Sunday, 13 December 2015

Questions my best friend asked me

We all have our 'besties.' Different people come into our lives for different reasons, and 'best friends' (or, the people that we allow to retain such positions) tend to evolve as well. Consequently, by the time you get to my age, it's unusual not to have a number of really close friends, all of whom you consider your BFFs. They come into your life at different periods and bless you in completely different ways. I'm privileged to have about 4-5 such besties in my life.

I've known Isang Awah since I was 8 years old. I was supposed to be her sister's friend - and I was for a good year before they both moved to a different school. I reconnected with Isang in senior secondary school years later, and that's when I actually got to know her well. We hit it off right away and the friendship has withstood time (gosh, it's been over 3 decades), distance, relocations, and many life changes. We are two very different individuals. I always tell her, in fact, that she reminds me a lot of my younger sister - another person that differs from me greatly, but that, surprisingly, is 'one' with me in spirit on so many levels. That's the way I would describe Isang as well.

Despite our different personalities, we've always shared a passion for writing. I'm not sure if she knew this back then, though. When I look back, I see that I was still a 'closet writer,' and probably shared little of what I wrote, if at all. She, on the other hand, wrote 'out loud' right from our teenage years, and has continued to do so, in different ways. She was always writing - poetry and songs, especially. If my memory serves me correctly, she was one of those people that kept a diary, too. She wasn't afraid to put her thoughts down on paper. I watched in admiration for years, while still stifling my own thoughts and writing.

Appropriately, today, among her myriad accomplishments, she is proprietor and director at MyRainbowBooks - 'personalized books that celebrate the child, build self-esteem, instill the right values, and engender a reading culture.' This means she gets to write, edit, publish, give creative input into cover designs and illustrations, and so much more. She's also written and produced a Nollywood movie (entitled 'Bent Arrows'), songs for the soundtrack to the movie, and a totally separate book and album!

I could go on and on, but all I'm trying to say is that she decided to interview me about Strange Women. It's a long one, since I can't help being long-winded sometimes, but I hope you enjoy it!

But first:

FB link to MyRainbowBooks:

Youtube link to Part I of Bent Arrows:


