Musing #2: From Muzungo to Gringo

And eating fungus (not the fun kind)

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I continue to explore my own identity through traveling, and as the novel draft comes to completion, I need your help in what I should do next (see below!).


In the past 6 months I've gone from light skinned Egyptian in Cairo, to white European Muzungo in Lamu, to brown A-rab with an accent in Mobile Alabama, and finally...back to being an ignorant white man, as a Gringo in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I wonder if I will ever know who I am at this point.

I am not the identity that has been given to me. I am not white, I am not black, I am not Muslim, I am not a Christian European. Above all, I am a human, child of God, citizen of Earth, an animal that grazes and shits like all others.

Above all though, I am a writer. That has been the constant thing. That is what I wake up for. That is the only thing I now know I am for sure. Even if I am not a world-class writer yet, but I write, therefore, I am.


Novel Updates:

  • I am excited to announce that I am only a couple of scenes away from the first draft of the book.

  • I will take a break from it starting next week to focus on the short story series, and continue editing all my videos from Lamu, Kenya which I will publish after the short stories.

  • My plan is edit and rewrite the In Search of Gumption novel and to publish the book on Jan 1st 2023.

How will I publish it? I am glad you asked! Here is where I need your help.

I feel very insecure about finding a publisher, and it seems to be both a big time and financial cost to do so without having a large following or popular name.

So I am leaning towards taking matters in my own hands, but I need advice!

Please help me by voting on what I should do here:

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE BOOK ONCE IT IS DONE?

You can click here to go to poll or VOTE by clicking on the option:

1. This is your first book, just make it available for free online VOTE

2. Publish it serially on Substack (weekly episodes) and put it behind a paywall

3. Talk to Agents and Publishers. Wait till you find one.

4. Self Publish the Book on Amazon

You can see the results once you have voted.

Other ideas? Leave them in the comments or reply to this email please!


Life Updates:

Farewell Mobile, Alabama 🇺🇸

I have been taking myself a little seriously, with a focus on work and writing the past 2 months. The South has been very good for me and my health! The people of the South are incredibly warm, and are much more curious about my Egyptian-ness than their MidWest counterparts.

Some people I met hold some very interesting views about life in San Francisco. Maybe I'll share more about that later. The food has been divinely fried, and the weather extremely pleasant except when thunderstorms such as the one above strike.

Hola, Oaxaca and Language Barriers 🇲🇽

I have been in Oaxaca for less than a week now, and I have to say, I absolutely love it!

Festivals on the street, warm weather, incredibly delicious food and rooftops where one can sip on the world's finest Mezcal while watching the sunset.

One problem though is my non-existent Espanish. I feel so Estupid.

While Kenyans have been very forgiving, with almost everyone speaking English and many speaking Arabic, the Oaxacans on the other hand are just as spicy as their food. Barely any English is spoken here, and I will have to take Spanish seriously if I am interested in reading any restaurant's menu without Google Translate.

Weird Findings 🤯

Being the ignorant non-Spanish speaking Gringo that I am, I ordered what I thought to be a vegetarian mushroom tortilla the first day I got here. It was kinda delicious. The internet later explained to me that I had just eaten a fungal disease that grows on corn. They shave that shit off the corn and put it in tacos.

Huitlacoche, is that what they call it. 😋


More Musings and updates to come. But for now, I'll stop procrastinating on this Magician short story that is coming for you on April 17th! Stay tuned and thanks for reading this all the way to the end,

Omar

Here is the survey again about what I should do with my novel 🙏🏻