Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating Independence - 419 Reasons to like Nigeria

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October 1st is the independence day of Nigeria, and it's been 51 years since the country got independence from Britain. While we have nothing much to celebrate, today, I'm joining hundreds of other bloggers and social media users on a positive campaign for Nigeria, facilitated by ‘The 419Positive Project’.
For too long, Nigeria and Nigerians have been readily associated with the online scams, financial crime and impersonation - termed ‘419’. However, beyond the unfortunate stereotyping, there are several positive characteristics and cogent intriguing traits of the country Nigeria, and its people. Some of these are highlighted below as part of the ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ campaign which enlisted 100 volunteers and bloggers to share reasons why they like Nigeria. These reasons echo the voices of Nigerians, with resonating similar themes.
The full list of ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available www.419positive.org  
The list of contributors to ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here
If you would like to say something positive about Nigerians and Nigeria, please do so here.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog awards still make my heart smile

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Yes, they do. In 2 years of blogging, I've gotten my fair share of awards. Still, each time someone thinks me worthy, it's new all over again. Melanie of Feather Pens, Tartan Dreams said; "this is my first visit to Myne’s blog. And I was impressed. A beautiful lady with lots to say. I subscribed immediately."
Thank you Melanie for joining my site and for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope I have the chance to keep sharing my different facets with my readers.

Rules:
- Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stand a chance to win A Heart to Mend from RWOWA

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Romance Writers of West Africa (RWOWA) is a group dedicated to the growth of African romantic fiction worldwide and I am one of the founding members, YAY! We have set up our website, and will be rewarding our subscribers each month with a book from the published members. For October, the group will be giving away a free copy of my bestselling debut novel, “A Heart to Mend.*

How to enter:
- Subscribe to RWOWA. The email form is on the right lower corner of the website.**

- Follow @RWOWA on twitter

- Like the RWOWA page on Facebook.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Express Love to your Wife

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Sometime ago on Facebook, someone shared on how express love to your husband. This was shared in the Just Us Girls group by a man so I understand he's talking to his audience. So, I'm closing my eyes to the sexism in the list, that's a post for another day. But I feel there's a lacuna in that hardly any relationship expert advises the men, so this is my own version of how to express love to your wife. Enjoy the rest of the list after the break. More love to us all...
1. Say “I love you” often to him her.
2. Tell him her often that you are happy to marry him her.
3. Cook his her food promptly.
4. Listen to him her when he she talks.
5. Pray Talk with him her often.
6. Sit on his her lap when you are alone, and also in public.
7. Tell him her he she is handsome, brilliant and wealthy everything to you.
8. Occasionally, take his her food to him her in the bedroom before he she gets up especially on weekends.
9. Sit down with him her as he she watches football her favorite show or any other programme on TV.
10. Learn some things about his her job and discuss these with him her.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Campaign Challenge II : Imago

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One hand holding his nose, Paul fought to keep his balance as he took wide steps, avoiding the lacuna between the slabs he was walking on. Beside him rose a concrete wall, topped by nails jutting into the night sky. He should be home, but the restaurant where he washed dishes had closed late, and one of the chefs had suggested this strange shortcut to the bus stop.
Tiredness washed over him but he tried not to oscitate, keeping in mind the miasma from the gutter beneath. His stomach growled as Paul recalled the kitchen during dinner hour. A deeper growl echoed some feet away in synchronicity and Paul peered into the darkness, his heart beginning to race.
Two glowing eyes emerged from the shadows followed by the rest of a massive dog. A security light suddenly came on, glinting off the shiny coat of the dog as it began to bark. Snapped into action, Paul took a step backward, and then another. The dog stood before a gatehouse, and in the mirror of the glass doors, appeared as two.
“Get him!” Someone shouted.
The dog and its image leaped forward as one, saliva dribbling down their jowls.
Paul ran.
___________

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Picture Weekend - Revenge, my tiny Afro

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I learned a new phrase last night, double infinity.

It's from the new ABC show, Revenge, which I watched on the Friday showing. We missed the premiere on Wednesday cos we went out but now the show has definitely found its place on my must-watch list. Growing up, I struggled with the revenge side of my scorpio, and it's a theme that still holds a fascination for me (see A Heart to Mend). Anyway, I went on wiki and found that the TV show is an adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alex Dumas, and I'm a huge fan of that book. There's been a lot of changes obviously, but I'm already liking that the two main characters are strong females, terrifically acted by Emily VanCamp, and Madeleine Stowe, and I look forward to how the writers will pull it off.