Isang: Congratulations, rmj, on the publication of your well-written and fascinating memoir. Would you care to say why you titled the book, ‘Strange Women and Other Strangleholds?’
rmj: Why, thank you, Isang. I try to use provocative titles for whatever I write, although this doesn’t always happen. When I was first exposed to the practice of praying against ‘Strange Women,’ I was so struck by the concept that I knew I had to work it into the title somehow. Plus, these prayers resonate with quite a lot of women. The vast majority of readers that stumble upon my blog (part of which was converted into the book) seem to do so by searching for prayers against ‘Strange Women’ on the internet. So, I thought it would make for an interesting title that would grab the attention of potential readers. Further information about the ‘strangleholds’ part of the title can be found in the Preface of the book, but in a nutshell, I see the compulsion to pray against ‘Strange Women’ as a sort of stranglehold – one of many that might exist in a marriage.
Isang: I have to ask this next question because of your Nigerian background. You have chosen to write about divorce and your experiences within and after marriage. As a Nigerian Christian and one who understands the Nigerian culture, did you at any point entertain fears about how your book would be received by most Nigerian Christians?
rmj: If I was apprehensive about anything, it wasn’t necessarily about Nigerian Christians and how they would receive the book. My apprehension was more around the act of putting myself out there and what that would mean for me as a pretty introverted person. It might just boil down to the sort of company that I keep, but I know quite a number of Nigerian Christians who just happen to be very nuanced and objective in their thinking, and seasoned in their knowledge and understanding of Scripture. Still, I do see how being ‘Nigerian’ and being ‘Christian’ can sometimes inhibit us from asking hard questions, and from digging beyond what we’ve been taught to see if there’s anything else – how it can stifle plain old curiosity, if we’re not careful. But, as a Nigerian Christian, I’m also keenly aware that when it comes to some tough issues in the Church, there’s the ‘official’ account – the one that’s heard consistently in public and from the pulpit – and the ‘unofficial’ account – the one that’s whispered behind closed doors. And the two are usually not identical. I had already been navigating these two different viewpoints as a divorced, African, Christian woman for years before the book came out, so I knew that they existed, and for me, this meant that there would be an audience for the book, even if a part of that audience would be hidden.
What I mean is that, for some, Strange Women is the kind of book that you read locked up in your bathroom, or the kind of book that you wrap up in newspaper so spouses or church members don’t get the wrong impression (if you know what I mean). For some Nigerian Christians, it’s really not the sort of book that you admit to having read, or that you show public appreciation for, because that could result in misperceptions about your own Christian standing. I also don’t think of the book as a ‘Church-only’ book, which is one of the reasons why I never tried to brand it (or even market it) as such. Its purpose isn’t to teach Christian doctrine; it’s just based on my own story, and I just happen to identify as Nigerian and Christian. I think of it as being for all women and men interested in cultivating meaningful relationships, even though it’s written from a Christian perspective. So, for these reasons (and probably more), I wasn’t terribly preoccupied with how the book would be received by Nigerian Christians specifically. I do hope, though, that at least some aspects of the book will resonate with this particular population, because it’s an important one. I do feel that that the Church needs to re-think some things, but that goes for the Church in Africa in general. The issues I write about in the book aren’t just ‘Nigerian’ issues.
Isang: I see. Now, the general view is that when a relationship breaks up, both parties are in some way responsible for the demise of the relationship. Looking back now, do you see anything that you could have done differently that would perhaps have made your marriage turn out differently?
rmj: That’s a tough question to do justice to because the things that lead to the demise of a marriage are oftentimes far too complex to dissect at one go. I suppose this is why I had to write a whole book! I could’ve done a lot of things differently. But if I could just choose two main things, firstly, I would have approached marriage with the understanding that although marrying a fellow believer is essential, it is definitely not sufficient. In our days, it was all about trying to avoid the ‘unequal yoke.’ I didn’t always do this successfully pre-marriage, and so when I did end up actually married to a believer, I thought I’d achieved an amazing feat. That’s all I’d been taught, after all. It didn’t occur to me to think about anything else, or consider other things that might be important for a marriage, such as the personality of your partner and how this lines up with yours (or doesn’t) – your partner’s general approach to life and how this lines up with yours (or doesn’t), etc. I grossly underestimated the importance of these practical factors, and honestly just assumed that our common profession of Christianity would be enough to carry us through.
