Month: April 2018

Writing Tips I Stumbled Upon Today

Hey, I’m sharing so we can both all be better writers.

Here my caramel popping, stubby fingers were clicking links when I stumbled upon two refreshing and informative writing advice posts.

The first was from Samantha The ReaderThe Best Writing Tips I Wish I Had Known From The Very Beginning!

I already appreciate how she writes. Descriptive, clear, warm and enlightening pieces of writing advice.

Second one was found through Brittle Paper links. It is an amazing post compiling Tiah Beautment’s twits about writing erotica. It is filled with writing etiquette, dispels myths, serving writing tips for erotica. I learnt a few new things. my cheeks are smiling because I hadn’t done any of the DONTs in EROTICA: Rules of engagement when asking readers to review your draft.

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Prayers for My Dead

My lean legs walked briskly closer to the seated cluster of dusty beggars. The sun beat down harshly while the wind whipped stinging sand particles on my dark brown, oblong face. My full red lips didn’t whisper my praying thoughts. I prayed for the eternal rest of my late Grandfather, a friend’s father and another friend’s uncle. My slender fingers clutched the small black nylons filled with hot bean cakes and others with ripe mangoes. I had six small nylons in all. I spotted the recipients of my free brunch. My hands stretched out to two small boys conversing in low tones, two women staring into the air who immediately stretched out their hands murmuring thank you. I moved past their faded black hijab figures to a blind, stooped man with a tiny metal bowl and a standing homeless young man. There, on a  hot Thursday mid morning, I had done the prayers for my dead.

Born into a family of seers from a young age, I had learnt the importance of my visions, prayers and charity. It was a habit now, I had a system for giving alms, sweets,clothes, fruits, books, (religious bodies) donation boxes.  From charity drives, to roadside beggars, to NGOs donations, to a friend in need, just name it. I walked back to my parked car just as fast as I had walked towards the sandy, plastic littered roadside.  The bright golden rays shone relentlessly. I raised my slim left wrist, stretching my palm to block the heat. I felt a bead of sweat roll down the space in between my breasts and pool at my navel. I opened the car door with my right long fingers.  Driving out of the parking lot of the mall towards the hospital, my eyes felt tired. The previous night had been scary. My girlfriend had been up all night vomiting, stooling and burning up. Early hours of the morning I had been packing up and mopping orange stomach fluids, pieces of half digested yam that smelt like zobo drink off my dark tiles. Of course I took a day off work, I called in sick.  Thinking of how the fear she was going to die had crept into my mind made me shudder. The rolled up windows blocked out the noisy, bright, bustling of Lagos Island. It hadn’t helped that the first song on the radio on my drive out the hospital was JCole singing about the dead.

Alone in the red Camry, I prayed she was better at the hospital. I didn’t want to see death lurking behind her weak irises. While I eat chocolate and custard filled doughnuts from the pink box on the grey passenger seat.

#instastory: Cassava Flakes of Literature

His fat thumb tapped the erase icon repeatedly. He looked at the snap and typed ‘Those who drank garri with me then will eat with me now’. Immediately he posted it messages rang in. Who had cooked such a feast? What type of chocolate wasn’t on that cake? The questions were followed by lustfully emojis. His chubby cheeks curved into a smile. As he started another video to capture his bestie popping champagne. She paused pouring the pink liquid and started screaming, when Hakeem opened the large red box filled with 24 novels from her Christmas book wish list. Garri for Breakfast, Selected Poems was the first on the right stack. The uploaded snap with views increasing. A dope bestfriend deserves cassava flakes of literature sprinkled on her birthday gifts.

END

#Instastory: Sunday Lunch

Obiageli didn’t want a cliche Sunday lunch. She had made a list of ingredients—onions, small tin of sweet corn, green pepper, carrots, frozen turkey laps, Know chicken seasoning cubes, sausages, a bunch of yellow and black streaked plaintains, Gino curry and thyme. Other ingredients for her fried rice recipe, she purchased from memory. Being Easter Sunday she had an admirer and dear friends to cook for, a small lunch party. Her sister eyes were buried in the pages of the Linda Lael Miller western romance novel like sauce stuck at the bottom of a pot of rice. “Go and buy the turkey, one kilo. Chioma!” Obiageli said through the creaking brown door she held slightly open. “Okay, I’ll dress up and go.” Chioma responded without closing the novel or looking at her. *** Finally the front door closed behind her sister who walked on clutching crisp one thousand naira notes. Several minutes went by as she diced a large onion and five plantains humming to Mayorkun’s verse on Don’t Mind blaring in the kitchen. The queen part of ‘One of my Slay Queen’ was cut off with the start of her ringtone.
“There was no turkey. Just Orobo chicken laps. Should I buy the nine hundred naira own?” Was the question that replied her hello. A deafening pause assisted her thoughts. When asked what she’d cook for Easter Sunday Lunch Party. She hadn’t wanted rice and chicken. Yet it seems the Sunday lunch powers have her at the last minute making just that! “Yes, buy that. Thank you’,she answered as the end tone beeped.
END

