are upon me, and although I haven’t done much ‘writing’, not physically anyway, I’ve been rereading the Quran, immersing myself in the language that has basically defined my life.

It was first revealed in Ramadan, and Ramadan is always a good time to recharge, reacquaint myself with its message.

I’ve realized that much of my poetry, when I write verse, imitates or tries to imitate, the cadences of the Quran. It’s like it’s ingrained in me from so many readings.

I still find my breath catching when I read it.

The tone, the perspective, from far outside humanity, from high above us, looking down on the foibles of humanity, the warnings of horrible punishments, the admonishments, and most of all the tugging at my heart so that my eyes fill with tear at the majesty of God. The Quran is so different from anything else I’ve ever read.

And with the world going crazy, reading the Quran has allowed a sense of serenity to descend upon me, despite all the sadness.

I started a new novel while waiting to hear on a work in progress.

I had planned that what with the early mornings after breakfast, I could do some writing of it. But that hasn’t panned out.

Instead of writing, I find myself reading. More and more and more, and yet writing occurs on so many different levels.

One of the hardest things has been figuring out the motivation and character of my antagonist.

I find villains hard! It’s hard to think in such mean despicable ways! With my work in progress I struggled with several scenes where some of the characters gave way to their basest mentalities.

And with this current novel, again I’m struggling with motivation.

And motivation is so important.

That’s where reading the Quran has actually been quite helpful. There are so many spots where God talks about the way the disbelievers and hypocrites think. It’s so duplicitous. Two-faced, despicable! So I guess it comes down to the fact that even though I’m not ‘writing’, I’m researching.

Ramadan has had so much physical demand on me. With the days so long, it hardly even makes sense to go to sleep before the morning meal, so I’ve kind of taken it upon myself to stay up all night till Fajr.

And then sleep.

And now we’ve come down to the last ten days and there are so many times when I’m just filled with such joy like my heart will burst with it. And then I find myself catching myself, feeling almost guilty, because of all the suffering in the world.

I’ve started Eid preparations. With four kids and ten grandchildren, Eid ul Fitr is a hefty celebration! Got the Eid gifts wrapped, and all the letters to my children and my grandkids and my niece written (ever year I write them each a personal letter). Now comes the cooking!

My kids have called Eid–Eat for the longest while, because after a month of fasting, the first day of Shawwal (the 10th month in the Islamic calendar) involves a LOT of eating!

I’ve already started by making my ‘meat-filled buns’. They’re pretty good alhamdu lillah. Made sixty today! Got about forty more to go. And then the rest of the week will be filled with baking: chocolate cake, pineapple tarts, pecan bars, lemon squares, and cherry cheesecake.


I always make packages that I give to the neighbors and in laws. Lots of work, but all in all worth it.

Afterwards it’s such a RELIEF to get back to normal!

Can’t wait to get back to ‘work’. It’ll be so much easier!!!!