Followers


So this is what's been on my mind for the past month, erm you people did miss me right? I could tell by the lack of comments how much i was missed ;)
But it didn't hurt really to be forgotten in blogworld because I hadn't really been on blogger to do more than check comments (lotta spam whats up with that!!!) and see if my best buds had posted anything.
But I have been on the Computer almost 24/7 the last few months.  Imediatly after NaNoWriMo in November ended (whew!) I completly ignored my story and turned to business.

I have been seraching for the perfect business project for ages now.  It's always been a toss up between Interior Designing, Landscape Designing, or actaully I can't remeber half the ideas that used to float in my head anymore. But everytime I made istikhara for it things would seem to go in the rigth direction but just "put on hold for now" and evertime this happened something else would enter my mind as soemthing better to do. Well after Nano I was really cracking down on figuring out if I wanted to do Interior Designing Firm.  But meanwhile in the Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA) message boards I was absolutly happiest when dealing with IWA matters and talking with people in this industry.  My heart longed to do soemthing meaningful with Books and Literacy.
After sending a hesitant question in my discussions with an American Muslim Publisher and hearing her enthusiastic response it was solidified in my heart.

I NEED TO OPEN A BOOKSTORE!!!! An ISLAMIC bookstore.  There are PLENTY of bookstores here catered to the masses of secularism.  AND although I enjoy Harry Potter and even Twilight as much as the next Fiction enthusiest, the community needs more. MUSLIMS need more.  We need our own chain of bookstores promoting Islamic Fiction and Islamic Written works, writen of course by our fellow Brothers and SIsters.  If that is not supporting the Ummah I don't know what is.  These writers spend years working on their books to only get them sold perhaps half MAXIMUM to 1/5 the amount as say Harry Potter. YET HOW MANY MUSLIMS ARE IN THE WORLD!?!?!?! 1/5 of the world is MUSLIM! HELLO MUSLIMS! Wake up and realize we have quality books of our own that are just as entertaining as Harry Potter.
SO upon realizing what I really want to do most is a Bookstore I immediatly set up work to make out a Business Plan.  WHEW what work are they!
Meantime though I still gotta keep up the house, kjeep off the weight, Homeschool, help friends, etc.... so that is why the month is now almost over and I haven't had time for blogging and haven't even finished my Business Plan.  But yesterday I got a lot of free time in so I worked hard and got a lot of good statistical figures about the industry and demographics of UAE.

I really feel the hardest part is the Business Plan. Getting it right and making it work and doing all the research.  Finding an investor i believe will happen with the Grace of Allah. He will either send me one or not. End of Story.

SO my store is thus titled so far Crescent Pen Bookstore & Cafe. Whatcha think?
I may have a logo contest in the future so stay tuned.
The inside of the store will be white with blue edgings very calm and comfortable place to read and learn and grow in Islam. Hmm that is a catchy motto I like it.... *enter that into Business Plan*  I'm hoping to have beautiful Islamic Arches

 over each section and the sections sectioned off like a mihrab nitche. Not curvy but like a nook filled with books....we'll see how the design stage goes.
I'll be posting a questionaire for everyone to chime in on ideas in another post and will be bringing back polls to my blog (I miss those don't you?).

It is weird thinking of myself in the Business League. I never thought I'd be wrapped up in Cost of Sales and Profit Margins and all that "biz talk" but here I am wading through it all.  It's liek a sea of info out there and I'm a little fish swimming hard against the currant.


Not only I want to do this business for finacial purposes (hey I gotta eat just liek the rest of the world) but also as my life goal to promote Islamic Literature. Its like a personal Jihad to get Muslims Reading.




2:29 AM

Whip NANO

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

"Muahahahaha!" She thunders waving her cat'o'nine tails high and raking them down the hapless victim's back in glee and furious might.

I whipped NaNoWriMo good!
I managed the incredible feat of beating out 50,000 words of literary pearls from the clutches of my mind in less than a month.


Hmm now for taking this pile of words and arranging them in PLEASANT to READ literary pearls...

that be 'nother task for 'nother month's undertakin'.....

2:18 AM

Ei'd / Holiday Gift that keeps giving!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

It's a big Holiday time with E'id, Thanksgiving, Blessed Jummah, Hajj, Fasting of A'rafat, soon to be worldwide Chistmas and Hannakah season,
What is the best gift to get someone you love?
A gift that doesn't break with usage and time.
A gift with no batteries required.
A gift that will teach them something about life.
A gift that will open their eyes to the world around them...

