Tag Archives: Writing

Fellows.

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

He’s winning.

WIN_20150720_130139

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.

*Weeping*

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I am giving up on writing.

Sometimes, you come across a story that makes you question everything you’re doing. Like, why are you alive? What are you doing wasting your life when you know you will never be as great? What is the point of toiling when all people want to read is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?

I have just come across one such story. I am in despair. This story wins all the awards ever invented and that will ever be invented in the future. I am going to hurl my laptop out of my third floor window after I put this post up because there is JUST NO POINT.

Here are eight reasons you should read this story:

1) It is a conservative Christian fanfic of Harry Potter: The author did not want her children to become witches so she decided to do her own. Hear her:  “Friends: this is exactly what I have been saying! Harry Potter has many good things about it; but it still has witchcraft; so my children cannot read it. BUT that is why I am writing this! So they can have all the adventure and good morals of the Harry Potter books without all that bad stuff that is bogging it down.”

2) Hagrid is a sexy, country evangelist .

3) For sentences such as this one: “Answer the door, Harry!” his Aunt Petunia, a career woman, barked from her armchair where she sat with her feet up.

4) For the words ‘Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles’.

5) Barack Obama is Voldemort.

6) No brooms or flying cars, just the awesomeness that is “Dear Lord, take us to Hogwarts!”

7) Her version of the Sorting Hat is P.R.I.C.E.L.E.S.S. You pesky Catholics and all your many sorting hats. Tsk, tsk!

8) Reverend Albus Dumbledore, his wife Minerva and Hermoine, his daughter.

9) The females, man: ‘Lovely, ladylike tears began to roll down her delicate, terrified face.’  ‘Hermione replied obediently with an innocent, girlish smile; and got to her feet; and smoothed out the skirt of her becoming, pink frock.’

10) The author randomly interjecting with her views: ‘It did not smell or taste like bacon. It missed that smokey, meaty taste that bacon is supposed to have. Instead, it tasted like vegetables blended together and died red. Yuck! Harry would take real bacon over that any day of the week.’ – And this when a character other than Harry is doing the eating. Harry has not even tasted the ‘bacon’.

BONUS

11) This image:

aattp.org
Holy Harry

Click here to read the whole story!

Like I said, I give up on this writing lark. The author takes all the biscuits.

My short story in Eclectica magazine

Hello friends!

Just a quick one to say my short story is out in Eclectica Magazine winter 2014 issue today. Huzzah! Click here to read it. It’s called ‘Jermyn’ and is it’s the second-to-last at the bottom of the page.

After you have done so stick around and enjoy the other short stories and literary offerings in it. I know I will. Eclectica is a wonderful magazine – and not just because I am in it.

This is what working in my house sounds like.

Yesterday one of the mums in the new playgroup I tried out with Tot asked me what I did and I told her.

“Really? How do you work? What does he do when you work?”

“He plays by himself,” I said.

“Oh.” I could see her regard me out of the corner of her eye, trying to consider whether the ‘worthiness’ of being an’ artist’ outweighed her suspected neglect of my offspring. And whether – maybe – she should call someone.

“What language is that you’re speaking to him?” she asked instead.

“Igbo. It’s a Nigerian language.”

“I read a book about Nigeria recently,” she started slowly.

“Yeah?” I responded, knowing what she was going to say.

“Yeah, it is called ‘Half of a Yellow Sun.'”

Of course. “That’s about Igbo people.”

“I thought it might be! My goodness. Do you know, I knew nothing about the Biaf…Biafra? at all before that.”

I knew then she would not call social services. And I thanked God for the book which had enlightened her.

But to answer your question Mother-at-playgroup, this is what it sounds like when I am trying to do some work. I forgot the recorder as soon as I put it on which is why it runs for as long as it does (3 minutes). It was meant to be shorter.

It starts off with me reading back what I have just written after I switch on the recorder, hence the bit of silence from me while Tot babbles on.

Getting naked – in writing.

I’m having trouble writing at the moment.

