Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ifelanwa Osundolire - On a lot of Things. (Guest Author)

Posted in: ,
Ifelanwa is a blogger I had come across last year doing my blog rounds. He also featured fiction on his blog and I was impressed with his writing talent. I did my best to encourage and so it was with joy and excitement I heard that his collection of short stories has been published. It is titled On a lot of Things and samples his work over the past few years. I approached him for an interview and you can read more from him below. The book website is HERE and you can read some of his old and new work there too.

· Brief bio
Osundolire Ifelanwa was raised in Ondo town and spent a huge chunk of his childhood there with his parents and two brothers ‘Kanmi and Ayo. Secondary ‘schooled’ at F.G.C Idoani and trained as an architect in Yabatech and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Ifelanwa did a stint as a bank staff in 2007 and later went on to become a development officer for a Real Estate company FWC, in Lagos. An adventure seeker by default, he joined the bandwagon of explorers to accompany the famed Dr. Newton Jibunoh to the Sahara desert, travelling from Lagos to London via road. He is currently a recipient of the British Council Innovation 360 awards and looks forward to a successful year at Birmingham City University both as a real estate professional and a writer.
· When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in architecture school when I noticed that words had a way of capturing events that would make it seem pictorial in the mind of the reader as much as drawings did. For instance to understand some certain courses, I need to re-write them in poems or stories.
· When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I started to write short stories on Facebook and the positive comments from readers convinced me that I could excite, inspire and whip up emotions in my readers.
· What inspired you to write your book?
Many things, circumscribed by a desire to create. However, I will like to trace the inspiration for “On a lot of things” to a loose sheet of paper I found in dump-bound junk in my home. I had written a note to myself in the future after I attended my first book launch in 2003, saying I would write a book before I was twenty five. When I saw the worn pages seven years later, I made up my mind that I would make it happen
· Do you have a specific writing style?
I wish I knew but honestly I don’t. I just write the way it comes to me. Though thinking it over now, I would say I love to write in the first person as if I am in the stories. That way I feel it more. I guess that answer counts for something.
· How did you come up with the title?
“On a lot of things”? I had posted hundreds of stories, poems, inspirational articles, notes on Facebook and when the material for the book came into question those notes seemed the best resource pool. The first manuscript was so confusing, you would not be able to place your hand on what it really was. Really, from the start, it had been on a lot of things.

· Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! In fact, many. Underlying each story is a message deeper than just the face value of the stories. I desire that readers find it in their own way, interpreting the stories to meet their specific intellectual needs.
· What books have most influenced your life most?
Enid Blyton and Tintin were my first books so they qualify automatically. Growing up, Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart”, Wole Soyinka’s “Ake”, Alvin Toffler’s “Future shock”, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad series, Ngugi’s “Weep not Child and The river between”, George Orwell’s “1984” … I ought to stop here because there are lots more.
· If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Sydney Sheldon – because he is a fantastic storyteller.
· What book are you reading now?
Robert Kiyosaki’s “Before you quit your job”.
· Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh! Yes. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Seffi Attah (my favourite) and my younger brother Ayokunle Osundolire (still unpublished)
· What are your current projects?
Working on an interactive book that gives readers the options of choice and they can write the story themselves as they read on. It should give as many as 300 different experiences in a 500 page book.
· Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
If my circle of friends can be referred to as an entity- their support was overwhelming. If entity refers to orgnaistions, No, not yet.
· Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! But as one path of many.

· Can you share a little of your book with us?
It will be my pleasure. “On a lot of things” is a collection of stories that have underlying messages for each subject it addresses. Authority the first story – is the favourite of a lot of people because of its simple yet powerful message. It tells the story of a village whose healthy inhabitants, had come to rely on crutches to walk, and over time, forgotten how to use their legs. The focus is on a young man who sets out to prove everyone wrong.
· Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Dialogue! I write narratives most of the time and it almost feels like I do so because I shy away from heavy dialogues. Writing lengthy dialogues are still a challenge but with time I will write it away.
· Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I do not have a favourite author but I have observed that a common thread that runs through the works of my favourite authors is “Simplicity”. Nothing excites me like a story so simple, it makes a child laugh, makes an adult think and makes the aged remember.
· Who designed the covers?
Ayodele Enitan Alabi, my editor and publisher
· What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. It would surely be editing. I almost got frustrated with the little details.
· Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
For all it is worth, I learnt a lot of patience. I also learnt not to underestimate readers and thoroughly researching your subject matter and your choice of every word. An author must have an immense reservoir of patience to write a book. Like someone once said, (I paraphrase) “Writing a story first starts with a spark of excitement, then it becomes a long drawn vocation that completely takes you over”. Unfortunately most people never make it past the excitement stage.
· Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is to ‘Write’! Just write! I met a well known Nigerian writer recently who told me he had written over two thousand stories. Then I realized this art is an art of consistency not just talent. You must write so much as to defy the bounds of probability in coming up with brilliant pieces every time.
· Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please read more. Not just my book, but everything you can. A dearth of applicable knowledge is the only thing keeping the continent of Africa dark and unseen from space – let’s light it up!
· Where and how can readers buy the book?
You can buy the book online by placing orders on the site  or visit the bookstore at Terrakulture, plot 1376 tiamiyu savage st. off Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island. Other outlets will be made available on the website shortly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Blogsville Wedding

Posted in:

The picture above is from my first wedding anniversary.

