Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beyoncé - Run The World (Girls)

Posted in: , , , , ,

So this is not much of a debate as a roundtable - me sharing my thoughts and asking you to do the same. In her last single, Beyonce is basically saying that girls, we run this world. Below is the video. But my question is, DO GIRLS REALLY RUN THE WORLD?

While I do not grudge the song, or even the motivational wallop it packs, it would be small minded of women to think we've got to eldorado. It is still a man's world, and the glass ceiling is firmly in place! If we begin to reason in the lines of Beyonce's lyrics, we'll miss the way, and may even be lulled to complacency. Some of the questions to keep in mind are,

- In majority of the professions, do women earn the same as men?
- In government, are there equitable numbers of women represented?
- Do as many girls as men get the same level and standard of education?
- What about healthcare, especially in sectors where women are predominantly affected?
- Do women have the same access to capital to boost their economic capacity?

Whereby figurehead women in entertainment (like Beyonce herself, Lady Gaga and Oprah) may be making waves, we have to look at the bigger picture. We're not superwomen, and we don't rule the world. YET!



__________

Picture from ru-crazy.com
linkwithin

Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest Author: Geraldine Iheme - Disfigured Emotions

Posted in: ,
Geraldine Iheme got my attention when I began to see news of her book launch around the interwebs. I got to find out that she was a former Big Brother housemate but my interest was more in her writing and publishing journey so I contacted her on Twitter and we set up this interview.

Gerry is a Christian, reserved, friendly, observant, fun-loving and sweet. She loves exploring her creative and artistic skills and reads, writes, plays the guitar or piano, and loves spending quality time with her family and friends. She is from Nkwerre, Imo State but was born in Lagos on the 18th of June, to Chief Augustine and Chief Mrs. Uchenna Ethel Iheme. She is the second of four children, attending Corona Primary school in Victoria Island and then Igbinedion Education Centre (Secondary School, for two years, before she finished at Christ The Cornerstone International School in Ikeja, Lagos. She's  a Law graduate from Igbinedion University, Benin. As part of the Big-Brother Africa Show 2009 tagged THE BIG-BROTHER REVOLUTION held in South Africa and aired round Africa, she was the 19th house-mate to leave the show, staying a total of 10weeks in the house.

When did you start writing?
I love writing. I started writing at the age of seven. I would take empty note books and write short stories with funny drawings and happy endings. Then I would force my family to read my stories. They always encouraged me. I loved to read as well and that stirred up my appetite to write. In secondary School I enjoyed writing Essays, because it gave me an opportunity to explore and enhance my writing skills.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

-I would jump into the book "The Concubine" by Elechi Amadi and experience the world of Ihuoma, Madume, Emenike and Ekwueme in Omokachi Village. It was set in a time before I was born. The Story of Ihuoma reminds me of the stories my mother used to tell me when I was a child. It would be exciting to experience that world, where houses were made of mud and women wrapped their bodies in very little cloth.


linkwithin

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My name is Myne Whitman and I am a Blogaholic.

Posted in:
Update:

Sorry for scaring you guys. I am much better now, thank you all for the kind wishes.


****

Answering your comments from my sick bed with my BB.

But don't worry, I'm back home now and Atala is the best carer.

Road trip down the Pacific West Coast postponed till next week.



***Sickbed picture removed due to several complaints via emails and phonecalls.



linkwithin

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Find your Blog Niche

Posted in:

In the comments of the last post on what makes a good blog, Afronuts and LTM talked about the focus of a blog, or the topic/theme by which the blog can be defined. You can also define this as the niche into which your blog falls. Can people think of your blog and match it with a particular area? This could be personal life, poetry, travel, gossip, films,parenting, food etc.

With that said, you don’t have to lock yourself in a box, most of us are quite versatile in our day to day lives, and your blog can be a showcase of this. This is where what I talked about in what makes a good blog comes in again, you must have a defined voice so that whatever you decide to talk about, it still fits into your reader’s perception of you and your blog. With this, there are several ways to define your niche for your blog users.

So you’ve chosen your URL, your title and your description. What next? How do you go about choosing the topics to blog about? How do you know which ones not to? These questions might help.

