I wish to be (Poem)

Remember to catch up on the latest episode on Cupid's Risk Here. The match-making mother is back!

This one is for the fans of my poems. Hope you like, enjoy!

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I wish to be
The music of your soul
Like the chorus of birds
Serenading you at dawn

I wish to be
The smile on your face
Caused by the sweet nothings
Whispered into your ears

I wish to be
The beating of your heart
The gentle rhythm-like throbbing
Deep inside your breast

I wish to be
The sunlight in your life
Like the mild morning rays
When you open the window blinds

I wish to be
All that you’ve dreamt of
All that you’ve hoped for
A gift of love forever

Uppers and Downers

Hi people,

Just to ask for some slack. I know I have not been doing my rounds as usual. I'm really missing knowing what's up with you guys. The reason is that the past couple of days have been chaotic for us, both good and bad.

So what was good? We had a housewarming for our new place and it was a great get together. Good company, great food (allow me to hail myself, I catered...lol) and flowing conversation. Trust it all boiled down to Nigerian politics once the Non-Nigerians present had left. And let me mention that our naija people sabi come late eh? Talk about fashionably late, some guests came more than two hours after the time we gave for the event. It was also nice that we had some of the food left over especially the great salad SO had broken a few nails over.

The bad? We were so tired afterwards that we went almost directly to bed. The next morning, it turns out that my delicious rice, the leftover of which I had left in the oven, had gone off. Ahh, it pained me oo, that rice was sweet. I had been looking forward to some ready made dinners and packed lunches for Atala. Oh well, we wrapped it in a trash bag and he went to throw it out. Guess what he found out outside?

Bad stuff number two! His bike had been stolen! That was a huge surprise and disappointment. Someone had broken the plastic pipe he'd chained it to and carried it off. Totally unexpected I tell you. Atala goes to work everyday with that bike and loves riding on nice weekends too. He really liked that bike. Anyway we chose to look on the bright side. It wasn't a work day when he would have come out all ready to leave for work with it and then found it missing. And in all things we thank God. Such is life. He has ordered another one today, and life goes on.

I've tried to catch up at some of your blogs but I think I needed to get this out of my system. So how have the rest of you all been doing? See you at yours soon.

Have a great week.

What's Sex got to do with Love and Marriage?

A review of Perfect Picture (First published on AfrikanGoddess)

I recently saw and loved The Perfect Picture, a Sparrow Productions movie. It was directed by Shirley Frimpong Manso and starred Jackie Appiah, Lydia Forson, Chris Attoh, among others. Technically, I was impressed by the picture quality, it was well edited and the colors were sharp and made everyone look more attractive. The audio also was clean and not overshadowed by background music. The soundtrack was a mixture of both Ghanaian and foreign music, each well suited to the scene except for a brief clip of the James Bond theme which I felt was unnecessary. I was completely blown away by the two dance sequences especially the one at the end of the movie, it were simply great.

On the story angle, I was not too disappointed. There were a few holes but I liked how they wove the three strands of the plot concerning the major characters and their love interests together. The story is about three friends in urban Ghana living everyday middle-class lives. The film opens with a wedding footage of one of the girls, who is getting married to her long term boyfriend. She is surrounded by friends and family including her two best friends. Along the line, we get to see their lives. There is the earthly sexy one who all the men are attracted to, and the workaholic who is being pressured by her mother to get married and have children. The man-eater ends up falling for an unavailable man, while the more reserved one falls for an unsuitable man.

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.

A summary of the movie I saw somewhere said that “Girls will not settle for anything less if love is not in the picture”. So we are left to assume that love makes the perfect picture of a relationship. Totally true but eh, not so fast! What about sex? Here I will focus on the married couple, Aseye and Larry. The sexual incompatibility between them is very true in some marriages and was addressed full on.

We see at their wedding that they are in love with each other. They had dated for years and been celibate for about a year while planning the wedding. The reason was “to make it fresh and new” in the marriage. So wedding night comes and, they couldn’t get past the awkwardness of sex. The scene was over extended and there may have been some exaggerated head bumps and inexplicable elbow nudges but we saw what could happen when a married couple cannot consummate their love relationship with sex. The actors (Jackie Appiah and Chris Attoh) did their best to portray the emotions even though the script could have been better.

The Perfect Picture shows that when the sexual advances by a man or a woman are turned down by their partners, they can sometimes view themselves as being poor lovers. A lot of people believe that their desirability is defined by the love they receive from their partners. So they take sexual rejection very personally, because their sense of self-worth has become coupled to approval from their partner. It is not different between Aseye and Larry. She is depressed and despairs, while he is frustrated by his erectile dysfunction and suffers a lowered self-esteem. There had been no prior history but the resulting stress does not help matters for both of them. Larry tries to ‘handle’ the trouble on his own without much success. Work also gets in the way when Aseye wants to spice things up.