J. Samia Mair has written about this wonderful gift in her Blog Article for the Baltimore Muslim Examiner

Holiday gift ideas and not just for Muslims! - The 'Many Voices' of Muslim authors

 Check out her other cool and insightful articles! Masha'Allah.

12:45 AM

NANO-Second!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Well what have I been doing?

Avoiding too much sugar...yes. But sooo much more!
My friend I told y'all about is Homeschooling her 7 kids. And we decided to combine our Homeschooles.  SO now we have anywhere between 6-9 kids in the house at any one time.  I'm teaching the 5 younger ones (including my 2), while she teaches the older ones.  Alhamdulillah this month so far has been full of fun challenges!  First of all getting my kids up "early" and to her house by 9am. Wow can't beelive the wonders it has done for my scheduling! They wake up early and nap at 2pm when school stops and then stay awake til 8pm and then you guess it GO TO BED EARLY! YAY!! The sight of my children sleeping from 8pm til the morning nearly moved me to tears! It made me downright poetic! I've been trying for months to get them up early and sleeping early and IT NEVER WORKS!!!!!  I 've KNOWN they've always needed somehting to encourage them to face the day, something to look forward to.  Leaving the house and getting to play with their friends and did I mention leaving the house? has done the trick.  They get so exhausted by 2 they crash and quite frankly as son as I get home so do I.  I take a nap for a half hour to an hour and it's nice though.  I really am enjoying it so much.  It's amazing being able to work intimatly with the younger 5 in their various school levels.  There certainly is soemthing to be said for small class sizes!  They are even learning each others work.  The eldest girl of my group was learning number placing (Hundres, thousands, millions, billions, trillions etc...) and her younger sister joined in the lesson.  We went from number placing subject to the origions of words (like Latin) and the meaning of Million, Billion, Trillion and their root words Mi, Bi, Tri... etc... It was just fabulous fun.

What else am I doing?  Well brace yourselves~!

Writing a Novel

YUP! A whole Novel... in one month!!! National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo is the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel by Nov. 30.  So Despite my busyness in Hmeschooling and incorporating my new Home Cleaning Schedule and maintainging my Home Mangement Notebook, I've taken on a new book.
I've had the idea of a while now but never really fleshed it out! The title is " Forgotten "
It's going ok, I've gotten about 2,000 words so far which isn't too much liek my other friends have already 7,000 or so... I'm behind bu I'm happy at least I'm trying.  At the end of the month I'll have more words than if I hadn't tried at all, know what I mean.....

So wish me well and make du'a I can do it all.

6:52 AM

Recently Published!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |




Proudly Presenting Brandy AZ Chase
Author, Designer, Poet, Artist

Recently published in two amazing Anthologies:

_______________________________________________

Poems: Woman’s Silent Tears, Pray On, Child’s Jannah

Many Poetic Voices, One Faith
Author: Islamic Writers Alliance
Pages: 118
Format: 6 x 9 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9819770-0-3
Reading Levels: Teen & Adult
List Price: $8.95 USD 33DHS

Book Description
Many Poetic Voices, One Faith is your window into the world of Islam through poetry! Come on in and find out what’s waiting here for you inside the attractive cover designed by talented IWA member artist, Nazaahah Amin. The award winning poems written by Karen English, Marwa Elnaggar, Camilla Sayf, Corey Habbas, Julinar Diab, and additional poems written by 31 IWA member poets are enlightening, entertaining, and rich in a diversity of topics: from a point-by-point description of a soul mate to a sonnet-ode dedicated to a loving and missed mother; from vivid reminders and poetic verse awakening us all to the evils of domestic violence to heart-wrenching reminiscences of the plight of the Muslim convert; from beautiful English renditions of the traditional and ancient Arabic ghazal to the plight of eighteenth century slaves; from a thought-provoking rendition of life from birth to the grave and beyond; from a thoughtful insight into the significance of a single raindrop, to a very moving and heart-warming dedication of life from a long-gone friend. All this and much more is waiting for you when you read the poetry of our IWA poets’ many voices and their one faith, Islam. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Short Stories: Pirate’s Peace, Real Meaning of Ramadan
Artistic Designs: Arizona Leaves, Awaiting Jummah, Feather Destiny, Forgotten Youth, Salam Waterfall, White Glory


Many Voices, One Faith II
- Islamic Fiction Stories
Pages:
236
Format: 6 x 9 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9819770-1-0
Reading Levels: Teen & Adult
List Price: $12.95 USD 48 DHS

