Sunday, March 1, 2015

Running

He knew that whenever he called she would come running.
She loved him. She said so in her sleep. She told that nosy friend of her's over the phone. She updated her status on Facebook to "in a Relationship."

She had a smile that rose like the sun. It started from the center of her lips straight to her dimples and it always made him breathe. They were little tingles like the feeling he got when he held her in his arms. She would rest her head on his bare chest late in the night as the city worked overtime.

He mentioned the place and time and she came.
He never worried about the things she said or did when she was away from him, but even then, it had been two years and his heart was still the same.It leaped around her, and died when he got home.

He stood by the window watching the traffic build up along the road. He could see people rushing home from work. There were women in heels, men in flat expensive shoes, vehicles playing the loudest music, and touts shouting the routes and fare. He wanted to look at the time, but something told him not to. It had been two years and she had never shown any sign of impatience. Why should he in ten minutes?
He closed his eyes.

He could see her tears, the silent shadows that haunted her whenever they parted. She was beautiful. Her skin glowed in the sun and was as supple as her body. Every inch of her was a testament to God's creation, but it had been too long.
How would she take it? What an evil man he was for loving her so much but never fighting for her.

He looked at the time.

He loosened his tie and sat on the bed. She would come.
She never disappointed him.

He heard someone knock the door half an hour later. He rose from the bed and rushed to the door, his drink in hand.
There she was. She smiled at him and his eyes traveled the length of her beautiful body. "Did you walk here?" He asked.
"Yes, the traffic was crazy. Can I come in?"
"Not yet...listen..."
"Can't we talk inside, people might see us!"
"Let them see us, because, it's been too long and I do not deserve you after what I have done, but tonight I am doing what I should have done. Marry me."

In that moment she stretched out her arms and pulled him into the tightest hugs she could ever give him, and as her tears drenched his shirt did he truly realize how much she had been running, never away from him but always towards him and for him.

--
Do not let anyone define you.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dear Cute Guy at the Bookshop

Hi,

So, this is awkward but indulge me for a while, will you?

You walked into BooksFirst today at 11:08am. I checked the time because I have never seen a cute guy walk into BooksFirst. I am a regular there, so that's why. You can ask Bob, William, Steven or Caleb. They are the ones in blue shirts who help you get that book you need.

You walked in like a thief does when in a mansion.

You were wearing a blue polo shirt ( I hate those stiff collars, I never liked polo shirts) and black fitting jeans. I was looking at The Last Legion by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. You know, we share the same birthday, it's just that Valerio is older, Italian and has written more books than I have.

Remember? It looked something like this:

ach

You looked around starting from the "How-To" section through to the classics. Your thumb caressed each book, making a few stops at the Mills & Boon section to admire the covers, and the Historical Fiction section where you pulled out a few books. I read the back cover text of The Last Legion five times.

I would stop to stare at you wondering when you would get to the Classics, but to my disappointment you turned at the Sci-fi section and headed straight for the 'New Releases.' I looked up and met your eyes.

You smiled and I smirked. I will admit it was a stupid thing to do, but my facial muscles were suffering from the disappointment of your movement.

You called Caleb and asked him, "Excuse me, do you have a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey?" I saw Caleb look around, but his first gaze was at Sci-fi and that's when I interrupted. I walked up to you and my bag hit you on your left hip, and you almost tipped over. It was not my intention to distabilize you. I am sorry, but why would you walk into a Bookshop and seriously ask for a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey?

So, I picked it up from the shelf and gave it to you.

You smiled and asked, "You sure know the books here, so, have you read this book? Is it good?"

I wanted to ask you, "define good?", but could not say a word because then you would feel foolish. I just met you and making you seem foolish would not be an ideal move. I said I had and you smiled and asked, "would you recommend it?"

I whispered, "Not in a million years." You must have heard me because your right hand, (where that tatoo of an eagle is, or is it a hawk) dropped the book. It landed on the floor. You picked it up and asked, "why? Everyone is talking about it?"

"Well, just because everyone is talking about it does not mean it's a good book. You know just like there was so much hype about Twilight, but there was nothing there."

"You also don't like Twilight? What do you like?"

"A list of great stuff, but listen, if you want to read it, well, go ahead, but you could start by watching the movie first, at least that would get you thinking about the trilogy."

"It's a trilogy?"

"Yes, there's Fifty shades Darker and Fifty shades Freed."

"You have read all of them?"

"Yes, and my inner goddess wanted to aim a quiver of arrows at the fact that the book exists!"

You laughed and walked out without the book. You only told me, "thanks, maybe I'll run into you again."

I said, "maybe." But, here's the thing you cute guy, I think you went ahead and bought the book. I think you went back to the shelves and got that book, even though Caleb is murm about it. It is 1:48pm and a copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey" is missing from the shelves...I know because I am looking at that blank space and wondering just how much your pursue your interests.

