Saturday, October 31, 2009

Iota International Poetry Competition

Wishing you a poetic weekend!

Prizes: 1st £2000, 2nd £10000, 3rd £500.

Entry fee: £4 per poem, £7 for two, £9 for three or £10 for four.

Poems must not exceed 80 lines.

Address: Iota Competition, P.O. Box 7721, Matlock DE4 9DD.

Closing Date: 30th November 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

And the Winners Are...

Let's sing the National Anthem (the first or the second one, it doesn't matter, really and too bad if you don't know the two stanzas because we are going all the way). No, let's recite the National pledge. Why all these nationalism? You wonder.

The winners of the Commonwealth Short Stories have been announced. And yes, Nigerians rocked the scene, now you understand why I am so so, let it end there. Maybe despite the obvious 'uncomfortable' situation in which writers live makes it easier for creativity to thrive (and don't ask me why most award-winning Nigerians write from outside Nigeria); the important thing is that they write about Nigeria (and that they are Nigerians, of course). Let's say it like Ben Okri did in an interview with Molara Wood (paraphrased): the stories are abundant in Lagos (and London) but it's challenging, difficult even to write those stories here. And the reasons are obvious, and a writer has the responsibility to create his/her own silence amidst the 'madness' of Lagos or wherever...

Okay, away from my rant. Here are the winners from Nigeria: Kachi Ozumba (Overall Winner for the African Region); and the highly recommended stories had Ayobami Adebayo, Carlang Mbofung and Akinwunmi Akinwale. Congratulations people, we are so proud of you. And for the other names, you will have to check that out yourself here. 

And don't sulk if you submitted and didn't make it, next year is another time. You try again...true writers never quit; and maybe quitters are not true writers (imitating Schuller in my opinion) they keep writing despite rejection slips.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Of what use is language anyway?

I came across Le Clezio's Nobel Lecture again recently and found it very profound. And I think every aspiring writer should read that because it brings to fore the main questions we do not consciously ask ourselves. Particularly, the significance of language to any society caught my attention, and it emphasises that a writer preserves language even as (s)he uses it:

The writer, the poet, the novelist, are all creators. This does not mean that they invent language, it means that they use language to create beauty, ideas, images. This is why we cannot do without them. Language is the most extraordinary invention in the history of humanity, the one which came before everything, and which makes it possible to share everything. Without language there would be no science, no technology, no law, no art, no love. But without another person with whom to interact, the invention becomes virtual. It may atrophy, diminish, disappear. Writers, to a certain degree, are the guardians of language. When they write their novels, their poetry, their plays, they keep language alive. They are not merely using words—on the contrary, they are at the service of language. They celebrate it, hone it, transform it, because language lives through them and because of them, and it accompanies all the social and economic transformations of their era.

That's what Le Clezio thinks, now you tell us, what does language mean to you? What connection do you see between a changing society and its language? Is there any connection between literature and language? Do writers have any commitment to the preservation of the language of their people? Does it make any difference to you whatever language a text is written in? Let us know...

Calling the Performance Poets...

The organizers of WordSlam (Culture Advocates Caucus & Goethe Institut, Nigeria) are delighted to inform poets and spoken word artistes that the 4th edition of a feast of poetic flight, aimed at encouraging young people to express themselves through poetry, has been scheduled for the last week of November 2009. This is a call for participation at the event, which we hope will be more exciting than the previous editions.

WORDSLAM is a platform for the presentation of live poetry performances, featuring poetry in its diverse forms covering everyday experiences, history, culture, religion, politics and many others. To be a part of this, send in at least two poems you would like to perform, plus a short biography of 200 words about yourself and your career to on or before 31st, October, 2009.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Now this is to all Nigerian Journalists...

Here's an opportunity for Nigerian journalists to get rewarded for their efforts...thanks to the Wole Soyinka Society for Investigative Journalism. And let's hope it's not like the "big oil award" with "the big prize" that never went to any writer--that was a huge joke. It's also a topic for another day... 

Eligibility: The Award is open to any Nigerian professional journalist or team of journalists (full time professionals or freelancers)

Categories: Consideration will be for works in the Print, Broadcast, Photography, and Online journalism categories.

Criteria: The main criterion for eligibility is that the work (single work or single-subject serial) involves reporting on public or corporate corruption, human rights violation, or on the failure of regulatory agencies. Such works must have been first published or broadcast in a Nigerian medium within the past one year.

