I am thrilled to announce that I've just signed with agent Kent D. Wolf at Global Literary Management* in New York.

I was ninety-nine percent sure I was going to accept his offer about fifteen minutes into our first conversation, even though other agents were reading my manuscript. I've written a book about characters who are Muslim feminists--something we now know some people don't even think exists--and here was this male, non-Muslim agent, who Just. Got. It.

I didn't even wait the full week to accept**, and in the end, I actually withdrew material instead of wasting anyone's time.

Sometimes, you just know.

I'm really excited to be working with Kent, and I know my novel is going to be better because of our collaboration.

Plus, my kids now think I'm cool.

*Kent is now at Lippincott Massie Mcquilkin in New York.

**A special thanks to Sarah Hina who offered much advice and handholding through this process and who did her best to stop me from accepting right away because she wanted me to be sure. And who knows why I can't show my face at my local post office for the foreseeable future.

You Can Even Call Me the B Word

Three posts down, there is a small comment, a mere ten words long, that reminded me of why I stopped blogging: Someone took time out of what must be a very boring life to write, on a post about cooking, "No such thing as a Muslim feminist, dear. Try again."

It is obviously not the worst thing someone could say. No profanity, nothing threatening. But seeing it, in the midst of comments by fabulously lovely people, in a post that had nothing to do with Islamic feminism, made my cheeks burn.

There is the infantilizing "dear," which is an ironic thing to call a grown woman while you're accusing her of not being a real feminist. And then there is, of course, the negation of my right to define myself.

It reminds me of the people who repeatedly float the old canard that no Muslims condemn terrorism (hello, FOX News). Inevitably, online lists pop up in response, linking to hundreds of public condemnations. It's always curious to me that there are people so invested in spreading a lie that is so easily exposed. And while I understand the impulse to set the record straight, I hate the lists that result, because they seems to dignify the lie in the first place.

And yet.

I can name twenty or thirty prominent Muslim feminists, men and women, off the top of my head. A quick look through the books on my shelves would yield at least a hundred more. A few minutes with google and we could fill a page. And I thought about doing just that, here--listing all of the names I could find.

But what would that prove that needs proving?

I am a Muslim feminist. I don't care if you believe me. Or if you think I'm the only one in the world. The fact that I exist makes the comment untrue on its face. And ridiculous and sad.

You're free to call me whatever you want. I can't stop you. But as for telling me what to call myself? 

Try again, dear.