Farafina Book Review

So what are your plans for next weekend?

The Farafina book review can be one of your choices. On the 6th of November, 2010 at TerraKulture, they would be hosting Eghosa Imasuen, the author of To Saint Patrick. Ace journalist, Toyin Akinosho will be reviewing the book while Wana of 92.3 Inspiration FM would be moderating.


To Saint Patrick is a work of alternate history. Set in Benin City after elections, Hadiza and Ayo, police officers are investigating a murder. They soon find themselves embroiled in a set of larger and more dangerous intrigues that could cost them all they have worked for.

What to expect?1 Expect to be entertained as well as enlightened! Expect to receive writing tips from accomplished writers! Expect to discuss pertinent issues about African writing with intellectuals! Expect to win free copies of To Saint Patrick and buy your favourite Farafina titles at reduced prices! I bet you wouldn’t miss this! See you there!

*Event starts at 3pm at TerraKulture, Tiamiyu Savage, V/I on Saturday, November 6 and is free to attend.

Picture Weekend - Day of the Superhero

Hello people, how is everyone?

It's funny coming down the high of my birthday week, lol. Also, I did a lot of work this week and I was able to meet a major deadline for my next book. The manuscript is now almost ready for last line editing, yay! I want to do the Nanowrimo for my next project, for 2012. Hammer out 50,000 words first draft this November for a story with the working title of Meant for Each other. Cupid's Risk will be coming back soon, before the end of next month, once Ghost of the Past goes for final scrubbing. So right now, I am feeling like a Superhero.

Pictures taken at a volunteer event for the YMCA


Not a very cheerful Batman

Mrs. Incredible

Wonderwoman: who ever watched those series back in Nigeria?

A Police, I do consider them heroes too.

Mr. Incredible and Batman


The Fire Service; yeah they save lives too.

And Finally...

Wait for it...

ME!

No I'm not in the Police, just messing about at the Police Museum, lol...

Have a great one lovelies, and feel like a superhero.. MWAH

Epilogue - Birthday Post

So it was brought to my knowledge that I have another birthday mate on Blogsville. And it is the amazing QMoney of DiscoverForWomen. I enjoy reading her blog and she has been supportive here too, reading and leaving very insightful comments and feedback. Thanks dearie and yeah I got your text.

To all those too that called or texted over the past couple of days, QMoney, Shorty, Azuka, Gretel, JustJoxy, MsNatural, Malika and Chris, thank you all so much. If you've not read AHTM, I'm happy to send you PDF copies, if I receive an email requesting for it.

To those who left Emails and Tweets, Facebook, etc. You made my day.

The first 10 people to comment on this post get free eBooks of Love Happens, the first part of AHTM. if you are, just send a request email to myne @mynewhitmandotcom

LadyGuide, let's see if you can get this, lol...BTW, we await the register...

I spent most of today at the salon, getting this hair done. Now I have a massive headache. But it's worth it and for a good cause. My birthday gift is a professional photo-shoot this weekend among other things.

My Birthday, Shoutout to my peeps...



No rushing now, the cake will get to everyone OK? :) *clearing throat*  Allow me first to do this special shout out to the following people;

Shorty - if you look at my left sidebar, you'll see that she's my #1 Feedback Star! For the year plus of this blog, she has been consistent, as shown in the top feedbackers list too. Also she's been going through some tough times lately, so you all can go to her blog and show some love.

2cute4u - What can I say? This lady is a human dynamo. She almost single-handedly launched Naija Stories through our first contest. I think I'm still owing her sef. You have a beautiful heart dear and it shows. Look forward to meeting you.

OmoteedLaw - When we say it's a small world, we usually don't know how true it is. This is one blogger I know I've seen, back in Abuja when I was a hustling bank marketer. I tried to sell her some financial products. She was one of the nice potentials, lol. Hi dearie, *waves*

Neefemi - My one and only blogsville birthday mate. Head over and share some of the good wishes. She is a soulmate too. From her blog, I think we're alike personality wise, she's also a talented writer, and with an ear for my type of music too.


