Month: March 2018

BITTER TRUTH

BITTER TRUTH BY WILLIAM LASHNER

“She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless lines and starry skies and all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

“Obscene wealth is the greatest American obsession and I am nothing if not a patriot. It’s just that now I think how I make it and how I spend it is every bit as meaningful as the money itself.”

“I can detect the sweet scent of mint, no, not peppermint, government.”

I read Bitter Truth by William Lashner  all week during January’s third week. With a desire to return the borrowed novel, I pulled it out and decided to read it. I don’t regret it! This novel, Victor its hero, and it plot twist were spectacular.

Where do I start? Is it with the murdered Reddmans, vengeful Pooles, damning letters and diaries, unearthed family secrets, the Philadelphia mob or unique view to spirituality and religion or the ambitious lawyer and hero Mr Carl in the midst of it all.

A complex, unconventional, compelling legal thriller that kept shocking me with its suspense, plot and characters.

‘A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.’-Albert Camus. This is the first quote that I meet when I flipped the book’s beginning pages.  At the end of the book I fully understand this quote. The powerful crippling future of fortune built on lies, deception and crimes.

Written with many literary devices like imagery, personification, simile, metaphors, poems,  jaw dropping flash back, the plot felt complete without being burdening. The novel begins with Mr Carl on a plane to get his third of a one hundred million dollars judgement sum from a mysterious mastermind killer. Through the rest of the novel the plot jumps from the hero’s current search in Belize for the judgement debtor to  apt flashbacks, of the chilling sometimes comical and outrageous experiences during his appointment as an  attorney, to investigate the Reddman family murder and history while weathering a mob war.  It’d been a while I have a novel with characters so alive! One of my best reads in January.

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ORAL ORDERS

My Female Condom(FC2) review

Diary Entry Date- February 3,2018

Spot the Female Condom (FC2) sold at a subsidized rate in Nigeria by Society For Family Health. Female Health Company (UK) Plc manufactured this condom. I bought this from a female student selling it on campus. It is the most affordable female condom I have come across in Lagos. Many are sold for N2,000 to N3,000 unlike this N200(prices may vary with vendors).

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..the pack the condoms came in.

Society For Family Health always have affordable contraceptives. I used their Combination3, an oral contraceptive sold at the subsidized price of N100 for months last year. I love the packaging of these female condoms. It’s bright, unique, durable and lightweight. There are a manufacturing date and expiration date. Also a NAFDAC registration number is printed at the back of the pack. These are important because they show it is fit for use and not counterfeit.

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an illustrated direction of use circled for emphasis by African waist beads.

Now the instructions on how to use the condoms seem easy.  

 

Diary Entry Date-March 18, 2018

Finally! I decided to  end my abstinence spell. After being eager to try out the female condom, I was rather hesitant. Emotions I associate with trying a new sex position, contraception or toy.

It was a whole new experience inserting the female condom. Initially, I stood with one small feet on the floor the other feet on a sitted thigh and tried inserting the smaller ringed tube end in it. The ring was the circumference of an unused male condom. It bounced out of my vestibule–twice. My attractive nude partner sat patiently watching with erect interest. Then I had to lie on my back to try insertion again. Frequently checking instructions on the back of its large white wrap that he held. I successfully inserted the condom—pushing it as deep as I could—wondering if it would shift from the 8 shape (I had bent it into to make insertion easier) into a circle. It was different experience from a diaphragm usage direction my mother described to me years ago. Unlike a male condom, it felt like the superlight latex tube had dissolved. Only its larger circumference ends stuck out of my vestibule like a tiny dainty napkin. I rubbed my lubricant oiled fingers on his chest and pulled his shoulder forward with my right palm.

Using the female condom was easy and comfortable. I knew I wouldn’t be allergic to the condom when my vestibule and vagina expanded without peppery painfulness I usually experience with Durex.  Although I felt the stretching pain of not having had penetrative sex in months. At first my partner said he could only feel it and not me. This I found odd because I felt immerse uninterrupted pleasure his penis and glorious paced thrusts gave. After a few thrusts the sheath went invisible I suppose. The female condom didn’t slip out with thrusts while in the missionary position.  While rocking my hips back and forth atop him, I asked if he could feel the condom and he said no. To feel the intensity of my sensual, rhythmic rocking and thrusts I closed his eyelids. I whispered erotically, ‘keep your eyes closed and feel me, the sensations and our orgasms.’ Leaning back and holding his hands I increased the tempo of my bouncing on my erect sheathed penis. I slowed and rhythmically picked up pace. Occasionally I moved his clutched palms to my breasts and butt cheeks. Repeating the ride with full control on top, I slowed to a halt when I felt sore.

