Salt shaker

I’ll write you a story; a good story.

I’ll throw in similes; as sweet as honey, a dark as night, as proud as a peacock and watch you become as gentle as a lamb.

I’ll paint your days dark and color your nights yellow.

I’ll write you a story, yeah, you bet I will. When you hold your phone closer to your face in the matatu, or scroll down your computer screen…you’ll know that it is about you.

Your laugh, smile…how you cross your arms above your chest, how you look at me when I am not looking at you. How you have been trying to decipher me. 

I’ll write you not one, but two stories and watch you shed your worries. Is this real? Are you for real? What are your plans?

I’ll write you a story, because I’d rather write than utter,

For I fear I might falter and stutter,

But…but…but, here’s the deal, I’ll write and you’ll read.

You’ll read and these words would sink in,

You’ll read and these words will get you thinking that maybe, just maybe I’m talking to you.

You’ll read and a part of me will be shaken, shaken like a salt shaker,ready for some seasoning.

The one who never came

Nancy knows why Gina never smiles. She’s got that car loan to pay.

She also knows why Helen is gaining weight; she says Helen is about to launch baby number three. Why? To keep her husband of course.

What about Pam? Have you heard from her? Yeah, I did like a while ago…she nods, sips her juice, connects to the Wi-Fi and smiles…”you won’t believe me when I tell you?”

She throws back the weave that’s clouding her vision of me and grins.

“Don’t you want to know?”

“No.”

“Why did you ask then?”

“I asked about you in the beginning. You told me about Gina, Helen and Pam. How are things going on with you?”

“Great! I just managed to clear my exams last week and I was appraised for a promotion at work. But, enough about me, I have to tell you about Pam because trust me, you won’t believe a word I tell you, aki dunia hii?”

Glass cannot be ignored, not even when the light strikes it at an angle. Nancy knows what should be done when your man is not acting right. She knows whom to call when things don’t seem okay. She knows who needs a wake up call and who needs to straighten out their life.

It is how she says it that brings memories back to life. She’s never been in any of the situations that Gina, Helen and Pam are in. She’s always the observer; the light that illuminates the glass. When she reached out to cover my hand with her own, I knew two things to be true; there was something she was hiding and she was trying to tell me by speaking of her friends.

“What is it Nancy? Tell me what is really happening with you.”

“Hey, I have been talking for the past five minutes, didn’t you hear a word I said?”

“No, I am sorry I did not.”

“What is going on with you?”

Glass cannot be ignored indeed, for when it cuts, it slices the skin in a neat line, leaving traces of red. I sipped my coffee and reached out for a pen.

She smiled and then leaned back into the seat. When I lifted my head to hand her the note, I saw the waitress smiling at me. “Are you okay Miss? Would you like something else?”

“Um…no, I mean, yes…yes, I am okay, thanks.”

“No problem.” She smiled and walked back to the counter. I looked at my note and reached out for my coffee. I wondered how I was engrossed in a conversation with the one who never came.

 

Drifting 

When you lie down, think of what it was that you felt when you closed your eyes.

I heard you say, “drifting,” as though I was in Africa while you were in Antarctica. 

You said we were not connected, and I thought of an electric grid that none has ever understood its complexities;neurons,synapses, memories,motor skills…I drew a Map of us, a map that was a blank as the look on your face when you finished talking.

“So, what do you have to say?”

I drew a map. 

I am certain of it. I drew a very good map. 

Tonight as I drift to sleep, I stare at my finger, I cannot seem to close my eyes for this piece of silver might disappear and I may just wake up to “Congratulations,” and that, my beloved, makes me want to have a deep conversation with my shadow at 2A.M.

A little bit of you

If there was a time when Mercy could have smiled, it would have been at her engagement party; instead, she was on her balcony watching guests stream into her two-bedroom apartment.

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Thank you Gratisography 🙂

Her sisters were not coming.

Grace had simply sent her a text message ‘I am not for this.’

Noella, the baby of the house, smiled when she’d told her the news, “Well, are you sure? I kind of find it a little bit rushed, you caught him cheating, like a minute ago and the now, he goes on one knee? But, if you’re sure sawa sawa, I’ll be going out with my friends though.”

Her fiancee, Henry, was welcoming the guests.

He had a wicked smile, the one that made women commit all kinds of sins in their minds, and sometime when she looked at him, she saw little bits of her dreams splattered all over his face. Sometimes, like right now, she felt like she could fly from her balcony and land on the ground a beautiful mess…sometimes she asked herself, ” what happened to the little bit of you?”