In a perfect world of love, one would have expected Aseye to assume the role of an understanding mate, and attempt to motivate Larry to be optimistic so that they could deal with their problem together no matter how long it takes. However, like it sometimes happens in real life, she becomes difficult, antagonistic and blames him for what is happening to them both. She only stops short of directly denigrating his manliness. The doctor they consulted pointed out to them that a healthy and relaxed mind is very important for a mutually enjoyable sex life. They go on to try some of his tips but all are for naught. Aseye then arranges a switch with her sexy friend to see if her friend could arouse Larry.

There is a whole misunderstanding after this which forms the climax of the movie. Afterwards, the couple had to ask themselves the question; “can love go the distance without sex?” Their answer was no as they go their separate ways. Is that how it ends? Watch the movie and find out.

Before then I ask you my dear reader, what’s sex got to do with love?

If it were you, what would you do?


ps, check out the latest episode of Cupid's Risk by Spesh...

Time to move on? ....by Spesh.

Ngozi still didn’t get it!

It had been two weeks and yet, each time she came back to it she was baffled all over again. She wanted to respect James wish to stay away but anger burned within her. What would make her supposedly loving and caring husband, to abandon his family for this long? Did Iphey leave out something? Because it that was all there really was to the story, then she was disappointed. She thought their relationship was better, she felt the bond was strong enough that he could confide in her. But instead he'd lied to her for months, even before finally disappearing.

The memories of her sick son having a brush with death made angrier at James...the way she had suffered, running from place to place to make ends meet. The showdown with his family, the nights she had cried herself to sleep, the nights when she found solace in looking through his stuff; some documents, his TM Lewin shirts, his shoes. She always believed he was still alive somewhere and that he would surely come back for her. But now that she knew he had been in this lagos all this while, she was beginning to think that she was mistaken afterall.

“Mtsssss,” she hissed with all the energy in her. She sank into the cream sofa in her living room, still lost in thought.

She caught an image of herself in the adjourning mirrored wall.

“So, this is how I’ve become,” she said out loud as she looked closely. There was definitely a look of sadness in her eyes. Her once-upon-a-time model's body had shrunk with time. She was slimmer and looked darker. She noticed something in her eyes, stood and moved closer for a better view. She just couldn’t believe it but yes, there was a blood spot in her right eye. That was a new one.

"James, how could you?” she wailed in anguish, and then the tears came again. Just like the night with Iphey, she broke down, and let it all out. She sobbed uncontrollably for a while with her hands covering her puffy eyes and then she told herself to stop!

She wiped the tears and said “Ngozi,enough!!!” At that moment, she made up her mind. James wasn’t doing this to her anymore. She was a successful “single” mother, and a force to reckoned with when it came to gourmet cake making in Lagos. Her shop which was her garage was always bubbling with the high and mighty trouping in to check out her latest cup cake designs.

She had always loved baking and so her business was more like a hobby for her. She made sure she had the right things at affordable prices and she was supplied directly from the wholesalers which made her shop even more unique. Her mind diverted to Otunba’s side. Hmmm...that man was just too good to her.

A superior at her former office, he had stood by her through it all. James disappearance, her son's illnesses, her business. Otunba had really done well to help finance the expenses to start her up, but she had refused to remain indebted to him. She had insisted and actually paid up just a year after she started. That hadn't stopped his friendship. In fact, after Obi's near shave with death, he had proposed. He said she was the first woman to have ever made him feel this way since his late wife, but she thought his marriage proposal was just a way to entice her into an affair. Alas, she couldn't bring herself to 'cheat' on James.

To now find out that the man she had been keeping herself for did not even want to return to her. She shook her head vehemently and strode back to the sofa. One man couldn't do this to her. As much as she thought he was worth it, she had mourned him enough. If he didn't want her, it was time to move on.

She walked into her bedroom and hurriedly reached for her Louis Vuitton bag. She ransacked its contents for her W90i…her resolve began to weaken, but she caught herself, and dialed the number instead.

“Hello,” the masculine voice on the other end supplied.

“Hi,” she replied almost regretting the action, short of words.

“Are you still there?”

“Ehmmmmmm, yes...I...” her voice failed her again.

He must have decided to take over the conversation even though she had made the call.

“Ngozi, how are you?”

“Otunba, I really need to talk to you,” she said, hitting the nail on the head.

“Is anything the matter?” he asked with worry in his voice.

“No! but its important, I need to see you…..are you free this evening?”

“I am not even in town at the moment. I’m in Abuja for a business meeting, but I’ll come over once I get back.”

“When will that be,if I may ask?” she was getting impatient, and she just couldn’t hide it.

“I’m taking the last flight back today.”

“Okay, I guess it can wait……see you then.”

