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List Of All Local And International Literary Contests For 2017. / When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming / 10 Greatest Literary Writers In Nigeria History (2) (3) (4)
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:07pm On Jul 23, 2016|
Disconsolate and dispirited for unfortunately, I possess a territory in your heart but its hectare is a not a fraction of yours in mine. Assuming it were, you might not call me baby, but in the least I’d be called “ba”, or maybe just the 1st letter. And you’d once in a year, dream of taking a walk with me, unperturbed by a 3rd or 4th wheel—not even our tender children whom I often dream of—a languid evening walk with our feet cushioned in loafers and both our ring fingers fully clothed in conjugal metals.
Think of dusk with the silhouette of two figures playing down a serene street, and the voices paroxysms with hearty laughter polluting the tranquillity. Doesn’t that sound perfect my dear? Sure, it would! Then, say, on closer inspection one can deduce that of both silhouettes, one is you and the other is me, how much more perfection in there?
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:41pm On Jul 29, 2016|
I have the kind of demons that outshine angels. They stride across the hallways of brothels on grey Corollas with the glow from their robes subduing the light; fragrance tasting better than a bucket of Coldstone on the summit of a wet maiden's lap. The very core of their aura mingled in the anguish of torrents of vanquished souls.
Grateful for having demons reaching beyond the
depths of the Dark chambers to set the lost on the path of salvation--chambers inaccessible to
untainted cherubs. They call for me and the music in my ear cannot drown what I hear.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:42pm On Jul 29, 2016|
You custodian of an adorable soul is better than all I could ever ask for. The implication of an intelligent design; a design I will never tire from staring at. For it is eclipsed by a smooth untainted skin with each pore oozing tenderness and awesomeness on a hot day. I want to hold the arch of your back and tickle your flanks and soft spots till you're too amused to scream stopiiiit! And to grow old waking up to the thumping of a heart that came with the bold inscription "Boundless treasures inside. Handle with caution." Oh, my pride on the last day for having handled that well.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 8:45pm On Aug 06, 2016|
My older siblings were all raised in one of the lowliest slums of Enugu and I was no exception. By "slum", I'm referring to a part of the town where getting water for domestic usage involved girding the loins with related paraphernalia which would often include numerous Jerry cans and embarking on elaborate trips by an untarred road to the underworld—quite literally, for the destination of every water-seeker was as far as it was deep; below sea level. The pursuit of water was merely a constituent in the myriad of disasters in a place where access to every conceivable amenity is constant proof to nature of resilience, strength and adaptability to life and I hear it remains that way because the government extols the deity that is Impoverishment and dares not interrupt his sovereignty with development lest the Government itself be accused of attempted coup d’état. This place is responsible for my heightened conversance with the "street" and a few other acquisitions shared between myself and my siblings but while they seem to be moulting most of these acquisitions, I admit to have been ingrained the most with this uncultured existence.
I don’t remember at what point exactly I first listened to Pammy Udu Bunch music but it must have been one of those evenings with me hopped on the window and watching the slum herd back and forth. The sound ignited my fascination into this mirage I’m currently dwelling in—one where I am inclined to believe that everything dissipates the instant I play their music; lesser pleasure and sorrow alike. Such was the faith I had in them back in the day that, as an extremely shy youngster, I had to extensively listen to them before I could approach the very first damsel I scored. We still keep in touch to this day even though she does not know the elements that spurred me onto the mighty victories won against the contemporaries contending for her.
Many years down the line, having long absconded that slum, my obsession with them has refused to desert me. I practically dance to their music at a volume that would convince an onlooker I am set on paralyzing my eardrums. Regardless of what chart topping single I am momentarily hooked on, or what classic 80’s hit I softly nod to, I always retrace my steps back into the loving arms of their tunes. Even though it does not exactly sound loving—the lyrics—people often wonder how a seemingly polished young man frequently draped in fancy suits and speaking in unfamiliar accents manages to endure such “noise”. I myself have forsaken such perplexities and instead, concentrated on the unabridged satiation often ushered into my ears. Yes, unabridged. As a saner person supposedly in an enlightened position, ideally, I should filter off their bad grammar, incoherent ramblings, unnecessary repetitions, violent lyrics and similar elements that are too raw for civilized individuals. However I have since come to learn that their music is best absorbed whole; seed, stem and root fused together. It courses through the body and touches specific nerves too remote for aphrodisiacs or any medicine for that matter.
