Friday, March 19, 2010

Love from the Past. really? ... by Beautiful

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*****Edited by Wordsmythe and Myne

“Some people jealous me, some people jealous me...”

Bisi sang as Iphey walked into the Ladies Room. They had both been avoiding each other at work and so far, there had been no confrontation. Iphey blanked Bisi and acted like there was no one else in the toilet as she freshened up.

It was already almost six and time for her date. Thinking about the date gave her the strength to totally ignore Bisi but it also brought thoughts of Chinedu to the forefront of her mind. She had tried to stop thinking about Chinedu since she’d spoken to Dapo and his sister but it had been impossible. She just couldn’t stop thinking about him.

“Well, all that will end now,” she whispered to herself.

Bisi stopped in her tracks as she walked out of the toilet and turned to Iphey.

“What did you say? Were you talking to me?” she asked.

Iphey pretended not to hear her, finished applying her lip gloss and brushed past on the way out.

“Nothing, nothing whatsoever will spoil my joy this evening,” she kept saying in her head.

The sound of her phone ringing startled her. Iphey picked it up expecting to see another caller id but instead she saw Aisha’s name on the screen. She was slightly irritated that it wasn't the number she was expecting but she took the call.


“Ahn ahn are we fighing? You can’t even say hello, all you’re saying is “uhum”?”

“Sorry jare, just that it should be Dapo’s sister calling me. It’s almost six thirty and she said she would be here by six, what do you think could be wrong?”

“Hehehehe haba babe, take am easy o, someone will think it’s even a guy you have a date with, they won’t know it’s his sister. Anyway sha, I assumed she would have come so I called to know where you guys decided on, you know I too like gist.”

“Gist monger!" Both girls laughed. "I will call you after I see her. At least make she first show cos me I dey hungry o. I go just vex go house...”

“Hahaha girl, why you dey deceive yourself? We both know you won’t leave there so sit your butt down and wait for her. Talk to you soon. Take care and have fun.”

Aisha hung up and Iphey continued browsing on the internet, all in a bid to while away time. Her mind began to drift and she recalled how excited she’d been when Dapo’s sister told her she would be coming to Iphey’s neighbourhood to pick up a delivery from someone. She had further said it would be nice to hang out and Iphey had said yes immediately.

Dapo’s sister had joyously said, ”so it’s a date!, cooool.”

Iphey wanted to hear all about Dapo. She was already anticipating his arrival. She was not sure how he would react to her so seeing Dapo’s sister would give her a heads-up on the situation. Now she could not help but think it might have been a test, maybe she’d been too hasty in her answer and had seemed desperate. Well the deed was done and she just had to live with it.

The truth was that she needed some distraction. On her own, she would think too much and the issue of Chinedu would crop up if she hung out with Aisha. She surely didn't want that. Iphey looked at her wristwatch, it was a quarter to seven already. She made a mental note to leave the office at 7:00p.m.

“Somethings are not just meant to be,” she told herself.

She decided to try Dapo’s sister’s number one more time. She had been trying it for over an hour now and it was switched off. She tried it again and got the same response, it was now a minute after seven. She was livid. She grabbed her bag and left the office.

As soon as she she got home, she went straight to the kitchen to make some Indomie chicken noodles. That was the fastest meal she could think of and she had barely eaten all day due to the excitement of the date with Dapo’s sister.

“Don’t break what’s left of my heart” by Banky W was playing on the television. She just smiled. She remembered Dapo singing that same song to her years ago. She asked herself now why she had never dated him but couldn’t find an answer. Her younger self had been playing hard to get unnecessarily.

The last memory she had of Dapo was of him walking out of her room. He had come to beg her that day as usual and she had once again said no to him. It was Valentine’s day and he had come with flowers, jewelry, a teddy bear and chocolates. She remembered the look in his eyes and the unspoken words they relayed. A familiar smell drew her out of her reverie.

“Oh no!” She jumped off the kitchen stool and took the lid off the pot. The noodles were burnt to the bottom of the pan. She just went to bed. Her phone rang, it was Aisha. Iphey couldn’t bear talking to her now as she felt like crying. She put her phone in silent mode and shut her eyes. Sleep proved difficult, and when she finally drifted off, the recurring dream came back.

This time, she looked right into the eyes of her mystery man.


And that's it folks. We got two entries for this part of the story so there'll be no votes on this one till after the next chapter. Don't you dare miss that one, lol, it's going to be up by Neefemi.

Our contributor today is Beautiful of PIECES OF ME, she's a very emotional romantic femme fatale who loves to belive she's heartless...*wink* I love the way she writes and this is from a poem on her blog.

"i miss that part of me
that part where you dwelled so comfortably
that part that knows your smell, touch , smile, voice
that part that can sense you a mile away
that part that yearns for you
that part that feels your lips after they have left mine
that part that believed strongly in love
that part that prayed for you
that part that never thought you'lld walk away
that part that's broken now
that part that doesn't exist anymore..."

