The Place You Call Home

Our journey started long before my feet could meet the ground. It must have been past nine o’clock at night when we heard the chants outside your parents’ house. Your Father, Omutete, stood up and approached the door but it was your mother who knew it before they begun.

She pulled me aside and said, “You have to promise me that you will protect our daughter, listen, I know people think you are lazy and a drunk, but she needs a Father and you are the only one I trust. Do not even mention my people, because ever since I came here they have not bothered to visit me or send their best wishes. My own mother has forgotten me, but what would you expect of them given that I married beneath their expectations? Now, listen, I have wrapped some ten thousand shillings in this lesso and packed a few clothes for Maria. You have to go with her and protect her. I will not ask anything of you again, and Juma, you should not come back here. These people will take everything away from you when you can have three meals in a day.”

She placed you in my arms and threw the strap of the bag around my neck and pushed me out of the house through the small back door that led through the cow shed. I stood there for what seemed to be my whole life, thinking of a cold glass of busaa and a few women singing my praise. How could I have told you the truth then? For years, I went back to that night wondering what happened but nothing comes to mind. So, I held onto you and walked away carefully making my way through cow dung and maize fields until I got to the road where I boarded a matatu to Kisumu.

They said that my brother and his family were burned alive and their property destroyed by cattle rustlers, but I know that those were not rustlers. They were Omuchai, my brother’s rival, and his men out to avenge a business deal gone wrong. Weeks later I heard it on the radio that they believed I was also killed in the fire because I had gone to visit my brother that afternoon. Maria, I told you that our journey began long before my feet met the ground, but I was never prepared for the life of bitterness that followed.

Excerpt from:

To read the whole story, download a free copy here


Stepping out

Is it too late to say “happy new year?”

I hope this post finds you at your best and if not, I hope it will be one of the sparks that would continue igniting the fire within you.

January’s not my most favorite month, however it is my most inspirational month because my sister was born on this month and she’s my strength. If there’s anyone who has zest, flair, hope and humor it’s got to be her. As I type this I am in Brackenhurst, a great outdoors environment in Limuru.

Brackenhurst Hotel and Conference Center

I was so excited about being selected to join the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) last year and was bummed when it was postponed to June this year due to the political situation in Kenya. However, I got an email from the team in December about moving it up to January and I jumped on it😄.

I’m taking part in Cohort 21 and being in Limuru has seen me tackle challenging tasks. I scaled a pole, leaped off a few boards, balanced mid-air, had a panic attack, passed out but woke up feeling okay.

I’ve made friends, received insights on how to grow as a leader and learned how to count to ten in Arabic. It’s day two with many more to go and I’m glad I am doing this.

I’ve had a great start to 2018 because I’ve embraced my aspirations and I realize that stepping out into the world to do what I love is not as scary as I thought it’d be. I’m being challenged by world leaders from 13 African countries, learning about their culture, innovations, impact and fostering partnerships. 

So, what’s your start been like? 

What are you looking forward to building upon? 

I wish you lots of love and best wishes and while I’m at it, I’m looking forward to releasing two books this Spring😎.

I bought this @250/= at Textbook Centre
This piece of art is in my KUCC Annex room
First offi-casual look of 2018 @Brackenhurst

The Liebster Award

2017s Christmas Gift; The Liebster Award.@McReensGalaxy

Hello, how are you today? I am doing just fine, if sitting next to a computer as early as eight in the morning sounds okay. I was nominated by MCreen (visit his blog: Mcreen’s Galaxy) for the Christmas gift of the Liebster Award.

What’s The Liebster Award all about?

The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers, those with few followers, who are still getting the hang of this dynamic industry. It is a fantastic way of giving exposure, recognition, and motivation to these talented newbies so as to keep their blogging fire blazing!

Rules of the Liebster Award

  1. Create a new blog with the graphical image of the Liebster Award as the one above.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you while also providing a link to their blog.
  3. Answer the Questions you had received from your Nominator(s).
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers and share your blog post with them so that they can accept their awards.
  5. Create a set of questions for your Nominees to Answer.

Let’s do this!

1. What Sparked You To Start Blogging?

I don’t know if you would call it a spark, but I have been keeping a journal since I was twelve and a blog gave me a fresh insight into sharing my life experiences. My first blog still exists: Jodie and that’s because those are the kind of experiences I’d not want to forget.

2. What Do You Intend To Achieve With Blogging?

I intend to reach out to new audiences and by being on WordPress I see that happening everyday.

3. Why Do You Have an ‘On’ and ‘Off’ Blogging Pattern? What ticks you off at times?

I write when I’ve got something to write about and when I don’t, I scroll through my reader and read what others have to blog about. However, when I am immersed in writing a book, it’s often difficult for me to post anything on the blog.

