In 2016, I told myself I would write a book. Sadly, I did what I do every other year and I started three different ones without finishing any of them.
But I had a goal that I would publish something so I bought a pre-made covers from Go On Write (you really should check them out) for a short story that was previously published and planned on putting together an anthology of works that I had actually already previously published and was available on my DeviantArt page and I was going to throw in my previously published short story ‘Wings on Indi’s Pillow’ but as I started working on it I realised there was more of a story and I wanted the best version possible to exist in the world.
On 25th November 2016 I threw up a preorder on Amazon that you can find here. I did this without finishing my book (talk about pressure) but knowing that with an external deadline I would be more motivated to finish it than any other project and I was mostly right. What I didn’t count on was how much I needed to do to make it the best version of the story possible.
In my original version of the story, I had a woman dealing with an interracial relationship and a ‘difficult’ mother-daughter relationship. As I worked on the project, Indi turned out to be handling an unwanted pregnancy too and the tone of the story changed into something quirkier and less ‘serious’ than the original story. I’m not exactly a funny person but hopefully my quirkiness comes through in the pages.
My goal with the new version of the story was to publish on or by the time I turned 31 (12th January by the way) but I want to do more than simply fling something up online and call myself a ‘published author’. I want to build a career with this and I can’t do that if my first story is sub-par and readers get a negative experience. Why add more bad story telling to the world? There is a lot of competition not only on Amazon but in general for poeple’s time and I want people who give me their time to receive something that I believe is the best thing I can give them so I have put myself in pre-order purgatory and pushed my publication date back to 1st February instead.
I struggled with that decision because it feels like a fail and I am letting down the few people that took a chance on it but looking at the read-throughs and feedback I still need to feel content that the book is an actual good story in its best condition it needs more time.
My goal has changed from simply publish to build a foundation for a creative career. I may lose the few pre-orders I gained and I truly wish I could apologize to them personally but I can only wring my hands over but I believe this is the best thing for me to do to make sure its the strongest first block in my new creative career.
Who has never had a crush on a teacher before? I for one know I have had plenty of pre-teen and adolescent crushes. Very few of them had anything to do with how the teacher was dressed, but I’m a creepy girl I’m told.
Paris Monroe is an attractive woman and has a body type that ‘attracts attention’. I remember when my curves were just starting to come in, the first thing my mother told me about them was to cover them up. Other people will have a problem with my body and I should always make sure other people aren’t offended by my presence. As a good daughter I abided by this ‘cover up rule’ even when I didn’t necessarily agree with it.
I understood that if someone did something to me because of how I looked then it was my fault for looking that way. That may not have been what my mother meant me to learn but that is burned into my brain and its going to take a lot longer for that little missile of wisdom to leave me. When I was in 9th grade, there was a teacher in another class who wore heels to work. Heels! The scandal she caused. Then it was the pencil skirts and fitted blouses. This heathenous woman was taking children’s minds off their school is what the adults around me said often. My mum was also a teacher and when you hang out in her classroom after hours they forget you are there and chat away without any filters.
Here’s the thing though, her classes passed. Young girls wanted to be as bad assery as her, young boys saw another version of what a woman could be. Why would these things be bad? Why do we feel the need to save women from themselves? If a woman chooses to wear a bodycon dress or an abaya should be up to her.
Why shouldn’t a teacher be trendy if thats what she’s passionate about? Other body types wear the same outfit without the same ‘effect’ so we need to distinguish what is appropriate and what we perceive and infer.
That’s what I would like to take away, if a woman wants to wear a shift that covers her whole shape then she should be able to. If she wants to wear a slinky number then that should be her choice too.
If she’s terrible at her job, chances are her outfits wont change that.
So… My take on why love doesn’t need to be proven by Valentine’s celebrations.
I’m not known for being emotional or affectionate. This may have something to do with me leaning the wrong way on a particular psychopath scale but I believe I’m still relatively ‘normal’, granted I’ve never officially been tested but I digress… VALENTINE’S! The day when love is declared in swirls of chocolate, hues of red and drowned in copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Single or not.