For you I will (Poem)

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This is dedicated to Joicee who specifically asked for a poem. Enjoy!

I will go the extra mile
Just to see you smile
I’ll run the longest race
Just to win your grace

I’ll eat the bitterest tart
And that’s just for a start
I’ll ford the widest stream
Just to get your dream

I’ll ascend Everest’s cliff
Just to get you a gift
I’ll endure the thinnest air
Just be my lady fair

I’ll be the strongest lad
Just to make you my lassie
I’ll have a love so true
And it will be just for you

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Temitayo Ilori (The Doom's Wing)

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Hi people,

Hope your week has been going well? Mine is great, I've been a bit busy working on the final stages of a project. I will let you guys into the news very soon. Meanwhile, I was excited when I found out about a Nigerian Fantasy Epic novel written by a young writer debuting with his first work. I contacted Temitayo Ilori on facebook and we got to chatting and exchanging ideas.

This is an excerpt from chapter 12 of his recently published novel, The Doom's Wing. Temitayo has a blog over HERE where you can read more about him and his book. After this, I will be publishing an interview with the author himself.


THE story of Tellam got both Solom and Hamit that the night flew along and the fear of Dubanon faded in their thoughts. The night had flown into the midnight and the moon stared the earth boldly in the face. Cold misty breeze and white clouds mingled together and ruled the night.

“I dn’t kill him…I dn’t kill him…” Tellam lamented as Solom and Hamit stood up to go.

Solom looked back to him and asked, “Who killed him?”

“I…I…I…” was all he could say.

The caves in Monort were in utter darkness by the time they stepped out of Tellam’s cave. The guards were all snoring away in their dreams. Solom and Hamit followed a streak of light to the stone gate and as they moved close to the gate, Dubanon resurfaced in Hamit’s thought and he pondered what lie would buy such loyal giant of Paton. At the gate, a frog-like snore filled everywhere and it was coming from inside the guard’s cave at the stone gate. Ease quickly came over Hamit at least they would be able to escape without answering to Dubanon.

At the stone gate, Solom and Hamit pushed the stone, thinking it would roll over easily, but the gate beat them to the trick. They were trapped. Dawn was few hours away. Cold sweat broke through Hamit’s pores. He pushed harder, while Solom stood behind him smiling, but to no avail.

“Solom, we’re trapped give a helping hand…” he whispered.

“That door has a trick to it. Pushing won’t do.” Solom whispered back.

“What trick?” Hamit asked as he kept pushing harder.

Suddenly, the frogy snore quietened and the whole place became so quiet that the flow of blood in the veins could be heard. To Hamit, it was like a moment before the end of times. A small light came on in the guard’s cave. Hamit froze and in a moment, the flash of his being disrobed tormented him. Within another moment, the figure in the guard’s cave came out and caught Hamit as he was trying to hide behind the stone gate.

“Solom and Hamit...elders of Mead I hope you find the answers you seek in Darkness?” The guard said as he stood at the door staring at Solom. That one moment seemed like a thousand years to Hamit. Amori, the guard was not deceived by their disguise.

“Amori, the stone gate beats us to the trick…” Solom said to the guard. Hamit was shocked to his bones that the guard at the door was not Dubanon the giant, but a six feet tall middle aged man. During the night shift, few minutes after Solom and Hamit entered Monort, Amori took over from Dubanon. Solom knew his game before he dared to take the risk. He knew any story Tellam had to tell them, even in summary, would take hours. But to bring Tellam food shouldn’t take long, he knew, therefore there must be a way out. He knew the time Amori takes over the watch from Dubanon and he also knew Amori would be at the gate by the time they would be leaving, so he took the risk. Amori owed Solom a favour and this could be a way to pay back, by covering their tracks for them.

“Your daughter must be doing well now?” Solom said to Amori.

“She will be better…Solom thank you for the grace you bestowed” Amori replied sleepily. Hamit stood there in great shock. Amori bowed to him: “You are a great judge sire, Meadians respect you and they will do anything for you…they will do anything to fight for you…” Amori said to Hamit who was still in shock.

“The gate still stands locked…do the trick, the night flies quickly…and it waits not…” Solom said to Amori who yawned as he went into the darkness at the back of the stone gate and he did the magic that rolled the stone that a hundred men wouldn’t have been able to roll over.

“I will always be at your beck and call … as for tonight, consider it a matter of utmost secrecy.” Amori whispered to Hamit and Solom as they both went away into the night towards the town.

“Can you trust him?” Hamit asked Solom as they hurried away in the cold quiet night.

“Amori?” Solom asked.

“Yes…” Hamit replied.

“Trust no man Hamit…especially your subject who befriends your master.” Solom added to Hamit’s fear. “But the man you fear is a toothless dog if we can bring these pieces together and make a whole story.’ Now Solom tried to allay Hamit’s fear.