What is your URL address, blog title or description?

You cannot have a URL or title that says Women’s Lingerie and then you blog about Auto spare parts and mechanics. See, when I navigate to a page called Jewelries.blogspot.com, I should know what to expect. According to those who know, a good blog title should be short, unique and catchy. I didn’t know all these when I set up my blog, so my title is a bit long though by luck I made it into unique and catchy(yeah!).

So, Mynewhitmanwrites.com is my URL and is the same as my blog title. Some people have different URL and title and that is OK too, maybe you want something short for your address, and then you can expand on that in your title. For example, our Madame Sting’s URL is nigerianscorpio.com and her title is “The Smile of a Nigerian Scorpio”.

Don’t despair that you’ve already set up your URL and title, they can both be changed. However, I won’t advice you to change your URL, (too much drama), or your name (me being selfish cos I don’t want to have to lol…). What is easier to change is your description. This is the bit that comes under the title. Mimi B of My world as I see it describes her blog as “The mullings (and sometimes rantings) of a 20 something year old, moody melancholic, book loving, God adoring Nigerian girl.” The description thus tells us what to expect, and leads me into the next question.

What is your purpose for blogging?

On my blog, I tell you in the description that I will be sharing thoughts on life, love, books and Nigeria. Someone once wrote to ask me how they can become a successful blogger like me. Before I shared a few tips, I reminded them that if your blog is like your diary, you might not want 600 followers. But if you’re like 9jaFoodie of Mordern African Cuisine and you’re passionate about spreading the word about African food, then you can go all out.

Here, my purpose is to write, and to share my stories, online or as books, and I want to share them along with my Nigerian self. Since I don’t want there to be any limitations, I promote the blog as much as I can, in several places, and for various audiences. So knowing my purpose makes it easier for me to chose the topics I blog about, the people I network with, the kind of guest posts you’ll see here, among other things. My niche may thus be wide, but there are still things you won't see in this blog, like Auto Spare Parts? LOL...

OK, I'll stop here today. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and maybe you'll be linked in the next post. And please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share if you liked or found the post useful. Thanks!
linkwithin

Monday, May 23, 2011

Debate Tuesday - World Ends May 21, now Oct 21 (Harold Camping)

Posted in: ,
Last week, the news spread through the whole of the United States, and I guess the rest of the world too. Harold Camping who runs an independent Christian Radio had predicted that Rapture would happen last Saturday across the world at 6PM local time in different places. He said that after rapture on May 21, the world would experience a total meltdown on Oct 21.


Anyway, he has now reversed his prediction to say that what happened on Saturday was a spiritual judgment and that the previous date for the Apocalypse is now the end of the world.

Read the article from Associated Press

So what's the debate?

Do you think the press should continue hyping this guy's predictions? Should people take him serious? And not just him but other prophets with a doomsday mentality. I wonder about his followers, some of whom sold, or gave away the last of their earthly belongings. How do they think now?

______________

Picture from Kansas City News
linkwithin

Guest Author: Jacqueline Maduneme - Ada's Daughter

Posted in: ,
In my wanderings around Youtube I came across a book trailer and was captivated by the concept of the book. A lot of Nigerians do not like to discuss issues like pedophilia, incest or rape, and prefer to sweep such matters under the carpet when they occur. Ada's Daughter was handling a topic that is rarely talked about in Africa and so I found it even more intriguing when a little research showed that the author was Nigerian born. I contacted her and she agreed to give me an interview. Read on...

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I started writing when I was about 10 years old as a way of dealing with what was going on in my world at the time – almost like keeping a diary, except that I didn’t necessarily write about things that were happening to me as much as my writings were about my emotional responses to them. Now I write because I have stories I want to share with the world and I want to take readers on these incredible journeys through my stories.

What is one book everyone should read?

