Deeply Loved Illustrations

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Ravioli

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Up front questions to the mods: the 5 picture rule, is it per post or per thread?

I made this thread so I won't be hogging or hijacking any other thread by flooding it with my stuff, so here it is.
The title refers to the current title of my WIP (in its third round of editing), "Deeply Loved". Which in turn refers to the name of the main character, Nadir, which means "deeply loved" in Arabic.

I'll be posting the scenes along with the pictures; the WIP isn't illustrated or anything, I'm just my own biggest fan, so there's fan art... haha. Ha. Ha... meh.

Enjoy or criticize, either is appreciated :)

Swearing ahead.

His face buried in his scarf and his hands in his pockets, he started replaying songs in his head to keep track of time. Halfway through Aziz Maraka's debut album, the hail's glacial touch suddenly withdrew. Around him, the storm hadn't let up, but he was no longer getting soaked.

Cool, maybe a meteor is falling on me!

Amused by his own bunk, he looked up and blinked. The meteor was hovering at a steady twenty centimeters above his head, and it was blue with white polka dots. He turned around and found Orli standing there, holding the umbrella; he caught only a glimpse of her worried look before her face lit up.

“What are you so happy about?” Nadir asked.

Orli blushed. “I just saved you from getting a deathly cold! I think that's awesome.”

“Yeah,” Nadir muttered. “Whatever.”

“Ah,” Orli said, “You know you can be nicer than that.”

“I'm the nicest person on Earth.”

“This is one scary place then.”

Nadir buried his hands deeper in his pockets and looked down sideways. As much as he wanted to keep smoldering, the sweetness of Orli's gesture was disarming. But he was not going to break and smile. Ever. He felt it his solemn duty to be sullen.
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A set of claws tugged at the hair in the back of his head and he spun around to see Islam leaping back, leaving Yucky clinging to Nadir. Grunting, he reached behind his head to undo the living ball of velcro and throw it at Ameer, who caught Yucky and proceeded to chase Nadir with the confused cat in his hands.

“Stop that, you monsters!” Nasreen screeched. “You're being mean to Yucky!”

Nadir just laughed as he jumped and ran across the yard, trying to stay clear of the cat. “Cat Ball” he had named the game that was about throwing or otherwise attaching a cat to the other players. The player with the fewest scratches would win.

“Mong-mow?”

Yucky's confused, hollow cry was followed by the sounds of grit and sand catching something heavy. Nadir came to a clumsy halt and turned to find Ameer on the ground, face down. Yucky was squirming his way out from underneath.

“Beautiful!” Nadir laughed. “Ameer, atonement be yours, you suck!”

“You suck better,” Ameer mumbled quietly so only Nadir could hear.
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“Do you want me to hold your hair?”

“Shut up,” Nadir coughed without looking around. He held on to the toilet seat for dear life. There was blood in the bowl from too much forced traffic in his throat.

Ameer sat on the edge of the bathtub, rubbing Nadir's back with his foot. “It's kind of offensive to go and throw up after you swallowed me, you know. Are you taking your meds?”

“Of course I am!” Nadir lied. While still weak, he was getting better, so he had secretly been mixing his pills into Orli's food instead. She had started to show symptoms, all of which could have been caused by her pregnancy, but Nadir was not going to take any risks.

(...)

Nadir pulled himself up and flushed the toilet. While he rinsed his mouth, pointedly wasting lots of Ameer's water, he felt two strong arms clamp around his abdomen. They fumbled to undo Nadir's belt, one he had only recently started to need. Ameer's hand slid down his briefs. A flash of arousal shot up his spine, but stood no chance against the nausea that had grown attached to Nadir.

“No, please,” he groaned. “Not now. I just barfed my guts out, I feel like shit, I can't, I'm drained and...”

Ameer's other hand pressed down on his mouth. “You don't have to do anything,” he whispered. “I know my way around your body.”

