The Writing Life – Annemarie Musawale

s.ogugu:

For writers such as myself who love writing and would want nothing more than more time to write and lead lives whose encounters would make more fodder for writing.

Originally posted on Storymoja:

I started writing as soon as I learned how to write. I was always writing little stories to please my mother, many times, not finishing them. I thought that everyone did that, because my sisters and cousins also wrote stories. I just thought it was a normal thing. My first finished story was a semi autobiography that I started writing as a journal during my pregnancy 14 years ago and which I completed in 2007.

It was difficult to write but the people who have read it say it makes them laugh and cry at the same time which is all a writer really wants, isn’t it? My second finished piece of writing was the sequel to my published novel known as Child of Destiny. There is always some sort of story percolating in my head, and this one just wouldn’t go away. In fact, the whole story was laid…

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The Week ENDS!

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Hey World!

The past week has been one of the most emotionally exhausting periods of my year. I had a rather dramatic falling out with a friend of many years, fell out with a second one and decided not to talk to him, started getting back on track with the first one, and started crashing again from exhaustion and missing the boyfriend who now has classes all day – so that we don’t Skype as often or for as long as we have for about 8 months now. But the sweetheart has been calling me between class breaks and sending sweet messages during boring classes “just to check up on me”. Yeah, he’s a keeper for sure.

On the sunny side, I am starting to see the fruits of my labour at the office – with two clients signing up for virtual office packages and promises of more business in the near future, including within the month. Mother dearest and I are on great terms and I am staying at her place with my brother (except last night when I needed to go back to my place because it feels like a little camp of refuge of late) and I have another sleepover weekend coming up starting tonight!

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be diagnosed with Cancer? Well, I almost have. I had quite a scare when I was 21 after a regular screen showed a lump in my left breast. I only got to learn that it was a benign growth known as a fibroadenoma, found in 1 out of every 10 black women (I read). It will only likely cause me problems when I am breastfeeding and will only more likely become hostile if I use hormone based treatments including certain forms of birth control (I have also read). But I read an article that caught my eye weeks ago about getting cancer at 25 and I thought to share it with you. Why? I have been thinking a lot about grief and the book Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. The former because a few friends have been recently bereaved and the latter because that book helped me deal with my own Grandpa’s passing and knowing what to say and do and what to refrain from saying or doing when dealing with a grieving person. This post covers some of that and I know it will come in handy for someone. Also, Vanessa, the brave young woman who shares her story with us, has a cool project where she sells survival organs. You want to have a look and contribute to this great cause.

I am also down with cramps and this is the only chance I give myself to relax as a first priority. Which is why I am getting off work early to go home and chill out on this chilly Friday afternoon. Well, right after my office is fumigated to get rid of all the ants looking for a new home in my sugar bowl!!!

TGIF! Have a relaxed weekend, guys!

Murphy’s Law in Action

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I have had a loooong week. Most of it has been spent wishing I had more time to sleep or relax or both and it has been pretty crazy.

Monday started with an impromptu meeting at the office which found me serving tea, ordering for lunch out of the blue and clearing up several greasy plates. I couldn’t go out because I hadn’t managed to rest during the weekend and I can’t even remember why.

Tuesday morning was a little breezy, but I was groggy and I kept dreading the early morning business meeting I have every Wednesday at 6.30 a.m. about 30 minutes away from where I live. It suddenly occurred to me that I was sad and lonely because I miss my boyfriend. He’s in Munich and I’m in Nairobi. It will be exactly 3 months since he flew back on the 18th, and this always happens, but you never really get used to being in a long distance relationship. The meltdowns resulting from loneliness come a month after the departure and then around two months after that. At six months, I’m better adjusted. For some reason, likely because I am not around people as much as I was last year, I get dreadfully lonely and sad and have to distract myself with something; usually an episode of House or Criminal Minds, but I’m already running out of both. And I just realized that I forgot to copy movies from an external hard disk I have had with me for several hours. The owner picked it from me an hour ago.

I woke up at 4.40 a.m. on Wednesday and was able to have breakfast. Cell reception is poor where I stay, but I have a few places in my apartment where I have 4 bars. By the time the cabbie called, I was miffed and by the time I got to where he had parked, so was he. Turns out he had expected me to magically read his mind and show up outside and wait for him as soon as he had arrived. There was some tension after that. We both tried making small talk,but I was upset and so was he. By the time I was done running around, giving my pitch and playing visitor host, I was tired. And that was at about 9.30 a.m. I had several client viewings at the office later in the day and the hours flew by so fast I noticed it was already after 5 p.m. Later in the evening, after failing to get out of the office early as I had hoped to, I managed to get so engrossed with chatting on Whatsapp that I missed my stop and wound up at the final stop; which, mind you, is in another town. I laughed at myself, but I was also a little scared. So I asked for where vehicles back to the city centre were picked and was home in less than 15 minutes after I had boarded.