4. Aside From Blogging, What Other Things Are You Passionate About?

  • Reading books (Nilichosoma)
  • Writing. I am currently working on two manuscripts that I look forward to publishing in 2018.
  • Cooking. If it involves cooking oil, then sign me up!
  • Traveling

5. What’s Your Vision 2018 Concerning Blogging?

I’d love to reach out more to the Kenyan audience and set up a shop/store so my Kenyan friends and their circle of friends can buy and read my books.

I’d love to know more from the awesome people behind these blogs:

My questions are:

  1. What would you say has been the highlight of your blogging experience this year?
  2. If you could pick a theme to blog about, any theme that scares you or you know very little about, what would it be and why?
  3. What’s the best and the worst part of being called a blogger?

Let’s spread the love, type away and have a merry Christmas!



21 questions

Hey, can I ask you something?

How do you do that?

Do, what?

Like, how do you know that something could turn into a story?

I don’t know the precise answer. I guess, sometimes I ask myself what if, and then I see where it leads me.

Is it easy?


Why do you do it?


Why do you write?

I always find “whys” to be quite the bullies. They always get you going into the defense mode.


Every ‘why’ has to be followed by a ‘because,’ don’t you feel as though you are cornered?

You haven’t answered my question.

What question?

See, there you go again, why do you always do that?

Do what?

Answer a question with a question.

I do that, do I?

You are doing it again. Look, if you don’t want to answer me, just say so and I won’t push, besides I have come to understand that you do not like it when I ask about what you are writing.

You seem to have arrived to a lot of conclusions.

Not conclusions, but I am right, aren’t I?

About what?

You do not like it when I ask about what you are writing.

What are you doing this Saturday?

I’m sleeping in, are you working on something?

Yes. Would you mind coming with me to see Prof?

The old man at Maseno, why?

He’s finished reading my manuscript and he wants to have what he calls the ‘unraveling.’ It is his way of determining my growth or simply put, his way of telling me how much he hated the book.

Okay, but, I don’t know what you were writing about and you know it takes me years to finish reading a book. Why do you want me there?


December updates

Hello, how’s your Saturday coming along? If you are like me you are probably lounging with a cup of tea or looking forward to a relaxing day, but chances are you are not. In fact, you may be at work thinking why?

  • It’s been quite a ride. November was really kind to me, because well, I aced NanoWrimo and now I’ve had back to back editing sessions with Prof and you know most of the time he wants to hit me over the head with pages of my manuscript!
  • I also read some very good books in November.

This month has started on quite a high, but not the positive one, because I’ve had a recurring fever and headache that’s left me feeling unsteady. It doesn’t help that I started my reading list by picking up this book that shattered my heart!

Lale’s account of the cruelty and torture they suffered at the hand of the Germans in a concentration camp reminded me of the horrific accounts I’ve read, heard and seen of the World Wars I & II. (Read his Obituary here, get the book- here)

Since I am on medication and recommended bed rest (that I’ve disregarded) I’m looking forward to reading less books this month due to more work commitments. Here are the few titles that are on my to-read list:

Which books are you looking forward to reading this month?

Have a great weekend!


Currently drinking: tea 

Listening to: Particula by Major Lazer & DJ Maphorisa ft. Nasty C, Jidenna, Ice Prince and Patoranking 

Currently reading: Unspoken and turns out Peaches does understand and can relate to what the author says.




Chapter Fifteen: Jeff

He went home early. He parked the car in the garage and walked into the house. It was four o’clock when he stepped into the sitting room. Hakeem ran up to him and hugged him. “Where’s Iman?”

“She is drinking juice in the kitchen with Auntie Mary.”

“Auntie Mary is here?”

“Yes, she bought us ice-cream but I finished mine! Sorry.”

“It’s okay, let’s go and say hello to Auntie Mary and get some juice too.”  He lifted Hakeem and made his way to the kitchen where his sister-in-law was busy grating carrots with the help of Iman. They looked up when he entered the kitchen. Iman smiled and waved at him. Mary nodded and continued grating the carrots.

“Mami, go into your room with Hakeem, I’d like to talk to your Auntie.”

“Why? Did she not do her homework too?”

“Something like that mami, get off the kitchen counter and see what you can do as we catch up.”

Jeff waited until the kids had left the kitchen before turning to Mary. She smiled at him and continued grating the carrots. “Where’s Besh?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know? She is your sister for chrissake!”

“She is your wife and you know what Christ has to say about that and being put asunder.”

“Mary, I am not in the mood for one of your games. Tell me where Besh is!”

“I don’t know. She called me this morning crying about something and asked me to be home when the kids came from school. I was shocked but seeing as I had no lectures today, I got into a matatu and made my way here from Maseno. Iman told me that she does not stay here anymore. I don’t know what is going on Jeff but given how you demand to know her whereabouts, I have a feeling that you did something to make her leave. What did you do? Wait, better yet, whom did you do?”

