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fiction

In 2014, I was back from an extended blogging hiatus and trying to find my writing legs. It was when I first realized I needed to make the shift from Fiction to Nonfiction. Prior to that time, my Fiction was a jumble of the anxieties I was trying to sort without accepting or owning. In fact, I wrote a 192 page cycle of short stories as my MFA thesis that was based mostly on my family’s nonfictional experience with the Lebanese-American diaspora on both continents. It is a series of

Read Journey to Next World, the first leg of this story, here. Topside, the world looks bigger because our minds are smaller. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from life underground, it’s that perspective is everything. Beelzebub and I started this journey into the earth on the breath of a dream. My dream. One that haunted my sleep night after night until I followed Bub to the soft soil where we dug up the door to Next World. When I saw my handprint on the door–knew I was the key–I

I’m sorry. I was hungry I guess? I’m not sure why it happened. You were there in one ultrasound. A shadow person. A double image. The doctor says I absorbed you. Mama says that makes me twice the woman I might have been. I missed you. I always set out a cup and saucer for you at tea parties. Put a mirror in your seat so I could find you in my corner vision, know what it might have been like to not be so alone. You were my greatest

The lamp lived by her bedside. It lit the dark nights with a lavender glow. It was like jewelry for the eyes, and gave the curious sense of wearing sunglasses in the dark. Or glasses that created sun. It was clean. That’s why she placed it in this space. It was clean and the light was warm, but in daylight it felt stark. Like it was only pretending to be pretty. It was too much like her and she hated it. There was a reason she smashed mirrors with abandon,

I knew I’d read about it somewhere: a man who could return the Woman’s Bond. It was a few days after the connection came alive to me—and, oh, how alive I feel now!—that the memory resurfaced. Really, it sort of niggled. I couldn’t shake the certainty that what I was doing should still be impossible. That this awakening wasn’t meant for me. Could I be good enough for this? After Jana shielded herself and retreated, the niggle became a nag. The nag became a shout. The shout was persistent. So

There is something I want you to know. It is about the way I live my life since your embrace. It is the way you live in my life even after you pass, and until we meet again. In the Spring, I sit with my windows open so I can feel a connection to the world. It’s not like Kayfoun here. There is no direct connection to the land. No one lives in a flat above me. No laundry hangs outside. But I’ve come up with a way to counteract

Update: Online signup is now open. Click here.  I’m excited to share my finalized course schedule for April and May. I will be offering a session of Writing through Trauma for women only, as well as two new classes, designed based on interest and request. Please contact me with any questions. And please share! Writing through Trauma for WOMEN ONLY Dates: 6 Mondays from April 13-May 18, 2015 Time: 6:30-8:30 PM Location: Unity of Bloomington Cost: $80 Instructor: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie This class will be a supportive space for adult

“You’re the last person in the world anyone would talk to about a problem. You know that. I know that.” Susie pushed her upper body away from the floor by leaning on her elbows. She picked various pieces of dirt and lint off the floor. “I know.” Susie’s mother harrumphed and slumped down, preparing herself for the inevitable depression that would result from an adult chat with her daughter. Susie’s mother strongly resented the way Susie tried to coach her in parenting. Susie didn’t even have any children! Susie steeled

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** When they’d all left—all but Helene who’d insisted on staying close to Bria to be certain she wouldn’t disappear again—Bria collapsed on her bed and stared out the window. “You can tell me,” Helene said. “We’re in this together.” Bria met Helene’s gray eyes. “About the tie, I mean. I know you’re tied to me somehow. You could at least tell me why you did it. I mean, we were never even friends.” Bria gave a half-smile. “True. We weren’t really

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** The green couch was soft under Jana. She let it hold her, let her weight fall down through it until she felt as though she were floating. Her feet rested lightly on the floor, barely brushing the long, wooden planks. It was warm here, in this room. It was warm and the air was heavy with age and the dusty sighs of a hundred bodies that had dwelled here and passed on. This creaky, swaying house was brimming with the echoes

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