Harry Itie - A hardworking used-to-be student, Harry is now a graduate and heading off to Zamfara for his youth service. He needs all the prayers and help he can get, and I wish him more blessings.

SugarKing - If it's not too strange that I should have a namesake on blogsville, then what about the fact that his twin is my dad's namesake? Interesting isn't it? Well I'm proud to call him sake m, the guy's lines are hilarious and he makes music too...

Nitty-Gritty - The unapologetic housewife, just like me, lol. This is one honest lady, and even when we have different views of stuff, I see the realness in her opinions. Keep it up sis.

Lahrah - There is nothing as an author, well for me anyway, that beats knowing that people are reading my book(s). So it was an early birthday present yesterday to read her last post. Go check it out and follow her blog. She also has another for supporting African talent. Kudos

If I continue listing everyone, this will be a very long post but I have to mention some people who have been uber supportive of me and my work; All the people who took part in the Cupid's Risk Series (a new one is coming soon BTW), all the people who still have my badges and links on their sidebars, especially Muyiwa Celebregion, Verastic, and LindaIkeji.

If I haven't called your name, despair not. I'm sure I'm following you and so your name will come up on my blogroll which I have put up again. If you're not on that list, simply follow me and leave a comment to let me know. For those that want to call, the number is _ The missing last number comes before 10, same number of digits as is currently there, and that will bring them up to 10. Confused yet? LOL...If you do get through, I'll know you're not a bot and you really really mean to call. And yeah, remember the US country code.

BIRTHDAY PROMO

If you can't call, but you want to give me a gift. The best thing you can do is buy my book, I am running a promo from now till the end of the month. You can order directly from me through the Paypal on my sidebar. The price is now $11.99 or $14.99 for the autographed. The eBook is $3.99 as is the Amazon Kindle version too. You can also ask at your local bookstore or library, thanks in advance.

Finally, what do you think of my new template? Poll is on the left sidebar.

Happy Birthday to me...Let's cut the cake!

Picture Weekend - Alabama and Tennessee

I was going through my album recently and came across a set of pictures I had almost forgotten. These were taken in the summer of last year soon after I arrived in the States. We were visiting my brother-in-law and his family and I was meeting them for the first time. I had a great time, they were all so nice and I loved my new nephews and niece. You won't see pictures of me cos most photos that had me, also had someone else in it. So manage these ones OK?

Have a lovely week and remember my birthday is in just two days...

At a new shopping mall in Huntsville Alabama. It had some nice brand shops with a feel of Venice, I think it was modeled after the Vegas Hotel. I haven't been to Vegas though so I'm not sure. The children also had some fun


Going into Tennessee, with the Nashville skyline in the distance. It is known as the country music capital and is also the capital of Tennessee. The water there is the Cumberland River.


At the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center where we stayed, they had this amazing atrium with the cascades arranged in between greenery. This gave it a kind of rainforest look, and there was a rotating restaurant too, I loved it. 



My lovely sister-in-law took me for a girls night out on the General Jackson Showboat cruise. It was her birthday and we enjoyed fine dining and inspiring country music. Right, a view of the Cumberland River from the boat. This matched the view of the south US I'd gotten from books I've read in the past. Slow and peaceful. 

On the boat, before the show starts. We take in the view and the air.... Then, one of the shows, the band that entertained were really fantastic. And they played some familiar tunes too, including some of Shania Twain's greatest hits.

I can't remember the name of this mall, it was close to the Opry Mills though. There was an indoor aquarium, and play stations, my nephews were captivated. On our way back to Tennessee. There was traffic and it took us several hours more. I kept busy taking pictures...... and more pictures......and more... lol


Back in Alabama... funnily enough, this is the Tennessee River.

ps: I read that a blogger died. I didn't know him, but he was also a writer and it made me sad that he passed on so young. May his soul rest in peace and his family be comforted.

