Calling on Thriller Writers. Write and Get Paid.

write-get-paid-1

This is not a writing competition. Rather, we want to use this medium to encourage young and budding writers. We are currently rebranding the blog and one of the things we want to do is feature works by and from budding writers. And pay them for it. Well, the money is not much, but it’s compensatory. A lot of revenue-generating literary blogs/websites out there do not pay writers who contribute to their blog. We do not want to be that blog.

So, is your genre of writing crime, detective, legal, thriller? Do you have stories you have already written in any of these genres? Or you are completing such story (ies)? Would you like to feature your work (s) on this blog?

If that sounds like something you would like to do, we are paying N1.00 (One Naira) for each word you write. We therefore invite you to send in your work (s) to the email: haroldwrites.official @ gmail . com .

Please kindly note that, these are the terms for our acceptance of any work sent in:

  1. Word limit for each story is 1,000 words.
  2. The story must not have been previously published on any platform.
  3. The story must be of any of the prescribed genres. Read the introduction for the genres.
  4. Any story accepted will be communicated to the entrant.
  5. We only pay for any work accepted AND published on the blog.
  6. We reserve the right to accept any story.
  7. You can send in multiple stories.
  8. Each story should be sent as an MS Word attachment to the aforementioned email address. The subject should be “WAGP: Title of story”. For example, if the title of a story is “Fire in the Storm”, then the subject of the email should read: “WAGP: Fire in the Storm”. *WAGP is an acronym for “Write and Get Paid”.
  9. The body of your email should include your name and short bio.
  10. Each entrant has intellectual property rights to their stories and will be duly credited on the blog.

If the above terms meet you well, we are expecting your entry (ies). Thank you.

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

I could have loved you

thinking-black-man

I could have loved you
But the stars aligned
To place two imperfect strangers
In a perfect ship of relation

I could have wanted you
I rem’ber days when
Our bodies tangled
Desired each other
But I could have wanted you
If our bodies had a mind

I could have needed you
But just as the sun rises in the East
And sets in the West
So did my feelings

I could have kissed you
But I heard tales of your poisoned lips
Sweet as Velvet tamarind
With death’s lurking sting.

 

Photo credit: http://masetv.com/being-confused-allows-you-to-grow-maturity-through-uncertainty/

The Random Girl

young man on call“Salaam-Alaikum!”

“Wrong number.”

“Salaam-Alaikum!”

“Wrong number.”

“Salaam-Alaikum!

“Wrong number.”

That must have been the one millionth time he would be saluting me over the phone. And each time he did, I would respectfully tell him he had got the wrong number. But no, his call would wake me up by 3:00am the next day and all he had to say was Salaam-Alaikum.

***

It was a hectic day at work; Femi and my humble self had just attended an exhausting meeting with a demanding client and we were on our way back to the office when Femi decided to conduct a quick transaction at the Bank. Femi was our Senior Account Officer and he needed to pay the contractors who had come to do some structural adjustments to our office space the other day. Whilst he proceeded to the banking hall at the third floor to make the transfer to the contractor’s account, I waited patiently for him in the banking hall downstairs. This particular hall was designed for low scale transactions. And as was usually the case, this hall was crowded. Tellers sat at their respective counters, attending to all and sundry.

As I sat in my seat, I could not help but notice the faces of everyone who came into the bank. Each face told a tale. Some were tales of expectations, others were tales of frustration. Then I saw this particular young, beautiful female face which bore both tales. I could see the young face wanted something and the face was sad that it did not get what it wanted. It was such a disheartening sight. I could have sworn it was the most beautiful, sad female face I had ever seen, but that would be a lie because I have a girlfriend who is the most beautiful woman in the world and I have seen her sad a few times. So yes, this particular face was beautiful and sad on this day – just like my girl’s on a few occasions. And my God, she was shapely too!

So, what does a busyless young man who was sitting in a crowded banking hall do with a sad beautiful face that reminded him of his girl? Brighten her up.