My “problem” with Valentine’s isn’t anything ‘new’ or unique I don’t think. Its the fact that love can ‘only‘ be declared publicly and preferably expensively. A day may come when I will celebrate this day not for what it means to my heart but for what it means to my wallet.
Here’s the thing, I LOVE love. I love being able to sit in a living room with a laundry basket overflowing and it not mattering because the company I’m with makes it not matter that I haven’t achieved perfect cleanliness. I love the fact that because I am terrible in the morning, the person I share my bed with gets up to ‘start life’ and I join him.
Love (for me) isn’t about what other people see. Its about how you feel when no one is looking. So often, we idolize couples that lavishly brandish their affections and it hangs in the air like a cheap cologne choking the rest of us, and while we scramble for air, we forget that love isn’t about what people see, its about how we feel.
I could talk about how you can boost your romantic feelings with less than 5 steps in a specific order but there are way more expert resources on that than I can count. I’d like to talk about Valentine’s friends.
When you were younger, did you have a (totally platonic, possible even same sex) friend you shared Valentine’s with because they ‘got you’ and no one else did. I’ve had a pretty decent run of friends I’ve ‘gotten’ and ‘got’ me back but the older I get, I find I’m losing the ability to hold on to those with quite the same depth. I get more impatient and convinced that I’m just a filler in their lives.
I haven’t had a truck load of friends even though I’ve had the opportunity to amass an eye watering number of connections on any social platform. I normally have 3 – 5 really good friends and never enough drama to piss anyone off enough to actually make them an enemy but the problem is that small pool seems to have been contaminated by life somehow. Some of the people that I thought ‘got’ me seem to be speaking in a tongue I don’t have a dictionary for and they make me feel like I’m smaller than I believe myself to be. And friends who love you should never actually do that.
Which reminds me of Valentine’s when I wanted to receive those aforementioned chocolate, red stuff and pretty bubbly drinks but never did because well… my face just didn’t call for it.
Love comes in many forms but the feels remain the same. Those that love you should leave you feeling bigger or at least somehow better than you felt without them. Once they start to make you feel smaller, you need to evaluate whether having them around fits some kind of external validation but doesn’t feed your feels and whether its worth it.
I hope I make those that I love feel bigger and if I cant then better, in whatever form that comes in. But those that make me feel less. I’ve taken a step back and know I need to cull them from my life but still have brief flashes of ‘That’e the you I love and have missed’ but then we revert back to me somehow feeling smaller and that feeling sucks.
Here’s to catching and keeping those feels that build us up and obliterating the feels that diminish us.
Happy Valentine’s Day for those that celebrate it and for those that don’t. May the love still tickle your skirts.
There’s this couple on Season 27 of The Amazing Race that seems to rub everyone else the wrong way because of how much they argue. These people just aren’t “nice” to each other at all. At. All.
They are Chris and Logan. It doesn’t help that they are also The Paparazzi Couple so people don’t like what they do for a living and have to pretend not to hear their yelling fests. If you want to have a chance at winning a race, making it easy for people to leave your company may not be such a great strategy.
First up, there’s something about the way Logan talks that reminds me of an old friend of mine. They are nothing alike really (and far as I know, my friend is pleasant in her relationships) but there’s an underlying vibe there… and it really has nothing to do with my comparison so I’m hopping off this train now.
Anywho, the main problem for this couple is they generally can’t communicate to each other. Not effectively. They seem like pretty nice people on their own and I can even imagine them having quite pleasant down times together but throw in stress and they implode (with special effects).
Now, I’m not a relationship expert but I couldn’t help watching them to try and figure out why they were the way they are because like I said, they don’t seem like nasty people.
From what I gather, things start to go downhill when Chris tries to do things and they end up ‘wrong’. Logan then loses her mind over it and he joins in the self-bashing tirade. That’s a pretty dangerous mix of actions because one person can’t always be wrong. Chris isn’t a saint but when things blow up, that generally seemed to be the normal chain of events and whether there was a valid “wrong” initiating action or not is up for debate but for them: He messes up, she gets frustrated with him and he gets frustrated with himself and they yell at each other.
