Come and buy a copy of Bloody Flies at Abu Dhabi Golf Club community market tomorrow afternoon. I'll even sign it for you. 😬
One of my Creative Writing students has published her first children's book. It will soon be available at in shops throughout the UAE. Well done Mouza!
Well done to all the winners, writers and readers at last night's competition; and a big thanks to Sana and Jim for organising it.
The judges had a tough job deliberating over their decision, but in the end Aliyah Al Awadhi (After Alice) and Hannah C Taylor (A Notable Life) tied for Best Story, and Supriya Kamath won best reading for her excellent story For Neverland.
Supriya Kamath also won an honourable mention for the written version of For Neverland.
If you would like to look at some fantastic original art or organise a painting party for your birthday or another occasion, then check out www.thepainteddesertuae.com
If you live in Abu Dhabi, why not come along to the Expat Woman Spring Fair at the Millenium Corniche Hotel on Saturday morning (23 April)? I'll be there signing copies of Bloody Flies.
I'm pleased and honoured to have been asked to be a judge for the NYU Short Story Competition here in Abu Dhabi. I've submitted my favourites already, and I'm looking forward to the reading/presentation next week.
check out my story Grand Prix inThe Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Art https://issuu.com/lijla/docs/lijlavol4.no.1feb2016
Great News! Jose Varghese has just let me know that my story Grand Prix will be published in the February 2016 issue of the Lakeview Journal.
Please enjoy reading this wonderful story by Yasmina (aged 8), my youngest Creative Writing student:
Ferretin woke up hungry. Which is to say . . . normal. He had special plans for today. Today he was going to look for special clues on earth. What clues you may ask? Clues for what kind of God he was. Ra would not tell him, so he had to figure it out.
He figured Ra would hide the clues with enemies, to test Ferretin. So he was going to Thoth to ask what monster was the most dangerous monster. He would fight it and win. After all he was the God of . . . well he was going to find out.
On his way to Cairo, Ferretin was captured by Set, the God of evil. Whose secret name was Evil Day. (But don’t say so, ‘cause names hold power). His devilish eyes glittered with excitement as he stood there in his blood red biker jacket and black leather boots that went up to his knees alongside his leather pants, which were as black as night.
His bald head, on which he had placed a jockey cap (no idea why), was surrounded by mini-spirits which led down to his perfect grin face. Ferretin thought about how Set had made these God catching traps by poking clouds into squares and weaving magic in and out. He was only allowed to make two a year though. Orders of Ra.
Ferretin was dumped into an electric cage made of red lighting with a dog-headed goddess. He watched Set go with all Set’s clothes into something that looked like a changing room. All his clothes were red with glitter and had drooping sleeves.
He introduced himself to the dog-headed goddess, as the Goddess had done to him. Apparently her name was Duplien and she was the God of rainbows and dogs. He told her about his quest and what his name was. Then she interrupted him by saying, “I have been in here for two weeks. He feeds us but I am still anxious to get out. Now did you say you have a power zapper?”
Ferretin began to make a plan. He reached over for the clothes hangers. He twisted them into a long hook and hooked it to his power zapper. He reeled it in, zapped the cage and ran to the closet, where he grabbed some useful things like money, medicine and a summonable horse carriage.
They decided to take the horse carriage on the ground. Meanwhile, cyclopes heard them and set traps. The first trap was to get them into their fortress…
Meanwhile, Duplien was hurrying to the sound of voices. But she knew it was not Ferretin. She could smell monsters. Cyclopes. She could smell them because they bathe in green liquid that looks like acid and smells like sewers.
She heard a Godly scream and hid quickly behind a rock. Some cyclopes lit a new bonfire and gathered round. There were about twelve cyclopes and she could not take on all of them … So that left brains and trickery . . .
The cyclopes’ fortress was vast and Ferretin could hear seas of whispers and feel eyes on him. Ferretin got grabbed as soon as he reached Duplien. But he discovered that even this was not Duplien. It was a cyclops imitating Duplien with its vocal tricks.
He was bound in ropes. These were Set ropes and he could not blast them off.
Duplien crouched while tiptoeing all the way to the centre of the ginormous rock. This was not rock. It was wooden and hollow and not at all a rock. She gazed down from the window of it. It was a bathing room. There was a green cauldron with all sorts of ingredients around it. She carefully lowered herself in, making sure she did not touch the cauldron. She looked around. There were twelve cauldrons with the same ingredients. Linen PJs, red and extra-large size, hung from the ceilings above each one. How could she defeat the cyclopes? They were fire proof but not acid proof. She could trick them into bathing in acid. She was a tornado of wildness putting each ingredient in the cauldron. She was going to make homemade acid. She repeated this to every cauldron. She swung herself out of the window and landed silently on the rubble.
Suddenly one of the Cyclopes bellowed, “CLEAN TIME!”. All of the Cyclopes charged to the baths. The lady one disappeared first with a bellow and several others followed. Duplien did not stop to watch. She rushed across the marble room that looked and smelled like the Egyptian sewers and cut the ropes on the unconscious Ferritin and dragged him to the chariot and they took off.
Ferretin woke up just as they approached Ra’s palace. It was a magnificent site. Linen banners decorated the palace. Wait, linen banners? That could not be right – unless it was Birthday Day? Birthday Day happened once a century in mortal time. They had not selected who was the Birthday God yet. Suddenly Ra’s voice called, “Congratulations to Ferretin the God of birthdays and open space”. Then he called again, announcing the meal and ordering everyone to wash their hands before feasting.
The next time Ra’s voice called, he said, “I would like Ferretin to visit the main hall dorm please. All members please evacuate. Thank you.”
Ferretin walked down to the door, wondering what Ra was doing. But you should never question the Sun God, because you could also be turned into a frog or something else like that. When Ferretin entered, it was a totally different room. It had changed to match Ra’s brightness. Everything was bright yellow. Everything. I am not going to get into describing it, because that would take a while. His face was stern but kind, and his eyes were serious but twinkled. He gestured for Ferritin to stand next to him. However, Ra was sitting.
Ferretin stood. Ra got up and walked to the end of the room. Ferretin followed him curiously. A moment later Ra went poof into smoke. Ferretin made a mistake and reached into the smoke and was teleported or smokeaported (whatever). A moment later they appeared again outside the dining hall. “Teleportation?” Ferritin asked. Ra nodded and walked into the dining room.
When you are a colleague of mine, you will learn of things never thought possible. Now come, let us feast!
Andrew J Keir
Scottish novelist and short story writer based in Abu Dhabi.