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Friday, 3 April 2020

Understanding Mental Illness

Depression is more than sadness.
Anxiety is more than worrying.
Bipolar is more than mood swings.
OCD is more than 'tidiness.'
ADHD is not 'being hyperactive.'
Addiction is not 'enjoying something'.

And most psychopaths are not serial killers - in fact, many are relatively harmless if you don't piss them off.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

It's Perfectly Okay Not to Be a Feminist

...and equally okay to self-identify as a feminist. However, many feminists (similarly to political activists and religious fundamentalists) insist upon those around them also becoming feminists. This is because whenever a person is part of a group that holds strong, core principals, part of those principals is to inevitably bring other people into the fold. I can describe it as similar to whenever I insist those around me watch Game of Thrones (which is my personal 'religion'). When we care passionately about something, and believe it to be a force for good in the world, it is only natural to want others to join in.

Friday, 24 January 2020

So, here we are.

My name is Zarina. It's a Persian name, originally, meaning 'golden.' It also means 'queen' in various translations. Common in the Arabic, Indian, Russian and Middle-Eastern parts of the world. Not so much in the UK.

I've self-published five books. I remember 2015; sitting in my room, crying and drinking alcohol, feeling like I was going insane. Perhaps we're all insane at seventeen.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

2019 Thoughts

As the end of the year approaches, one may as well find the time to reflect. This has been the best year I've had in, well, a long time. A lot of that has to do with finally feeling fulfilled in what I'm doing, and being taken more seriously as an artist.

Monday, 9 December 2019

THIRD NOVEL COMING SOON! (5th published work)

Things have been non-stop for me since self-publishing my fiction and poetry in 2018. I've since had an article published in the i newspaper; have a mailing list (click here to join and get free book downloads), sold copies of my poetry books at poetry events in London, had my books reviewed on book blogs and swapped interviews with other authors and bloggers. 

A friend from uni has helped me out with various marketing things such as setting up my mailing list and finding me links to school workshop agencies. I'm learning a lot and am still only at the beginning, but proud of what I've accomplished with all the support along the way. Here's the blurb for my upcoming young-adult fiction novel, Around Midnight.

The harder you love, the higher the stakes.

Jazz is everything to Megan Hollis. When her hands clasp the saxophone, melodies flow with each breath.

Music carries her from Copperwood to London, with university on the horizon. Set on attending London’s prestigious School of Jazz, all elements of her life harmonize.

Then she meets Vincent Turner, the mysterious guy with a dangerous reputation. Intoxicated by his possessive charms, Megan’s love shifts from melodic bliss to a dissonant nightmare. 

While the future promises stardust dreams, her new relationship takes a turn for the worse. Megan becomes caught between what she wants and what everyone believes is best for her.

Will Megan learn to dance to the beat of her own rhythm?


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Daenerys and Walter White: Same Characters, Different Shows

Daenerys Targaryen and Walter White are two of the most compelling, well-written anti-heroes in TV history in my not-so-humble opinion. They also star in two of the world's greatest TV shows. In the last episode of Thrones, I thought about how incredible Daenerys is as a character. She's brilliant, brave, and strong, but also arrogant, ruthless, and dangerously single-minded. She and Walter represent the ultimate bad and good that lies in us all.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Why you SHOULD NOT vote Tory next month

Let me start by saying that I do not view conservative voters as 'evil', nor do I believe that who one votes for dictates their moral standpoint. That would go against my general rational pragmatic outlook. I have met good-hearted Tory voters and nasty Labour voters. Moreover, we live in a democracy, so obviously no one can tell anyone who they can and can't vote for. This post is simply going to outline why I believe voting for the Conservatives in next month's general election is a bad idea for the United Kingdom. You can read it, scoff at it, ignore it or share it. That's up to you.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Plot vs Character-Driven Stories

Whenever I set out to write a story, I almost always start with the character. There's a person that forms clearly in my mind, usually taken from human characteristics I find fascinating. Introvert vs extrovert, insecure vs relaxed, selfless vs greedy, intense vs carefree. Sometimes I think writers are psychoanalysts; we delve into people's heads and write about them.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Don't Kill Yourself For Success

Danielle Steel is the bestselling author of all time and one of the most prolific authors alive. I've never read a book by her (romance novels aren't my thing, gimme Stephen King or Liane Moriarty instead), but her immense work ethic and creative output is inspiring.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

A Culture of Putting Ourselves Down

Ask a pretty woman if she's attractive and she'll instantly say she isn't, or downplay it, or say you're prettier than her. No one likes a show-off, but a simple acknowledgement of one's looks, talents, and intelligence is not a bad thing.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Review of Anne by Robert Fanshawe

My friend and fellow writer Robert J. Fanshawe kindly wrote this brilliant review of my latest novel. Check out his book The Cellist's Friend available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Over to Rob...

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Changing the Way I Blog

When I started this blog in 2017, I wanted a space to let out my opinions and converse with others online. A lot of that took place through Google Plus; I would share many of my posts in various groups and have conversations (and debates) with others online about them. I even made friends with someone who commented heavily on my posts and whom I resumed contact with after a misunderstanding. (She and I communicate regularly in private and find our friendship mutually rewarding.)