This particular post was inspired by an evening of awe at my latest procurement—just when I thought I could brag about listening to all the materials in their catalog—entitled “Enugu kwewe lu m iyoo”, the literal meaning is an immediate deterrent to anyone that understands the Igbo language; but I can assure you of the uncountable bounties rewarded to Olympians brave enough to spare a minute or two. Unfortunately, it cannot be found online; because these paragons of entertainment, entrenched in all that grit, barely know the usefulness of immortalization and the proliferation such a medium could offer. It is one thing that pains me greatly that I cannot put them out there singlehandedly.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:17pm On Aug 09, 2016|
What love is
When you find that one person in the world that understands you the most, you don't love them--no. We weren't wired that way. The way it works, when you're not talking with them, there's a burning desire to leave everything else and go pick up from where you both left off the last time; because they've become the focal point of your joy, blissfully radiating it to the dark corners of your life--corners you didn't even know were dark till this person strutted along and became your saving grace. At that point, your biggest fear is the knowledge that this mortal body will someday, prevent you from continuously sharing your life with this person and admiring the creases that gather by their eyes as they laugh at how funny your experiences are. Maybe that is what love is--that voice weakened by your joke-induced laughter, calling you names and telling you how crazy you are.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 9:31pm On Aug 10, 2016|
Young Husband energetically steps out of his car and marches towards his apartment, swinging the car keys around his index finger playfully. Using the keys to unlock the door of his house, he gleefully enters, expecting to be received his beloved wife. Instead, he sees an old love interest sitting in his living room, smiling with his wife. The circumstances surrounding his eventual break up with said love interest causes him to freeze at sighting her and is rooted at the door just thinking at what havoc she might have wreaked in his absence already. His wife smiles at him reassuringly and asks him to,
“Bolt the door as security is of paramount importance.”
He knows better than feel comfortable when his wife begins to sound all formal and poetic and in endorsement, his beat rate gains pace. He hesitantly inches toward the dining table where they are both seated, before being prevented by the fear that has overcome him. Wife is unusually well dressed and adorned in a manner suggesting an occasion in the offing. He asks her if
“...there is any gun pointed at his head...?”
Which causes her to chuckle as she walks over, dragging him by his long arms into one of the empty seats gathered around the table. She abruptly excuses herself over sensing her food burning, leaving Husband and his old lover to their devices.
As she departs, Husband is unable to bring himself to lay eyes upon a woman he once could not take his eyes off. She asks him a few rhetorics concerning his demeanour and he mutters monosyllabic responses praying fervently for Wife’s return. Wife returns eventually, insisting he narrates before them both, what indeed transpired between himself and the strange lady. Husband crouches in deep sobriety, bowing as though he was before a guillotine, awaiting decapitation. His wife comfortingly rubs his right arm softly, urging him to,
“Go on; the stage is all yours.”
That is when he squirms in his seat in an awkward way that cause his wife to worry and ask him if everything is alright. He nods and stands to his feet, then launches into an incoherent philosophical ramble about the whole encounter with the woman. Indeed he had narrated in the past, bits of his experience with this woman to his wife—never mind their indistinctness to the current version.
When the lecture is over, he keeps silent and his wife asks him if he is through and he bucks at her disbelief; walks over to the fridge without uttering a word and pours himself some wine. After that is gulped, he pours some more in the glass and calmly walks over to his wife, all the time, meticulously restraining his eyes from straying to where the other lady is seated. He tells her he has been thinking a bit and wondering the worst implications her disbelief could entail.
“Don’t even think divorcing me is the worst thing you could do as punishment.”
As he stretches his left arm into the table to pick his car keys, he straddles on his left leg and swivels his waist, heavily swiping the back of his right palm across the room and toward the lady’s face; sending her to the floor in its wake. His wife’s face remains expressionless. She does not even as much as flinch. Husband tilts his head left and stares blankly at the fallen woman.
“Look at you.” He says. “...lying on the floor on all fours like a hog.”
He then turns to his wife and asks her to have a great night.
The next morning, a haggard Husband fumbles onto his porch but cannot get into his apartment since the door is locked from inside. He calls and texts his wife repeatedly begging to be let in.
