A year in the life

Usually when I disappear from people’s lives, social media and basically no one hears much from me, it’s because I am either overwhelmed and need to recover, or I have fallen into depression -again – and need to wallow. That’s how it’s always been. The people that know me well know this about me. They let me be for a while, until my disappearance lasts too long and they intervene. Bless!

I want to say that this is the old me, but I am a bit too scared to jinx it. So let’s just say that I used to do that for those reasons. Not anymore though. I haven’t posted to my blog in a while, not because I haven’t been writing, but because I’ve been too focused on all the projects I’ve got. All my energy and writing mojo goes into my book.

Nanowrimo is nearly over and most of you – those that read my blog and follow it are from the writers online scene thanks for following me btw – know how it could take its toll on you. My emotions are up and down every single day. On top of that, I am running my small business and working on three major projects. I don’t even have time to think about what to write for this blog.

Looking at my last post, I see that it was posted almost two months ago. My instinct is to beat myself up about it and feel shameful that I’ve let this go. But what would be the point. Other than make myself feel bad. Instead, I sat down to write this post.

I feel like I am slightly freaking out because I’ve been on an amazing writing streak. I am writing everyday and it’s been a breeze mostly. The idea just come to me and I show up everyday to let them come through me. I fear losing that. That fear is paralyzing me. But it’s part of it. Part of this journey. And that’s ok. Usually that would send me into a spiral, and maybe I am growing up, or I don’t want to waste my time falling into anymore spirals, but I don’t want to let fear control me.

I know a lot of people experience those feelings and I spent many years trying to find the answer, the cure. I don’t know if I found it, but I know that I choose to move forward. To get right back up every time I fall. I’ve fallen a lot this past year, but you wouldn’t know it because I almost always got right back up. Is this the right way? God only knows. All I know is that I’ve come so far with so many things, especially writing. I can always count on that.

I am thankful for November. I am thankful for Nanowrimo. I am thankful for writing. And I am thankful I get to do what I love every day.

PS: yes the title of this post is from Gilmore Girls comeback show. Which I am currently watching in the background. I just feel like I’ve been in the making, for over a year now, and things are coming together. It’s a little incredible how much has changed in just one year.

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A Review – Kino Cafe @ Kinokuniya

If there’s anywhere out there that has to be on the list of “best cafes to write/read/work at”, this would be it. Kino Cafe is located in Dubai’s largest bookstore, Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall. This place is one of my favorite places to go to when I want to write. Everyone is so quite and consumed by the book, notebook or laptop in front of them. I rarely see more than one person on a table. And if there happens to be a group or a couple, they’re mostly there to study or have a business meeting. I love it. I always feel so inspired to work when I go there.

The food style is very Japanese/Asian which means, amazing kinds of tea, not just the green variety. I love to order their iced green tea. So refreshing. It’s like green tea galore at this cafe. Their food is just OK. But I normally don’t care much about eating when I am writing. My goal at kino cafe is always to write, which is unlike going to a place for breakfast and wanting to both start my day with a delicious meal and then be able to write comfortably and effectively.

The cafe is so bright but super small. They have a silent room at the end of the cafe if you need an extra quiet space. Each chair in that room, has a socket and a table for your laptops. No one dares talk in there. They have some sockets on the workstations too, but I hate sitting at the workstations. They’re not comfortable and small and the last thing I need is to rub elbows with some random dude while I am trying to focus.  I take up a booth, which is supposed to be for four people. I always feel like a douchebag when I do that, but it’s the only way I feel I can write and the place is rarely busy so I am not making trouble.

There’s a huge glass wall on one end of the cafe, normally, that would be appealing because of the brightness coming in from the sun. But this is Dubai and we have two seasons, summer and a barely cold spring. Sometimes it’s winter, but that’s kinda rare. Also, the summer lasts about 8 months. I exaggerate to prove a point. Basically most of the year, the place feels like a sauna. I am not saying the place needs to be cold, but the temperature needs to be slightly cooler at this cafe. When you have an open space with a lot of glass, you need to factor in the temperature coming in from the outside. This has happened almost every time I went there.

Another annoying feature is their wifi. It’s very good once you’re connected, but the password expires every hour. I expect this from other places, but this is literally a work cafe. People are expected to sit at the cafe to read and chill and browse the internet. It’s located in a bookstore for god’s sake. That is the main function of a cafe that is inside a bookstore. So it doesn’t make sense to me that they use this system. I feel like wifi shouldn’t even be an issue in this day and age. I really hated having to ask for a password every hour, one for my phone and another for my laptop. The last time I was at the cafe, I was there for 5 hours. I definitely didn’t appreciate the looks I got from the waiters every hour. Extremely annoying.

Parking is a non-issue. The best parking for you if you don’t want to walk all around the mall is the fashion parking of Dubai Mall. It’s the closest to Kinokuniya. If you happen to park on the other side, the cinema parking, then you can take a shortcut through the foodcourt.

All in all, despite the temperature and the crappy wifi system, I’d say this is my favorite place to write. The iced green tea always helps. And I tend to do my research at home to avoid wifi issues.

Here’s the rating for this place based on my criteria.

Coffee – 6/10

Comfort 7/10

Food  5/10

Wifi 3/10

Music 6/10

Atmosphere 10/10

Parking 10/10

Disclaimer: I am not part of Kino Cafe or Kinokuniya nor was I paid to write this review. This is purely a way for me to review and document the best restaurants and cafes in The U.A.E. for individuals who want to write and enjoy good coffee. If their food is good, that’s a plus.

Bateel Gourmet – A Review

I never thought about reviewing Bateel for my ‘work friendly cafe reviews’ series. It’s not really known for that and It’s been around for ages. It didn’t occur to me. I happen to be in Town Center Jumairah early this week, to visit PaperLane; the crafts store I like to get all my scrapbooking papers from. I was there early, and hungry, and there was Bateel. It was meant to be.

It’s a very nice restaurant, especially for breakfast. And they have the most robust and strong coffee. They like to pair it with a piece of date. I hear the combination is delicious. I am not a date person so I’ll leave you to judge that on your own. They also make arabic coffee, but I’ve never been a fan of that so I have no clue if it’s good. Honestly, when it comes to things that are normally homemade, I almost never go for it at a restaurant. Arabic coffee is a homemade staple at practically every home in the gulf region. But, who knows, maybe Bateel’s is actually good.  Continue reading →

A State of Comatose – Post Nanowrimo

Part of me knew that something like this would happen. That I would shut down after the words marathon my brain had – not willingly – participated in. I had never spent more than a few days writing in a row, let alone an entire month. It was a binge-like behavior. I was binge-writing and coming down from that high was a little depressing, I am not going to lie. It has felt like there weren’t any more words to write, as if my brain had run out of words.

I’ve mentioned this on my blog a few times before, but I’ve never actually written more than 10k words a year. This includes my diary, the myriad of blogs I’ve kept over the years, and any type of personal and recreational writing. For work, I would write nearly 40k words a year. Writing has always been a means to an end, despite the passion I have for it. Continue reading →

Tw0-Sentence Story Challenge

C.S. Wilde – Great name btw – is hosting a challenge on her blog, and I decided to join the fun. Plus, it’s a writing challenge, so Hellz Yea!!

Here’s my two-sentence story

She knew how wrong it was to kiss the married man she loved, but she’d been waiting for this moment to happen. Tonight, of all nights, she was just a girl, getting kissed by the boy she liked.

It’s actually part of the novel I am writing. I tried to make it work. Hope you like it 🙂