Deadline for Submission of Entries: OCTOBER 31ST, 2009

For more info, click here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mark your Calendar...

"Representing NAIJA" is the tag for the 31st edition of POETRY POTTER. There is no doubt that this edition of the event will surpass the previous in all ramifications. It's going to be a gathering of young meaning Nigerians under one room in a serene atmosphere of the Rounda Hall, National Library, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos. To discuss the present and future of Nigeria creatively, with rendition of rhythmic words and lines which will be accompanied with nice rhythm.

As Yoruba will say, ariwo ko o, it's not unnecessary noise that will drive home the change (the real change) that the country is currently clamouring for, it's by meeting and discussing the issues with creative approach. And this is the reason why KOWRY KREATIONS MEDIA is in partnership with THE FUTURE AWARDS for this very edition of the literary arts monthly platform.

Date: Saturday, 31 October 2009 Time: 2-6pm
Venue: Rotunda Hall, National Library opposite Casino Cinema, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos

PLAY 2009: GTBank Sponsors Poetry Fiesta
The pan-Nigerian Poetry Festival which explores the theme, “Poetry, Laughter, Arts and You” and is acronymed “P.L.A.Y” has finally secured the goodwill of GTBank as sole-sponsor.

In this connection, the Project Producer and Artistic Director, Ben Tomoloju, has been contracted to stage the event on Thursday and Friday, October 29 and 30, this year, at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos and treat the Nigerian Literary community and arts patrons to a quintessential culture exposition in poetry and theatre.

Plans for this festival kicked off nearly a year ago based on the contention that poetry as a form of art deserves to recapture its essence as a performance medium. In the study of Oral Literature, for instance, the “oral-moment” of the traditional poet - griot or bard- is a major feature of study and his or her characteristic dependency on a retinue of singers, dancers and drummers shows the exciting interface between poetry and theatre. Illustrating with homely examples, the producer, Ben Tomoloju, draws attention to the acts of the late Mamman Shata and horse-riding Hajiya Lolo Bida who were traditional poets in their own right but celebrated their poetry with musical accompaniment.

Among contemporary Nigerian poets, some leading lights such as Odia Ofeimun and Niyi Osundare have demonstrated a significant knack for performance poetry. They usually read, recite or chant to the accompaniment of songs and music as a re-affirmation of the interconnectedness of these artistic genres. In the new generation, poet-journalist, Akeem Lasisi, is quite outstanding. His poetry is not only inspired by traditional Yoruba poetry, he has also evolved a metalangue for its stage realization. These and many other juicy enactments which also incorporate the peculiar acts of Folu Agoi, Dagga Tolar, Iquo Eke, Sage “Has.son” and peculiar rap artistes are the offering at P.L.A.Y 2009.

According to Tomoloju, all participating artistes have been duly contacted and a number of them from the Nefretiti Group, Crown Troupe and Solar Band are now working at the Artsville Theatre Camp, Jakande Estate Bungalows, Ejigbo, Lagos. The main presentation of the festival is Eddie Aderinokun’s “Meridian Hour” while a special segment will be dedicated to Mabel Segun, the matriarch of Children’s Literature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Blues by Kola Tubosun

In September, we featured Kola Tubosun as the Bookaholic Blogger of the month. Here's an interesting short faction  from the 'Travula'. If you seem to get lost in the character's thoughts, remember it's a mixture of facts and fiction but here's the Bookaholic Blog verdict: short, simple and sweet. Enjoy! And of course, keep your comments coming...

Of the many questions in the traveller's mind on that cold night, there was a recurring one that had followed him all the way over the miles and the waters in-between, and it’s many variants:

"Tell me Traveller, have you got an American girlfriend yet?"

"How are the Yankee girls?"

"I hear the girls over there are quite giving. Shouldn't you have hit a hot one by now?"

"When will you make an 'Obama baby?' It'd better be soon."

"Be careful, Traveller, but be adventurous. Be very adventurous."

"Traveller, aren't you a lucky one, going to America with your tall frame, dark skin and brilliant mind?"

"It's your time, man. Enjoy it." etc.

