Malak, Desert Child
The Boy Who Sailed to Spain Book 2
by Paul Ogarra
Genre: Magical Realism Fiction
The first time I saw her she melted the ice in my soul.
Malak is a tiny beautiful five-year-old girl child. She lives in a cave in dire poverty with her drunkard father and her Saharoui mother and sister. Her enemies are all the towns children who victimize her and her sister because of their race and condition. Her only friend is a single mother named Latifa, and Malak´s grandmother Jeeda Hazzah who dies of cancer.
But Malak is the champion of her family against a violent father and the children of the Zoco who she fights singlehandedly. This is a magical and often mystical story of a young girl and the people she stumbles upon, as she is rushed away by her uncertain destiny, to the land in which her mother was born, the Sahara Desert. The unravelling of Malak’s story is also the unsnarling of the web of intrigue surrounding the North of Africa, and it´s peoples and history, and the reasons for many current dilemmas in this land of witchcraft and mystery.
The tale begins in earnest when a wandering ex-warrior happens on the child and is struck by her magnificent courage and beauty. After a significant episode with her drunken father and his cronies, having interceded on the family´s behalf, he flees with them on a stolen high-speed cruiser heading for Western Sahara and freedom. In the course of their errant journey, they are taken into threatening custody by the Algerian police. Malak´s personality and mystic nature make of her the flux in an adventure which begins as a race to return her to her maternal grandfather´s family. A flight of mercy will become a race against time as Malak and her friends take on the impossible. In this, they enlist the help of many tribespeople. Some tribes known to all and others lost in the wastes of the mysterious desert and the annals of history.The story comes to an emotional and pent up conclusion in the least expected possible fashion.
**read as a standalone**
Paul O´Garra was born in Gibraltar on the 8th May 1952. Paul and his three siblings were the children of schoolteachers and were reared with English discipline, immersed in romantic literature on the one hand, and a large local family of uncles, aunts, cousins and a doting grandmother, who was Spanish from Cadiz, on the other.
Childhood was spent roaming across the Up South, Rosia, and Europa point areas of Gibraltar engaging in childish games and adventures, reading extensively books such as Enid Blyton’ adventure series, ‘Famous Five, ‘Secret Seven,‘Swallows and Amazons Forever,John Buchan and the ‘Gorbals Die-hards. Saturday mornings were a day for avoiding the displeased grimaces of monocled and overweight colonels, delving and searching through the shelves of the old Garrison library to discover new horizons, characters, and stories. The journey of discovery that had begun with Baba the Elephant eventually began to grow richer as the classics were devoured.
In 1967, he looked on as fellow students of Jewish persuasion prepare to leave for Tel Aviv to defend Israel. Shortly after, the arrival of General Moshe Dayan at the gates of Cairo, signaled to the world that Israel´s direst moment had been overcome. Paul, at the earliest time possible, set off in a steamer from Tangiers, sailing to Southampton. After a spell in London, he left the UK to discover his roots in Malta. He alternated callings as a tour guide of Morocco and recoverer of broken down rented cars in the desert, tour guide of south Spain and eventually running a flamenco club on the Costa del Sol, in the days when the Costa was still a new and exciting place to visit.
Eventually, he set off again to discover new places in the Middle, the Far East and the Philippines, and when Perestroika and Glasnost finally arrived at the hands of Mihail Gorbacheff and the Soviet Union was open, set off to discover the East there. He studied Russian at St Petersburg and spent time travelling to the Republic of Udmurtia, Kazan, Siberia and up an uncharted river to meet Tribes that still lived in the area. Later to Nizhny Novgorod and the South Volga, then to the Ukraine travelling from city to city, falling more and more in love with the great Russian writers and painters as he went. Seventeen years ago at the age of fifty, Paul contracted renal cancer. He was operated on successfully at the Bullfighters Hospital in Pamplona in North Spain. Metastasis was practically impossible the surgeons happily reported. Two years later the cancer metastasised to his lungs on which he was duly operated, and half of his lungs were removed. Later for reasons undefined he suffered strokes in both eyes and lost partial sight in one eye and total in the left which he duly recovered by swimming and praying. Seventeen years have gone by since the renal cancer was first discovered, and seven years since his last operation and
everything is fine, remission seems to be total.
Paul’s still swims at least one or two kilometres per day all year round, travels, practises martial arts and fervently believes that the Lord leads him by the hand. After leaving the hospital he spent some time in Tangiers, hairless, gaunt and on crutches, but enjoying the warmth and affection of many new friends there. Then off to Prague to study filmmaking, made several shorts but finally decided that he would first write and then make movies when the time came.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!