I’m torn between Purple Hibiscus by Chimamandu Adichie and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The former is a provocative exposition of the role of family in the formation of a child’s life and the latter gives a stark picture of what it means to be a woman in a culture where they are valued for distorted reasons, but both books are moving stories about the power of love and the struggle to survive. They both tugged at my heart deeply because of how each reflected in one way or another my own experiences.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Ada’s Daughter is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking story that goes to the heart of what survival means – filled with what I can only describe as God-inspired courage and strength, and providing a path to both self acceptance and personal growth for others.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

Yes, I have two books in the works. I have a passion for books that educate and inspire at a personal level. The first book is about the journey of one woman to take control of her future and reinvent herself, and the colorful characters – some good and some bad – that she meets along the way. The current working title is Devils in the Crossroad, but that may change as the book develops. The other book is a practical guide to people in abusive relationships, drawing from my own experiences.


linkwithin

Friday, May 20, 2011

Live Bull Riding Event - PBR Seattle

Posted in: , ,
Atala and I went to see a live bull riding event a few weeks ago after ticketmaster sent us a newsletter. None of us had ever been to anything like that and it sounded interesting. Personally, I had read loads of romance novels that had their heros as cowboys, with many of them being part of one rodeo event or the other. So for me the fascination wasn't new, just the opportunity. Seattle being on the west coast seems to have its number of ranches and the PBR - professional bull riding regularly holds events here.

What did I think? Honestly, it was an amazing event. The PBR put up a rollicking good show, from the pyrotechnics of the opening ceremony, to the final bull and the declaration of the winner. The contestants had the challenge of staying on a bucking live bull for 8 seconds each. The whole atmosphere was adrenaline charged, the cowboys were handsome! (hehehe...now I understand how the western romance authors couldn't resist) and the hosts great. The MC was hilarious, at a point the guy was actually dancing Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies", lol...

Then there was the bull fighters whose job is to scare off the bulls after the rider had fallen off, I found them really brave and good sports. Other high points of the show were the stubborn bulls who after they had bucked off the rider refused to go back into their corral. One particular animal ran around the inner arena for almost five minutes before a cowboy on a horse lassoed him. We thought that was it but the stubborn thing got loose and tried to upend the stand where the hosts were, lol. Finally, they got him and shooed him in. I caught the whole thing on camera. I also managed to video one of the contestants riding a bull.

Enjoy the video and pictures below, and have a great weekend. Mwah!




linkwithin

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What makes a good blog?

Posted in:

So blogger has given me my posts back, though the comments seem gone forever. Enjoy...

It’s interesting how we all write differently and our blogs are so different from each other. I follow a lot of blogs and my typical blog round every two days or so is about 50 blogs. And on each blog, you see a different topic, a different style of writing, a different personality, a different story, a different life. And this is one thing that has kept me excited about blogging in my year plus of starting this blog. For me, it goes beyond having my own blog, posting my own stuff and expecting and replying to comments. As a writer who loves reading, I am inspired by the different voices and stories, it gets the wires in my head sparking – but in a good way :).

Of course, there are the similarities too. After all, we are all human and sometimes life throws the same experiences at us. For example, a lot of our student bloggers are looking forward to exams, a couple or so are looking for jobs, a similar number just got jobs, yay!, and I can remember some of months ago when a few bloggers popped out them babies. So yeah, it can sometimes seem like you’re reading the same thing over and again, especially when it comes to memes. I know I’m the chief culprit at that, 25 Question Tag anyone? Lol…

Now to the topic of this post; what makes a good a good blog is being able to stand out. It is imperative in this milieu of different and similar voices that a blogger strikes that note of uniqueness. For those of us that love blogging, that love people reading our posts, and love those comments, the truth is that if your blog does not stand out, your visitors may not return. I know there are a few bloggers who even though their blogs are not marked private would prefer it to be as undiscoverable as possible; I’m not talking about those. I’m referring to some people that get one comment per post, and wish it were five. Or look at their 10 followers and wish it were 100. What do you do? You need a good blog, a blog that stands out.