Book Description
Today’s world is indeed a global village. The wonders of technology in communication and travel have cut through the distant miles which used to separate us from one another. Many Voices, One Faith II – Islamic Fiction Stories is a literary example of the small world we are all a part of, showcasing the talents of the Islamic Writers Alliance membership which reach around the globe in their respective residences and origins. From the cover design of one of the beautiful names of Allah, beautiful and original interior illustrations, and the unique story-telling talent of the authors, their original stories combine the diversity and flavor of their backgrounds. You will find almost every region of the world exemplified in these wonderful Islamic fiction stories which skillfully and creatively present the importance of Islam in our daily lives. Many Voices, One Faith II –Islamic Fiction Stories is an enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening read for non-Muslims as well as Muslims. Many Voices, One Faith II –Islamic Fiction Stories is the ultimate in the variety of selections written by some of the best Islamic Fiction authors in today’s fiction book markets. Read. Enjoy. Benefit.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ordering:
USA: http://www.muslimwriterspublishing.com/
Intl: http://www.amazon.com/
UAE*: BrandyAZChase@gmail.com

--> UAE* Collecting Weekly for Bulk Shipping
Add ~$7 / ~20DHS Sh&H
Get your order in now to save on shipping

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The AUTHOR Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA) is United States (U.S.A.) based professional organization for Muslims involved in the literary arts -- published and aspiring authors, novelists, poets, essayists, publishers, editors, translators, illustrators, journalists, spoken word artists, bloggers, and playwrights.
The IWA's Goals:
1) To promote Alliance member's works to the public, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and to book distributors and retailers.
2) To support unpublished authors in their efforts to seek publication, and promote their works to Islamic publishers.
3) To promote reading and writing of creative Islamic fiction among Muslim children, the future authors of Islamic literature.
4) To make regular donations of quality Islamic books to Islamic schools and libraries.

______________________________________________

Thank you for supporting me,
~Brandy Aminah-Zahira Chase

http://www.brandyachase.blogspot.com/

_________________________________________________________________________

7:02 AM

Confession: My Drug Addiction

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I am out of my mind with depression and misery and anxiety, waiting for that next hit. Trying to hold it off as long as possible. Yearning for that mad rush every time I take a bit. "I'm not a heavy user" I claim, yet there I go sneaking hits here and there. Sometimes I've gone a few days to a week without it... was I miserable? You betcha. Does my family realize the extent I go to get my drugs? Not at all. I hide it in different forms. I sneak it into the house under false pretenses. Sometime I even get my rush outside the house. Taking the kids out somewhere and I know they wont notice my purchase. They love their mother's sudden rush of energy and excitement.

I've been hooked on this drug for a long time and this past few weeks I've really had to come to terms with what it does to my body and mind. But naturally the more I realize what is wrong with me the more I crave my drug to ease the pain of stupidity. "Oh I'm a druggie eh? Well that's depressing, I need another hit."

But having found out my weakness has lead me at the same time to a solution to fixing it. It's sure as hell not gonna be easy. After all this drug is EVERYWHERE!!!! SERIOUSLY! You have to spend MORE time and money to AVOID it than it takes just to get it.

It's so common these days that they wrap it up in fancy packages and you can even have it served to you like royalty. Ahhhh, just typing about it is making me want some more NOW!

I'm sure you are wondering what is this drug I'm desperate to get everyday at least seven times a day. I will tell you. I don't fear Police Reprisal for my Confession but I do fear your mocking laughter. Promise me right now you're not gonna laugh at me. This is not some joke or prank I am pulling.

I am seriously addicted and you just might be surprised to know you might also be too......



I am addicted to Sugar. I have a sugar sensitivity to where my body craves it as deeply as any narcotic drug. If I don't get it I have wretched withdrawal symptoms. When I get a hit, I get a sugar high Ecstasy users would dream of. And I found out recently just how much it is ruining my life. Every time I get a bit of sugar my body becomes accustomed to the effects requiring me to need more and more over time until now it's come to the point large doses don't affect me and I have to seek out more high sugar content. A spoonful of pure Brown Sugar, or Honey, or sneaking in a juicy oozy Extra Large Kit Kat Bar with dribbly caramel. I save the KitKat for days when I'm super low. Or when I've saved up enough for my habit a large Iced Coffee with Mint Chocolate flavor with whip cream and caramel on top with a rich super chocolate cake. Arg, I'm drooling on my keyboard now and wishing I had the money to pop up to the Mall...

