The Real Fairy Tales

I have to admit that I really, really, enjoy reading fairy tales. Yesterday, my mother found an old tattered illustrated book (or what was left of it) of fairy tales in a box. The book had no cover (I am not sure what happened to it) and the frayed and curled edges barely held the pages together. It was obviously well-read, if not so well taken care of. I think (though without the cover, I can’t say for sure) that it was Mother Goose’s Fairy Tales, since it included Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella.

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The Introvert’s Guide to Social Affability

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was so shy that I had difficulty looking anyone in the eye. I was a quiet mouse who took years to make friends and open up beyond a surface politeness. I hated (and still do) social occasions, or meeting new people. I rarely had anything to say and often couldn’t do more than smile awkwardly and mumble something incomprehensible. I had become so used to avoiding talking about myself that my first interview for a new school in Pakistan (I was 12) was an unmitigated disaster. I remember one of the teachers asking me to talk a little bit about myself and for several minutes, I sat there in front of 4 teachers in complete silence. My tongue was heavy and my mind blank, because talking about myself was something I almost never did. Luckily, that was the only school that required an interview. Needless to say, I didn’t get in there.

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In Pursuit of Imperfection

A friend of mine is a perfectionist. For many years, I thought I was a perfectionist until I came across her. Last week, we worked on a design project together, creating a brochure for a non-profit organization that places orphans in adoptive homes. The brochure was to be delivered to the printer yesterday. She’s still mulling it over.

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A Fine Silk Thread

Two days ago, a great friend and fellow designer, Uzma, passed away suddenly and without warning. I hadn’t spoken to her in a year (for all the usual, sad reasons—marriage, responsibilities, life), and I heard about the tragedy on Facebook when another friend posted a brief remembrance.

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The Peshawar Cliché

Over coffee with a friend, I mentioned that I spent a week of my vacation in the city of Peshawar, and the reaction, though expected, jarred me. His eyebrows climbed up his forehead and he asked with pure disbelief, “Why?”

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Children of Light

Mark this date on your calendars: October 23, 2014.

On this date, D. M. Cain‘s second book and the first book in The Light and Shadow Chronicles, A Chronicle of Chaos, will be available worldwide on Amazon and other online stores. The Light and Shadow Chronicles are a series of books spanning centuries, millennia, in fact, in a dark fantasy world where the Children of Light battle the Brotherhood of Shadow for supremacy; where angels, demons and guardians of time walk the earth with humans.

As a preface to an interview with D. M. Cain (coming soon!), I’m publishing the Children of Light’s family tree:


Design: Little Green Eyed Press, UK


This isn’t a series you want to miss. I’ll be posting the interview on October 10, so check back then!


Tea at the Frontier

At the northwest edge of Peshawar is the Khyber gate and Jamrud Fort that marks the beginning of what we in Pakistan know as Ilaqa Ghair, or ‘ungoverned/lawless territory’. This is Khyber agency, one of several agencies that comprise FATA, or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. — Read More —


An Unintelligible Multitude

I spent an evening with a group of teachers who were struggling with the implementation of a new style of teaching, one where subject boundaries were blurred and classwork had to be activity-based. They were teachers from my mother’s former school—where she was a teacher for 15 years—trying to make sense of a classroom without delineations between language and math and science and art.
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