Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For those in Lagos, Nigeria...

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Abuja, Enugu and other dates coming up soon.



Join Author Myne Whitman as she unveils the Lagos winners of her book raffle. She will also read from A Heart to Mend and her WIP and answer questions from the audience. If you have bought the book, please come with your raffle tickets, prizes include - Starcomms Modem, Camera Battery, SD Cards, Flash Drives and Picture Frames. There will be signed pictures of the author, bookmarks and stickers for every guest. Entrance is FREE!

Date : Sunday 5th December 2010
Time : 2pm - 4pm
Venue : The Hub Media Store, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki Lagos
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Edith Ezeji - Bleeding Heart ... Guest Author

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My name is Edith Ezeji, I am a Nigerian from Imo state, though I grew up in Ogun state Nigeria. I am the second of four children. I was born in 1983, went to Sango Otta High school in Ogun state after which I came to England and did a secretarial course at Newham College.

1. First off—when did you start writing?
I started writing 4 years ago but I never got the courage to publish a book.

2. What type of book is this, is it an autobiography?
It is a romantic novel, a very emotional novel.

3. Do you intend to write more books?
Yes, of course. If this one is successful, I will.

4. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
It all started when I gave birth to my daughter, I tried to write something emotional, just because of the way I was feeling at that particular time. It helped me to put more emotion to it.

5. How long did it take you to write?
Well, it took just two to three weeks to write the book.

6. What project or projects are you working on now?
I am really trying hard to get it out there for people to read, I know that a lot of people will learn from this book, especially women.

7. Tell us a bit about the book?
This book is about a young lady whose life was full of pains and frustration. It tells how Angela managed to survive in Greece, being forced to do prostitution and how she refused to do what they expected her to do. She was betrayed and humiliated by everyone she trusted; all she ever thought about was to commit suicide. However, she managed to pull through the agony of a bleeding heart.

8 Which of your characters do you most relate with?
The character that is most attached to me is Angela, who is the main character. In the book, she met Nick and got pregnant. It was almost completely true to my life.

9. What’s in a name? How did you decide on the title of yours?
You know when you are in pains and you find it difficult to breath, it will be like you have been stabbed in your heart. I put myself in Angela’s shoes. I felt the way she was feeling at that moment, and that was when the title Bleeding Heart came to my mind.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Picture weekend - Send-off Winter Style

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I was complaining that I would miss snow since I was spending Christmas in Nigeria. Well what do you know? I got a winter-style send off from our weather over here. From Monday through to Tuesday morning, it kept on snowing. Even when it stopped, the weather was in the low 20s for most of Wednesday and the inches of snow lay thick on the ground. A lot of places were closed, including schools, libraries, etc. Well I am in Nigeria now and enjoying the heat, so take that winter, lol...














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Monday, November 22, 2010

What are you Thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING in advance to everyone, especially those in America.

I love the spirit of the thanksgiving day here in the states because apart from its history and the turkey and all, it is good to have a thankful heart and give thanks always. As it is, this is also the period when most churches in Nigeria do their various major thanksgivings, you know the ones that have the bazaar at the end. I remember as a child, looking forward to that day because of the variety of food that would be on offer. There were games too though I rarely won at those try-your-luck. Still it was the closest thing to a town fair and we got to meet most of our friends and family friends.

This year, God has been especially good to me and my heart is glad as I prepare to travel back to Nigeria. I am so thankful for life, love, health, but especially for my family. We had some crisis with my Dad and my sister, both around the same time in the middle of the year. But God proved faithful and answered our prayers. God is good and I thank him for EVERYTHING.

I also thank my SO, he's the most wonderful, supportive and loving man to me. Someone said to me, "What has got into you in the past two years? I didn't know you had so much in you." And I replied, it's all in the person who has become my husband and more importantly, my partner within this time. It couldn't have been the same without him. Thank you so much darling, I love you.

I am also thankful to you all, my readers, commenters, reviewers and supporters. Your words keep encouraging me and I am very grateful.

So what are you thankful for today?
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Picture Weekend - At the Art Museum

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Hello everyone, hope your weekends are going well so far? We visited our local Art Museum recently to see an art fair and the Guild sale of some art work. We managed to get a big old painting and some other vintage stuff at very good prices. Wishing us all the best as we enter into the new week.




