My Blog

My Blog

06
I am proud to announce the publication of Bee King, my ninth book. Bee King is a historical novel about the first person diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in the United States. I wrote it as my thesis while I attended the University of Tampa's low residency program in creative writing and where I obtained my MFA. It was a wonderful program taught by talented writers. I met many amazing fellow students.  Bee King is the culmination of my more than thirty years attempting to gain a str...

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16
The swath of Hurricane Irma was so wide that while the storm did not directly hit South Florida, where I live, its effects were devastating. Once again, South Florida made national and international news. Not for all the good we do, but for the bad. This time, it was really bad.             Eight residents of a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida died after power went out due to the storm. The story of how a heroic nurse at the hospital acro...

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20
I always wanted to be a novelist but knew it wasn't a sure way to make a living. I figured I would follow my sister's footsteps and go to law school. That way, I reasoned, I could make a good living and pursue my passion on the side.  I hated every moment of law school. I dreaded the Socratic method. Most of the professors and other students were pompous and unfriendly. I went to school, and went home to my apartment where I studied. I tried to join a few study groups, hang out in th...

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13
I had a friend named Ellen growing up who copied everything I did. She was one year younger than me. Like a sibling who mimicked my every move, she annoyed me. When we were eight and seven years old, respectively, we took showers after a day at the beach. After getting out of the shower, I put the towel around my chest like how my mother did. She copied me. I scoffed and she put it around her waist, like our dads.             I bring up th...

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30
Recently I made my first Muslim friend. Aakifah and I met during a writing workshop. Amid conversations on character development and plotting, we discussed her culture including Ramadan and prayer rituals. We also talked about lone wolves and terrorist groups who massacre in the name of Islam. I didn't mention the American president. I was too embarrassed.  Instead, I asked a question that had plagued me about the Muslim community. “Where is the Muslim leader that speaks to the non-...

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