So I had a few minutes of Deja Vu yesterday while doing my blog rounds. Two posts were one after the other in my blog reader.

1. Freaksho - Siriusly Speaking

2. Sirius - Getting Freaky

The second post had just one word, "Literally", which was linked to the first post. A light bulb went out in my head and I began to smile and then laugh as it clicked. Of course I had to go over to both and offer my congratulations to the newest couple in Blogsville.

Reading their post brought so many memories back to my mind. Atala is also a blogger though we did not meet on blogspot, I was just a reader back then. We met on another Nigerian messageboard as two handles and from friends we got serious and hitched up. Then there was the discussion, should we let the rest of the board know? We both agreed it was only proper and hospitable, as we were both well known handles.

One online friend, a female, almost sussed it out before we were ready to go public and I had to put her off track, lol. I remember some of the comments that followed the announcement. A lot of people thought it was a massive practical joke and it didn't help that our wedding was set for Valentine's day. We invited those who could make it to the events in Nigeria. It was only when we started communicating with those ones off line and sharing details that they accepted it was real. And then they reported back to the others after the wedding which several of them attended at the different venues.

 The first time I spoke with our Verastic here (she also belongs to the messageboard), she still wanted to confirm the news, hahaha. It was fun times for me being the mischief maker that I am. I loved meeting all the faceless commenters, the whole online to offline thing is always interesting to me.

Anyway, congrats again to Sirius and Freaksho and I wish you guys all that a good marriage is.

@CaramelD - You were there! Oya lay down the full gist abeg.

Finally, have you voted for my friends at the Nigerian Blog awards? See my previous post for more details.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Have you started voting?

Posted in: ,
I mean at the Nigerian Blog Awards? Please say noo...abeg. LOL...are you wondering why?

The thing is this; I'm not asking you guys to vote for me, yes you heard me right. I want us to share the wealth so I prefer you to vote for my people. Now don't get the wrong idea, they did not pay me o, heh! I even asked them to campaign for my vote and they were doing nyanga, shakara, whatever. Only EDJ asked so she is getting 2 votes, hehehehe.... As for sister from another mama (we even share an initial), if I start counting the categories she is perfect for, we no go comot for here.

Anyway, if you're reading this post and you are nominated, it is not too late for you to ask for a chance. Me I have voted sha, but you don't know who is reading this, put your campaign in the comments and maybe you can convince some loyal feedbackers to dash you their votes. If they ask you shell out something, you're on your own o, I am just the middleman.

Before I go on, let me thank all those who nominated me in seven, yes that is 7, categories even after I won the Group A top award for Nigerian Blog of the Year. I am very very grateful. You know the one that touched me the most? I am up for Friendliest Blogger. How cool is that? And then The Next Big Thing...For A Heart to Mend I say, Amen Amen Amen! *Grinning like a foolish Cheshire cat*. Thank you all so much, permit me to repeat how grateful I am. Thanks, Daalu, Ese, Nagode,unu emeela.

Now to the votes. I know some of you voted for just a few categories and left others blank. Shey you know you can go back and do the remaining? OK...everybody now. Get your pens and pencils and copy down the names in bold. When you get to the Voting Center, tick the holes beside these names and click vote for each category.

Ehmm...I voted for one person each category, but in a few here I will highlight 2 people. Those were tough choices for me and I'd rather you make up your own mind. Also, some names appear in several places, even if you've voted other people in the categories I bold them in, you can go ahead and vote them in their other nominations.

FULL DISCLOSURE! Some of the people I have highlighted below are Feedbackers. People who follow my blogs, leave comments, and critique my writing when necessary. Some also have links through their blogroll/list, through buttons or pictures of my book in their sidebar.

OK...let's do this!

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic, Anani Speaks...)
Myne Whitman (Myne Whitman Writes, Naija Stories)
Solomon Sydelle (It Was So Much Easier When I Only Had One, Nigerian Curiosity)
Sting (Blog(s)ville Gist, The Smile of a Nigerian Scorpio)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights...)

