13 November 2014

It was the world slowing down for the minutes she held the camera to her eye.

I know, I said I wouldn't share any fragments of my new novel-in-progress, "Taboos in Arabic," but even I was surprised at the appearance of Bisan, an energetic young female character with flare. So here's a small bit of her life:

Bisan grew up in the instant world of digitals, where she could take an infinite number of photos and instantly see the results on her LCD screen. She could take twenty thirty forty a hundred shots of the same frame, using different shutter speeds and different exposure times until she got what she wanted. Not so with film. With film, she had to practice self-discipline. It was the world slowing down for the minutes she held the camera to her eye, waiting for the perfect moment to snap the shot – if ever a perfect moment could be captured on film. It taught her patience, and it taught appreciation of life’s gifts. With a film camera, she was on her way to mastering the art of photography, in small steps.

Waiting, she would notice details nobody knew even existed. And then, the snap. A fleeting moment that would never occur again – the sleek movement of the hand of a vegetable vendor, the bending of a woman over a tin can set up by a street performer, a child looking on in wonder, two elderly women greeting each other, a bicycle swerving between the cars. This is what life was composed of. Stop, take a deep breath. A film camera was Bisan’s way to feel the flow of life.  

(c) khulud khamis, 2014 fragment from "Taboos in Arabic" manuscript

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