Nadir twitched. When aroused, Ameer could be very cavalier and at this point, Nadir didn't have the muscle to keep his friend under control - not that he had ever tried to.
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The insult to his heritage gave Nadir a new surge of strength and he kicked Uzair in the abdomen with both feet to get back on top. He was just cracking his fingers to bore them into Uzair's eyes when two strong arms threw themselves around his chest from behind and dragged him off. He was whirled around and cuffed around the ears so hard he nearly fell back down.

“What in the Lord's name is wrong with you?”

“What?” Nadir blinked to find his uncle, Khaleel, bent to meet Nadir's eyes with a stern gaze. Khaleel's heavy hands on his shoulders threatened to push Nadir through the asphalt. Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

“This man is one of your father's most valued contacts,” Khaleel hissed, trying to keep his words between himself and his nephew. “What has gotten into you, boy?”

“But... but... He...” But he's been sexually exploiting me after I solicited him, so I attacked him. Yeah, better shut up.

Horrified and humiliated, Nadir watched as his uncle bent to help Uzair up. An embroidered napkin was offered, dirty blood staining Nadir's proud family name. His fist trembled against the surging hatred. Had he never approached Uzair, that blood would not have brought shame to the Arazi family initials. He kicked a pebble and turned to leave, but Khaleel grabbed him by the belt and dragged him back.

“You aren't going anywhere until you've apologized to this brother.”

Brother? Oh my God, Uncle!

Khaleel turned his words to Uzair. “I'm sorry, this young man has been through a lot. There is no way to justify his behavior, but I hope you can find it in your heart to let it go. I'll make sure his father beats him straight.”

Oh. My. Fucking. God! Are you hearing this?

To mortify Nadir even further, Uzair smiled and put his hand on his shoulder. “Don't worry, brother. I can tell this poor boy has a lot of chagrin in him. Maybe he needs to get laid more often.”

Uzair winked. His eyes wide with anger, Nadir yanked his rump free from his uncle's grasp and tried to throw himself at his john again. Kicking and flailing, he was once more removed by Khaleel's strong arms.

“He called me an Arab bitch!” Nadir screamed, desperately holding on to the only offense he could share. “Are you not gonna defend your peoples' honor, Uncle?”

“Easy, tiger.”

“My ass! We've taken enough shit, step the fuck up!”

Uzair approached Nadir who was helplessly trapped in his uncle's arms. He cupped Nadir's cheek in one fat hand and met his gaze.

“My poor boy,” he purred. “Looking for enemies just to distract yourself from your own demons. Let your uncle take you home. Eat something. I forgive you.”

Nadir's mouth was wide open, speechless, as Uzair nodded at Khaleel and walked away. Another public beating followed; no Arazi ever let their children misbehave without a public display of disapproval. Nadir passively let himself be hauled over the coals to get it over with.

When you decide to die, I guess it means you really should.

When it was over, Khaleel met Nadir's eyes once more by lowering his own tall frame. “Excommunicating you was a mistake. You need God more than anyone.”

“Uncle Khaleel, please, no!”

But Nadir's wrist was just the right circumference for his uncle's pianist hand, and he could only scramble to stay on his feet as he got dragged in the general direction of the one place that still managed to intimidate him.
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When Nasreen was three, she had waddled away into the crowded alleys of Jerusalem's old Christian quarters, and their parents' panic increased when Nadir, too, disappeared in search for her. His own mental maturity was severely delayed by his condition, and there was little reason to worry about him any less than about his tiny sister. Nadir had found her eventually – playing house with wooden Nativity figurines and chewing on Baby Jesus. The merchant was only mildly upset but nevertheless accepted Nadir's sandwich, complete with its Spiderman box, and the set of crayons for compensation. Nadir scooped Nasreen up and gave her a mild scolding that soon turned into laughter. She had no idea she had just drooled all over her lord and savior.

A giggle found its way through the gloom when Nadir recalled the many times he had had to beat up other boys, and throw dirt at girls who would make fun of Nasreen.
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Chris P

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Hmm, seems to me if you want input SYW would be a better place for this. It'll get the attention it deserves there. If you do want input, not putting the text in quotes will make it easier for us to do line-by-lines since we can quote directly in our replies instead of having to copy and paste.