“Why don’t you go take your bath wherever it is you went to pass the night?” She finally texts back.
“Bars do not have baths & I cannot fit in the wash-hand basin. Now please let me in cuz im runnin l8.”
She did come let him in and like the previous night, she was unusually elegantly dressed—for 9am at least; She should still be yawning in her nighties were it a regular day; but this morning she even had stilettos on.
“Look what you did to yourself Ralph! My goodness!” She exclaimed as he walked in.
“You’re all fixed up like a soured tomato. Go stay in the living room while I prepare your bathing water.”
He obeys and heads for a random upholstery, only to behold a sight intensely disgusting: a tied condom filled to its brim with viscous semen. He retches amidst his wife’s soft advocacies:
She says the he whose semen is entrapped in that sac will be back once Husband leaves for work and that that is not even the worst she would do. Incensed, he attacks her, buckling both her skinny arms together and clipping her legs with his feet while she grunts, squeals and wriggles—twitching her knees convulsively and threatening to scream. He then uses his free hand to pluck a nearby curtain rod, fidgeting to forcefully impale her behind with it despite her struggles—announcing that she better
“get ready”, because she is “going to be doing a lot of ‘worsts’” and “should ditch kinky sized condoms for a mall-size plastic bag which would contain all the resultant semen the ‘worsts’ would leave behind” before letting her go. She becomes truly silent and is alarmed at the manhandling she has just received from a least expected proponent.
Husband goes to take his bath. Remorseful Wife follows him into the room, making supplications and telling him she is,
“sorry about everything and does not want to fight.”
And when he does not respond, she opens the bathroom door and offers to
“share the warmth of the hot water with you.”
Husband, still enraged, proceeds to yell
“How many times do you want to bath in one morning?!”
And as he hurriedly dashes to close the door, he glides on the lathery floor and takes a bad fall, wrenching an arm. He wails loudly so Wife rushes in, sympathetically shushing. She tries to pacify him by massaging the arm but he shrugs her hand off and groans some more.
A few hours later, Husband—accompanied by his wife, swaddled in a rumpled 'assoke'—could be seen at the hospital; his arm suspended in a cast and it was obvious he would take the day off but they first had to report his condition at the office.
“No o! I can’t follow you to the office nah! Ah ah! Why will my colleagues see me inside bandage? Please drop me off at home and just take the medical report to them. Abi you want me to submit it myself like my final year project?”
“You ma, relax now.” Said his wife.
“Iz no big deal. OK, why don’t you stay in the booth so nobody sees you? Once we leave the premises, you can re-emerge.”
A diffident husband pretends to contemplate but is too dishevelled to resist or disapprove.
“OK. OK. Lez just start going so I can go home and rest.”
On arrival at the yellow four storey Bolvin building, Wife briskly runs into the reception and ties her scarf around her waist, pleading for urgent help and assistance from the Managing Director.
“Madam calm down...what is the matter?”
She is soon surrounded by a group of concerned staff who listen to her narrate how her husband has lost his mind the previous night, destroying appliances in the house and running into his car trunk because he is afraid the cops will come to arrest him. She claims Husband is still scared stiff in the car trunk and keeps screaming
“I am not crazy!!!”
A call is made and before long, a small white and orange van carrying a team of psychiatrists can be seen cautiously cruising into the firm’s premises.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 9:04pm On Aug 21, 2016|
Andres Iniesta's modus operandi leaves the impression that the obstructing hip-bones in his waist have been traded for a pair of ball bearings; so as to significantly facilitate streamlined gliding across the field. The way he twirls around charging opposition with equanimity--seemingly impervious to their wiles--leaves them marooned, even robbed of the tremendous motivation that gingered them to stand in his way.
He is an absolute joy to watch; making the impossible seem easy, with each and every one of his touch sparking that brilliance, elegance and grace commensurate for a bishop or other well mannered high ranking religious figure. Other times, he comes off as an adult meddling in the affairs of children. You should see the degree of urgency with which defenders approach him and the nonchalance he subdues them with--almost admonishing contemporaries with the ball; just like a more advanced person would. All the time, disciplined and content with sliding passes into the 18-yard box and going no further.
