Sunday, January 29, 2006
  Funk
A bunch of the writers on my egroup have been in a funk this week (including myself). Writing fiction is one of the few career choices I know of where people can stop working if they are having problems with their calling. Journalists have to get on with it, as do technical writers. If a surgeon feels like he just can't face the next operation, too bad. And I can just imagine what the boss would say if an engineer called in with a number funk. So why do writer's get to declare they are blocked, or in a funk? Shouldn't professional fiction writers just get on with it? And yet, if we do, will it be worth reading? If we don't, will we ever finish that next novel...
 
Comments:
Hi. I just discovered your blog and read through a great deal of it.

I'm a non-professional writer and composer, and my approach is to simply set a regular time for writing and do it. If I can't find anything to write about I'll compose, if I can't do that I'll blog. However, there will always be something getting done. I may not like the results of it later, but then I just discard it mercilessly. If the plot is any good, I might rewrite it later or save it as the germ of an idea for another story.

I was also grateful for your advice on how to write for Muslims. I'm writing a play with a main character who is a Muslim woman living in London. Unfortunately, my characterization is so different on every point that I'm convinced it will never have the ring of truth, so I'm shelving the play and moving on to another project. *broad grin*

Along these lines, have you ever read Jack Shaheen's Reel Bad Arabs? It's a fascinating but infuriating book about the dearth of positive or even remotely realistic portrayals of Arabs and Muslims (often treated as one and the same) in the movies.
 
By the way, as a writer you might be interested by the foresight of Boccaccio who wrote a whole story regarding hypocritical acts of 'charity' with soup. I've included the relevant portion in my post about the incident on my blog.
 
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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


What I'm reading now



Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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