Monthly Archives: October 2011

Can I write a novel in 30 days? With your help, I might!

So, early last month – when November seemed a long way away I might add – I did what part of me now considers to be a Very Stupid Thing. I entered a competition to start and complete a novel in 30 days.

It’s part of the National Novel Writing Month going on throughout the next month. It involves writing 50,000 words in any genre. This works out at about 1,667 words everyday. Apparently it’s not supposed to be perfect – what’s the point if not perfection of one’s craft I wonder? – I’m just meant to type. For someone like me who erases whole chapters for being subpar, this is tough!

Unfortuntely, it now seems the Fates are conspiring against me, for not only have I not got a story but now my laptop has gone kaput. But where you cannot help with the latter (unless you’re able to buy/gift me a new laptop before tomorrow? I’d be much obliged) you can definitely be of help in the story department.

The numbers do not lie; a lot of you read my blogs. What I’m now asking is that the majority of you that read without commenting please take the time to vote in the poll below, stating what genre you’d like to see me write.

I’m frightened of the huge challenge; as I’m yet to complete a novel, it’s a bit daunting. So any encouragement will be greatly appreciated. Abuse welcome too – but keep this within the context of the competition (i.e. if I fail to update everyday). In the words of Erykah Badu, “Remember I’m an artist and sensitive about my shit.”

Thank you.

UPDATE: I have set up a new blog for the competition here. I will cease writing on this one for the duration of November. See you on the other side and here’s hoping I survive the month with my wits intact. See you here on December 1!

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If music be the food of love, baby I will dance like Bright Chimezie.

Every Igbo person is a writer.

I don’t know if there is something in the water, or if we’re just frustrated because the art of oral storytelling has died out all over Igboland or whether it’s the Chinua Achebe thing, but think about it: At least three out of any five new writers will be Igbo (entirely made-up statistic by the way, but it feels true). Ndi Igbo revere education and books so it should come as no surprise that one has had a fair share of toasting from Igbo intellectuals. But there is one kind in particular that keeps coming back.

You know the type. His parents are frustrated academics from the Biafra era when they lost everything, so his name is something grand and all-encompassing like ‘He who is mighty in the art of war’ or  ‘He who we shall use to cut down the White man’s tree of knowledge and sell him back its fruits’ or ‘He who we shall use to conquer many worlds and bring back precious cargo so that we can all sit together under the Ukpaka tree picking meat from our teeth with the bones of our enemies’ or simply, ‘Hahahahahaha! I laugh at you’. You get the picture.

Mine was called ‘Eziafakaego’ – A good name is better than money. Naturally he didn’t have any. His shoes were like hand puppets with the top part constantly sniffing heaven’s arse. Did he let that stop him from toasting girls? Did he heck.Typical scenario:

“Well met by moonlight, fairest lady. Your face is the East, your body, the sun.” Eziafa would shout at his latest toastee, going down on one knee and presenting her with a plastic rose from the market.

Mba o! Eziafa I hope it’s not me you remembered today? Better go back and tell whoever sent you that you didn’t see me. Mschew! Nonsense. Am I your level? Biko, go away.” His prey’s friends would shriek with laughter while the girl tried to evaporate Eziafa’s blood with her eyes. People would look on and shake their heads ‘ That Eziafa is just a character’, all the while praying not to be the recipient of his affections.

Maybe I should have prayed as well, but he didn’t repulse me. I thought he was eccentric. And so the Fates conveniently went on holiday on the day my overzealous cupid let an arrow fly into Eziafa’s eye.

“If music be the food of love, play on. Give me more of it…”

“Eziafa, no.”

“…And I will be your genie in a bottle. I will dance, like Bright Chimezie. Zzigima style.”

“Ok, first of all, you are murdering Shakespeare. Secondly, that quote has no bearing on this situation like it did in the play. There is no music playing anywhere near here to warrant…”

“The rhythm is my heart and the globules of your posterior are its drums. Now take my hand and together we shall to a place, where I can feed you nectar…”

“I am not a bee…”

“…And I can lay my weary head on your bosom…”

“…You mean on my sternum…” I crossed my hands over my chest, aware of my B-cups.