I’ve been in close proximity to one of these yelling type of relationships and I hated being around it. Hated. Then I found myself spiralling into the same pattern and had to take a step back. In my case, that meant Singles Ville but I don’t believe that needs to be the case for this couple. Should they get help, absolutely. With a professional. There’s a root here with both of them that makes their deficiencies compatible but they can move from that to positive compatibility. Or they can just stick to the same cycle coz it’s a fit they know.
If you’ve ever been part of That Couple (or currently are) what makes all the drama worth the non-dramatic times?
I have a lil nephew and have been thinking of what nursery rhymes I’d like to share with him when he is old enough to understand them. Right now he only communicates by shoving things in his mouth which is adorable when said thing may not kill him.
There’s this horrid poem I did and I’m going to teach it to him in about a few months. I’m certain his parents will hate it but it will be our thing *evil grin*
Disclaimer: I am terrible at rhymes and rhyming in general. I have no future in rap, hip hop or anything in that area.
One day I may write nursery rhymes but this is just a practise.
The Bear and I
“There once was a bear who lived in my shoe
He had nine lives and three spots blue
They hid in his armpit and cried ‘I hate you!’
I never gave the bear a name
But he stayed in my shoe all the same
And I cant figure out on who to lay the blame
The spot’s cries to both the bear and I
Made me wince and weep from my left eye
I’ll strangle and maim them or die with my last try”
On the horrid scale, does it make your eyes bleed?
I’ve been asking myself what is important to me. What do I want out of life? What makes me happy?
Truth is many things make me happy, some even surprise me. Flowers for one. I am not a flowers person (or thought I wasnt) but there was this vibrant rose bush in front of my old flat and pruning that little bush calmed me (oh, the many ways that could be twisted). Yoga, frees my mind… or rather, unclutters it and then I wonder why I allow myself to stop doing it. My cats. My mother in law gave me two kittens and while I seem to love one more than the other, those wee creatures settle me too (and I’ve always thought of myself as a dog person).
Those are the new things. Things I have always known sit well with me involve creating new worlds, solving problems and having a “safe” amount in the bank. I haven’t found the bravery to make the first two feed the last one and that’s what I want to do. Make my own income that doesn’t depend on a direct payslip from someone else (other than the people I need to convince to buy my work, not daunting at all!). I am still too afraid of things I know and things I don’t which is not a great place to be in for change to happen.
Within all this self discovery, I’m not sure what direction this blog should take. I know I am keeping it but I don’t know how I can make it helpful to both other people and keep it relevant to my own desires.
This should be a testament to my own self improvement and personal growth and mostly I see my own failure which sucks balls.
Therefore I need to figure s&*$ out…STILL.
I’M 30 YEARS OLD AND DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.
I am happier than I have been in the past (which makes me think I am missing something to be miserable over so I fall into the doldrums for no good reason) and while its frustrating not having answers, I am enjoying figuring things out, some of the time.
We glamourise our celebrities. Justified or not, they demand our adoration because they have attained what we all want, fortune and fame. And it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, its all the same.
Question is, what do we do when those celebrities fall off the pedestals we raise for them?
A few years ago, a local singer got into trouble over defiling a minor. His defence was she didn’t look like she was underage and a lot of people rallied behind him with that defence, he then went on to release a track in poor taste while the case was still in court and was found guilty. I won’t link to the song but in the age of the internet, these things don’t die.
Recently The President pardoned him. I don’t know if our president has a pro reformation of convicts agenda but this isn’t his first pardon. That’s not where this redemption song fails to strike the right note.
Oh no, this fellow goes on to (allegedly) beat up his third wife upon his release for… um… not fulfilling her marital duties. And the dialogue I’ve heard from my “fellow man on the street” is:
1) How do we know these are recent pictures, maybe he didn’t do this recently?
2) This is propaganda to make our current president look bad but all those other prisoners haven’t made the news when they were let out.
3) He was actually innocent this whole time because the underage girl he (allegedly) raped has a child.
I have gone back and forth over these arguments and some of them have left me doubting that the society I live in is one I want to raise children in. But these problems aren’t exclusive to my side of the border. Women are generally shamed in most sexually crimes and questions of whether “she asked for it” always gurgle to the surface.
