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Tomorrow…

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Mama counted the coins carefully and tied them in the old handkerchief which she always tucked into her thick cotton half-slip hidden under several layers of wrapper to keep them safe.

I sprinkled water on the freshly harvested pepper and pumpkin leaves, arranging them in the basket; their luscious healthy colour would attract the eyes of good buyers.

With ease, mama balanced the basket on her head, her headscarf formed a cradle and she set off to Orie Ozuda; she would walk tirelessly for miles and that basket would stay put.

‘Nwamaka my daughter, I hope today’s market day will be a good one and if I sell all my goods, tomorrow I will buy you that shoe for running that you’ve been asking for.’

Thank you, mama,‘ I replied with happiness ringing in my voice. I imagined my feet encased in the white canvas and I could hear the voices of my schoolmates cheering me on as I raced to the finish line; they always say that I run like 440.

Tomorrow never came. Mama never made it back. Her crushed body was brought back to the compound with her coins still carefully tucked under her half-slip. Nwamadi’s 440 car killed mama. I never ran again.

© Jacqueline

Quick Glossary

Run like 440 – a term used to emphasize how fast she ran.

Orie Ozuda – a market day

Nwamaka – an Igbo name for a girl. It means beautiful child.

 

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4 Genres You Have Never Heard Of, But Promise To Be Entertaining

Books, Reading, Narnia, Writing, Popular Culture

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The world has gone so absolutely bonkers and reality TV-ish that just picking up the newspaper today and reading the latest story about President Trump is akin to picking up a political-thriller, which makes the world of reading novels worryingly redundant.

Okay, maybe that last statement was a stretch too far, but you kind of get the drift. It is what led Matthew Quirk to construct his wonderfully sculpted article.

Luckily, there has been the emergence of some new genres over recent years that could re-establish novels as the go-to medium when it comes to people wanting to escape. We have to warn you, though, some of these genres are totally bonkers, while others are proof that the human race will never be short of creative ideas.

Butterflies, Blue, Fantasy

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1. First Off, Bizarro

If you have never heard of Bizarro Fiction, then the only way we can really describe it is, well, being totally weird for the sake of being totally weird. The aim of the game is basically to entertain the reader, but how the author gets to that stage is completely up to them and could see their literature delve into all things funny, gross, graphic, absurd or just madcap.

You may think this is totally niche and will never make it, but David Wong has totally proven that theory wrong. He even had one of his books made into a film. Crazy.

2. Next on the list, Literary Role Playing Games

That is right, Literary Role Playing Games are a thing. It is kind of hard to wrap your head around at first because books in the LitRPG Reads genre tend to describe a protagonist’s adventure with the context of a computer game, meaning there are added mechanics like
experience points, stats and the chance to level up.

However, as mental as this sounds, the chance to read about different quests and see achievements is a great way to read about the adventure from a whole new standpoint.

3. What About ‘Mannerpunk’?

Now you may be thinking that is just another genre that plays on all things punk – why wouldn’t you – but it is actually a genre that is based on the fantasy of manners.

Hear us out, but is basically the other side of the coin that is Steampunk. You see, Steampunk tends to focus on things like the weapons, tech and aesthetics of a particular age, whereas Mannerpunk prefers to focus on the etiquette, manners and social politeness of the era instead.

Of course, there is the punk element to it, in which its most famous title is probably Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a real twist on the Jane Austen classic.

4. Last But Not Least, Microblogging Novels

With the rise of certain social media sites, namely Twitter and Facebook, the world of communication kind of got flipped and squashed and squeezed and altered.

A number of words we use when it comes to online communication became limited and that meant the ideas had to be made concise.

Well, this concept and approach has seen some authors create entire worlds, stories, plots and characters within the confines of these status boxes, known as Microblogging Novels. Say what you want, readers get the chance to read entire chapters the moment they are finished, which is cool.

This is a guest post

 

Cultivating Your Passion To Write…

Writing, Typewriter, Writing Passion, Ballpoint pen

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When it comes to something like writing, it’s easy to have all of the brightest ideas in the world when you’re not at home. But, when it comes to getting them on paper, the mind is blank, and motivation has disappeared almost entirely. Of course, though, in a lot of cases, drive to write isn’t just a matter of having ideas. Along with this, you also have to find ways to cultivate your passion and make it into something which doesn’t feel like work. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the best tools you can use to achieve this sort of goal.

Before you can start thinking about this, though, it’s a good idea to understand why you’re doing it. People are very simple, at their core. By giving yourself simple queues, while also learning and improving your skills, you will make it a lot easier to feel good about spending an evening behind the laptop. Along with this, these sorts of methods can remove issues like writer’s block. And they can also improve your appreciation for other people’s work, knowing what they have gone through to produce it.

Tools To Use

As something becomes easier and you are making fewer mistakes, it will usually become more enjoyable, as you’re spending less of your time fixing things. Writing is no different, and learning a thing or two could be one of the best ways to help you to stay driven with your next big piece. You can work on your effortless English skills through a variety of methods. Though, online courses and study resources tend to be the best for those with busy lives.

