Archives for posts with tag: environment

Kindle Sale begins today. From Friday 8th-Friday 15th 2017, you can get Faces in the Water for just $0.99 or 99p. Click on the country link to buy it now: UK   US

When I was a little girl, I wrote stories all the time. My favourite one was about a pair of magical tap shoes that transported the child who wore them into a strange and mysterious land with weird, stinky monsters, who were actually much nicer than they looked! I think I even won a prize at the local book store for writing a story, although I can’t remember what that was about. I wrote and wrote and told stories and imagined and dreamed, right up until I started GCSEs, and then I think school got busy, and there was homework and sports and dancing to do in my spare time. I still wrote at school, but I stopped writing stories when I was at home. It wasn’t until I started university that it occurred to me I had lost a part of me when I stopped writing. I wanted to take an optional creative writing module as part of my English and Theatre Studies degree, but they wouldn’t let me apply without a portfolio of work.

Well, I didn’t have a portfolio of work!

All my life, I had considered myself a writer; writing and storytelling was what I did. But all of a sudden, I felt like a fraud. How could I be a real writer if, at the grand old age of 19, I didn’t have a portfolio of creative writing?!

So that was that – I wasn’t a writer anymore. And as my first year at university went on, I decided I wasn’t a dancer or a performer anymore either, and that I was terrible at netball and sports in general. I stopped doing the things that made me feel alive: I stopped socialising and performing and writing and playing sports. I studied (but not very well), I went to the gym, and I locked myself away in my room a lot. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best time of my life.

I remember very vividly the time I started writing again because in that moment, a little spark of ‘Sarah the writer’ was rekindled and I began to remember who I was again. I was on holiday with my family in France, and I was sitting on my own at the top of a grassy meadow that looked out over the fields below. I had drawn my knees into my chest and bowed my head to rest on them. Bright, golden sun shone through the curtain of hair that had fallen across my face, making it glitter and sparkle. I felt safe and peaceful, as though I had been transported into a magical space all of my own, and a story came to me about a young girl who lived in a little wooden hut on the edge of a forest. This girl could talk to the sunlight; she could cup it in her hands and mold it like clay.

That was the start of Faces in the WaterTen years later, after several rewrites, I finally finished my first novel. Most of the story had changed from that initial moment, but the essence of it had stayed the same. At the heart of it, there was still a shy but determined young girl trying to keep hold of her identity.

Two years ago, I finally published Faces in the Water. It is a book that is very precious to me: it got me through those tough early twenties when I was still trying to work out who I really was; and it carried me right the way through to my early thirties, when I finally found the confidence to say to people, ‘I am a writer.’

Unfortunately, I missed Faces’ 1st birthday (I was too wrapped up in enjoying maternity leave and writing cute Christmas stories for my little girls!) but this year, to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Faces in the Water finally being published, we are having a Kindle sale. I am launching a countdown sale from today (8th December 17) and for the next seven days (until 15th December) you can pick up the Kindle edition of Faces in the Water for just $0.99c or 99p. So, what are you waiting for? Click on one of these links now and go and buy it: UK download; US download. And then tell all your friends about it too!

Oh, and if you enjoy it, don’t forget to pop back to Amazon to leave a review or send me an email: sarahmahfoudhz@gmail.com.

Happy reading!

Sarah

x

Author and Editor

www.sarahmahfoudh.com

www.rawmixture.co.uk

www.instagram.com/mahfoudhsarah

 

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skyLast night I lay in bed, listening to the wind as it pummeled our house and rattled the windows, and my fairy-tale loving mind went into overdrive, weaving stories of magic and adventure. The weather has always been a source of awe and inspiration for me. Feeling the wind tussle my hair, listening to rain pattering on the roof, stretching my toes into a hazy shaft of autumn sun – these things make my soul sing; these things connect me to the world and remind me what really matters in life.

But, of course, as recent events demonstrate, weather is just as capable of destroying and taking away life as it is of giving life. Weather is nature’s way of restoring balance. It is not good or evil – it just is what it is. And the more we humans disrupt the delicate equilibrium of this planet, the harder the planet has to work to try to restore harmony. I avoid saying ‘fight back’ because the planet is not fighting us; just as we should not be fighting it. Earth doesn’t care whether our species survives or thrives. The planet is not trying to hurt us. Nature is just doing what it does and we, the creatures who inhabit this planet, can either continue to ‘battle’ against it (and lose) or we can realise that our current way of life is not suitable for this world. We need to adapt and learn from our mistakes: we cannot tame nature, but we could allow nature to tame us, and then perhaps we might be in with a chance of surviving the changes that are coming our way.

I live in England, on high ground, away from the sea, so for me the threat of climate change seems a little more distant at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore it. I have not had my house destroyed by floods; my home has not been razed to the ground by a hurricane; I still have electricity and gas and clean water and heating. I am lucky – I got up this morning, had a coffee, did the school run and then sat down at my computer to write this. No drama! But climate change is happening and our world is changing and I am certain that over the next few years we will be seeing more and more scenes of devastation caused by extreme weather … and that’s before we start talking about the water wars and weather refugees.

I am genuinely concerned about what sort of world we are leaving for our children, but like many people, I feel overwhelmed and powerless. And I feel outraged that those people who do have the privilege of power are actively making this problem worse rather than trying to rectify it. What can one little person like me do if the people in power refuse to take the necessary action? I try to buy ethical, sustainable products; I cut down on my driving; I turn off lights and try to cut down on my energy consumption; I sign petition after petition … blah blah blah! These are such small things and there are days when my small efforts feel so utterly pointless and my mind is so tired of worrying about it all that I just want to say ‘fuck it’ and pretend it doesn’t matter. Even writing this little rant seems futile – just another pleading voice that is too small and insignificant to be heard over the storm. But I can’t give up. I won’t stop trying to make a difference: I’ll keep on ranting, and buying Eco products, and attempting to grow vegetables, and annoying people on social media by sharing petitions to sign, in the hope that other people are doing the same. And if enough of us stop burying our heads in the sand, and begin to take action, and stand up to the people in power and tell them that this is not the type of world we want to live in anymore, then maybe, just maybe, we will be able to adapt as a species, and our children and grandchildren will be able to find a way of surviving (and hopefully thriving) on this planet.

Here’s hoping!

x

Ps. If you want a good book to start the conversation about the environment with your kids, ‘The Wump World’ by Bill Peet is fantastic.

Wump