“Paton?” Hamit was shocked again.

“Hurry Hamit I still need to ride to the monastery town of Ropa tonight.” Solom said in haste.

“Ropa?” Everything started happening with a great speed that Hamit couldn’t comprehend. “How is Paton connected with the murder of his son; how is Tellam’s story connected with all these?”

“Hamit, go home to your mother tell her to prepare, that the time has come for the truth.” Solom said.

“Mariet is connected with all these too?” More confusion loomed.

In that same cold night Solom rode away in his cart to the monastery town of Ropa to meet a nun. Ropa, a refugee home for the orphans and widows from diverse place. It is the town for the oppressed. In Ropa, security to life is of utmost importance. Outcasts find their home there and become citizens; even those who should have fallen prey to the blades of other men have been given a home there. No army has been found to invade the giant stone walls of Ropa before. The security of that town does not come from the strength of the walls, but from the invincible powers that hold sway in such a place. Ropa is called the seat of gods and goddesses. And nobody would ever want to incur the wrath of them all at once when the power of just one alone wreaked great havoc like the flush of Thömber.

Solom got to the gate at some hour after midnight. He looked at the high walls of Ropa and thanked goodness for the safety such a place gives to the refugees and things of great importance like what he had come to seek at this ill-hour. Moments passed while he waited for Nought, the gate keeper and a friend to open the giant gate for him.

“Solom, what do you seek in Ropa at this late hour?” Nought, the gate keeper asked as he peeped into the cart of Solom with a lamp in his hand.

“It bothers on the urgency of the great affairs of the state…send a message to her for me.” Solom responded in a rush. Nought who felt the urgency in Solom’s voice sent one of his sentry-men to Solom’s host while he ushered Solom into the most secured town along the coast of Detoir and was directed to the usual location to wait for his host. A nun.

Solom did not wait long on that dark corridor before he heard swift footsteps coming towards him. The greyness of the nun’s garb revealed her as she approached Solom in that dark.

“It’s late…it’s too dangerous to travel these woods at this late hour and you know that.” The nun said as she approached him.

“So also it is more dangerous to delay in a matter of utmost urgency…like this…” He replied the nun.

“What is this matter that is more important than your life?” The nun asked as she embraced him.

“It is time for the truth…it is time for the revelation of the past” He told the nun.

“You have always saved Mead, but this time, will you be able to save her…” The nun said.

“With your testimony you will save the state and avenge the evils of the past.” Solom said.

“Testimony?” The nun was shocked.

“Yes. The testimony will save us now.” Solom searched for the face of the nun in that dark, “Do you still have it?”

“Yes…it is in the Q chest in the monastery.” The nun responded. The Q chest is the safest chest in Ropa and things of paramount importance are kept there. “I just didn’t know the time for its use would come now or ever…” the nun said with a faint sound of grief in her voice.

“The time is now…”

“Long live Solom…” she said as she embraced him again. They looked into each others’ eyes and it seemed eternal.

“Long live Mead…” Solom said as he stepped into the moonlight and went towards his carriage. He left a note with the nun and departed for Mead immediately.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What the doctor Rene

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Iphey opened the fridge and stared into it like it was a strange being. Finally she reached for a bottle of water. As she poured it into a glass, she looked at the clock. The time was 4:32am….strange! She'd never woken up this early before. Well at least for once she was following her doctor’s orders.

“You should drink a cup of water when you wake up every morning...”

She smiled as she remembered the way he'd said it and then was brought back to her dreams. They were strange and she couldn’t understand them. She'd never been one to put much stock by dreams but these ones were beginning to freak her out. The latest one felt all fuzzy as she tried to remember the details.

For the past few nights she’d been having the same dream but each day it got longer. A guy was in it, he'd stood at a distance and beckoned her to come closer. She had refused outright the first night. The second night he'd come closer, and even more the third night. Yesterday, something had obstructed them and they couldn’t reach each other no matter how much they tried. Today would make it the fifth night, and this time he'd spoken. He'd whispered her name.

Unlike the other times, she just couldn't go back to sleep when she woke up after the dream, no matter how hard she tried. She'd kept tossing and turning until she finally gave up and here she was on her sofa trying to decipher these strange dreams. Who could be the man in the dreams, it couldn't be Chinedu or could it? He had not tried calling her since that night; maybe he tried when she'd switched off her phone and then given up.

That night, she'd driven home trying not to think of what she had seen. He'd sounded so guilty, “Iphey I can explain…” Explain what? She'd thought over and over again. It was too late for a business meeting so she knew Bisi was not at his house with regard to the accounts they’ve been trying to get his people to open at their bank.

It could not be that Bisi was out to sabotage Nedu and her. She’d been encouraging right from the first time they discussed him. She tried to understand what had happened that night again, Bisi's attitude to her, the guilty look on his face. It just didn't add up. And to think she'd driven over there to declare her willingness to fully commit to the relationship. Iphey shook her head and hissed. She'd expected him to call the next day but it hadn't happened. More than a week later, no calls, no messages, nothing!