“And you can show your hairy diadem…”

“That’s enough!” Somehow I knew he meant the other meaning of that phrase in John Donne’s famous poem. After all my hair was not covered. “Look, Eziafa I’m going to be late.”

“Yes, but we’re in the same class.”

“Like I could forget. But while you’re going on, I need to be moving on.”

“Ah such wit, by Jove!”

“Don’t you get tired? Hia.” This went on for about a week and where at first Eziafa was just a quirky guy, I found myself going to sleep and dreaming of killing him in the most horrendous of ways. Poison in ear seemed the most fitting for obvious reasons. But how to get close enough?

“Look Nwunye,” he said after one of my harsher put-downs “Do you really think I don’t know how I look? At least I am putting myself out there. I have so much love to give and if I don’t try, how will I ever find the woman who will love me back? And there has got to be someone, otherwise what is the point of life? There has got to be someone, even for me. Why make fun of me for that?”

“I know, Eziafa, but you don’t take no for an answer. It gets annoying quickly.” I sighed. “I’m not rejecting you because you look…you don’t look…I don’t know how to say this…”

“Ugly?”

“I didn’t say that. You’re not ugly.”

“Great. So you will go out on a date with me. I knew you were different. Oh, I have been in Hades, but you my dearest Persephone…”

“I didn’t say I’d go out with you either. You’re doing it again. You’re being annoying.”

“Then speak ,my love, your command. I remain your slave.”

“I’m not your love. Any other person who was as presumptuous and as…insistent at you, I would have put down the same way. Why should I give you special treatment just because you’re…er…ah..”

“Poor. Ugly.”

“Different. And in any case, I don’t find you attractive. You’re too earnest for me. And don’t even think of making a pun out of…”

“…The importance of being earnest is that it gets you where you need to go in life, my dear Nwunye.”

“Oh, God. You didn’t just do that.” Eziafa grinned. His smile disappeared just as quickly as it came.

” You people think I don’t have feelings. I am your jester and will play my part with relish, but I ask you, to be true to yourself. Look into my eyes and tell me you don’t feel the same way and I will never…”

“I don’t feel the same way.”

“Ah-ahn! I didn’t even finish. OK then. I shall never darken your doors again.” He started to walk away but turned back. “Last chance or forever hold your peace?”

“Thanks, Eziafa. I’m sure I’ll survive.”

The rest of the semester came and went but somehow Eziafa was never the same to me. Or to anyone, now that I think about it. He still smiled and still talked and joked, but something was different. It was almost like he didn’t care so much about the people around him.  We took our final exams;  I finished with second class upper, Eziafa a lower second class degree. He came up to me and shook my hand, but he didn’t recite Shakespeare or Byron. He spoke Eziafa. “You’re a brilliant writer. I look forward to reading your first book. I’m sure it will be magnificent. I shall buy it for all my friends. I’m sure it will be out next year.”

“From your mouth to God’s ears,” I said and thought no more of it.

Ten years later, I open the Guardian Review in the UK to see an interview with a new writer who has just won an award worth £10,000 and a book deal of a further £500,000. Something about his image looks familiar. I scroll down:

Hot on the heels of the prestigious Preston award, Eziafakaego Nnoo chats to Simon Hattenstone about why being weird is not always a bad thing. Plus, the women whose love played a big part in his success.

I flipped through the two-page interview at break-neck speed. He didn’t mention me.

Bastard.

I looked at the picture again.

‘You know,’ I thought to myself. ‘He’s not that ugly.’

A good Igbo girl should never look at pictures of naked men…

...but since most of you are neither good nor Igbo, feast your eyes on this! 

These are the contestants for Silverbird’s Mr Nigeria 2011. Ah, the feminist in me rejoices!

I picked one as my favourite based on looks alone. Further digging revealed his hometown to be Umuahia. You see? Even my eye’s parameters for attractiveness included the word ‘Igbo’. It’s not my fault, I tell you!