Azazel (Truth Don Die)
Ego Du Jour
Mizchif (An Idle Mind)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Blog(s)ville Gist
Linda Ikeji
Nawa 4You Oh!!!
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Jaycee (Light Her Lamp)
Solomon Sydelle
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

2Cute4U (Free Answers To Your Questions)
Jaycee (Light Her Lamp)
Solomon Sydelle
Standtall (The Activist)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Funms (Funms-The Rebirth)
Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Linda Ikeji
Myne Whitman
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Brown Skin Naija Chic
Sting (The Smile of a Nigerian Scorpio)
Sugabelly (Sugabelly 2.0)
Sugarking (The Adventures of Sugarking)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Gee (In my plain words)
Jaycee (Light Her Lamp)
Myne Whitman
Naked Sha (Burnt Bottom Pot)

Ego Du Jour
Fashion Eye Naija
In The Know (ITK) West Africa
Osagz (Rhymesville Entertainment)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Hanna-Kaisa (HmusicK)
Jabez (Venus Speaks)
Jeremy Weate (Naijablog)
Ms Kookie
Shona (On the couch with Shona)

Good Naija Girl
Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Miss LNQ (My World of Acting)
Myne Whitman
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Brown Skin Naija Chic
Nice Anon (As You See Me So)
Sir Scribbles II (The Royal Scribbles)
Sugarking (The Adventures of Sugarking)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Bagucci (In Retrospect..)
Le Dynamique Professeur
Mayowa Idowu (Mirrors…Reflections From My Lenses)
Seye Kuyinu (::Seye Blogs::)
Sir Scribbles II (The Royal Scribbles)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Jaycee (Light Her Lamp)
Jeremy Weate (Naijablog)
Solomon Sydelle
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

36 inches of brown legs
Miss Fab (Fabulosity Unwritten)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Afrobabe (Afrobabe: The Story of an African Girl)
Brown Skin Naija Chic
Doug (The Art of Musing)
Tigeress (Tigeress: A Silent Ninja)

Doug (The Art of Musing)
Gee (In my plain words)
Jide Salu (JideSaluDiary)
Laide Olabode (Exschoolnerd)
Mayowa Idowu (Mirrors…Reflections From My Lenses)

MEME BLOGGER (only 4 qualifying nominees)
Myne Whitman
Repressed One
Santiago (Santiago’s Pad)

Brown Skin Naija Chic
Miss Enigma/Undercover07 
Solomon Sydelle
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Fabulo-la (Me. And then Some.)
Rethots (Musings…expressions of ‘deep’ thots)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Mayowa Idowu (Mirrors…Reflections From My Lenses)
Solomon Sydelle
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)
YNC (Welcome to YNC Lounge)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Linda Ikeji
Myne Whitman
Solomon Sydelle
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Jaycee (Light Her Lamp)
Le Dynamique Professeur
Solomon Sydelle
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)

Laide Olabode (Exschoolnerd)
Rethots (Musings…expressions of ‘deep’ thots)
Seye Kuyinu (::Seye Blogs::)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Afrobabe (Afrobabe: The Story of an African Girl)
Azazel (Truth Don Die)
Kareem Ibhade (Nitty Gritty Tales of a Housewife)
Sugabelly (Sugabelly 2.0)

Bumight (This is why I write)
Gee (In my plain words)
Seye Kuyinu (::Seye Blogs::)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Linda Ikeji
Nice Anon (As You See Me So)
Solomon Sydelle
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Gee (In my plain words)
Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Mayowa Idowu (Mirrors…Reflections From My Lenses)
Sugabelly (Sugabelly 2.0)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Mayowa Idowu (Mirrors…Reflections From My Lenses)
Myne Whitman
Sugabelly (Sugabelly 2.0)
Suzanne Brume (Eights and Weights)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

Good Naija Girl
Harry Itie (The Talkaholic)
Mizchif (An Idle Mind)
Sugabelly (Sugabelly 2.0)
Vera Ezimora (Verastic)

That's it folks, see you over at the Nigerian Blog Awards polling booth...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Read Nigerian and win prizes -

Posted in:

Since my book, A Heart to Mend was published, I have had several interviews and articles done. In most of them, I am usually asked who my best/favorite writer or book is. I have read a lot of books and so this is a difficult question. The topic also came up in some other forums and I thought of how I could make it worth my while to find out the answer from a large group of people.

Now seeing that my book is set in Lagos, Nigeria and seeing that I manage a website for Nigerian writers, I decided to make it Nigerian themed event. After brainstorming with Atala, we decided to open it up to sponsors and what do you know? Three of the major publishing houses in Nigeria were very interested in the idea and agreed to support us with lots of free books.