The lie I told myself for deciding to hit on another woman: help brighten her up.

 

She is sad and the only reason God put you on this earth is to come be her saviour and help relieve her of her sadness. When you were formed in your mother’s womb, God already knew that, a day would come when you would meet a young sad woman in a banking hall and it would be your God-ordained duty to make her happy.

Bollocks.

So, I stood up from my seat and started approaching my God-ordained target. She had just been attended to by the Teller at the counter and apparently, he gave her some bad news. Maybe she wanted to make some withdrawals from her account but she did not have sufficient balance. God forbid that this was the reason for her sadness. I did not have a kobo to spare on a random stranger, irrespective of her beauty and shape.

Before I could make my way through the crowd to where she was standing, she had already made her way out of the banking hall and into the street.

Do I go after her? What if Femi finishes with his transaction upstairs and cannot find me?

Prior to today, it had been eons since I last chased after a random girl in public. What do I say to her?

Hi. I saw you a while ago and I like you. I think you look like Esther in the Bible …Can I have your number?

Please “Epp” me.

Just like that?

Well, today was the day I found out if I still had it in me. The thing about staying faithful in a committed relationship is that you begin to lose your “market” ratings.

So, I decided to go after this young beautiful woman. The closer I got to her, the farther she walked. She turned into the next street, and then the one after that and the one after that. I walked some distance behind her, buying time and calculating what I would say when I met her. I did not want to come out as some stalker – which obviously I was fast becoming.

She walked into a “business centre” complex. I waited at the gate of the complex, my head bowed, thinking my game was up. There was no way I would walk into the business centre with her, to start my silly misguided chat. Not with the crowd of people that were likely to be at the centre.

As I pondered over what could have been, I saw her walk right out of the business centre and headed for the gate where I stood. This was my chance.

As she got to the gate, I decided to be the man my father thought I was and stopped her in her tracks.

“Hi,” I said in my most upper-class accent.

She looked at me with puzzled eyes.

“Sorry for doing this,” I said, licking my upper lip. There was something about licking one’s upper lip when talking, especially if one is a guy. I had heard girls find it attractive. “I saw you in the banking hall a while ago and I thought that …umm…”

“You were at the bank?”

“Umm, yeah.” I said, smiling sheepishly.

“And you followed me here?”

The smile drained from my face.

“Before I could walk up to you in the banking hall, you had already left,” I said, a little flustered. “Umm, hi, I am Michael. I noticed you in the banking hall and there was this part of me which longed to talk to you.”

I waited for her aggressive and cold response. Even I was not convinced by my own pick-up line. It sounded jaded and off-point.

There was this part of me which longed to talk to you? That should be the worst pick up line she had ever heard.

To my surprise, she smiled at my attempt at being cool. She smiled beautifully. She smiled beautifully at me.

I smiled back.

“A part of you longed to talk to me?” she re-echoed with dimpled cheeks. Her dimples were flawless.

“Yes.”

“What part of you is that?”

“My heart. My heart longed to talk to you.”

“Wow,” she said, almost inaudibly. I could see she was impressed. “And you came all this way…”

“To talk to you,” I completed her statement, squinting my eyes. Sexy as mad. “But I can see you are somewhat in a hurry… If you don’t mind, I would like to have your number so I can tell you later in the day, what my heart has got to say.”

The guts.

I could not believe I had just asked for her number. I, who was in a committed relationship, had just hit on a random woman and asked for her number.

“Oh, umm,” she stuttered. “Umm, okay. Can I have your phone?”

I gave her my phone and she keyed in her digits.

“And…. you will be?” I asked.

“Christabel. Christabel Ugo.”

“Christabel Ugo, right. You looked a little disturbed at the banking hall…”

“Yes, I wanted to pay my tuition fees but I was told my school did not have an account with the Bank. I just got an admission into the National Open University and I have to pay my fees today as today is the deadline.”

