Some of you have asked how you’d know when I’ve released a novel. I’m not sure if I’d announce it here since it has little to do with Islam and feminism, but I never distinguish between subject areas anyway. If you’d like to follow news about my writing in other areas… all my socials are separated in a vain attempt to appear organized:


the fatal feminist (do you know where you are? do you?!)


Professional/Writing: @creativelynahida (This is the one that’s the most relevant to this question.)
TFF: @thefatalfeminist
Personal: @NahidaNisa (this is set to private)


Professional/Writing/Personal: @NahidaNisa
TFF: @feministfatal


Professional/Writing: /creativelyNahida
TFF: /thefatalfeminist
Please don’t add me on my personal FB profile (not linked) unless we have spoken before.

I have a patreon account in case you ever wanted to throw money at me.

I wouldn’t care if my soulmate didn’t want me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the outraged attitudes of men toward rejection are sourced to entitlement, not pain, and certainly not love. However, in the likely event that anyone would plead otherwise, I am going to state outright that I would not care if my soulmate didn’t want me.

“You’ve never had that experience!” someone shouts accusingly from the back. To which I would respond, how dare you insult the capacity of my imagination, imaginary person—I imagined you, so what kind of self-drag is this. And also, that if I haven’t, then for all I know, he doesn’t.

The fact of the matter is that, in order to dismiss it, anyone could think up a million scenarios more preposterous than my statement that I wouldn’t care if my soulmate didn’t want me, such as if your soulmate doesn’t want you, then he wouldn’t be your soulmate (dehumanizing and easy) and you’re just saying that because you haven’t met him (presumptuous and besides the point). Perhaps out of all of these, the only reasonable allegation is that “wouldn’t care” is too dismissive for accuracy, but the sentiment remains. My simple truth is that I believe a man can be my soulmate and not want me, that I would want him to have the choice to not want me, and that what I would proceed to do is continue to wonder whether or not I am in fact four-dimensional.

Dear reader, I remembered earlier this week a game we used to play in grade school that involved cutting a square smaller than a quarter into a sheet of paper, then attempting to pass the quarter through the tiny square. It is impossible, until the page is folded, upon which the square begins to gape and the coin passes through easily. Of course, this works because a piece of paper is a two-dimensional object that exists in our three-dimensional world, allowing it to disappear into the third dimension when folded, and thereby permitting the coin to pass.

I want to disappear into every dimension there is. Realistically I am absolutely impenetrable. But if I could—fold dimensions deep inside of me that I did not know I ever had—all of shears of Light could pass through me until I—until I were nothing and every moving planetary body at once.

Free will is such a glorious thing, and the only home in which love can reside, and considering how important it is in the Qur’an I should think my preposterous little statement were not… so preposterous, is it?

An agent declined my manuscript recently, saying my language was too flowery for her taste. I was so flattered. Maybe that is strange too, to be flattered. But the …“floweriness” of the language was not a quality I would change, at least for this particular book (and needless to say, she had herself specified that this was a matter of preference). And so I had sighed ecstatically and exploded into stars.

This was a very serious post initially, but now I’m in such a mood. I will revisit the subject when I am not so dreamy.

the problem with mermaids

I receive emails about where this post goes every time I take it down, so I’m leaving it up. There has been a piqued interest in my life lately, for reasons I do not understand. I assure you all that my life is very uninteresting, that it is quiet, and that I’m fond of it. I love to work, particularly when it requires a lot of analysis or argument. When the night falls, after long hours of documentation or drawing proofs (I have more than one job), I sit by the window in restaurants to try unfamiliar dishes and enjoy the company of a friend. I love soft jazz in the bath late at night. I read books in the city rose garden. On the weekends, I create worlds.

I sink into the warmth of the sand or into the chill of the redwoods. I don’t partake in either activity for too long. I love heights and suppress pleasure when there is turbulence on a plane. I keep my close friends at a distance. Sometimes my phone rings at 4am. I grope over my desk half-asleep to find it. It’s a friend in the same timezone, calling me to talk. I’m someone like this to her, I think, amazed, elated. The kind of friend to call at 4am.

I flip through pages of the Qur’an, dissecting every word. I groan and let it fall on my face, dragging it over my mouth. My scarlet lipstick stains the margins. I scrawl notes over them with the slender tip of a pen. I shiver at the thrill of entering a warm car during a cold night, and at the way my perfume, Stella, reminds me of it. I am pleasantly surprised when someone hugs me and it is long and tight. I don’t think about needing it. It doesn’t make sense to want.

I tell myself if I run fast enough, I can break through this dimension and cross into another. I never do. I erupt in passion instead.

Sometimes a man tells me I have this look in my eyes like I want him. I am actually thinking about the aliens responsible for Tabby’s Star and whether they can teach us to harvest energy from celestial objects, after which we will live peaceably until the end of the cosmos. Those are dreamy-eyes, not I-want-you eyes. His voice is interrupting me.

I avoid my favorite movies, because they are overwhelming. I listen to my favorite songs on repeat until I cannot feel them anymore. I slip into velvet, into lace, use sesame oil on a good day, on a day that I feel like I have a future, somewhere. I tell myself I am a witch stripped of her magic powers. When I was in elementary school, I convinced all my friends we had magic powers. I tell myself I should forgive myself for lying to them like this. I don’t.

My life is an empty wreck because I live in my dreams. I look for dream flowers to beautify the smokey reality. But, too melancholy to separate the flowers from their lovely homes, I leave them in my dreams, too.

I kiss the spines of books. I don’t cry. I sip sparkling pink lemonade out of a wine glass. I apologize for falling asleep on the shoulder of a friend. “It’s so crowded,” I say quietly. “Can we leave?” I wonder why every biography turns into this. I lose one high heel at the door and throw off the other two inches into the carpet.

“Zeina,” I text. “I haven’t found better legs.”

A longing I cannot name consumes me. I don’t cry. I pull the Qur’an against my chest. I fall asleep holding it. I think, sometimes, that I feel more passion than a woman is supposed to feel, and I don’t know where to put it. I don’t know where to put it.

And I promise you that’s all that I am. There is no depth to this, no mystery. There is no elusive secret.

Say Something

Today I happened across a recording of Jennifer, a friend of mine from grad school, and I stumbling over the piano attempting to play “Say Something.” There are loads of mistakes. It was about four years ago and a wonder to hear again.

(If you want to distinguish between our voices, she’s the who starts out saying, “I don’t remember.”)

I’m amused, and it lightened my mood.