And they circled his curious, precocious head like a cloud of bubbling mists and mirth. Of the many possible encouraging excuses already stood out the killing Midwestern winter cold, and a certain loneliness that often stares brazenly sometimes from whirlwind tides of testosterone fits. Ride boy, ride. Swim boy, swim. Shoot boy, shoot the hoops again and again with prized balls of fun gamesmanship. Be harmless, be daring.  Take on the windy evenings with all your righteous rage, long before a final cap at the hot shower that should either temper or scramble the distant mind onto the pleasant edge. Do not go gentle into that good, good night! Be all you can when no one is watching.

His mischievous self only imagines a different body frame, similar to his, as projected forward in an exaggerated swagger, bouncing all around town in faded jeans and a smile, asking whomever catches his fancy: "Hey, do you want a piece of this?"

No, he thinks, now back to his senses, he only stares at a distant bench overlooking the setting sun, and finding them at the moment not any different nor possessing any inspiring light from where he stood, takes in sweetly the sight of the young couple who sat gently pensive, observing the not too silent lake in front of them.

(c) Kola Tubosun, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Writing Opportunities

Ellechor Publishing thrives on helping aspiring authors and part-time dabblers reach their potential. This is why we host an annual "Reach the Stars" Publishing Contest, to assist authors as they reach for their goals. There are two anthologies that will be published with the top writers who enter: the first will be a collection of children's short stories and the second will be a collection of poetry.
Contest Rules

  • Entries must be received at by November 4, 2009 to be entered into the contest. . 
  • Each application must be an original, unpublished work by the author, no exceptions. After October 10, 2009 submissions must also include a submission fee of $5 for poems and $10 for short-stories. Please use the same name when applying and submitting, the information must match for your submission to be eligible.
  • In order for the contest to be valid, there must be at least 50 short story submissions and 100 poetry submissions 
Click here for more information

Narrative is calling on writers, visual artists, photographers, performers, and filmmakers, between eighteen and thirty years old, to tell us a story. We are interested in narrative in the many forms it takes: the word and the image, the traditional and the innovative, the true and the imaginary.

Awards: First Prize is $1,500, Second Prize is $750, and Third Prize is $300, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. The prize winners and finalists will be announced in Narrative. All N30B entries are eligible for the $5,000 Narrative Prize for 2010 and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.

Entries must be previously unpublished, though we do accept works that have appeared in college publications. Entries cannot have been the winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. We accept online entries only. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but if your entry is accepted elsewhere, please let us know as soon as possible (and accept our congratulations!).

For more info, click here

SENTINEL Literary Competition
The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition takes place every 3 months in January, April, July and October. These competitions are held to promote creativity and literary excellence. Winners of the competition win cash prizes and the top poems in from each competition may be collected into a chapbook subject to quality of entries.
Details here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Resource for Budding Freelancers

Here is another resource that would help any budding freelancer, unfortunately it is a PAID subscription but you can still view a recent sample copy on their website. Below is the official blurb and link.

For all writers, established and new, Freelance Market News is an excellent source for the most up to date information about the publishing world. It is packed with news, views and the latest advice about new publications – plus the trends and developments in established markets, in the UK and around the world. We tell you about publications that are looking for new writers and even warn about those you should avoid.

Plus, you receive news of literary competitions, festivals and residential courses, a letters page with a £10 prize for the Star Letter, feature articles and writing resources.

Your subscription also entitles you to membership of The Association of Freelance Writers. This membership gives you many benefits and savings which include:

One FREE appraisal per year of 3000 words of prose or 120 lines of poetry - worth over £30.

A Membership Card which identifies your status as a freelance writer.

Up to 50% off selected books for writers.

Save 20% when you enter The Writers Bureau Poetry & Short Story Competition with £4000 of prizes.

FREE entry to our monthly Writing Competition, with a £50 prize.

Contact other writers or advertise for FREE in The Writers‘ Web.

To view a sample copy, click here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Advice: Writing for Mags

We got an email from someone recently asking how s/he could get their writing out there. From the little experience of the industry that we had. Yeah, not that we've hit it like that o! We came up with this. We are still in the school of life, please let us know the tricks that have worked for you...

  • Buy several copies of the magazines you are interested and study; yes, study everything, content, format, layout--you need to understand the magazine you want to write for. Don't you think?
  • Get the editors' email contacts, we think it's a better approach than calling; it's a 'little writing' that can either steal the editor's heart or turn it against you. So why not put your best foot forward? Now that means no excuses for misspellings, wrong use of words, awful concord, and others in their clan...
  • Find where you fit either to create new content for them or a place where there is a template, propose story ideas for those templates
  • Pitch your ideas/stories;make them short, simple and clear as the editor doesn't have much time to bother with ramblings
  • Try to show why you are the best person for the job by attaching a mini-CV with links to the best of your published work, if you have none attach a sample piece.
  • Wait a few days for response, if there is none email again.
  • It's either the person doesn't like your pitch or too busy to reply or simply email-lazy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meet Eghosa Imasuen

What’s the meaning of each of your names?
Eghosa means “God’s time;” Imasuen means “We have only just begun.”

