Friday, 3 January 2014

Any 'writing' new year resolutions?

All right,  so it's a new year and most people tend to reflect on the previous year and create resolutions or objectives that they believe would make them a better person, believer, friend, spouse or in this case - WRITER.

Here are my five WRITING new yeat resolutions:

1. Write at least 30 mins everyday

2. Read and learn at least 2 new words everyday.

3. Connect with other authors and readers.

4. Request for my works to be critiqued.

5. Learn to accept bad reviews.

So this is it. What about you? Any new year resolutions?

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

It's been a long year

Ah, where to begin? This year has certainly been a long one. Starting from the tragic event that led to my dear aunt's death to my relocation to my father-land for a year's program. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's never to take the little things for granted. They matter the most.

In this year, I have battled with an addiction known as 'gambling' and was at the verge of selling my precious items, until I confided in my love ones and they helped me through it. It was a difficult time, as I would earn a huge amount of money, only to lose it within a few hours of continuous betting. The main aspect of betting that affected me was knowing when to 'call it a night'. I am extremely grateful that I learned from this experience and have never gone back to it.

Another lesson learned this year was the effects of procrastination. Yeah, Yeah. We all know about the effects, but until it really affects you, trust me - you have no idea. It has held me back almost every aspect of my life; academics, writing, reading, socializing, job hunting etc. Some may say it's laziness, but I believe it's more than that. I have lost brilliant opportunities because of procrastination. This my fellow readers, will not occur again.

One good thing that happened this year was that I met a wonderful lady. She's been a source of inspiration to me during the past few months. I think I'm getting to admire her above any other lady in my life (EXCEPT MY MOM - OF COURSE)...lool...but yeah, she's special to me and I hope to learn more about her as we journey into 2014.

Lastly, I discovered that my creativity could be the downfall of me. I always have a new business idea or proposal to explore. Or I have diverse story ideas to turn into a novel. In fact, I was 'Jack of all trade - master of none.' One aspect of my life that coexisted with this phrase was impatience. I couldn't wait for things to unfold, I often moved to the next one. Whilst in the process of writing a book, I would get a business idea and suspend my book just to focus on the business. When I see the business isn't working out, I'll then return like the prodigal son to my writing. Again, this will not occur in 2014 and beyond - by his grace.

I will stick to writing, as this is what I cannot live without (apart from God). I am currently writing a project, which I believe will be a good way to reinvent myself. 2014 will be a good year for me, my loved ones, and well-wishers. May your wishes and heart desires be met as we cross over to the next year of our lives...

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Christmas Gift

Jacqy sat at the side of her bed, tearing and mumbling some Bible verses under her breath. Her cheeks were as red as her eyes. She was tired of the stagnation in her relationship with her 8 years boyfriend, Eric. It was now ten days to the end of the year.

“I can’t believe I’ll walk into another year as a spinster. All my friends are married, some even have kids. Lord, why have you forsaken me?” Jacqy cried. She loved Eric irrevocably and couldn’t confront him about this matter. She wanted to become his wife and bear his children, but was running out of patient with her high school love. A few months ago, they went shopping in the mall and she showed him an engagement ring that would cost over a year’s saving for Eric to afford it. Eric chuckled and told her it was too expensive. Maybe if he won a jackpot or something of that sort. He always said he could not see himself with another girl, yet he hadn’t put a ring on her finger.

As she cried, a Samsung Galaxy 4 beside her bed rang. She glanced at the phone and returned to her previous posture. She wasn’t bothered to attend to anything or anyone at that very moment. Her phone rang again. And again she ignored it. Then it rang for the third time, but this time she reached for the phone. She didn’t speak at first, as she waited to hear the caller’s voice.

“Hello, is this Jacqy?” said a deep voice.

“Yeah, Jacqy speaking.” She smiled willingly. The caller’s voice sounded like that of a choir member. She was trying to recognize it, but was still stuck in the limbo of admiration. “Who’s this please?” she asked.

“It’s me, Jude,” he said.

“Oh my Gosh, are you kidding me?” she screamed. “How are you? How have you been?”

“I’m good, thanks. How are you? I hear you’re now married?” he said.

She grimaced. “Not yet. What about you, any wife or kids?”

“No, not at the moment. I have been busy with other matters. I’m ready to settle down now though. Are you seeing someone?” he asked.