My purpose in running this particular contest is to encourage and inspire everyone to read more Nigerian books. The partners (Farafina Books, Cassava Republic and Dada Books) are publishers in the business of making available and promoting books written by Nigerians, and about Nigeria or Nigerians, all around the world. Naija Stories is about reading and writing Nigerian stories and encouraging aspiring writers.

We all want you to, whatever your choice of books, read Nigerian and read a lot.

Read the classics - Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), The PalmWine Drinkard (Amos Tutuola), Jagua Nana (Cyprian Ekwensi), The Bride Price (Buchi Emecheta).

Read history - Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (Ola Rotimi), memoirs and biographies, Ake (Wole Soyinka), On a Darkling Plain (Ken Saro Wiwa).

Read contemporary fiction - Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Adichie), Unbridled (Jude Dibia), Zahrah the Windseeker (Nnedi Okoroafor), In Dependence (Sarah Manyika), Abyssinian Boy (Onyeka Nwelue).

Read popular books - To Saint Patrick (Eghosa Imaseun), A Heart to Mend (Myne Whitman), I do not come to you by Chance (Adaobi Nwaubani) Eko Dialogue (Joy Bewaji), Fuelling the Delta Fires (Ayo Akinfe).

Dates for Contest: The contest opens July 5th and submissions end on July 16th. The winner will be announced by August 1st.

Prizes : The main prize is $50 cash OR Two (2) Nigerian books* of their choice shipped to them wherever they are. (*Costs including postage must not exceed $50). In addition, for contestants resident in Nigeria there will be 30 consolation prizes of free books.

To take part go to Naija Stories. For updates and other writing or book review announcements, join Naija Stories and our partners on Facebook;

A new feature of the Naija Stories website is the Naija Stories Store. Naija Stories is an Amazon Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. This will be used to support the site and contributing writers. The titles we have listed will remind you of the books you have forgotten or those you are yet to read. We encourage you to browse through the 40 selected books and click on the similar books links for so much more. Nigeria has talented writers and great books. Please support and encourage them by buying their books.

To circulate this information, you can copy the flyer and circulate through your channels.

Thank you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Honesty Meme

Posted in:
Thanks to Sting, the Nigerian Scorpio, for tagging me in this free therapy. I have to say that this made me think and self-examination is never a bad thing. Let me share my thoughts.

Right now I'm feeling....very thankful to God. I am so grateful for having all my family, for life, protection and love.

When I'm alone I complete peace. I enjoy quiet times with myself, reading, writing, listening to music or just pottering around.

When I'm surrounded by people I feel.....lonely, especially if they are people I do not know well. So I do not like attending large parties where I do not know a few people. With people I know and already like, I shine. I sometimes surprise even myself how I can be the life of a small group.

One thing I hate is....wickedness and evil. Next is lying or beating around the bush unnecessarily. Please just come out with it.

One thing I really like about myself is I can usually adapt to almost any situation. I am strong and that is part of my strength. I can be open-minded and also be so flexible to withstand some major stuffs.

When I'm feeling sad I......cry. Yes o, I use to be cry cry but it has stopped a bit now especially as I came to a place of self knowledge and peace. I was more temperamental growing up with some major mood swings.

When I daydream it's usually and happily ever after, lol. That is why I write what I do and enjoy it so much. Next is to imagine and make out whole lives for everyone on blogville, hehehe.

I'm afraid of.....losing a loved one. This week has been hard based on this, but thank God for His word, "though you pass through the valley of the shadow of death..."

I'm happiest when......I am with the people I love. They know and understand me most and I can be my most vulnerable, hardest and most playful too. I can be mischievous and love making them laugh.

One thing that really worries me is ....what if I do not achieve everything I see, and believe me I see a lot in my future. I want to do so much, make a mark, create things that will outlive me.

If I could change one thing about myself it would ESP. Knowing things and reading minds is not an easy or simple superpower. Believe that and you will believe everything. Doubt it at your own peril. :):)

If I could be with anyone right now I would be family in Nigeria. I love and miss them a lot and much more at this time.

The family member I am closest to older sister.

If I was really honest with my father I would tell him....there could never be any father like him and I want to read his autobiography.

One thing I regret about my life is ......nothing.

If I only had one more day to live I all my usual stuff. Here I come Lord, take me.

If I was really honest with my mother i would tell don't know how much you mean to me, you taught me so much.

One thing about me that nobody knows is......the depths of me, and my future. I still haven't plumbed them completely myself.

I hope that someday in the future.....very soon, things become better in Nigeria. The education and health indicators are most important.

When I think about my family I feel.....happy, thankful, loved, cared for, safe.

Something I'm really embarrassed about is......staining during a period.

One thing about me I never want to change is.....myself. The me at the core.

