Radio Interviews



A few months ago I was interviewed in style (at home no less) by the short story writer Alex Ruczaj for the Cambridge radio station Bookmark, which she, until recently, co-presented with Leigh Chambers. I've known Alex a while and attended a fiction workshop that she organised. She writes beautiful stories, with fascinating character premises and a blog. It's nice knowing working writers - writers in the middle of their craft - who have little ego and lots of passion. Or at least it seems that way to me. The best part about my Creative Writing Masters has been the development of friendships with writers who make the world of being a writer feel real.
Leigh Chambers (left), Alex Ruczaj (right) should provide you with the link page, and if you scroll down to where it says Podcast: Download, click on 'Download'. That should open up the radio interview link (oh how tremendously technical I sound). I am interviewed 34 minutes and 45 seconds into the programme, to be exact…

I hope the link works but if it doesn't - I shall tell you I sounded quite good according to reliable sources. Alex asked me about my blog - how I began it, why I began it and the wonderful paths it has led me down. Sometimes I miss the first years of blogging - there is something I yearn for about those times - lost now to the mass of social media sites. I am not sure what it is I yearn for, but I know it is a shared longing among my early blogging friends.

Where I sometimes write by the window, and where I was interviewed...

I meant to upload this interview soon after it was available online, but my mind lately has been distracted by writing my first book. An exhausting business. How do they do it? However. Onwards.


The Exalted One

I am in love, with a beautiful boy. His name is Rafael... and he is two days old :) Rafael means God has healed in Hebrew. In Arabic, Ar-Rafi means the exalted one, one who uplifts.

My darling Rafael,
I hope you don't mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, now you're in the world... I also hope you don't mind that I was speaking on the radio today, and although I tried to restrain myself from raving about you too much, I did mention you once, twice, three times... and the radio presenter played you a song!! It was Diana Ross' 'Baby Love', which I hope you like, but even if you don't, famous on BBC radio at 2 days! Not bad eh?

Where was I? Oh yes... your perfect pink rose petal cheeks, your ability to sleep while your father's deep voice booms beneath your little frame, and his parents and sister croon at you via something magical called Skype. I love you, little man. I knitted you a blanket and it is now winging its way to you.

Your besotted
Aunty Shai

from 2:20 onwards...)


Tempus Fugit... when you're On the Radio!

So.... I was just... you know... On The Radio today :) I know I should have said something, but I was worried I might do something embarrassing like an Oscar or Grammy shout-out... 'I just wanna thank God, and my Mom, and Everybody! I wanna thank Evverrryyyboddyy - y'all know who you are!'... but fortunately I didn't.

I arrived at the same time as my co-st... wait, can I say co-star? Or is that a bit diva-ish for radio? My co-radio-show-person was Inbali Iserles, the author of The Tygrine Cat books. She is a Proper Published Person who is on a promotional whirlwind at the moment, as opposed to yours truly. I have to thank Jane Wilson-Howarth for suggesting me to the producer (there's my shout-out!). The subject was World Books Day, and the importance of reading, and the process of writing; but I also talked about Lupus, and the support I have received through this blog (and that's my second shout-out). Liz Rhodes, the presenter of the Chat Room said I was a natural for a first timer and would I please come back? Why not, says I. I'll come back :)

photo of self with Riz, by Angel C. Edward
I wave goodbye as time flies past me. I am the train station of sisters, bidding farewell to the rapidly departing figure of a brother. Rizwan left for Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday. Onwards, to the next challenges, surprises and deepening of the learning curve. Meanwhile, I am putting together my personal statement to the Patient Care Trust, to support the consultant's application for Rituximab. So I bow gratefully to this day of smiling and enjoying a moment to remember.


I am awaiting The Call from the Consultant again... it is 1:57pm, the call was due at 1:30pm. Not that I expected it at the correct minute, but you know how you have to be ready anyway? Like an athlete at the starting point, knees bent, ears cocked, heart racing with unnatural levels of adrenaline.

1:58pm... breathing in, breathing out... am knitting two blue stripes into a hat for my nephew, also awaiting the get-set-ready signal to jump out of his heavily pregnant momma... my fingertips are frozen, and I am wearing fingerless gloves as I type...

3:14pm... am writing a potted history about my life, pets, hobbies and favourite telly shows for the radio chat room... (small whoop of joy)..
Venerable monk Thich Nhat Hanh teaches this mindfulness practise for the telephone...
When you hear the telephone ringing you can consider it to be the sound of the mindfulness bell. Every time you hear the telephone ringing you stay exactly where you are. You breathe in and breathe out and enjoy your breathing. Listen, listen - this wonderful sound brings you back to your true home. Then when you hear the second ring you stand up and you go to the telephone, with dignity! That means in the style of walking meditation. You know that you can afford to do that, because if the other person has something really important to tell you, she will not hang up before the third ring. That is what we call telephone meditation. We use the sound as the bell of mindfulness.

6:37pm... I waited three rings. And it was a good conversation. My consultant said she had spent several hours going over my old records, and realised herself just how beneficial this treatment would be for me. She even asked me to participate in reviewing a grant application she has been working on.
Success! High five!

7:30pm... I went to see 'Fiddler on the Roof' performed by the local youth centre drama group.
L'chaim!! To Life!

photo by Traczewska, from Trek Earth


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