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could play a musical instrument.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Absentmindedness. I tend to get lost in things, in the moment. I would like to not need to study everything so intensely.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?
Why do I say these things? A memoir by Jonathan Ross; he is a British comic so you can imagine.

What kind of book would you call To Saint Patrick?
A novel. An Alternate History novel. A thriller.

What is the worth of a book?
I know I am supposed to give a profound answer to this question but I cannot think of anything. What’s a book worth? The story it contains? The paper it’s printed on? The hearts and minds that are touched by it?

Why did you choose to base your work on Nigerian past history?
I guess it was something I was comfortable with. I suppose it was something that needed doing. You know? You read all these books, all these books about exotic locales, and spies, and beautiful women. And you think, “Why can’t my place be exotic? Why can’t my women be beautiful? How do I interpret my own stories for the modern thriller, the modern suspense novel?” To Saint Patrick is my attempt to do so.

How does being a Nigerian influence your writing?
I guess it’s mostly with the language. There is a way we speak. And I try my best to interpret this on the page. I do not apologise for sounding and writing the way I do (unapologetic. Another Nigerian trait.) And also with the story-telling – something I feel every Nigerian is blessed with.

When is the best time to write for you?
Late at night. When the twins and wife are asleep.

Can anyone be taught how to write?
Yes. Almost everything can be taught. What cannot be taught is the ability to see stories in the most mundane of activities; to see beauty in the simplest of things. That ability is inborn. It cannot be taught and very few writers actually have it. But the craft? That like most crafts can be taught.

Have you ever bought a copy of your book?
Plenty-plenty. My stingy friends think I need to buy it for them since they were there when I wrote it. So I have bought maybe 28 copies of my book.

Writers that influenced you
Not the usual suspects, I’m afraid. Mostly the Sci-Fi greats Isaac Asimov (for his simplicity, his perceived artlessness); Kurt Vonnegut (for his immeasurable brilliance); Ben Elton (for his wit); and Chimamanda N Adichie (for her skill.) they are many more but I would like to think that in the future when I am read people will say, “Hey this writer’s influences are obviously [insert any of the names above]. You understand what I’m trying to say?

What is the book that changed your life?
The Lord of the Flies, by Golding. We studied it in secondary school. And I read and re-read it even after passing the exams. It was just a beautiful book; an achy, dark ride through the human nature, threading the very thin line that separates us from savagery. And Golding made the telling seem so easy, so doable. I think a seed was planted then.

What inspires your writing?
You know those ideas you get that won’t let you go? When there something nagging, and nagging? You postpone and postpone until one day you just sit down and write? Do you know those? Stuff like that inspire my writing. It’s not a continuous thing; it comes and goes. The only thing that’s constant is that masochistic tendency to want to go through the entire painful exercise again.

What is your advice to young writers?
Work on your craft. Work. Nobody owes you anything. Write and be the best you can be. (And note the caveat in the last sentence. You cannot be better than you actually are. Find out quickly if you have any talent. If you do not, quit quickly; there is nothing romantic about this profession.)

What do you think of publishing in Nigeria?
Crawling. Soon it will stand again. Na small-small. Remember the Warri adage: Person wey escort beggar go cinema na’im dey carry come back. We started this thing, we will bring it home.

What should we expect from you in the near future?
A second novel. A few more short stories. I have been working forever on the second novel. Hopefully it should be done soon.

Define literature in a sentence
A Slice of Life; a slice of life taken and preserved for eternity.

What’s the hardest thing to write about?
Sex. There is a very fuzzy boundary here. When do you present its beauty; when do you overdo it and become silly and over-poetic? How do you present the reality of it; when do you stop writing fiction and deviate in porn? Funny conundrum, eh, for something so common-place.

What is your greatest fear?
That I will fail. I fear that. And shame. I fear shame too. These drive me; make me try my best to succeed.