--
​PS: I posted this on nilichoandika too.​

Do not let anyone define you.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Learned my lesson, and it sucks!

"Do unto others, as you'd like them to do unto you."

I was raised by the Golden Rule, and I recall being a kid and coming across a ten cent and my Mom would always ask me to do the right thing: which was either to walk past it or pick it up and hand it over to the next figure of authority in case someone lost it.

You know, back then one ten cent coin was enough to buy a biscuit.
The round (soft and tasty like Marie biscuits) that were so dainty you had to eat twenty of them to be full!

I grew up knowing that sometimes life is so tough on you- but when you come across something that is not yours then you give it back, or look out for the owner and give it back. If he/she rewards you then you thank them- and simply wish them well.

Well, today I learned that we are not the same- and even though I have always known this, I felt it today when I lost two thousand shillings at Nakumatt. I realized the money was missing when I got to the till and the cashiers and customer care personnel helped me retrace my steps but we could not find it. I know they could have looked at their cctv cameras but they did not, maybe then we could have seen someone stoop to pick the money from the floor, but even then...I'm short two thousand shillings and there's nothing I can do to get it back, save for share the feeling of not finding it with you.

See, I do not feel bad about losing the money but what hurts me is that someone found it and kept it as though they had earned it. I feel bad because I fooled myself into believing that if I lived by the golden rule then everyone else would...well, that's billions of people to worry about, eh?

So, it is true that we are not cut from the same cloth, but if ever you come across what's not yours and I also mean the misdirected MPESA transactions- find it in your heart to return it to the owner, for though the golden rule has not applied to my life today, I still have money, good health, and the belief that some day I'll happen to be a blessing to whoever has failed to do so to me today.
--
Do not let anyone define you.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It starts with "what if?"

I do not like "what if," moments but yesterday before I went to bed, there was this thought "and what if you can't write what you want to write?"
I am working on two books, one is going great while the other is stuck. Yes, I am stuck because the two main characters have reached a resolution without argument. It does not help that it is late because my mentor had asked me to write it by Valentine's day. (And I guess that ship's sailed, it's 15th, eh?)
So, it made me wonder just how good I am at beating deadlines and following instructions, but even that's not enough to warrant my response today.
When my mentor called to ask about it, I told him that it was not ready, and when he asked me why, I told him I did not want to rush the story.
He said, "okay," and our talk went back to marketing Fire and also getting ready for another initiative, but what bummed me was his question, "are you okay with what you are writing now?"

See, this man has the ability to unnerve me. You know when I think am calm, he asks me a question that gets me unsettled, it's like trying to have a seat and having the chair pulled under you. Gravity is king, my friend!

So, am I ?
I am, and it's part of the reason why I am taking my time with writing Water. The other reason is that I am going back and forth in creating not just characters but scenes too, and I am learning about it too.

So, what if you can't write what you want to write?
You will be sad and unfulfilled, that's what I know would happen. My mentor told me to work on a romance novel to be released on Valentine's day, and I was so caught up in doing so, that I lost track of what story I wanted to write. Now, it's dry and I have to write not because I was asked to, but because there is a story to be told.

So, what if?
Well, so what then?

I am learning that sometimes, especially at night right before I sleep, these "what if?" questions will haunt me, not to mess up my day, but to remind me of my path.

Friday, February 13, 2015

What I'll do this Valentine's day!

I bought Grumpy a wallet!
Yes, a brown leather wallet that has enough compartments for his cards and money and it is the kind of wallet you could spot on Pinterest and think, damn! I need me one of those!

And his reaction, "why did you get me a wallet? what's wrong with the one I have?"

My reaction...a blank stare that could summon both our ancestors from their graves! 

I pride myself in the art of gift giving! I mean, if you want to get someone anything and for whatever season, just ask me and I could always come up with something rad! Yes, and I am blowing my trumpet and struming my guitar right about now on this! I also know what kind of mugs to give as gifts, and never have I met anyone who did not see the value or use of my gift, save for Grumpy!

So, now I know- no more classic leather wallets for him, or cologne or after shave or any Nivea for Men hamper! And while we are at it, no more of all that, because I am at a loss here.
So, given that my pre-valentine's day has started out like the climax of a telenovela, this is what I will be doing this Valentine's day!
  • Sleep till 10am. (I have to make up for the sleep that I have missed this week, this 5am club is not an easy feat.)
  • Do laundry and dust my room.
  • Have coffee, three cups is right about fine- and some mandazi.
  • Get Daughtryfied: listen to #daughtry, #leavethistown, #breakthespell, #baptized. 
  • Watch re-runs of Scorpion, because I love me some #Tapy
  • Finish reading All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • Finish writing the romance novel that I was supposed to write and release on Smashwords for Valentine's.
  • Get mad at Grumpy, but forgive him if he asks me out to coffee and gets me at least a book from #BooksFirst :-)
And, to be honest, I will most probably do the first thing I have stated better than everything else, because my week has involved a lot of movement, and some sleep would be a welcome relief.