“Oh, so what are you going to do now?”

“I came to the business centre to get some information from the school website about another Bank…”

“Ah, I see. Any luck?”

“Yes, fortunately for me, the school has an account with another bank just down this road. I must really be on my way now.”

“Oh yes, you must. Thank you for your time and I’ll give you a call…”

“My phone is switched off at the moment..”

“I’ll call later.”

And with that, the second most beautiful female face I had seen walked away.

As I rushed back to the bank, I tried to dial Christabel’s number so it could be stored on my phone call log. I would save the number later.

Just as I dialled the call icon, I lost network connection on my phone for a split second. That split second proved to be costly as, my phone did not store the call attempt in the call log. The hairs on my neck stood, my face became red and I started sweating. All my efforts had just gone with the wind.

But I would not give up so easily. I decided to go around the street, searching for any bank. I saw a few and quickly scanned their banking halls but Christabel was not in any. After about twenty minutes without success, I gave up and headed back to the bank where Femi was already waiting for me in the car at the car park just in front of the bank.

“Where have you been?” he asked.

“I came out to use the bank’s ATM but it was not dispensing cash, so I decided to use another bank’s just down the road,” I answered as I searched for “Christabel Ugo” on Facebook with my phone.

The ease with which we lie.

“Oh. I was about lodging a “missing person” report,” Femi teased.

I smiled.

My face smiled. My heart did not.

Just as Femi made to put the gear in reverse mode, I spotted Christabel in the side mirror, walking past our car. In that split moment, I told Femi I had just spotted an old friend of mine from college and would like to speak with her. Before he could respond, I alighted from the car and rushed towards Christabel.

“Christabel!” I called from behind. She turned around.

“Hey,” she said.

“Sorry I did not save your number when you gave it to me…If you don’t mind…”

Before I completed that, she reached out for my phone and gave me her number again. I dialled it this time around to make sure it was stored in my phone’s call log.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll ring you.”

With that, we went our separate ways again.

***

Back at the office, I could not wait to share my interesting story with some of the guys. But just before then, I decided to actually save Christabel’s name against her number. I knew I would not call her until after three days. This was the unwritten code of life for men:

Keep her wondering why you have not called. Did you not find her fascinating anymore? Was it her breath? Did it stink when she spoke? Her make up? Did she not use enough make up? Or was it rather too much? How about her…Oh my God.

Whilst saving the number, I discovered that, a digit was missing! The number was not complete. I had just toiled in vain. This realisation made me sick instantly.

Then an idea came to my head – try different number combinations by randomly adding a digit from 0 – 9 at the end of the Christabel’s number. One of it was sure to be hers.

And so my next journey began. I started trying different number combinations by adding random digits from 0 – 9.

Every number combination I tried was invalid. I kept trying the number combination thing. And then, one of such combinations went through. Well, almost went through, but for the fact that the phone was switched off. At this point, I remembered Christabel saying to me earlier in the day,” My phone is switched off at the moment.”

 Yes! That must be her number!

I saved that particular number for later.

***

Later that evening, I decided to check if Christabel’s number was still switched off. The time was 8:31pm. To my surprise, it rang on the first try.

Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

And a voice came on the other end. But it was a masculine voice saying “Salaam-Alaikum, Salaam-Alaikum, Salaam-Alaikum.”

And there began my punishment for hitting on a random girl and getting her number. The masculine voice called every day and night to say “Salaam-Alaikum”. And each time the man did, I would respectfully tell him he had got the wrong number. But no, his call would wake me up by 3:00am the next day and all he had to say was Salaam-Alaikum.

 

***

 

Note: Salaam-Alaikum – Peace be unto you.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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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

 

 

It’s never too late to say this

goal Photo credit: http://rsmollisonread.com/my-2015-writing-goals/

My 2015 writing goals?

No. I stopped setting writing goals since…this year.