But how do you make your blog stand out you ask? By being yourself. Yes, you can look at what other popular bloggers are doing, and try to note some things to try. But don’t try to write like them, and even worse, never copy their work! That’s plagiarism, especially if you do not attribute it. If you do not have time to write a post, leave it, it’s not that serious. If you try to post everyday because the other person is doing it, you may end up burnt out. However, if you have it in you to post three times a day, go for it, just make sure there are some ads on your blog to at least buy pure water, :)

I’ll stop here for now. This is just a preamble, I’ll be writing more blogging tips and tricks in the coming weeks. Leave a comment or question and I might mention it in the next one.
linkwithin

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Debate Tuesday - Women and their cheating men

Posted in: , , , ,
The wives and steady girlfriends of men who cheat. Do they know?

It's been a while since the last Debate Tuesday but recent events have given rise to this post. In the past few days, a couple of high profile men have gotten into the news headlines for cheating. First, Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former governor of California separated from the wife, Maria Shriver, and then it came out that it was because he confessed to her about his love child. And with a woman who has lived and worked in their house for the past 20 years! Also more than 10 other women have come out since the break-up to say they've had affairs with the former governor over the years. So I ask, did she know all along? Was the love child sort of like the straw that broke the camel's back?


There's also the IMF Managing Director who was spectacularly arrested in New York after alleged imprisonment and attemped rape of a hotel maid. News reports claim that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had in the past admitted to womanizing, and so it seems that the wife did know in this case.

In October, 2008, Sinclair watched as her husband was forced to apologize and admit "a serious error of judgment" for an affair with an IMF employee in Washington, DC. The IMF board investigation concluded that Strauss-Kahn's behavior was "regrettable and reflected a serious error of judgment," but found that the fling was consensual and did not involve any type of sexual harassment, favoritism or abuse of authority.
I'll leave the debate of why women remain with cheating men for another day. Let's talk my people...
linkwithin

The Book of M - Samuel Kolawole (Guest Author)

Posted in: ,
I met Samuel Kolawole at the Garden City Literary Festival in Port Harcourt last year. He was very articulate as he told me his plans of editing and publishing his collection of short stories. I got the chance to read some of them before the book went to press and I think he is one to watch. He is our Guest Author for the day. Enjoy the interview -

Tell us about yourself, a brief autobiography.
I like to keep it simple. I was born and raised in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria, where I live, write and hope to change the world someday.

When and why did you begin writing?
I wish I could tell you that I had developed the desire to write since I was little, and that I pored over Famous Five, and Nancy Drew but there was nothing in my childhood that suggested I would be a writer. I started writing some years ago after I was faced with a major life crisis. I became despondent and decided to turn away from the world, so I found refuge in books. I read like a man from another world. Sometimes I would bury my head for days without coming out, people became concerned for me. They thought I was losing my mind. Then one day I picked up my pen and began to write… and so my writing journey began. Now I can look back and say it was God’s providence. God used the mess of my life to create something of beauty.

What inspires you to write?
Everything. What people say, what they don’t say but mean, true stories, (some of the stories in my book were inspired by real accounts) something happening somewhere in a bus or on the streets, funny occurrences…the unusual. I find myself being drawn to things people would usually take for granted.


linkwithin

Monday, May 16, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Posted in:
The joke below is on relationships, and I got it from one of those crazy forums, :) Enjoy...

There are three women. One is dating, one is engaged, and one is married. They decide to get kinky with their men and really pull out all the stops to make it extra special. The woman who is dating says, “Okay, so I bought black leather, red lipstick, fishnet stockings, and really got crazy. He loved it so much he thinks he’s in love.” The woman who is engaged says, “I showed up to his work after hours wearing only a red coat. Let’s just say he wants to move the wedding date up!” The woman who is married says, “Okay, I really went all out. I got a sitter for the kids and bought a black mask and a whip. My husband gets home, goes straight to the fridge and grabs a beer. Then he plops down on the couch and says, ‘HEY BATMAN! WHERE THE **** IS DINNER?!?”

"Laughter is the Best Medicine" blogfest is courtesy of Leigh at That's Write!

Here's how it works. On May 16, do the following: Post your favorite writer joke. If you don't have a writer joke (are there any?), post your favorite job-related joke. And if you don't have one of those (either writer- or work-related joke), post your favorite joke (or funny story).
linkwithin

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Americans love the British Accent

Posted in:
Yesterday, Youtube was offering these new and free apps to make animated videos. In a moment of procrastination, I logged on and whiled away about thirty minutes to make the one below. Who else has noticed how much Americans love the British accent?



