Thursday, August 28, 2014

Progress

Doesn't it feel good to make some progress?
It does, and that much I'd tell you right now if only I could finish this cup of coffee and get back to writing.

As a Writer, I have long battled two questions:
  1. What's my voice?
  2. Am I an African Writer or not?

The search for self- actualization is within all human beings, but with writing- there's always the search for one's voice, style and the genre that simply breathes life into the stories one tells. Some writers are good at chick-lit, crime stories, mysteries, memoirs, romance, historical fiction- and the list goes on till sci-fi and fantasy.

I have always loved to write about romance. You know dating, falling in and out of love, and aspiring to some kind of awareness in a relationship, and it took me years to accept that.

It's also taken me years to get a publisher to look at my manuscript because Africa is plagued by "African Writers," and don't get me wrong here...but I grew up reading works by various writers, Shakespeare, Chinua Achebe, Grace Ogot and Ngugi wa Thiong'o- all in equal measures, and though Shakespeare is not African, I was long moved by his sonnets before I discovered Taban Lo Liyong. Africa has great story tellers- and the publishing industry is still in awe and searching for the greats! I have seen it every time I presented a publisher with my manuscript and having them leaf through it as though it was a fan, and they were burning up. I have seen the look in their faces, and known that they did not think my work good enough for publication by them, and I have always been grateful to them for the endless rejections.

Why?

It's made me understand the difference between writing and publishing- and it is simple; money! A publisher wants a book that would sell. A writer wants to see their story on a bookshelf.

I know you are wondering where I am going with this, but it's simple; I am writing. I always will write, and now I have taken mentorship classes on editing because I need to revise and revise and revise Currents.

The first book of the four part series is titled "Fire" and it's due this December, and my Mom was reading my first print book "A Father's Portrait" and she said she could not wait to hold a copy of my second book. (It's on people! It's definitely on!)

I did however take time to go through my books- and it turns out I've bought one hundred (100) books this year.


​​So, maybe you are battling something else in your life and it seems as though sometimes you are not making a move, don't lose hope. Never degrade yourself or worse off strike yourself off without giving it your all.

You may not see the little milestones you've made until you step out and look at the situation from every angle, at every point- and most of all with every thought.

Dora Achieng' Okeyo
Whatsoever you do, do it to perfection.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Things Change, or do they?

Bob Brady once said, "Things may change tomorrow. There's always room for change."

I feel like I'm a plate of maize, beans, irish potatoes, carrots, avocados, peas and cabbages!

(Thanks Noni for the wonderful picture- check out her blog Noni's Kitchen Adventures )

I'm a being full of mixed emotions with the desire to prove herself right and wrong at the same time. In other words, I am conflicted at the moment- and I daresay that it's part of growing up or coming to terms with life.

So, having had a great meeting with the team for the Teen project yesterday- I came home to a day full of reading, writing, meeting with friends and taking three cups of coffee!

Yes- why?
Well, I had better get a move on with the project and I accomplished one feat today: I printed a few business cards! Yes, I officially did so- and now I have to work on a program and proposal for fundraising.

But- that's not what has me all jumbled up- I have not written anything in two days as regards the novel that's due for release in December. I had set up targets for making sure that I get to the word count limit that I wanted and at this rate, I have only been working on the Teen project and setting it aside for too long.

So, when I checked my email, I got a reminder from Lulu about the book, and I have been writing down character sketches ever since, so thanks for that!
I have not yet resumed work full-time, and I have to make the most of the free time that I have now, and it got me thinking of how fast things change. In one breath things can happen to us, or we can make things happen that affect the course of our life.

I also like to be in control, to always know what's happening- how, when, why and what'll be the outcome, and today Prince Charming let it all out for me. He does smile before he gets serious unlike me- because I smile or smirk when I'm pissed off. So, after his killer smile comes the words, "you know what Dora, people change, times change but if there's one thing you sure have taught me it's that I get to decide how to react to it, so how about lunch- just you and me- no stories, no talk, just us eating."

And do you know the first thing I asked?

"Where and when?"

He laughed and said, "I'll tell you madam Schedule," and he ended the call. So, I am Madam Schedule, uh?

So far- it's easy to say that change is good- or to see it in other people, but would you believe me if I say that every morning as the sun rises and we get out of bed and look at ourselves in the mirror, most of us fail to see just how different we are...
--
Read a my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com
Learn from my encounters, and share the insights with your circles: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com

Monday, August 25, 2014

Okay, so...what now?

