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The Resilience of The Broom – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge.

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The strength of the broom lies not in the power of a single frond but in the resilience of its united fronds. African proverb

Like most families my growing up years consisted of squabbling with my siblings over things that I can’t even recall anymore, but the saying above is one of those proverbs that I’ll never forget because my parents used proverbs like that one to teach us life’s lessons.

‘Igwe bu ike! This is an Ibo word that means ‘there’s strength in numbers.’ My mother will tell us that while demonstrating with a broom.

She would give each of us a broomstick and instruct us to go ahead and break it. With barely much strength applied, the broomstick would snap. Then she would give us the entire broom to break and no matter how much you tried, that broom would never break. It might bend, but not break.

She used this example to emphasize to us that we had to stand together as one family because when we stand together as a unit that’s the only way we would withstand adversity and over the years of my life, we have individually and collectively gone through the storm as a family, but having each other to lean on has made passing through the eye of the storm easier.

Our unity didn’t mean that we lost our individuality, but there’s a code of oneness that understands and tolerates diversity.

This saying is not just for families, but to any group that man forms because we are social beings.

Unity brings strength
and creates harmony.

Unity promotes prosperity
and fosters love.

Unity covers the weakness of one
and infuses him with support.

When we are united
we can withstand.

When our unity is broken down
we will crumble.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Unity – #WQWWC


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Your Strength – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge.

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You never know much strength you have, until you have put yourself to the task.  Jacqueline

Your strength lies often in your brain
and not just in the brawn,
your strength lies often in your wisdom
and not just in the intellect,
your strength lies often in your diligence
and not just in an attempt,
your strength lies in your tolerance
and never in bigotry;
your strength lies with others
and never just on your own.

I would describe myself as a self-driven and purpose minded person, but sometimes I fall short of my own expectations and possibly the expectation of others as well.

However, I’ve learnt with time that when I partner with others, like my family, colleagues, and friends like you, I achieve far more than I even imagined.

Starting my blog was delayed for years because I felt that I didn’t have enough of what it takes to maintain a blog, but here I am today, plugging away everyday without looking back.

Now I don’t even have enough time in the day to attend to my writing needs due to all other responsibilities that have my name written on them. Nevertheless, I take a moment at a time and apply my best and continue the act of balancing the rest.

I enjoy the prompts for WQWWC. They give me the opportunity to reflect and possibly make my own quote around the topic at hand. You can always join in.

Jacqueline

Strength – WQWWC

P.S. Our monthly Meet and Greet/Blog Party comes up this weekend Sat 27th/Sun 28th August. Hope to see you there.


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The Miracle Lies In Your Eyes…

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The gift of life itself is a miracle, and I see this phenomenon every day. Jacqueline

If you’ve not seen a miracle, then take a second long look in your mirror, for you are staring at one. The expectation that miracles must happen in a spectacular manner creates a vacuum in appreciating the miracle of each day that we receive. Each day that the Sun rises and we open our eyes to the splendour of the Earth is an absolute miracle.

Thoughts of miracles remind me of a what my mother always said, that “May Thy Kingdom come is not only when the Lord Almighty steps his feet down from heaven for us to see, for the kingdom lies in the soul,” and she would say this to punctuate a blessing received.

This equally applies to miracles. For the fact that something is quantifiable, explainable and understandable doesn’t make it less a miracle. Each day that dawns without effort from you and I is a miracle. The majestic beauty of the Earth is a miracle. Conception is a miracle. Watching my young ones grow each day is a miracle. Hearing that bird sing and watching it fly is a miracle, watching the flowers bloom and many uncountable examples out there are natures splendour and nature is a miracle.

Let our eyes not become too jaded

Nor our minds too cynical

that we fail to see

and fail to comprehend

that the beauty of life

lies in our perception

and appreciation 

of all the miracles 

that nature has placed in our path.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

We received the prompting word Miracle  for this weeks’ Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. WQWWC is a challenge that I enjoy participating in and you might find it interesting as well.


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My Beliefs…Thursday Writing Challenge

 

Beliefs are like seeds sown over time. Some will fall on fertile ground and yield good fruits, some not at all and some will become thorns – Jacqueline

I believe in God.

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I believe in the ultimate power of love.

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I believe in the power of positive thinking.

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I believe in the strength of family and unity.

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I believe in the resilience of the human spirit.

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I believe in seeds sown for positive growth.

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I believe that caring and kindness elevates us.

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I believe that all men are born equal and each must be treated fairly.

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I believe that we are all chosen for a higher purpose and can all make a difference.

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I believe in the healing power of forgiveness.

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I believe in God.