FALL, FALLING, FELL

How we met was almost romantic, almost.  Was it amazing, sensational? Nah, cosmic maybe. That was two weeks ago. Our connection was instant. We had literary talked every day since then.  Until yesterday night. I had dropped off the phone at the Slot office alongside my warranty for repairs this morning. I had been working online when he had called my line. So engrossed in noting the trading of Bitcoins, Rippler, and other cryptocurrency for the day, I hadn’t noticed my phone vibrating. My white earphones were blaring Burna Boy’s new rhythmic album, Outside. The phone vibrated till it fell off the sofa unto the tiled floor. Through the unresponsive spiderweb-like cracked screen I saw his caller I.D. I was furious and sad.

We hadn’t spoken since and I missed listening to his voice. I wonder what he was up to this Thursday afternoon.  I left my cubicle and walked closer to Abigail, our social media expert. We decided to walk to KFC before the Alimosho roundabout to eat lunch. We began talking about out how the Chinese new year had devalued the coins. How I had to explain that to account owners at their month’s end account analysis. She listened and laughed. She complained Twitter was a landmine where any and everyone could get dragged and turned into a meme. If they were simply stupid, dishonest or politically incorrect. I complimented her for the new series of short articles, ‘Cryptocurrency: What You Need to Know’, she publishes on the firm’s Medium blog. The sun shone down on her long black braids and my ankara sneakers. Our melanin of chocolate and mocha tones were popping!  I put my hands in the pockets of my peach cotton dress. The flared details framing my wrists fell out of the side pockets.  My sunglasses and sunscreen thankfully blocked the sun rays. We had walked for 5 mins with a few people walking past. The occasional hawker with a large bowl on her head filled with ice-cold plastic bottles of water, Bigi, Pepsi, Fanta, Coca-cola, Big Cola would slowly walk by. The sound of conductors calling passengers to halting yellow Danfos , honking speeding cars and slowly building traffic up ahead at the wide roundabout. The bustling sounds of Lagos added a beat to our chat.

My right hand collected my debit card from our server and returned it to my tiny hot pink sequins wallet. The hand shot up above my left ear and tucked away some of my long, kinky hair into the large low puff. I turned around to find a table while Abigail carried our tray  filled with packs of crispy chickens, ketchup, cutlery, rice, chips and ice cream cups. I looked around the red decor of the restaurant and saw him walk in. His gaze was on me and I knew by the way my heart beat faltered I was falling in love. My breath was caught as Abigail walked around my still curvy figure. The red tray was a sharp contrast the beauty of her wine ARFICAN QUEEN t-shirt tucked into dark blue mom jeans. I noted as she walked towards an empty small table.  His tall slender frame looked so handsome in a plain grey t-shirt and denim. A tiny gold chain glistened and disappeared into the round neck of his t-shirt. The glistening accented his glowing yummy coffee brown skin as he strode closer. I knew I was blushing, which means my dark chocolate plum cheeks shone with excitement. Isn’t it magical when the stars aline in front of you? ‘Hurry up’, I wanted to shout. Wait! So I can catch my breath I murmur to myself.

‘Hey’. He said stopping in front of me. His blank expression metamorphosed into a worried small frown.  ‘You! You called me till my phone fell and broke!’ I blurted accusingly. He froze and frowned. ‘I haven’t been able to reach you so I went to check you at the office. I was so worried! I was told you came to eat here’. He responded, continuing ‘I’m sorry about your phone. Where is it?’

‘I’m fixing it over at Slot’, I said calmly smiling. The phone is less than a month old. I had saved from two months salary after removing investments, emergency savings, bills, responsibilities, tithe each month. It had been a gift to myself for a wonderful financial year in 2017.  We walked towards seated Abigail. I felt his gaze on my wide hips and round butt that pulled my dress higher at the back. I introduced him to my colleague then we sat down. He was polite, listened to our techie conversation and asked questions. Then confessed he was a bitcoin multimillionaire himself. He bought us more chicken and ice cream. Watching him fare excellently well in a conversation with semi-militant feminist, Abigail about women and tech in Nigeria made me happy. Once in a while he held my left hand and gave me brief loving looks. It reminded me of our first conversation where I realised I could fall in love with this man. Sitting back I spelt the firm’s blog address while he typed it into his browser. We had met at a mutual friend’s fashion store launch party. He’s an start-up investor, software analyst, YouTuber and retired investment banker. He is also a darling for driving all the way to Ojo to look for me. Odd, I was wearing the dress I purchased that day. We silently stared at each other when Abigail asked how we’d communicate till I got my phone back.  I wanted to kiss his soft brown lips. The silence was broken when I started arguing I won’t take one of his offered iPhone. I mean we are still dating after all. My colleague stood up smiling. We all walked back to his polished wine Benz.