Once you’ve got some learning under your belt, you can start to think about the inspiration you can find from other people’s books. A lot of people find that their drive to write is at its peak when they’re in the middle of a book they really like. Always keep your eyes open for new books to read, as this can be one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated.

Along with the learning, you do throughout your studies, you will also want to continue to learn during your career, too. As a part of this, you should be constantly looking at blogs and other resources to find little hints and tips. This will help you to keep up to date with your skills, and will also help you to avoid slipping into bad habits.

Finally, as a way to get some inspiration, writing prompts can be one of the best tools out there. Being given a concept to go from with your story will help you to avoid the issues found with writer’s block. You can find websites around the web which are dedicated to helping people share their short stories which are built from prompts. Using a tool like this, you can compare your work to others, while also getting some valuable feedback.

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Hopefully, this post will encourage you to take the first steps towards embracing the passion you already have. A lot of people have big ideas for novels or other books throughout their life. But, very few act on this urge and their ideas stay locked within their minds. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, if you’re willing to do the work.

Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 4

Sticking To One Genre Of Writing

Be open to writing other things besides novels. It’s interesting to read and listen to some writers whose basis for measuring other writers’ writing career depends on published novels while leaving novellas, short stories and poetry behind for those whom they term ‘amateur writers.’

Writing, Writing Career, Short Stories, Stories, Novels, Poetry

 

A ‘writing career’ is first and foremost all about writing and earning a living through your writing. Then the second aspect of your writing career is choosing to specialize. Focusing on one area narrows your reach. Some writers struggle to acknowledge themselves as one because they have don’t have published novels in their catalogue thereby underrating their creative channels. Read more…

Writers Blood…

I Am A Writer, Writing Humour, Writing Quotes, Writers Life, Make-Believe

Words are not cheap

‘cos writer’s spill their blood with ink

and commit lots of murder.

For pity’s sake

help us raise funds for bail.

©

Jacqueline

Do check out my latest book in town ‘Unbridled,’ now available on Amazon. 

Book cover, Unbridled, Poetry book, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, Bold Must-read

Available in paperback on Amazon. Check This Link

Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 3

Read The Bestsellers With A Critical Eye

sabotaging writing career - reading best-sellers, cultivate reading habits,

Cultivate Excellent Reading Skills

To become an excellent writer, it doesn’t go without saying that you also have to cultivate excellent reading habits.

No, it’s not enough to read only blog posts and the current rags, but make time for more than the cursory reading of best sellers.

Reading is like an apprenticeship and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with learning from the high achievers of the literary world.

Many people want to become the next big or upcoming author, yet it will amaze you how many of these people don’t bother to read the authors that are successful. I’ve had a number of closet writers tell me that they don’t read best sellers because most of them are rip offs and crap.

Some time ago, I mentioned in a blog post that I was reading A Prisoner of Birth: by Jeffrey Archer, and another blogger went full frontal attack on J. Archer and how he hires a team of writers to do his writing. How he has probably never written a full novel blah, blah.

To say the least, that was a put-off that left a negative impression.

The Quirky Excuses For Not Reading Bestsellers

  • The notion that best sellers are rip-off’s and crap

If the idea of hiring a team of writers to hash out an idea into a book is a crime, then I’ll probably become guilty of such crime myself – hopefully, sometime in the future.

We all know that writing series of best-selling novels is not an easy feat. I’ve not written one yet, but from my writing experience, I can imagine how mentally draining and flat ass working hours are spent constructing such engaging novels.

If a writers life could be made easier by engaging others to help out with a project, then I say ‘good for them,’ besides, they are providing some income to these ghost writers as well as providing grounds for the background writer to hone his/her skills.

When someone takes the pain to describe a best seller as crap, they usually offer lame statements like:

“Oh, I read classics.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, Fitzgerald and the host of dead writers out there, but the problem with this argument is that you can’t enter the huge ever-changing marketplace of books if you don’t know what the trend is and what buyers are looking out for. Read more…

DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR WRITING CAREER BEFORE IT TAKES OFF – PART 2

That Single Title Won’t Make You Rich

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. In the writing life, a year is nothing. Writing, writing career, published, books, titles

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You did it. Finally, you’ve published that book. Your sweat, blood, and gore went into it. Now it’s time to sit before the fireplace with a glass of wine and rub your palm in anticipation of counting all the dough that will roll in.

This is somewhat embarrassing, but most times our first book and I daresay several titles after hardly causes the Richters scale to shift in our bank balance.1

I have to admit that after I published my first poetry book I had high expectations in my bubbly dream world, but soon enough, reality slapped me awake.1 Quitting one’s hustle and day job was not going to happen quickly.

Anticipating that you’ll be paying bills with your book advance and ROI from your book may not happen by the end of the year or even many years to come.

You might even strike gold and have an agent sign you on, but the challenge of successfully shopping it around and selling it is still a huge probability.

In some cases, when the agent is unsuccessful, they drop you, which is devastating to any writer. As a matter of fact after such unpalatable news, some writers hibernate from writing another word for several years.

Slogging away on a book and revising it for months on end is hard work and the rejections simply make the process discouraging and leaves you with the feeling that you are just wasting your time.

Here’s the thing…read more