Letter from Paul Ogarra


Happy New Year to all my new friends. Jan/2021 day one.

May I, first of all, thank all those of you who have so kindly written in to discuss my articles?  I am very pleased that so many have found them useful. I can understand many people’s reticence in charging ahead with their creative challenge, especially if those around them, in some cases dear ones, make disparaging remarks, like, for example:

“I thought you’d gotten that out of your system long ago.”


“You can’t write, couldn’t write your own obituary,”


“I always did say your brother Finkus was the artist in the family,”

Of course, in many cases we don’t even need other people, we ourselves can be sufficiently caustic about our own abilities, like for example, when the friend comments,

“I always knew you had it in you, you could be good you know?”

And your overactive brain is scurrying around yelling at you,

“What the hell does he know,” and all the while self-doubt is eating you up, grief.

In my experience, if what I am aiming at will be to try to construct something special, and worthwhile, and well put together, and good literature, then I am inspired, and yet many may well find it all little daunting to aim at such targets.

Well if that’s the case, do what artists have done through the ages, “Copy.” You’ve Heard the expressions in art, “He was from the school of Van Gogh, or whomever; they mean that he aped the style, copied. But once he had the feel of it and was able to dominate the artform his own ability or brilliance started to shine through. How many of the very greatest musicians took their cue from Bach. Or writers from Shakespeare or Dickens or  Hemingway. Personally, I aped many great writers at the start whilst trying to kickstart my own art form. I recently read Philip Roth’s Ghostwriter and loved the way he described the evolving of the perfect sentence, by his protagonist, who would not cease to turn the group of words around striving to find the ideal combination.

The long and the short of it is that if you have decided to write, well write and don’t stop. Don’t cease to turn the groups of words around, and the very ideas, until your mind is more or less satisfied. And for heavens sakes, read. Read Camus, and Scott Fitzgerald, and Hemingway, and Faulkner, and the Russians, great Arab writers, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, love in the time of the Cholera, Allende, Steinbeck, Dickens, Joyce, there’s so much and it’s all so wonderful, and by reading and learning and creating you can pass on the wonder of literature, one of Humanity’s greatest gifts to new generations, despite all the trials and tribulations you may find on the road.

Many of you, on reading my blog have asked me why I don’t write a book. This blog is in fact an integral part of my writer’s website  www.,malakdesertchild.com, and I am happy to say that I have written three books so far, and two translated into Spanish.

After many years of suffering from cáncer, I finally limped out of hospital minus one kidney and half of each lung. I decided that since God had let me live, that I would do something I had always dreamed of, and that was to study to be a film director. I went to Prague and fulfilled my yearning only to later discover that I was not interested in the casting element of the profession, so I decided to write film scores. For a friend who was a priest involved in the shrine to Our Lady of Europa In Gibraltar, I began a piece to promote the Marian shrine but found once I started that everyone, including the priest, had lost interest in the Project.  But, I was absolutely fascinated by the story of the shrine which was once a Muslim mosque, and the invasión of the península by  Tariq Ibn Ziad and just seven thousand Berber troops in the year 711. This was my first book. It just happened, and I wrote it through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old boy. The Boy Who Sailed To Spain. That is the name of the book.

Then came the sequel or second book in the series “Malak Desert Child” which is about feisty little girls I once knew, all wrapped into one. This was my attempt at creating good literature, and I am happy with the story that has emerged, a story of North Africa, of Algeria and her suffering, of the Desert and of the illegal wall that deprives the free Saharaoui people of their birthright, casting them out of their own land into the wastes of the desert.

Mano Po was my third book a collection of short stories.

If you decide to purchase a book it will make me very happy and be a leg up. On the other hand I will offer the Book Malak for all to read free of any charge on my website on a month-to-month basis. Please read my books either which way so that we may further communicate. Thanks and God Bless.

Paul OGarra.











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