Nigeria @ 50: The Golden Age - Day 20

Nigeria @ 50 Day 19 - Stuck in my Throat www.negesti4life.blogspot.com


So what are my thoughts and dreams as Nigeria clocks the golden age of 50?

I think of Nigeria as home. A home that has stuff scattered all over the place but still home. To understand the way Nigeria gets on my nerves, you have to know that I am something of a neat freak, I want things to be in their rightful place around me. I want things to work, and most times I don't mind pitching in to ensure that they do. In the case of Nigeria, it is sometimes so bad that one would be forgiven for thinking that all hope was lost. I don't buy that, never have and most probably never will.

Let me start from the beginning. I was born in Nigeria and grew up there. I did primary, secondary and first degree in Nigeria. I did not travel out of the country, even for visits, till I was over 25 years old. Some may say that this makes me blinded in a way to the faults of Nigeria. I agree but I do acknowledge that Nigeria has a long way to go. If I compare it to some of the more developed countries, I could even say we'll never get there. This is not true of course and one only has to look around to see that.



We were never rich, at best I'll class my family as lower middle class. We interacted widely and with all manner of people on a daily basis. As I grew up, I straddled that divide between the Ajebos and the Ajekpakos. I did not get to see just the good and at the same time, I did not see just the bad. I have noticed that in that middle, it is easier to come to terms with Nigeria. "ABroad" loses that appellation of escape it is to people at the different ends of the spectrum. The poor want to escape the squalor, and the elites want to escape the insecurity. Those that remain find crooked means to achieve a semblance of normalcy for themselves either by stealing (for the poor) or by corruption and patronage (for the elites)

I often blame the Nigerian people and not the political leaders for the way things are, and it is for this very reason. However, I also know that if there will be any changes, it will be from us, the people. I think at this time of the golden jubilee, it is time to ask ourselves questions individually. Is there something we're doing that we're not supposed to. And is there something we could do that we're not? In this way, we can begin to identify the problems and determine how we can be part of the solution.

I am not very political but I do believe in policy; building systems and structures that will outlast the politicians. And it is in this sphere that I have the biggest hope for Nigeria. One only has to look at the telecoms sector. It was started in the mid-nineties in the time of Abacha but continues to balloon. Several administrations have come and gone but the communications development marches on, creating more and more of that very important middle class. And as this group continues to increase, I believe we'll get to that critical mass required for an economic revolution.

I look forward to that time, and God willing, it is not too far now. Nigeria is in a state of flux and it is our actions that will decide the balance of probabilities. I may be out of the country but I want to be part of it. I also don't think anyone should be left behind, in fact, the more the merrier. So as we mark Nigeria @ 50, I do not think of what Nigeria can do for me but what I can do for Nigeria. I'm not doing it for GEJ or the NAS but for the people on the street, in the markets, churches, mosques, villages, and settlements. History will not forget me if I make a mark now, and I know opportunities like times such as these don't come around often.

So I dream of leaving footprints in the sands of time. The next 50 years will surely be better than the ones gone by.

_________________________________________

Nigeria @ 50 Day 21 - NoLimit www.life-nolimit.blogspot.com

Debate Tuesday - Who makes these rules anyway?


What rules am I talking about you ask? Dating Rules of course. I was reading one of my favorite blog magazines, The Ladies Room, and they had asked some ladies how they fared on sticking to these rules. The question came to me immediately. Who makes these rules anyway? I am glad the ladies from the ladies room gave varied and interesting answers and did not always stick to how it was 'supposed' to be done.

The vexing thing is that these rules range from one end of the spectrum to the other so that if one is not careful, they end up running your life for you. There are guides on when and where to meet for the first date, what to talk about, what NOT to talk about, who should call the other first after the date, HOW - call, email, text - When to have the first kiss, When, IF, how, and where to have sex, When talk about each other, HOW to discuss any exes, when to meet friends or family, WHO pays for the first date, and so on and so on till infinity! OMG...I'm glad I bypassed all these rules and I'm very happy with how my relationship is turning out.