The sound of her ringtone brought her back...5:27am…who could be calling this early on a Saturday morning? She looked at the phone, no caller ID, strange! She decided to pick it up, she was tired of hearing herself think, and anybody’s voice would help her right now.

“Hello, who’s this...speaking…? Are you kidding me…I cannot believe this, you called me, so you still remember me….WOW!...when?......are you serious?....” After almost an hour on the phone, she finally said bye, but not without a number. She quickly added the number to her contact and added the PIN on her blackberry messenger. She was still learning how to use the phone; she'd got it at her most recent session of retail therapy two days ago, not that it had helped her.

Feeling really pumped, she called Aisha.

“You’ll never believe who just called me...Oh! I’m so sorry, I forgot it was so early. I shouldn't have called…anyways, guess who called…no…no…I’ll tell you when you come later today…I’ll make breakfast…no I won’t tell you, not until you come…just go back to sleep…my fault! Sorry for disturbing you and TJ…yeah! Yeah! Bye…I said bye….when you come I’ll tell you.”

8:53 AM

“Girl you’re fast o…you like gist too much shaaa! I didn't think you would show till like 9-10...”

“You offered me the perfect combination…gist and food…how could I waste time on that? I discharged TJ with cereals and here I am.” Aisha flopped down on the settee.

“I never shower and food never ready finish…shey you fit help me look after am? Make I go brush.”

9:15 AM

“You remember that time in school when I had this mad crush on Dapo? The one with the fine janded sister that all the guys were trying to get with…I mean Dapo Smith.”

“Don’t tell me you woke me up, made me rush to your place, all for one stale gist. The guy dumped you after chasing you madly for two months. He left for the States and didn’t even tell you and that was what? Two, three years ago?”

“I know…I know…"

"So where's the gist?"

"His sister called and I spoke to him...he's coming back this month and he wants to meet…can you imagine?”

Iphey launched into full details. Aisha asked her what she was doing awake when she got the call and Iphey told her about the dreams. But with the excitement of hearing from Dapo after all these years, the conversation moved back to him, to their school adventures and flings.

Aisha made a note of not asking or reminding her about Chinedu, knowing that Iphey would talk in her own time. Maybe the distraction of an old flame was just what the doctor ordered for Iphey. The dreams showed she'd been fretting about the situation with Chinedu. The day after the botched trip, Aisha had pressed Iphey for details but her friend's reaction had cut the discussion short.

Aisha had seen Chinedu earlier this week and he too hadn’t said anything about it, it was like that night never happened but it had been less than a week! She knew Iphey really liked Chinedu and he felt the same. She considered herself their fairy godmother and would make sure they gave this a real try. Maybe with Dapo coming back, she would find a way of telling Chinedu about his competition. Nothing like jealousy to make the sparks fly.

Hmm...April wasn’t so far again!


So who's our contributor? RENE writes faction and fictional series on her blog Cuppy Cakes and has a story collection she's working on. Here's little ranting from her last post.

"Now, for a struggling size 0/1 individual like me who think she's too thin and trying to reach a size 3, all these things bruise my ego(i Kid) but they annoy me because everywhere I turn it's always about loose weight fast! Blah! Blah! Blah! It's never about add a little pounds in 30 days. I eat a lot like literally so saying that wouldn't help me reach a 3 and since I got to this country(well maybe long before that) I've been alternating between 48 kg and 51 kg(of which I think most is bone mass) for several years now! I know some people will go "oh! I wish I had your body, I would never complain" WRONG!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

LadyBrille Magazine Personality of the month

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Read the complete interview on LadyBrille Nigeria Magazine Online Myne Whitman, first, let me congratulate you on publishing your first book. Also, I must say extra kudos for being confident to delve into the financial world. I loved it. Before we get into the many themes running through your novel, let’s get into the writing process and how our audiences who might want to self publish their fashion or similar related books might do so. The first question that typically comes to mind are ideas on what to write. How do our LadybrilleNigeria writers get ideas on what to write?
Myne Whitman: I find inspiration from real life. From my own life, from the people around me and stories I read in the news or books. It could be just a sentence in a newspaper or a line in a movie and my creativity just feeds on it.

A lot of the themes handled in A Heart to Mend were inspired in the same way. People have asked so I have to say that none of my characters is based on me or anyone I know in particular. They're just people of my imagination but based on a cumulative of my experience. So while may seem free from some of the usual constraints we real persons face, they also share our fears and hopes, our victories and our pain. If you look closely, you may even recognize one or more of them. Now we have an idea for a novel and the obvious step is to write. What are some of the challenges you went through in writing ‘A Heart to Mend?’
Myne Whitman: A Heart to Mend is a romance in the suspense category, some may call it a romantic thriller. It was challenging to write especially with the plot I chose. The story is set in Lagos, where I’ve lived for only a few weeks at a stretch. I’m also a novice in the stock market industry which forms the backdrop. So not only did I have to update myself, I had to bring these settings to life for those who have never experienced them.