It seems like I’ve struggled against these all my life.  From my parents’ expectations to society’s expectations, I find them restrictive and unreasonable.  I know I have my own expectations of others as well but I try to keep them to a minimum.
People seem to think I’ll be something (you fill in the blank) and when I’m not they are disappointed.  I say stop expecting me to be a particular way or to react a certain way or be whatever it is you think I should be.
Here is a perfect example.  When I turned 40 everyone said I would be miserable.  I would be sad and feel old.  I didn’t.  I actually liked stepping forward into this decade of my life.  I felt better about myself in a lot of ways than I had in my 30s.
When my kids moved out, people said I would be sad and miss them.  I love my girls.  I enjoy their company.  I enjoy spending time with them.  When Ken and I had a few months with NO kids in the house, it was wonderful.  We came together when we wanted to and avoided each other when we were grumpy.  It was just us.  I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. 
The point of having kids is to raise them to be adults – hopefully responsible and independent.  Not to keep them clinging to our sides forever.  That is unhealthy.
Out of all the expectations, I think the ones that it is hardest to not meet are the ones I set on myself.  It is easy enough to say to “them” that you shouldn’t have expectations of me and tell them to go jump in a lake (I’m being nice here).  When it comes to my own expectations of myself though, these are the hardest for me.  I don’t have a lot – probably because I don’t like them.  But when I do fail to meet expectations, I beat myself up.  These are the moments when I feel like a failure.
These are also the motivating moments for me.  If I haven’t finished my to do list for the weekend, I am motivated to either keep working on it during the week or be more focused with the next to do list. 
Expectations are hard because sometimes we can’t help but have them.  Often they aren’t met.  Sometimes they are ridiculous.  Mostly they are unspoken. 

Boys Need to Grow Up

Beware there is a feminist rant to follow so if you don’t want to deal with it – don’t read this.

In Texas there is an 11 year old girl who was gang raped multiple times by boys ages 14 and up to adults.  This occurred in a small town.  Now I grew up in a smallish town.  My experience is that everyone knows everyone else.  You can’t do ANYTHING in a small town without someone knowing you did it.  You cannot tell me that some of these boys involved (or allegedly) didn’t know that this was an 11 year old. 

So this girl was raped.  It went unreported by her but got out because the boys (I’m commenting on their maturity level not their legal age) involved had to brag and record the horrendous things they did to this little girl. 

Newspapers quoted people in the town saying that the girl asked for the rapes to happen because she was sneaking around and dressing provocatively.  Really – really – we want to even go there?  She is 11!!!!!!  I’ve read comments that it is her parent’s fault for not keeping better control of her. 

Here is my question.  What the fuck?  Okay so after the outrage and fury has died down a bit (and only a bit), here are more questions.  This little girl didn’t ask to be sexually used by multiple males.  Even if she stood in the town square and said come fuck me, she is 11. 

Where are the parent’s of these boys to teach them that you don’t do this?  What the hell were the boys thinking?  I warn you I may have to explode if someone comes out with the boys will be boys bull shit.  It is time we stopped allowing boys to be boys and taught them to act with respect and consideration for all people – EVERYONE – and most especially when it comes to the females in the world. 

Grow up.  If you cannot control your sexual urges then do society a favor and lock yourself away.  Everyone has sexual urges.  It is part of our nature.  The thing is most of us manage to control them so that we don’t cause damage to others.  If you cannot control them – then lock yourself away so that you don’t do harm.

It isn’t that little girl’s fault that these males raped her.  It isn’t her parent’s fault if she snuck out.  It is the males who took advantage of a girl who was unprotected.  Those males are at fault for not having better control of their sexual urges and need for power over someone.  They all deserve to go to jail for a very long time. 

To the people who are blaming the victim, I only have one thing to say to you.  Shame on you!!! 

Naughty Children

I heard on the radio how the Republicans have an agenda now that they are in control of the house.  I think that’s great.  I was hoping to hear how they were going to balance the budget, stimulate the economy, help the poor, and educate our children. No.  The Republicans think they should act like two year olds and stomp their feet till they get their way.  Instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work – attempting to work with the President and Senate – they are going to keep their ball gripped tightly in their hands and hold their breath until someone gives them their way. 
Here’s the thing, while they are acting like uncooperative and spoiled children, the everyday people are running out of unemployment, losing their insurance (which was too expensive), losing their homes, paying too much for gas, and going from bad to worse.  What are they going to do about that? 
I’d like to tell our political parties to get their heads out of their asses and do the job they were hired to do.  Run our country and ensure that everyone in the country has a voice.  Everyone doesn’t just include those who pay for your political ads.  It is the child who wakes in the morning to no food or heat in the house.  It is the gay couple who has been together for 20 plus years and isn’t allowed to get married because of the Christian right wing.  It is the two income family who is struggling to make ends meet because their adult kids can’t find work, gas is over $3 a gallon, and there is no public transportation.  It is EVERY individual regardless of color, creed, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or anything other ridiculous classification society has tossed out there. 
Regardless of level of government, all elected members need to work together, compromise and find solutions to the problems we are facing.  Otherwise when the next election rolls around the same thing is going to happen.  If life doesn’t get better for people, they are going to vote out those in office and look for someone new. 
Instead of tooting their own horns and saying we are going to fix this.  Someone needs to step up and actually do it.  I respect President Obama and feel he is trying to get the changes in place that this country needs.  However, when he has to deal with contention instead of cooperation, he can’t make progress.  This means, we can’t make progress.  Where is the cooperation monster from Sesame Street?  Perhaps if this critter showed up in the House and Senate, the representatives might get an idea of how they are supposed to work.
Someone wise once said be the change you want to see in the world.  I see Obama trying to be the change he wants to see in the world.  I see the political opponents saying oh you aren’t part of our group so we can’t play nice with you.  That is ridiculous and the people who get hurt are the everyday people who have to deal with the lack of progress on the issues that matter.
Another famous quote comes to mind – if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I wish our political parties would stop being the problem and start being the solution.