What book would you give to someone who had time-travelled from another era, to paint a picture of the 21st century?
I think it still too early for books on the 21st century. But to risk it I would pick a book from the end of the last century. It’s titled “Stark!” It’s a dark, eerily prophetic, satire about the near future by Ben Elton. Your readers should look it up in Wikipedia. It’s a brilliant book.

What sort of books would be your guilty pleasure?
Medical books. I actually enjoy reading them. Very unsexy, eh?

Philosophy of life
Know your limits; there is nothing as unattractive/unsexy as a self-deluded optimist with a superiority complex. That’s why I don’t really send the new secular Pentecostalism: this motivational speaker thing.

What does it mean to be a writer?
You hold the trust of your readers. You promise to hold them, always, in the highest esteem and treat them with respect, you promise to make them laugh, make them cry, make them think. All this without disrespecting their intelligence. And you owe your people the promise to tell their stories.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Review A Book for Penguin

A chance for Book Club members, maybe we could all do one as online book club, please let us know what you think. Below is an excerpt from the Penguin newsletter, a good one to subscribe to!

Review a book for Penguin Readers'

Finally, we are looking for Book Groups around the country to review books for us. We feature a different group every month throughout the year and we'd love to hear from you...

Email if you would like to review a book for us.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why We Haven't Been Blogging Regularly???

Fellow Bookaholics around the world GREETINGS!

Please do accept our apologies for the seemingly break in transmission.

Truth is we have both been busy transitioning to the next phase of our lives-Uni, new job, moving house etc and all that comes with it.

Things are settling in gradually, so soon we'll be back to our good 'ol blogging ways.

In the meantime, please bear with us.

Much (book) love,

The Bookaholic Sistaz

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hillary Mantel Wins Man Booker

Hilary Mantel is the winner of the 50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for Wolf Hall, published by Fourth Estate.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel was picked from a shortlist that included novels by A.S. Byatt, J.M. Coetzee, Adam Foulds, Simon Mawer and Sarah Waters.

Hilary Mantel's eleventh novel has been the bookies' favourite since the longlist was announced in July 2009. She is the first favourite to win the prize since Life of Pi by Yann Martel won in 2002 and went on to sell over a million copies.

Go here for more.

Modjaji Books: Advice to poets

Like most things we stumble on; this is really good and read carefully and comment if you have addittional tips. This is thanks to Modjaji Books; you can read more there...

You don’t stand a chance of getting you collection published unless you have a name as a poet, or are a well known writer who also writes poetry. Or you are a well known rugby player or have some other claim to fame and also write poetry. So how do you become a more established poet wihout having a collection?

1. Buy and read the work of poets who have had their work published. Do this regularly. See what is hot and happening. Subscribe to at least one literary magazine.

2. Attend live poetry readings - Off the Wall in Cape Town, launches and readings. Poetry Africa in Durbs. Jozi Spoken Word Festival. In Nigeria, Poetry Potter, book readings like IRead and Writers Anonymous.

3. Send your work to the literary magazines. Google the following names - New Coin, Litnet, New Contrast, Carapace. There are other literary magazines and perhaps those who are reading the blog can add names and thoughts.

4. Before you submit your collection to a publisher - ask a published poet whose work you like/admire to read your book. You will have to pay them to read your ms and tell you if it is publishable. You could do a Creative Writing course either at a university or a short course. Get feedback on your poems.

5. When you have reached this stage, I can recommend people to edit your work (once again you will have to pay for this).

6. If you can say Yes, to all the above steps, then you need to go through your collection and choose the ones that fit together in some way. A first collection that will comfortably be published as a thin volume, needs to be about 56 or 64 pages. But remember that the book will be typeset and remember that you need at least 7 or 8 pages for front matter and end matter.

If you can’t find a publisher, it is OK to self-publish. It is harder work and a bit less prestigious, but at least you get your work out there and you will find your readers or they will find you. Don’t leave out any of Steps 1 to 6 above, or your book will not be as good as it could be.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Changing Shapes: Uche Umez

Here's something very interesting to start your week. We hope that you enjoy 'Changing Shapes' by Uche Peter Umez and respond with your comments!
Something is wrong. Emeka isn’t sure when and how it started. But it is obvious something is just not right with her body; it seems to have evolved. Maybe it has something to do with his sight. His eyes sometimes water, other times an ache pulses behind his temples. The optician did suggest bifocal lens. It’s unnecessary, he thought – at the time. He puts away his files in the cabinet and cracks his knuckles. Soon he will be leaving for home.