If you are just posting it for us to read, I've seen other posters cautioned against this since AW is not a display site (at least that's my understanding of the input they got). You might want to PM a moderator regarding your specific question and where to best place this. The pictures are great, and I think would add to the overall reading experience.
 

Gale Haut

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Very cool. But this does seem more like an SYW situation. For one thing, you've just posted your work publicly... Not sure if that's an issue for you.
 

Ravioli

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Very cool. But this does seem more like an SYW situation. For one thing, you've just posted your work publicly... Not sure if that's an issue for you.
Well, it's just fragments out of context... I'm not even sure I produce anything worth plagiarizing. Haha. Meh.

As for SYW/crits, I wasn't really asking for any, it was more like a "Feel free to feel free" kind of remark. So if anyone wants to offer something, I'll be grateful, and if not, that's cool, too :D
 

mirandashell

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I'm just going to talk about the pictures then.

I like them. They're very distinctive and I would know them if I saw them in another work. Each tells its own little story.
 

kdaniel171

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Nice illustrations,NaeimGiladisLegacy.
They're full of life and emotions.
My favorite picture is definitely the one with cat. So cute:e2cookie:
 

Ravioli

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Um. I haven't heard back on my question in 8 months, so in the meantime I guessed it's most logical for the 5 pic rule to apply per post rather than thread as I vaguely remember other show-off threads containing way more than 5... So here goes (please don't spank me if my interpretation was utterly wrong).

New cover idea. I don't like the hair as much as the version in my avatar, but I'm just afraid the low resolution in the latter would be too obvious. This is Nadir, the MC. Not a model, not a 3D render, just a whole bunch of pictures cut and liquified and otherwise mangled beyond recognition to create a new face. I really like this cover idea. And how I made him. Looks exactly like I imagined him, or at least tried to and didn't quite get it right with the 2D manga face in my head. Finally I got a real face my brain can more easily picture (I watch my written work as a movie in my head as I work on it, so I really hate getting stuck on making my damned brain compute the face until it looks right from every damned angle in every damned scene).
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As you can see, I grew his hair. Thought it was cuter this way. Here's MC with his wife Orli, and her ex/his affair, Ameer. Based on my ex for looks and profession.

Nadir shook himself. “I'm sorry to interrupt your fucking my wife,” he growled. “But it's almost curfew and she is not staying over.”
Ameer smiled, only the slightest trace of guilt on his face. “Actually, she doesn't mind. And I'm really sorry you guys are in a spot where you have to do this.”
A bitter laugh escaped Nadir. “Yeah, I can see how sorry you are. Like, screwing her is an act of charity, you should convert to Judaism with these mitzvahs and get out.” Dealing Ameer a harsh shoulder check as he pushed past him, Nadir stomped up the stairs.
“Nadir? Down here.”
Nadir kicked the banister, cursed under his breath, and trudged back to the third floor. Without saying another word, he entered the studio, grabbed Orli's arm, and dragged her towards the door. “Seriously, Orli?” he hissed. “I thought you quit! And seriously, like, Ameer? My friend?”
“Yeah, well, we were running out of decent men,” Orli said. “Ameer is the only one other than you that I know is halfway decent in bed.”
Nadir stopped dead in his tracks, ignoring the poor excuse for a compliment. Whom should he bludgeon with Ameer's dumbbell first? “How the hell do you know that?”
Again, Ameer put on his innocent face, pouring oil on the blaze. “Bro,” he said and shrugged, “Didn't you know? She's my ex.”
“You're his what now?” Nadir shrieked at Orli, “Like, when I was working for Oren? Christ!”
“No, oh God, Nadir, no,” Orli stammered, holding her hands up, “He dumped me some two months before I even met you.”
Nadir spun around. “You dumped her? Nobody dumps Orli!”
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This was on discussion in a thread of its own. Please, no more criticism on proportions or shoulders...
Here's what I guessed goes best with the scene for forum/internet use as the other would be, uh, something you only wanna read if you've already read the messed-up rest to prepare yourself for this hot mess. I appreciate commentary on the writing even if this isn't SYW. I just think it's kinda bleh to post a pic that has a fitting bit of text, without the text.