‘I was worried you’ll penetrate and withdraw with the whole condom.’ I told my cute, fair-skinned companion after our beads of sweat and heart rates slowed down. He chuckled then kissed my left nipple.

Removing the condom was interesting. I gathered the protruding latex to avoid warm, cream spillage and tugged. The condom had stretched to line the walls of my vagina. After tugging thrice and pulling four inches of latex that stretched. Without pain the smaller ring popped out surprisingly as a circle. There were no spillage or tears. It was a pleasure filled, interesting experience.  I can ascertain its the perfect fit for me. Using it made me confident that I was proactive about my sexual health. My male partner who doesn’t enjoy male condoms felt absolutely comfortable using it. Also, I had no allergic latex irritations or soreness. Now I have to restock more FC2 into my medicine bag because the honeypot is officially open for 2k18!

FROM THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT: Mid Semester  

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For the past two weeks one reoccurring action step was ‘read the Company Law mid-semester test topics’. The reason Law of Business Association is called Company Law by students is still unknown to me.I did accomplish these tasks. Depriving myself of the comfort and intrigue literature provided, I studied. My eyes digested juidical precedents, memorised doctrines and principles of company law, interesting cases names and facts, noted history and progress of company law in Nigeria. I attended lectures competitvely sitting on the first lecture row with other eager female coursemates. My white cotton shirt was crisp, clean, bright and beautiful especially on Tuesdays, Wednesays  and Thursdays. I listened to the learned scholar with his varying shades of grey suits to couldn’t cover his pregnancy. Then made photocopies of materials to study later at night.  Other first row occupiers and I discussed our various understanding of the importance of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, corporate personality and powers of the organs of a company. I continued preparing for the upcoming mid-semester test. During the weekends I stayed indoors having turned down dates from enchanting admirers. The closest I got to pleasure reading was from a few legal academic articles published in the Faculty’s Book of Reading. The book bound enlightening articles on theoriticial and practical operation of various areas of law. I was amoured with its papers as they exposed the bright minds of ignored faculty academic staff.

The day of the test finally arrived. After spending three hours from the crack of dawn revising, I drove away from my apartment armed with my pencil case. The pencil case had a black biro, spare pens and a red one to write out cases and statutory provisions. I had steered the sleek grey Toyota on the Lasu-Iba expressway to join the moving mid morning traffic beforeI remembered.  I slightly tapped pressure on the brake with my small right feet in a black flat shoe. I remember I forgot to take two full scalp sheets. You could never be sure when the test giver would require we have our own answer sheet. Apprehension rolled off my furrowed brows and I eased the presure off the brake unto the clutch.  I had decided to leave my cozy, peach walled apartment two hours to the stated test time. On arriving to the faculty and its tall buildings, trees and loitering students, I made a relieving discovery. The test was thirty minutes before the 12noon I was told. Mischevious coursemates or misinformation, I couldn’t say. With my coursemates both were almost the same.

Fifteen minutes after the stipulated commencement time I scribbled my matriculation number on the signed answer sheet our lecturer brought. All my revision, disscussions, studying, highlighting payed off. I answerd a stipulated question analysing the provisions of Comapines and Allied Matters Act on the Memorandum of Association, the Ultra Vires Doctrine and its exceptions. After black inked words crawled to form my conclusion the test ended with a loud order. ‘Pens up!’

After accomplishig action steps that bring me closer to achieving goals I usually reward myself. My slightly folded tummy had rumbled with hunger thrice as I scribbled the position of statutory provisions on acts outside the powers of a company. Amala and Ewedu! Singed my mind. Maybe with some Gbegiri and Titus fish. A quick mental calculation of the naira contents of my leather wallet assured me I could afford my lunch. One Word, DELICIOUS! That is the only word that described the hot meal I carefully spoon through my glossed full lips. Manoeuvring the yellow gbegiri, brown amala, deep orangish fish-ponmo stew immersed in red palm oil. I succeeded in not leaving a damaging drop of oil on my white shirt. My satisfied pace slowed in comparison to my hungry gait some minutes ago.