Certainly. Something is happening to him, too. Maybe he’s growing less religious, more open-minded. Of late, he has begun to size Ogechi up. Cast sly glances at her when she moves through the sitting room. She puffs easily these days. He is familiar with her strained breath, every time she busies herself with some chores: she never pants before. Emeka doesn’t want to think of home at the moment, but –

She used to walk in silence, as though she had cat’s feet. Not anymore. He rests a hand on his forehead. This is why he wants to believe some shape-shifting thing has sneaked into her body, so he set about to deconstruct or precisely reconstruct her shape. Mentally, though.

Always. The sight of Ogechi sprawled out on the couch shocks him: a Barney hunched up in a tiny chair. His two boys love Barney. They rock with laughter, but that thing stuffed in that seat is no joke. This is not the woman who was a spring in his bed – before the nuptials, before the babies started coming. She’s no longer his woman. She is somebody else’s – his children’s, perhaps.

There are times Emeka fears the seams would burst when her hippo-size butt sinks into the plaid-patterned fabric. Puffing, she’ll heave herself off the floor, but he wouldn’t lend her a hand. Instead, he sees himself turning away. She will feel no pain, of course: she’s well cushioned for slips, what with all that flesh.

It is wrong, he knows. He can’t help it. Whenever he holds Ogechi in bed, his mind races to that girl in the beer joint. They both have large boobs, but the girl’s looked tight and firm; a clenched fist, without veins. Makes him wonder...

He once caught a man drooling over her. He thought the man was drunk, then pondered if he was single or married, if the man’s wife’s breasts were like his own wife’s: pendulous globes that remind you that a politician’s potbelly is even more tolerable than a woman’s. How can Ogechi, in a short space of time, barely six years, evolve into a lumbering mass of tissue?

She was (still is?) unlike the girls he once dated: sofa-cradling, spur-of-the-moment, and breezy. They can’t carry on a conversation that is removed from fashion and cars. He was pleased when he discovered during those heady years that she wasn’t crazy about make-up; not that she was godly. Cosmetics are vain, a poor screen for beauty, she said.

Thus, she adores the simple look, low cuts and neat plaits; no mascara or rouge – and never obsesses about perms, bangs and wigs. Horsehair and wool, she called them. A waste of money and time, Emeka quite agreed. He knew how much he spent on some of his ex-lovers.

The last girl was addicted to Mary Kay. He’d found it juvenile and vexing – though not as vexing as her weakness for chicken or her ignorance of whom the Liberian president is. Yet she was a graduate of political science.

If there is one thing he can’t stand in a girl, it is stark ignorance especially when she speaks fluid English. So he ditched her. He married Ogechi instead – she can mesmerize you with her viewpoint. A storm of wits, when engaged in a conversation. He likes that in a woman. I like being different from the sheep, she once mentioned. He had smiled.

Those qualities had drawn Emeka to her. Bring up any subject, and she would go on without fail. She likes Animal Planet, National Geographic; she watches CNN as though there is something therapeutic about it. His friends complained about their wives. Africa Magic has possessed their minds; not his wife’s. She wrote off that channel as ‘Superficial, ethnic and indolent,’ as if nothing good will ever come out of Africa.

A couple of times he had tried to change the channel so the both of them could get amused by the buffoonery and antics of Nkem Owoh or Sam Loco, and she was like, ‘Honey, please don’t.’

‘Aren’t you bored with all this whitewashed things?’ he said.

‘Better than the stupid things they call home videos,’ she hissed.

One of these days he would throw out that chair or smash it to pieces. Imagine her slouching and glued to the screen, adding so much flab that was unbefitting for a twenty-eight-year old woman. He doesn’t want to imagine what Ogechi would look like when she has two more kids.

As the clock chimes six, he wonders if being thickset and matronly is her idea of being unique. He fears he might someday just pull out a suitcase from the top of the wardrobe, cram it with some clothing, and speed off to Jos. There, he will start a new life. Or pick up his old philandering life. Instead of driving straight home, Emeka makes a detour. He glances in his side mirror and heads in the direction of the bar on Douglas Road. The bar with the poster of the big-breasted movie actress.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Great Rules of Writing

We found this interesting and we thought that we should share with you. Do you have any personal rules? Please feel free to share!

  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  • Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  • Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
  • De-accession euphemisms.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"