As for this being an attack on our Commander In Chief’s (always wanted to use that phrase) skills, I never saw a criteria list for the other 280 (I believe that is the correct number but I stand to be corrected) and I don’t know what basis was made for releasing General Kanene. There may have been a publicised justification that I missed but I’m not aware of missing anything.
My only plea is that we quit victim shaming and look at the source of the violence. That we spend more time teaching our sons to speak than to throw their fists, that we hone their tongues as much as we stroke their muscles.
It is a far fetched dream but I do hope one day the norm of what a man is will be someone who doesn’t need to threaten violence to command, because in our glass towers and corner offices, we don’t need to be boxed around the head to know that “the man is the head of the house” and we don’t need to infer that because a woman has slept with one man that she is open to another, or even the same one…
Two of my friends got married recently in what could be considered “whirlwind romances” and while I vehemently deny having any romantic stirrings, there are a lot of books in my Kindle that suggest my fantasies involve being whisked away in a large poofy dress with layers of frills by a fellow with excellent horsemanship.
Here’s the thing, romance requires certain logic to go out the window. Logic I am VERY attached to even if I have minor flights of fancy. Romance and Marriage don’t often go hand in hand and when they do I suspect there is some fakery. But that doesnt mean I think one is bad or better than the other, they are just different.
Marriage is like fruit cake. Pop a piece in your mouth and your tongue has to deal with all those textures and if you’re lucky, its moist and rich. If not, its bland and dry. But all those ingredients are there, you just have to hope you had a baker that knew what they were doing.
Romance is like meringue, rush of sugar that tkes over your whole mouth. If you pick a bad batch there’s an eggy smell and could make your gums bleed. If you are lucky though…. ehrmagahd! All that sugary crunch and soft and I am lost in the dream right now.
Now, why are my friend’s nuptials worth talking about? Because my opinion about them DOES NOT MATTER. It really shouldn’t.
Marriage is a promise two people make, those two people have (hopefully) common goals and dreams THEY want to achieve. Everyone else is background noise.
So, as Valentine’s Day rears its round red head, try and find that balance between the dream of romance and the comfort of old love.
I’m not going to ask any question today but simply, love and be loved. Nestle into the euphoria Valentine’s can give and then don’t wait till next year to maintain that balance.
Recently I’ve found myself in scenarios where I’ve had to question what is truly important to me and I’m going to share them with you. Because I have work that needs doing but these thoughts are distracting me.
The First incident occurred while the dude and I were watching “What If” (if you want to see Daniel Radcliffe as a love sick drop out who could teach Harry Potter a thing or two and are a fan of quippy dialogue and have at least one romantic bone in your body then you should definitely check it out). I hate the title and don’t think it does the movie any justice but anywho, while watching it I was rooting for the female lead to go to Taiwan very strongly. So strongly it was actually impairing my ability to simply enjoy the movie because I was pushing my own agenda. She had a choice between going to Taiwan to develop her career OR stay in Toronto and have a stagnant career but stay with the potential (but as yet uncertain) love of her life OR maybe (and this was a distant third) pursue a relationship with someone she has been with for eons and go to Dublin because his career had taken him there but start from scratch with no prospects.
The Second Incident was going to a corporate function where I had a chance to meet a rather senior female executive that should have inspired me to believe that my own career could end at CEO level of a multinational and not that I don’t think this could happen but I spotted someone I was on campus with. I can’t remember if she was in my year or earlier than me but she was significantly further in her career than I was and I remember being impressed by the fact that she gets to travel as part of a senior executive entourage and has an opinion that commands attention. I never confirmed if she was at university with me because we didn’t have much in common. I was aware of her but we weren’t friends and it would have been a waste of both our time to start a conversation that I couldn’t hold simply because I was feeling sorry for myself at not being “at her level”.
The Third Incident of discovery was hearing of a former colleague of mine who is being considered for a position that would catapult his career at least three shots ahead of where it is now (and by default ahead of me). I really do hope he makes the move because not only would he be an ace at the role but his mind is bored where it is and this could be a chance to wake up the parts of him that his current role has deadened.
Now, why did these three things cause me self introspection (other than the fact that I must be some mega self absorbed individual to make all these things about myself)? I really am not that self involved but I do think there are lessons all around us if we are willing to see them.
