Update on the book

For the past few months Saleeha (oldest daughter) has been working on the book. She has organized, suggested and reviewed. I worked last year until I needed a big break but now that school is almost starting I will put my efforts back into finishing the book and first publishing a poetry book. I am new to all of this but feel that it is time! It is something that I have to do or need to do or just a part of the process of recovery but whatever it is, this is the time. Thank you for being there on this journey. Your love and support mean everything! 

Riyadh 2001

Jeans were seen as inappropriate and bad for the bones and female form. Silence gripped the room as he looked up and down rubbing hands across his face and then head, ultimately finding their resting place in his lap. The usual commentary repeated itself and unbeknownst to my scrambled brain, it made little difference what logic I attempted to pursue; she was young and did not have a womanly body, we lived on a western compound where all young girls were allowed to wear jeans and lastly there was no way to return these items. I finished my plea with a reminder that his children were modest beyond the norm and had never engaged in activities that would reflect poorly on him.  A roundabout discussion as to why my parents would bring such offensible items into our home and the improbable threat that he would actually speak with them, ended in tears. It was necessary to place myself on the side of caution and therefore I stood firmly with him. I knew there were only two options, we were either with him or against him. The jeans were rumpled into a ball and placed well away from view, hidden in a vast and endless cavern that contained forbidden actions, thoughts and words.

Her frail figure approached the table and placed the plastic sack down on a chair just beside me, tucking it under miscellaneous jackets, bags and items that were stacked in a pile. Her eyes shifted nervously at first forward and then a slight tilt of her head dared to look behind her. He was nowhere in sight that was the obvious and unspoken conclusion. The younger children voiced their irritation at this seemingly wasted trip to Faisaliah (one of the first malls in Riyadh). Clatter of shoes rubbing against the table jangled our nerves as Heme squirmed and rolled between the table, floor and chairs. The pants were eventually taken from the sack and handed over to my lap where I surveyed their color, length and ability to conceal her tiny figure.

Plain light blue, loose fitting and ordinary, they appeared to be the best that we could find and the only suitable option in this upscale, trendy mall. They looked to be perfect, a replacement for the shiny, fashionable jeans and shirt that Grama had recently brought from America. Grama and Grampa supplied all clothing and as far as she knew that is where necessities came from. A play station, toys, shoes, towels, mixers and of course clothing had become my parents “gift” to the children as well as to him. Dress pants, ties and shirts were purchased and put together into suitable and professional sets and then brought as yearly gifts in boxes that either preceded their visit or came along with them. This was undeniably the most helpful lifeline that we were blessed with but also came to be a sharp double edged sword, both welcomed and dreaded.

Little ones jumped to attention and sat upright, the girls fixed loose hairs and smoothed their abayas and I knew that this was it. He smiled and sat directly opposite my chair and I reciprocated with a grin and nervous laugh. Heme pestered and whined asking for ice cream, cheesecake and fries. I shushed him and placed him on my lap informing Baba (their father) that we had found the perfect pair of pants, a replacement for the distasteful and repulsive ones that had been the topic of discussion just days before. He waited patiently as I took them out and did my best to make them look mundane, unflattering and non-threatening. An exasperated sigh wisped between clenched teeth and parted lips, his eyes rolled back and forward and his hands rested in their place on his lap.


Writing day

Today will be a writing day and I hope to accomplish allot on the book. I have had every intention of working each day, but things happen when you are taking care of a household. So a new approach, I will work all day for two days during the week and not do much else. I will try this and see how it works. This is part 1 of a series I am writing.  I am not experienced so a big book with many pages sounded like too much. Below is just a little snippet from the beginning of the book, of course still rough. I will be around later to say hi and comment, but for now after the kids get off to school I will be sitting in my special quiet room, writing!



Suspicion mounted in our already tense world as I asked questions and argued with the usual rules that now seemed to press on my airways, impeding my breath. I felt betrayed by my own awakening and wished that I could go back to the unobtrusive woman I had become. A wave of guilt, shame and anger swept me up into its vortex riddling my mind with confusion. Each day it grew in strength and fury, dismantling the fear that had locked me in for decades. I stood at attention, listening to him angrily berate me, hoping for a reprieve if I froze and resigned myself to his definition of life. But now the time had come, I could no longer hold back, a current of realization would not relent, taking me out of my comfort zone as obedient wife and subservient creature.

It was indisputable, my very existence had become automated, in sync and  undeniable. In the end nothing remained but a walking stick figure fashioned with a replaceable sticky note that said organism.


The book

Last week was the beginning of school, it was the week I was to start writing! I got the stomach flu, my son then followed and soon after he had shingles! So, tomorrow is the day I head to the library, sit in a comfy chair and start writing my story! I am not sure how to start, or where to go with it but I guess I will just keep trying until I get it done. The plan is to take two days a week and actually leave my house, go sit and work on writing. Being at home means so many distractions and never getting it done! I am hoping this will give me the time and focus to start and finish. Wish me luck!

A book

Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me to write a book. I will start in a couple of weeks when the kids return to school. I have scheduled and planned out this adventure, which I know will take many twists and turns. I know what I want to write or what I think I can write but I would like to hear from you.

Based on what you have read on my blog and what you know about my life, what would you be most interested in reading? Please comment and let me know. I am hoping to appeal to the widest audience and to have a book that is marketable. I am going in with realistic expectations but am hoping for success!