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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A speaking event at the Garden City Literary Festival

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Some of you may already know that I will be visiting Nigeria soon. The first part of my visit will be to promote A Heart to Mend in the country. I am very grateful for the wonderful reception the book has received there and it will be awesome to meet some of the people who have read AHTM. For the first few weeks of my visit, I'll be taking part in various book events in Lagos, Abuja and some other cities. The one I'm most excited about is the Garden City Literary Festival in Port Harcourt. I've been selected as a speaker on one of the interactive sessions and I also look forward to meeting Wole Soyinka, JM Le Clezio and a galaxy of 50 other writers and authors in Nigeria including Reuben Abati, Adaobi Nwaubani, Helon Habila, among others.

The festival's latest press release is below. You can see the programme HERE


Garden City Festival Reveals Exciting Line-up of Events.

With just a month to go before the third annual Garden City Literary Festival gets underway, the organisers have revealed a line-up of events that promises to offer something exciting for all lovers of books and literature.

The highlight of the four-day event is a historic meeting of two Nobel Laureates – Professor Wole Soyinka and Mr J.M.G Le Clezio. Fans are being invited to send questions in advance for a special interactive conversation with these two great writers.

In keeping with the festival’s tradition of creating a forum for learning, improvement and debate, a special seminar will be held which focuses on the use of social media and how that impacts on Nigeria’s book industry. This topical seminar will be facilitated by Myne Whitman, a refreshing new writer who has used the popular medium of the internet to promote her own writing as well as the work of other Nigerian writers.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Debate Tuesday - The Orator and his Audience

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Who is to blame when bad things happen?

...Oratory exists above the ordinary; it is prepared with passion, infused with creativity, and masterfully crafted to offer a sublime experience. Read more on Oratory...

So we had some friends over during the weekend and this discussion cropped up.  One guy regaled us with anecdotes of competitions at a Toastmaster's conference and how those with good oratory skills - which according to all indices boils down to arousing emotion in your audience - won. The discussion led to other orators past and present, including Martin Luther King, Obama, and some of the pastors in Nigeria. It is no secret that the latter, most especially, Adeboye, Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, TB Joshua and Adefarasin, control millions of people in the country, maybe even up to half of the Christian population.  I was not happy about how these pastors misuse their power for personal gain, are unaware of their clout or simply ignore how they can use it for social gains for the whole country.Anyway, that is a topic for another day.

Today, I want us to talk about another part of the discussion. It is obvious that by it's very use, oratory or simply the gift of the gab, can be used for bad too. So when things go bad, who is to blame? The good speaker or the people who bought what he was selling? Some examples;

Hitler used his so-called sweet tongue to get most of the Germans to support him during World War 2 and the persecution of the Jews.

Rev. King, a self-styled Nigerian pastor used his charisma to do terrible things to his church members, including murder, rape and fraud, etc.

Jim Jones, an American preacher some decades ago, convinced all his members to move to a different country and while in the jungle, he led them to commit mass suicide.

Ade Demi, a fictitious person, convinced 5 women he was in love with them simultaneously. Not only did he leave 3 of them with babies and/or pregnancies, he also swindled all of them of their life savings. He is yet to be found by the British police.

What say ye? The orator or his audience?
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Prince Adewale Oreshade - Sad Nectar (Guest Author)

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I met prince Adewale on Facebook, one of those young people who are quite passionate about literary things. It turns out that he has a book of poetry under his belt and there's quite an interesting story about how he got his cover model for the book. Read on...

Kubiateno: The Pretty Face on my Front Page!


Well, to start with, I am the humble author of Sad Nectar; a collection of poems. Its a book that illustrates meticulously on life, love and death! I published and launched my book myself, two weeks to my final exams in the prestigious Faculty of Law; University of Lagos at the time. On the 27th of July, 2010. I found my self at the biggest mall on the Island. The Palms. And in it is the most exquisite bookshop I have seen in Nigeria. The Hub. With books of different genres, sizes and colours. I was there for a meeting with young Mr. Chux Ogene, the one who designed my book cover pro bono!

I first met Chux the Saturday before that week at a youth seminar and we agreed on how the front page should look. The mere fact that he understood my poetic insight into how the front page should look really convinced me that he was the man. Very creative, artistic and dynamic a young man. He was willing to do my work even to the extent that I had to cut his zeal down a little. He wanted to make all the pages glossy, he wanted all the poems to have an image adapted to it vis-a-vis its message. He really wanted it to be a master piece.