Yesterday, I discovered that my business card holder was missing. So was the bank slip proving that I had paid for my April rent. I had made a copy of the slip, but I put both papers in my card holder, which got switched up with someone else’s identical card holder at a business meeting on Wednesday. I had hoped to get home early yesterday. Didn’t happen. I tripped over a cracked pavement and my sandal snapped. I had to toddle to a shoe shiner’s stall to ask for help. Thankfully, he was able to direct me to a cobbler who fixed the sandal and her sister – just in case something else went wrong.

Today, Nairobi city council officials dropped by my office and asked for a certificate I had asked our accountant to process agea ago. Trouble is, she’s on leave this week. She has exams so I couldn’t find her on phone. I almost got arrested, but the building’s caretaker came to my rescue and the accountant called me back after about two hours. Unfortunately, she was rather tickled by the whole thing. I am saving my energy for Monday when I meet her face-to-face. Hopefully, I will keep calm and count backwards in my head.

So I got to read a blog post about growth and change and though it may not be directly relevant to how long my week was, it got me a little calm. I don’t like change. And growing up has its perks, but lately it has also sucked a whole lot. I guess I’m in a bad mood, but I’m also pretty relieved.

When I thought I was about to get arrested, I called my mother. After my move, I have been keeping my distance. But we got over the part where she got upset and asked me why I was giving her the silent treatment, to the part where conversations were brief and awkward and about other people. Now we’re on texting basis. She asks me to do stuff as opposed to telling me and I am talking to her more. Tonight, I’ll be staying at her place. Well, tonight and tomorrow night.

And now that I’m done letting out what I had locked up within I’m not too upset anymore. I guess I’ll make those calls I hav been meaning to make and send out a couple more emails before going out to collect the card holder I finally manage to trace.

Remind me to tell you how things are going with my stalled rabbit rearing project. I may have recently met someone who can help me get it up and running. It really is about time I got to it.

 

Have a great weekend! I plan to spend most of mine in bed

The Best Within You

s.ogugu:

I’m in the mood for a good book and, although Chicken Soup feels like something I’d like to buy and add to my home library, here’s a poem I thought I’d share with you. It’s rather profound.

Originally posted on Kerry's Blog:

Dear  World,

I have been going through my archives and noticed that one of the most popular blog posts is   the book review is on  Mbugua Mumbi’s Vitamins for Success.  One of my best parts of the book is  Ayn Rand’s  poem Atlas Shrugged titled The Best Within You.  I hope that this  poem will also  inspire you as you go into the weekend.

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In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.

In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved the title.

Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels the unlimited roads.

Do not let your fire go out…

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Long Distance Love: Third Serving

World,

I promise to try and write you more and stop sharing about long distance relationships. Actually, I kinda already have because the post I’m sharing today is about moving halfway across the world and falling in love while you’re there. Here is the post.

I’m in a pretty good mood after my Skype chat with the boyfriend. I plan on visiting him in August and it’s starting to sink in.

Meanwhile, Nairobi is a mess! Our main means of public transport, we call them matatus, on strike! So fares have doubles and tripled and life is hard. I’m getting off work early to see whether I’ll attend an Open Mic event a friend invited me to or whether I’m rushing home while the sun is still up.

And I donated blood today! So proud. It has been a while. For a couple of months in a row I would see the blood drive stands while on my period and sulk. While stuck in the CBD today, I figured I shouldn’t take the chance of missing and filled out the form while they were still setting up. And I saw some familiar faces from my campus days and talked to the friendly people who work to keep our blood banks full

 

Cheery Tuesday y’all!

On “Long Distance” Relationships… Again

Hey World,

I hope you’re having a less crazy morning than I am. My brain is on slow mode so I can hardly think straight. A lot of this has to do with the two episodes of Criminal Minds and one episode of House from last night. I started watching at 10:05 p.m.

Anyway, I came across another post one long distance love and dealing with loneliness. I want you to read this lonely girl post with an open mind.

This is dedicated to anyone in a long distance relationship. I know your anguish, because over the past couple of 72 hours I have had an intermittent meltdown starting with painful tears on Saturday and ending in a hollow sadness before bed last night. I realize that I have become increasingly aware of human absence around me and particularly with regard to my romantic life. And it only makes sense to add that I have been in a long distance relationship since 2009.

Cheers, good people!

Friday Awareness – Epilepsy

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Good morning World!

The last post I put up on The Action Foundation (TAF), founded by Maria Omare, to help children with physical and intellectual challenges generated a lovely little ripple on Facebook. Many of the first volunteers at TAF got a thank-you note from Maria and were able to link up after several busy months apart. Naturally, that put a smile on my face.

I took a break from Facebook for two days and came back to find that Richie, a brilliant and wonderful friend of mine, had shared something on my wall. It was an article on Epilepsy. So here I am sharing it with you. I would also like to dedicate this post to Ken and Osman, great client handlers at the Youth On The Move cyber cafe in Nairobi West, where I lived for 5 years with my mother until a few months ago. Thank-you guys for taking the initiative to be part of this wonderful cause.

This post is also dedicated to Youth On The Move, a sort of resource centre and point of awareness point on epilepsy.

Have a wonderful weekend! And of course, join me in celebrating this long awaited FRIDAY! TGIF!!!