“Alright and please don’t panic. Whatever it is, we can handle it,” he replied affectionately.

She ended the call still not satisfied. Her thoughts just seemed disjointed……she wanted someone to convince her that this wasn’t happening.

Afterall she had been through? James had shown no remorse, had not even wanted to see her or talk to her. Her mind played back that fateful night on its own………

“I have to see him Iphey, I have to see him.” she had mumbled into her sister's shoulder.

“You will, we’ll find him” Iphey had said firmly.


But did she really want to find someone who didn't want to be found. Maybe it was time to start divorce proceedings and accept Otunba's offer. "It's just that I don’t want wahala with those his ajebo kids sha,” she thought to herself.

She was brought back to the present by the shrieking sound of the doorbell. Relunctantly,she walked to the door and peered through the peephole. She was taken aback by the sight of her mother on the other side of her front door.

“When were you going to tell me, eh?” Her mother charged at her with eyes filled with annoyance once Ngozi let her in. She dumped her overnighter just inside the door and marched to the sofa.

"Mama, please let me call Iphey. She's in the best position to tell you about it. She was the one that talked to him." Ngozi dialled her sister immediately. "Iphey, Mama is here. I think she's heard about his return..." She stumbled to a stop as she noticed her mother looking strangely at her.

"What has Iphey got to do with Otunba's proposal to you? Who did she speak with? Whose return?" The older woman walked back towards her in measured steps.

"You're not here about James?" Ngozi could have kicked herself. Her mother was standing right before her shaking her head.

"Tell Iphey to get over here now!"

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So that's it folks. Yet another chapter of the story. There is a new character to play with and the meddling mother is back in the picture, lol. This is so dramatic that I'm almost tempted to write the next chapter myself but I'll desist. I think this calls for an audience vote for who will write the next chapter of the family showdown. If interested, please comment or send me an email with your ideas on what you think will happen in 50 words. These will be put up for readers to select their preferred choice.

Our contributor today is SPESH of Spesh's World. She is a hard working lady with a beautiful and big heart. She inspires me with both her words and actions. This is an excerpt from one of her poems;
"I love truly,
I love crazy.
I trust completely.
I dont do reservations.
I share with loyalty.
I give unconditionally.
I dnt wait to recieve...
But meet me half-way!"

Temitayo Ilori - Doom's Wing

You have read a chapter of his work, now to meet the man himself. Temitayo Ilori is the self published author of Doom's Wing, an epic fantasy novel. I was quick to ask him for an interview after reading an excerpt of the book which is available at the following places.

1.Silverbird Galleria Lifestyle shop V.I
2.Ebeano Supermart bookstore VGC
3.LaternaBookshop V.I
4.HUB media store, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Temitayo Ilori?

I am just an idea; an idea that must be created. Every moment of my life is spent doing this. Temitayo Ilori is many things to many people; to some, he is a biology graduate while to some he is an author. But I am just me, nothing extra-ordinary about me at all.

Did you ever envision yourself as an author/writer? Where did the interest come from?

I had loved writing since I was a kid and always know I would be a writer. I started a book project with four of my friends in the junior secondary school, though we didn’t bring it to a concluding end as a result of inadequate experience and resources. As for the interest, I grew up with books around me, and I was always wondering who wrote them all and how they had such ideas to write some big stuffs.

- About your debut novel - "The Doom's Wing" - where did the concept come from?


Doom’s Wing! Hmm. Doom’s Wing was a revelation. The whole concept was given. I just finished a very long manuscript of my first writing for a different book and said to myself that now I can go to bed and at least rest for a while when in the middle of the night, a phrase that started it all clung to my spirit, woke me and never let me go until I put a full stop to Doom’s Wing 14months after, while writing almost every day.


- How did you come up with the title?


Like I said, it was a phrase I heard and had. It says, “If you dare ride on Doom’s Wing to achieve a means, it is just a thin stretch of time between deeds and rewards, you will soon get to an end called destruction. I will say again Doom’s Wing was a revelation and if I didn’t somebody else would have.

- As someone who self-published, can you tell us about the process? Was it hard? What resources did you use?

The bottom lines in success are “BE WILLFUL” “Believe in yourself and don’t care what the world thinks” “Don’t be too sure, but Dare to succeed”. With these attributes, you will attract people, resources and power that will make your dream come true. Self-publishing isn’t easy, but I have an ideal, “If it is not tough and challenging, success is not there.” If you can drive it to success, the joy is great. Therefore you must take self-publishing as you take a business that must later succeed.

- How would you describe your writing style and how do you find the inspiration to write?

Nothing extra-ordinary, but poetic. My inspiration comes from God.

- Who are your key literary influences? Any favorite authors?

James Hadley Chase (pseudonym for British writer Rene Brabazon Raymond), Cyprian Ekwensi (especially his book Burning Grass) and God, the way he writes the stories of our lives amazes me.

