Saturday, November 17, 2012

NaNoWriMo feature: Abdullah Kurashi

Hello everybody! Today's feature NaNoWriMoer is a first-time participant! Let's give this brave soul a round of applause!

Abdullah is all the way from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia! Together with several of his friends, he recorded a podcast about NaNoWriMo, which you can access here.

Let's see what he has to say about this year's challenge.

Name: Abdullah "Squeek" Kurashi

Twitter: @squeeko639

What made you take the plunge?

This is my first time participating. My friend actually found out about NNWM on the 2nd of November, told me about it and after a few hours of checking the website I told her "we're only a day late. Let's do this and never look back!" and now we have no social life :-/

What's your project about?

I'm actually not entirely sure what my story is about yet. It started off with me describing where I was in the first paragraph, then my imagination took over. I'm trying to keep it very organic, and hope to have an exciting story before this is over. What I can say is that it is leaning towards mystery/horror and has a noir feel to it.

How are you approaching NaNo? Are you in the midst of a writing frenzy, or do you have a carefully thought-out plan?

My approach, as previously mentioned, IMHO is very organic and I've only just thought of a couple of ways to make the story more interesting. I want to be ridiculous but not too unbelievable with the story. I'm also trying my best to write about "boring" things in the most interesting way possible. I'm trying to practice having an open mind and paying attention to details.

Have you learned anything from this experience so far? Is there any advice you would like to share with other NaNoWriMoers?

I've learned so much and I'm sure there's a lot more to learn. I don't know if I should give advice since I'm a newbie, but there's one thing I said to myself when I started, and it's so hard to stick to my own advice but I do believe in it, and that is:

"No more skipping over the fillers and descriptions. Every part of the story should have an equal amount of attention. Describing a dull support character can be just as interesting as a paragraph that describes a fight to the death with the main character if you use the right words."

Here is an excerpt from Abdullah's current NaNoWriMo project, with a special message from him.

I'd love to have any feedback you have to offer and it's cool if you want to be brutally honest! I never realized how much fun it is to write until I locked up the monster within me (aka the editor) and let the monkeys on type writers take over. Take care and keep on writing!


Smoke is thick in the air as I listen to a tune that sounds like the piano had a bit too much to drink. I feel like I'm choking in this smoggy atmosphere, yet I light another cigarette. Probably not the best way to take advantage of the weekend, here in a dank cafe, depressing music and strangers who all have the same "I've had a long day" facial expression. I got no where else to go though. I can probably sit at home and read a nice book or download a low budget series by a talented director who never knew how to market himself in Hollywood, but I like to surround myself with strangers, friends, acquaintances. Four walls and intoxication gets old after a while. 

"Move over" this is usually the kind of greeting I get from Nyla, an associate of mine who has a tendency to be casually crude. I scoot to the other side of the couch as she drops her purse on the table and sits next to me. "how's work" I ask without looking away from the dusty tv across the room. She probably gives me a look that I imagine a mob boss would share with a goon who just asked for a raise. She earns money by telling insecure small business owners how to not scare away their customers or clients. I think she works a whopping 4 and a half days a month. I make money by taking the gigs she doesn't feel like getting involved in. I do most of the research and leg work to keep the operation going. She basically knows I despise her very existence because she makes about ten times more money than I do and reprimands me every now and then because we haven't made it to the Forbes 500 yet. 

"What are we doing tonight?" she asks while fishing in her bag for something. 

"I got a date" this takes her back for about two seconds before she figures I'm lying and drops a file on my lap. 

"This is the bakery I was telling you about, the one that's probably cooking meth in the basement. You're going to meet the owner in an hour. Buy him dinner and wear something pretty if you want to get lucky tonight. I need to make an investment before the end of the quarter."

She gives me her best poker face - which would cost her a fortune in any game - while I contemplate whether the investment involves buying a new bear rug or any number of ridiculous items she really doesn't need. I wouldn't mind a new bed that doesn't constantly look forward to sending me to a chiropractor, but hey, it's either this, or farming. Actually, farming doesn't sound too..

"I hope you're thinking of the many ways to seduce Garner into paying you handsomely for our services"


"The file. Read it."

I could be home stuffing my face with left over pizza and watching Old foreign films, but no. I had to sit down at the exact place Nyla knows I keep coming back to everyday for the past 3 years. it's not like there isn't anywhere better to go, but.. This place is a black hole. The service is crap and I suspect they wash and reuse the coffee filters to give that special soapy taste, but like an old pair of comfy sneakers, there are places that you just can't find a replacement for.

I open the file and see a mug shot of the guy I'm supposed to meet, details of the venue; when it was established, address, capital, etc. I suppress a yawn before I realize who this is. "this guy was on the news a few days ago" she had to smile at my sudden realization.

"Meet Ray Garner, our friendly neighborhood baker and murderer of at least 13 hookers in the past 6 years (allegedly).


The baker murder victims - or "The bakers dozen" as some of the smartass kids and so-called "journalists" call them - are 13 college girls who supposedly work for their educational fund in.. Places that conservatives usually frown upon but probably visit from time to time. Garner has been a victim of public scrutiny since a recent list of suspects was leaked from the local police department. Out of more than a handful of suspects - Garner being at the bottom of the "people of interest" list - he got most of the flak, with his bald head, scruffy beard and demonic tattoos running down both his arms. I've actually been to his shop before, he's got a thick voice and he looks like a biker more than a baker and the fact that "Wake and bake" was written on his apron helped the pie purchase I made more memorable. The "Bakers dozen" memes circulating online isn't really helping his case at the moment.

"Getting a bit desperate aren't we Nyla?"

"A business owner is about to hit rock bottom and what is it that we do again? We help hopeless cases like him get back in the game. He threatened to deep fry a kids face the other day because the moron asked for an autograph"
"The guy needs to own a bar not a bakery. He's not exactly a misunderstood or lovable guy who's been framed. He's a suspect in a HUGE case and he's got a short temper. You realize we can easily jeopardize our own business if we so much as breathe a word of trying to help him?"

"Have you no ambition? That's a rhetorical question, shut up. An oppurtunity like this doesn't come up everyday. You save this guy from shutting down his business and we'll have people begging us for a consultation and we'll be unstoppable"

"Or people recognize us as the deadbeats who can only take on clients who literally have nothing left to lose" that comment typically earns me an inappropriate hand gesture "AND we already have two clients who are knee deep in trouble, plus 3 others that need at least 6 hours a week of our attention, each. This guy will take up too much of our time if not all of it"

"He will have your full undivided attention because I cancelled on the 2 knee-deep-in-shit clients and I'm taking the burner project off your hands"

"That's not funny.."

"it's not supposed to be. Your meeting is in 20 minutes, chop chop, love you, bye!"

And just like that, she's out the door and all I can think is, ’I wonder how much I can get for selling one of my kidneys...’

So you know what to do! What did you think about this piece? I hope to see your comments!

Thank you for participating, Abdullah! And good luck with NaNoWriMo.

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