A book and a memoir

I’m two months into my last semester at Goucher! My mentor for this semester is Phillip Gerard and I think he’s going to provide the guidance I need to get this manuscript done. He’s using – and so I’ve started using – two words I’ve resisted since I first applied to Goucher. I never intended to write a BOOK and I definitely never planned to write a MEMOIR. I resisted the thought of writing a book because I wanted to just write individual long-form pieces, then I got a job, then I was writing essays, and now Phillip is calling it a book and guiding me to put the separate pieces together so they actually tell a story. And the story turns out to be about me, my experiences, my thoughts, around being Muslim, about Islam in America, and about just stuff whether it’s thematic or not. And so it is a memoir. I used to mock memoirists because it seemed self-absorbed to write about oneself and because I thought of memoirs as diaries. I guess I can laugh at myself now. Or I can get busy and finish this MEMOIR. Advertisements

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Always a step behind

I. Am. So. Dumb. Three semesters into a nonfiction MFA I’m still having things fall into place which I should have already figured out. Last semester I started kind of writing anything at all, since my word count was so low and I was still so unfocused with my thesis.  One of the things I wrote about was going to […]

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The re-branding

I noted in my last post that I will start a new, full-time job in January.  As things turned out, I started yesterday on a part-time basis.  I’m working as the Communications Coordinator for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Texas.  On Monday morning I had orientation and yesterday morning spent three hours on my very first full-time job working in an office with real people since 2003.  I realized yesterday that this is also the first job I’ve ever had whose basis was not supporting someone else (clerically or administratively), but working on a team in support of an organizational vision. My first “real” job (as an adult, not enrolled in school) was as a secretary.  For 20 years I worked at different levels of that class of work.  I was a secretary, an administrative assistant, and ultimately an executive assistant (although never given that exact title).  I finally completed my bachelors degree in 2002, at the age of 41, and that year I was promoted to the position of associate director of one of the four inpatient facilities run by the healthcare organization I worked for.  It was “associate director” because I would be reporting to the organization director, but I would be the administrative head of that facility.  It was the place I belonged after a couple decades of supporting other people. Literally days before I was to start in that position, my supervisor […]

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Yesssssssssss!

I sent a ranting email to my Goucher mentor about my feelings on categories of writing and how my brain is going to explode over the issue. God bless her – she told me to write stories.  Basically write stories however. And I replied that that is exactly what I want to do.  Phew.  Now I can dig into my […]

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Format, part 2: The overthinking

In last night’s post I promised to continue my train of thought.  Yesterday was kind of a thoughtful day, as in I wrote for like an hour in my journal, vented some anger, bitterness, resentment, confusion and a little bit about goal-setting.  This is why I keep a journal – a password-protected, naming-names corner of my personal galaxy.  Often after […]

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