But there is hope for me and for you too if you are sugar sensitive and call yourself a "Sugar Addict" or "Chocoholic". My friend lent me the book "Potatoes NOT Prozac" and BOY OH BOY! did it open my eyes! This is one book recently I've been reading to battle my depression and to help overcome my mental meltdown I had a few weeks back. We'll discuss the other books I read and things I implemented later lets get back to the Potaters. So I reluctantly and dutifully copied all the info I'd need from the book into my own Food Journal. I've been lazy as all get out to do it properly everyday. But slowly I'm trying to ease the sugars down and be more aware of my body's responses to it. It has been helping.

Along with the other books I've been reading I feel more peaceful and better about life now alhamdulillah. Things are definitely turning around and all is not lost or hopeless. I appreciate your comments and concerns in the last post, it really helped me to know there are so many caring poeple out there.

6:39 PM

Mental and Nervous Breakdown

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Gosh what a scary sounding thing to happen to someone.

And it is, scary.

SO I wont be posting for a while, not that I've been posting much lately anyways but now even less so...

See ya insha'Allah when things are brighter.

7:30 AM

Blog Books

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

WHOA can you already see this being a big market someday!
How awesome, I've always wanted some of my better posts in a book :D

Very cool tool for writers wanting publishing credentials, can get their words done up nicely and show editors or anyone.

*ahem*
I might sell mine for $40. Because it's not like they can get it on the internet for free.....
*ahem*

http://buzz.blogger.com/2009/09/turn-your-blog-into-book-with.html

Friends are something nearly everyone has to some degree. Some have acquaintances others have social circles they frequent others have deep best friend type relationships.

I've always had my small pack of close intelligent wonderful friends, not too many, not too few. Wherever I go it may take a few months but eventually I manage to make a close friend and then from there find a social circle.

This time around in UAE I found small social circles but couldn't really find that one true person I was absolutely close to. It's been a frustrating and lonely road for me to walk. Sometimes I'd go a week or two without seeing any other sisters or talking to them IN PERSON. Sure I always have my blog and you all out there saved me from madness at times but you know there is nothing like a good face to face.

Just before Ramadan this woman called me having found me on the Homeschooling network I'm in. We chatted and it was nice to talk to someone but I never figured she'd actually meet up with me and we'd get any hanging out time. She's a busy mother of seven kids after all. But I was pleasantly surprised to get her call the next day, and the next, and the next, and you guessed it, the next!

Eventually we did indeed meet up. Our families met and we all hit it off just fine masha'Allah. But I'm not just writing about this experience to say Yay I got a new friend, (well I might sneak one Yay in there....YAY!!!! ) but to let you know that ONE person can drastically change the quality of your life. For better or worse.


My soul is forever searching for the straight path and ways to stay on it and mostly with my social circles I get easily persuaded to their lifestyles. But when asking my new friend about the problems in my life she had not only new answers but Allah allowed THROUGH her for me to FIND answers. Sorry if confusing, let me backtrack.



I got the chance to spend the night at her house one evening. All day I could feel my soul changing, learning, accepting things. That night I still didn't have the answers to my greatest problem but I had hope I'd soon find it, somehow. I couldn't sleep and her house was quiet. I thought about reading Qur'an so I went to her bookcase and browsed the Titles searching for something inspiring. I found a little book, gosh, can't remember the title, but it's about the Love and worship of Allah. I eagerly settled onto her couch and lulled by the AC dripping water like my own personal waterfall I opened the book. Only a few pages in, my world was flipped upside down.

I realized the extent of what I was missing in my life and how to fix it. Shivers literally crawled over my entire body a few times as I took in a new way to appreciate Allah and Islam.

I stayed up all night reading that book cover to cover. I finished it at 3:30am and went to wake my friend for her Sahour since she wanted to continue her fastings before Ramadan and as she prepared things I told her about how this book had effected me. She offered for me to fast with her that day but I was still reluctant.

I had been DREADING Ramadan coming, not for the Fasting but for feeling the guilt of missing prayers during the Holy Ramadan. Then a few of her daughters filed in to eat and start their fasting too. Suddenly I was surrounded by righteous Muslimahs. The tender feeling of being part of the Muslim Ummah over took me and inspired me to fast with them that day. It was wonderful. But even better than spending the day with her family and getting to know them more was the effect they had on my life.

From that day on I haven't missed a single prayer.

Allah gave me a friend who gave me exactly what I needed, not only a close companion but a way for me to better myself for HIS sake. Instead of giving me quantity, He gave me Quality.

All I can say for that is Alhamdulillah and SubhanAllah.

Thank you Allah for giving me this wonderful friend who never fails to encourage me to better myself for Your Sake.
Thank you my Friend for giving me time in your busy life, may Allah reward you and grant all your du'as.

1:18 PM

IT's WAR on Malaria Again....