If I can have such dazzling testimonies proclaimed--by my peers and admirers across even the continent--about me in any profitable endeavor, I believe I will die a satisfied man. But Alas! That satisfaction might have to be found elsewhere, God forbid.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 6:19pm On Aug 24, 2016|
My first book review
Yesterday evening, a bit fed up with the monotony of rubble I've been inured to, I decided to ingest a material I have long possessed but avoided for want of sufficient courage; a recommendable decision for every admirer of the English language. Being that, I belong to the school of thought holding the philosophy of there being more dignity in writing than there is in reading, any long read capable of confining my attention beyond an hour is worthy of ovation.
My reading of this material was however, interrupted by short trips to my phone gallery, so I could cast glances at my woman's pictures and reassure myself she is the most beautiful piece I have laid eyes upon; although this one was a close call. Such was its elegance that for the first time in my reading life, I made markings beneath my favorite parts--indications for revisitation. I was coasting through its alluring pages--toward its back cover--before balking at a waned interest.
"Just nine more pages!!" Inner man cheered.
Fruitless: My attention had already been sabotaged by an erosion of indolence; drawing inspiration from the bit sized posts brimming all over Facebook and the websites I frequent.
Nevertheless, I was going to be no pushover but would fight to the very end; if for nothing else, to brag to posterity that I consumed a 40-page essay in one sitting. Snacks, music and gymnastics were employed in my bid to accomplish the impossible. In the end, we hard-fought our way to victory!
I'm just saying, even if your attention span did not come with more elasticity, or if your situation favours a perfectionist view to writing, get a copy of Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu 's "Essay on godism and moral relativism".
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 11:19pm On Aug 25, 2016|
This post aims to express my deepest apologies to those aggrieved by my writing. I reckon this to be my first time of doing this; so it better be profuse. By that, I mean, you are permitted to imagine yourself subjecting me to despicable torture and agony as recompense for all the damage I imagine you have fought my writing from putting you through. Unfortunately however, you might have to widen your imagination a bit more and device more robust modes of torture. Reason being that, I still have an incredulously long way to go in catching up with this elite writing style that I've been mercilessly fastened to. You see, what you should actually feel for me is pity; a hotshot wannabe fraudster writing things he alone reads while groaning at how banal it is to even himself. But defiantly resist being carted away by my self-victimization. Stick to the initial plan of envisaging yourself relentlessly pummeling me viciously. I'm very sorry my dear.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 3:53am On Sep 07, 2016|
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:48pm On Sep 11, 2016|
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by DavidEsq(m): 6:24am On Sep 12, 2016|
Nmeri17:Good one bro. The touch of melancholy really gets to cos melancholic poems have this strong feelings with outstanding imagery. Do u rmbr these lines: "and here he was laid, on lap of earth, a youth to fame and fortune, unknown. All he hath, he gave to misery; s tear, t'was all he gained, from heaven...". That poem broke me many times like most of Shakespeare's dramas.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by DavidEsq(m): 6:25am On Sep 12, 2016|
Nmeri17:Good one bro. The touch of melancholy really gets to me, cos melancholic poems have this strong feelings with outstanding imagery. Do u rmbr these lines: "and here he was laid, on lap of earth, a youth to fame and fortune, unknown. All he hath, he gave to misery; s tear, t'was all he gained, from heaven...". That poem broke me many times like most of Shakespeare's dramas.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by DavidEsq(m): 6:25am On Sep 12, 2016|
Nmeri17:Good one bro. The touch of melancholy really gets to me, cos melancholic poems have this strong feelings with outstanding imagery. Do u rmbr these lines: "and here he was laid, on lap of earth, a youth to fame and fortune, unknown. All he hath, he gave to misery; a tear, t'was all he gained, from heaven...". That poem broke me many times like most of Shakespeare's dramas.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:54pm On Sep 12, 2016|
DavidEsq:lol. Thank you. I can't even remember when I wrote this particular piece; it's been so so so long lol. But it reads quite cool and the feel is as though it was written by someone else. Maybe I should go back to reading my old stuff I've since abandoned poems by the way.