On to my hair, I cut my it in late March and the second picture was taken in the second week of April. The first was taken just this Wednesday, and if I do say so myself, I think the hair is growing. As you can see, the front grows faster than the back, giving me a punk look, lol...

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Abia gang rape suspect identified – Nigerian Minister

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This is the best news I've read on this matter since it broke.
"The minister said, “More than 70 per cent of the information we have on the rape will not be said here for obvious security reasons. But I can tell you we have information on it.
“The girl is not a student of Abia State University. She was raped in an off-campus residential area of students.
“One of them (suspects) has been identified conclusively.”
Although the faces of the rapists are not seen in the video, the minister said the National Human Rights Commission was on top of the situation.
He said, “Some legal experts have told us that it may be difficult to convict the rapists because the video does not reveal the face of the victims.
“The National Human Rights Commission is working with the Ministry of Youth Development. The commission, which is headed by a competent lawyer, is on top of this case.
“This is law, if we can not press for rape, there are other charges that we can press. I can assure you that justice will be done.”"
Read the full report: The Punch:: Gang rape suspect identified – Minister

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speak up and stop the predators

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UPDATE: Like Ginger pointed out in the comments, the onus should not just be on the girl and I totally agree. It is on us all. Some people are putting their money where their mouth is. #eienigeria


I read Seun Odukoya's blog and discovered that Abike Dabiri is calling on the rape victim in this video to step forward. Seun says it's not that easy to speak up, and I agree.
In my final year in University, I was harassed for sexual favors by one of my lecturers. It was not in exchange for grades and he did not threaten to fail me. Maybe he did hope to scare me, after all I was young and under his power. He was in his forties, and one of the top lecturers in the department. Of course I had heard stories about his womanizing ways, but when he showed an interest in me, I thought it was only because I was billed to be the best of my class.  

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blogger Ball #7

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This is an intro for those coming from the Blogger's Ball 7. You're welcome to my blog.

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

Myne Whitman is my pen name. I live in Seattle with my husband from where I write and blog full time. I am also the publisher and managing editor for a critique and social networking website for aspiring Nigerian writers at Naijastories.com.

My two books, A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled are self-published, and I'm working on my third. The first, AHTM, recently got to no 1 on the Amazon UK Kindle bestsellers list for Inspirational Romance and also Romantic Suspense. The links to read the reviews are to the left, and below that are links to my blog topics.

Thanks for coming over, and I hope you'll join my site. See you over at yours soon.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Picture weekend - Mountain Climbing

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Hi people, hope your weekend has started well? Mine will be fairly laid back, we're going to see Contagion later today, and I'll probably try to do some writing. On the latter, my work in progress (A Fiery Love) has some mountain climbing scenes in it and I've been doing some research online to get the setting in order. But I also have to describe how the characters feel, you know, how they're out of breath, the feeling of satisfaction when they get to the top, that sort of thing.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Friendship - Can we not agree to disagree?

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A topic has been flying around blogsville for the past couple of days and  with posts, counter-posts and comments, the battle lines were drawn. I am a strong proponent for social rights and while in Edinburgh, I worked to promote gay health and rights, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to the feelings of those who feel uncomfortable with homosexuality. I don't think it's right to demonize them as stupid, sad, ignorant, close-minded, judgmental, archaic, etc; which was what it seemed most of the counter-posts were about, or they were providing platforms for others to throw the insults.

See, I can be very sociable most times but I find it difficult to make friends. This is because I can hold different opinions from most people on various topics. Also, I find cliques very confining because it seems that once a group has agreed on one thing, the members are expected to agree on everything. And this is so difficult for me because my mind sometimes works in seemingly illogical and sometimes contradictory ways. So, when I see people I think understand difference, it gladdens my heart, be it in real life or online.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are there husbands and wives in Nigeria?

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As some of you may have guessed from my last excerpt, I'm exploring the issue of people going back to their home countries to look for a wife or a husband. @tobdon asked on Twitter, "huh? are husbands in Nigeria? RT @Myne_Whitman: WIP - Coming Back to Nigeria for a Husband?" He also asked if there were wives too. Good questions, lol...