- What's your opinion on Nigerians becoming more interested in books and writing?

I will say that is wonderful. Writing and reading helps a country’s culture and economy. So we are expecting a boom in Nigeria soon.

As a Nigerian writing in a relatively unpopular genre, what is your hope for Fantasy novels?

We are Nigerians, we are capable. We are not limited. Creativity knows no bound, it knows no culture, and it knows no tribe. When it wants to express itself, it takes the shape it desires for the best of it. I hope more people will see it in this light.

Now that "Doom's Wing" has been published, what's next?

Until success no stopping! Putting Doom’s Wing on every table and shelf and for everybody to read in their individual languages is the vision, and it has started. Doom’s Wing is intended series and the first title in that series is “Legend of Tellam” which is now published.

Any words of advice for up and coming writers, bloggers, and authors?

Be yourself, Believe in yourself, Be Fearless and don’t write to win awards. Just WRITE your best always! Also don’t be limited by what you see and what you know alone, go beyond all those by reading books or taking account of your gleaming thoughts. W.H Murray wrote, “Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless dreams and splendid plans, that the moment one definitely commits oneself, providence moves too.” Commit yourself to excellence and you will be amazed what will happen afterwards.

Thank you!

WIP - Have you ever given a toaster wrong info?

Yes that was what Ijeoma did. Read on...


The sun was beating down fiercely that day as Ijeoma was going back to the hostel with Nneka after their lectures.

“Hey,” somebody yelled, “Ifeoma wait up.”

The sun was really blinding but it seemed the person was gesticulating at them so they waited at the side of the road for him to catch up.

“Who could that be? Did he say Ifeoma or Ijeoma?” Nneka wondered aloud.

“I can't say,” Ijeoma replied and then her heart jumped into her mouth, as she made out the built of Ifeanyi in the approaching guy.

"I think I recognize him,” she whispered.

Just then the sun went behind the clouds and she fully opened her eyes to see Ifeanyi Apia standing in front of them.

“Rest awhile strained eyes, cease squinting but just for sometime. Behind the clouds is the sun still shining,” Ifeanyi misquoted jovially.

They both smiled and then Nneka looked at Ijeoma enquiringly as if to ask, “Who is this guy, do you know him?”

Ifeanyi looked at her expectantly and she sighed inwardly as she introduced them, “Nneka, this is Ifeanyi Apia and this is my friend Nneka...”

“Nneka, the pretty serpent?” Ifeanyi asked humorously extending his hand. “Oh no!” Nneka replied returning the handshake.

“Ifeoma,” he began turning to her, “ I...”

“It's not Ifeoma but Ijeoma,” Nneka put in as she corrected him.

Ijeoma felt like sinking into the ground at their feet as Ifeanyi turned accusing brown eyes in her direction but he covered up cleverly as he continued, “Oh yes, Ijeoma, I don't see you reading in that class anymore. I hope everything is alright?”

“Nothing is wrong,” Ijeoma assured him, “its just that I've been going more to the library with Nneka since then.”

“Okay, I just decided to find out anytime I saw you,” he said searching her face.

He knew she was avoiding him but this was not the time to talk about that.

“Thanks for your concern,” Ijeoma replied, “We'll see you later one of these days.”

“No doubt about that,” Ifeanyi replied confidently, letting her know he wasn't giving up on her. At least, not just yet. “See you both later.” He added as he turned away.

“Bye.” he heard both of them reply and then as they walked away, he turned back and crept after them. He heard Nneka whisper furiously, “You gave him a wrong name? Where did you meet him?”

Ijeoma laughed. “Haven't you ever done the same? I met him at the class, two weeks ago,” Ijeoma replied.

“I won't mislead a guy this fine! Wow, he's a hunk,” Nneka breathed.

“I noticed him even before he spoke to me because he's so handsome,” Ijeoma confessed.

At this point, Ifeanyi turned back and went on his way. He smiled to himself. At least she had remembered his full name, the day they had met and she considered him handsome. Thank the good Lord for small mercies, he thought as he joined his friends.

“Ifeanyi, you are looking very happy these days, Guy what's up?” Ugo asked.

Ugo and Johnson were sitting in their favourite spot in the plaza sipping drinks when he joined them. Ifeanyi greeted them with their usual handshake.

“Hey there, get me a coke,” Ifeanyi called to the bar girl as he sat beside them.

Johnson who had been sitting down, as far back as he could, drawled lazily, “Oh, don't you know he is the latest lover boy on campus?”

“What?” Ugo remarked amused, “In just one semester, that's fast men.”

“Don't mind JJ and his stories,” Ifeanyi replied laughing. “Do I look as if any babe is giving me sleepless nights?” He asked.