Now to the purpose of this post… I know this might be coming late, but it’s never too late to say happy new year.  I bless the good Lord who made it possible for us to see 2015. It was not by our power nor by our might. If it had not been the Lord who had been on my side, I would have been history by now. Despite my unfaithfulness, He still showered me with His steadfast love. 2014 was a particularly amazing year for me. Not so great for my writing craft, but in other respect, it was amazeballs!!! For starters, I celebrated one year anniversary at my paid job in December 2014. Wait, did you think I write for a living? Really? Nah, I don’t write (creative fiction/non-fiction) for a living. Not just yet. It’s something I intend doing later in life. For now, I write for the love of the craft. Okay. I was saying I celebrated one year anniversary on my paid job in December 2014. As most of you don’t know, I was thrown into the labour market some two years ago as a Corper (whatever this word actually mean in English). By the end of my service year (December 2013), the good Lord provided me with a job, which, by its requirements, I was the least qualified for. You know when you apply as a youth corper for a job, which basic qualification for, is to have at least 3 years post-NYSC work experience? Yup, that was the sort of job I applied for. And I was hired.

Before December 2014, when I celebrated a year on the job, the Lord blessed me with this beauty below: car   If you are friends with me on facebook, you would have seen my post on the above. One thing you may not know, is that, within two weeks of getting it, I was welcome into the club of fresh owners with three “bashes”. One was self inflicted, the other two were courtesy of our friends who drive that yellow whale on Lagos roads.  Good Lord, did I almost cry?…Anyway, story for another day….

Asides the material gifts, the Lord also blessed me emotionally and spiritually. My mental strength toughened in 2014. I became braver than I was in 2013 and I was able to face and withstand seeming challenges without breaking.

My inter-personal relationship with fellow humans also blossomed in 2014. I love keeping to myself, but in 2014,  I made sure I made some new acquaintances. Just a few, though.

I also tried to know God more. Yes, the key word is “Tried”,because, truth be told, I am not yet where I want to be spiritually. But yes, I grew in that regard in 2014. I just want to better it in 2015.

Health-wise, the Lord was also faithful to me. I did not have any reason to visit any hospital in 2014. It’s been about three years now since I last visited a clinic. And it’s a testimony for me. The closest I came to visiting a place full of drugs is the pharmacy to buy paracetamol.  And oh, I also bought anti-malarial dose once in 2014. *wide grin*

My love life also finally  took a turn in the positive direction for the first time in four years. Shussh..Story for another day.

God has started 2015 in grand style for me as well. On the 6th of January, 2015 as I was driving home from work at night, one of those  fine boys who rob unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians along Iyanoworo/Car Wash axis came over to my car whilst I was in traffic. He pointed a gun at me and demanded for my phone…or my life. I starred at this guy for God-knows-how-long without flinching, not because I was brave, but for whatever-reason-it-was, I did not move at the sight of his gun to my face. As he cocked his gun and made more dramatic demands, God took care of the situation by making a way out. I did not lose any personal belonging or my life. What more can I ask of the Most High who promised us the gift of life and was faithful to His word when I needed it most?   Why am I sharing the above with you? We are encouraged in the following Bible verses to do so: Luke 8: 39, Psalm 71: 15 – 18, Mathew 10:32, 1 John 1: 1- 4.

Let me also use this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who visited my blog last year, commented on a post or suggested ways to better my craft. God bless you richly. In 2014, I hit over 100 likes on my facebook page here. Thanks to everyone who like my page, follow me on Twitter, instagram or add me on BBM.

I have a feeling 2015 is going to be an awesome year for everyone reading this. As for my writing, some of my plans that have been incubating for a while now should manifest this year by the grace of God. If you have been following my writing, I would love if you could apply some more pressure on me to write more. I have some “crazy” readers like that. They buzz me every now and then to remind me to post a story or two. I need more of these buzzes. They jolt me out of my struggles-of-life-induced reverie.