Can you guess – without googling – which one he is? Who is your favourite?

Contestant 1 – Joseph Oluwadamilare Agossa

Name: Joseph Oluwadamilare Agossa

Occupation: 200 Level Computer science student of Lead City University

Height: 6ft 3

Contestant 2 – Alex Aarebamen Uriesi

Name: Alex Aarebamen Uriesi

Occupation: Marine Biology diploma student of University of Lagos

Height: 6ft 2

Contestant 3 – Chijoke Obi

Name: Chijoke Obi

Occupation: Industrial Physics Graduate of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)

Height: 6ft 5

Contestant 4 – Henry Ojini

Name: Henry Ojini

Occupation: 200 Level Computer Engineering student of North American University, Benin Rep

Height: 6ft 2

Contestant 5 – Melvin Oduah

Name: Melvin Oduah

Occupation: Actor/ Model

Height: 6ft 1

Contestant 6 – Tochukwu Nwachukwu

Name: Tochukwu Nwachukwu

Occupation: 300 Level Psychology student of Unizik

Height: 6ft 3

Contestant 7 – Solomon Horsfall

Name: Solomon Horsfall

Occupation: 200 Level Economics student of University of Ibadan

Height: 6ft 3

Contestant 8 – Ayomikun Ezekiel Odunwole

Name: Ayomikun Ezekiel Odunwole

Occupation: 200 Level Political Science student of Uni. Ado Ekiti

Height: 6ft 3

Contestant 9 – Oluwagbemiga Adetuberu

Name: Oluwagbemiga Adetuberu

Occupation: Fitness coach/Boxer

Height: 6ft

Contestant 10 – Oscar Okwachi

Name: Oscar Okwachi

Occupation: 500 Level Public Admin student of Uni. Of Calabar

Height: 6ft 1

Contestant 11 – Christopher Obia

Name: Christopher Obia

Occupation: Graduate of Business Admin/ Model

Height: 6ft

Contestant 12 – Bandele Adebule

Name: Bandele Adebule

Occupation: Economics graduate of Covenant University

Height: 6ft

Contestant 13 – Ugochukwu Uzowuihe

Name: Ugochukwu Uzowuihe

Occupation: 400 Level Business Admin student of Benson Idahosa University

Height: 6ft 2

Contestant 14 – Chidi Onuike

Name: Chidi Onuike

Occupation: Graduate of Geology/Home interiors businessman

height: 6ft 6

Contestant 15 – Deji Bakare

Name: Deji Bakare

Occupation: Multimedia Specialist

Height: 6ft 4

Contestant 16 – Ikorishor Ajabi

Name: Ikorishor Ajabi

Occupation: 500 Level Forestry Student of University of Agric, Makurdi

Height: 6ft 2

Contestant 17 – Nonso Nduba Ikenna

Name: Nonso Nduba Ikenna

Height: 6ft 6

Contestant 18 – Chuks Onyeka Obichukwu

Name: Chuks Onyeka Obichukwu

Occupation: Computer Engineer

Height: 6ft 2

Who would you like to win?

More information: 

Follow the Mr Nigeria competition here : www.twitter.com/mr_nig

Facebook address: www.facebook.com/silverbirdmrnigeria

Hi guys,

Meet Massive Mocha, a 500-pound-plus woman who gets paid to ‘squash’ men. Now for people who don’t know, ‘squashing’ is a sexual fetish which involves just that – a person, usually a morbidly obese woman – sits on you until all the breath leaves your body. And then you get your rocks off. At least that’s how it’s meant to work.

Sometimes, squashees have ‘feeder’ fetishes as well. That is to say the partner gets off on feeding the squasher a lot of food and is then sat on afterwards for their trouble. Here’s Mocha’s blog here. Some of this stuff might be NSFW-ish.

I wonder, how much they make? Am I dieting for nothing?