And to you for bearing with me, "Happy Valentine's Day," before you celebrate someone else- or wait to be celebrated, do one thing: cherish yourself first- because to receive love, you have to give love, and I know you are mighty fine to do just that. xoxo
--
Do not let anyone define you.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Minefields

I seem to be making my way to posting here during the weekends. I'll do something about it.
So, how has your week been?
Did you get most of the things you wanted done? How many are left pending?
I had a hectic week because of the mileage I had to cover at work, but so far, I have reverted to waking up at 5am and sleeping at 11pm. I have no tangible answer for what I do in between save for something that started on February 6th.
I started watching two Indian drama series on #ZeeWorld : Saloni at 7pm and Married Again at 10pm.
So at least that counts for why I sleep late, but whatever happens in between then is taking at least two cold showers because of the heat in Kisumu.
So far I have sold all the copies (fifteen of them) of Fire that I had! 
I am working on Water and also getting the other copies available here in Kenya for other people- but I learned something else that made me feel uneasy about support from friends. It is not to incriminate, but it hurt me when some people who had been pestering me about getting copies simply looked at my book- and shrugged and then let it be, then gave me the excuse that they had no money, but were quick to treat me to lunch. I turned them down, and maybe one day when they'll read this they would understand what I told them that day before excusing myself and heading back home.
And that is more of the climax of my week- I broke up with five friends. Four because of their misplaced priorities and one because he was in love with me.
And somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday I learned that you cannot dictate the terms of your relationship, and if people do not build you or encourage you to be a better person- or are a constant source of negativity, then getting them out of your life should not hurt or weigh you down.
I have also listened to Daughtry's #Baptized album this week, so much so that when I was feeling down I found myself belting out "Can I get a Witness?" in the middle of nowhere.
 So far, wherever I go, I am bound to make mistakes, get hurt and hurt others- and though sometimes it might seem like things will never be okay, I know that even flowers grow in minefields. I know that the sun shines on the minefields and when it rains, each drop of water goes down into the ground...and no matter what happens, I am not alone because I am a force. Forces are as beautiful as they are destructive, isn't that why hurricanes are named after women? But, my prayer is that I may not destroy the people I love as I leave my mark in this world.
I have also learned that when you are in a race you have cheerleaders: there are those who would scream when you win and those who would turn their backs and pack their pom poms when you lose. You choose. The best cheerleader is the one who is in the crowd, who feels your heartbeat when you are about to win, and the one who feels your muscles cramp when you are about to lose, and the same one who will remain seated on the benches when the lights are out to remind you that you are not alone, and that at dawn you should practice because you are winning the next race.
I'm grateful for this week, because I have learned that am selfish, and stubborn and a hopeless romantic!
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Copies of Fire, eh?

It's been a week of reading some great books. I would admit that I started this year by focusing on some excellent reads, masterpieces if you wish, and it has made me question the whole writing process and the different ways in which we tell our stories.
Have you ever read a book and wondered, where did the author come up with that?
Have you also read a book that swallowed you up body and soul, so much so that you want to read it all the time?
I started out my year like that, and I am yet to see how that will pen out.
Two weeks ago, I put myself out there by asking you to get a copy of Fire online. It was on Friday, 16 January if I recall.(here's the article) I also stated that I would ask you at the end of the month if you went ahead and bought a copy, well, did you?
I ordered fifteen  copies and they look great, right? So, Mom took five copies for her people and I went on to sell the rest, got three copies left until the next shipment arrives.
My friend (we grew up in the same estate and share the same name) got the first copy and asked to take a picture with me.I'm grateful that she's supporting me. I have also got a few emails requesting for the release date of Water, and let's put that on hold first. I know it would be available in April, but am still working on it to ensure that the story is what it it needs to be. I am also introducing a new character who seems to be making life in the palace quite an interesting feat.

I also decided to take out my nephew and Joan out to the park for a fun day to celebrate and chill out, instead we had plenty of photo sessions, got scared by cheetahs during their meal time, and debated about going on a boat ride, had lots of masala chips and fanta orange, and somewhere along the way I started writing a romance novel.
 As for today, well, I taught the Sunday School class of ages 9-11 and it was fun. There is a certain cloud of responsibility that hovered over my head when they called me "Teacher Dora." I am looking forward to seeing them next Sunday.

What are you hoping for this coming week?
How are you going to go about it? All in all, I wish you a wonderful week and I have come to understand that going the extra mile in everything you do goes a long in preparing you for the good things in life. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there or to wear your heart on your sleeves, the world needs more hearts and kindness than frowns and hate.