An old wardrobe gaped at Nadir, the sporadic pile of folded clothes like the last good teeth in a meth mouth. He recognised two pairs of jeans, one pair of cargo pants, and another pair of sweats. Probably all a lot fresher than the ones he had been wearing for the last couple of days. He had lost track of time. Slipping in and out of various degrees of consciousness, he remembered waking up in different rooms, different beds, and having conversations on floors and in hallways of stale colours. His memory was tinged with an odd fear, a fear he knew from nightmares of being trapped inside a state of himself. Orli had briefly been there, and Ameer. Nadir let his eyes wander to ground himself in his new situation. A tongue smack came from the doorway.
“Dad?”
“Oh, my poor son.” Ashraf stood in the entrance of Nadir's room, familiar disappointment etching his face. His shirt was smooth and white as ever. “I should disown you, but then who'll take care of you? Suicide, son? Really? Ever since you've moved out, you've been sinning, but suicide?”
Nadir gave a tired grunt. “I'm excommunicated, remember?” That was when he noticed his old necklace with the silver cross on the bedside table. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
“I've brought you something to eat.” Ashraf put a plate with what looked like a botched attempt at grilled cheese sandwiches on Nadir's desk. “You were taken home yesterday afternoon. Until then, your blood pressure was too low. Even when you were walking, we had to fear for you. You were too cold to be alive.”
Nadir fixed his gaze on the mattress beneath him and ran his hand through his hair, stopping when he didn't hit any tangles. His stubble had been shaved to the length he remembered it, and a cut stung his jaw.
“You have your sister to thank for that,” Ashraf said. “I had trouble looking at you, so most of your care was in her and Orli's hands. Nasreen has a way of imposing herself.”
Nadir tried not to snort. She does. Let's do a rape kit. He cleared his throat and reached for the chair by his desk. His father understood and pulled it up to sit down. “Dad, never mind me. I wanted to keep this to myself, but Nasreen needs counselling.”
“Amen, coming from you,” Ashraf scoffed and wrinkled his nose. “She has her family and she has the Lord. That's all the support she needs.”
“I had all that,” Nadir moaned. “Look at me now. She has issues. On Mum's wake, she came on to me. Like, really came on to me. She attacked Orli in a jealous fit like she's my mistress.”
“Lies,” Ashraf bellowed and shot up, then sat back down. “You know boys at school don't notice her. She probably tried to prove something to herself.”
“Whatever, stay in denial and act like you can manage what's left of your family.” Nadir kicked off the thin blanket and got out of bed. “I'll find her a shrink, and I'll drag her there. Don't you worry about the bill.” He pulled up his sagging sweats and blundered to the wardrobe to get a long overdue change of clothes.

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Nadir and his crazy little sister Nasreen, and my Moffat design: "Can't keep calm, Moffat wrote me". As in: "I'm gonna die OMG!"
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Nadir & his wife. A beta told me they were too immature to be a credible, functional married couple. Until I told her that was the whole point and they're going to shit. Then she was like, "Oooh - well done!" LOL.
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Ravioli

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I maked dis. Huge pain in the ass, especially when I found myself hating the original colour scheme. Like, the hard work was done and then it just sat on my computer for MONTHS because I didn't like the colours. So I made it instagrammy.
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Nadir and his mother, Laylah, in the bomb shelter, the chapter where he redeems himself with his village for warning them of the Syrian air raid, but loses his mum to a heart attack.
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Ravioli this really belongs on your own site.

It's not really posted for crit, so it's essentially just display.

If you don't have one already, set up a free site on WordPress or Blogger.
 
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Hanukkah sameach!

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