Thank you for stopping by.
princenat:Huh?! Dude, are you fvcking kidding me Even if I were a traffic warden, how do you think I can spot the dent on a random tricycle in the melee of rush hour if you aren't being mischievous? What if its current driver decides to pass my duty post by 8pm as commercial drivers close by that time? Abeg. Idk if it's your family inheritance you bought the keke with but this your trolling campaign will not cut it. This thing you're doing can only fetch you NL awards like Mr or Mrs NL--in your case, keke misplacer of Nairaland--if you really take this serious, what you should do is report to the vigilantes--whose duty it is to spot intermediate thieves (a category of which keke thieves fall into)--issue a circular to automobile engineers. Furthermore, you could get in touch with all the alayes at bus parks and broker an agreement where their own portion would mandate they inspect each tricycle for you. That is far more realistic and serious minded. If it sounds too far-fetched. strong indication that you should forget about a return of your prodigal keke Take it in good fate and move on fam.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 2:41pm On Sep 13, 2016|
Yesterday evening, you visited me. Again. And just like the first time, I woke up thinking it was no dream. I know you were there in the room both times. All my senses cannot be attuned concurrently in a dream, moreover, I sensed your features, to a point of knowledge.
The first time, I had a bad day and you visited that evening so I bought a beer; half cutting a tough look to match the numerous facades and the other half, to pacify the turbulent view of my unsatisfactory existence. Just like yesterday’s, you just sat over the dining table as we talked. You didn’t seem as vivacious as my brother tells me his lover is. That makes me feel like I’m foisting myself on you; like a mantle. You know the mantle is ugly. So do I.
It’s a bad time to be my friend—so many responsibilities and no division of labour for the few, if not negligible labour force. The job description of letting me perch on the rims of someone’s mouth like a bacteria and inspecting the pores on their skin must be too daunting for one individual—more so when I’m the employer. Ok. How about not constantly saying you’re not ready for these things right now?
Anyway, that isn’t the worst part of my many predicaments: I smile at the world but the world does not smile back. It doesn’t, regardless of how wide my smile spreads. Subsequently, every night, I hope I’m cold and stiff by the next morning.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 2:30pm On Sep 24, 2016|
My niece has defied the abolishment of martyrdom and wilfully submitted herself, a most qualified candidate for that office; for, no other rationale goes further in enlightening us of her attachment to her extruding navel despite the fatality of the repercussions it has earned her. Under feisty indignation, both her parents have threatened—even sworn by the new gods and old—to strain her through dastardly measures of torment; from amputating her arm, to offering her to the ferocious family dog, Molly—to be devoured—to soldering the protrusion flat with blazing cooking knives and pressing iron, her recalcitrance has been borne of transcendental loyalty to the great god of navels. These days, her practices are shrouded in great secrecy, often times stealing off to seclusion, lying supine while her feet reclines on the wall to expose that device; then the fingers can be seen, strumming sacred praises with the navel as the tool to contact the supernatural. She wholly believes, her body—with an exclusion of that device—is far dispensable and in fact, extraneous to the divine mandate of evangelizing the good news of the navel god to us ignorant sons of men.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 3:12am On Oct 13, 2016|
Excited about this veritable goldmine shared with me by a delectable friend of mine. I could relate with some of the quotes but with others, I received a personal admonishment geared towards veering me off a wayward path.
I'll be posting my favorite portions for my future accessibility but if you feel the same way, don't hesitate to conduct private explorations.
1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a memory stick.
5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What -fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
7 You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you're on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.
8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up. My sub
9 Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
10 Prayer might work. Or reading something else. Or a constant visualisation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.
How to be a bad writer (in ten easy lessons): [size=18pt](PERSONAL FAVOURITE )[/size]
1. Use all the clichés possible, such as "He had a gleam in his eye," or 'Her teeth were white as pearls."
2. If you are a Negro, try very hard to write with an eye dead on the white market - use modern stereotypes of older stereotypes - big burly Negroes, criminals, low-lifers, and prostitutes.
3. Put in a lot of profanity and as many pages as possible of near pornography and you will be so modern you pre-date Pompeii in your lonely crusade toward the bestseller lists. By all means be misunderstood, unappreciated, and ahead of your time in print and out, then you can be felt-sorry-for by your own self, if not the public.
4. Never characterize characters. Just name them and then let them go for themselves. Let all of them talk the same way. If the reader hasn't imagination enough to make something out of cardboard cut-outs, shame on him!
