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!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Movin’ on

I said this to myself (in a blog post) almost exactly a year ago. Today, I had to go back and read that blog post to find out if these words of wisdom are still applicable. I find that they are, even though I’m now applying them to a very different situation.

It’s been so long that I had to rummage through the blog to verify the dates, but as far back as February 8, 2014, I talked about how Strange Women (a book based on the rmj blog) was going to be released that same year. This came so close to happening (or, so I thought) that I could taste it. But as time went by and 2014 turned into 2015, I realized that, for a variety of complex reasons, it simply wasn’t going to happen – or, at least not in the way that I had originally envisioned it.

Despite the two different situations to which I’ve had to apply this nugget of wisdom (‘Sometimes things don’t go as planned …’), as I write this, it has occurred to me that the initial feelings are often the same when your plans don’t work out exactly how you thought they should/would. Whether it’s about the end of a marriage or of some other closely-held dream, the initial incomprehension, shock, and befuddlement are quite similar in character, if not in degree.

But, here’s what I’ve learned:

That’s life.

Deal with it.

Get over it.

Move on.

Despite the twists and turns, and although this new decision was brought about by an unanticipated turn of events, I’m brimming with excitement about the new direction I’m taking with publishing the book. There’s no way this new direction could’ve been paved without my deciding to simply ‘move on.’ Once I did, I began to see all sorts of possibilities. Actual details will be emerging in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, as painful as it is for me, I’ve finally started taking down a certain proportion of the blog content as it will be made available in the book.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Too much sugar

Something my very close friend said to me this morning. We weren't talking about marriage, actually; it just sort of came out of the blue. It was so striking that I asked her say it again (so I could type it up). I want to remember it.

After I posted this the first time, she went on to say (via email):

'I hope the comment makes sense to readers and helps them to understand that 'wholesome love' (if there's such a phrase) DEMANDS and insists on responsible behavior and accountability from one's partner. This kind of love does not avoid difficult conversations, but in a mature manner, brings up and addresses issues (be they on sex, money, in-laws, or whatever), rather than ignore them with the hope that they will somehow disappear over time. Ignoring stuff does not make the stuff disappear; it only hurts us, and weakens the cord of love and trust in the relationship. Wholesome love is not afraid to insist on being shown love and admiration, and being treated with respect and dignity. Of course, this love is also giving and caring. I'm sure you get what I mean. We must love and treat our spouse right, but we must also DEMAND the same from them, and we should never shy away from bringing up issues that bother us.'

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tall, dark, and handy

I got back from a trip a few weeks ago and stood outside the airport, waiting for my favorite cabbie to pick me up. He pulled up a few minutes later. In my car.

I got in, slightly puzzled, slightly amused.

‘Sorry,’ he said, laughing at my expression. ‘My car developed a problem at the last minute, so I decided not to risk using it to pick you up.’


I sat in the passenger’s seat in the front. It felt really odd because whenever I’m in my car, I’m in the driver’s seat. So this is what it feels like to sit on this side of my car, I thought to myself. It felt uncomfortable and horrible. To me, anyway. I suddenly began noticing all my car’s faults. They just seemed more visible sitting on the other side.

‘This car is really beginning to irritate me,’ I said out loud.

Poor thing. It turns 16 this year (like my son), and I bought it ‘gently-used’ a decade ago. How can it be 10 years ago, though? Where has the time gone?

It never lets me down. Then again, I hardly ever drive. I hate driving. I tell myself that my cab rides are my one luxury. (And my gym membership. Oh, yeah.). I hardly ever need to get it fixed. It’s solid. But old. And this year, it’s begun to look really old on the inside. It hardly cost anything and has more than served out its time, given what I paid for it. I thank God for it. Some of my friends have lovingly yabbed me over the years about my holding on to it, and I’ve always laughed it off, saying it was serving me well. But the wear and tear of age has taken its toll. One of my friends refers to it as ‘Grandma.’

I heaved a world-weary sigh.

I need a husband.

I sat with this thought for a while on my way home, suddenly intrigued by it.

Now, that’s an interesting thought. I don’t see the correlation, though. I think what you actually need right now is a new car.

Yeah, but if I had a husband, I wouldn’t need to bother having to think about one more thing. I don’t have any more room in my mind for anything new. He could just handle it and I could focus on a million other things.

My mind went back to how my car became my car in the first place. Back when we were married, my ex-husband made importing the car his personal project (much to my relief). He spent weeks doing his research and finally settled on a BMW. With all the car-jackings in this capital city, he figured I would need a reliable car that no one would want to steal. He was hardly ever around and wanted to be sure we’d be safe. ‘No one would want to steal a BMW in Nairobi,’ he explained. Apparently, car-jackers are only interested in Toyotas and Hondas (or at least they were in 2004). That sounded great to me. I think my involvement in this process (apart from footing the bill) boiled down to approving the color, and I was quite satisfied with that tiny role. How the car got from Japan to Kenya is beyond me, although I have all the paperwork in my possession.

Okay, so do you need a husband, or do you need a car broker?

Well, what’s wrong with having both?

Nothing! I’m just asking you what you ‘need’ right now.

Oh. … Well, in that case, the truth is, I know what to do in order to import a car. I may not know all the little details, but I know lots of people that would be happy to give me pointers and help me find a good deal. I guess I was just fatigued because I just got off a plane and so I started making mountains out of molehills.

Okay, good. So, back to the husband thing. If you ‘need’ a husband, then why have you been dodging your friends who’ve been trying to hook you up with eligible, ‘forty-something’ bachelors?

‘Dodging’ is a strong word. I haven’t exactly been dodging. I’m just being cautious and trying to make up my mind about what I want and what’s best before taking on any new responsibilities. A relationship is a huge responsibility.

Okay, so stop deceiving yourself, then. You need a new car and you’re not a two-year old. You know how to get one. No one ever said a husband was a pre-requisite. So, do what you need to do.

You’re SO annoying. Hush!

That settles it. Next year, God willing, I’m upgrading my car.