Since the beginning of time, societal beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. Some beliefs are true. Some beliefs are half-truths borne out of the perception of the believer. Some are outright lies that have been perpetuated over time that they become accepted as true for the benefit of the perpetrators.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Believe – WQWWC

P.S. You are cordially invited to our monthly blog party happening live on this blog Saturday 30th – Sunday 31st July 🙂


Below is my first Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha’s poems portray images that stare us right in the face. Images of love, joy, death, pain, challenges, violation, and freedom. She writes in a language that’s rich in imagery, earthy, honest, vulnerable, yet full of the promise of hope, of loving and of Grace. A collection of light and dark soulful prose.

Writing chameleon… Writers quote Wednesday challenge

This week’s writers quote challenge gives us the word artist as prompt.

Sometimes, I find it amusing when people question if writers are artists and it simply defines how myopic the stretch of their mind can be.

To all such people, I say ‘but of course, writers are artists, we simply paint our creation in words. A castle in the mist can be built in the mind.

I find this quote from Steve Martin interesting and I wrote a poem that came to me.

“Through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.”
― Steve Martin, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

Unperceived, imperceptible,
I scan with beady eyes
appreciating and critiquing
a second nature
whipping thoughts together
my truest pleasure

I am blazing hot and chilling cold
pencil tucked inside my unruly hair
occasionally interferes with the hoops in ears
my lips wet in dribbling anticipation
eyes dim and shine in secret reflections.
displeased with any interruptions.

In retro jeans and slack red T’s
with tinted hair in shades of wine
a pinch of blue is tossed inside
an enhancement of some rebellious side
now this is my bohemian side

I am chatty and I am snobbish
I wear heels with lots of flourish
engrossed in my beat
churning thoughts on spit
as ink is tossed with a relentless streak

My soul screams within
as voices chatter and cackle
my heart knows uncanny quietness
as I bash out the tempestuous battle

I am not a freak but an artist
a human writing chameleon of non-ebbing talent
emboldened by the beats of the mind
I dance like a puppet on my muse’s string.

I am making something out of nothing.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Growing Muscles…Writers Quote Wednesday.

Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got. Philip José Farmer

Inside me, when I write, I stand tall. I feel a certain clench and release that I don’t experience from anything else. That’s what writing does to me. I feel an expansion of my spirit, my soul, and my mind.

As is commonly said, the art of practice brings about a perfection and though there are times that I question myself, my sanity and conviction, personal experience with scriggling and drabbling has shown me how true it is.

I find that my vivid imagination keeps getting sharper as each day goes by and it’s veering towards seeing things in 3D perspectives from the mundane details and beauty in the ordinary to the complex structure and questions that pop up inside my head. It only means that it can get better as the muscle gets fine-tuned.

Writing is certainly not an easy exercise even when we think that we have the gift of the garb and have all the structures well put together. As a matter of opinion, I find that writers are most times less assured of their writing than those who don’t write, but the passion and the loud voices that nags in one’s head won’t let you be until you’ve had your say.

Like the quote has said, and I reiterate, keep pushing the boundaries of your imaginative muscles. Explore by pushing the strictures of your boundaries and comfort. I am trying to venture outside my zone of cruise control, to a bumpy side. I bet the knowledge gained from trying new reading material and writing aspect won’t be a wasted venture.

I would rather keep pushing it, writing and shooting crabs than stopping. In the midst of the written rubbish, there’s bound to be a couple of useful material and by the time I am done with my muscle development, I might actually stand a chance of knocking Mayweather flat on his hard backside in a boxing ring with the feathered tip of my pen.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Image credit: Pixabay

Keep Tearing Up The Sheets… Writer’s quote Wednesday

One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I am going to do my 5 or 10 pages no matter what and I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing writing and tearing up fine pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off. Lawrence Block WD

This quote strikes a chord within me. I’ve given up trying to get the perfectly written material. I just banter along with what’s in my head and let all the string of words flow as they wish.

Some turn out to be fodder for my dust-bin and some turned out fairly good. The important thing for me, is to keep the writing going on and not give that imp called Writer’s block an excuse to manifest Himself.

I like turning the imp into a male in this case, due to the distractions that males specimens can be in female lives 😉

Before I started writing for public consumption, I happily wrote in my diary without bothering to tear out a page or gnaw at my underlips, but now that I am working on stories that would be read by others, there are times that the flow is not as seamless as my ears would like it to be, so I batter my laptop in a steady tempo, hoping to knock some sense into it and get it to say what I want.

I am quite doubtful that any writer even the greatest authors have flawless writing moments. Excerpts and stories of great authors that I have read are riddled with nervous moments, a couple of writers blocks here and there, bursts of inspirations, crazy habits a lot of times and lots of full waste paper basket and enough pocket change spent on jotters.

Bottom line, is to keep at it. Don’t stop. In the midst of the torn mess, there’s bound to be some sensible material.

I lick my lips in anticipation

My  forehead beads in perspiration

I scribble in frantic desperation

Hurtled by uncertain agitation

They fall in sporadic precipitation

After some orgasmic deliberation

At  last some seemly satisfaction

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Silver’s writers quote Wednesday