Just back from playtime/scooting in community garden. Trying to type. My son wants to dress my hair.

He’s winning.


P.S: Trying to upload this photo and he sees another one of me and him, in which I have short hair. “Who’s that?” he asks. I am incredulous. I mean, I know I was heavier and all, but to actually forget your own mother? Shocking.

Eventually I tell him it’s me. He stares at the image, disbelieving. “You look like a fellow,” he says.


Trouble is, not having nni oka in the house.

Yesterday, in a state of extreme exhaustion due to many late nights, I found myself cooking a pot of ogbono soup.  Lucky me, I had the foresight to  make the meat a few days before.  I’ve recently got in the habit also, of scrubbing, soaking and cleaning out dried fish weeks in advance (I then store in freezer so that I don’t have to go through the tedium when I’m pressed for time) so in no time at all, a pot of soup was bubbling on my stove top.

I’ve cooked many different pots of soup but all of a sudden, something about this one made me think of my grandma, Mama Onitsha.


What changed? I have no idea. All I know is, the whole flat started smelling of her and I got this insane urge for nni oka, the very first time it’s happened in all the years I’ve lived here. Not for this particular soup pot, the quick-fix of garri or the smooth, bland whiteness of yam flour. This was a job for gritty, yellow, nni oka and all its attached memories. If someone had asked me for a kidney in exchange for the stuff, I would have thrust my hand in my side, yanked the organ out and plonked it on ice immediately.

I couldn’t sleep. What? So that ndi otu will come and initiate me in my dreams? The way I felt,  even if I knew  it was a dream, if anyone offered me food I would wash my hands, eat it, clean my mouth afterwards and sign on the dotted line in my own blood.  I paced. I told myself “You don’t have nni oka so better force your mind onto other things,” but my  wayward mind would not cooperate.

Almost as soon as the thought formed, I remembered. What was nni oka if not corn flour cooked with cassava flour? Stupid. I had polenta! And I live near Peckham, the centre of diversity, with its many African, Caribbean and Latino communities! Cassava flour was every where.
Fast forward to this afternoon and…Nni oka and ogbono soup.

Ahhhhh. Bliss. It’s not as flavoursome, as…corn-y as our Nigerian variety, nor as starchy, I don’t think, but the soup more than makes up for any deficiencies in that department (I am not praising myself. I am praising my mum for being awesome and flogging it into teaching me when I was…nine. And ten. And eleven [the minute she loses it, I will put her in an Old Peoples’ Home to teach her how to be independent in old age. Muhahaha!]).

And the texture? Just as I remember: gritty and wholesome. The Kid-Mister had two platefuls but that’s another story. He never stops eating swallow until every portion is gone. His step-grandma’s convinced he was a hungry ancestor in a previous life.

My short story in One Throne magazine.

Hi guys!

Check out my short story ‘Soup,’ out today in One Throne Magazine.

Here’s how it happened.

One of the editors, George Filipovic, contacted me on Facebook after Candy Girl’ came out, to ask if I would consider writing for them. I agreed (as you do) and after telling him it would probably be a while (since I can be such a pernickety writer), promptly shelved the matter under ‘sometime in the near or more likely distant future’. 

No such luck. I got an email about a month later. A “Hey, we’re still thinking about you and glad you’re going to work with us,” kind of thing, to which my reply was, “Dude, I got nothing,” followed by such hand-wringing, that my fingers were left twisted afterwards.

Then another email a few weeks later: “Hey, so…”

‘But my hands!’ I thought. ‘They is all twisted, like.’ I started to get jittery, so I sent a story in.

“Err…no. What else you got?”


Another email. “We hope you’re not annoyed but we really do want to work with you.”

Then another.

I sweated over something else and sent that.

“We like it. It’s sexy but here’s why it doesn’t work for us. What else you got?”


I shut down.

Recently I read an article in which an editor spoke about how men resubmit within the first month of a standard ‘We’d like to see more’ rejection letter, while women take six to 12 months and sometimes, do not resubmit at at all. Let me tell you now, it is totally true for me. I thought, ‘I knew it! They only liked Candy Girl and not my work. I’m going to put the request on ice and get back to it. Sometime.’