Jacqy took deep breaths in attempt to pick up the courage to tell him the truth. “Yes and no,” she replied.

“Why is that?” he asked.

“Let’s just say it’s nothing serious. So tell me more about you, do you still keep your afro?” she asked.

“Nah, cut it a while ago,” he replied, and the two old friends discussed on the phone for over an hour as they caught up with each other’s upbeat. Jacqy was overwhelmed with joy throughout their conversation on the phone. She could hardly sleep that night as she kept thinking of Jude, Even when Eric stopped by her place to spend some time with him, she didn’t give him her undivided attention like she mostly did.

It was Christmas Eve and Jacqy was expecting Jude at her house for dinner. It was the first time she was going to see him in person for over 3 years. As she opened the front door of the house, her eyes met with the tawny brown eyes of Jude. He was more handsome than she’d imagined. He seemed to be almost a foot taller than her and his broad shoulders and well trimmed hair drove Jacqy into a state of lost. Soon, they began eating, after which they moved to the living room to watch a movie. Jacqy was enjoying his company, so bad that she had forgotten about her boyfriend.

As the romance part of the movie reached its climax, Jude pulled Jacqy closer to him, holding her by the waist. Jacqy’s feelings grew intense as she loved the smell of his cologne and most of all -  his touch. He glanced at her. “I’m glad I called you,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m glad you did,” she muttered, and suddenly, he reached for her lips and kissed her. It felt soft. It felt hot. It felt good. Jacqy was slowly being worked into some sort of hormone frenzy. She loved the touch of his lips on hers, his broad chest pressed against hers, his right hand running up and down her neck, and his left hand running down her torso.

Just then, Eric walked into the room and froze. Jacqy wasn’t expecting him until the following morning because he had stuff to do with his family. She was distraught. All the feelings she had begun to feel for Jude vanished within the twinkle of an eye. She was now sad and didn’t even know what to say to her boyfriend who didn’t do anything to deserve such infidelity. Before Jude or Jacqy could say a word, Eric turned around, dropped a red small box on the stool closest to him and headed for the door. She was still in a state of shock that she couldn’t even run after him.

She asked Jude to leave her apartment and never return, as she remembered why they had stopped talking for over 3 years. He was a player and often wanted only one thing from women. She felt stupid as she walked back to the living room, having walked Jude out of her house. As she entered the living room, she noticed the small red box on the stool and reached for it. Behold, inside the box was the same ring she’d showed Eric a few months ago. How sad. 

Happy Christmas Everyone. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Short Sunday - The Car

"Baby you know I don't have the money at the moment. I'm not self-employed, give me some months to save and I'll get you the car you desire," John pleaded.

"But honey, you know how hard it is taking public transport to work everyday. Most of my colleagues have cars, and the ones who don't have, their boyfriends come to pick them up from work," Linda complained; her chest pressed against his as she looked up at her handsome man.

John released a sigh of frustration. "All right, I'll see if I can get a loan from my bank. No promises though, because I can't guarantee they'll approve my application when I apply," he said.

"Oh thank you very much." She reached for his lips and massaged it with hers. She seemed relieved after the conversation even though John didn't promise anything.

A few days later, John returned from work and found Linda in the living room. Her eyes were filled with tears as she used cotton balls and spirit to mop the injury on her leg. "Oh my God," yelled John. "Baby, what happened to you?"

"I was crossing the road to get to the bus stop and all of a sudden a power bike rode from nowhere and kicked me out of the road. I fell on my sides and suffered a few cuts around my body."

"Oh no, I'm really sorry," John said.

"It's okay baby. Only if you got me a car to take to work, I wouldn't be experiencing such pain," Linda said. She sounded as though she was trying her best not to cry. John felt horribly sad. He had done this to her. Maybe he wasn't trying his best. He needed to try harder. That night, he kept surfing the internet looking for ideas to raise money, but he couldn't find any reliable and sensible thing to do that would make him quick money. This mere fact added to his depression. Only if he had a car to himself, he wouldn't mind giving it to her and travel to work in public transport. But he didn't. His colleague, Fred, lived in the same estate and always drove him to work and back home.

The following morning, whilst he was going to work he remembered Fred had over three cars and he was his junior at work. He decided to find out how Fred raised money to buy those cars. "Are you sure you want to know?" Fred asked.

