Please help me welcome our Guest Author this week on the Writer's Journey Blog, Mehreen Ahmed.
I must admit, I have come a long way from my daydreaming state about becoming a writer. I have always known that I love reading, and what’s more? I love nature the most. Everything about nature stirs me from the trembling of the leaves in raindrops, to the last blade of wavering grass in the winds. I love it all and I pen them down in my diary. Every entry in my diary starts with some sort of a fascinating engagement with nature like an inventory of all things.
I remember sitting in my garden as a child and watching the peaceful river flow by. I want to find out, not about its source, but about what stories its sonorous waves have carried for millions of years now. The debris it has collected on its way. Each has a story to tell. The bark of a tree must have come from someplace where a tree stands. It may have had a love heart etched on its skin and names of innumerable lovers over many past years, until the bark snaps off one day, and is swept away by a storm along with dry leaves into the depths of this river.
Then one day, I discovered Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Tagore, and Nazrul Islam. Their works expand my horizon, and fill up my mind with music, style, mood, tone, and emotions, pouring into the fount of adulation for them. I find my niche in maturity. I know that I want to be like my masters. My pot of gold, my imagination has been eluding me all this time, but now the time has come to explore it.
My dairy slowly begins to reshape into something else, something worth noting. I realise nature alone isn’t sufficient. I need to add more to it, another organic world, the living world of humans where the two meet and dance the tango in my imagination. Creativity takes place. That is the beginning of something new, but raw. Something which transpires into more significance at a later date. I start to write. But did not publish until much later, A Winter’s Tale comes out in The Sheaf in the winter of 1987 in Canada, University of Saskatchewan.
This is followed by more journalistic write-ups published in subsequent issues of the same newspaper. However, I find myself attracted by this raw and grittiness of life rather than its polished facade. I want to delve deeper into the core. This, the core of human nature, what Joseph Conrad defines as innate (Lord Jim). My writings find a new wave of nuanced expressions in a stream-of-consciousness style. I started to publish, books, short stories, flash fiction and so on. But I also publish academic articles and book reviews at the same time.
Today, I feel that maybe I have become a writer after all. What does it take to be recognised as one, I wonder? What makes all those aforementioned writers and more, to enjoy these unique and immortal haloed seats. I may have reached a milestone, however, many more such milestones are needed to reach the pinnacle. It awaits. The future awaits.
Mehreen Ahmed is an award-winning, internationally published and critically acclaimed author. She has written Novels, Novella, Short Stories, Creative Nonfiction, Flash Fiction, Academic, Prose Poetry, Memoirs, Essays, and Journalistic Write-Ups. Her works have been anthologised, podcast and translated in German, Greek, and Bengali. She was born and raised in Bangladesh. At the moment, she lives in Australia.
Awards and Nominations
The Blotted Line received Author Shout Reader Ready Award for Anthology, Bronze Medal Honourable Mention (2019)
Moirae received Author Shout Reader Ready Award for Dystopia, Bronze Medal Honourable Mention (2019)
The Pacifist received Author Shout Ready Ready Award for Historical Fiction, Silver Medal Recommended Read (2019)
Jacaranda Blues received The Best of Novels Family Novels of the Year by The Novel Writing Festival for Short Stories (2017)
The Pacifist was a Drunken Druid Editor's Choice, June 2017
Moirae was nominated for Ditmar Awards Eligibility for Best Book (2016)
7th Sky was nominated for Ditmar Awards Eligibility for Best Short Story (2019)
Moirae was nominated for Aurealis Award for Fantasy Short Story/Novella (2015)
The Pacifist was nominated for The New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Christina Stead Prize for Fiction (2018)
Bats Downunder voted to be included in The Best of Cafelit 8 Anthology (2019)
Routledge, Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge Core), University of Hawaii University Press, Michigan State University Press, ISTE, Callej.org.Journal, Learner Autonomy Special Interest group (IATEFL, LASIG), Independence, University of Kent, Canterbury, The Sheaf, University of Saskatchewan Press.
Literati Magazine: A Rare Swan Press Journal of Arts and Literature, Anti-Heroin Chic, Wellington Street Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Impspired Magazine, The Writers and Readers' Magazine, The Writer's Club-Gray Thoughts,3 Moon Magazine, Merak Magazine, Sage Cigarettes, The Scribe Magazine: Breaking Rules Publishing, The Bombay Review, FlashBack Fiction, Scars online and Down in the Dirt print magazine and CC&D print magazine, Nymphs Publications, Portand Metrozine, Ellipsis Zine, Ginosko Literary Journal, The Cabinet of Heed, Straylight Magazine, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Creativity Webzine, Mojave Heart Review, The Piker Press, Kitaab International, Nthanda Review, CommuterLit.Com, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review.The World of Myth Magazine, Jumbelbooks, Literary Yard, Fear and Trembling Magazine, Terror House Magazine, Connotation Press, The Punch Magazine, Re: Action Review, Furtive Dalliance Literary Review, Flash Fiction North, Velvet Illusion Literary Magazine, Storyland Literary Review, Spillwords Press, CafeLit Magazine, Story Institute, Cosmic Teapot Publishing, Clarendon House Publication, Dastaan World Magazine, Books On Demand, Germany, Your Nightmares: Nyctophilia. gr Magazine, Best Poetry: Contemporary poetry online.
The Portrait selected by Immortal Works Flash Fiction Friday.
German by Frank Joussen, and D.C Hubbard (Editors), appears in the anthology of Kleinkrieg und Frieden: Eine Collage Internationale Familiengeschichten, 2018.
Greek by Mileva Anastasiadou, appears in Nytophilia Literary Magazine, April 25, 2017.
Bangla by Mainul Moin appears in print in Naya Diganta Newspaper, November 29, 2019.