For weeks now, I have not written a single word. I am not blocked, I just find myself staring at the keys of my laptop. I can see the words, I can visualize the reality I want to manifest but I just can't seem to lift my hand to start painting what I see.
More than a month ago, I lost my grandmother. She was old, 83 years of age and her burial was a celebration of life. It shouldn't affect me so much because as sad as it sounds, I wasn't too close to her. I grew up rarely seeing her, most times I saw her once a year, during Christmas periods when we went down to the village for the Festivities. Even when I was in the university which was closer to my village, I rarely went down to the village. I knew on some visceral level that she was family, but I guess I just figured that I had time to show her how I cherished the little time we spent together, that I had time to show her how much she meant to me.
She was the most spectacular woman I've ever met. She had the biggest heart I've ever seen on any body. I know that grand parents are supposed to have big hearts but her selflessness was too legendary in the whole village. She was the type that would go hungry to see you eat, the type that would pray for you no matter how many times you disappointed her. I could still remember the stories she told me. I could still remember her flightiness, she would be talking about one thing and then change to another without preamble. Oh, how it grated me whenever she did that. I guess that was one of the reason I didn't really get closer to her.
I shouldn't have been affected by her death. Not after all the troubles I went through to shield myself. I guess I was taken unawares. I knew on some level that she was going to die someday soon, she was old ever since I knew her, always complaining of one ailment or another. I just thought that if I didn't get close to the fire, I wouldn't get burnt by it. I wanted to preserve myself that I lost the opportunity to really know the most amazing person I've ever known. All for what? Self preservation?
I haven't found it in me to cry. No, my punishment would be easier because of it. I haven't found time to grieve yet. We buried her on Friday and I saw everyone crying, I saw her lying in that casket, without breath or form of life and I could feel my world collapsing. It's happening all over again. I never get the chance to know the people that would make my life easier.
I wanted to cry but tears came not. How could I cry? when I never even allowed myself to get close to her? I've been racked by guilt and a sense of loss. I wasted too valuable time for something that makes absolutely no sense.
But at the heart of it all, I have learnt one lesson that seems to be driving me crazy. Life's too short and I need to make the effort to know the people close to me. I need to allow people in, somehow. I want to take the risk and just let myself feel, but it's the most difficult thing I can ever imagine. I need to be more for my family.
I hope that talking about it will help. I hope that I will start writing again. I hope that I will be happy. I wish I could be less guarded, but Life Happens.
So, I have been writing again, after a short hiatus and it feels incredible to be doing so again. I'm discovering the magic that made me start 'Fortune' in the first place.
But I have been unlucky in other regards. I can't seem to get an editor and I really need one, as I have come to see. I can't post any more chapters of 'Fortune' without an editor going through it. I don't want to be one of those writers that do not take writing here seriously. I want to put out something out there that is rich in quality and plot. I hope you understand and I hope that I get an editor soon because I can't wait to publish the new chapters of 'Fortune'.
I wish I find one soon. Anyway, that's the update to all things related to 'Fortune'. May Fortune guide you in your Journey!!!
It has been a while now, especially after my 'Disappointed' blog fiasco which earned me more than a fair share of harsh criticism. I do not mind though, because it was what I needed to hear, though the harshness of the responses was blunt if I do say so myself.
But I did learn a few things from that particular fiasco; I do need an editor. Many responders stressed this fact that it became the first thing I looked for in a response. I've never been good at having someone go through my work but I think it's time for old habits to give way to new ones. It is after all a New Year.
Secondly, I need to finish all my stories before undertaking new ones. Sadly, I don't see myself taking up 'Looking at You' any time soon but as soon as 'Fortune' is done, I'm going to start with 'Life is not Fair'.
So, having understood these messages, I have taken steps towards making them work for me. I have sent Editor requests to some volunteer editors here on SOL but sadly, nothing has panned out. I have only just gotten two replies and they seem to not be leading to anything concrete. I have sent out another bunch of request and hopefully something will come out of them. Although, I must stress that left to me, I'd much rather work with a female editor. Nothing personal to the guys but having dealt with women most of my life, I find that they can be highly motivating. So, if you know any good female editor, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Lastly, I'd like to thank Mattwatt and Mcguy101 for their responses, especially mcguy101 for his patience and tact in his criticisms. I owe it to you and to myself to finish this story. If I do find an editor, expect the remaining chapters from me soon.