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |


So last year I told you my husband and his brother got Malaria here in UAE where there wasn't supposed to be any LOCAL Malaria.

Cue 10 months later (ie, a few weeks ago) and my brother in law comes down with the same Malaria symptoms and sure enough his Malaria returned, not four days later my husband's symptoms started. Neither of them got bit again, there is a strain of Malaria called VIVAX, this one is a clever girl.

When the heat rises and the antibodies are running mad trying to stem the red blood cell slaughter she is wrecking, she bids a swift retreat into the Liver to wait 2-10 months before re-emerging to continue her conquest for total domination.
This can occur from 2-5 years over and over again needing swift treatment each time.


So that is the joy we battled at the begining of Ramadan where I said a fond goodbye to my blog for a time to consintrate on the family more and take care of poor Hubby.

Now he has finished his medications and today he took a blood test to see if there are any traces left in him. But The test can be a false hope. She could have retreated back to her Liver Lair to wait another year. We are making du'a that this Trojan Horse doesn't return.





But this has been reason #1 for my lack of blogging recently :)

As you all know I've been working from one project to another during the last five months in hopes to follow my dream and be an Author. God Willed for me to have success this year at last.

With the (IWA) Islamic Writers Association's Poetry and Islamic Short Story Contests back in April I was fueled to enter them. I worked all month on my Islamic Short Story titled Pirate's Peace. It was my first short story and my first Islamic Story. Completing it was an amazing experience in the writing process. I honed my skills in editing and re-writing and enjoying the look of a polished finished project. I took a deep breath and was about to submit my story when a fellow blogger and mentor and most of all a Friend, Sister Safiyyah from Shaalom 2 Salaam, introduced me to IWA. I became a member just in the nick of time to submit my story under the Membership Category.

I was thrilled, not only was my work being considered but it was now on a level of other famous Islamic Authors. Ahem, it was a tad intimidating too. But the IWA is a warm welcoming group and I'm so privileged to be a member of it.

They then announced in May they were going to make an Anthology and members were encouraged to submit more work in Poetry and Islamic Short Stories. I turned back to the drawing board and wrote two new poems, searching deep within for subjects that I love about Islam. Then I had to write two fresh stories. I began one called A Proud Portrait, but the characters needed extra time for development and a sounder plot than it would take to write in half a month, so I left it be for now realizing a better story later would be better than an unpolished one now. I worked meanwhile on another story called Real Meaning of Ramadan. I finished it and got it polished just in time for the deadline and happily sat back with a sigh having completed three poems and two short stories in two months.

I thought now, I can relax a little, work on some organizing in my house, you know the old spring cleaning everyone puts off for "tomorrow". When in June the IWA announced it wanted Artists to make interior illustrations for the Anthologies. Oh how I bit my lip, finger hovered over the button to reply. I was no professional artist. Sure my family liked my work but would I have the confidence and willpower to start and finish and professionally edit my own art work? Time kept ticking and I realized my chance to feature another of my talents was about to slip away and did as I usually do and jump in with both feet. I signed myself up to make 6, yes six, designs. The format was black and white which I had never done before except in sketching, but I loved the look of black and white designs.

I spent the next few weeks researching every aspect in how to achieve the clearest black and white drawings and then bought several different pens and markers to achieve the looks I wanted. Everything came together fluidly over the next three months. I used every available moment of spare time to complete them. With two small kids I'm sure many of you are laughing, what spare time? But sometimes it was one day, make one line, the next day have time for a quarter of the page, another day to finish it off, then following day would get me another two lines. But I learned a lot about pacing myself and when to put in that extra push for time. Some days I'd discourage and would think I couldn't do SIX! IN TIME! But I'd remember how good it felt finishing off my first Short Story.

Every drawing of the six was so uniquely different with a different artistic talent to master; the flow of clothing, the minute details, the geometric angles I hadn't made since 10th grade geometry class. It was amazing the techniques I found I could do.

Now I submitted my last design in August and took a really deep breath. I had indeed done it. It had taken five months of work but well worth it for what I learned about myself and my talents.

I especially realized unlike many artists I am NOT into painting as much as I am into drawing with marker or crayon. I like making those bold black lines. My next idea as an artist is to try Stained Glass designs with first bold colors per pane then perhaps textured or mixed colors per pane. I want to experiment with my oil pastels as they were my favorite long ago. Also perhaps a nice set of markers or colored pencils would do for the interior colors. We will see what the coming year brings for me.

But I do give myself permission to think differently and be different than what people box and label others with. We all have inner talents and we should strive to hon them not to blindly copy what the rest of the world does. My flair with a paint brush is okay but not brilliant, so there is no reason I should force myself to use that medium in my future art.