Sitting up Johnson queried, “I don't see you anymore nowadays, what did she say?”

“Hey man, not so fast, trust me I am a cool guy,” Ifeanyi replied in an easy mood.

“Oh so you mean this is a true business?” Ugo asked feeling left out. “Who is the girl?”

“Of course.” Johnson replied aloofly. “But you won't know the girl.”

He always tried to put Ugo down whenever Ifeanyi was around. Ifeanyi had transferred to UNEC; University of Nigeria Enugu Campus from University of Ibadan after his parents had packed down from Lagos back to Enugu. They were very rich and Johnson, quite rich in his own right was almost like a sycophant to him.

Now he spoke to Ifeanyi excluding Ugo, “What do you think we should do tonight? Should we go and visit her?”

“Since when did I start visiting her with you, if that's even any of your business?” Ifeanyi asked in an irritated voice. Turning to Ugo he said, “Do you need another bottle?”

“Yes, of course, how can I turn down an offer of a drink?” Ugo replied.

Ordering another set of drinks; Ifeanyi turned the conversation to general matters. Johnson wanting to save face, joined in animatedly.

_________________

Hard critique as usual please and if you haven't caught up, go over to Cupid's Risk series and read the latest episode by Neefemi. Don't forget to vote.

Office Politics: Like a woman scorned....by Neefemi

When Iphey woke up the next morning, she promised herself she was not going to bother about Dapo or his sister. They could call if they wanted but Chinedu was on her mind now. From the way Bisi had been behaving the last couple of weeks, Iphey realized that it was entirely possible that she had gone over to the Chinedu's House after getting the text from her, but why did he even open the door to her? What she felt right now was anger at herself. How stupid and naïve can I be? “I am a grown woman and I know better than to make childish mistakes like I did. Sending a message telling Bisi I was going to Chinedu’s house was probably the dumbest mistake, if there was ever one.” she murmured to herself as she got ready for work. She was hoping she could continue to avoid Bisi at the office.

The next Monday morning she walked in to the office looking better than she had in days. Over the weekend she had gotten a new hair cut that made her look considerably younger. Eyebrows done, nails done and she even got herself a massage. She was dressed in a grey tank top and red skirt with a black jacket complimented with red and grey shoes, red lipstick and nice silver earrings. She was determined that Bisi will not get the best of her today. Every day for the thief, one day for the owner. Today was her one day, no matter what Bisi said or did, she was going to continue being the bigger person. At least that was the plan.

She walked in with all the guys at work whistling at her. Tunde came over from Marketing to flirt as usual. She kept him at arm's length but was glad that she decided to make the decision to spend more effort on her looks. She saw Jane waving at her furiously and she quickly walked over.

“Haha Iphey, na you be this, you look good o, what’s the occasion? Is there something I should know?” Jane asked.

“No now Jane, I just decided to get myself out of this rut I have been in this past couple of weeks. With all that has been happening," Iphey thought of her sister and Obi and the whole episode with the still missing James. Her mother was still disturbing her about a husband, and it had become worse with Chinedu not working out as she hoped.

She continued speaking. "I have let myself go and forgotten myself. To be honest I would rather be on a vacation right now, so I can clear my head but I cannot afford it so I decided a makeover will have to do.”

“I feel you my sister, you have tried and you deserve it, you look really good," Jane replied. "But don’t let Bisi see you, I heard that she is leaving earlier than expected. We should be having a situational report from Ayo today. And I don't have to tell you the witch. Funmi is on the rampage, she is vexing because of her pet.”

“That’s the plan o, shey I will see you at lunch? We can go get Designer rice?” Iphey asked.

"Sure I will come get you then.” Jane said.

Iphey quickly walked over to her desk, managing to avoid both Funmi and Ayo. She was busy all day and didn’t even realize time had gone until she looked up to see it was 1.30pm. She needed to go use the bathroom before she stepped out for lunch. As she passed Funmi’s office, she noticed that the door was cracked open a little. Though she figured no one inside will be able to see her, still she was going to tiptoe across so no one noticed her.

“That Iphey girl walked right into that trap.” It was her Boss talking and Iphey stopped in her tracks. Funmi continued, "I know you've told me before but I like hearing about the expression on her face. I can't wait till I see it myself when she is sacked from here."

Bisi hissed, “Funmi I can have any man I want. Can you imagine Chinedu telling me he wants Iphey. What does she have that I don’t have, except my job now, the bitch cost me my damn job and then had the nerve to text me she was going to his house. She set herself up for that. I wish her more heart break sef.”

“I trust you girl, that was very smart of you, I tried to talk to Ayo to change his mind and he wouldn’t listen to me. Where is the Iphey girl gan? tell me she’s not here so I can have a reason for me to fire her now now!”

“I don’t know o, haven’t seen her today, I know she's avoiding me. She better!” They both laughed. “Wo let me go to the bathroom we will talk later,” Bisi said.

