqab while being a molecular geneticist who works at an NHS cancer diagnostics lab in a hospital
  • She is a community leader with Citizen UK( community organization)
  • She holds an executive position on the Muslim Council of Britain
  • She goes skydiving 5 times a year (I’ve been wanting to do this for sooo long)

She faced a lot of criticism and hatred for choosing to wear the niqab during the UK Burka Ban.

She is inspirational to me because not only is she educated in her faith, but she strives to improve the life quality of cancer patients. I mean, even when shes got such hatred for her personal choices, she responded so elegantly and intelligent articulated the way that she spoke. I’ve found a new role model, guys! She makes me believe that yes, as a Muslim girl I too can do something to change the world, whatever it may be and that I can do so while maintaining my hijab.

Here is an interview she had

 

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(in whatever way i choose)

 

 

All in all, I have a lot more women to put on here but I think Stephanie and Sahar will do for now.

The number of books with correctly represented Muslim females are too few so I hope that one day the books I write will lengthen it ♥

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Happy World Hijab Day! So, what did you think of this post? Any other books you know of with hijabi characters?