Lessons well learned by time and devoted energy.


So stay tuned for my announcements of when the two Anthologies will be published and I will officially be an Author and an Artist.

11:12 PM

Awesome Al-Ain Moving Sale

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Quick Note:

My wonderful friend is in her last weeks (insha'Allah) of Pregnancy as is in the middle of moving her family to KSA next month. They are trying to sell their furniture before moving. She has set up an awesome blog for the things for sale in her home. An online catalog style.
So if you are in UAE and in need of some good condition, wholesome furniture click: Al-Ain Moving Sale.
If you are interested in anything you can e-mail them at alainmovingsale@gmail.com

Please run, don't walk!
Hurry and beat the crowds!
They ARE moving soon!
oh, and have fun!

Sorry I've already snagged these awesome pieces of furniture!
Cute Toddler Bed !!!!!


Bookshelf!!! Yay finally I can have a high place for my glassware!
And a few more items I have my eye on!
*ahem* well, close friends did get first pick! *wink wink*
But there is plenty more!

Salam everyone.

First up congrats to YASEMIN/LISA from A Journey EASTWARD to Tartary... who just got back from Disneyland and said Shahada again. Alhamdulillah.

Which got me thinking. Everyone has their strength and weaknesses when entering Islam.
Of the 5 Pillars

(Belief/Shahada)

(Prayers)

(Fasting)

(Charity/Zakat)

(Hajj/Pilgramage)

we each have some or one pillar we excel at. Then we have others we really have trouble with.
________________________________
For me, my belief is strong. Alhamdulillah NO swerving or misgivings.

Prayers are the hardest for me. I love praying but have difficulty remembering some of them and making the ones I missed up in a timely manner. This is my personal Jihad I will have all my life to do my prayers ON TIME.

Fasting I thought would be the hardest for me as I love food YUMMY! but it turned out to be the easy for me. I know many others that this is their hardest Pillar and my heart goes out to them.

Charity/Zakat is really what brought me to Islam and is my best Pillar. If I have one dollar I will give you half. If I have half dollar I will give you a quarter. If I have 500 dollars I will give you 450. Alhamdulillah my faith is strong that money is not something we need to hold onto. Allah will send it to you and take it from you but there will always be a flow. Why not do your part and add tot he flow. It feels so good to give to other people too. And those chances when I get in return I feel so blessed.

My friend just left from UAE back to USA and masha'Allah gave me a lot of her stuff and subhanAllah just the things I needed most in my life. Those things I didn't need I have resolved to pass them right along to someone else to feel blessed. I'm currently clearing my house down again to give away to charity. I love the free flow of charity between many people. Always remember, we only have one life, why not spread things around.

Hajj Pillar is one that means a lot to many people and many people can't afford it. I cannot but can't wait to be able to as it's just right next door to me right now in UAE. I look forward to doing this Pillar and look forward to the difficulties I will face. BRING IT ON! I want to touch the Kabba. I want to pray with it in my face. I have the feeling my prayers Pillar will be strengthened with Hajj. Insha'Allah. I know intentions are a strong thing and I believe if you intend something strong enough it will happen eventually or you will be rewarded later for it. My intention for moving to UAE is to save up for Hajj. So far my Hajj fund is at 0..... but it will come. I know it. I'm looking forward to the day my whole family can do it together. I know for some though this will be their biggest Pillar to face. The journey, the walking, the rituals involved...etc. I make du'a for those of you who are struggling with this one.



Sometimes we loose sight of these 5 pillars. We forget their importance or need. We get a little lost. Sometimes returning to them helps to refocus our hearts.


What are your ups and downs in the 5 Pillars?

5:20 PM

Hijabi Hair: Going under THERE...

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Those who don't wear hijab, those that are men and wonder, and those who do wear it and can sympathise, here is a post for you. What is going on with women's Hair under the hijab?
I have been wearing hijab for 8 years now alhamdulillah and have been in many kinds of places of differing weather conditions.
Before I start though remember this disclaimer:
I have different hair than many women, I have limited funds to do nice stuff with my hair at a Salon, I am personally against myself going to a Salon for something I CAN do in my house (again, I'm not against others going to Salons, just myself, yes I have ISSUES)but I will go for something I CANT do, and as I have children my needs may not reflect many other women.
*sigh* ok glad I got that part off my chest.

Now I have been super bored out of my mind for ages now with my hair.
I have done coloring, perms, crazy cuts over the years but nothing catches my interest for very long and it all begins and ends with one very important thing. The hijab AKA Veil of Modesty.
Disclaimer #2: I love my hijab, never will take it off, and my rant on hair has nothing to do with my belief that hijab is Fard, and is beneficial for all Women, Muslim or not.