One thing I feel really proud of far I have come as a person. God saved me and made me anew.

Blogsville has helped me up and spread the joy.

One thing I like about blogsville is......the plenty of stories. Thank you all for sharing.


I tag all those who care to reflect and share. Enjoy the rest of your weekend people, mwah!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can Online Love become Lasting Love?

Posted in: ,
"You may say, “What is this party? No party goes on for a year.” And you’d be right. I’m talking about an online message board. It took me two weeks after that first message to decide to give my witty admirer a chance but the rest as they say is history. I soon called him to the top of the line and we began to exchange personal information. Today he is my husband."

The above was first published on Afrikan Goddess, where I contribute to the LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP column.

In an article on, their readers debated at the chances of black women in America finding love online especially through internet dating agencies. The chances weren't good compared to other races, but the writer encouraged them to work it out saying, "We're smart, beautiful, fun-loving, resourceful women." I agree.

I have written an article of my own experience of online romance below.

I walked into the large hall quietly. It was a party and there were several rooms. I had been watching the people in the front hall through the glass doors for a while before making up my mind to join them. Some people glanced my way when I called out a greeting. Two older women walked over and said hi; they were smiling and I quickly warmed up to them. Soon a few more, including a couple of men, wandered over and we sat together, laughing and talking. Most of the people in the hall were glad to see a young cheerful person join the party. Somehow, I was able to shed my shyness with this group more quickly than I usually did.

There were halls to discuss politics, one to attend literary events and another to participate in debates. There was even a lounge especially for women and a place to talk about relationships and their palavas. I began to make friends, calling out to people across the hall, putting at ease the ones who had just joined and just generally having a good time. Sometimes, while the party went on, I went to one corner with a few friends and we chatted about our lives and things outside of the group. At other times, I left the party with some friends and we continued the discussion elsewhere. I gave some my number or email and told them to call me anytime.

As the months rolled past, it became clear that the party was a lot different from my usual life; I could talk on any range of issues I wanted at any time with any number of people. It was such a relief not to have to pretend, to conform to prejudged notions of how to be a woman. My writing was appreciated and my intellect respected. I could kick back and talk fluff today, yet when I quoted Rand the next day, no one raised an eyebrow. I relaxed and let the real me begin to enjoy herself. I learnt so much from so many different people. A lot of the ladies became good friends and soon, I also began to attract some attention from the guys.

One day, about a year after I joined the group, I got a message from an acquaintance. We had chatted a few times before, spent time together with other people, but never anything personal. I thought he was joking with his, “Hello, I know you’re so hot, can I join the queue?” I sent my own reply tongue in cheek as well. “Well, the line is long but you can take a ticket.” My heart beat fast as I did this because the sender of this mail was someone I had admired for some time. But a few months before, I had sent him Christmas greetings and it turned out he had moved away. Now he sent another mail. “I understand, let me know when it is my turn.”

You may say, “What is this party? No party goes on for a year.” And you’d be right. I’m talking about an online message board. It took me two weeks after that first message to decide to give my witty admirer a chance but the rest as they say is history. I soon called him to the top of the line and we began to exchange personal information. Today he is my husband.


I’m not saying every online romance becomes lasting love because mine worked out for me. I also know of a lot that never matured. However, neither does meeting in real life guarantee a serious relationship or marriage. What I am saying is that online romance is a valid means, another ONE way through which you can meet someone, just like meeting them at work, in the club, at church, etc. Some argue that you cannot love someone you have not seen. I do not agree. We are more than our bodies. Our writings or how we talk about life can give a window into our mind and soul. These are also great for getting to know another human being.

So of the several avenues online to meet someone - chat-rooms, dating agencies, social networking and message boards/forums - I favor the last because it removes the greatest disadvantages of meeting online. On message boards there are several other people involved so you get to see a more rounded character of the person you admire just like in real life. If you have the time and you’re interested, you can actually go through the person’s previous posts in the archives to check for character and consistency. It is no more just what he or she is telling you at that point in time but also what they said to other people, some months ago, a year ago and so on. I tell you, this is better than a credit card background check.

The next important part of online romance is communication. What do you guys discuss? Don’t burn phone cards talking about Kim Kardashian or the World Cup. OK, you can do that too. But more important, give each other time to talk about your lives. Ask questions and be as honest as you can. I’m not saying you should interview each other, but a relationship requires true and deep communication. You can talk about your dreams, your achievements and goals, talk about your families, people you admire in your life, your most prized possessions, your strengths and weaknesses, and maybe most importantly, talk about the kind of relationship both of you are looking for. This last will determine what direction your romance goes.