Gracias.

#Classic: Kill Me Before I Die*

This is an old post I published sometime in 2012.

***

black-man-upsetWhat is the worst thing that could happen to a man? Losing a mega contract? Getting ditched on the eve of your wedding? Being caught in the act?
I think the worst thing that could happen to a man is going to sleep, on the wrong side of the bed. Relax. Don’t get me wrong. Any of the above would pass. But to put things in perspective, if you go to bed with any of them in mind, you definitely would be going to sleep, on the wrong side of the bed. And when you wake up the next day – anything you do, touch or say would be a mess, because you definitely would be waking up on the wrong side of the bed as well.
I recently happened to find myself in that annoying spot – going to bed on the wrong side of it. The night in question was supposed to be a unique one. Sandra, a girl i had been wooing for some time had just got into town and i was determined to give her a treat. The treat – i gave her; i took her shopping; and then we went to the beach; we followed that up with having a walk before we finally rounded up the night at the movies. As i drove her home, we talked about stuffs. Well, she did most of the talking – she kept blushing about the movie we had just seen, the clothes and accessories i bought her earlier in the day, my nice heart, how handsome i still looked….blah blah blah. All the while, i waited patiently for her to get to the part where she would give me her decision on my proposal – was she ready to be my boo? She never did.
We got to her parents’ house, alighted from the car and i walked her to the gate. I was determined not to lose two things that same night – her decision and a good night kiss (at least for a job well done – the treat). So i placed one hand on the wall, using the other to stroke her hair.
“So you are not going to even give me a good night kiss?” I said, trying to act cool even though i was desperate for it.
She smiled and pulled my hand away from her hair.
“Dear, you know i…i can’t do that – atleast, not at this stage. I know we are getting too involved by the day, but i still need some time to figure out what we are getting ourselves into,” she said, looking at me with her dreary, innocent eyes.
The atmosphere was becoming tense and i needed to diffuse it.
“I know why you can’t kiss me,” I said.
Surprised, she asked “Why?”
I made for her ear and whispered, “Because your dad is a Pastor?”
She burst out laughing.
“Ah ah, no nah,” she said. “My dad is a Pastor quite alright and yes, he would kill me if he knew a boy brought me home – but no, he is not the reason i won’t kiss you….”
We both laughed at my joke and i kept teasing her – even begging her, hoping she would let her guards down. I really needed that kiss. The teasing and begging continued for another twenty minutes. I had got her in the position i wanted. Her back was against the gate as she faced me; my left hand was on the wall while my right hand continually made for her hair.
I was getting there. She was beginning to trip – even though she claimed she didn’t like what we were about doing. Our lips were getting closer. And then, i heard a clang at the gate as it swung open.
The silhouette of a big man occupied the gate entrance. Sandra immediately swung around.
“Dad?” she gasped.
An avalanche of ice immediately trickled down my spine and my legs started trembling terribly. I searched for composure but lo and behold, it was as far away from me as the heavens is from the earth. My mouth immediately grew dry as i searched for words; my heart pounded like it would tear out.
Then i heard the man bark, “Sandy, whether you kiss him or not is your problem! Just tell this…this…this son of man to get his hands off my intercom! We all have been listening to you two in the parlour! My pastors, elders, deacons, ushers, choristers…everyone! Fulfil your immoral act and make your presence available!”
Without saying a word to me, her dad slammed the gate and stormed away. I stood, deep-rooted to the ground, hoping it would just open and swallow me up. But how impossible – and stupid was my wish! Now, there was no chance I was going to get that kiss anymore and worse still, I may have put the girl i cared about in some deep shit. I knew i was going to bed on the wrong side of it – and i knew the next day would be hell.

*Fiction. Adapted from a joke.

 

Photo credit: Single Black Male

***

Let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter (click here) and like my Facebook page (click here). Gracias.