That was Iphey’s cue. She rushed into the bathroom stall and Bisi walked in half a minute later. She waited for Bisi to get done and then come out. Bisi saw her from the mirror and appeared shocked to see the fierce look on Iphey's face.

Iphey looked at her with disgust through the mirrors. “What have I ever done to you Bisi, I have barely worked here 6months and in that time I have treated you with all the respect you deserve. You were nice to me and I was naïve to think that I could trust you or call you a friend.”

"Iphey, now mind your words..." Bisi began.

Iphey cut her off. "People like you can’t prosper, because you don’t ever wish others good and are just selfish. Some people in this office warned me about you but I didn’t believe them. You seemed to be looking out for my interest both here and with Chinedu once you met him. So it was all a lie? Out of spite you went to Chinedu’s place so I could think you slept with him..."

"Who said I didn't?" Bisi blustered.

Iphey stared her down. "You know that is a lie. He is more trustworthy and honorable than that. He called me just before I sent you the text and it took me just over thirty minutes to get there. I was only taken by surprise that was why I reacted that way. Pride has been keeping me away but the scales have fallen from my eyes fully now. I am glad you have been fired, and I don't have to work here with you for much longer. Good riddance to you though I still wish you well.”

Iphey said all this and swiftly turned around to leave the room. She did not even give Bisi a chance to say anything. She didn’t even realize other people had walked into the bathroom. Jane and the another girl were standing by the door. They were smiling at her and Jane gave her a thumb up as she passed.

"I'll be waiting in the lobby for you." Iphey told her not stopping.

Whew!!! She was glad she got that out of her chest. Every day for the thief, one day for the owner and today was her day. The thought was barely out of her head before her phone began to ring.

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That's it folks. Please vote on who you want on the phone and leave your comments too. Our contributor today is Neefemi at DIARY OF AN UNPAID INTERN. Neefemi is trying to lose weight through implementing a healthier life style filled with more physical activity. This is what she adds about the whole process;

"Now this is the physical. It’s useless if you are not emotionally and mentally baggage free, stress free. That’s the most important thing. I’m a very busy girl, I always have my hand in multiple projects at the same time, but I’m not one to keep anything in my mind. I also make sure to laugh a lot. I always write lol a lot. It’s because I almost always laugh out loud, for the silliest things too. Besides even when there is something to worry about, I remember I have a God that loves me and I pray (well pray always, but get my point)".

UPDATE: A New Website for Nigerian Writers!

***It's just been brought to my notice that blogger allows yahoo accounts so those will be accepted too. Also, only one story is required. First send in your email address to receive your invitation. Then you can go ahead and post(SAVE AS DRAFT, DO NOT PUBLISH) your stories directly on the site. The editor reserves the right to publish the ones deemed satisfactory to the vision of the site.

Thanks you all for the response so far.

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This is to announce the latest writing website in blogville NAIJASTORIES.com. If you've read some of my previous interviews, you might have seen me mention that I have a project I was thinking about with reference to the writing talent on the Naija Blogville Community? Well, a pilot project has been put together by myself and a team of some other writers, bloggers and editors and the website is now up and hosted by blogger. To register, send in your blogging Google mail address to info@naijastories.com. This will get you an invitation to post your stories on the site for a wider audience. For the pilot project, we're looking for fifty (50) writers and membership will be retained based on the activities of the writers on the site.




Naija Stories
is the online community for Nigerian writers and readers of all interests and skill levels. Naija Stories is a way for readers to discover new voices and for writers to share their work, gain recognition, and connect with their audience and each other. There is a special workshop section for feedback and critique from other writers. Whether you're an enthusiastic, creative writer looking for the perfect place to store and display your writing online or a casual reader searching for a good story, Naija Stories is your website. As a writer, this is a place to showcase your creativity and for a reader, here you can feast to your heart's content.

It is planned that with time, this site will become a community bursting with activities, inspiration and creativity. To start with, free memberships are available to the first fifty people to submit a request to be followed on acceptance by a publishable story to info@naijawriters.com. Each membership will include a writing portfolio, numerous writing tips, and soon, a forum that will provide the chance to meet and bond with fresh creative minds. No other website services the Naija writer better than we do.

To Launch the website, there is a free writing contest;

Deadline: March 31

Fee: Free

Prizes :
First place winner - $150, plus their entry edited by the Naija Stories Team and it will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.
Second place winner - $100, plus their entry will be edited by the Naija Stories Team, and it will remain on the Featured Stories List for two weeks.
Third Place winner - $50, plus their entry will be edited by the Naija Stories Team and will remain on the Featured Stories List for one week.

