Phoenix Flames – The Healer

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Can’t Stand Me: What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?)


(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood for Caledonia. Photographer: Linda MacPherson)

(For those wondering why my face looks orange (as I’ve been asked a few times!) it’s supposed to be because of the flames! Haha! I’m not an oompa loompa!)

Recently, a lovely friend, Amy Hoff, has produced her wonderful novel, Caledonia, into a full out online series which revolves around a criminal investigation group – Caledonia Interpol (consisting of a variety of mythical creatures from all over the world) who solve crimes in the faerie and human realms. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it!?

Through it, she wanted to show the diversity of the Scottish city of Glasgow, and it’s many faces and races; so she decided she also wanted to cast a strong Muslim female character too, and apparently got in touch with me!
(Not that I consider myself strong!)
The first season of the series is already released, but my two short scenes would only be for the second season (due to my time restrictions).

Mythical creatures from all over the globe, and all sorts of folklore, are used in order to beautifully portray the cultural diversities in the World.

Most of the main type of creature roles were already taken when I was asked to help out; vampires, selkies, angels, mermen, werewolves, gumiho, Robert Burns (though he isn’t very mythical!), and so she asked me what creature I wanted to be.

Taking into consideration that she wanted creatures from all continents and cultures, and that I have an Arabic lineage, I told her one of my favourite mythical creatures – The Phoenix.
Long story short, let’s just say that the Phoenix has somewhat become my ‘totem’, and has been a prominent part of my life for many years.

The character, whose background story is still being developed by the director, during her initial reveal became more and more like me in some ways, and as such means a lot to me.

Her name is Nour (which is the same as my middle name – Noor) and she is a Phoenix and healer.

The role is a small one, but is important to the story.
Unfortunately, although offered a longer role, I couldn’t be in more than I have as I don’t have much free time to help out nowadays. However, I might appear again, in short scenes, in the future if I get enough time to help out again.

Now, in regards to what is asked in the prompt (don’t worry, it’ll tie in!)
Personally, I’m never very fond of seeing myself in video or hearing my voice through it! Do you ever feel that you sound and look like a completely different person too?

‘I don’t look like that, do I?!’

Well, during the filming of my two short scenes in this series, I was actually feeling quite ill and had been rushing back and forth a lot (also, my mum had just come out of hospital and needed me there to take care of her).
I just hope the illness or fatigue won’t show in the actual clips, but then again, when am I not ill or tired!? Haha!
I just don’t want to bring down the rest of the cast and story with a performance that isn’t up to scratch.
It hasn’t been released yet, but I’ll only know when it’s out – eek!

As opposed to the first season which was much simpler in its design and filming, this upcoming second season will apparently be using more professional filming techniques and special effects!

Well, at least I didn’t fall over, for once, on set! Looking on the positive side!

Luckily it’s only two short scenes, so I won’t need to cringe for too long at my clip or my voice!

Naziyah Phoenix Close
(I’m not really a ‘selfie’ kind of person, but this was the ‘human’ me as I rushed off to the set! I am part human too… on some days!)


Fourth Themed Improv Challenge – Brown Leather Wallet

As a recap, my wonderful friend and fellow blogger – The Dreaming –  and I have decided to start a bi-weekly themed challenge!
The theme I was given this time was “Wallet”, after I’d given her the theme “Suitcase”.
It does sound like we’re both jet-setting off somewhere! She can pack and I’ll pay!

As usual I was short on time and so (not wanting to pass our deadline) I wrote this quick 30 minute write up, but I hope you all enjoy it!

Please do check out The Dreamings blog! She has some fantastic work, which I always look forward to reading!

Brown Leather Wallet can be found under the Short Stories tab:
Happy reading 🙂


“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day. The day that made me realise what I’d become in my moment of desperation to survive, and the day that opened my eyes to the hope that still lived in humanity.
That hope came in the form of an elderly man named Graham, who held himself up with his walking stick because of his badly damaged hip.

I was a poor man, a very poor man, and in more ways than just financial.”

Inside Pandora’s Box – Third Themed Improv Challenge with The Dreaming

As a recap, my wonderful friend and fellow blogger – The Dreaming –  and I have decided to start a bi-weekly themed challenge! Unfortunately, my second challenge could not be uploaded here, but I did send it to her – I’m persistent!
For some bizarre reason, I was thinking about the seven deadly sins, and so  for our third theme I gave her “Envy”, and I was given “Sloth”
As usual, this is a quick 40 minute write up, but I hope you all enjoy it!
Please do check out The Dreamings blog! She has some amazing work, which never fails to put a smile on my face! 🙂

Inside Pandora’s Box can be found in the ‘Short Stories’ section, Happy reading 🙂

How’s it hangin’?

You’re probably wondering what you’re doing in here, huh. Well… I have no clue either, and even if I did, you shouldn’t ask me.
Why? Because I couldn’t be bothered telling you.
Not. One. Bit.

The name’s Acedia, but the others can’t bother pronouncing it properly so they call me Sloth. Bloody hell, they’re lazier than me.”


Olympus is falling

(Written as part of the WordPress Challenge: Out of Your Element by fellow blogger Opinionated Man!
Keeping a ‘long story short’ is something I don’t seem to be familiar with! What often starts off as a quest to ‘short and sweet’ often turns into a tome of unnecessary information. So, I challenge myself to keep this passing thought ‘Short and Sweet!’ )

This story has also been chosen for publication in the Great British Write Off – Immersed in Words book for the 2014 competition! What luck!

Olympus is falling

One hundred tonnes of water plunges off the edge of a magnificent waterfall and crashes to the bottom where the vapours and steam rise from the permanently disturbed pool.

A tributary meanders off into the lush green valley, where the sounds of exotic animals echo through the trees, and the dew on every leaf sparkles like stars.

The river then flows out into the vast open sea, giving a panoramic view of nothing but the water meeting the clear blue sky, and the gentle ripples travelling along the silken surface.

Suddenly, with an ear-splitting screech, a fiery meteor plummets down from the heavens and crashes violently into the water, turning the sea to a deep shade of black and setting off an angry water cyclone through its depths.

Lightning flashes. Thunder roars. Olympus itself seems to be falling from its heights.
Humungous ice balls rage down in a flurry of chaos, disintegrating on contact with the scorching sea. All the while, it feels as though the world is being turned inside out and that Armageddon is upon us.

… With the TV remote in one hand, and a good ol’ cuppa in the other, I can’t help but wonder why we Brits always have to overdramatize a simple tea advertisement and waste good air time. For goodness sake, I could be watching my favourite episode of Tom and Jerry right now.


© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.