"It depends. I hope it doesn't involve selling your soul to the Devil?" John asked.

Fred chuckled. "No, it doesn't. It just involves delivering a parcel to a client. If you make three deliveries, you'll be up by 50,000 US Dollars."

John's eyes widened. For a second there he thought he just heard '50,000'. Maybe it was a slip of tongue. He needed to be sure. "Come again, did you say 50,000?" he asked.

Fred nodded. "Yeah. 50,000 US Dollars. All yours."

John shuddered. "You must be kidding." Just then he recalled the description of the job and paused. "Wait, what's in the parcel?"

"That's really none of your business. I don't even know either. I just tend to deliver and collect my pay."

A month later, John stood at the corner of an empty street, holding a huge pack of envelope in his hand. It was dark, so dark, he couldn't even see inches away from him. This was his second delivery. He wasn't paid for the first one, because the organisers used it as a means to gain their trust. Now, he had successfully transported it to the given location and was waiting for the receiver to show up. All of a sudden, he heard footsteps walking towards him. He could hardly see their features as they wore all black clothes. But he could see their eyes, they stared daggers at him. He grew worried. As they inched closer, one of the men shouted, "Hey, what are you doing there?"

In an attempt for John to bring out a black baton from his back pocket, in pretence to be an officer, one of the men brought out his gun and fired at John. The bullet pierced his heart as he collapsed on the ground. The men heard the dropping sound of the baton and rushed to meet him, thinking he was a police officer. John was quivering on the cemented ground; his eyes fixed at the dark clouds. He reached for his wallet and gave it to the man, who was kneeling beside him. "Please call the last dialled number," he said, as blood trickled down his lips. "And tell her I'll always love her." With those last words, he stopped shaking and lay still on the ground. His heart stopped beating and his eyes were immobile.

Instantly, the man called the instructed number and asked her to rush to the scene. By the time she arrived, John's cold body lay on the ground without any sign of the huge envelope. Linda screamed, as she knelt down on the hard concrete beside her soul mate, tears dripping down her cheeks. Suddenly, she heard a certain vibration from nearby and found it to be John's phone, tucked in his pocket. She picked it up and noticed it was a message from his bank. It read: 'Your loan has been approved. Please stop by your branch and sign the necessary documents."

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mistakes of a writer.

I wrote my first book during my late teens. I hadn't researched more about the world of publishing, and decided to self publish with a vanity press. I regretted it. My work contained massive amounts of typos and grammatical errors. I felt ashamed and decided to do a bit of research before sending anything out to the public. Luckily, this book hadn't been read as I expected. Then, after huge amounts of rejection from Literary agents, I decided to turn to Amazon Kindle store due to the success stories of Amanda Hocking and John Locke. That didn't work for me too, at least as of now. Why? Because I was too impatient to work on my craft as a writer and give the world my very best.

I released, two novels and two novellas. One of the novellas was edited by a professional editor in Canada, so it was readable. The two novels were copy edited, but to my surprise, readers still found out errors. One advice I would give to upcoming authors, especially indie authors, is that make sure your work is at its best. If you don't have money, save money, and hire a very good editor to work on it, even after giving friends and family to edit for you. This pays a lot. Most of the reviews I received on Amazon and Goodreads were talking on the same subject "typos and grammatical errors". People won't have the interest to read your entire book if they come across flimsy typos. Also the usual "you're and your" may not be tolerated by most readers. I learnt this the hard way.

I have finished the series of my paranormal romance story, but I've decided to take my time and work on them before releasing them to the world. I will be in Canada next year and will hire professionals to design book covers and edit the entire series. I already have a budget of C$5000. Then, I will release it to the world and make good use of the lessons I've learned. I am currently in Africa, Nigeria to be precise undergoing a year's course, and in the meantime, I've written a novelette that would be sold to Secondary Schools over here. Also, I am working on a new series, but will speak about that later. The purpose of this post is to educate new writers, that CONTENT is the most important aspect of writing.  Learn more about writing, join writing communities (autonomy, wattpad etc) give readers to critique your work and accept criticism. Once you have a solid content, it's just a matter of time before you get recognised for being a prolific author. But it takes time. Rome, they say, wasn't built in a day.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...