Anyway, I have collected some of the ones I found in various places, from Cosmo - that quintessential women's magazine, to Vogue, to Harper's, Sydney Herald, you name it. They are below. As you can see, many of them are contradictory to each other. It seems one columnist or editor wakes up one fine morning and cranks out the first ideas in his or her head and viola, Rules are born! For me, only the last one stands. However it stands, Whenever it ends, whatever happens in the middle, just have fun.

Feel free to tear into as many as you can.


Rule 1: The first date must always be lunch.
Rule 2: Always arrive with friends and always have somewhere to go
Rule 3: Don't sleep with him
Rule 4: Quit the texting
Rule 5: Make him prove that he'll take care of you
Rule 6: Rise above the guilt trip
Rule 7: Have multiple love interests
Rule 8: Have as much sex as you want
Rule 9: Ask men out
Rule 10: Don't tell your girlfriends
Rule 11: Don't assume you're the only one
Rule 12: Stick to texting
Rule 13: Stay clear of Facebook
Rule 14: Don't forget men have feelings too!
Rule 15: Diss men who make you mad
Rule 16: Never pay for the first date
Rule 17: Don't talk about the ex
Rule 18: Always pay your way
Rule 19: Have a code with girlfriend to end a bad date
Rule 20: Have fun

____________________________

images courtesy of Google

Dolapo Babalola - My God even in the last minute

I got this book last week in the mail and I have finished reading it, it is that good. This is a Christian inspirational book and it one that will definitely encourage anyone who reads it. Dolapo presents a God who does not abandon us, a God who is always there even in the darkest time of night, and a God that will make our joy full in the morning. My God, even in the last minute is told from the prism of Dolapo's experience on the path of obtaining a US permanent residency. She dispenses encouraging bible verses and some information on the process of H1B documentation and eventual green card. It was also a fun read, tells an engaging story and is well written. Highly recommended. Read Dolapo's interview below.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I would like to introduce myself as Dolapo Babalola (Maiden name: Adeoshun) a debut author of a Christian Inspirational Book titled "My God: Even in the Last Minute" (MyGelm) released September 2010. I am also a family physician; and I practice clinical and academic medicine at Morehouse in the Department of Family Medicine, Atlanta. I am the oldest of four children, born in the mid-1970s to Dr. and Mrs. Adeoshun, who are both based in Nigeria. I obtained my medical degree from the University of Guyana, South America. After that, I completed an Internship at the University College Teaching Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria. I migrated to the United States in the pursuit of higher learning. I subsequently graduated from Morehouse Family Medicine Residency Program and subsequently stayed on as a faculty member.



2. What made you write My God, even in the last minute?
I originally wrote my book to keep my mind focused on other activities, other than my challenges. I gradually matured through the process and had a keen appreciation of the omnipotence of God. Life is a journey; my experiences have shown me that it is a continuous learning curve. How we react to the situation is what makes the difference; I decided at this point to share my experience with the world by writing my book.

3. Talk to us about the writing process for My God, even in the last minute.
My writing process for MyGelm started out as a journal and gradually turned into an inspirational book for which I am grateful to God. I drifted out the outline of my book into four chapters with tentative titles at the latter part of last year but as I wrote the text, I realized there was more to tell on how God showed up in the most unexpected places. I ended adding two more chapters and finally finished writing my book in June, 2010. I spent a good amount of time researching the different reasons why God delays our responses to prayers. As a debut author, new in the publishing arena, I spent a lot of time making inquiries on the publishing industry; self-publishing, traditional publishing, editing, etc. To say the least, the process has been exhilarating.

4. What themes are explored in the book?
Several themes are explored in MyGelm. First and foremost, it narrates my journey as a young aspiring physician who, in the pursuit of a permanent residency in the United States, faced multiple obstacles and challenges. Each day through this ongoing ordeal, I experienced God in a way that I never would have imagined. Secondly, I mention the various circumstances that God showed up in the most unexpected place, in the last minute, and always with a life-changing lesson. Thirdly, I speak on how; the greatest lesson in my darkest hours of uncertainty is that God is close by, quietly working behind the scenes, bolstering my faith for a miracle. Last but not the least; in chapter 6, I discuss the pearls of life that I discovered during my startling journey that I believe will be educational for people to apply in their lives.

