Plotlines, Outlines, Godplay
By saaleha|2014-08-05T13:49:32+00:00August 5th, 2014|
I submitted this short story for Short Story Day Africa 2014. This year's theme was Terra Incognita. Though I do read in the genre, writing speculative fiction is indeed unknown ground for me. My story didn't make the longlist so I thought I would share it with you here.
By saaleha|2014-06-02T21:54:29+00:00June 2nd, 2014|
The writing life is rough. Gritty as sandpaper against the skin of all four of your cheeks. Some people talk of bleeding onto pages, they’re […]
By saaleha|2014-05-26T15:22:42+00:00May 26th, 2014|
She sways and spins, her position held by hips as broad as a baobab. The feather-duster in her hand sheds ostrich plumes. They rain down hope on the woman kneeling before her. Mama Eve raises feet clad in green plastic mock-crocs. She stamps on a heap of cowrie shells, filling the room with brittle crackling.
By saaleha|2013-12-23T13:26:44+00:00April 11th, 2012|
By saaleha|2013-12-23T11:16:37+00:00March 29th, 2012|
We were introduced to the Black Box writing technique by supervisors Silke Heiss and Paul Mason in an MA seminar that dealt with conceiving the bones and sinews of a story.
Elements are chosen randomly from five categories; character, situation/incident, place/setting, time and theme.
These selections are then used to develop the framework upon which the narrative hangs.
By saaleha|2012-08-07T23:44:02+00:00May 23rd, 2010|
It was 3 AM and I was digging a hole in the desert.
Christa stood next to me.
In the torch light, she was a fidgety monster patting a bundle in her arms.
“Is it done yet Tess?”
Her voice was gritty in the smooth silence.
“Almost there hun, you just hang on.”
She went back to poking at the swaddle and cooing in delirium.
“Uh-huh, I’m so sorry baby, I’m so sorry. Momma’s gonna try and make this better you hear? I’ll be better next time. I’m so sorry.”
I’ve been here three times before; digging holes for Christa in the desert.
You could call me a good friend.
Dependable. Complicit. Fucking insane.
By saaleha|2012-08-12T00:24:25+00:00November 22nd, 2009|
At 2am, the magnificence of the night was defiled by unholy shit spewing from the house five doors away.
She stuffed the comforter into her ears and began to think really loudly.
But there was this one note.
By saaleha|2012-08-12T00:25:02+00:00October 19th, 2009|
I don’t know if this counts though, as I scrawled while (wo)manning our paper goods stall at the fleamarket on Sunday. Probably took longer than five minutes too. Brain spew mostly. It’s what happens when you stop reading real books. Flies sit on the mind’s eyes. Creative kwashiorkor. […]
By saaleha|2013-12-10T20:23:46+00:00September 22nd, 2009|
(A piece I started years ago and rounded off today)
Talk to me dammit, Say something, anything. Please. I can’t stand it when you get like this. Really, I can’t handle it. Why the hell aren’t you speaking? Come on, please. Please? I’m begging you. What did I do? Tell me. Come on, just tell me. Don’t look away from me. You can’t avoid facing me forever you know? I’m always going to be here. We’re not leaving this table until you say something. […]
By saaleha|2013-12-25T01:43:11+00:00June 10th, 2009|
Making space to write was one of the reasons behind my move to freelance. So far, it hasn't been working out too well. I've got a great method where I write down all the things I have to do, and then proceed to do none of them. However, today was a little different.
By saaleha|2012-08-12T00:22:02+00:00February 15th, 2008|
The rent money was gone.
Sakinah-bhai pulled back the decaying lace curtain to look outside. The street was still empty, Razi was nowhere to be seen.
That the rent money was gone wasn’t her only trouble, it was how it came to be ‘gone’. How would she explain it to Razi without that twit passing judgement and running off to tell her mother and sisters?
Stupid woman. Stupid woman. Her hands brushed against the tasbeeh on the sidetable. She picked it up and proceeded to thumb each prayer bead towards her. Stupid woman. Stupid woman. It’s what happens when you mix in the wrong circles. You try to impress, fit in. And you fail.
And you lose all the bloody rent money. […]