It is a horrible feeling. It’s as if somebody has stuffed me into a wet, warm wool sheath, so tight that I can not move. My armpits sweat, my brain becomes sluggish and sort of itchy. I can’t concentrate on anything, the simplest daily task becomes a chore and soon I can’t even do those. So, my house looks a mess which only contributes to the clutter in my head.

I refuse to use the B-word. I just don’t think it applies to me. (I am also afraid of jinxing myself by mentioning it, haha! Superstitious.) I don’t think it applies when you have a lot of ideas but have trouble executing them, or finding the best way to. I prefer the term ‘fuzziness’ for when this happens. It’s like an extreme state of indecision that affects every facet of your life. But maybe it’s just bollocks. Maybe it’s the B-word and I’m just trying to dress it up. Maybe it’s  even the L-word. Laziness.

Be that as it may, that is what is happening to me now and it is excruciating. But I have discovered a sort of solution. It does not take care of the whole problem – that only happens when I push through the fuzziness, if I persist in writing something, anything just to keep my hand in, even if my brain is sweating bullets from trying to concentrate. Even when it is easier to bury myself in books and films – crucial to the writing process, but not the act of writing itself. Pushing through only goes some way to easing this fuzziness somewhat.

I’m talking about honesty. Emotional openness. It’s difficult to write anything worthwhile if you’re not open with yourself and your (intended) audience. This is very hard for me.

Before this blog, I started about three other anonymous ones which I abandoned and deleted as soon as people became interested in meeting me face-to-face. I was happy to share stories, both real and imagined, but I did not like the thought of people knowing which bits were real and which bits were not. I was funny – I like to make people laugh – but I avoided controversial subjects. I like to think that it is because I want people to get along, and I do. But I suppose at some point you just have to say ‘screw it’ and wade in. I’m not sure I am there yet.

I was careful not to let things slip in those blogs and that is hard. Because the act of writing involves risk. It involves putting bits of yourself out there for other people to peruse and enjoy or judge and disdain. You have to do this. It comes with the territory.

I am scared of this. The (not-so) funny thing is, I like to be open and honest in ‘real life’ sometimes to my own detriment. I just think the world would be a better place if people knew quickly what they were getting into. That way you call time on useless friendships before you’ve had a chance to really get comfortable.

This same level of honesty is difficult to achieve in writing. It’s partly because your audience on the internet or in a book or magazine becomes much more than a one-on-one. Your words can be replicated and shared quicker. The good thing is that since it’s in writing, your words will stay as you have written them. The bad news is that it’s in writing. Your words will stay as you have written them. Forever.

The other part of it is the whole Igbo girl/African woman thing. I really should listen to the Adichie talk on the subject but I have seen headlines. She apparently says something like ‘African women are taught to feel shame’ and she’s right. I carry more shame than I know what to do with. I am intensely aware of what my written words can do to my family, or people’s perceptions of my family. I worry about things that are not my fault, things that I had no control over. I worry about those that I did have control over. I have made a lot of crap decisions that I am unwilling to admit to anyone. And yet they influence what I write about. They have to. But I still cannot dip a toe into the waters of those memories. I’m so afraid of what will happen.

I like to think I am imaginative. But I am so flipping constipated with real world events that my imagination is…is…is…I am not sure what it is. Is it gone or has it  only retreated like a snail into its shell?

Ugh. I have reached my threshold of talking about myself. I am going to shake things up soon I think. This cannot continue, scaredy cat though I am. A friend advised me to write it all down, and change names and dates later and I suppose he has a point. I don’t know if I will do this in one chunk, I might let my voice come through a little at a time. I must cast off these masks and personae that are my stock-in-trade. I must also close two other blogs that are left, heehee!

My point is, don’t judge me when you see my stories. I make a LOT of shit up. But there will also be things I will not make up. And that’s okay too. At least it should be. Being any other way is killing me (my creativity).

And if you do judge me, screw you. Hopefully with that stick you’ve got up your bum.

There. I said it.