So, with the “What If” sitch, it’s for me to see what I sought in my own life. It is so easy for women to lose their identities in their relationships and then convince themselves that what their partner wants is what they want even when they know it isn’t. I am not yet at a point where I have lost my sense of self but I am fearful that it has dulled a bit and will continue to slowly dull till in a few years I wont recognise myself.
Now, like most people I wear multiple faces. The most basic of these are the “work” and “home” faces. At work, no one can contest that I am dedicated to my job and am more than just “fairly competent”. At home I am the dutiful daughter and responsible sister. Both these faces aren’t me though, somewhere behind being dedicated and responsible, is a girl who decided to go to Japan for two weeks because it was a dream that she didn’t want to lose. A girl who wants to sit in a welcoming office dissecting how minds work both by telling stories that answer my own questions and speaking to people to get to their own. On a daily basis I do things to feed the work and home faces but nothing to feed the girl and she is beginning to scratch at me (again), warn me that if I don’t feed her she will climb into a cave, roll a large rock behind her and refuse to ever come out. And I am not sure I want to lose her.
Here’s the thing with the campus-mate scenario. I hate public speaking… or rather I am so fearful of judgement/embarrassment/failure that even though I’ve been told I am not terrible at it I cannot enjoy it or see my good points. What I wanted out of this campus-mate’s life was to go somewhere where no one knows you and command attention firstly because the company you keep gives your presence weight and then when you open your mouth you can carry your own because you know your sh#*. I’m not the greatest “public” person either. I am terrible at small talk, suck at jokes and crowds irk me. I don’t think I have a disorder or a severe anxiety but I definitely have a “healthy fear of ridicule” but that doesn’t stop me wanting to have a certain gravitas in public situations.
The third scenario was a little trickier to sort out because not even I understood it at the time. When I was telling The Fella about this person’s potential career projection I said I didn’t want “that”. He asked what I meant and I didn’t have a ready answer and then something more interesting on Buzzfeed took our attention but later on I thought about it. What was the “that” that I didn’t want?
It came to me on coming out of a nightmare of a ghost of a woman who eats children by licking them (because she ate her own babies slowly while they were still alive… I’m pretty sure I fleshed that out on waking up but it’s a compelling idea that has nestled itself in the folds of my brain because I don’t know why she did it), anyway I digress. The “that” was me not wanting to lose myself in the pursuit of an external measure of success that wasn’t part of my personal goal. This person’s personal ambitions are very far removed from this opportunity and if he chooses to take it, it will be even harder to go back onto his personal path because material rewards can be VERY gratifying and his personal ambition doesn’t guarantee that. The promotion does.
I don’t want to lose myself to fulfilling the campus-mate recognition by ANY means, I want to do it by MY means. You know the saying, by hook or by crook? I want all hook baby! No crook here.
But that is at odds of what I ACTUALLY do. I know the girl is screaming to get out so I shove a cupcake in her face and go read a book, play the xbox or watch TV, heck I even delude myself that I am a gardener and prune a rose bush! I know she needs to feed but I am scared of indulging her because its easier to focus on other distractions and its nice not to feel like a failure. If I get promotions I cant be that bad career wise. If I’m getting married then its proof I am not such a deplorable person because someone wants to spend the rest of their lives with me. But these things do not make the me that I am left alone with on either side of my nightmares feel any better. These things are great but they aren’t enough. I ran away from NaNoWriMo this year because I’ve failed it both years I actively tried it out. I don’t “write” because I think my words are garbage but I entertain ideas and then tell myself everyone has them so I’m not a genius for dreaming things up. That isn’t hard, doing something about the dream is and I’m killing mine.
So, after that lengthy post, how are you starving that inner girl/boy and more importantly what are you doing about it? If you aren’t, tell me about how you’re doing it. I am shelving up a bunch of emotions for a huge ass ugly cry tonight for all my failures (real and hocus pocus) and then I am starting again from scratch. I’m not going to lay down my plan here right now (because I haven’t the foggiest what it is yet) but I need to figure things out.
And then actually do the work, which can suck balls.