Later in the day searched for some piece of fiction or literature in the Novels folder of ebooks on my laptop. My eyes were tired of paperback novels stacked at the edge of my brown sofa. I found Jeffery Archer’s infamous best selling novel, Kane and Abel  and so began the enjoyment of my second reward. An impressive lengthly novel that chronicled the lives of two men; William Kane and Abel Rosnovski. Immediately seduced with the plot that spanned decades across Eastern Europe and the New World, America. The highlights and horrors of history. A crash course on stock trading, hotel management, investing and banking. These I analysed with my little knowledge of Law of Business Associations. How zeal and hunger influence career paths. Love, friendship, family, honour and enemity. Comedy and fate. These all made me unable to exit  the ebook and sleep. 11pm to 1am, looking at the page number I read on. 3am, excitement from the interesting plot kept sleep at bay. My brown doe eyes were glued to the ebook till almost 5am! Resuming my reading some hours later I watched how a misunderstanding, pride, fate, smarts and determination push both men to their zenith and down falls.

‘Old age and fear of death allows for sudden change of the heart.’

This quote  stuck with me as the novel’s unbelievably satisfying plot came to an end. I learnt a few valuable lessons and a lot about the World Wars, America’s Boom and Great Depression, fashion and political history of those eras. Reading the book made me wonder what decisions I could insightfully take today. Just at the seeming end of an educational career and professional milestone, my LL.B. Decisions that will shape my career and future relations or even wealth. My rewards were from my first two loves: food and reading. Though tired I am still truly satisfied. My new action steps will accommodate a study schedule for my project research and the upcoming first semester exams of my final year. The other weeks after mid semester are promising as a lack of time has eased into an abundance.

WHO FEARS DEATH

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

“Fate is fixed like brittle crystal in the dark still, when it came to Mwita, I bow down to fate and say thank you”.

“..but sometimes difference leads to sameness.”

Grateful For New

Originally shared as the 11th The Quirky Creative Fiction Newsletter, Caught My Eye pick.

Onye’s spiritual journey of her gifts learning reminds me of tales of my paternal great-grandfather who was an Igbo shape-shifter chief. While reading the book, I found myself liking each character that came along the way for their uniqueness and character flaws. How Onye interacted with them only helped me see leadership in a new light.

Onye was a perfectly flawed heroine. From her brash temper, impulsiveness, to her insecurities and adventurous personality. She was downright annoying and loveable!

A bulk of the plot carried me along her journey to face powerful sorcerer trying to kill her and wipe out Okekes.  The author told a vivid story of her paranormal world, juju, culture strives, wars and truly a post apocalyptic Africa.  On  the journey to rewrite and conquer history other characters embark on their journeys. Luyu, one of my favourite characters gets embolden to live her true self. Mwita becomes a renowned healer, soul bound love and supporter of Onye. I found Sola, the old sorcerer amusing. This story  line shows how war and strive affects women. Using Onye’s experiences, a child from weaponised rape ie Ewu we see a lot. Seeing a possible future of my world if people keep killing, destroying and warring based on their religious beliefs, cultural strives and racial clashes. I also loved how technology was infused into the plot. A portable disc here, a tablet there, hidden degraded computers.  The Vah people who travel in a sandstorm were an interesting, enlightened people. This enchanting story infused basic knowledge of African magic, spirituality, nature and vital bits of Africa. I found these references endearing. The food was unique and clothing apt. What would cactus candy taste like? I repeated asked the book to sell me some weather gel to rub on my clothes to repelled heat and sunburns.

The end of the novel and Onye’s journey is unexpected. Unexpected losses taint the triumphs. i asked myself the question Mwita asked about destiny. Did Onyesonwu beat her destiny and cheat death through her last shape-shifting feat or did she live her death and fulfil her destiny?

I highly recommend this book to mystic, magic, speculative fiction readers and lovers.

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American author of African-based science fiction,fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults and a professor at the University at Buffalo, New York. Her works include Zahrah the Windseeker, Binti novella trilogy, Akata books and others.

Image source: amethystsaw