Secondly, I should have trusted in my knowledge of myself during the pre-marriage phase of the relationship. At some point, I began to second-guess myself. For whatever reason, my confidence in the knowledge of who I was faltered during a certain phase of my life, and the worst time to get married is when you’re at your weakest as a person. But I find that, for many women, this is actually when they begin to think of marriage as a great idea. You’re feeling weak and you’re naturally looking for someone else to complement you with what you see as their strengths. It’s a natural reaction, I think, but not a wise one. It’s best to get married, I think, when you’re at your best and your strongest. You always make better choices at such times.
Isang: This is a follow-up to the last question. On page 219, you write, ‘I have learned that, even in staying, one must take action to create the life that one wants.’ What actions do you think women, and men of course, who are in unhappy marriages can take to create the life that they want?
rmj: I think they need to first of all admit to themselves that they feel the way they feel – whether the feeling is one of unhappiness, or something else. That seems simple, but it can be hard to do. And then, they need to confront the issues that result in their feeling that way. This can be scary for many people because it’s about ‘rocking the boat’ and not letting the proverbial sleeping dogs lie. It’s about going against what we’re usually socialized to do. But the truth is that ‘sleeping dogs’ are never really asleep. They always get up and bite in the end, anyway. So you might as well wake them up and deal head-on with what needs to be dealt with. What you’ll find is that, as frightening as it can sometimes be, it’s actually empowering to be proactive about your own life.
Isang: I’m quoting this sentence from page 63 of the book because I totally agree with it, and want people out there, especially the single ladies and guys to see it, and hopefully, think about it: ‘If the person you choose to marry is simply not a nice person, then their prayer warrior status, or ability to lead worship with anointing won’t change the fact that they’re not nice.’ Now to my question. You say, ‘I’m convinced that the only thing that makes people who have an easier time with marriage is ‘choosing well’ or ‘lucking out’ (page 62); that sounds like you do not believe in God’s guidance. How do you marry this stance with Proverbs 3: 5-7?
rmj: The chapter you’re referring to is about nothing if not God’s guidance, so I definitely do believe in it! However, the fact that I believe in it doesn’t mean that I always fully understand its workings. In the book, I write pretty openly about a number of things that I don’t fully understand – such as where God’s guidance and fortune begin and where ‘luck’ takes over, if at all. Let me give you an example of what I mean: If a plane full of devout Christians crashes, and only one of them survives, does God’s guidance play a role there? Some might argue that if the travelers had sought God’s guidance (and if they were fortunate enough to hear Him), they wouldn’t have gotten on the plane. Others might argue that the sole survivor was just plain ‘lucky.’ They were all serving the same God, after all, and accidents happen all the time. If an atheist has a great marriage, is that just plain old luck? And if a Christian has a difficult marriage, is it as a result of not allowing for God’s guidance – or is it just bad ‘luck’? Some of us will resolve these kinds of questions in our minds in different ways, and others (such as myself) might not resolve them at all. In this same chapter, I say the following: “As a Christian with the benefit of hindsight, I believe that we are required to take responsibility for ourselves, drawing on the wisdom and other resources God has already given us. Let’s not decide not to do our homework because we think God is our fall back plan, or because we think Christianity is our ‘crutch.’ Doing so usually results in our wallowing in bitterness and in our pulling away from God, convinced that He didn’t do what He could to protect us. … Oftentimes, the problem isn’t that we don’t have the skills to choose well; the problem is that we make our choice before we have taken the time and effort to know ourselves well enough.” So, do I believe in God’s guidance? Yes. Do I also believe that personal responsibility isn’t dissociated from His guidance? Yes.
Isang: In the chapter, ‘Without Crutches’, which by the way I think is quite empowering, you write, ‘It’s easier to just stay where I am. To just get by. To not dream again…’ Now, we know that you got up and pursued your dream of writing. What is your advice to the women and men who have let go of their dreams, and borrowing your words, allowed their ‘day-to-day life’s momentum to just carry them’ wherever? What practical steps can they take to achieve the dreams they once had?