I finally have my way and instead of feeling very happy I feel calm, is that how it's supposed to be?

Don't act like you don't know what I am talking about, well...let's put it this way, things are great between Prince Charming and I. We talked a lot of things through and he could only laugh when I told him- and he said that it was cool because he liked me for my weirdness and inability to stay still- (though that sounded downright weird) I had to accept that he did see through the part of me that I had shared with him.

So, now...I am back to work (well, it's always been work for a while) and he did get me going on with my writing which I am grateful for.

So, I woke up this morning to his text wishing me a marvelous day and I was like:
​(Photo Credit: LinkedIn )

For a while it had felt like everything was closing in one me and I wanted out- not just to breathe but to feel my heart beat, to remember what my goals were and how much I yearned for them.

Well, I got it!

But then I'm asking myself, have I really got what I wanted?

What did I really want in the first place? Was it a want or a need?
And now my mind is a minefield of twenty one questions and I cannot for the life of me understand why I tolerate these thoughts, and then it dawns on me when I'm mopping...like I am bending with a wet rag cleaning the living room- and just like that I realize that I am running away!

I have escapism tendencies...and Grace calls it Philosophy.
I mean, have you ever tried sharing a thought with a Philosopher? It's like asking a Therapist a question and they throw it back at you.

There it is, I have been running away scared and calling it 'suffocation' and now that I have finally realized it, I am left with the greatest Oprah show of my life with Prince Charming.

See, if you have dreams and aspirations- and you meet someone who suddenly makes things feel so right and good, you can get so caught up in them that you forget to live for what you yearned for. Years later you find yourself hating them for never letting you live your dreams- when in essence you never shared your dreams with them- and they never knew how to encourage you.

So, I'm learning to live. I am also learning to open up and share my dreams and fears- because if I do not tell him then there's no way he'll know how to support me.
I am also asking him his aspirations- and this is the question my mother always asks my friends "what are your aspirations?"
She also asks "where do you come from? Who are your parents and what do they do? What is the one thing they've taught you that you are grateful for?"

So, if you are dating someone and you are hoping for a long term commitment, don't wait to get all panicky like me. Ask them:
  1. What are your aspirations?
  2. Can you cultivate me? (Or will you improve me so that together we are a formidable force?)
  3. How can I improve you? If so, will you listen to my views and work with me to help make you better?
You'll probably have other questions to ask with time, but what matters is that you asked them.
It's easier to blame others, and so now as stubborn as I am, I am doing my writing and getting ready for that road trip. I have the book coming out in December, and Prince Charming's declaration that "I'll stand by you, as long as you don't watch me fall," and if there is one thing I am sure of it's that I'll be alright- and we will always be the best of friends.



--
Read a my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com
Learn from my encounters, and share the insights with your circles: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com

Friday, August 22, 2014

What is it with me and circles?

I do not like circles!

Well, that's a start...but here's the thing, I find myself going round in circles over something and I don't like the feeling. I appreciate that I am a coward (a well read one I'd say) and something close to a heart-breaker because of what I am bound to do.

Okay, so here it goes: I think I don't want to be in love!

Yes, you heard me...this hopeless romantic girl who's Prince Charming has had her all dolled up, thinks that she doesn't want to be in love.

I wonder, is it like a switch that you can turn on or off?
Or like a hot plate that you can touch or withdraw your hand?
Or like a book that you can open or close?

Truth is, I don't know, but here's my dilemma (well, not so much of one, but read on please for the sake of this rant)- how do you tell the person you love that you don't want to love them anymore?

I mean, it's not like breaking up or going separate ways; but calling them to finally open their eyes and see that you've been growing and evolving, and they have not been noticing. Do you get me now?

I mean, I can feel the difference in me but my wonderful and dashing Prince Charming does not, and that's where the circle bit comes in because though we talk and share moments of where we are, it's as though time stands still while I'm constantly trying to catch my breath. I mean, how do you tell the person who adores you that you don't want their adoration? You once liked and even loved them, but they never saw it, and you've moved on to better times and you don't see them in your life.

I am going round in circles and though I'd tweeted this yesterday, allow me to say it again, "I feel like I'm hiding the sun with my finger," and something tells me that I'll be stronger and free when this resolves itself because frankly speaking, I am done waving my arms in the air to get Prince Charming to stop day dreaming of what we could be and go find somebody else...it's like am all charmed out, and all I want to do is get on a bus and travel to Rwanda, Burundi...and then come back to Kenya with the story of my life!