Again, creative writing is not child’s play as I realized when I compared some of my short stories and scripts with what was already available. The excuse that I did not study English or Literature could not suffice. To prepare, I took some free online courses and workshops for Creative Writing and Fiction from the University of Utah, MIT, Open University UK and Suite 101. I'm still taking these trainings and they're an on-going project. I also became a member of a writing meetup group in my area which includes traditionally and self published authors and gifted writers and editors.

Finally, I believe in creating characters that I can identify with strongly enough to feel what they feel when they are going through emotional turmoil, and convey some of this feeling in my work where it shows through to the audience. This can be quite tough and emotionally draining but it is worth it in the end. I am a writer at heart and write literally every day, non-fictional and fictional works. I find I can have many drafts before I settle with the final thing. How many drafts did you come up with before the final draft for ‘A Heart to Mend’?
Myne Whitman: I had quite a few drafts and drafts of drafts especially during the critique period. I had to rethink, rework and rewrite to get a believable story that flowed well. That said, I edit a lot while writing so that at the end it’s minimal. Still I appreciate fresh eyes to help me proof and then I force myself to move to the next project. What about the revision process for you? There were places in the book, for example, that I felt you could have given us more explanation especially when you dabbled in Nigeria’s financial sector. How did you determine the angles to approach your story?
Myne Whitman: The revision process was quite tedious. Luckily I had the plot outline so I knew where the story was going and how I wanted it to end. I also knew the themes I wanted to focus on which included, social class intermarriage, family estrangement, and contemporary relationships and sex. I knew I wasn’t going to go into too much details in the other sub-themes like the financial aspect or the foster care system. I only had to make sure from my first readers what was enough to carry the major part of the story.

LADYBRILLENigeria: How did you determine what facts had to be included to help give your readers better and more context?
Myne Whitman: I had to play it by the ear. I did my research into what life is like in present day Lagos for the kind of people that match the characters in my book. I also read a lot into what goes into business takeovers, hostile or otherwise before I decided to go with the latter because I am of the opinion that conflict drives a story and nothing like a struggle to build a character and get the reader rooting for one or the other. We have our idea, we have written, revised our stories and now its editing! I noticed you gave credits to many bloggers, friends and family who helped edit your book. I couldn’t help, nevertheless, with noticing a few spelling, and punctuation errors. LOL!
Myne Whitman: You must have very sharp eyes indeed, lol…but you’re right. One or two typos escaped the eagle eyes of the naija blogville crew. Very minimal indeed as I have had several people congratulate me on the quality of the novel being a self-published novel and all. However, we’re not resting on our laurels. I have edited the manuscript even further as it will soon be published in Nigeria. Okay, so thankfully the hard task has been done. You now have your novel. How do you get it published? Tell us the pros and cons with self publishing?
Myne Whitman: The pros for self-publishing are that the author retains full control over the content, design, and marketing of your book. You retain all rights to your manuscript and most of the revenues earned from the sale of your books. You may be able to penetrate small niche markets that a commercial publisher would overlook or ignore. The book may also have a greater chance of success because you're more committed to promoting it than a publisher who has hundreds of other titles. I want to point out that apart from the commercial success, there's also that deep satisfaction of knowing your creative work is out there making and contributing to conversation.

On the flip side, it can be expensive and requires a lump sum outlay to begin with. Even when the book is out, the author may have to invest further in the publicity and marketing of the product. When you’re published traditionally, you can leave all that to your agents and publishers and go back to your next project. Not so here, you have to put in a lot of time, effort and energy to get the book buzzing. Also, a lot of organizations still do not like working with self-published books either to review, distribute or feature.

LADYBRILLENigeria: What are the perks of publishing with a publisher like Author House?
Myne Whitman; I decided to self publish because I heard some good stories about the process and how it can be successful if you apply yourself. I felt I could follow the route since I was now a full time writer. I first improved on my writing by attending workshops and blogging which helped to polish my manuscript to professional standards. Then I read about other authors who had done the same and what their experiences had been like with different companies.

I chose Author House because I read several good things about them and they have met those so far. They assign you a design team, a book consultant and a sales person. They have various packages including editing and promotions and you choose the one that suits you best and which you can afford. I also liked that they had access to a large number of the major retailers in America and the UK.

