About This Site
As a newly published author: UNBOWED-A Novel, it is expected that I have my own website, or at least the book should have one—and it does through the publisher. Unfortunately, I cannot add anything to that website and visitors cannot contact me. But when I put in for my own domain name: LESTINE.com, I was shocked to find it already taken, but not used. After all, Lestine is not a common name. I didn’t bother tracking down the domain owner. Instead, I pondered other versions like: .net or .co. Somehow LESTINE.net just didn’t feel right, and although LESTINE.co did, I wondered if people would think the ‘m’ was missing, add it and land on the wrong domain.
Then I imagined exactly what I wanted the site to be:
- A Central Hub or link to my creative projects: books, videos, films—present and future.
- A Shop to purchase my activist literature—present and future.
- A Blog: Quantum Musings– an intersection to share some of my own experiences and insights into Spiritual Evolution, Consciousness, Mind Power, Visualization, Quantum Physics, Parapsychology and Virtual Reality.
- A Resource of links to videos, books and the words of others: spiritual teachers, mystics, holistic healers, visionary artists, activists and those few quantum physicists who share my views and inspire me to want to live one more century;
- My Soap Box to purge on issues that are far beyond the mere pet peeve. The things that rendered me speechless for decades are finding their way out into my books. Yet other issues and observances cannot be weaved so easily or nicely or considerately (of the reader). They just need to be expressed. Words without borders, with links to other people’s videos and books that are a battle cry, like my novel, UNBOWED.
I realized this central hub could be called “my Space”. But, not only is that unoriginal, ‘My Space’ is also taken. 🙂 A friend thought up LESTINEs World. So Welcome! I will do my best to create stimulating content that inspires or emotionally engages you enough that you come back often.
The Next Wave of the Women's Rights Movement 2.0
Has A Different Face...
And A Radical Agenda
UNBOWED is Political, Sensual & Poetic.
An Action Drama With A Touch Of Romance.
“Phenomenal” “Mesmerizing” Provocative”
Inspired by true events,
UNBOWED tells the story of Basma Abseh, 37, a shy, obedient mother
who has never been in love
nor felt the stirrings of sensual desire.
Yet, she is resigned to her routined life until, one stormy afternoon,
with the threat of a downpour, she makes an unwitting decision
that puts her life in danger leading to global consequences.
One day, in the middle of writing the first draft, a scene popped into my head. The characters, setting and dialogue had nothing to do with my current story, so I quickly typed it out in script format and saved it.
Months later, I was typing out what was to be the final chapters of the story, when a voice inside my head said, “You remember that scene of a woman telling a man ‘I’m going back in’? Add it here.” Trustingly, I reviewed the scene and began typing. Instantly, a whole new storyline flowed complete with back story and an entirely new, interesting (to me), main character: Zafeera Hasni. At the time, I could see no relationship between her and my central story. But then, as is quite common to us writers, the central story of Basma began ‘dictating’ a new pathway for itself…a new thread. Then sure enough, I saw where the two seemingly disparate story threads fit together and through that merging both would be enhanced and the theme elevated.
Behind The Veil
Because I was writing about cultures, traditions and events I’d never experienced– like most novelists– I did extensive research: read numerous library books; screened many documentaries** on the subject matter at Women Make Movies, and later, while getting a filmmaking degree I interviewed fellow Muslim female students.
In the past fifteen years–with an increase of immigrants from the Middle East, Northern African and Southeast Asia– women and girls wearing various forms of ‘hijab’ have become more common in The West, along with the ensuing controversy. Through my heroine, Basma, I examined the issue: to veil or not to veil, along with female sexuality and personal liberty in restricted cultures, as an organic process. I related to my characters because they each represented aspects of my own female psyche and because they are human.
Basma, my heroine’s journey innately follows that of the hero’s journey, along with those unavoidable archetypes: the messenger, the allies, and the dark cave.
*Click on the WILA page to view some of those documentary shorts, and to get more info about feature documentaries and informative books.
Connecting The Dots
In my travels to India and Greece, and in long discussions with Indian, and orthodox Jewish women friends and acquaintances, I realized that the same religious fundamentalist attitudes toward women can be found in Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jewish and various Hasidic sects. I discovered that violence toward women and girls, specifically, has increased over the decades, takes on many forms, and transcends cultural, national and even ideological boundaries—but has one origin. The character of Dr. Neelam Sethi lays it all out.
I also learned how rich the history and culture of the Middle East truly is; how it informs European history and culture, so I infused a little of the cultural traditions of my characters into the story. Women are the nurturers in families everywhere–especially through the food. Food has the power to seduce and unite. In UNBOWED, food does both.
She's a gifted writer and her debut novel, UNBOWED, is a must-read.
“Thirty-six years ago, I became aware that the world I was born into was not what it appeared to be.
For centuries saints and mystics have said this world was not real. Indian mystics, like Rumi and Yogananda, call it Maya, meaning illusion. Then in 1980, I had direct perception of this illusion, direct perception of the holographic nature of the Universe. And, no, I was not on drugs. Far from it. Fact is, it would have been easier to handle such an experience if I had been on drugs. I could yield to the possibility that it was just a hallucination and carry on with my goals and worldly ambitions. But, instead, I felt like Dorothy in the famed classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Being privy to what was behind the curtain of physical reality. That lifting of the veil, from my eyes, meant I could never really return home—back to the prevailing world view.
Now, with quantum physics inching it’s way subtly into the mass consciousness through numerous books, films and more recently cutting-edge cable TV shows like ‘Brain Games’, and Morgan Freeman’s mind expanding ‘Through the Wormhole’ series, the interpretation that I had of my experience has been verified.
But what does this all mean? Matter certainly feels solid enough according to my ordinary senses. And that’s where the problem lies. Our senses are fallible. I believe that we, all living things, are part of a global-nonlocal- brain if you will.
Believe it or not, that’s me many decades ago.
Home Gallery Slide
My loving parents; current variety of books beside my couch