Finally, it boils down to the nitty-gritty. After starting a romance online, there is the temptation to just let it roll along on sweet talk via the phone, chat or email. You cannot live life online and in the same way, any romance that starts and remains solely online for say, one year, is a bit suspicious. The next thing a couple that met online should discuss when they realize that the admiration is mutual is how to meet up. Some say love is spiritual, that is true, but it is also physical. People in an online romance must find ways to balance both sides of the attraction. Apart from the physicality of attraction, meeting face to face also helps determine honesty. Is that really him? Is he really interested in me enough to make the effort?

Once you have met for the first time, you are no different from the next couple who first met in real life. Keep your head up and enjoy your love. I am proud to look at my sweetie and say, thank God for the internet!

You can go to AFRIKAN GODDESS to see what others are saying and take part in the conversation.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Does James survive the shooting? You decide!

Posted in:
You recall I said there'll be an eBook for Cupid's Risk? I have started compiling it and that is going well so far. The eBook should be ready by the first couple of weeks in July for your summer reading. To help wrap things up nicely, we'll need an epilogue. Our epilogue will be in the form that is seen in some movies. You know, the type where they list the character with two or three sentences detailing what happened to them in future? Yeah, that one.

I have listed our major characters below. Pick any number of characters you want and write a maximum of three sentences each of what you think they get up to. I will announce the winners whose submissions will go into the eBook. In case of ties, there will be votes to decide.

To make this more interesting. Be among the first ten to post your comment with an epilogue entry and receive any chapter of your choice in A Heart to Mend, FREE! To enter for this, put EPILOGUE at the beginning of your comment and state the chapter you want, 1 - 21.

So let's do this folks. As for me, I know that Dabaru will surely go to Kirikiri for life, lol. Have a great weekend all.


IPHEY: A 25 years old lady who recently moved to Lagos from Port Harcourt with a new job in Diamond Bank.

CHINEDU: Iphey's love interest. They were introduced and met through a blind date where he confessed his hell raising past.

AISHA: Iphey's best friend who linked her up with Chinedu. She is married and wants Iphey to be settled too.

NGOZI: Iphey's older sister. She is married but her husband has been missing for the past three years.

MAMA IPHEY: Iphey's mum. She is of the meddling and match-making type.

JAMES: Ngozi's missing husband. It has been shown that he actually abandoned his family due to financial woes.

OBI: Iphey's six years old nephew and Ngozi's son. He is asthmatic.

HABIB: Aisha's brother and also a close friend to Chinedu. He works as an officer in the EFCC.

BISI: Iphey's colleague at work. She pretends to be a friend but stabs Iphey in the back.

FUNMI: Iphey's immediate boss. She is jealous and uses Iphey's inexperience on the job to get back at her.

AYO: The branch manager at Iphey's office. He does not hide his hots for Iphey and this makes his previous lover, Funmi, even madder at Iphey.

OTUNBA: A Suitor who starts courting Ngozi, Iphey's sisters a couple of years after the disappearance of her husband. Their mother does not like him.

ALHAJI GALADIMA: Chinedu's benefactor. A police officer who works with informants willing to give details of criminal activities.

GBENRO: An informant and former colleague of Chinedu while he lived a dangerous life.

DABARU: An Ajegunle gang boss. Chinedu's former leader in criminal activities.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Nominations + More New York Pics + Farafina Book Review Series

Posted in: , ,
A Heart to Mend has been nominated by the Next Best Book Club on Goodreads for the July group read. Please click on THIS LINK to vote for me. This group which is the second largest on Goodreads has almost seven thousand members so you can imagine if my book is selected. Did I hear anyone say Oprah Book Club? Poll ends tomorrow June 25th, so get going. You may need to sign in to vote but Goodreads has made this easy so you can connect via Facebook, Twitter or Google IDs. Thank you very much!


To see the whole New York album, you can join my Facebook Fan page HERE. Don't forget to check out the giveaway going on there to. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics below.


Finally, it's all about Nigerian Writers and their Books. Naija Stories is working on an online book review contest and so we were happy to receive this news in the mail from Farafina. It is very interesting to me what is happening to the whole literary scene in Nigeria. Get on it now people or don't say I didn't tell you when it begins to overflow.

This saturday at Terra Kulture, the publishers, Farafina, will launch the Farafina Book Review at Terra Series. Fabulous on-air personality and all around celeb Tosyn Bucknor will be on-hand to moderate the session and also discuss the genre of fantasy fiction in Nigeria and across the continent as a whole.

So if you are in Lagos this weekend, do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity. You can win Free Books & Other Giveaway prizes at the event. Find out more at

Have a great day all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shootout at Midnight Atala Wala Wala + Myne

Posted in:

Chinedu's mind was in confusion. Alhaji was the last person he had expected to be involved with Dabaru and his gang. What was his benefactor doing here? He pressed back further into his corner while still keeping his ears alert for any information that might help him prevent a move on Iphey. He shifted in his seat till he was facing away from them.