Now I know that older people do it more. A girl friend won the green card and most people advised her to find a boyfriend and quickly make him a fiance, or marry the next available guy before leaving for America. Some guys I know in the US and UK have had friends and family recommend potential wives for them from back in Nigeria. These guys have not been to Nigeria in years, and funny enough, the plan is to carry out a long distance courtship and then ship the wife over after maybe one trip for the wedding. Hmm...I've seen it work o, but most times, the result is not so good.

So it baffles me that young people when they're ready to get married also start thinking of travelling back home to find a partner. I don't understand why they can't just look around them and consider the people currently around them wherever they are. I know from figures there's obviously a wider pool of people like you where you come from, but surely one doesn't need an ocean to find a drop of water. There's nothing written that says your countrymen or women (from source) are better marriage material, or is there?

My dear readers, please help me out. What has been your experience of this. Do you know anyone it has happened to, and how did it work out? Have you been involved? Do you plan to do it yourself? What do you think of the whole thing? Let's talk...


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Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 and Me - Inspired by StoryCorps Youtube Videos

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Whenever this date rolls around, most people ask, where were you?

On September 11, 2001, I had just gotten my first graduate job as a teacher in a private school in Abuja. I had also just moved into my first apartment and it was sparsely furnished, so no television. I had a music system but I didn't often listen to the radio except mostly on the weekends. That particular evening, I was writing lesson notes and listening to Celine Dion. As usual the next day, I was at work very early and it was the headmaster that called me into his office to tell me what happened, I was in deep shock. We discussed with the other teachers as they came in and announced it to the children during assembly. Most of them were too young to understand but I couldn't help thinking more and more about it.

It was at an internet cafe after school and on CNN at my aunt's place the next day that I saw the traumatic images, people jumping out windows of their skyscraper offices, the twin towers collapsing, and those on ground zero who saw it happening before their eyes. I watched all these with tears, sobs, and my mouth often open in shock and grief. On Youtube last night, I cried again listening to some StoryCorps videos. The truth is that no matter how much we as all humanity were affected, there were those for whom it was more personal, those who lost family. The woman in the story below received a call from someone who was in the building as it was crashing down.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Everything You Need To Know About Writing and Publishing

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I'll be co-hosting a Verastic.com radio show with Vera and Chika Unigwe on writing and publishing. I've had a couple of other shows with Vera, one on "Why should I get married, and the other on To hyphenate married names or not. This time, we'll be chatting about the following topics;

- How to get an agent
- How to publish independently
- How to market published books
- How to get a publisher without an agent
- How to keep the writing momentum going
- How to be a disciplined writer
- How to be a writer.

So, for those of you who are interested, let's talk. Chika Unigwe (author of On Black Sisters Street) has been traditionally published and will be sharing more on that. I will be sharing about my experiences of independent publishing (Authorhouse and Createspace) and what keeps me going.

You can leave any questions or suggestion for discussion here in the comments. You can also e-mail your questions/comments to me or to radio@verastic.com or text 1.443.934.9039 * The show is going to be Live on BlogTalk Radio at 8amPST, 11amEST, 4pmGMT and 4pm Nigerian time. Call 1.646.929.1905 during the LIVE show to join the conversation. Here’s the direct link to the show, and you can share it with as many people as possible; http://bit.ly/qUODgt 

You can also participate in the live chat room if you register with Blogtalk Radio. I'll also be running a tweet stream, so follow me @Myne_Whitman

Do enjoy your weekend, and hope some of you can tune in. Mwah!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Did you miss me? First Campaigner Challenge

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The door swung open, banging against the wall behind it, and she jumped back in fright.
“I’m so sorry…” the masculine voice trailed off and Dunni watched recognition light up his eyes. The familiar smile began from the corner of his lips till they were stretched wide across the pearl white teeth that had refused to leave her memory.
“You!” she squeaked.
“Hello, Dunni,” he said, walking further into the room after jamming the door shut. “I’m sorry about the door but it appeared to be wedged, hope you weren’t too alarmed.”
Dunni didn’t know what to think. Why was he here? Had he been following her? But no one else knew she was here. And this was the worst possible time. She had to get him out of here. He shouldn’t be here or he would ruin her plans. But how could she get him out? Why was he standing there, staring at her?
“You look amazing!” He moved closer to her. “Very different from…”
“What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Don’t you just want to know?” he mocked. “I’ve missed you, you know. How long has it been now? Did you miss me? Just a little?”