Her thoughts danced around her, and then she heard him call her name, and somewhere in that moment, she looked down…and there he was, the little bit of her, the one who made her simmer…dreadlocks, tatoos, caramel…and a smile. He had her dreams all over him, and he stood there…hands in his pockets, his eyes asking the only question she knew “why?”

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Flowers in June

Rebecca knew Matthew. His smile, the way he walked in long strides, laughed at odd comments in Facebook posts and even how he removed money from his wallet to pay bills. She knew it all, except for why he loathed flowers.

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She paid three hundred shillings for them. A bouquet of red, pink, yellow and one that slightly resembled crisp orange. When she got to the house, she placed them on his side of the bed and waited…

The call came in at 7:00pm.

P.S.: Flowers in June; A 2016 NanoWrimo Project

How about mass printing in Kenya?

Kenya is the home of literary giants.
Aspiring writers are often challenged not only to produce quality manuscripts but also to learn and build up on what their predecessors have put out. I recently started working on improving relationships with the writers I know here in Kenya to get us talking about writing in Kenya and publishing and how to change it for the better.
So, I got in touch with Elly and I’m pleased to introduce you to her. Hello world, meet Elly.

  At days’ end, on my way home, a boy and girl from a nearby primary school walk home too.  The boy has a cast on his arm, so the girl walking beside him is carrying his book bag.  There’s a story here, a delicious story, as the girl laughs at what the boy says, then they walk in comfortable silence.  I imagine them growing up together, falling in love (or not) maybe falling in love with others.  The two going through struggles together, maybe reaching a point in their lives where they don’t know each other anymore, and wish they could go back to the old days and…the story continues in my head. 
Of late, it has been a blessing to know I’m not alone in this wonderful sense of imagination. I feel privileged to know people with the same sense of creativity that constantly hangs over me daily, like finding kindred spirits.

Kenyan writers have increased these past few years.  Their work is fresh and entertaining it is often sad that the only place to fully read their stories is online: on a blog, or an e-book.

In a not so distant past, I ran a bookstore in a small town outside Nairobi.  A young man walked in with his poetry books one day.  He had traveled from Uganda, and gone selling his poetry in every bookstore he found.  His books were inexpensive, only Kshs. 80.  I bought them, paying him for twenty books at one go.  We sold those books for Kshs. 150 within the month.  He had moved on to Tanzania by then, and he’d sold off his stock by then, but his brand of marketing stuck with me.
Print a large quantity of books, cheaply, sell fast.
So, I want to will a pulp fiction publishing house into existence in Kenya.  A publishing house that will choose to publish fiction at affordable prices, so that the everyday Kenyan can afford it.  Yes, I realize that the bottom line is important in business, however, no one wants to constantly buy a fiction book for Kshs. 800, that is the truth.  We’re all on the streets buying foreign fiction books for Kshs. 100, or even Kshs. 50.

If you can find a way to print fiction on cheap low-quality paper, and make your stories epic and exciting enough to capture the masses, I think we could be in business.

This is my quest.  Writing has always been easy, creativity quite available, however, the business side of printing in Kenya is an amazing challenge, especially if you’re looking toward selling affordable fiction. Finding a printer who can help print pulp fiction…in great big quantities, will make Kenyan fiction a bonafide trade/business.  One without elitist circles, or prestigious airs, simply fiction with one goal—to entertain.  This type of mass printing will nurture Kenyan writers, give value to our constant creative thoughts, create new job avenues, increase readership and inspire more Kenyan fiction into the world.

About Elly:

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Elly is a gem when it comes to romance. She loves gardening and knows a thing or two about delicious treats. Hint: Cakes! She is currently writing the Koya Series.

Visit her blog: Love in Nairobi or send her a tweet @ellykamari254

To read her novellas, visit her smashwords page: Elly Kamari

Books I read this past week.

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From a retelling of Beauty and Beast in Depravity by M. J. Hagg to an awkward guy, cute if not extremely nervous around girls in The Last Seeker: Tristen my week has been great!
If you could have any super power which one would you choose?
Now, with ‘The Last Seeker,’ Tristen does have an awesome power but how he comes to learn of it makes it fun to read this book.

I also stayed up all night yesterday reading  Fearsome by S. A. Wolfe who introduced me to two handsome brothers; Dylan (who has Bipolar) and Carson (who is always grouchy and scowling). Fearsome though is part of a series each book serves as a stand alone which makes reading this romance quite okay…

I would however love to read “A Trail of Broken Wings” by Sejal Badani.
I tried the sample on kindle and I find myself drawn to the story, so am probably buying it this weekend after I finish reading most of the ebooks I downloaded.
Aside from all that, my week has been wonderful and I hope to read some more books on between my breaks.

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