For the video, you get to choose your set, the actors, and most importantly your script (screen play and story). It was fun making it. I had like four takes before I got this version that I was happy with.

What do you think?
linkwithin

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger lost my post!

Posted in:

Sorry if you commented on a different post. That wasn't ready for the spotlight yet.

I noticed that blogger has been having problems since yesterday when I couldn't do my blog rounds or post comments on my own blog. When I got email notifications of comments here, I clicked over and noticed that blogger has mixed up everything. They lost my post, and put up a draft. Even half of the comments on the last two posts are gone!

My apologies while I try to get back my post. I composed it all on blogger here so it's not on my system. Remind me never to do that again. Any idea anyone on how to recover it?

_______________

UPDATE - From Bloggers Blog


linkwithin

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crying at Weddings - Jumping the Broom (Movie)

Posted in: ,

People, I don't know what's happening to me these days o. I've always been a romantic but I viewed weddings with a more practical eye. After all, they're just one day in a couple's life and is usually a fiesta to satisfy society and make their families proud. But recently, I've found my heart melting at pictures of weddings, and after I almost shed tears this weekend at the cinema for Jumping the broom, I had to write about it.


Of course I love and devour Mills&Boons, and oh and ah over those epilogues where they have a beautiful wedding, same as in the romantic comedies. But never to the extent of crying! It all started with the wedding websites, and then the Bellanaija wedding features, and then guess what? I saw a clip of Prince William and Kate exchanging their wedding vows and almost teared up. It reminded me so much of my own wedding, it was such a typical Anglican wedding (well, except that the Prince did not want a ring). Since then, I've been watching myself, and waiting to see if it was a one off. Turns out it wasn't.


linkwithin

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions - Authorhouse Publishing

Posted in: ,
So I have a contact me link on both this blog and on my website too, and often I receive emails from various people. Some of the mails are just to say congrats, ask where they can get my books, and so on. But a lot of the emails are usually asking about blogging or self-publishing, and I have decided to start a series here and share some of these information. While removing any personal identifiers, I believe that some of the questions and answers will be of use to a wider audience than just the person asking.

To start off, I'll be answering questions on Authorhouse. Read on and I'll answer any follow-on questions if you leave them in the comments...
____________________

Hi Myne, (I like this name)

My sis recommended your book, i am yet to read the book but i just wanted to congratulate you on actually finishing and publishing the books. I write childrens' books as well, i have been writing them for about two years now and i am still unpublished; due to the fact that i just don't "get" self publishing; don't laugh :-) I see you have published through Lulu and Authorhouse; may i please pick your brain on which of these two is the better option for a first time publisher? I have approached Authorhouse and they are willing to publish my books even before reading it you see, that is part of why i don't get it. I am confident that (by the Grace Of God) my books will sell, i just thought that they should at least read them first. Am i being old fashioned? Do tell me what you think please, i most definitly will appreciate your advise a great deal. Thanks for your time. See, just like you, i don't know how to talk small, please pardon the long letter ;-) Regards,

Dear XXX,

Thank you for visiting my website and for your email.

Self publishing is really hard work and I'm not even talking of recouping my investment yet. I prefer Authorhouse to Lulu because they're more experienced and with wider reach. So they're responsible for making the book available to online retailers, mine is to promote and keep it out there. I'm trying my best but it's easier that I don't have a full time job.

Authorhouse publishes children's books too and you are the one who pays for it. That is why they're not bothered to read it before accepting to go ahead. They do not pay you, you make money when you sell the books. When you are ready, you send them the electronic copy, that is what they work with. And it has to be the complete manuscript.

I hope that helps and all the best in your writing efforts. Let mem know if you have any more questions.