rmj: Thanks, Isang; I’m glad you enjoyed that one. It’s hard to give practical advice in this case because every dream is so different and so personal. But if I could make a ‘blanket statement,’ I would say that if God has given you a dream, then He has given you the wherewithal to achieve it. It would be terrible for any of us to have to give account to God, and to only be able to say that we gave up or let go for reasons that God could have helped us overcome. I believe that we all have an innate desire to make a mark in this world, and that this desire is God-given. If we don’t do the things we should be doing (i.e., pursue our God-given dreams), then we’re no different from the unfaithful servant who buried his talent out of fear. There are no excuses for our not using what we’ve been given. That servant was told that he could’ve at least deposited the talent in the bank so it could earn some interest. So there’s no excuse; we can always work toward our goals, even if all we’re doing is taking baby steps. If I had ever even thought about writing a book, I would never have written one. All I did was write essays – I even hesitate to call them ‘chapters’ because they’re so short! But that’s all I did. And then, one day, I realized I had more than enough material for compiling a book. I hope that’s a practical enough example. Baby steps are good enough and will get you there.
Isang: Nena, one of the issues you’ve addressed in SW is the church’s insensitivity, lack of support, and stigmatization of women whose marriages have crashed, even though this was not your personal experience. From your experience, what do you think the church, or rather, well-meaning church members can do to demonstrate their love for, and support of women whose marriages are not intact?
rmj: They can start by getting their doctrine right. I think once this foundational issue is resolved, then everything else naturally flows from there. Doctrines are often culturally-driven, as you know. We can both review the same Scripture and come up with two totally different interpretations because of the cultural lenses through which we read them. But the clergy and other church leaders are obligated (and should be trained) to rise above that and teach others accordingly. As an example, the Bible clearly talks about the gift of singleness, but in my 43 years of life, I’ve never heard a single message on eternal singleness preached in an African church. This is not because we’re not aware of the Scriptures that dwell on this subject, though. It’s simply because the idea does not resonate for us at all, in a cultural sense. And so we simply skip over it, or brush it aside. It’s no different with divorce. Culturally, we can’t deal with it – not even with the Scriptures that talk about it. We gravitate only towards those Scriptures or interpretations that don’t startle us culturally, and so there’s quite a bit of imbalance there.
Isang: I couldn’t agree more. I would like to hear your perspective on women in abusive relationships. We hear and read all the time about women who are abused verbally, emotionally and physically by their spouses. How do you think women in abusive relationships can be helped?
rmj: My response to your previous question speaks to this one as well. Let’s get our doctrine right so that congregation members are taught right. And let’s not be afraid to confront tough issues in the Church. The most vibrant and life-changing churches today, in my opinion, are those that are dealing with the tough, practical issues in people’s lives, rather than just going through the motions of keeping a church going by having one lackluster service after the other. The Church really shouldn’t be a place where an abusive spouse (whether male or female) sits comfortably in the pews week after week without ever feeling the slightest bit of conviction about their abusive behavior – because there are enough Scriptures to reveal God’s mind about abuse. Whether we can see them or not with our socio-cultural blinders on is the question.
Isang: Right. My next question is a 3-in-1 q, and you can answer it in any order. (i)What do you do for sex?
Nena: This is going to be a long answer! This question is actually the title of one of the chapters in the book, so I address this issue in more detail there. It’s interesting that people ask me this question from time to time now, but before I ever got married, no one ever asked me this question (as if I didn’t have any sex drive at the time!). When I was married (and my spouse would be gone for months on end), no one ever asked, either. Somehow, there’s this assumption that the absence of sex isn’t an issue in those situations. But the truth is that it’s really not that different when you’re divorced. This fact alone is almost enough to help me have a reasonable perspective on the sex issue and not blow it all out of proportion.
Whether single, married (with an absentee spouse), or divorced, what are the alternatives really, as someone who professes Christianity? Take on a ‘friend with benefits’? Go sleep with someone else’s husband periodically? Masturbate from now till death, possibly? I honestly can’t think of any alternative that’s sustainable (or even palatable). I can’t think of any alternative that would truly satisfy, either, and let you feel good about yourself. I think what has helped me is the fact that I’m extremely analytical. This helps me put sex in its proper place and not magnify it unnecessarily. I don’t pretend, for instance, that all sexual experiences or encounters are necessarily good or earth-shattering. That wouldn’t be very objective. I don’t pretend, either, that when I could legitimately have sex, I always wanted to every single time. As with most other things in life, I’m quite introspective about this issue, and this helps to balance out my perspective. Sex certainly has its place, but no one will die without it – hahahaha! There’s also this ebb and flow associated with most women’s sex drives (or at least, with mine). So to approach this issue as if one feels sexual all the time is to deceive oneself.