Lets be honest: it totally messes up your hair! Lets start with the basics eh? When placing your hijab on you MUST do something with your hair. You have two options: up or down.

Let's go with down first. Either you leave it hanging down your back or you braid/plait it and let it hang. Depending on the length of your hijab and your hair either it can remain outside your abaya or under it. If the weather is HOT it will stick to your neck and back and create a rivulet of sweat trailing from your hair line down your spine to your bottom. If the weather is cold it might feel nice and keep your neck warm. Either way though when you take off your hijab it will be a frizzy mess unless you use a hair product against frizz. Along with helmets and hats, the hijab too will cause your hair to do amazing things that will most likely NOT flatter your features. Future spouses of hijabis be warned, give her a few minutes to make it look nice okay. Don't think this glamorous wave of hair will tumble down for you to run your hands through.....you'll catch your fingers in lots of knots and create more tangles.

So if you want to prevent tangles there is the other option of putting it up.
Now here is a great debate on how to put it up. You can use a claw clip to flip it up off your neck. You can braid it and fix it up somehow with clips or ties. Or you can do as most women do since the beginning of the Human Race, pull it up in a bun. Buns though come in dozens of styles. Some do a simple one, some to a wavy one, some do a floppy one. Some use special clips or ties, some even use flowers or clips that give the hijab a bump or puffy look in the back. For an explanation fatwa and discussion on the bump I refer you to Aalia's Chasing Jannah.

As this is my personal rant though I will tell you my personal style. I collect my hair back as if I'm making a pony tail then begin to spin it around tightly clockwise until I have a thin line of twisted hair then it naturally twists on itself and I wrap that twist around its self clockwise until I have a a swirly bun. I then secure it with a single medium sized scrunchy directly on the back of my head. Not on the nape of my neck and not up higher on the crown area. This keeps the hijab material away from my neck and doesn't look silly or make me hot.

The thing about me though is I wear my hair pretty much 24/7 like this. I have two young kids and the thought of them pulling my hair is enough to make me want to rip my hair out. ;) So I HAVE to keep it up. My hair being pulled or my hijab being tugged on is like nails on a chalkboard to me. So I always feel like a cliche librarian. Very dowdy and boring.

Even though the style is HARAM and I HATE it, you have to admit these Emirati girls with their bangs hanging out of their hijabs have interesting hair even when it is piled up in a bun or clip. So many different style you can do with bangs. Even when your hair is up 24/7 like mine you still got hair flipping about your face looking awesome and fashionable. I was determined to have bangs. So I informed my husband and he had his reservations about the idea of me chopping up my hair (again). I carefully combed my front hair around in different ways until I figured a style I wanted. *Snip Snip* Voila now I have bangs. YAY! Now yes, even with my hair severely tied back out of my way, I too can look fab.

Or so I thought until I left to the Mall last night and tried to squish them back into place under my hijab. Let me tell you about my hijab first. I wear an under cap of cotton that keeps my hair from slipping out and in hot weather soaks up any sweat that dares try to drip down my neck. Gross detail but true. Over that I wear a variety of regular hijab that cover properly. Well last night my bangs were refusing to be pushed back and kept trying to peep out and check out the world. I had to continuously push them back into place but they were sticking up funny under the hijab material and itching like crazy. I was miserable. I had to escape to the bathroom finally with my kids in tow to fix it all. I flattened them straight to the sides with a good quantity of water before tugging my cap back on and adding the top hijab. Seemed to work better.

When I fianlly got back home though, you guessed it I took my hijab off and it stood up on end like Edward Scissorhands was my stylist. I quickly scraped it down with my fingers until it looked decent. But I sighed frustrated. I wish I had glam hair like other sisters I see in their homes. Somehow, even though they have to stuff it up under hijab they still manage to look fab at home. I look like a cliche librarian with fab bangs, therefore I must have moved up the scale to McDonalds worker. You know how they look, buns and bangs....with a nifty McD's Visor.

So I come to you all for suggestions. How can you make your hair fab yet manageable even though you wear hijab? And not have it down for kids to grab and mangle. Is there a better, more glam , more fun way to put my hair up under the hijab and still let it be awesome when i take hijab off?

Do you have a trick or are you bored out of your mind too?