5. Write about China, Greence, Tibet or the Argentine pampas — anyplace you've never seen and know nothing about. Never write about anything you know, your home town, or your home folks, or yourself.
6. Have nothing to say, but use a great many words, particularly high-sounding words, to say it.
7. If a playwright, put into your script a lot of hand-waving and spirituals, preferably the ones everybody has heard a thousand times from Marion Anderson to the Golden Gates.
8. If a poet, rhyme June with moon as often and in as many ways as possible. Also use thee's and thou's and 'tis and o'er , and invert your sentences all the time. Never say, "The sun rose, bright and shining." But rather, "Bright and shining rose the sun.'
9. Pay no attention really to the spelling or grammar or the neatness of the manuscript. And in writing letters, never sign your name so anyone can read it. A rapid scrawl will better indicate how important and how busy you are.
10. Drink as much liquor as possible and always write under the presence of alcohol. When you can't afford alcohol yourself, or even if you can, drink on your friends, fans, and the general public.
If you are white, there are many more things I can advise in order to be a bad writer, but since this piece is for colored writers, there are some thing I know a Negro just will not do, not even for writing's sake, so there is no use mentioning them.
Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:
(i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.
(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
(iv) Political purpose. Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.
Francine du Plessix Gray
Recently the compulsion has been less intense, a week or two can go by and then I catch up in my big streak: angers and anxieties and sarcastic reports on overhead conversations, any snazzy metaphors that come to mind, phrases and ideas for current projects, a lot of nature notes — smells, sounds, colors, birds. I sometimes wonder whyI have to look back and record precisely what I was experiencing on such and such a day. No one’s given a satisfactory explanation for this compulsion writers have to keep a laundry list of the soul: Virginia Woolf, her need to jot down who came to tea every day, and the pitch of Lytton Strachey’s voice and the kind of cucumber sandwiches she served. It’s as if we feel constantly other from the person we were the day, the hour before, and this sense of flux is terrifying, we have to crystallize, fix every moment of ourselves in order not to disappear altogether, as if our very identity were constantly threatened with dissolution.
Joyce Carol Oates
Stories come to us as wraiths requiring precise embodiments. Running seems to allow me, ideally, an expanded consciousness in which I can envision what I'm writing as a film or a dream. I rarely invent at the typewriter but recall what I've experienced. I don't use a word processor but write in longhand, at considerable length. (Again, I know: writers are crazy.)
By the time I come to type out my writing formally, I've envisioned it repeatedly. I've never thought of writing as the mere arrangement of words on the page but as the attempted embodiment of a vision: a complex of emotions, raw experience.
The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort. Running is a meditation; more practicably it allows me to scroll through, in my mind's eye, the pages I've just written, proofreading for errors and improvements.
My method is one of continuous revision. While writing a long novel, every day I loop back to earlier sections to rewrite, in order to maintain a consistent, fluid voice. When I write the final two or three chapters of a novel, I write them simultaneously with the rewriting of the opening, so that, ideally at least, the novel is like a river uniformly flowing, each passage concurrent with all the others.
Every so often I get optimistic and explain the best method of learning to write to students. I don't believe any of them has ever tried it, but I will explain it to you now. After all, you may be the exception. When I read about this method, it was attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who invented and discovered so much. Certainly I did not invent it.
But I did it, and it worked. That is more than can be said for most creative writing classes.
Find a very short story by a writer you admire. Read it over and over until you understand everything in it. Then read it over a lot more.
Here's the key part. You must do this. Put it away where you cannot get at it. You will have to find a way to do it that works for you. Mail the story to a friend and ask him to keep it for you, or whatever. I left the story I had studied in my desk on Friday. Having no weekend access to the building in which I worked, I could not get to it until Monday morning.
When you cannot see it again. Write it yourself. You know who the characters are. You know what happens. You write it. Make it as good as you can.
Compare your story to the original, when you have access to the original again. Is your version longer? Shorter? Why? Read both versions out loud. There will be places where you had trouble. Now you can see how the author handled those problems.