The most practical thing I can think of that I do is to try and stay aware of what’s going on with my body. Because, as you know, this is a biological issue as well. At certain times of the month, hormonal issues simply impact libido, regardless of how serious you are about meditating on ‘whatsoever things are pure’ and ‘whatsoever things are lovely.’ I think we actually need to teach these things to our teenagers and young people. Since I’m aware of what comes with ovulation, I try to be alert. Sometimes, out of the blue, I’ll do something totally odd, like have this sudden, strong urge for having some dry Milo. Like a programmed robot, I’ll get a mug and put in 3 heaped teaspoonfuls and start licking the Milo contentedly, like if I’m in boarding school! I do this instinctively, like clockwork, once a month, except when my diet has been really good all month (then, I notice that I don’t get this craving at all). When this happens, it’s a sign that I’m experiencing some hormonal fluctuations, and my body is beginning to crave sweets, and I need to prepare for the fact that my thoughts may begin to go haywire, too, if I don’t stay alert. I also need to watch my diet so I feel better physically and emotionally. Too many sweets at this time lower my mood, so I have to watch it. I suspect they also potentially open me up to sexual vulnerabilities, so I watch out. During this time, I can start to make mountains out of molehills, if I’m not careful and watchful. So basically, although we tend to focus mainly on the spiritual when it comes to these matters, I’m convinced that we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not taking the physical into account.
I’m not knocking the spiritual, though, because I definitely do pray about these things as well. How else do we bring the flesh under? I tell God that I truly want to please Him, and that He should give me a heart to do so, because, the truth is, I can’t do it without Him. When I haven’t done as well as I think I should have, I go to Him and own up and ask for continued grace for the journey. Lastly, like most Christians, I have a half a million checks and balances in my life. Between church attendance and responsibilities, teaching Sunday School, leading Bible studies, and the like, and having church folks ‘all up in my business,’ let’s just say there’s limited room for any hanky-panky – lol! Plus, I’m a single mom with a ridiculously busy career. There’s simply not enough time in the day; I don’t get enough sleep as it is. I think even the devil has figured that out by this point!
(ii) Any plans to remarry?
rmj: I think of a ‘plan’ as being pretty intentional – perhaps even involving a series of steps that you’ve mapped out to get you somewhere. When it comes to remarrying, I have no plans in this sense. I’m totally ‘plan-less’ and I see myself as a blank slate. I feel like if I’m sort of living my life in reverse, actually. What I mean is that, before I got married, I don’t recall spending nearly enough time savoring my singleness. My life was always ‘on hold,’ so to speak, in anticipation of things only really kicking off whenever I got married. I now see just how tragic that was because there’s something to be treasured in every status – whether married, single, or whatever’s in between. So if I do have a ‘plan’ for now, it’s all about appreciating and valuing where I am presently – just savoring the peace and serenity and stability that I have in my life right now, and the fact that the only decisions or actions in this world that can impact me negatively right now are my own. I’m not averse to the idea of remarrying, though – don’t get me wrong. I just understand that, at this stage of my life, it would raise all kinds of complexities, and I’m just happy that I’m now able to treasure my singleness enough to know that I have a really good thing going on, and that any other ‘offers’ have really got to be ones that I absolutely can’t refuse in order for me to even consider them.
(iii) You are a young, attractive and successful female; how do you ward off unwanted suitors?
rmj: First of all, thank you for the compliment, Isang. You’d think I would get approached more, with all the trips I have to go on for work, and all the meetings I have to attend! But I honestly don’t! I think I just have that ‘married’ look – hahaha! A friend of mine calls it my ‘proposal-writing face’ – a face that says, ‘I’m here for work and nothing else.’ So maybe I’m just unconsciously warding off suitors before they even make a move – haha.
Isang: Now to my final question: what marriage advice or tip do you have for single guys and ladies? I know you’ve written a lot about marriage in SW, but not everybody will get the opportunity to read the book. What is the one thing that you would like all unmarried people to know before they say ‘I do’?
rmj: The one thing I would like all unmarried people to know before they get married is: themselves. I’m convinced that one of the most spiritual things anyone can do in general is to know him/herself. Take the time to figure out exactly who you are because it helps in weeding out the wrong people for you. Knowing yourself also helps you grow spiritually (which is good preparation for marriage), as the Word of God is meant to be applied to your own life. And if you don’t know who you are, then a lot of your Scripture reading and mediation is nothing more than a nice exercise that’s much less beneficial than it should be.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Here at last