Some days I'd love to do what many women do and just get a pixie cut or cut it shorter then shoulder length. But I've had those styles before and they didn't ward off the boredom they were just easier to manage. I like my hair length and I want to keep it but I just want it to look awesome for once in my life. The only time I liked it was when i went to a wedding and had it perfect but then I had to wear a special protection around my hair so the hijab wouldn't mess it up and it made it look silly.

So again to clarify I want a look that does well without hijab on in the house, and a look for under the hijab so when I take it off it doesn't look aweful. Any ideas? Any bad hair stories? Any hair rants?

12:34 PM

My Dedicated Followers

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Masha'Allah, Masha'Allah, Masha'Allah
FINALLY after waiting years and eyeing my friend's follower lists muahahaha not with evil eyes just with "WOW Cool look at your numbers!"
I have passed 100 Followers mark. That means I need to get my butt in gear and get back to writing those quirky posts y'all love. ;)

I'm looking at that sidebar to the right and seeing the number of posts I've made each month... lol can you see in March that was my biggest posting. Then with the IWA STORY and POETRY contest in April I started slacking off, then in May when I was sooo busy trying to make more poetry and stories I was totally MIA!!!
Finally finisheing those projects and working on the art now I've been starting to re-coup my posting numbers lol.
Still haven't had time to get around to all these new bloggers and keep adding poeple to ALL MUSLIMAH, but still it's getting there!
I'm on the 3rd artwork out of six right now, I finished all the rough drafts of them now I have to go back and clean them up lots. BUt they are turning out just awesome really. I'm sooo happy. I KNOW you all are just drooling now to buy the books when they come out eh? BUt all that juicy info will have to wait for later.....LOL really I'm just excited as you are but Sabr, Patience my friends.
Well I'm off today to a going away party for a friend of mine who's leaving UAE for good :( Gotta get my kids and house ready and all that good stuff so just wanted to pop in for an update. You know now that I have so many of you out there who are Striving Hard just like me.

So Yay for me hitting the 100 mark and Yay for you for inspiring me to keep going on and on with blogging :D

Here's 10 honest things you never knew about me...
Tagged by Minty from blog Married1234/Polygamy is it then?







1. I always knew I'd marry someone from the Mediterranean Sea area. I used to figure Spaniard or Italian man, heck even Greek, never figured I'd marry a Lebanese, but so glad I did.


2. I dream of seeing some part of the Arctic Sea from a European Country/Canada/Alaska/Greenland.




3. My heart is nomadic. I could totally live the gypsy/bedouin/sailor/world traveller's life. In fact I vote it should be an International Right that as we only have one life on this world we should be allowed to see it all. This is my ultimate dream in this life.



4. I want to be as famous an Author as J.K. Rowling and Danielle Steele. I wanna be on the front of a publication saying "Follow your dreams, they do come true."




5. I see myself as a person of many talents like a Renaissance Man, I try my hand at everything and see what pops up as roses and what pops up as weeds. If you're afraid to plant the seed or get your hands dirty you'll never find out what you can become.




6. I hate it when mothers say their children are boring to be with. I find it fascinating that every second they are learning something new that will effect their lives. That said, is it TRYING on the nerves to read Goodnight Moon for the 400th time in a row going on 237 days now.... or singing Wheels on the Bus repetitively with the same enthusiasm on the 400th song as you had on the 1st........ hehehe.... but worth it in the end when they finally say Goodnight or show the action for the Granny knitting on the bus....

7. I used to use barney targets at the shooting range with my family. Now you can hear me nearly daily saying "Hey Kids, Look Barney's on!!! YAY!!!!" So shooting Barney in the future will be a Crime Punishable by Death. The panel of Judges will be my children....
Presenting the Honorable Judge Mustapha-Lawrence


8. Johnny Depp is my favorite actor EVER. Seriously, not as in a crush. He's Brilliant! He's not afraid to be different where the world seems to seek "type casts" He always does the unusual and excels. No one will ever think of Pirates the same way without thinking of his role as the quirky Jack Sparrow. And you all KNOW how much I love Pirates... BUT..... My favorite role of his was that of Author James Barry in Finding Neverland..... which leads to the next ......



9. I HAVE a Neverland. I go there often. No one has ever joined me.... I doubt they ever will...









10. I love Masks. I think they are classically beautiful and there are nearly endless variations.
*11 BONUS: I have 160 e-mails waiting in my inbox waiting to be added to my All Muslimah Blog Directory.... the guilt eats away at me every day.... I promise I'm getting to you...


That is me

I tag:
Aalia
Pixie
Safiyyah
Hebayeb
and...
muahahaha
ALL the Bloggers from ALL MUSLIMAH BLOG DIRECTORY....
(*ahem* and those waiting to be added to the list....)

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