5. What's one thing you want readers to come away with having read My God, even in the last minute?
Great question! Peace of mind in any situation or life challenges. God’s plans, purposes, and pursuits can be expressed through our lives if we lay down our plans, purposes, and pursuits to him.

6. What was the publishing journey like; from idea to holding the book in your hands?
The joy and freedom to write and express myself, is what I enjoy the most about writing. What a phenomenal feeling it is to be able to put my thoughts down. Yes, there are downsides such as finding the time to complete my book, not to mention, the guilt trip, when I steal time from other activities. In addition, learning to write using the Chicago Manual literary Style was not easy, since up to date, I wrote mostly medical articles.
My goodness, holding my book in my hand was incredible but I must say it was with mixed feelings as well. I had doubts about acceptance. But I reminded myself that I am just the messenger, I will leave the rest to God.

7. What three writers have inspired you as a writer, and why?
So many but to mention three; Rev Tai Ikomi has influenced my life especially in her book titled “The Art of Inspirational writing. It is an amazing book! It teaches us to release ourselves to deliver the message indoctrinated. My life never remained the same after I read Mike Murdock’s book “The Uncommon Leader” I could read it over and over again; I just love the part that says we should focus on possibilities instead of problems. And lastly; Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson. I remember reading this book in college with tears in my eyes, knowing that I can overcome any obstacle if I can only believe in myself. The message is clearly that “Champions keep playing until they get it right” words from Billie Jean King.

8. If you were on a stranded island and could only have three things, what would those things be, and why?

Interesting question…well, definitely my Everyday Life Bible which features notes and commentary by Joyce Meyer. I cannot do without my compact make-up bag, which by the way has all my necessities, including pictures of my hubby and children. A boom box to listen and dance to good music and if I may add a fourth thing, it would be my laptop! I joke with husband; saying I have palpitations without my laptop and internet access.

9. What is the most important part of a book for you--why?
There is a lesson learnt in every part of my mind but most importantly I would say my journey made me understand that God delays the response to our prayer requests for many reasons. I will mention one, which is to increase our vision. There were countless ways I could recite God’s magnificent powers revealed through the Word of God. I saw God come through for me during this journey in many unimaginable ways. When you go through thick and thin, you go from saying as the disciples did: “Who is this man?” to “You are the Son of God.” It is a place of having a vision of God’s power, his providence, and his parenting philosophy. You only know this in the midst of battle.

10. Are you currently working on another book?
No, no thought of any book, neither fiction nor non-fiction. But I have learnt “never to say never.” I will continue to enjoy writing medical literature.

11. What do you enjoy doing, like hobbies and other interests?
You can always find me being adventurous and challenging myself at new things. I enjoy spending time in church and with my family. It always relaxing for me to dance, write, listen to great music, and watch a cool movie.

12. Are you on Facebook, Twitter or have a website?
Yes, I am on facebook; www.facebook.com/584879119
My Website is www.mygelm.com
My blog is www.mygelm.wordpress.com

13. Where is My God, even in the last minute available?
In addition to my website; www.mygelm.com for purchase links, others are;
http://www.signedbytheauthor.com/1605.html (autographed)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1453640274

14. Any last word to the readers?
Our disappointments and trials are no surprise to God. He knew every setback that would occur and had already arranged a comeback. You have someone fighting for you—the Creator of the universe is breathing in your direction. His hand of favor is upon your life. He is crossing ahead of you, making your crooked places straight. You can trust God for victory in your future and watch him show up in the most unexpected places.

Thank you for this marvelous opportunity to interview with you.

