Invitation to the launch of “George’s Pieces of Me” by Tomi Adesina

My very good friend and award-wining author, Ms. Tomi Adesina will be launching her book, George’s Pieces of Me on August 20, 2017 at the Centre for Contemporary Art. The address is No. 9 McEwen Street, Off Queen Street, Yaba, Lagos. You are cordially invited to the said launch. The time is 3:00pm.

 

Here is a brief introduction of the book.

 

Title: George’s Pieces of Me

Author: Tomi Adesina

Edited by: Reaccentuated Ltd

Cover Design: Rewrite Agency

Layout and Design: Lucid Creative

ISBN: 978-978-960-140-0

Release Date: 20th August, 2017

Media Type: Paperback and e-copy

 

About the Book

George’s Pieces of Me is a collection of poems and short stories exploring the complexities of human existence, an unending search for homes in people and journey towards redemption.

 

Advance Praise

“In George’s Pieces of Me, Tomi Adesina styles poetry and prose with imagination, mischief and charm. Her vignettes are more than just stories: they are wistful commentaries on existentialism, triggered by social expectations. Adesina prompts the reader towards self-assured social rebellion, and then pulls us back to stoic acceptance of the vicissitudes of life. The thoughts in this book will stay with you long after the pages are closed.”

Ayo Sogunro, Author of Everything in Nigeria is Going to Kill You

“The stories explore loving, loss, internalizing the pain of loss and finding home. Tomi’s voice is clear in this piece of work, without drowning the voices of her characters who we meet briefly but whose stories will linger with us for a long time.”

Tunde Leye, Author of Guardians of the Seal

“Adesina’s work is a reflection of hope, love and the burden of fate. She twists the tale of old age to reveal an eternal spring of life’s realities. Here is a writer with compulsive and engaging stories to tell.”

Hannah Ojo of The Nation

 

About the Author

Tomi Adesina was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a fiction blogger and screenwriter. In 2013 she won the Nigerian Blog Awards for her blog fiction series and in 2015 her screenplay on cyberbullying (Feisty John) won the Homevida Prize. She also won the Nigerian Writers Award for Best Young Writer in 2015 and her short stories have been featured in magazines across Africa. She lives in Lagos where she is working on a new novel.

Distribution: George’s Pieces of Me is available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Buboox, Patabah Books. (More channels to be available soon)

Media Enquiries: writeto@tomiadesina.com, writetotomiadesina@gmail.com

 

And here is our author

 

 

If you would love to have a photo-session with the author, you can do that from about 2:30pm on the date of the launch. It would mean so much to me if you can make it to the event.

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Guilty

grunge-texture-wallpaper-1Bamidele Ayodeji went through his case file again as he awaited the arrival of the trial Judge. This should be a pretty easy case for him. Everything was in place to get the conviction he wanted – the conviction he needed. The conviction he badly needed. It was a murder case. The victim was identified. She was poisoned by a bitter admirer who could not handle her rejection of his advances. This bitter admirer – the accused – was apprehended after dogged investigation by men of the Police Force. The proof of evidence before the court, established that the accused committed the murder. The accused also confessed to the crime and his confessional statement formed part of the proof of evidence before the court. As far as Bamidele Ayodeji was concerned, this was a done deal.

How the proceedings of the day were going to be conducted played out in his head.

Court Registrar reads the charge to the accused. He pleads guilty. Bamidele calls in his witnesses and tenders the incontrovertible exhibits. The accused counsel who is assigned to him from the Legal Aid Council cannot impugn any of the exhibits. The court will admit the exhibits including the confessional statement of the accused. The court will proceed to find the accused guilty of murder – he admitted committing the crime anyway – and then, sentence him.

“Ah,” Bamidele Ayodeji heaved a deep sigh of relief. He could not believe he would be getting his first conviction after five years as a Public Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice. The infuriating words of Mr. Alex Oguntoyibo, his director at the Ministry, whizzed into his head.