The book is finally available online, here.

As you may know by now, my younger sister (let me call her Sister 3) is my publisher. I’m at Sister 2’s place this weekend, so Sister 3 sent me a proof copy of the book to look at (via Sister 2's address) and give my approval. I spent yesterday reviewing it and was happy with it, so she has made it available on the internet.

I realize that this might be a barrier for those of us based in African countries, so I also plan to print copies in Kenya. I understand that the use of Kindle is pretty popular in Nigeria, so we'll experiment with that as well, in addition to trying to make a few hard copies available. 

It has been quite a journey. Many of you will remember that I really expected this book to be out by around January 2013. January 2013 turned to September 2013, then to December 2013, then to the first quarter of 2014 … You get the picture.

When a lightbulb finally went off for me and I asked Sister 3 if her company (Story She Wrote Media) would be interested in publishing the book for me, we were already in 2015.   

The process of working with my sister to get this book out has been really interesting. We have quarreled, laughed half to death, ‘kept malice’ temporarily, made up, bickered, and made up again. It’s been absolutely hilarious! You think you know your sister, and you do – but if you’ve never actually worked with your sister professionally, then there’s a side of your sister that you do not know at all. I’m sure I’m describing not just my experience here, but hers as well. I don’t think Sister 3 was prepared for the fact that I’m so detail-oriented when it comes to certain things. I can understand her unpreparedness because, when it comes to most things in life, I’m one of the most laid-back people you’ll ever meet. I’m not big on formalities or even too much structure. But with certain things (with my work, specifically), I can be pretty anal. That’s one area in which the Melancholic, perfectionist side of my Phlegmatic-Melancholic self emerges – and it’s not pretty.

I obsessed over the font style and size, over the chapter embellishments (which Sister 3 said no one would notice, anyway – and she’s probably right), over the formatting, over the BOOK COVER. I remember reading a blog post (?) by Abidemi Sanusi in which she mentioned that no author is ever really satisfied with their final book cover (or something like that). I now fully understand what she meant. I had the ‘perfect’ book cover in mind, and despite detailed descriptions and several iterations, I never quite felt like the book cover designer really ‘got’ it. I stopped obsessing when Sister 3 mentioned that I could either have a book cover that makes potential book-buyers think it’s a ‘Mountain of Fire’ prayer book (not quite what I was going for, though prayer is important!), or I could have a book cover that a wider variety of potential book-buyers will actually look at a second time, pick up, and hopefully buy. My initial thought was that the final version of the book cover didn’t look ‘serious’ enough, and was therefore sort of misleading and didn’t really represent the ‘essence’ of what the book is about (bla-bla-bla). Sister 3 couldn’t disagree more. (Now you see why she published one book a year ago, and has another one pretty much done, while it’s taken me years to churn one out). Over time, I made my peace with it. I was mentally exhausted and just wanted to get things over with at first. Eventually, the cover sort of grew on me and I was able to accept it without judgement. Let me know what you think – seriously.

As I keep saying, sometimes things don’t go as planned. But, so what? I’m learning (not just through this book journey, but through so many other events that have occurred in my life) not to get caught up in the perfect ‘plan.’ The bottom line is that there is always a usually unseen ‘Plan’ that remains consistent, just as the Planner intended. So, when the perfect ‘plan’ doesn’t quite pan out, I’m getting much better at not being discouraged. But rather, doing all that I can do with what I’ve got.

This train of thought has led me to go back and read several different versions of Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. I’ll only share The Living Bible version with you, though. Here it is:

Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for in the days ahead you yourself may need much help. When the clouds are heavy, the rains come down; when a tree falls, whether south or north, the die is cast, for there it lies. If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. God’s ways are as mysterious as the pathway of the wind and as the manner in which a human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in its mother’s womb. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow – perhaps it all will.


