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Although it started as a joke, the idea that I turn my articles into a book has now fully taken hold of my mind. The challenge is unbelievable.
It first started with my best friend acting as my editor, jokingly saying that after I had sent her enough articles she is going to publish HER Book. I retorted by asking her to use a nice pseudonym and she in turn said that she will use “Aida Awad”. We both laughed and from then on it was a running joke.
Lately though I have been getting the same request from a few of my friends who have been following my writings on Facebook and on my blogs. I did not really take it seriously until a few days ago.
Time was lying very heavily on my hands and I was struggling not to give in to the grief which can pounce on me at any minute if given half a chance, when the idea popped into my head that maybe I could play with the idea of turning my articles into a sort of autobiographical book that encompasses, not only my personal journey, but also that of Egypt as I have lived it. The more I thought about it, the more attractive the idea became. It would entail a great deal of rearrangement of the randomly written articles to form a cohesive, naturally flowing whole. The most attractive aspect was the time it would take and the concentration it would need.
This is exactly what I need now. A huge task that needs a great deal of concentration, a large amount of work in trying to delve into the past and get the dates straight, and many, many revisions to ensure that all those bits and pieces come together into one cohesive entity. What a challenge! Yes I’ll do it!
So for the past few days I have been working very hard at trying to collect all my articles, to try to put them in some sort of chronological order, and to try to link the different eras together through bridging. In doing so I had to dig out my old picture albums to try to remember when each of my trips took place.
Ever since my first trip I started writing notes about my sightseeing, my adventures and anything of interest I saw or heard during my trips. These notes I punctuated with the best pictures I took, so it was like a whole chronicle of the trip to help me recall it later. These albums helped me no end now in placing each trip at its correct date and even brought back memories which I had forgotten. I even came across some of my old pictures which took me back years and really lifted my spirits no end when I got such a flattering reaction from all my Facebook friends after posting one of them.
The joke is no longer a joke. It has now turned into a very serious tool that is helping me no end at a time when I desperately need this distraction. I am so immersed into it that I can barely sleep at night, thinking of all the incidents that could be included to enrich the experience and to round it off and complete it.
Last week when some of my cousins came and spent a day with me, I broached the subject of publishing, and one of them suggested on-line publishing. I started looking into it, but did not get very far as am now all excited with the idea of a book.
Even if this does not materialize for whatever reason, it would still have served its purpose. It is now taking me out of my difficult present and transporting me back to a mostly lovely past. At least I have some control over what to choose and what to discard of that past.
Easter is looming in the near future, as well as some legal steps right after Easter, and both are causing me a great deal of worry. A lot of firsts. The first Easter after my Mom’s passing. The changed circumstances and the difference compared to last Easter. But that is the way to grief. So a complete change.
I shall be moving into the apartment for a few days to get over the Easter period, finish with the legal procedure, then come back home. I am hoping to put in a great deal of work, and will try to see as many of my cousins and friends during that period as I could.
When God closes door He opens a window. All He asks of us is to look.
7 April 2014