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Rachel-K
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The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

[ Edited ]
Do you have questions for Nafisa Haji? Please post them here and start the conversation!
Message Edited by rkubie on 06-01-2009 01:43 AM
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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hi!  First day of posting--can't wait to hear from you!

 

-Nafisa 

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Rachel-K
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hello Nafisa!

 

Does the expression "the writing on my forehead" have the same connotation of something about you that would be obvious to others but not to you yourself?

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

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Rachel-K
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Also, Nafisa, I have another question: Would you mind sharing something about your writing habits? It's fascinating to hear what daily/ordinary habits writers use to support their creative lives.

 

 

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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hi Rachel,

 

The connotation of "the writing on my forehead" is more about destiny or kismet, the inevitable future for which the best laid plans cannot account.  So, no, just as the person whose forehead we're talking about cannot see what lies ahead, neither would people around them be able to see the future.  It's kind of like the end of the story of your life, which you can't thumb ahead to preview.  You have to live the story out to know the outcome.

 

Great question--the kind that I had to stop and think about for a moment...

 

-Nafisa

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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

As for writing habits--that's the kind of question that always makes my stomach clench a little with guilt--either because I'm not writing enough, or sometimes because it's consuming everything else. 

 

My official writing time is 9 am to 2:30 pm--roughly the hours between dropping my son off to school and picking him up again.  But that is not a period of solid writing--it includes a lot of reading/research (especially for the book I'm working on now), google time, pacing, and sitting, rereading what I've written in the days before, tweaking, and staring into the distance.  Oh, and watching news and documentaries relevant to the topic I'm thinking about.  Actual writing time, spaced in spurts between all of the above, amounts to 2 hours on regular days.  But then, when the flow of words comes--oh, I love it when that happens, then, I'm writing with my keyboard, in my head, in my sleep and basically am bothered by anyone who tries to interrupt that flow by attempting to speak to me.  Luckily for the people I love and who have to put up with me, that doesn't happen often.  But when it does, weekends and nights come into play, too.

 

-Nafisa

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Fozzie
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Does the song "Getting Better" by the Beatles have a special meaning for you?

 

I noticed that both Big Nanima and Belle mentioned its significance to them on pages 79 and 94 respectively.

 

I liked how chapter five ended with Big Nanima telling Belle how she used to go dancing a lot.  Both Big Nanima and Saira seem to like Belle, despite themselves.

 

P.S.  I have only read up to page 110 this far, so no spoilers please!  :smileywink:

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hi Laura,

 

Anything by the Beatles has special significance for me!  :smileywink:  Seriously, though--the theme of Getting Better is one that comes up for me all the time in contemplating current events and the tide of history.  There seems to be such a tension between those in the world who think the "golden age" is in the past and those who think it's in the future.  I love the way that song sort of measures progress in steps, recognizing the failures of the past on a personal level, in the way human beings have dealt with each other for example (there's a line about how "I used to be cruel to my woman...") that always strikes me as hopeful while recognizing that we have a long way to go.....

Yes, I think you're right--I think it's true that both Big Nanima and Saira like Belle in spite of themselves.

 

-Nafisa

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Fozzie
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Nafisa,

 

I was going to ask you where the inspiration for the book came from, but after reading your musings, I know the answer to that question.

 

I liked the unique structure of the book, each chapter a story of a major influential event in Saira's life.  That's just how we remember our lives, isn't it?

 

Are you able to talk about what your next book will be like?  Family themes again?

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Laura,

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

 

If TWOMF was about "East" coming to "West", the book I'm working on now is about "West" meets "East"--covering the lives of two families--an Evangelical Christian family and a Pakistani American family that are connected in ways they don't realize, set in the context of current events.  So, there's some similarity with with the themes of TWOMF along with a new twist.

 

-Nafisa

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ImBookingIt
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

I'm really looking forward to your new book!  What is your expected timeline on it?

 

Laura

http://imbookingit.wordpress.com/

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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Ooooh--that's a tough one for me to answer.  I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess early-ish next year.  So many things to check off on the list before then that it's really hard to say.  Number one on the list?  Well, I have to finish it.  Ultimately (after I get my part of it done) it will be upto my publisher and the timeline they develop for the book.  It was a long pipeline for TWOMF--and I mean after the book deal and even after the final edit.  Soooo.....????

 

Thanks for the question!  Been on a writing stretch lately and your interest and enthusiasm makes me want to keep rolling on....

 

-Nafisa

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AhmadB
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hi Nafisa! I absolutely loved TWOMF! unbelievable. It just got better and better and I didn't want the story to end! I also love writing but I only write poetry. I've been writing constantly for about 5 years now and I want to get my work published, but a book with only poetry in it doesn't seem that interesting. What do you think I should do?

 

 

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Nafisa_Haji
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Re: The Writing on My Forehead: Questions for the Author?

Hi AhmadB,

 

I'm glad you liked the book.  My advice?  If writing poetry is what you love, then keep at it and send it out.  Poetry is a difficult genre to get out into the world, I know.  If another idea strikes, a format to frame it in, take that up, too.  Ultimately, keep writing and doing what you love without the worry of where it will end up and how plaguing your steps.  And, most important, read what you love to write.  Be the reader you want your work to find.  My favorite contemporary poet--Robert Bly! His work is an example of poetry that is alive and beyond interesting.... 

Best of luck!

 

-Nafisa