You're probably thinking, "you want to get on a bus, so? Get onto one!"

I will and something tells me that I had boarded one a long time ago but I'd been fooling myself that I would come back to him, and truth is I was never his in the beginning.

Now that's a good romance story!

In other news, I was rather sad to watch this show

​and then realize that it's been CANCELLED after the first season! Seriously, NBC have issues! Didn't they find the character Alexander Grayson tastefully brutal, and wickedly handsome! And don't get me started on Jonathan Rhys Meyers and how he walks here as Dracula...just don't!

--
Read a my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com
Learn from my encounters, and share the insights with your circles: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com

Monday, August 18, 2014

Patience, Music, Love and other things!

Thank heavens for traffic- because I have mastered the art of sitting patiently in a bus whilst reading or listening to music.

I teared up at Sam Smith's  "I'm Not the Only One" and found myself singing along to "Caracara" by K.O ft. Kid X

So, where does love come in?
Well, love for my family most definitely reigns supreme and I had this past Saturday I asked my sister to take me to the market so I could buy some clothes and shoes.
An hour later- and this is what I got.


Yeah, and a pair of shoes!

I'll probably get the clothes some day, but for now I am glad to have bought books to read because they are cheaper along the streets on Nairobi and as diverse as the various genres than in Kisumu.

But the greatest lesson this August has been Pastor Oscar Muriu's sermons on The Four Horsemen of Financial Ruin because I have been working towards a goal, and nothing beats being financially wise because it prepares you for the future and better wealth creation and management.

It's easier to spend money, than save it, and to have gone through his sermons has enlightened me on financial management and how to have a clear and better vision.

You can read all about it here

As for now, I'm heading home- got lots to do and some rest to catch up on.
Until then, have a blessed week!

--
Read a my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com
Learn from my encounters, and share the insights with your circles: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com

Monday, August 11, 2014

Confessions of Time Spent with Humans

I have finally finished writing the ebook I told you about. Yes!
Okay, give me time to do my victory dance ( and one, two, and one...and something something something) so that aside, well, it's just been a couple of days of getting things done and enjoying my break from work and thinking of why I really need to get back to work. I know, it's just something inside me died when this happened, and now I know for sure that I will definitely adopt the blaze look.
I have to come up with some themes and plots for two writing competitions and enter my submissions, but other than that I am well, and happy to have finished this story.
You can download the book here for FREE! Or, if reading at one sitting is not your cup of tea, then you can read daily posts of it here.
Have a great week and keep warm!post signature photo woa_zps1d2161e0.png

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Better in time

I am glad that the holidays are here and I get to sleep in, read lots of books and listen to music.
I just bought a copy of MTV's Teen Wolf Season Four to watch and when I got home and put into the DVD player, I realized that my batteries are out and so I could not use my remote (very classic I say).

So, I looked at the four books I bought from Nakumatt and realized that I'd have to start with one by Michael Connelly why? Well, just read The Poet then you'll understand why you shall never pass any of his books on the book shelf!
So, that being said, I realized that my last blog post was made a week ago- and to be honest I feel as though that's in the past, so I started writing.

What has been keeping me busy?
Well, I recently got onto this project to prove to a friend that we always have the chance to meet new people and get insights from them on life daily. How so?
We have social media and networks and lost of friends and followers- but in real sense it's just statistics.

I have five thousand plus friends on facebook- and a writer's page, but know few of them why? Because mutual friends are friends in the online world, and though some have read my books and sent me shoutouts- I feel as though my friend was right to admit that we barely know each other in this age of smartphones and selfies and reposts.

So, I accepted his challenge and set up this blog: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com to prove him wrong, or partially right!

I've been working on that- and taking time to heal too because I've had some chest complications especially as regards my breathing having been out in the cold every day.

I started working on a novel last year but never finished it and that's what I hope to do by Monday. I have posted bits of it on my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com and thought I'd make it available for download on smashwords too.
Here's the working title, and cover page.



All's well for now and I hope things get better and as always I'll keep you updated.
Have a great weekend and happy holidays!

--
Read a my story blog: www.totellornot.wordpress.com
Learn from my encounters, and share the insights with your circles: www.imetthiswonderfulperson.wordpress.com