____________

This is for the platform building first campaigner challenge. The rules were as follows
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem.
Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)
For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
I couldn't end with "the door swung shut" but this is 200 words exactly! LOL... Thanks for reading, and please tell me what you think.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Help may be historically inaccurate

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Recently, the Association of Black Woman Historians issued a public statement to the fans of the book, The Help, and the movie based on it. They basically said that;
The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers.
While I didn't read the book, I saw the movie a few weeks ago and came away very much interested in the subject and having picked some historical context from it. But bearing in mind that it was fiction, I wanted to continue the discussion with real people and I've also read a lot of articles which was how I came to hear of the ABWH's statement.


During the 1960s, the era covered in The Help, legal segregation and economic inequalities limited black women's employment opportunities. Up to 90 per cent of working black women in the South labored as domestic servants in white homes. The Help’s representation of these women is a disappointing resurrection of Mammy—a mythical stereotype of black women who were compelled, either by slavery or segregation, to serve white families. Portrayed as asexual, loyal, and contented caretakers of whites, the caricature of Mammy allowed mainstream America to ignore the systemic racism that bound black women to back-breaking, low paying jobs where employers routinely exploited them.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie for me was of one morning in the black community when they were on their way to work, almost all the women wore the uniform of maids, and the man seemed to be mainly casual laborers. One of the main black characters had lost her job because of a racist white boss, and had to pull her daughter out of school to work and make money. In the scene, she was putting her 13/14 years old daughter through the do's and don'ts of servitude, it was heart-breaking. On another note, the ABWH point out that;
Portraying the most dangerous racists in 1960s Mississippi as a group of attractive, well dressed, society women, while ignoring the reign of terror perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, limits racial injustice to individual acts of meanness.
In a discussion with Atala (I went to see the movie with a meetup group so he missed it), he remarked on this particular point and how easy it was for people to then say, "I'm not like that individual", thus discounting the ability of such a work to provoke deep soul searching and public discourse. The ABWH concludes;
In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.
While I accept The Help as fiction, there is still that power that writers have to influence their society, and maybe Kathryn Stockett should have been more cultural sensitive. That said, one big lesson I took from the movie was that more people should tell their stories. Nobody can write your history the way you can, and the author of The help has done her bit, the rest is left for us.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?

PS, maybe one day I'll write about how the movie reminded me so much of the house-help culture in Nigeria.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Hand is free + Using the new blogger

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Hi everyone, hope your weekend is going well?


Yay, I took out my cast and now I have both hands to play with again. What a relief!

Having that cast was bearable but there were days I got so frustrated with it, especially because I couldn't get it wet and had to wrap it in plastic each time I had a shower. Then a friend pointed out that my hand was getting smaller, and it was! I've lost some muscle definition in that hand and much of the strength. But no fear, the Occupational Therapy people have given me a series of physio exercises to bring the hand back to speed. I laughed yesterday doing some of them, it's amazing how we take so many things for granted until you can't do them again. Like squeezing your hand or touching your thumb to the tips of your other fingers. Well, small small...

On other news, have you started using the new blogger interface? I logged in a couple of days ago and old Blogger said I should try it out. I was like, meh, I'm used to this one, but Atala wanted to see what it looked like so I clicked over. TBH, I haven't gone back to old blogger since. The look and feel is so clean and more integrated, and I like it, lol. Maybe I'll do a proper post about it soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend people. For those in America, have a great Labor day.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Myne Whitman Presents: The Vow by Lowladee

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Lowla Dee is a Nigerian born in the heart of Kano. With a B.Sc in Mass Communication, she's a writer/blogger and philanthrophist who believes in making the world a better place is by impacting one person at a time. You can contact her at ladydeedollie@yahoo.com

Her website, LOWLADEE.com is a fast growing lifestyle website set up as a channel for others to be inspired. She says, "our readers mean a lot to us and we strive to affect their lives in divine ways." This description comes with a warning, "You are about entering into a world where fiction feels so real. Once you start, you won’t stop." After reading the story below, I hope you agree with them. TGIF. This is a long story, but I promise you'll love it. Enjoy...


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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beyonce's Love is on Top - Baby Bump Reveal!

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One of my country people sang it this way, This na serious love nwantiti, lol.


Beyonce announced recently at the VMA's that she's pregnant and performed a song - Love on Top - from her latest album where she showed off the baby bump. I saw the video, and my heart was melting. Still is, I'm such a sucker for public displays of affection, lol. I wish them all the best!

Enjoy the lyrics and video after the break and may the new month bring us all lots of love and goodness. Mwah!


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