“You are a good for nothing scumbag!” Mr Oguntoyibo had screamed at him the other day. “I don’t know how you got in here. Five years at this Ministry of Justice and you haven’t got a conviction? Of what use are you to us? Who employed you?! Who do you know?”

Mr. Oguntoyibo’s recent tirade at Bamidele was one of several of such heated words. He was always angry at Bamidele at the slightest provocation. Bamidele knew the reason for Mr. Oguntoyibo’s bad blood with him, and it had nothing to do with Bamidele’s work ethics or lack of achievements. When new recruits at the Ministry were hired, Bamidele Ayodeji was chosen by the Board of Directors at the Ministry over Mr. Oguntoyibo’s preferred candidate.

“Court!” The yell of the Registrar announcing the entrance of the Judge jolted Bamidele Ayodeji out of his reverie.

Show time.

***

Continue reading

Moralising the Writer’s Imagination

124It is about 8 O’clock this beautiful Monday morning. I have less work on my desk at the office, so I decide to surf the web to start my day. Twitter is usually my first port of call every time I am less busy, followed by Facebook, my email accounts and then my favourite football site, GOAL. However, for some weird reason this Monday morning, I decide to start with Facebook. As my timeline/wall refreshes, the first post I see is Kiru Taye’s. It has something to do with her weekly Sexy Snippets. I click on the link, and after I am done digesting the erotic snippet from her forthcoming book, I cannot help but start pondering over erotica writers and their special type of art.

We all know sex is a beautiful thing, but writing about sex – writing about hot, steamy, groin-torturing, nipple-tightening, back-breaking, mind-boggling and above all, konji-provoking cum konji-curing sex scenes has got to be one of the most self-tormenting things ever, I think. Self-tormenting because, you write such curious scenes with just your imaginations to thank for a job well done. Or, wait. Do erotica writers actually experience what they write about? This was the question I threw open to Twitterverse after reading Kiru Taye’s snippet and guess what the feedback was? Almost every erotica writer/fan agreed that, writing konji-provoking erotica pieces had more to do with the writer’s ability to fantasize than with the writer’s experience.

The above revelation got me thinking: So all these “dirty” things you people write are a product of your mind? Ok. Kotinu.

I know it is generally agreed that, to be a good writer of any genre, you’ve got to have a very good imagination. Many great stories we read have nothing to do with the writers’ experience, but with their powerful imagination. I don’t imagine Mario Puzo was a mafia lord, neither do I think James Hadley Chase was a serial killer, but both men wrote the chilliest crime thrillers ever. However, just as there are positives for having a good imagination, there are also many negatives of telling powerful stories. For instance, Susan Quilliam, a British Psychologist says reading powerful romance stories can be a bad influence on women and can lead them to make poor health and relationship decisions as the novels give women unrealistic views about what to expect out of a relationship. I remember some few years back, there was this news about two 12-year-olds, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who lured their classmate into the woods and stabbed her 19 times to prove ‘Slender Man’, a mythical figure in an online story was real.

This then begs the question: as a writer, to what extent should you allow your imaginations wander? I find myself asking this question because, many a time when I consider writing graphic stories (for example, writing a very graphic rape story or writing a very gory murder piece to expose the ills of the menace), my conscience would prick me to mellow on my choice of words. Why? Because the details of my imaginations are usually too disturbing. I am always reminded of one Bible portion or the other. For instance, Philippians 4:8 admonishes me to only think of things that are pure, honourable, just, lovely etc. Proverbs 23:7 reminds me that, as I think in my heart, so am I. The contents of Matthew 5:28 are tantamount to suggesting that, thinking about erotica things is a sin. Psalm 119:15 encourages me to only meditate on God’s words and His ways. Colossians 3:2 directs me to set my mind on heavenly things as against worldly stuff etc.

