The book that everyone’s been waiting for (I’m guessing?) is finally here! 🙂
After I worked on and self-published my last (Q&A) book back in 2019, which was a major piece of work spanning over 400 pages, requiring meticulous editing and proof-reading, I heaved such a huge sigh of relief, and felt so exhausted from the whole process, that I decided that I’d take a whole year off before even thinking about self-publishing another book!
Then, as the new year 2020 rolled around, came with it, one of the greater trials (fitan) of the millennium: the Covid19 pandemic! The world went into lockdown, and so did we, as a family. Everyday life, as we knew it, changed. And then people started dying. Every other day or week, news of another demise came. It was sad, so sad, to say the very least.
Nevertheless, despite the down time, I still did not go back to curating my next book; that was how exhausted I was!
The year 2021 saw me regain my “muse”, or whatever you might call it viz. inspiration, motivation, form, or spark. I was back on track after passing the much-needed down time, afforded mostly by the changed circumstances of everyone around the world.
The fact that anyone can die at any time, is hitting home more and more for me, ever since this pandemic began. I felt this sense of urgency and haste; that time is very short.
“Publish all your written work in the form of books, before you leave this world too!” a gentle but insistent voice inside my head kept repeating to me, over and over.
My children are growing up very fast, and their chaotic and spirited childhood years are fast becoming a fading memory. I decided that the homeschooling book that I had been planning and curating in my head, was the next one that I needed to tackle — on the double!
So, in February 2021, I picked up my journal once again, and started making a list of my scattered articles that shared a common theme (viz. motherhood, parenting, and homeschooling, in this particular case).
To my utter astonishment (as always), the list grew longer and longer before my increasingly-widened eyes. So much so, that I’d just sit there staring at it, often rubbing my forehead and temple with my 2 forefingers and thumb, respectively (a pose that, as my teenagers now jokingly point out to each other, has become my signature ‘trademark’, — for when their Mama is sitting in silence, “reflecting” on something deep, or planning something big).
You see, approximately 50,000-words-worth of content lay listed in front of my astonished eyes.
And somehow I needed to conjure up the motivation to turn it into a book!
Allah somehow gave me strength.
And I got to work.
Come end of June 2021, and, all praises to Allah, Who helped me shape my work into the form of a book, — the result is finally out there, alhamdulillah!
What‘s more….Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon’s self-publishing tool for authors) invited me to publish my next book in my favorite form: a hardback!
Yes, you heard that right, I could finally publish a book in hardcover.
Hardbacks, or hardcover books, are my favorite kind. They are so much easier to hold up and flip through as you read, and they last oh-so-much-longer when it comes to sustained quality, than paperbacks!
Hardbacks are truly any bibliophile‘s highest-prized book form.
You can click or tap here to buy my latest book from Amazon.
Consider it an investment. That is, aim to ‘invest’ in it, and keep it safely up in a corner of your home, to go to for consultation, deep reading, or casual, over-a-steaming-coffee-cup flip-through’s, again and again, over the years of your life.
Apologies to my poverty-mindset-harboring (mostly Pakistan-based) readers, who continue to complain about the price-tags on my books. I empathize with you. I was also once the product of an educational system that thrived/survived on the sale and purchase of cheap, pirated, faded-text, Urdu-Bazar-bought textbooks, and innumerable trips to the on-campus photocopying machine.
But today, I have left that system far behind (duh, in case you hadn’t noticed). I now go out of my way to try to never end up owning any pirated copies of any books, although second-hand (used) books continue to dot my bookshelves and counter-tops, especially dated editions of those books and magazines that have now permanently gone out of print. These I consider to be quite prized possessions.
Today, I have changed the way that I perceive the ownership of an original, copyrighted book: I see it as an investment that (literally) spans generations.
Especially whenever I withhold one of my teenagers (willingly and attentively) reading a non-fiction book that I had purchased, or was gifted, back when I was a teenager, or a 20-something-year-old, myself.
You can disagree with me, of course. For you, a book (any book) is not worth spending thousands of rupees on. A wedding dress, yes. A piece of furniture, yes. A new smartphone, yes. A long-lasting hairdo/makeover, yes. A piece of gold jewelry, yes. A luxury handbag, yes. An electrical appliance, yes.
But a book? NO. Books are not worth spending up to Rs 15,000 (approximately US$ 100, or less) on.
So, it is alright, really. I am not being sarcastic at all, here. I do respect your opinion, even though I do not agree with it.
And I do know that not everyone can afford certain things. It is a fact. I’ve been there, done that. So may Allah grant you ease and vastness. Amen.
Anyhow, this book of mine is a memoir that will, insha’Allah, change the way that you perceive parenting, and the natural way that children are wired to learn.
To say that it should significantly change the way you think, is an understatement. It will challenge your current opinions and beliefs about parenting, especially if you subscribe heavily to an archaic, culturally rigid, and gender-stereotyped model of parenting.
An ebook version of this book is currently not available.
I have chosen the above image as the cover of my book. It is the capture of a beautiful sunset, which I was gazing out over as I finished off the final edits and the tedious proofreading/fact-checking process of this book.
To me, it symbolized a new beginning: the end of an era in my life, and the imminence of a new one [cheesy as it may sound].
Note: my memoir reads like a chronicle of diary entries. Please note that the entire content of this book is historic in nature i.e. many of the things that I have written or stated in it, might not hold true today; they might not be in accordance with my opinions and facts now, many years later.
But they were true and relevant then, back when they were penned by me.
That is precisely what this book is intended to portray viz. it is a memoir that is meant to show you how my own personal beliefs and thoughts changed, with practical experience.
It is meant to highlight my personal evolution as a mother, and as a homeschooling parent.
So, kindly keep an open mind when (and if) you (ever) read this book!
Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude and acknowledgements to A’ishah Hassan and Abdullah Hassan, for giving me their personalized constructive feedback after going through the first physical draft(s)/proof(s) of this book.
I love you, my now-grown-up “babies”! [*sniff*]
Who knew that you’d grow up so fast, that I’d see the day so quickly, in which you both would be helping me proofread and edit a book that chronicled slivers from your own childhoods?