Thank you all and A Happy New Year to all of you.
I am disappointed, very disappointed with the performance of Fortune. A 6.75 aggregate score, that's too poor, even for an amateur writer like me. And to think that I only got a single feedback for the second chapter, that's plain poor.
I have a system I keep to while reading a story here on SOL. If a story is good enough, I vote then send feedback to the writer. But, if a story isn't good enough, I don't bother voting or even sending feedback to the writer; it's my own way of telling him that he should just stop writing before I puke.
In the same vein, I think the message is loud and clear: stop writing dude before we puke! And I'm kind of taking the advice; I'm not writing.
I'm not much of a perfectionist but I don't like wasting my time on endeavors that aren't good enough. Clearly, Fortune isn't good enough and every fibre in me is telling me to not waste my time. I don't know yet, but we'll see after the break. But if I do not continue with Fortune, may I be the first to say that you just missed out on a very interesting tale.
Happy Holidays and Enjoy!!
May Fortune guide you in your Journey!!!
SO, I just posted a new story online. It's the first story I'd ever published that the protagonist is white.I feel like I should explain the rationale behind my actions.
Many of you are aware that I'm a full-blooded Nigerian male with both Nigerian parents. What you probably might not know is that my first exposure to the captivating world of literature is a foreign novel--sorry I can't really remember the exact one seeing as I have short-term memory.
The import of this was that the first image I ever had of my mind, the first imaginary character I ever created was a white male who'd understand what I'm mostly going through. My first character was a blonde male with blue eyes and a compassion for others that is not necessarily found in most people-an empathic.
Over the years, as I became introduced to many African literature, and as I became more self aware, the image in my mind became double-a duality, from the word trinity if you get my drift-one part was the very same image I'd always seen; a blonde, blue-eyes white guy and then the image that stared right back at me when I looked in the mirror; a healthy black male white black hair and big brown eyes.
These images were the same to me, each complementing the other. Whenever I'd write down my feelings in my teenage years, it would be the black male writing the white male about what was happening in my life, knowing that he'd completely understand because he was empathic.
Other times, I'd get these visions where the main character is my white male alter ego as he went through what I'd consider normal for a white teen. These Visions were fueled by the numerous foreign movies I saw. I found out that I could identify with most of the characters, like I'd already gone through some of what they're going through.
So, when I thought of writing a story, it was normal that the first thing I write about hinges on my personal real-life experiences. But, after LINF, most of the inspirations came from the experiences of my alter ego.
Fortune isn't really the first story I've written with a white protagonist. The first one is with an editor and the second one is still being written, but is still going to take much time to edit and post. I'm actually looking for editors to help with that one.
I wanted a test run for what is a path that I see my writing career going. I wanted to see how well my story would integrate with other foreign-charactered stories.
And I must say, within a space of one day, the response has been amazing. I still look forward to some of your responses but the ones I've gotten so far have been encouraging.
About Fortune, some people think that the story is predominantly a romance story. Admitted, it is a romance story where the nerd tries to get the girl, if he can get the girl as there are many twists to that particular tale than you'd never imagine.
But the central idea of the story is about having the courage to pursue what makes you happy. I received a feedback that justified what I'm writing; a guy that went after the thing he wanted the most. It necessarily need not be in your romance life but academically, politically, financially, professionally, what do you really want? And do you want it badly enough that you'd pursue it, consequences be damned? I hope the answer is YES.
Zac Effron recently tattoed himself with the word 'YOLO'. When asked what it meant, he said it means 'You Only Live Once'. I was captivated by that statement. And I've tattoed 'YOLO' in my heart, to remind me everyday that I have the strength to pursue whatever it is that I think will make me happy.
Fortune is my contribution to the course of 'YOLO' and I hope that my story will inspire you to reach for the things you desire most in your life. And may Fortune guide you in your Journey!!!