Best Regards,

Myne Whitman
linkwithin

Monday, May 9, 2011

MWP - The Familiar Smell by Makuochi Okafor

Posted in: ,
This episode of Myne Whitman Presents is a short story by Makuochi, a young writer, and a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.sc). He loves Music, Dance, Arts and Nature. He blogs at www.sugarabc.blogspot.com. His literary works has been published both on print and online media including Naijastories.com. .

Below is his haunting story of a blind young girl and her experience of love. The first time he sent it to me, it was unedited, filled with typos and I stopped reading by the second paragraph. I told him my impressions and he apologized and promised to work on it. This final version is not perfect by any means but I got the story. I loved how the writer let out the details slowly and pulled me along as I read.

Enjoy and tell me what you think...

______________________________


Dear diary,

Pardon me for not updating lately; I’ve been very busy recently, rehearsing my keys for my live performance with Asa. Today is a memorable day for me and I have promised myself that I must tender you my story in shorthand.

Today makes it exactly one year that I met Ifeanyi. I still remember vividly that very morning, I woke early and while I had breakfast I overheard Ellen DeGeneres talking on the television, excited about the coming holiday- St. Valentine’s Day, she was talking about how valentine comes with magic. She spoke so convincingly that I believed her. I went to school that morning expectant; I had been infected with Ellen’s excitement. I waited for the magic, but nothing came. Nothing spectacular happened. Nothing magical, except for a rather strong, strange smell in class. Amidst all the perfumes and scents in class. I could perceive a difference. This scent was strong, manly and well, very angry. I loved it because it was a mystery for my nostrils to interpret. From it, I knew one sure fact; that someone me had joined our class that day. I heard it was a boy.


linkwithin

Friday, May 6, 2011

Charly Boy - Commercial Waist

Posted in:
Something to while away the weekend with.

By the way, why do young, beautiful women (video vixens?) continue to appear in these music videos that have no respect for women. In this one, Charly Boy (a father and grandfather of women) seems to be saying that commercial waist is what all women are. I don't blame him, when for a fee, the dancers are willing to wind the waist for him.

Enjoy the weekend my people and see you on Monday. Take care.

linkwithin

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Relationship 15 - I have to drop it.

Posted in: , ,
So I was reading about Jessica Simpson in the Stand Up to Cancer Naija Blog and the article was about her wedding being postponed because she had to lose the relationship 15. As I read what relationship 15 they were referring to, I began to nod my head. According to that post, relationship 15 "where you gain 15 pounds thanks to late night dinners with your S.O." I googled the phrase, could it be this was a common occurence and I thought it was just me?


I have gained about 8 pounds since I got married, and it's not just from being a writer and working from home. There's also that I'm cooking more regularly, and eating more. When I was single, I used to eat mostly once a day, and munch and snack fruits the rest of the time. Now I eat twice a day while still munching. And not only that, I somehow think dishing a man's food makes me get a larger portion too. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I have determined to drop at least 5 pounds before the end of summer. And I'm glad I said it here on the blog, I think it will make me more accountable. Wish me luck!
linkwithin

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

25 Questions Tag

Posted in:
Hi everyone, so I'm back. Not that I've been gone that long but I missed you guys. Anyway, I came across this meme and decided to do it. Feel free to take the questions and answer on your own blog. I hope we can share the blog love...

1. Do you have any pets?
No pets, unless you count the many fish, cats, and hamsters I feed during my rounds to various blogs. LOL...

2. Name 3 things that are physically close to you.
Laptop, cup of water, table lamp.

3. What's the weather like right now?
Cloudy, and a bit cold at 51 degrees

4. Do you drive? If so have you crashed?
Yes and no, never crashed, hope I never do.

5. What time did you wake up this morning?
6.33am, I am a lark. You know 'early to bed and early to rise'. Even when I do go to bed late, I still wake up early, it's a habit.

6. When was the last time you showered?
This morning. I'm not one for baths.

7. What was the last movie you saw?
Rio - fantastic animated feature, with a great love angle.

8. What does your last text message say?
it is one from my sweetie and sorry I can't share it here, hehehe...

9. What's your ringtone?
Allomorphic expressions or something like that.

10. Have you ever been to a different country?
Many different countries - UK, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Canada, - all in the last 5 years.


linkwithin