For the model, Chux said that the lady's face must be long, she must be dark, low cut would be preferable or loosened hair. That she must also be pretty with almond-like eyes. At that point, there was just one person I could think of, a Diploma in Law Student at the time, but she could not make it. But then, I said to myself, 'Wale, you are at The Palms', 'it is probably the biggest shopping mall in Lagos', 'Lagos; the heart of Africa! Every kind of person is here, Wale. Every kind.' So I took the challenge and walked down the aisle of the mall; of course with my nerd frames. I looked and looked.

Soon I found myself going into Shoprite; one of the shops in the mall. Immediately I stepped into Shoprite, one of the attendants caught my sight; she was very dark, as dark as her black shirt, she had white eye balls and she wasn't all that pretty and she had her hair all plaited. Making her a second choice, if a better option surfaced. In there that day, there were lot of ladies, from the fat to the slim. Africans to Non-Africans and so on. I tried my best and just when I was about to go and search for the attendant, I saw Kubiateno!


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Picture Weekend - As the Youth Corps leave Camp

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CONGRATULATIONS!

Right now in Nigeria, those taking part in the National Youth Service Corps are leaving their training at the orientation camps and taking up their primary assignment. The NYSC programme is a  mandatory one year service for all university graduates. You get sent to a city or state different from yours to get some paramilitary training, help develop your new local community and get some work experience with companies or the government service. Hearing stories from corper bloggers sent me reminiscing about my own youth corp year. I enjoyed my time at the Abuja Kubwa camp and stayed on in Abuja for several years after the youth service.

Many people think otherwise, but I say, Viva NYSC!


One of those early mornings, singing the national anthem. No actually, I think this was at a more official parade. We didn't usually wear the ceremonial top otherwise.


My Platoon drill team, can't even remember whether it was 8 or 12. We had mad sun marching under the rain and in the sun. Our commander, we affectionately called, Banger-Banger. Everyone according to him was a banger.


During the endurance trek, this was at a top point around Gwarimpa, you can city part of the city below.


Camp fire night. My hair was a mess, I'd just been to the salon for a touch up which was done by a not so good stylist. I wore mufti but put on the Khaki when it became too cold.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembering Ken Saro Wiwa

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On Friday, the 10th of November 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa was killed. In his closing statement to the Nigerian military-appointed special tribunal, Ken Saro-Wiwa said;

"We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginalization and economic strangulation, angered by the devastation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living, and determined to usher to this country as a whole a fair and just democratic system which protects everyone and every ethnic group and gives us all a valid claim to human civilization, I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intimidated. I have no doubt at all about the ultimate success of my cause, no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory."


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In the Public Eye - Toni Payne and Obasanjo (Debate Tuesday)

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Let's get this straight, I do not support the public, through the press or as individuals, invading the privacy of celebrities or those in the public eye. They are still human beings like you and I and they deserve their privacy too. I do believe that celebs need publicity to remain in the public eye which is how they make their money, but it doesn't necessarily have to be negative. Toni Payne should not just be crucified for marrying/divorcing a famous musician, she's also a hard working woman, and an employer of labor. But while journalists who write about celebs should be rounded, reporting on the good and the bad about these celebrities, at the end of the day though, it's their choice and they're just doing their job.

Now I don't doubt that being in the public eye is a difficult thing. There is probably an invasion of privacy which some of us cannot understand. I had a talk with Atala about this after I found out that some of my comments on the Onyeka Onwenu/Toni Payne/Azuka Ogujiuba saga did not go down well with some people. I am of the opinion that once you enter the public domain, you should be prepared to give up some of your privacy. Sometimes even, it is the publicists of these celebs that push their personal lives to the journalists, all for publicity.


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Oyindamola Affinnih - Two gone, Still Counting (Guest Author)

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Tell us about yourself, a brief autobiography.

Oyindamola Halima Affinnih is a Lagosian. Born in 1982, Jan. 11. I started my schooling in Lagos State at Pampers Private School, then I went off to FGGC New-Bussa, Niger State, and got a degree in Mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.

When and why did you begin writing?