“Watch your tone Mary! You are in my house.”

“You are right. Listen, you can finish grating the carrots and check on the meat that’s cooking. I have other things to do with my life than live by your rules.”

“Mary, wait…just finish cooking, you can leave in the morning. Forget what I said, it’s been a stressful time for us. Your sister asked for time to think things through and I don’t know, maybe I was putting too much pressure on her to have another baby, she just snapped. I am sorry if I offended you. It was not my intention.”

“Aha…I see, so you can also apologize? Listen Jeff, she knew about the other women and it killed her. I don’t know how you could never see how much it hurt her when you lied to her face. I don’t like you but I am here because my sister asked me to. Besh, did not ‘just snap,’ she broke and for the sake of your life, I hope you get what’s coming to you. You don’t deserve my sister Jeff. You don’t.”

What six years of publishing on Smashwords mean to me.

Yes! Six years…

Image result for let's celebrate gif

It’s been six years since I started publishing on Smashwords. I am taking part in NanoWrimo this year and could not stop but look back at my writing and self-publishing journey over the years.

Here’s a break down of the titles published in each year and the number of copies that have been downloaded:

Year Titles published Downloads
2011 Dear Yellow

Dear May



2012 Say You Love Me

If time is all I have

Ethan & Richard

The Absolutely Boring Life of Mya

Made for You

Last Heart Standing

From the Heart

The book of Abel

Dear Brian

I love you this much

Never forget me Leila














2013 Pieces

I wanted to tell you

Only time will tell

The Single Diaries









2014 Choose me

21 Days

What happened to us?

The perfect love story

Confessions of time spent with humans






2015 Silence & Shadows




2016 Roses and Lies

The place you call home



If you are into numbers, my basic math tells me that it’s 40,653 downloads in a span of six years and if you’d have told me that it’s the number I’d be seeing years later, I would have not believed you. 2012 was a good year for it seems I wrote and published the most!  After 2013, my ebook titles took an abstract turn and I ventured forth into other genres, taking a break from romance.

Since then I have ventured forth to Createspace, Pronoun and Amazon Kindle. 

However, forget the numbers or the numerous platforms that have since then come to the reach of authors across the globe. This is a personal milestone for me. I am nowhere near where I envision myself and I struggle with getting there.

I struggle with Grammar, punctuation and hanging clauses…and in the blogging world, I struggle with getting the right headline and traffic. I post and let it be. It is something I started doing way back in 2011 and still haven’t grasped the subtle art of marketing.

Whenever someone tells me they love reading my blog or that they enjoyed reading a book I wrote, I simply nod and smile. I leave it at that. Honestly, it’s uncomfortable being praised and one percent (1%) of me feels great when I receive a compliment but the other ninety-nine percent (99%) wants to run and hide.

Have you been publishing on Smashwords?

Do you have an online platform that you can say was your first step into self-publishing?

I mean like seriously, I went from designing my ebook covers using picmonkey to canva and adobe creative suite!

One of the greatest challenge for me has been the distribution of my books especially those that I set out to be in both print and soft copy. Most of the readers, friends, or enthusiasts here in Kenya insist on getting the print copy. Since publishing in 2015 on Amazon, 5 people have bought the paperback copies via the amazon site. The rest are hesitant to go online and get the books shipped. I do ship copies but they are booked and paid for even before they arrive, mostly by strangers. Yes, it is true, family and friends are great support, but when a stranger invests in your work and loves it, you get even more people investing in your work.

I have a long way to go and maybe come the end of this month, my next book shall be available in both print and ebook versions.

Here are six things I’ve learned about self-publishing:

  1. You’ve got to write before you publish. This is the most important thing that has kept me going. Writers write there’s no shortcut.
  2. Self-publishing is not an automatic key to millions. It may take a while o be noticed especially on smashwords because a lot of people write and publish every second.
  3. Do not give up. Cliche right? Well, it’s as old and sound as gold, you keep pressing on.
  4. There are so many options when it comes to platforms for self-publishing and you’ve got to figure out which one to take. Do your research. Read through the comments, reviews and FAQs before you pick on one.
  5. If you are on facebook, twitter, instagram, or google plus be sure to share links to your work. There is a lot of information on the internet, so save your audience the time, and make it easier for them to get access to your work. Sharing is caring.
  6. Free is not always the best option.

Today marks six years and I have no clue as to what tomorrow holds for me, all I know is that I am glad that I went beyond the class compositions and project papers and actually created worlds using words.

Happy anniversary to me and a big thank you to Smashwords and Mark Coker for taking the initiative to create such a platform. You helped a Writer out and you continue to do so!