Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Location...

... and New Beginnings....

It's almost the end of 2014, and like many people I'm looking back on the past year and making plans for the coming one.

But with one major difference.... I'll be starting out 2015 by leaving the UK and moving back to Nigeria, after more than fourteen years away - if you don't count those short visits back.

It's a move that I was initially very reluctant to make, especially when I went to Nigeria in March, spent four months, and returned to the UK at the end of July. Nigeria had felt like a very strange and abnormal society and I was so glad to be back in relative "sanity" in London. Throughout the summer, I wrestled with the idea of moving back or remaining in the UK, and either way, I was faced with several pros and cons. I decided to do nothing and return to my default position and remain in the UK for the time being. I even started making my plans for the rest of 2014 and 2015 with the UK as my base. But....

Plans changed and now I'm going back! I rediscovered what it means to make a commitment and have to follow it through. That means I finally decided to stop procrastinating and started packing my bags. It still feels a bit weird and a bit scary to think that I'll be saying goodbye to the UK in a few days' time and returning to Nigeria. It almost feels like going back to my past, but finding that I've changed while the past has remained the same. I left Nigeria as a young, awkward, shy teenager just finished my A'Levels and about to start an Undergraduate course. That journey began sometime in September 2000. Many years later, I'm a very different person, with a different outlook in life.

I have to say, that my time in the UK has been a very productive one. I've been very blessed to have the experiences I've had, the husband and children I'm returning with, the education I have absorbed, the exposure to different cultures, meeting amazing people and making wonderful friends, the chance to rediscover my gifts and turn them into a career that I'm passionate about, the places I've been able to explore, and so much more. I'm very thankful to God for these blessings, and I'm reminded that He who brought me thus far to this chapter in my life, is more than able to take me through the next chapter and all that is coming next. I just have to trust Him and lean on Him completely.

So, while I'm making plans for 2015, I'm keeping at the back of my mind that I have to be prepared for a few surprises along the way! "Expect the unexpected" so to speak. Most people who have

relocated back to Nigeria have told me that the best thing is to be ready both mentally and emotionally. And to forget everything you know about living abroad so that you can adjust back to Nigerian settings faster.

I wish you all a very blessed year in 2015. I know there may be good days and not so good days, there will be happy days and frustrating days, as such is life. But I wish you lots of smiles, laughter, adventures, celebrations, success and good health to enjoy it all.

The next time I blog again, it will be from my new location.

Till then, remain blessed and favoured!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Videos: Highlights and Readings from the African Literary Evening

Hello friends,

Compliments of the Season to all. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and you're looking forward to a wonderful New Year in 2015.

As promised, we now have a video showing the highlights of the discussions, readings, spoken word performances and other happenings at the African Literary Evening. I think it is a lovely summary of the event.

I also have a video recording of my reading two flash fiction stories. It's the first time I've recorded a reading and it feels very weird to watch myself.

I'm now considering signing up for public speaking classes.....

Hope you enjoy both videos.

Please feel free to comment and share. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Guest Post - Overcoming Inertia: For the Underutilized Creative Mind

Overcoming Inertia: For the Underutilized Creative Mind - Guest Post by Remi Roy

 I started writing my book in 2011. I was working at a creative job and had just read a book that beyond inspired me and I thought, “I can do this.”

 Before then I had written many short stories but just couldn’t bring myself to write anything longer. It was like my brain was in permanent short story and sometimes even, flash fiction, mode. So I accepted the self-imposed challenge. Write a novel! Huh… okay a novella. Great! Leggo!

 And I wrote. And I wrote. And frankly, time flew by and I was done (technically) before I knew it.

 So that wasn’t hard. I guess because I already had the story in me. It’s a theme that is close to my heart and it was just a no-brainer that I would explore it as my first book. So at the end of 2011, the book was technically written.

Now if I were a serious writer I would look for an editor to work with me on the plot and ask the hard questions. Does it work? Are the characters relatable? Does the story even make sense? But, huh…

No. I didn’t do any of that.

Why? I don’t know. Maybe life happened and I just got busy with other things. Maybe I was afraid. In any case the book lay buried in my hard drive for three more years. And for those three years I fought the battle of the mind, trying to answer the question; Am I a writer?


 I had written a book. Imperfect or not, it had a beginning, a middle and an end! But I still couldn't move forward. Years later I had to accept what my problem was.

 I. Was. Afraid. Of. Mediocrity.

 I don’t know about you but I would rather do nothing than do something… bleh. And that was my problem. I was afraid to miss the mark because I thought if I did I’d never work up the courage to try again.

 Oh, creative person. Are you like me?

 That may explain your unfinished painting, or the half written book, or the self-published novel on amazon you have refused to actively promote, or the song demo no one has heard, or the floor design you have kept away from human eyes for as long as you can remember.

 You’re in inertia. Wake up!

 It doesn’t matter if it’s so good or needs more work. What matters is that you did it. You! Yes, you. You published the book. You released the song. You promoted your work. You submitted your design. You stood behind your own work. Then you get to do the next. And then the next. And if you don’t give up, that little girl will read your book, and sigh, and pick up her own pen.

 That’s the way of the world.

Author Bio: Remi Roy is a writer and author. She is currently finishing up her Master’s Degree in Emerging Media and Communication from the University of Texas at Dallas. In the past she has worked as a Magazine Editor and written for several magazines and online platforms. Her first book, Ms. Unlikely, is the story of a young woman’s search for meaning, fulfillment and love. Visit http://msunlikely.weebly.com for more information.