The Hero Series: Part Four (A genuine problem from a reader)

Hello people,

I got this genuine, non-fictional dilemma both on this forum and replicated in my inbox and I thought you guys would like to give her your opinions. Remember, be nice. This is an actual human being with real feelings and she would really appreciate some help. I will put in my two cents when I hear what everyone has to say. The letter is below.

I stumbled upon this site and happened to find it very interesting as well as informative. I couldn’t find a place to submit a new inquiry so I hope it’s ok to leave it here.After reading your Hero Series I think I’ve violated some of the golden rules. Hopefully your advice can help get things back on track.

Well, I’m African American & I was recently introduced to an Igbo man through a mutual friend. Initially we talked on the phone to get acquainted and arrange our first meeting. He wanted to meet that same evening, but I declined and opted for the following day.

So we met the next day, sparks flew and we seemed to click instantly. We talked and developed a really good vibe. So much that we arranged to meet later that evening. This time he invited me to his home. He and his friend had just arrived shortly before I did from playing tennis. When I drove up he welcomed me in and introduced me to his friend. He had some Nigerian food prepared & asked me to join them for dinner. I wasn’t really hungry but I obliged & asked him to give me a very small portion. Over dinner he gushed to his friend over my beauty, I was flattered but slightly embarrassed, but concealed it with pleasant smiles. I joined them in dinner conversation which went over quite well. So after dinner his friend left. Afterwards we watched movies, downloaded music and played online for a bit. He wanted to become FaceBook friends, so I accepted him via my Blackberry and he immediately started to troll my page, wall and photos, while I was sitting there. He then asked me a lot about my family background, etc. After talking about our families & an array of other things we started to make out. One thing lead to another and we had sex, without even knowing the golden rules I was very hesitant & he had to try very hard to convince me to proceed.

Afterwards it wasn’t awkward at all. He practically begged me to stay overnight but I declined, although I didn’t leave immediately, I left about 2am or so. He called me on my drive home and we talked more. The next day he wanted to hang out but I had a lot going on so I had to decline. Now here is where I sense things started to get shaky. The following day we made 10pm reservations for dinner. So we last spoke about 4pm. I hadn’t heard from him all day thereafter, so I texted about 6pm, no answer. Then I called about 8pm, no answer. So I never got dressed for the date. He decided to call at 9:45pm. I didn’t answer. He called perhaps 3 more times. I still didn’t answer. I then responded with a text letting him know that I was extremely disappointed in him and he knew of our plans & failed to respect my time, I also added how much a despised inconsistency. He texted back immediately with sincere apologies and an explanation of a “family emergency”. I accepted his apology but refused to see him that night. So the following day when we finally talked he addressed me by saying how can I marry a man one day then divorce him the next without him giving an explanation to the mistake that was made, then apologized to me again. He made me feel really bad, like I was too hard on him. I apologized to him, if I offended him and we arranged to meet for dinner. We met for dinner that night, he then again brought up the incident. He asked me if I had told my friends that he was an asshole for what happened. I told him no I didn’t mention what happened to anyone. He then said he told his friends that he was surprised by my lashing out at him, because he portrayed me to be such a pleasant woman. I was offended slightly because, I don’t feel that me expressing my disappointment makes me an unpleasant person, but I didn’t debate him. I just said I didn’t mean any harm & I’m sorry etc.

So after dinner we went back his place, I stayed for a few hours, but again didn’t stay the entire night, he wanted me to but I declined. This now leads up to Monday (which was yesterday), he didn’t call me nor did I call him. We only exchanged a text regarding some business finance info he asked me to obtain for him. Then another text later in the afternoon saying he hoped my day was pleasant.

My plight is that I’ve noticed a decline in admiration towards me since the incident of me lashing out at him. I’m not sure what my next move should be. I’m really feeling this guy and had expectations of us getting to know each other better. I’m not ready for things to end. Also, he’s very attractive & extremely wealthy so I know he’s a hot commodity among women. I’m a little lost and starting to come down on myself for the assertiveness I’ve displayed. Help.. What should my next move be?

–LostInTranslation