"So Dabaru, when is your oga coming? I don't know why he needs me to be present; I've given you the information you need already," he heard Alhaji Galadima say.

"I don't know, but he said you should be here if you want to receive your pay. When he comes, you can ask him yourself." Dabaru sounded curt and abrupt. Chinedu was left to wonder if they had a mutual benefactor, but he was sure that Dabaru would have no love for any human being in a police uniform.

The door opened, and two portly, affluent looking men walked in accompanied by a couple of large young men in street wear. Chinedu watched from the corner of his eyes as they made their way to the section of the bar where Galadima and Dabaru were sitting.

Something struck him about one of the men standing to the left of Dabaru. The man turned away but the niggling familiarity remained as the gang all took turns to bow or prostrate to the newcomers.

"Good evening, gentlemen." One of the affluent men, he was dressed in a pale blue agbada, greeted them back, as he ordered for a round of drinks for them all.

“Chief! Chief!” They hailed him. Chinedu ignored the noise and rather tried to get a good look at the Chief and the other man who was dressed in a Safari suit and carried a suitcase.

"So Chief, what's the problem? Why have you asked me to come here, now?" Alhaji Galadima asked.

Chief laughed. "I will explain. We are waiting for a few more guests, all will soon be clear."

Just then, there was a minor commotion outside the bar. Chinedu looked up and his heart stopped for a second as he saw Iphey being hauled in by a thug. Before he could think about how she had been captured, another thug dragged in James who had a bruise to his head and a swollen lip; it looked like he had just received a good beating.



Iphey stifled the cry of pain that came to her lips when the man who was holding her pushed her along. He was still slightly behind her, the gun in his other hand as he increased pressure on her arm.

“Move!” He whispered harshly, directing her towards a group to the right. This bar was just as smoky if a lot seedier than Silverbird. She shuddered as thoughts flooded her mind. Her kidnapper had laughed at her as he prodded her to the car outside Galleria. He leered at her skimpy clothes and said he preferred them to what she had been wearing earlier. He told her not to be surprised because they had been following her for weeks, he and his partner, and knew her very well. She had almost fooled him with the sultry outfit but once she spoke, she had betrayed herself.

Iphey had wished then she had kept her mouth shut and walked away instead of giving in to her haughty outrage at his touch. He told her that they had accosted James when he had tried to leave while she was away. His partner forced James, at gun point, to remain at the table and he, Stalin, had come to watch the door to the ladies.

Iphey looked over at James now as he limped along beside her. He had tried to be heroic when they had disembarked outside. After signalling her to run, he’d jumped on the guy who held him. His captor and their driver had vented their spleen on him with more blows than necessary. Stalin hadn't even released her for a second. Her head sunk to her chest as her eyes shut in a deep sigh.

"Aha!" said a voice before her, and her eyes sprang open. A fat man was rubbing his large hands with satisfaction. He resembled the fat frog on the threading in front of his blue Agbada. "Now we begin."

He turned to James with a menacing look. "We have been very good to you. You have eluded us several times now, each time failing to produce the money that you owe us."

James spoke in a low voice. "I don't have the money, where do you want me to get 20 million..."

“Chief, it is now over 100million Naira, including T-shark’s dues and all the interest…” The man that spoke had an open suitcase before him.

“T-shark betrayed us all!” James shouted.

“Enough!” Chief banged the table, making everyone jump. "James, do you want what happened to T-shark to happen to you too? Maybe we should work on your girlfriend." he said, gesturing to Iphey.

"I am not his girlfriend!" Iphey blurted out and then kept talking. Wasn’t that what one was supposed to do in this kind of situation? “You have got the wrong person…”

Chief slashed the air and her captor placed a meaty palm over her mouth and nudged her with the gun. As she struggled for air, Iphey wondered if she would survive this. She glanced around, searching the bar for any means of help or escape. Apart from the large group before her, there were just two or so other patrons scattered around the other empty tables.

Chief continued, "Well, I know that both of you are co-operating to hide the money. Today we will find out where it is."

He turned to the man beside him. “Galadima, if one of my boys kills someone who owes me 100 million, will it be murder? The man shook his head.

Chief motioned to the tall and rangy man who sat close to where Iphey stood. "Oya Dabaru, do what you have to do."

The ugly scarred man needed little prompting. He grabbed Iphey’s arm and twisted a finger backwards, causing her to gasp in pain.

"Talk!" he spat out in a guttural tone. "Where is the money?"

James begin to stammer entreaties even as his eyes pleaded with hers. "Abeg... p-please, she knows nothing about this... it's just me..."