My dilemma with the above Biblical injunctions heightens whenever I remember that, God also demands that, I put the gift (s) He bestowed on me to good use. Remember the parables of the Talents in Matthew 25:14 – 30? I find myself questioning myself, “by refraining from telling this story as I imagine it, am I under-utilising this talent God gave to me?” “Would God be delighted that I am not telling this story as I should?” etc….

I know you could argue that, I can tell the story in a different way from my original imagination, but truth be told, some stories have to be told in their unadulterated, inspired manner and form to pass the desired message and effect.

To what extent should a writer let his imagination go? Should he limit it at all? Have you ever struggled with this moral question? How did you overcome it?

 

PS:

 

Konji – Slang for being horny

Kontinu – Slang for Continue

Chilliest – The extreme level of chill.

 

2016: The Year We Break things?

Get-Inspired-at-Work-Featured1If you follow tech blogs and read start up stories, you’ll be used to the phrase “disruptive innovation”. The phrase – which in itself, is a theory – was coined by Professor Clayton M. Christensen of the Harvard Business School, and what the theory simply posits is that, a disruptive innovation is an innovation which creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts (forgive the tautology) an existing market and value network, thus displacing established market leaders and alliances.

Let’s illustrate ….

If you grew up in Nigeria and attended a Nigerian school in the 90’s, you should be conversant with the chalk blackboard. Now, around the early 2000s, you will recall that, the chalk blackboard was gradually being replaced with the “marker whiteboard”. These “marker whiteboards” can be considered as a disruptive innovation in the sense that, it created a new kind of market in the education/teaching ecospace, thus challenging and – I dare say – displacing already established chalk and blackboard makers. It has been ages since I saw chalks and blackboards being sold in the market and the only conclusion I can draw from this is that, they are no longer used in Nigerian schools – maybe, save for schools in very rural localities. And this was only made possible by the marker whiteboards.

Applying the above theory/principle to our literati world,  I believe 2016 should be the year we strive to be better, to do things better –  a year we can strive for what I’ll term,  “personal disruptive innovations”. Of course, by using the phrase “personal disruptive innovations”, I am talking in a metaphorical sense, as much as I am talking in a practical sense. What have you been doing in the last year that you would love to “disrupt” and do differently for better results? Here is a list of areas I think writers should strive to “disrupt” in 2016. This list is in no way exhaustive and it also does not wish to be understood as pretentious in the sense of applicability to all writers (or even wannabe writers like my humble self). There is a thread of common experiences amongst us and this list is a mere attempt at drawing our attention to some of them in a bid to encourage us to better ourselves in 2016.

 

1.Write more.

Of course, this had to be the most obvious area to disrupt if you are like me. I know writing could be exhausting – really exhausting, but if you are like me and you write about five posts a year not so often, 2016 should be the year you write more. I have personally decided to write at least once everyday every week. The major challenge to this, is of course, the time factor. But guess what? I learnt a trick from Vincent Mars sometime ago. He knew he would not be able to churn out lengthy posts every day, so what did he do? He resorted to writing a fifty (50) word flash story/post every day. This way, he ensured he kept writing no matter what. You could take a cue from this and do a thirty (30) word post everyday. This will keep you constantly engaged in your art and your blog stats will thank you for this.

 

2.Read More Books.

There is a saying that “readers are billionaires leaders”. If you are looking forward to reading more this year – which you should – here are three places I’ll recommend you look for free ebooks: Wattpad, Project Gutenberg and Free-Ebooks.

 

3.Get a Custom Domain.

I talked about getting a custom domain early last year as a New Year Resolution. I know. My blog does not have a custom domain yet. I know. However, what you don’t know is that, in the last two years, I have reserved the custom domain “www.haroldwrites.com” at NameCheap. Yes, I paid to have it reserved. I have tried mapping it to my wordpress domain on numerous occasions to no avail, as wordpress does not seem to accept debit cards from Nigeria. Racist much? Lol, just kidding.Why don’t I hire a professional to do this for me? Well, that’s a question I have to answer this year. I’ll get a professional to do this domain thing for me once and for all, this year. You should too. There are numerous advantages of getting a personal custom domain. Even Linda Ikeji who once swore on her life decided never to get one, has finally succumbed to peer pressure done so.