Submission Guidelines: To enter the contest,

Request to join Naija Stories by submitting your google mail address to info@naijastories.com
Publish your work on Naija Stories and tag it with "Website Launch Contest" (without quotes). Your work will automatically be considered.
Email submissions will not be considered.

Details

It is the launch of this new website, Naija Stories; and our sponsors have agreed to underwrite a contest. For this contest, you are required to join the site and submit an original work featuring any theme of your choice and in any genre. Tag it under "Website Launch Contest + Your name " and it will be considered.

Rules

You must be Nigerian though resident anywhere in the world.
Your entry could be a short story, poem, drama, or a novel excerpt and could have been published elsewhere.
The submission should be no more than 2,500 words
Entries must be received by March 31, 2010, and winners will be announced on April 4, 2010.
Naija Stories reserves the right to disqualify any contest entry for any reason and to change the terms of the contest for any reason.
Entries will be judged by the Naija Stories team, taking into consideration the comments and ratings by other readers. Decisions are final.
Only one entry is allowed per member. Multiple entries will all be disqualified.


Happy writing, and good luck!

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

*****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.

“Uhum...”

“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)

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

Temitayo Ilori (The Doom's Wing)

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.

WIP: Face of her dreams.

Ijeoma was reading in class a month prior to the exams when suddenly she felt that someone was staring at her. She knew who it could be though she could not be too sure. Boys could be so funny but her first guess would have been a guy she had just started seeing suddenly who was doing all he could to bring himself to her notice. Wherever she was, he came, if she left and came back he left and came back and then spent half that time just looking at her as if he had never seen a girl before.

Well, he had certainly succeeded in his devices. She had noticed him all right. Most of the time she was also looking at him when he wasn't aware of it and avoiding his eyes when he was. She had become sensitive to his presence and he was a very handsome guy at that. Many times she caught herself dreaming about him while she “read”.

Brushing “the unknown known” as she had dubbed him out of her mind, she settled down to read. Three hours later, people started to leave and the chair beside hers was vacated. While she was debating whether to pack up or not, someone occupied the empty seat and goose bumps trickled over her skin.

When she looked up, she wasn't surprised. She was looking into the most liquid golden brown eyes she had ever seen and the handsome face of her dreams.

“Hello,” he said in a deep baritone staring into her eyes.

“Hi,” Ijeoma replied surprised at the normality of her voice. Her heart seemed to be turning cartwheels inside her chest. She turned back to her books. “Aren't you tired yet?” He asked quietly.

“No,” she replied feigning a distracted air.

“Okay,” he said settling down to his own books.

After thirty minutes she couldn't deceive herself any longer. Her heart was pounding in her ears as she felt him staring at her at intervals. She packed up.

“Oh? Are you leaving?” He asked.

“Yes, it's getting late,” Ijeoma replied standing.

“It is late, he corrected, “Let me walk you back to the hostel.” he offered standing too. “You don't have to...” Ijeoma started but he interrupted her.

“Oh no, don't say that. I can't allow a beautiful young lady like you to move into the night alone when I can help it,” he stated.

Ijeoma ignored the flattery, “But you....” She hesitated.

“No excuses. I am also tired and its time I went back to my own hostel,” he said.

As they got out he asked which hostel she was going to and she told him. “Ah, I'm also going to that side, you know Manus Hostel, don't you?”

“Yes,” Ijeoma replied in a monosyllable. She found herself tongue-tied for the first time in her life because of a guy.

Do you always read in that class?” Ifeanyi asked trying to strike up a conversation.

“Sometimes, when my friend isn't going with me. It's nearer to the hostel so I can walk back alone,” Ijeoma replied.

“I read there sometimes too,” he said.

“I know,” Ijeoma replied and almost bit off her tongue. She cursed her run away thoughts for betraying her.
Ifeanyi smiled secretly. “Oh yeah? You looked so serious I didn't know you even noticed anybody,” he teased.

“Mmm...” Ijeoma mumbled.

“Well, my name is Ifeanyi Apia and what's yours?”

“Ifeoma,” she replied and breathed a sigh of relief when Lady Ibiam Hall came into view “What a nice name, a good thing,” Ifeanyi said, “It suits you.”

“Thank you,” Ijeoma replied weakly.

“Which department...?” Ifeanyi started to ask but they were already in front of the hostel.

“Thanks for everything,” Ijeoma cut in with fake poise, “Goodnight.”

Wanting to make the best of a bad situation, Ifeanyi replied warmly, "goodnight and sweet dreams,” He watched as she went inside.

Once inside the hall, Ijeoma ran all the way up the stairs and down the corridor to her room. Inside, she closed the door and leaned back on it. Taking in a gulp of air with her eyes closed, she let it out with a sigh. She then opened her eyes and saw her two roommates staring at her. Ignoring them, she walked nonchalantly to her bed.

“What is it, is there anyone chasing you?” Jane, the more outspoken one asked with concern in her voice.