The bar was filled with Iphey's shrieks of agony as her torturer applied even more force to ratchet up the pain.



Hearing the sound of Iphey in pain was more than Chinedu could bear. He had earlier sent a text to Gbenro; in it, he had asked him to forward another message to the number Habib had provided, asking for back-up policemen. With Iphey already here, there was no need to wait. It was time for action. A well aimed throw of his glass tumbler shattered the lone light bulb in the bar, plunging the place into darkness.

There were shouts of surprise and outrage, with Chief yelling, "Stalin! Odo! Hold the girl! Hold James! Make sure they do not escape!"

Soon the bar was lit with a ghostly pale light as the Chief's men waved their mobile phones around, trying identify the intruder.

Chinedu had joined the shadows closer to the group. He could just make out the outline of the man holding Iphey in front of him. He raised his arm high, and hit.

"Yeeeeeh!" At the scream, everyone scattered.

As Chinedu nimbly crouched to the ground, he stabbed another man in the leg with the jagged edge of the bottle he’d broken over Stalin’s head. Then, he scrambled in the direction of the back door as a cacophony of shots rang out. Chinedu prayed that Iphey had not been hit. He wished that he had been able to call out a warning to her, to get to her, but that would give him away.

As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw Iphey under a table, her arms wrapped around her side. His heart sped up as he imagined all sorts. Had she been shot? Was that why... he breathed again when she began to move. She crawled on the floor, heading to the front door, inching closer and closer... and then a powerful beam of light swung round the bar and alighted on her. Chinedu cursed and froze.

Dabaru smiled cruelly, at the other end of the torch. In his other hand was a gun. Chinedu watched him walk towards Iphey.

"Get up." When she hesitated, Dabaru dragged her up roughly and held her close as he shouted out, "Whoever is trying to cause wahala, we are holding the girl. If you know what is good for you, you will come forward now, or else I will enjoy killing her!"

Chinedu groaned in despair. There was nothing else for it... he would have to give himself up.

Before he could get to his feet, he heard a shout; someone had jumped on Dabaru. Chinedu scooted deeper into the shadows and watched as Dabaru and a man he could now identify as James struggled together, lit up by torchlight. Iphey was nowhere in sight. Chinedu moved closer to the back door as more shots were fired around the dark room.

“Stop shooting!” Dabaru screamed. Two final shots echoed, and there was James sprawled out on the floor in a pool of his blood.

The sound of police sirens outside brought fresh confusion. One man shot through a glass window and attempted to climb out.

“Hold it!” A familiar voice rung out. It was Habib. Gaunt and with a fully bearded face, it was him Chinedu had almost recognized earlier. It seemed that in the melee, he and his undercover colleagues had taken out some of the men. As the back-up police men barged into the room with torchlights, Chinedu noticed the lifeless bodies on the ground. The rest of the men had their hands in the air.

Dabaru began shooting wildly as he backed away from the front door. A click sounded when his gun emptied of bullets. He turned and ran towards the back door.

Chinedu stood up and faced him with a smile. "Ol' boy, which ones now?” He enjoyed the look of dismay and surprise on Dabaru’s face before his jaw connected with Chinedu’s fist.

“That was for my girlfriend," he said to the passed out thug.

Habib arrived at his side and they exchanged a tight handshake and shoulder bump.

“Galadima?” Chinedu whispered?

“High level, deep, double agent.” Habib panted. “He is for us.”

Chinedu breathed easier at the news. The police were already handcuffing Alhaji Galadima, the Chief and the others who had been in the bar. He walked outside ignoring the beckons of the police and Gbenro. There was only one person he was interested in answering to, and he was yet to see her.

"Chinedu?" she called from behind a car.

"Iphey!" he cried, running towards her.


That's it folks. There will be an epilogue, where you decide what happens to our main characters. I have received no opposition to the eBook idea so you have that to look forward t if you prefer to read all the episodes together.

Hope your week has started off well? Mwah!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Last Names - To Hyphenate Or Not To

Posted in: ,
Verastically Livin and Sting of The smile of a Nigerian Scorpio where we thrashed this out with several people who called in.

Some the issues that cropped up;

1. Identity - The personality of the woman fades away

2. Tradition - It is the norm of the day

3. Feminism - Holding on to her individuality

4. Partnership - Marriage is about oneness and teamwork

5. Belonging / Ownership - Women as chattel (Bride Price)

6. Clarity - It makes sense and avoids confusion especially for children

7. Official - For immigration, citizenship, etc

8. Fashionable - With regards hyphenated - cute, cool, trendy

9. Professional - Work history, career ...

10. Myne's Bottomline - Do what works for you, have a discussion with your fiance.