I took two semesters of Memoir Workshop with Dr. Edi Giunta in my last two semesters at NJCU. I kept my process journals from her classes. After her classes were over I kept writing. I recently filled three process journals (three Composition notebooks). Edi was my favorite professor at NJCU. She has had such a positive effect on my life. I’ve been to her house where I met her husband who is an NJCU English professor too for the first time Josh Fausty. I’d only heard of Josh Fausty until Memoirfest that December 2014. When I shared at Memoirfest in December 2014 and May 2015 it was Josh Fausty, Edi Giunta and my peers who responded positively. I want to write a full two hundred page book length memoir I call, Memories of Me. One of my best poems that got featured on www.poetrysoup.com is called “Me. A poem about my illness”. I remember that book Black Like Me by an author I cannot name. I am so greatful to Edi Giunta. I was one of very few African American students in her class and yet she chose my memoir(she affectionately calls my Schizophrenia autobiography) out of all of her students’s memoirs two semesters in a row. Edi says my memoir writing style is idiosyncratic. It was me, Ayesha Karim, that Edi Giunta chose to support and invest her time and attention in both semesters I took her for Memoir Workshop and Advanced Memoir Workshop . Thank you Edi, a Sicilian American and an Italian American woman memoirist and English professor. I became an African American woman writer at the age of 33. I’m 35 now and I’ve started writing my Schizophrenia autobiography (my memoir) . I am an NJCU alumna! How awesome. How cool. I feel part of the NJCU community more now than ever before because I took Memoir my last two semesters at NJCU with Edi.
I have my first assignment to complete by February 22, 2016 for my Children’s Writer Course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. My instructor’s name is Pamela Beres. I always wanted to become a Children’s book author. I am taking this course so that I have the best shot at becoming a Children’s book author. An NJCU alumna recently was in the spotlight for creating her book Ibby’s feelings a book for children. She was pictured outside of the Weiss Center. She has the same major as me but she minored in Media Arts though.
I contacted Chris KP Brown of twopensandlint.com a Chapbook publisher the other day and sealed a deal to have my first Chapbook, Through Ayesha’s Eyes published by him. The small fee of two hundred and fifty dollars paid in two monthly installments of $125 on his website via Paypal includes 100 copies of my Chapbook, a bio, a webpage and more. I am so excited to give my family and my friends at NAMI Mercer a copy to read. Robert Hedden is going to be one of the first people I sign a copy of my Chapbook to and give one to. I’m going to announce it on Facebook next month once I have my Chapbook created and the 100 copies of it and the other goodies that come with it like my own personal webpage and bio.
I rank number 9 out of 100 for Writing and Editing professionals on LinkedIn. I just checked a minute ago. I’m happy to be number 9 out of 100!
I went to Cave Canem last Fall of 2015 by train for all 8 sessions including the Final Reading, the last session. This Spring of 2016 I did not get in but Cave Canem said they would get back to me if someone cancels or if somehow a space opens up and if a space opens up I plan to go. The first session is on February 17, 2016 and the Final Reading is on April 13, 2016. I may be able to get in if someone cancels and a space opens up. I hope I can go to this Spring 2016 poetry workshop somehow.
I have a file on my computer called Through Ayesha’s Eyes: a Chapbook of poems. I have twenty-one poems so far. I want to have like twenty-five poems for my Chapbook. In six months I see myself finding a Chapbook publisher. I am looking into Chapbook publishers and Chapbook contests in the next six months.
I recently published a poem in the NAMI Mercer newsletter for January 2016. I am really looking forward to publishing my first Chapbook. I need 25 poems and so far I have close to 20 poems written and typed in a file on my laptop. I keep Journals and I write a lot. I want to get a chocolate Shit-zu when my older cats die. I feel like I’ve been so blessed to have had the experience I had taking Edi Giunta’s Memoir class for two semesters and following her on Twitter and liking her recommended Facebook pages. Hands down sharing from both of my memoirs at Memoirfest has to be the best thing I’ve ever done. If I could have I would’ve taken Capstone with Edi and just wrote and wrote.