Mihaela Tudor is an English Lecturer at the University of Hail, Saudi Arabia, teaching a course on technical report writing. Her goal is to motivate students use their skills in the scientific area, helping them to develop the taste for research. She has also been interested in exploring cross-cultural environments through direct interaction within the educational area, experimenting new ways of life and trying to identify what can bring union in terms of ideas, beliefs, customs and traditions between different cultures.
Mihaela Tudor's piece appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of The Battered Suitcase.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It happened when I arrived in Saudi Arabia. Experiencing a sudden cultural change, but not in a negative or aggressive way, I realized this was the right time and the right place to put in writing all my ideas and the reflection on daily events upon my inner feelings. Although I was writing to enjoy the fact of being part of a new culture, gradually everything turned into a project- I knew I wanted to write. The short stories though are of a recent date, as a result, maybe, of a deep spiritual change I m undergoing.
Why do you write?
I write to connect with others, to open my world in front of them, hoping they can use my writing to find themselves deep down in their hearts. I write to revive hopes and dreams, to bring confidence, to remove boundaries that many times keep us so far for reaching what we want. My writing is always other-oriented.
Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?
When I started to write I never dared to think of myself as a writer, but more as a messenger between my world and those around me. But yes, being a writer is exactly what I imagined! Nothing compares to the joy of reading a comment of someone who reads you, saying that you have managed to touch his heart. This has always given me the power to continue and develop my writing.
What do you think makes a good story?
Anything you believe in!
What's your favorite genre to read?
Fiction, fantasy, ancient writings, anything dealing with life experience.
Who is your favorite author or poet?
Khalil Jibran is my favorite author together with Sadeq Hedayat and Rumi, but so many other writers are on my preferences list.
What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?
I cannot say that there is one particular source that has contributed to my way of writing.
What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?
The Prophet by Khalil Jibran, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Rumi with his Mathnawi and Love Poems. My personality resounds best though when reading Persian literature.
Where/how do you find the most inspiration?
In my joys, sorrows, in a dream, a flower, on the mountain behind my house that I climb every day in my thoughts or in somebody s presence. Inspiration can be anything!
What does your family think of your writing?
When I read in translation my stories to my family they find the writings peaceful and creating images right in front of their eyes, maybe because when I write I first see the inside world of a story.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don’t usually follow a schedule; an idea occurs and I start writing. If I manage to visualize everything right from the beginning, the words just flow. I don’t plan in advance my plots, or the symbols to be used. It also depends on the artistic mood and the way the inspiration reveals itself.
Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?
Not really, but I do prefer writing at night.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The symbolic interpretation.
What are your current projects?
To keep writing, mostly short-stories, trying to create more fantasy-like stories.
What are you planning for future projects?
I m planning to finish a book about my experience in a culturally different country and this is going to take a while.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write if everything you want to say comes from within.
Where can we find your work?
I usually post short stories on my Facebook page.