 

4.Attend more literati events.

This needs no further emphasis. Just attend more literati events. Why? Because I said so there are a million and one advantages of doing so. For one, you get to connect with people of like mind. You know how people think writers (or wannabe writers like myself) are recluses (I laugh in French)? Attend more literati events in 2016 and put the devil to shame debunk this narrative. On a serious note, attending literati events sharpens your mind, redirects your focus and energises you to take your writing craft more seriously.

5.Author a book. Any book.

Have you always wanted to write a book? 2016 is the year you should do it. You must do it. Author a book. Any book. Just author a book. Why? Because “Author” is better than “Writer”.

These are a few areas I believe you should “disrupt” in your life for a more productive enjoyable 2016. DO you have any suggestions or contributions to the list? Feel free to do so in the comment section.

 

Happy New Year.

 

Twitter: twitter.com/haroldwrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haroldwrites

 

 

James Hadley Chase vs. Mario Puzo

image

I’m currently on vacation and I had reason to visit my library. Guess what I unearthed? Don James Hadley Chase’ books. I can’t begin to explain what role JHC played in my reading habit.

I wasn’t always a reading freak. I hated books. School literature bored me to death. One faithful day in Junior Secondary School,  a friend gave me a “pamphlet” novel with the title The Vulture is a Patient Bird by James Hadley Chase.  I was amazed how intriguing and interesting I found the book. That was the beginning of my voyage into crime/thriller/detective novels.  I enjoyed the book so much that I started hunting for other JHC’s books. And over the years,  I have read quite a handful of his books.

Having enjoyed JHC books, I ventured into – or should I say, I was introduced to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. And boy! Did I enjoy another work of literature!

Till date, I still think both writers are my favourite crime writers. There’s been this debate amongst my circle of “literature friends” who between James Hadley Chase and Mario Puzo is better. Many have voted against JHC just because his books are usually small. I don’t think this is a good criteria for judging the writer. In fact, if anything,  the fact that he tells  fascinating plots in such few pages should be a credit to him. The suspense in JHC books is always riveting to say the least. I have only been disappointed by just one of JHC and that was “Knock Knock! Who’s there”. There was no twist to the end of that book, which is a stand out characteristic of every JHC’s work. It ended like a typical Nollywood ‘blockbuster’ – you expected the end.

Well, I have also been disappointed by one of Mario Puzo’s works too. And that was the book “The Last Don”. I know you might have a different opinion, but that book didn’t go down too well with me. Maybe it’s because it was his next work I read after The Godfather. Maybe I was expecting so much more after the treat I got from The Godfather. Humans are quite insatiable, I tell you!

Whew! Which of the two authors is your favourite?

ON WRITING AND MORALITY: HOW DO YOU ADDRESS ONE WITHOUT OFFENDING THE OTHER?

burdened writerA BBM contact sent me a link to Tunde Leye’s recent fictional story, Bursting your Bubble. After going through the story, I was left shell-shocked at its daring nature. Other readers who commented also had such feeling. Some even begged Tunde to take down the post. In summary, Tunde left us scared.

It has been eons since a story made me feel vulnerable and open to danger! The story was about Lagos experiencing the menace of the Islamic sect Boko Haram. The details were too gory to be true and too real to be ignored. Tunde called it fiction, but it felt too close to home. Tunde’s audacity and courage prompted some moral questions for writers which I think have been begging for answers. The most pertinent of these questions is “how far should you go as a writer in passing across your message?” In attempting to answer the above question, I shall raise some moral or pseudo-moral issues which are not related to Tunde Leye’s story, but are relevant and should be prevalent in the minds of writers as they pen down their muses. Continue reading