Today makes it 365 days of sharing my quirky narrative with you. I started the blog to curate and publish my African chicklit and speculative fiction flash stories. After over 100 posts, 4 series, 8 categories I’m grateful to have you read, like and comment over the past year.
Amethyst’s bookstagram account was also a year old on the 13th.
It seems like hours ago I published this first post of a book photo and review in this WHAT I AM READING above. Today 72 posts later #amethystshotx shares my improved book photography skill. i’m so happy I decided to utilize these platform for what I love. The following months are going to be superb. As I have more flash stories, series, reviews and manuscripts to publish.
Happy Anniversary to Amethyst Saw (blog, bookstagram and newsletters). To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway on my instagram for my readers and followers resident in Nigeria. More details will be published on my instagram account so do follow Amethyst Saw.
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.
I dozed off and awoke up slowly by sharp jolts from the bumpy expressway. The passenger seat of the Muscle was slightly reclined to allow me sleep. The vast Lasgidi Mainland skyline once navy blue, dark was brightening up with dawn. My half raised eyelids saw ash and pale blue skyline dotted with passing off white clouds. It seemed like 5 mins ago we had left our sleep-over spot. My tired eyes became alert at the sight of the dark cloud.
It was large, mountainous and filled the right side of the approaching Ikorodu horizon. I had to blink, twice. The cloud was dark grey and looked like the silhouette of a mountain peeking through a harmattan fog. As I peered at it some more it felt like I was looking at a similar mountain on a glistening expressway en-route to Ikom, Cross River State.
The Muscle sleekly sped closer to the horizon on the coiling road. With each passing bus stop we inched closer to our home. The silhouette grew in size. The road was brightening up with the clearing skyline. The sun had not shone through the ash- pale blu sky. A few trucks, a motorcycle, some yellow Danfo buses were on the expressway. Many filling stations we passed weren’t open. It was just 6:30 am. I relaxed into the soft reclined seat and closed my eyes. Immediately a memory stamped out the darkness. I was seated upright in the less comfortable backseat of a caravan, looking ahead at a two lane expressway brightened by shining sun. Vegetation, trees, cocoa and palm plantations stretched across both sides of the road as the caravan sped by. The chilled cup-cake fragrant wind blew into my face. I heard chatter in a language I didn’t understand, Efik or Igbo? Some Pidgin English and the low buzz of Afro-Fusion coming from my boyfriend’s Apple earphones added to the sounds of that road trip. Just as my eyesight returned to the open African literature novel and its funny characters. I blinked open my eyes. The car was off the expressway and onto Ebute road. It navigated bumps and portholes as it moved past familiar landmarks towards the Dangote refinery roundabout. Almost home. The cloud had long since drifted away like the memory of my Christmas vacation exploring cool, breathtakingly beautiful Cross River State.
After reading Annie Lamott: A Cure For Perfectionism by Charles Chu. my finger swiped the page down to the comment section. immediately I began typing, erasing and retyping my thoughts in the Medium comment box. Occasionally my shiny metal knuckle rings would lightly tap against the phone’s bright screen.
“Charles, Charles Charles.
Its your loving reader from Nigeria. This is just another amazing addition to the recent articles I have read on perfectionism. Months ago I realised I was a perfectionist. How? When it was a week to delivering a high grade paper on Maritime law. I had done tons of research, gathered resources and procrastinated the project writing for 2 months. Why? Because I had a gripping fear I would fail. So I put in the hard work and prepared not to fail. It wasn’t till I typed for 3 days straight, saying “it doesn’t have to be perfect. I just have to start.” The paper got the second highest grade and a lot of compliments. I was so pleased with myself. Although I found two typographic errors. After editing over 20 times. It still wasn’t perfect. All I did was start. After all I read on productivity and efficiency every other day. I utilised all of those with self compassion.
In addition to what you’ve said. To get over perfectionism. Its always good to remember to be self compassionate, take actionable steps in the face of fear of failure and imperfection. If not in the end, self criticism and fear of failure will lead to stress and procrastination. Which in return will just make one produce average results”
Satisfied I published the perfect comment on how I overcome my perfectionism daily. Just another morning on my favourite platform learning how to be my best self. My left fingers etched up to itch the bright ankara headwrap at my nape. while my right thumb scrolled down to read other comments.
“How do you respond when people commend you for consistently producing impactful content. Or when they say you make all that work seem easy?, the attractive ebony interviewer asked.
My focus left the big red LIVE button behind the interviewer to her circular face.
“It amazes me”, I begin with honesty splashed across my caramel oval face. “I get those commendations and think, oh! I was just creating a space for myself. I had searched and searched but couldn’t find one I could be admitted into and expand in. So I created a space, made magic and breathed life into it. When readers say ‘you make it seem easy’, I say ‘it is!’. It is easy because it’s a space for me. A magical and zestful one”. I conclude dropping my gesticulating gem studded stubby fingers.