Picture Weekend - Love is in the air

Yeah, there's love in paradise except for these two gorillas at the top - you can see that they infected me with their dour demeanor in this first picture. But especially for the humans at the bottom - I think you'll recognize them. So apart from the first, all these pictures show there's love in the air and that's how I feel this lately. Have you told someone lately that you love them? I love you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

BTW, did you know that my birthday is in ten days? Countdown soon.













Steps to a successful relationship - full article

So this has been published on AfrikanGoddess and you can follow the conversation HERE

Be honest, be open, and be truthful: This is fairly straight forward but it can be a bit scary too. Some of us are not even totally truthful to ourselves so it can be difficult to expose ourselves to others. We’re also afraid that the other person may like us less when we put everything out there. This is a valid point; some people cannot take everything that is thrown at them. But for your own sake, you need to call their attention to it and maybe ask if they would like to know. Something that will help is not just talking about your perceived wrongs but how you feel about them and how you feel speaking about them.

Be reliable and show appreciation: This usually manifests as security which is imperative in a relationship, particularly for women but also for men in a different way. We all want to feel secure; we want to know we can come home to this person and have peace. When times are not too good and you’re about to hit rock bottom in your life it is important to know that somebody will be there for you. In as much as we expect this, we should also be willing, ready and able to give it. Do you keep to time, do you keep your promises, do you show you care, do you appreciate the other person in the many ways that it is possible to do so?

Trust each other: Believe me, it can be a very stressful relationship if you cannot trust your partner. This feeling of distrust usually stems from not knowing if he/she is open and honest with you. The worst thing you can do to yourself is try to bottle it up. It will eat you up from the inside. You have to let it out, ask questions, share your own feelings and then decide to trust them. There was a lot of furor earlier this year when it came out that Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife. I know a lot of people wondered if she had suspected anything. But seriously, when you’re in a serious relationship with someone, it is best to remove all suspicion from your mind. That is, unless you have incontrovertible proof.

Communicate, and communicate some more: It is impossible to over emphasize how important this is in a relationship. It is almost impossible to have a solid relationship if the two people involved are not able to open up and talk about the things that affect them. I was discussing a plot point in my manuscript with my SO and he said, “Remember sometimes in an argument, it stops being about how it started and turns to hidden hurts and buried misunderstandings.” That is so true, and the longer these things have been simmering in the minds of those involved, the more vitriolic the current quarrel will turn out to be.

I have noticed that a lot of time when a man disregards his home, or a woman nags the man, it is because they are harboring a grudge from an earlier incident and not necessarily because of the little things that will be their first answer if you ask them. A man might say, she doesn’t know how to cook, the woman will retort, he drops his stuff every which way, but when you probe deeper, there is usually something else.

The fact is that if they sat together and really talked about these issues, they can be resolved. Sometimes it may require an outside party if the grudge has eaten too deep but most times, good communication between just the couple will do. The things to bear in mind when communicating with your partner are; place, time and tone. Remember that communication is a two way thing; you have to listen and not just yak away or try to lay down the law. For instance, if money is tight and you do not appreciate your partner’s attitude to your choice of a designer bag, you do not start that particular conversation at the mall. Also, you cannot just say what's on your mind in a disrespectful manner and call it communication.

Respect each other: It all boils down to this. Respect is usually the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Any healthy relationship has to have mutual respect between the partners. This starts from the self first. We have to respect ourselves and in turn, attract respect from those around us. At the same time, we also have to learn to give respect. There’s the saying, familiarity breeds contempt. If not checked, this may become true. It is vital to watch our tones as we joke, tease and disagree with our partners, and especially in the presence of other people. It is fine to disagree but you have to respect each other’s opinions. Agree to disagree.