I never thought I could be a writer. Yes I liked to read. I loved the feel of some great words strung together but for some reasons I was too lazy to be one. I saw writing notes as a complete bore and always had issues with my teachers cos I never kept notes. While doing a holiday job before getting into the college, sometime around 1999, I out of boredom put a short story together. I took it to True Tales Plaza {HINTS} and they felt it was good enough to publish. Somehow, I still felt it was a stroke of luck until I published another. And so I gave myself a chance. I did some other scripts for TV afterwards but never tried poetry {don’t think I’ll ever}. But I still love the power of prose more than any other aspect of literature.

What inspires you to write?

Deadlines! (Just joking). But I write very well when I’m under some kind of pressure. It flows faster when I’m pretty angry. But basically, the feedback I get from my previous works helps me to write better.

Tell us about two gone... still counting

I started writing it in 2008. Sometimes I have a theme and I build my story around it. Sometimes the theme unravels itself while writing the story. It’s amazing how different writers create their stories. Some do a chapter by chapter breakdown, some go with the flow. Of course, more often than not, I go with the flow. While writing two gone... still counting, the theme sprang up and I worked with it. I was so excited to see everything fall in place that I wrote half of the book in the space of two months and so I began submitting a query letter and the first three chapters to several agents. The rejection was huge, some polite, others, the standard rejection format. I guess that was what slowed the other half from coming. I left it for over a year before a friend inspired me to give self-publishing a shot. So there.

Do you have a major theme that runs through the book?

The theme of two gone... still counting centres on the veracity of our beliefs, how quick we are to condemn them as ‘superstitions’ when somehow we believe strongly in them. A lot of people in Nigeria believe when you trip on your left foot while going somewhere, it becomes some sort of ill luck as the whole day would be full of misfortune. I found it funny seeing religious people who clearly disregard such beliefs, flinch when such incidents occur. Some offer a sign of the cross while others whisper audhubillahi minashayta ni rajeem. To help them avert such evil. If you don’t believe tripping on your left foot means anything, why not let it just go?

What was your publishing journey like, from thinking of the book idea to holding it in your hands?

With a tricky theme like that, I believed- like every writer dreams- that publishing would be immediate, but dear me! It was either the theme wasn’t arresting enough, or there weren’t reading my queries because my spellings and my tenses were great. I didn’t think I would opt for self-publishing but I wanted more than anything to see my book in print and so I took a risk. I risk I believe will be worth it.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Picture Weekend - The Writing Circle

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With my writing meetup group on one of our critique nights. I haven't met with them in a while as my WIP and more recently NanoWrimo have been taking most of my time. But they are awesome! I got the push to start a public blog from one of the members and I know I have improved a lot in my writing through feedback shared during our meetings, both for my writing and for others. One of us, present below, is also a tank of inspiration and I follow his blog for writing tips. The group has also been very supportive since A Heart to Mend came out. Let's just say, they're a big part of my writer's journey.

Thank you all so much!




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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday talk - How do you know you're in love?

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Happy new month everybody.


To our talk today, this is a very deep question, and one I have to consider for my characters in each romance novel I write. For Nanowrimo, I am starting a new story with two fiery, hard-headed characters and my imagination is already wandering far into their future and I'm thinking, are they really right for each other? How can they convince themselves, me the writer and in time, you the reader? As I thought on this, I realized that I had asked myself the same question several times in the past after meeting one or two people.

There are some people you meet and you just know they're a fantasy or fancy which will fade even the next day. And there are those that tug at your heart and you begin to wonder, could they be THE ONE? The truth is that if we do not answer this question correctly and honestly to ourselves, we could be making the mistake of a lifetime. Whether it is in deciding whether to allow a friendship develop into somethng else or in taking the decision to get married, it is imperative to get the answer right.

These are some of the pointers I came up with - this is just a brain dump mind...I will probably do a full article later. What do you guys think?

- They’re in your future
- They become number one in your priorities
- You welcome compromise
- You want to spent time together
- Others fade into the background
- The pain of the past is healed
- Always in your thoughts
- You worry about their wellbeing, you care
- There is chemistry
- You're not bothered by their minuses
- You’re happy and feel high
- Songs and books begin to make sense, the world is more beautiful
- You want to know all about them
- They can affect you deeply in their actions
- You can be yourself with no pretense
- Other things matter less like physical, material stuff
- You don't mind their worse
- They make you feel good
- Trust trumps jealousy
- You enjoy times quietly together
- You make up easily
- Sex is by mutual agreement
- You don’t change your values
- You change for the better to please them

________

image from collegefashion.net via Google..
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