If you want to learn to write fiction, and are among those rare people willing to work at it, you might want to use the little story you have just finished as one of your models. It's about the right length.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 11:09pm On Oct 17, 2016|
The new state of the economy—without much difficulty—convinced the powers that be, that they would aspirate if some of their employees weren’t evacuated from the workforce. Not long after this conviction, most of us were tossed out; some gate crashing the pangs of farm work in their hometown; while others with effective helping hands had a softer landing. In my case, they cited my—now powerless—first degree. Four long years of fortuitously toiling at some crappy state University, plus an extra year of youth service to rehearse for a lifetime of civil slavery, all for what: An embellished piece of paper capable of securing a 15-month employment. My ex colleagues will argue my ration was tampered with clemency—unlike Bernard, who got the sack for farting and allegedly harbouring malevolent intentions towards the insurance Firm’s cooling system.
It was their loss anyway. I hastily applied as babysitter at my home and—as HR to my wife’s household—sufficiently satisfied requirements for that vacancy. At the end of the day, it was like a perfect vacation that would only end by September, when our children resumed.
Come September, we had preyed on the children’s school fees despite the beggarly liquid compounds disguised as soups which had plagued said vacation. We’d owe for the entire academic term and that avuncular midget headmistress would think her money was exchanged for lavish dinners and has since dribbled down the latrine’s throat. In fact, I couldn’t claim the children’s books until this month, after telling an old friend that an insightful, unexplored but niche-focused and promising business idea was on the brink of fruition.
“Aboy it’s always dark before dawn—no be so den dey talk? Just free 50 grand come my side, I swear to God, I go see you eye once ground level small.” I’d mused before his hearty laughter gave credence to his gullibility. I was sure when he makes accounts at the end of the year, the money would be written off as part of the year’s losses. Not entirely a loss though—after all, my children weren’t entirely a lost cause. He’d soon remember the reason he became an ‘old friend’, just in time to save some lives though.
I never managed to surmount the nightmarish hurdle of parking their books and clothes till the resumption morning.
“Bonny this one you’ve not sorted out the children’s clothes yet—” My wife shrugged last Thursday.
“It’s like we should even postpone this their resumption to mid-term.” She continued, looking nonplussed.
The consequence of thinking along those lines manifested in a lump in my throat. But she was right and I felt defeated, the only rejoinder I could cook up after looking back at her reproachfully was,
“Is it your fault? I no blame you na! No be me use that saucy hand first follow you?”
"I was just suggesting o!"
"It is 'suggesting', not zuggezting."
*********** ************** ***************
4:18am was the time. I rolled over dreamily and jolted at the thought of the children’s yet ill-equipped paraphernalia. It was still dark anyway so what better time to face my fears and live my dream? The children were quaked awake while I hurtled in between our rooms, sweating from the crown of my head to the skin of my teeth. That indolent woman I married lay there like a pile of dirty clothes for two more hours before deeming me worthy for any assistance whatsoever.
We then rumbled through the gate en route the school at about a minute past seven. Our punctuality had paved the highways in anticipation of our passage. When I arrived—to my utter dismay—the other wards looked so dashing and snazzy in their pinafores that, I could swear they were all beneficiaries of an established fashion couture poised on impressing their brand on those of us with charge and bail clothing designers like myself. Those pupils even had their shirts ironed! I think I heard my wife make mention of something like ironing. Not before I dismissed her with,
“Iron ke? Oti o! Is it nursery school they are going to abi job interview?”
Presently, I ticked their list of received books, signed the register quickly and excused myself before my face would be marked as the father of those deprived and underprivileged children [whose faces had been laced with cheap talc (to crossfire against the layers of pomade my wife had soiled them with)].
Grinning internally as I rode home, I’d gotten myself a much better deal: messing around with baby till 1:30, go pick his siblings. Easy peasy. When we got home, that boy shed lugubrious tears over his unfortunate pairing with the leader of the home, slept, ate, and got over it all like guys always do. One of those napping bouts unfortunately protracted past 1:30; which meant I had to scamper again and arrive at the school’s premises swaddled in my own sweat. 2:12pm. Those other children looked so neat and pristine, it was as though they’d collectively played the truant. To be quite honest, I hoped for the worst from my progenies. In the end, they proved that I could always count on them to never dash my hopes. It was as though they’d gone on a private excursion to the sanitation agency and were mandated to practise what they’d just witnessed, as pro-bono of course. I herded the two of them into the car and we headed home—to unveil the newest Fanatics of the Lunacy and Chaos Movement. Even their younger brother was perplexed over what had dawned on his older ones. They really did seem quite liberated though—like school is such a great place to be. Sometimes, I wonder if I started out just like them.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by fikfaknuel(f): 9:30am On Oct 18, 2016|
Good day, sir. I really admire your style a lot. You also seem to be a voracious reader. I want to read too.