A friend of mine is trying to have a baby and it’s gotten me thinking about my own (eventual) quest to motherhood. I’m not the most “affectionate” of people, not because I have been denied hugs and kisses as a baby although… one of my sisters believes the differentiation in size in the part of the brain in psychopaths that reflects their inability to properly process emotion may be present in me but just not at levels of murderous deviation levels, so that isn’t inspiring.
My parents are your a-typical traditional “African” model. “Study hard so you can get a good job, get married, have kids, buy a house, retire and farm till your maker summons you”. The only thing they were really strict about is the getting married before having kids which is interesting now because none of my siblings have any children yet and the parents are craving some young ‘uns to spoil to oblivion. Hearing them drop hints about how one having children matures them is interesting when technically none of us are “allowed” to right now without being married.
Now… I lost my thread, where was I going..? Ah yes, affection or rather parenting. I have found myself asking what kind of mother I want to be. I have had this introspection before but now the question seems closer because of the pending wedding and this very close friend of mine taking the plunge. The question then got me thinking about how it is women “change” once they are married but men get away with staying the “fun guy”. Even when children fear their fathers, it more due to size than it is to do with rule setting… Dad’s enforce what Mum’s lay down. This assumes a “normal” household of course, no abuse and average emotional functions for all concerned.
So, why do mothers lose their “fun” streak once that ring is on their finger? From this point on, I am looking at this from a Zambian point of view because that is the data I have right at my fingertips (see what I did there, no? alright then…). On my little patch of earth, two people simply do not meet, decide to get married and live happily ever after (don’t even get me started on *gasp*co-habiting!). Oh no… over here, first your parents need to advise Elders. These Elders then get a group of people together that decide your value as a bride and the fella also has his own Elders that meet and negotiate the price tag and how much the fella will cough up before a marriage can take place (if he’s lucky maybe family members will pitch in but its really his tab). After this has been agreed, now the woman’s Elders decide what kind of “lessons” should take place to prepare this (usually young) woman for marriage.
In summary, these lessons cover “How to be a Good Wife”, which is admirable but what makes me bristle is the lack of dialogue that SHOULD happen between the two people ACTUALLY getting married. I haven’t undergone this particular tutelage but I understand not only will it cover what food I should cook so my husband eats well (which is valuable foundation to family nutrition but I don’t understand why his preferences are so predominant and why some woman who has never met him should TELL me that) but also what I need to do in the bedroom. What causes me unending bafflement is why this is not a dialogue WITH THE ACTUAL fella. I’m supposed to go off to some hut (where no one can hear me scream *insert evil maniacal laughter here*), learn THEIR version of what being a “good wife” is and then I am not supposed to talk about it with my partner! That not talking about it is truly what does my head in… how am I supposed to lay the foundation of my marriage with beliefs that I may not have had till right before my parents decided to throw out “western” education in exchange for secret traditions I didn’t even know existed? Those “Western” beliefs that may in fact actually have led me to pick the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.
I think I have to back track a bit. So, when I said that my parents were A-Typical African, that should be taken into account with their generational experiences. They both had a foundation growing up in rural settings (although my Dad more than my Mum) and were determined to have a successful urban future and they succeeded in that. They also made sure that their children knew where they came from. I’ve been to the village my father grew up in and have an appreciation for the life I live and how it really could have been VERY different, not in a bad way but my experiences would just have been entirely different. But one thing they didn’t really do was talk, my parents “did”. So you led by their example and what they showed you was important. I didn’t go to the village very often but I never missed a day of school and not simply due to logistics. I have some fond memories of family Tekken battles and my Dad helping my youngest sister cheat at Monopoly. What I have no recollection of is why after years of being told I need to be a self sufficient human being, I now need to “submit” to teachings no one can talk to me about because its all a secret but will define my value as a wife that exceeds any worth I may have accrued as a person on my own.
I’m sure this isn’t the last post I will have on marriage and expectations wives have and because I have meandered so far away from what I actually wanted to say I need to wrap this up and save us both from my rant. So… what the kind of parent I want to be is present… and communicative… no I’m not going to answer this in this post. Maybe y’all can tell me what kind of parents you would like to be if you aren’t yet, hope you are, if that’s where you are already or even why answering this question is a waste of time for you…