Re: 5 Things Every Serious Writer Must Do In 2014

Are you ready for 2014?

Are you ready for 2014?

Just in case you missed it, here is a post I did for Bella Naija earlier this year. I decided to repost it on my blog for the benefit of my readers who did not get the Bella Naija link. And moreover, I discovered that the post had already been republished on a lot of blogs/sites without my approval. So why not put it on mine too?…… Ok. Enjoy!

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“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

On December 29, 2013, I had dinner with Tunde Leye and a couple of other contemporary Nigerian writers. It was a good opportunity to socialise with some great literary minds and share some fresh ideas. Our discussions during dinner covered one broad subject area: the art of writing and our individual projections for 2014. That meet up could be summed up in the above quote by the great Philosopher, Socrates. We were able to reflect on our experiences in 2013, while also deliberating on what we hoped to achieve in 2014 in this chosen, hallowed field.

In the course of evening, Tunde Leye popped the question, “if you were to be relieved of your 8-6 job in 2014, how do you hope to make money from writing?” We all had different answers to the question, but of course, those answers came after some very deep thoughts. The time each person spent deliberating on the question before proffering an answer was a pointer to the fact that not everyone at the table had been taking their writings seriously.

While this post is not about how to make money from writing, it is a guide on how to take your writing serious in 2014. Hopefully by adopting some of the tips herein, your path will be led to the mysterious writing money vault.

Get a Blog
While it is cool to write for different platforms and call yourself a freelance writer, the benefits of owning a personal blog cannot be overemphasized. I have some writer friends who don’t own personal blogs for different, seemingly genuine reasons. Some claim to be too busy to maintain a blog with regular posts, while others believe social media is a great substitute for blogging. I have a poet friend who does all his postings on Facebook. He has quite an impressive following on his Facebook Page and sees no reason why he should trade that for a blog. Continue reading

New Year, New Look!!!

happyThis is kinda my “Welcome to 2014” post. I know a lot of bloggers have gone past this stage and I am kinda lagging behind, but not to worry; the race is not for the Taylor swift. I shall get there in good time.

So! I decided to give my blog a new look and feel. I know some readers who were used to the old theme may have some challenges navigating through this new one, but not to worry, I made sure the theme isn’t that difficult to get used to. If you have any challenge getting to your favourite post, please use the “Categories” widget on the left panel. It will get you home safely.

Yes! About the theme itself; the title of the theme is “Lovebirds”. Christmas may have come and gone, but I still feel this is the season of love, especially as Valentine is around the corner. What do you think about the theme? Likey? I think it looks kinda feminine…and that is not my constituency, right? Wrong! Most of my readers are female and if they like the theme, then so be it! Moreover, blogging is not about the owner of the blog. It’s about the audience. Just like the Koko Master, give to the people what the people want.

P.S: Given the recent spate of arrest of people exhibiting homosexual tendencies by the Police, let me make a Press Release and clear the air: This new theme may make the blog look feminine, but the owner of the blog –  my alter ego (not me. If you have difficulty understanding this, read the “About HaroldWrites” page), is very much a warm-blooded male and does nothing to suggest his inner wirings are confused. End of Press Release….

 

Thank-You-Merci-Gracias

So! This is to officially raise the curtain on 2014. I promise to double my efforts from last year. Thanks for the love you’ve shown me on this blog and other platforms. The HaroldWrites brand would be nothing without you. Last week, my latest piece for Bella Naija was published and the response was magical! I read the comments on the article and I ‘saw’ some of you there. So I say, muchas gracias!

This year, I’ll be doing a lot of that. So just in case you don’t hear from me on this blog in a while, know that I have been kidnapped on another platform. And don’t call the cops. I will be safe with my kidnappers…..

Once again, welcome to 2014. May the good Lord guide and protect us all and may He grant us our heart desires as long as those heart desires won’t lead to our damnation. Amin l’oruko Jesu (hope I got that right?).

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