Dreams of a Gulf Migrant: Sincerely Bahadur

I’m writing a novel set in the migrant camps of the Arabian Gulf. This short film by teenagers in Qatar images the difficulties of many laborers. Viewing and liking it will help them in their competition.

How Turbulence Can Inspire Your Perspective

I was flying home a few nights ago when the plane shuddered. We were sailing through the darkest of skies in the middle of the night, 30,000 feet up, somewhere above the Atlantic ocean and the ding! that announces the fasten seat belt sign came on. For the next several minutes we shook our way […]

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins for Sunday Sweets

A friend’s birthday gave me the excuse to expand my baking skills. She loves cheesecake and strawberries. Both flavors come together deliciously in these easy to bake Strawberry Cheesecake muffins. The cream cheese keeps them from being too sweet. I was worried about overflow, and scooped about 1/3 into each cup. Next time I make […]

Essential Steps to Selling Books

I had an a blast in Kuwait last week with PLUMA, a writers group focused on exploring the migrant experience in the Arabian Gulf. I read a scene from The Dohmestics that was quite hard going: an almost rape scene in which those at the bottom of the pyramid compete against themselves. I’ve read from […]

Sandwiches for Sunday Supper

Egg and avocado toasted multi-grain sandwich: gross or yummy? If you’ve been in my kitchen lately, yummy! Toasted bread with any filling is a nourishing treat. My other experiment was a spread made from tuna and pureed turnips. That’s right, turnips are a healthy, less starchy substitute for potatoes. What do you like in your […]

A Complete Guide to Preventing Rape

Several high profile rape cases in the United States and India have increased our willingness to talk about violence against women. Much of the discussion has involved head scratching and puzzlement. What can we do? Why do men think they can behave this way? Do our laws protect the injured? Violence against women is a […]

What to Do with Rejection

I’m so proud of our interior designer turned gender studies undergrad researcher! A photo posted by Mo Phongsavan (@moha_doha) on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:37am PDT You know me: I have ideas. Lots of ideas.  There’s always something I am willing or wanting to try, from ideas for books to research projects, to teaching techniques, […]

Chapatis for Sunday Supper

Chapatis, also known as rotis, are the South Asian version of the tortilla. I grew up eating them for breakfast, or with potatoes for a snack on the weekend. In Qatar, people drink karak (what I know as chai) and eat cheese stuff chapatis (which I found strange and delicious). You can make this with […]

Using Humor to Defeat ISIS

This is the 3rd week of Lent which means Easter is around the corner. I vowed to speak out against injustice instead of giving up something this year. The group calling itself the Islamic State, beheads civilians, indiscriminate of nationality, and also presents a false image of Islam. Humor can also combat darkness. I wasn’t […]

3 Errors in 3 Classics

I’m in the middle of the semi-final revision (I hope) for my next novel. Grammar is a hound that never resets. And in some cases, may be a matter of opinion. Rules, as they say, are often meant to be broken. For example, here are three errors identified by Grammarly, in well known tales. Which […]

Sunday Supper: Spicy Salmon with Feta Beet Salad

There are so many ways to eat fish, once you get your favorite technique down, the flavors are entirely up to you. I find wrapping a fillet in tinfoil and baking at a high temperature is my favorite. Garlic, ginger, lime zest, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste was the perfect combo for this […]

How to Pick Yourself Up in 1 Easy Step

I was down on the world the other day when a friend sent me this link to a panorama of the world. The sites and sights they capture are amazing. And when I realized I had been to half of these beautiful places, like the Maldives, the Great Wall of China, or Petra, Jordan, my […]

How to Use Your Hair to Stand Out

Ask any woman, or metrosexual, and s/he will tell you hair is a like a cathedral’s spire. One of my childhood friends agrees and would add that spires come in all types of textures. GoodHair will be the first, national hair salon chain specializing in care and styling for women with textured (i.e., kinky, coily, […]

Sunday Supper: Potato Pancakes

I am a leftover makeover artist because like a frumpy dresser, dishes have so much potential when given new attributes. A bowl of breakfast potatoes is no exception. You can puree cooked potatoes into a base for pancakes, mixing in your fancy. Mine included tuna, corn, salt, pepper, flour, onions, and an egg. Make sure […]

Where to Find Hate on the Internet

Lent begins today. With none of the fanfare of Christmas, or the revelry of Mardi Gras, this is the Christian season of sacrifice, a time of introspection when we prepare for Christ’s coming sacrifice at the Crucifixion. Giving up something is a symbolic way of remembering what was ahead of Jesus and forcing us out […]

One Question to Ask Before You Die

The recent Facebook announcement about enabling “legacy accounts” reminds us: We will all die. That’s the honest truth that we forget. From the moment the wrapped bundle is put into our arms to say hello, we are on the path of depreciation, until we are back in the hospital, arms around the same body, to […]

Sunday Supper: Homemade Mussels

I love to make people their favorite foods at home. Often it’s not as hard as we think it might be. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was that this is true for mussels as much as anything else. The tricky part in doing a mussels dish is to make sure you leave enough time for […]

Podcasts that Will Motivate You to Get in the Car

Traffic is a routine part of city living – unless you are lucky enough to be in a metropolis that has excellent public transportation. While Qatar has aspirations for a subway system, we aren’t there yet. I drive often and for long stretches everyday: dropping off the children, picking up the children, taking myself to […]

What to do with Disappointment

In our shiny, bright worlds, we forget that life doesn’t always go “as it should.” People have their own agendas and these can clash with your personal or professional happiness. I had a moment last week that snowballed until it knocked me off my feet. In an area of the perfect Facebook timelines, I struggled […]

Sunday Supper: Meatless Meatloaf (Smells like the Real Thing)

A good friend recently had a baby. I was thinking of a go-to meal that would be easy for them to pop into the oven whenever they were hungry. Thinking ahead, I realized we might be as well, later on. I doubled this recipe to have two loaves, one to give away and one to […]