As for the contents of the book, I’ve mentioned before that the book is simply made up of most of the blogposts from 2012 and a few from 2013, most of which are no longer available on the blog. Quite a number of the posts/essays have been enhanced a bit, based on advice from the structural editor.

Thank you to all the rmj blog readers for reading all this while, and for putting up with my lengthy periods of silence. Do spread the word however you can. You probably know of a few women who would find Strange Women useful – a few men, too! Please point them to it.

Thank you, C. C. Adetula of Story She Wrote Media. I’m proud of you and blessed to have been able to work with you.



Sunday, 9 August 2015

Across continents

This took much longer than anticipated – apologies. Technical difficulties. In the process of editing the original video and dividing it up into several parts, we lost Part IV – the final session. Not to be deterred, we did it all over again – this time, across continents and via Skype. It’s not flawless, but we have our Part IV! [Watch here.]

Trying to figure out how to record a Skype video call was too much wahala for both of us, so we had my son figure it out and then do the editing. The image is blurry on my sister’s end for the first few minutes, but it eventually clears up.

In this final part of the YouTube series, I ask my sister a few more questions. AND, I end with a surprise for Nairobi-based viewers: If you live in Nairobi and would like to receive a free copy of C.C. Adetula’s book, The Perfect Girl, The Prostitute, and Other Stories, send me an email at I only have two copies left, so the first two people to email me will get them as soon as possible.

Have a good evening!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Almost done

I promise not to turn the blog into a video blog! The YouTube series based on The Perfect Girl and Strange Women is almost over. We have one more clip to go. I hope you can take the time to watch Part Three in the meantime.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Questions I asked my sister

So, here are a few questions that I had for C.C. Adetula, the author of The Perfect Girl, The Prostitute, and Other Stories. It's Part II of a 3 or 4 part YouTube series. I hope I asked good questions!

As I mentioned in the previous post, there were several funny interruptions which I can now see that my sister managed to edit out. A huge bee flew into the room and we started screaming and running all over the place. Then, my brother-in-law (who was having a catnap right outside the room) suddenly woke up and wandered in. We finished the rest of the interview with him continuing his nap in the same room. I hope it's not too obvious. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Questions my sister asked me

My sister published a really interesting collection of short stories not too long ago, and has done a number of YouTube videos that involve her responding to questions that readers had for her about her book.

Her videos inspired me to ask her a question one day while we were talking about Strange Women: 'Hey, wouldn't it be interesting if you interviewed me?'

'Let's interview each other,' she said, without missing a beat.

I thought this was an even better idea. We agreed that we'd independently come up with 10 questions for each other and then do a YouTube interview. I came up with mine over several hours on a weekend, in between cooking and packing for a trip. She came up with hers in literally two minutes. It's amazing how God created us all so differently. (She writes fiction, by the way, and I've never really had the guts to try that genre).

We started out interviewing each other, and then realized the recorder wasn't even on (lol)! So, we started again. There were some interruptions, and then we realized we had no idea how to edit the recording. When we were done, we couldn't figure out how to get it to upload properly. It took about 3 days to finish doing so! Somehow, she managed to make something out of it.

I wondered if the questions we had for each other were along the lines of what others might want to ask - or if we'd totally missed the mark. You be the judge. There will eventually be a Google hang-out (or perhaps even more YouTube videos) which will involve responding to questions from actual readers.

In the meantime, here's Part I of the 'sister interview.'

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Twists and turns

Somehow or another, this book will appear this year. We're getting closer, and this video is proof (sort of). Hope you enjoy it. If you do, let me know (so I can let my sister know - she did all the work!).

To give a teeny bit of background, my little sister's company is publishing the book. We haven't collaborated on a project in forever, so this is a fun learning experience for both of us. This video is sort of like Step One along this path. Join us on this journey!