You will notice that I dwelt a bit more on communication than others. That is because, I personally think it is the key that holds all the others together. I believe that if we can put most of these approaches into practice, we’ll have less stressful and more successful relationships. They will also help in other interpersonal relationships with friends, family and even colleagues at work. 

ps how do you like the picture? :) Courtesy: AfrikanGoddess.com

Tuesday Talk - To be a Changemaker or not

Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe?
The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we're told. It's safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.
When someone comes along and says, "not me, I'm going down a different path," we flinch. We're not organized to encourage and celebrate the unproven striver. It's safer to tear them down (with their best interests at heart, of course). Better, we think, to let them down easy, to encourage them to take a safer path, to be realistic, to hear it from us rather than the marketplace.

In the post titled "Do you need a permit?" acclaimed blogger Seth Godin asked why most of us are more comfortable doing follow-follow or words to that effect. More worrying is the other side. Where people feel comfortable destroying a persons ideas or rubbishing their actions just because they think it's for the person's good. This person just wants to be the change they would like to see in this world and others, not just too scared to step out of their comfort zone, are also scared of change.

To be honest, it takes a lot of guts to stand in the face of such attitude not to talk of continue on that unbeaten path you've chosen for yourself. In some Nigerian circles, it is called the Pull-Him-Down Syndrome or PHD usually going hand in hand with Herd Mentality. So what Seth Godin is saying is not new but I think it is worth repeating. People who want to blaze a trail need to be encouraged because sometimes, it is impossible to be a changemaker unless you have a few good people around you. People who will cheer you on and not try to hold you back. People who will jump in and offer help and support.

So question to you. Have you been a changemaker before, seen someone try? How much support did you receive, and what opposition. Are you still on course with that vision?

Out of Curiosity - Nwabundo Onyeabo (Guest Author)

Tell us about yourself, a brief autobiography.
My name is Nwabundo Nneka Onyeabo aka Oluwapamilerinayo. I hold a BSc in Public Relations and an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Morgan State University. Some of my poems have appeared in the Sable Quill Magazine and a number of websites.

When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing since I could hold a pen; perhaps around five years old. I started writing at first just because it was an awesome avenue to express myself and relieve my active mind from all its imaginations - it was not intentional like "today i want to express myself therefore i will write" it was more "ooh here's a paper and a pen! scribble time!" I would write stories, and draw all over my notebooks and with time I realized that there's so much power in the ability to express yourself with written words...

What inspires you to write?
I like to say - everything. I can start a poem or story because of something someone said, something I read, something that resonates with the things I am passionate about. Some of those things are love, nigeria, education, chocolate, family, friendships and food.

What was your publishing journey like, from thinking of the book idea to holding it in your hands.
It was very interesting. I decided to publish a collection of poems three years ago as a 21st birthday / graduation present to myself... i didn't quite get to it that year. My manuscript was accepted by an American publishing company in Summer 2008, but i decided to self publish in 2010 to get a feel of the publishing processes in Nigeria. I'm blessed with the favor and open doors i experienced and also extremely grateful for the bottlenecks because these experiences teach you valuable lessons... lets just say i can now give very good publishing advice :)

Why poems? Do you plan to write prose too?
Poetry is almost like second nature... I write prose also but poems flow through me when i'm inspired. I literally have to find somewhere to put it down, its like being pressed to pee. Once those words are written, typed, or recorded immediately my mind produced them; i can commence tweaking... Prose comes with a hard pressed mind boggling issue with the same urgency but a reduced flow.

Do you have a major theme that runs through Out of Curiosity?
- There are a couple of themes that run through. There's love, issues of life, soujourns (that is places and journeys), and lessons i have learned.

What books have most influenced your life?
- Hmmmmm.... All Enid Blyton books i ever read (Famous Five, and etc), Alex Haley's "Roots", Ben Okri's "Famished Road", Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart", Longer at Ease" and "Arrow of God", Ted Dekker's "Three", and "Obsessed", Frank Peretti's "This Present Darkness"... there's quite a lot o

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
- Prose: Dr. Chinua Achebe; Plays: Barr. Wole Oguntokun; Poetry: Prof. Wole Soyinka, Victor Okigbo

What books are you reading now?
C.S Lewis "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
- Right now its Chris Abani, Biyi Bandele, Chika Unigwe, Chimamanda Adichie and Sefi Atta

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
- Writing to convey in the most surreptitious yet descriptive way what i'm feeling. I only experience this with poems though.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
- I would have to say Frank Peretti. His writing is totally awesome! Its deep yet understandable and very very spiritual, uplifting and educative. I love love love his work! I'm a huge fan of Ted Dekker as well.... I also love all things by Flora Nwapa, Elechi Amadi and Ngugi Wa thiongo.

