Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year...

Glossy filter on the left and without on the right.

This is not a trite and cliched new year post inasmuch as it bears the words. It is about the time I suffered an acute bout of FOMO (fear of missing out) over the influx of Christmas cards on social media during the festive season.

The beauty, creativity and thoughts put into releasing the final product in true spirit of the season not only lifted my mood but had me reaching for the pencil a couple of times. It is that unabated excitement and flow of creative juices that heralded the decision to come up with something personal for New Year's. 

It took me 3 days to settle on the lettering and another 2 for color. After the pencil sketch was done, the finishing touches were more or less a walkover!

Coming a cross filter that gave it the glossy and sparkly finish was quite the feather in my cap! It brought my vision to light and got me so excited that waiting for the remaining days and five minutes after midnight on the 31st almost dampened my mood.

The feedback after the reveal was insane! Thinking about it, right now, warms my heart! 
A fortnight into 2017 and there's nothing much I can say except Alhamdulilah. For the gift of life, for the new dreams we get to dream after fulfilling old ones and the opportunities that drive us to discover our potential and become the people we desire to be.

Life may not be perfect right now; but it is absolutely alright!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sixth Anniversary

It is six years since I developed Simply Shanah. In a generation and era where everything is about commercialization and making a profit, the reasons as to why I created this space continue to hold water and are unlikely to change.
When I started Simply Shanah; I had no illusions of grandeur whatsoever of ever making a living off of it.If anything, I was after the space - somewhere I can write and let go of the myriad of thoughts that bog me down, not because writing is my passion but more of therapy to me. And as such, never was perturbed over it’s dismal performance. The knowledge that readers find it relatable now, and think me good enough to turn it into a money-making entity are all unexpected feathers in my cap.
People write for all sorts of reasons most of which is passion for the majority. All of them will say it is hard, more so for those seeking to earn a living from it. Blogging is just as hard if not harder. Setting up a blog with the intent to earn off of it soon as it is up and running is an endeavor doomed to fail. It’s success relies solely on nurturing and time  which are infinite factors.
What our generation has failed to understand is; success takes time and nurturing. In the blogsphere: you need to have good content, time to build up a readership or following and also social media reach. All of which do not happen in a day let alone months. And for those seeking to earn from it; they need to put something down twice or thrice a week to maintain their reach which makes the output of good content and spread extra hard because tastes and opinions differ when it comes to topical issues.
I always encourage friends of mine who are better writers than I, to go into blogging just to nurture and grow their writing skills while at the same time build an audience because they go hand-in-hand. You need to have a solid audience before you can seek to earn from blogging for it is this audience that will pay to read your material and recommend to friends thus spreading your readership. When that happens; your writing skills would have vastly improved. It is the same piece of advice I am extending to all budding bloggers and writers along with; write because you need to and not have to.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Guest House

I came across this poem from Rumi whilst going through feed from +Ideapod   and simply had to share because it resonates and sums up all the feelings we have to deal with as humans on a daily basis. You never know what mood is going to keep you company when you wake up nor spend the day with.

“The Guest House ~
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

It's main message is to embrace it all, no matter what. However much it hurts, at the bottom of it all comes relief as long as you immerse yourself in the feelings and not fight them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Write until the pain lessens
The memories fade
The thoughts stop running.
Write until it no longer hurts
Till you're able to catch that weightless sigh.
Write until there's nothing to write about
Till the thoughts stop feeding your pen.
Write until it is OK!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Shanah Off Duty

Facebook finally gave me the URL to my art's Facebook Page! What does this mean? My Facebook page can be searched, found in all search engines and shared across social media platforms! 
Getting the URL faster than anticipated came as a surprise for I never advertised it as much on my profile page nor forced friends to like it out of obligation. I wanted it to grow on its own merit while I enjoy the process of design and drawing.
The night my URL became active; I leafed through the posts on Shanah Off Duty and came across a few inspired by a muse. I sat up on my bed that night and looked back on my folly, the feelings and actions that transpired and I laughed. 
I laughed over the folly of it all. The emotions and feelings that he wrought. The thoughts that would run to him through the day and the poems. Gosh! I was a poet for a minute. I'd never been crazy over a person as I was over my muse.
In that moment; it hit me that he and I are, "nothing more than strangers with a fistful of sand for memories slowly sipping through the seams." So much transpired yet the memories suggest nothing at all. Maybe it never did? 
Now, I can look at the pieces and not think of what was but is. I can appreciate them for what they truly stand for: my passion for creativity. My art! The reason as to why Shanah Off Duty exists. 

This is the link to my Facebook page.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Facebook Memories

Facebook memories.
Ghosts from the past that return to haunt you when you least expect it.
When the little notification pings, I brace myself in anticipation of what  might be in store. Good or bad? Morose or gay? What the post might turn out to be never matters much as long as it is not a rant!
There is nothing more cringeworthy than a rant on social media! The sole bane to the gaiety of Facebook memories.
With the daily ping of reminders, the promise I made  myself two years ago; never to rant on social media more so on Facebook lurks. I did so much of it on Twitter that ultimately, I had to delete the account and start afresh. 
However, the year of being a good girl on Twitter never portended well for Facebook.
A time or two; my inner devil has come out to play with little to no provocation. This is what I get for not being able to write as frequently as I did the years before last.
Being whoever you wish to be on social media notwithstanding, I know this is not the person I wish nor desire to be. Hence my decision to get rid of all the people that bring out this side of me.
I no longer desire to see people who bring it out on my timeline. Not anymore. Seeing them in the groups I belong to is emough. Everyone needs a respite from the bullshit at the end of the day.
As dire as the picture I am painting of these little memories may seem, there have been good ones albeit not so many. They have been enough to smile about and chuckle over. Going through the comments rears the friends lost along the way and ones gained. An honest depiction of life, cause we lose and gain some with little regret.
I had banked on Facebook memories to remind me of the good that happened last year. At this point in time; I am inclined to believe they do not exist. Which, if you look at it, may not be a bad thing for we all have that one year or two we wish to forget! 2015 was that year for me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Tincture of Time

This time last year was the hardest part of 2015 for me and it is no wonder  why I was neither looking forward to my Facebook memories nor going through them. So much pain, emotional upheaval and an insurmountable darkness that I did not know how to deal without letting go.

I had to let go of everything that holds me together to deal with depression - to accept in order to feel and get better without getting medical help. One good day; I took out one of my works in progress with the hope that it will help my mood only for my mood to extend itself to the piece. A piece that brought about this post.

It's been a year since Beauty In Ugly. I couldn't read the piece and look at the drawing without tears rushing to my eyes. The memories stinged, so did the evidence of my despair. Even writing this is giving me a heavy heart at the moment albeit a little more painless. 

What a difference time makes given the chance? As much as I am reminded of everything I went through this time of year; I am in a somewhat good place. Getting through the day is no longer a struggle. I no longer have  inexplicable crying bouts and  the heavy baggage I used to carry on my heart is lighter. The best thing about it all is; the wish that used to get me through the remaining days and months is hardly a chant anymore neither is it a hangar for all the positivity I needed.

Time takes it all away given the opportunity. Let yourself go through the motions: mentally and emotionally  with its guiding touch. It will take you where you wish to be regardless of the duration. 

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