“Nothing,” Ijeoma evaded, “I am just tired.”

“Okay,” Jane replied as the two girls went back to their books.

Ijeoma undressed and got into bed.

*********************************

Hard critique please and if you haven't caught up, go over to Cupid's Risk series and read the latest episode by Rene. Don't forget to vote.

What the doctor ordered...by Rene

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 me...no…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!"

LadyBrille Magazine Personality of the month

Read the complete interview on LadyBrille Nigeria Magazine Online


LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: ‘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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

LADYBRILLENigeria.com: 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.

SEASON TWO CUPID'S RISK! Number Deleted...by Myne
















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..http://www.cupidsrisk.blogspot.com

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...

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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?"

READ MORE>>>

SEASON TWO: Number deleted... by Myne

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 no...it'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.


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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.

WIP - Bad boy, bad boy, whatchu gone do...

So no more rewrites, from here we go with the flow. But please keep the real comments and feedback coming. I may not post the reworking but be sure that it really helps me. Enjoy the story of Ijeoma and Ifeanyi. Like I said Cupid's risk starts in a couple of days, stay tuned.

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“Who's that girl?” Ifeanyi asked. He was sitting under the shade of the umbrella in one of the bukas in campus with his close pal, Johnson, relaxing with a bottle of chilled coke. The sun blazed down with its usual intensity at this time of the year.

“Which one of them?” Johnson asked in reply as they admired the two girls passing.

“The fair one, tall, beautiful, gorgeous...”

“Easy now,” Johnson laughed, “JJC, I can tell you that the girl is OOB,”

“What do you mean by OOB?” Ifeanyi asked disparagingly.

Do you people even have any slang in UI anyway?” Johnson gabbed.

“Answer me first,” Ifeanyi replied his eyes still following Ijeoma and Nneka.

“Do you mean she is already taken?”

“No... I mean she is `Out Of Bounds'. A real hard to get lady. Mark my words she is a real lady. Not ajibo for mouth, back for ground.”

They laughed uproariously slapping each other on the back in mirth.

“Oh God, you kill me,” Ifeanyi said holding his sides, “but fill me in man, fill me in.”

“On a more serious note,” Johnson continued, “the babe is now in her second year and hasn't had any beau through it hasn't been for lack of guys” he concluded.

“Hmmm,“ Ifeanyi nodded reflectively.

“In fact, when she was a jambite, a good friend of mine tried his luck and do you know what the lady said?” Seeing that Ifeanyi was all ears, he continued in a high falsetto, “I am too young to have a boyfriend and I want to concentrate on my books. And I also don't want to disappoint my parents,”

Ifeanyi smiled, “That's a good sentiment but I'm sure she's past that stage now, it's been more than a year since then,”

“Oh sure, you think guys have laid off on such a hot babe since then? The grapevine reports that she told one guy just a few weeks ago that she doesn't want to raise his hopes or break his heart.”

“She has already broken mine,” Ifeanyi moaned clutching his chest.

“You and half the guys on campus.” Johnson replied with a straight face.

“Mmm...” Ifeanyi thought stroking his chin, “I think I have an edge being a new face.”

“Don't forget to mention a handsome one too,” Johnson added, “Girls won't fail to fall for that your pretty face with a mysterious history too. Nothing like the bad boy aura you portray to get them.”

“What do you mean?"

“Rumor has it you’re a cult guy. What do you say?”

Ifeanyi had completed his transfer to the University of Benin just three months ago in June. He’d come to Uniben because he wanted to change departments which he hadn’t been able to do earlier but the timing couldn’t have been worse. There had been a surge in the acts of violence, intimidation and murder perpetrated by the secret societies in the past two years. Since the new president had been sworn in, the country had been abuzz with anti-cultism slogans. Several students had been rusticated from many of the universities and many more suspended.

“Were you expelled from Unilag?” Johnson persisted.

“No I wasn’t, and I’m not a cult guy…”

“What is it with the Yoruba universities sef? I hear that vice chancellors sponsor the cults to maintain an upper hand in the school. Is that true?”

“How will I know? By the way wasn’t someone killed here in UNIBEN and even Ekpoma by cultists?”

“At least we have an anti-cult group. You know some guys just hacked down five people in Ife? And these were no ordinary guys o, they were the Student Union Governemnt…”

“Johnson, how do you even hear all this news?”

“I keep an ear to the ground. I hear they target people whose parents are loaded so I have to be careful. You have to be too; I hear your parents are one of those that own Benin…”

Ifeanyi laughed. “More stories. Please talk better thing.”

On BELLA NAIJA and AFRIKAN GODDESS

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

EXCERPTS



“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.

Want to finish the story? CLICK TO GO TO BELLA NAIJA. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT TOO...



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

THANK YOU.

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