What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
- Its thriving! I'm really glad how much we're coming up; from the days of Flora Nwapa's Tana Press till now, I must say we're not doing too badly - we must keep it up!

What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
- Ah, it definitely needs to improve. I cannot stress enough how important reading is to human survival. If you think about it critically, its at the root of receiving information. If we don't read, we CANNOT know and that's a fact. I don't think Nigerian youth and children espeacially are reading enough, this needs to change.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
- Firstly, Happy Independence Day Nigeria! Stay Reading! Love your neighbour as yourself and if you haven't bought "Out of Curiosity" hmmmm, lets just say you're NOT my reader! **folds arms and turns nose up in the air** so go buy "Out of Curiosity" :)

Do you have an online presence, Facebook, Blog, Twitter or a website?
- I am on facebook as Nwabundo Onyeabo, there's also a twitter page for my book ~ outofcuriozity

Where can we buy the book, both in stores and online?
- "Out of Curiosity" is available at the Hub Media Stores, Palms Lekki in Lagos Nigeria; it is also available on amazon.com ~
http://www.amazon.com/Out-Curiosity-Collection-Poems/dp/9789083459/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1285085673&sr=8-15

Picture Weekend - Vancouver on my mind

Will I ever forget vancouver? We had such a great time there last month that I don't think so. It's a lovely city, not too big and not too small, perfect for a small-town girl like me. In a way, it actually reminded me a Seattle, both on the West Coast, similar weather and they love their coffee too. Except Vancouver had a marvelous vista of mountains surrounding it almost on all sides, and is more diverse too. The native Indian population is more visible and there are also loads of Asians, I hear Richmond is almost 75% Chinese.

There was also a vibrant social life, with a thriving fashion high street that reminded me of the UK. I don't think we have that in Seattle. We visited several landmarks in Vancouver including Chinatown, Stanley Park, MetroTown, Granville Island, and the Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant. The last felt a lot like the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle where we went for my birthday dinner last year. We had a great experience this time as well. I'll stop running my mouth now and allow you to enjoy the pics.

Welcome to Vancouver BC, Canada. It was raining cats and dogs as you can see. 

Passing through the border control, it was quick and easy.

A random bull on the street near our hotel. Vancouver's answer to the Wall Street Bull? You decide.

Walking around downtown, the top of Vancouver restaurant building in the distance.

Holy Rosary cathedral



A mid-lake fountain in the lost lagoon at Stanley Park, had the ducks as the captive audience

The aboriginal tour guide, people who're originally from the area.

Lord Stanley himself, once governor-general of Canada. The park is named after him.

A view of the bay and the opposite shore from the tour bus

One of the hundred of years old trees in the park.

Lions Gate Bridge

Beautiful view eh? Can you see the sea-wall? One of the major attractions

One of the local Indian exhibitions, they have very intriguing artwork, I was tempted to get some

After the raven dance, our story teller and his young accomplice agreed to take pics

At the aquarium on the grounds. They have a massive collection, but nothing as scary, :)

A friend took us to see this arty side of Vancouver. 

There was this Chef school and these lovely cakes tempted me through the windows

The quay from Granville Island, Downtown in the distance. Those high risers must have a lovely view.

In a sporting goods store, maybe we're going camping next? Only Atala knows.

Of course we gravitated to the bookstore. Chapters at Metrotown

In the center atrium of the mall. I just replenished my MAC collection and was happy

The steam grandfather clock in Gastown

Vancouver on my mind and before me. At the international center off Chinatown. Thanks for joining me.