My subconscious mind started its usual whispering: Or never. They probably hate me. I bet they regret asking me now. It would be better for all of us if I just went away because I’m sure they’re thinking of a way to back out of my train-wreck of a life as well.

With trepidation, I submitted ‘Soup’.

I think the editors over at One Throne are ruddy marvellous. They take their title seeeeeriously, immersing themselves completely in the work. I had to slip into a pair of big girl pants (and cry on the inside, like a winner) because in the editing process, oy, they had me justify every single word and its position. The end product is a story which I’m proud to call my own.

Its accompanying illustration is amazing. It’s by an artist called Erin Lindeke and what she drew is so inspired, I fell in love, IMMEDIATELY. You see these Edogo artist-types eh, they just have one leg in the spirit world. Check it out:

Don’t you think it resembles ukara?

There is also a similarity to ‘Mkpuru Oka’ cloth in her hair. Beautiful, beautiful work. It’s now my screensaver and I think it would make a wonderful tapestry.

Read the magazine, share the story, and help keep One Throne going!

Have a lovely weekend.

‘The Fixer’ is going INTERACTIVE!

On the 11th of June this year, I sold my first reprint! Woohoo. And to make it even better, it is of a story that was first published on this blog, ‘The Fixer’. I am thrilled to bits.

I am doubly ecstatic as the story will take on new life as an interactive story. Do you remember those ‘Choose your own adventure’ books of the 90s? It’s like that, but online. I have heard some of the audio that will go in mine and I am a giddy with expectation. I. Just. Cannot. Wait.

Here are a few samples of stories for you to experience, if you don’t have any clue as to what I am talking about:

‘Queers in Love at the End of the World’ – Anna Anthropy

‘My Father’s Long, Long Legs’ – Michael Lutz (I personally found this one a tad long but perhaps ’twas the point. Stick with it. Wear headphones!)

I think what I am excited the most about is non-linear storytelling, to be honest; that and fully experiencing stories. I keep trying different things on this blog and off it; audio, drawings, animation, translation. I’ve tried (or dreamt of) embedding sound or other stuff within my ebooks. Currently, I’m using Twine, but nothing is ready which I can share yet – other deadlines keep popping up. If you do get round to twining your stories, share o! I am a glutton for any type of storytelling.

Sub-Q is open for submissions now. It launches on the 4th of August. You can follow them on Twitter: @subQmag

You can read both versions of ‘The Fixer’ here. 

Thoughts, on turning thir…cough! cough! cough! Excuse me.

I am still looking for where I mislaid my original nose, but it’s okay. I’m sure wherever it is, my pre-pregnancy waistline is keeping it company.

Piña Colada can be a breakfast drink if you have it with eggs. And you don’t drive. On that note, it is perfectly fine to be a bit buzzed at school run. Just don’t try to make conversation. That thing you think is so hilarious probably isn’t. You’re buzzed. Go home.

Writing is the best gig ever!

Writing is the worst gig ever.

I don’t shave my legs. Deal with it.

Ditto armpits. Yes, I realise our friendship may now be in jeopardy.

These are my parents:

My dad likes having his picture taken.
My mum hates having her picture taken.

I feel I have been smarter than I currently am. But I have never been poorer than I currently am. Both things can be fixed, which means I am very lucky.

I hope to not be living in this country next year because I am a bit tired and there is a whole lot of world to see. However, I will miss the NHS.

Save the NHS!

Why is IS destroying everything?!!

I’d like to build my house from mud. Like those mosques in Djenne. Or like our ancestors’ houses. I already have an architect.

I really like the name Mehitobel and have been wanting to give it to a character. Except she’s a demon, my character.

I wish I had spare robotic eyes that I could switch my human eyes out with so that I can read all the books I want and never have to sleep ever.

I inherited my grandma’s glasses. She had all her teeth. I should have asked to get those too. Clone myself a little baby Mama Onitsha.

I’ve been working on a story for three days. I finished it yesterday. Now I have two stories.



Where’s my jumper? Oh no.

Cheers to the frickin' weekend.
Cheers to the frickin’ weekend.