Please do you have ebooks? Prefferably African. I've been itching to read Ben Okri's 'The Famished Road' for ages now.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 1:21am On Oct 20, 2016|
fikfaknuel:Thank you For African novels, which I think is what you mean, http://okadabooks.com assail a rich reserve of those. Whether or not they are accessible at no cost is left to uncertainty as I neither patronise their medium nor any African writer except the one mentioned in this earlier entry. Good luck!
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 2:54pm On Oct 25, 2016|
On Tuesday, time arrived in packets of blur
Accruing a substantial mass for my profligacy.
The sun does not take it lightly on my residence for complacently encapsulating this waste of efforts.
I flounder on the warm bare floor inside, baking in the heat disbursed; and hiding from my terrors.
The pacification sought in the arms of academic books ultimately fails when that knowledge offers resistance to being transposed to other media.
A scholarly stronghold is the only resort when all other life vocations prove unprofitable.
Yet, each compulsive attempt at acquiring it only encourages despair; and dwindles delight; and invokes a haggard assertion:
That life appeals elegantly to those lacking it.
But it doesn’t. Not always.
Some of us were genuinely privileged and should saddle ourselves with the responsibility for life’s seeming indignation.
Some of us should proactively accept that we are marooned on this world as we majestically await the day we are gouged out of it.
|Re: Nmeri's literary junkyard by Nmeri17: 10:49pm On Jan 02, 2017|
Haven't posted here for some time. That said, let me share the first article I wrote for the new year; designated for those devoid of the impediment of bad grammar.
The debut album of Timaya entitled True Story, did not relent in its assignment of enforcing its crooner as an A-list act; in fact it surpassed that feat. It effectively extracted the dancehall artist from obscurity and maintains its stand as his most brute effort till date—all in one concerted attempt. The difference between that album and sultry output that have followed from the singer are perhaps as numerous as the output itself; with each shot conceding and returning to the annals of his personal catalog like an agent ruing another unfulfilled mission.
Surficially, that album drew our attention to the how’s and why’s of South-South juveniles derailing onto paths with such devastating effects as oil meddling and the rise of militancy in that region. But below the opinionated political overtone, was a truly talented but unpolished hungry young man passionate about music. Just in case that talent is currently unrecognizable and you wonder if we’re both referencing the same individual, here is a pointer that that talent has since been hydrolyzed along with the inevitable luxuries that accompany fame and fortune. More than one lesson can be picked from that incident—lessons stemming from the human reactionary reflex to the placebo effect. We all wail and clamor for the rearrangement of unfavourable living conditions rife in our societies and even the household in our backyards. But what happens when we are bribed by cushioning these unpleasantries with laxatives, without any lasting repression to the condition itself?
Back to the Timaya narrative, the plethora of tracks will continue to remain a stark exposition of unrelenting dedication, commendable creativity delivered under exemplary well thought out verses ascertaining there wouldn’t be many dancehall performers with such longevity afterwards. Even as he darted from subject to subject, in frantic bids to detonate one that resonated with the most populated audience, the theme stagnated on discontent—a virtue that most (if not all) upcoming acts have so expertly evaded. This article does not seek to discourage musicians aspiring to dominate the industry from singing about their discontentment over their current status. That would be an exercise in futility—especially, since they only appear to find dignity in so doing. The truth of the matter is that they all lack the nourishment requisite for wading through the turbulent waters of the demanding Nigerian music scene. If one or two of them could borrow the leaves exhibited on this masterpiece, chiefly, patience, we would have one less failed or short lived artiste out there. Because, in a market like ours, one is unlikely to survive in the memories of music consumers beyond the first few weeks of du jour, when his contents interminably revolve around extolments to the female body. But if he were to patiently enrich himself with patience, and passionately master the trade, a coveted thing would be achieved. However, music has since been approached as a get-rich-quick scheme, rather than an expression of talent or a novel perspective to a single story, or any of the other purposes music was originally intended for. Conceivably, there is no gainsaying this article will not appeal to a majority of those it is intended for.
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