THEMES FROM BOOK ‘A Heart to Mend’ was a very easy read. The language was simple and I think I completed it in four hours. Let’s start with your intro with the characters. I particularly enjoyed the intro of Gladys. Initially, I thought she was a ‘Nigerican’ woman who had returned home based on her insistence to navigate Lagos herself. But, I LOVED that she was just from Enugu yet the same naivety and I can figure it out all on my own attitude applied as you would see a ‘Nigerican’ independent sister. Describe Gladys character in the novel.
Myne Whitman: I pictured Gladys to be a stable young woman. Her upbringing was very vivid to me. I knew exactly the circumstance with Gladys and how she grew up. She had lost her father early and had been thrust with responsibility. She ends up confident, content and sharp. I loved the fact that she had the standard of no sex before marriage and she stuck with it. However, she is also still at the self-discovery stage, a little bit timid, well brought up but also at the adventure seeking phase. She is quite rational, I think even more so than the lead male character Edward Bestman. Describe Edward’s character?
Myne Whitman: Well from the get go I imagined Edward to be an all round man. You know the tall dark and handsome type, hard-working and successful. He had a lot of ego and pride in his character but this was just a cover-up for the insecurity, which had affected a large part of him. Edward grew up rejected and as an orphan, and his earlier flings with women only taught him that no one could want him for himself only. That beclouded his judgment about relationships for so long. As expected, he had barricaded his heart and was not letting anyone, man or woman in.

LADYBRILLNigeria: You explore emotional unavailability in both the male and female lead characters but really the emphasis is on Edward. Why did you feel the need to touch on these themes?
Myne Whitman: The novel details how we can be affected by events from our past and how it may limit our opportunities in the present especially in the area of love and relationships. Though this happens only when we allow it, alas, some of us do. The over-arching theme here is love and it teaches that while none of us is perfect, we should be able to keep our heart open for that person who has enough masking tape to cover our imperfections. You also did a good job touching on Nigeria’s foster care system, if any. But you left me wondering and actually wanting a little more information on the foster care system there. What about foster care or Nigeria’s orphans made you explore that in your novel?
Myne Whitman: While I still lived in Nigeria, I was involved with some volunteer work that necessitated me to visit a number of orphanages and it intrigued me what the future held for the children I met there. They were mostly happy, likeable children but I worried that with the general instability in Nigeria things might get more difficult as they got older. I have also read quite a few articles on the topic and the story of Edward in A heart to Mend is my own way of teasing out my thoughts of the topic though couched in fiction. Do you know or could you shed a little light on how Nigeria’s foster care system works? Is there a way to assess extended and non-extended family relatives who can come forward to help take care of orphans in the foster care system?
Myne Whitman: There is no foster care system in Nigeria per se. There are two ministries involved in taking care of vulnerable children; the women/ youth affairs and the social development departments. They do their best in the yet to be structured environment but the majority of the job is done by non-government agencies who set up care homes, rehabilitate these children or call on the willing public to foster them. Any identified extended families are usually involved in these processes but most times, the children may have been abandoned with no familial links. I thought it interesting that you had an Ibo character from Enugu so conveniently and without a thought, have a romantic and ultimately serious relationship with Northern/Yoruba character. I know your real name is Nkem Akinsoto. Is that a reflection of your background influencing the story line?
Myne Whitman: No, my background had no influence on the novel. It may even be the other way around since I already had started the manuscript before my own story, lol. Why not explore the fact that it could be an issue given Gladys was born and raised in the East? Are you suggesting young people in modern day cities across Nigeria are not necessarily as caught up with inter-ethnic dating and marriage?
Myne Whitman: Yes. Though I think interethnic marriage is still a big deal in Nigeria, it’s not as it used to be especially in urban settings and with young people. Lagos is a melting pot, most working class residents speak English or pidgin and the corporate world is made up of people from different parts of the country. There are third-generation Lagosians who have never been to their parents or grandparents state of origin.

In addition, there are also mitigating circumstances in this particular story; Edward is an orphan with no extended family and the same for Gladys. Other cultural attributes were more important in their peculiar situation and that is why social class is the more important element of this story. I explored classism and how it can be the source of even more tension and conflict than ethnicity.

The relationship between Edward and Gladys’ stand out because of the obstacles they face and of course, it challenges the norms of the Nigerian society; especially where cross-class relationships are concerned. That was an element of Nigerian society and the world at large that I wanted to question. I also think that cross-class relationships will continue to be a source of drama as long as human beings feel more comfortable associating with people of the same social class.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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Like I said earlier, Cupids's risk will be going to another blog with season two. That's the header of the new place.  If you want more, follow this link immediately..

If you want a little taste first, enjoy this and then click on the read more link to access the complete story. Read, comment, vote and contribute. See you there...


Over the years in his life, Chinedu had learnt one policy. He never pursued something he couldn't let go of whenever the moment demanded it. So now he scrolled to Iphey's name and chose the option to delete. He hesitated, and then he pressed on the button. The phone asked him if he was sure he wanted to delete that contact and all their details. He closed his eyes and...

The ring tone to his phone startled him and had his eyes flying open to the phone in his hands. Chinedu glanced quickly at the screen, his heart beginning to race once again. It was Habib's new number.

"Hello?" His tone was dull.

"Hey Nedu, what's up my guy?"

"I'm at home, where else do you expect?"

"Dude!" Habib's voice was surprised. "What's the deal? Wetin I do you?"

Chinedu forced himself to laugh. "Sorry dude, na just some wahala with Iphey."

"You and this Iphey babe. It's nearly three months since you start to chase that girl." Habib laughed, "always one palava after the other. You go out today, tomorrow you're not talking. If it's not your past, it's her boss. What is it this time?"


SEASON TWO: Number deleted... by Myne

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Over the years in his life, Chinedu had learnt one policy. He never pursued something he couldn't let go of whenever the moment demanded it. So now he scrolled to Iphey's name and chose the option to delete. He hesitated, and then he pressed on the button. The phone asked him if he was sure he wanted to delete that contact and all their details. He closed his eyes and...

The ring tone to his phone startled him and had his eyes flying open to the phone in his hands. Chinedu glanced quickly at the screen, his heart beginning to race once again. It was Habib's new number.

"Hello?" His tone was dull.

"Hey Nedu, what's up my guy?"

"I'm at home, where else do you expect?"

"Dude!" Habib's voice was surprised. "What's the deal? Wetin I do you?"

Chinedu forced himself to laugh. "Sorry dude, na just some wahala with Iphey."

"You and this Iphey babe. It's nearly three months since you start to chase that girl." Habib laughed, "always one palava after the other. You go out today, tomorrow you're not talking. If it's not your past, it's her boss. What is it this time?"

Chinedu laughed at himself and the situation. It really was funny. The truth was that he'd had relationships - if he could call them that - that lasted less than three months. This thing he had with Iphey had just been messing with his head. He determined to delete the number immediately after this and he would tell Aisha it was over if she ever asked.

"Let's not talk about it, I think I'm done." Chinedu sank down on the sofa behind him and leaned back against it. "What did you call to tell me?"

Habib paused for some seconds, "Are you sure, dude? I can talk if you want."

"No's fine. I don make my decision."

"OK..." His friend drawled and Chinedu visualized him rolling his shoulders in his typical shrug before he continued. "Did I mention I am now embedded in your old area?"

"What are you doing in Ajegunle?!" Chinedu sprang up from the sofa as though burnt. That part of Lagos did not have very good memories for him. His parents had moved away more than ten years ago and he had not been back there since. He missed some of his old friends but the thought of the people he'd pissed off kept him firmly away.

"Relax dude, I'm not asking you to come down here." Habib chuckled. "It's part of the job I told you about and nobody knows of the connection between us."

Chinedu breathed easier. Habib was his closest friend and know more of his past than any other person. He also reminded himself that Habib was a trained operative of the EFCC and could take care of himself. Still he couldn't shake the dark sensation that crawled over his skin.

"I thought you said it was Mushin?" he murmured. "Anyway, promise me you'll be careful."

"Of course I will dude." Habib laughed. "I'm not so sure about this new guy I'll be working with sha..."

"You got a partner?"

"No, I just met this guy. He was introduced as my neighbor and it turns out he knows some people I'm working on. Some illegal gambling and loan networks on the Island. This is sure going to be interesting."

"Habib, I know you live for such thrills but believe me, you don't want to get on the wrong side of those kind of people."

Habib laughed. "I know and that's why I called you. I want you to be more careful now so you can remain in the loop. The information you continue to give us is very useful. And keep an eye on Aisha for me OK? "

"No problem. She actually called tonight to complain to me about you."

"Well dude, call her more often because I don't want her number on this new phone in case it falls in the wrong hands."

Chinedu sighed, "I will sure breathe easier when you guys complete this job successfully."

"With this new dude, his name is James, it might take less than the expected six weeks."

"Keep me posted, and be safe."

"Roger, will do. Over and out." Habib hung up his end.

Chinedu shook his head as he pressed the exit call button. Habib will play cops and robbers even on his deathbed. He looked at his screen and it had gone back to delete number. He pressed yes.


So people, we're back! Season two of Cupid's Risk is off with a bang! As usual, say what you think here in the comments and then vote for the chapter you want to see next.

Friday, March 5, 2010


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So what about the title? Well the new month has started off as one of enlarged coasts. An excerpt of A Heart to Mend has been published on the BN Prose section of Bella Naija. By the way, did you guys see Uche the lady behind Bella Naija on Oprah yesterday? She looked cute and I liked her contribution to the topic of beauty around the world, naija perspective. She writes on BN that it was a dream come true for her. I say kudos to her and may all our dreams continue to come true. Please go over and leave a comment HERE

Also Afrikan Goddess has put me on their writer's list to head up the Love and Relationships section with a debut titled What's sex got to do with it? Afrikan Goddess is headed by Amma Twum-Baah and is an online publication designed with the educated, professional, classy and sassy African woman in mind. My first article is in the March issue and is a review of an African romantic comedy and how the issue of sex within both married and unmarried relationships was handled based on The Perfect Picture. Do go over too when you can and leave a comment HERE


“Gladys, Gladys!” The sound of her name had her springing out of bed. It was late afternoon on Wednesday, and she was back in her bedroom after tramping the streets of Lagos in search of That Elusive Job. It was Aunt Isioma’s raised voice that had jerked her out of a reverie. She left the room and took the stairs down, two at a time.

“Did you call me?” She entered the living room breathing quickly.

Her aunt was watching television but looked up when she walked in. “Yes, sit down Gladys. I have something for you.” She gestured to the seat beside her.

“This was in my post office box today.” She handed over an official envelope.

Gladys turned it over and stared at the back. The return address was Zenon Oil and Gas. Her breath stopped and then returned accompanied by a rapid heartbeat. Her palms began to sweat. This was the final communication with them and if this was a refusal, then that was the end. Her muscles spasmed and she felt sick to her stomach. Her palms began to sweat.


The three girls navigate their love lives with the flair and panache one would imagine for their ages – they seem in their thirties. OK, so maybe the dialogue was a bit corny in parts and predictable in others but for a romantic sucker like me, I didn’t really mind. I like that the producers were bold enough to make a movie that tackles the issue of sex in relationships front and center. The married one and her husband cope with getting used to each other in bed once again. Our well-endowed lady goes clubbing and sleeps with her man friend with no questions asked. Even the quiet one has sex with her lowly mechanic and declares it, the best she’s had. I think she added “ever” but I am not sure now, lol.

Do you have an opinion on the movie or the topic? CLICK TO GO TO AFRIKAN GODDESS AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION


Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy New Month + Unhappy Groom?

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Happy New month of March! This year is really rolling along as if downhill. I hope you guys are having a good time in your respective lives, studies, relationships, etc? I am enjoying mine, many things have happened and I thank God for all the milestones and pray for more blessings to us all.

So February is over as is the Month of love extravaganza. However, my top commenter Muyiwa loved the discussion so much, he wants a last one. Muyiwa (People in the Limelight) has been good to me, one of the most helpful bloggers I know. He ran an interview on his blog and he still has a cover of my book on his site linked here. So I acceded to his request.

Who is happier on the wedding day? The bride or the groom. I think Muyiwa believes it is the bride who has organised this big event for her friends and family. And the groom is by the corner calculating in his head how to pay off the debt of the party. LOL. Even though this happens sometimes, I disagree. I think both the bride and groom should be equally happy on their day, especially if they cut their coat according to their size and material.

What do you all think?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update: Listen to Why should I get married?

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Click play to listen to the show and thanks for all your comments that helped make for a lively discussion.

Listen to internet radio with Vera Ezimora on Blog Talk Radio

It's funny I came across several marriage related blog posts today seeing that I am co-hosting Vera's show tomorrow on the title with my SO. Why should anyone get married? Some genuine write-ups from bloggers...

TayneMent's Friday Randoms: "If you really think about it, the whole concept of marriage is insane!"

Anyaposh; The woman and Wife: I feel a strong sense of push-pull tension about the idea of marriage. As a woman, I look forward to it but quite frankly, I'm also very scared about being married. On the one hand, I imagine the experience of wonderful marital bliss with a Significant Other; a lifetime of togetherness; intimacy; bonding; raw sex; raising a family; walking the life path... And on the other, inevitable disappointments; heartbreak; dependence; raising a family; walking the life path... Basically, almost the same things which pull me toward the idea, push me away from it!

Kpakpando; Lagos Lies: To all the single and searching (fasting, praying, self-searching, envious, dieting, exercising, compromising, revising, wishing, hoping), whatever you classify yourself as... know this as you wait for/find your life partner: most people lie about the true state of their marriage. Don't for one second look at the wedding pictures on BellaNaija or read the happy interviews in City People/Genevieve or Linda Ikeji's blog and feel any sort of way; sometimes what you're seeing is FILM TRICK and what you're reading is WISHFUL THINKING.

So what do you think?

Is marriage a sick if not dying institution, poisoned with the bad rep of divorces, infidelity and domestic violence? Will there remain reasons for people to get married and keep getting married? You want to know what I think? Of course I'm married as is Atala Wala, but we had thoughts while still single and now can speak from both sides. And we'll be talking to Vera Tomorrow.

But it wouldn't be a conversation without you guys, single, engaged, married, separated or divorced. Let's talk, the show is going to be Live on BlogTalk Radio. Tune in at 7amPST, 10amEST, 3pmGMT and 4pm Nigerian time.

E-mail your questions/comments/stories to or text 1.443.934.9039 * Call 1.646.929.1905 during the LIVE show to join the conversation. You can also participate in the chat room if you register with Blogtalk Radio.

Do enjoy your weekends, especially those in Nigeria. It is a three day one, maybe even four for some, LOL. Hope to hear or read from you. Mwah!