Tag Archive | ambition

Tuesdays Trickles – My thinking Corner

Every Tuesday, I share snippets of thoughts that I call ‘My Thinking Corner.’

I would like to invite you to participate. The challenge is quite simple. You can check this link for more details.

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When we were young we were full of ambition, dreams, and drive, but when we get to a certain age there’s the tendency to let go of our deep desires, which gives way to the need to just get along with living and paying the bills. We unconsciously tell our minds that we are too old to pursue certain dreams.

This creates a chasm of dissatisfaction deep inside anyone who has found themselves in such a position and it just never goes away no matter how much effort is made to mask such desires.

When we realize that our destiny lies in our hands through our thinking; when we realize that so long as we still inhabit our bodies and notwithstanding the fact that we grow older, that as long as we’re mentally, physically and spiritually able, we can still pursue some of those dreams that gave us bright eyes and lit up our hearts.

I’ve seen people obtain degrees in their old age, change careers or start a business late in life. Never stop dreaming. Never stop pursuing your dreams.

Deb sends in inspiring words of wisdom. Take a peek 🙂

Jacqueline


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Getting to know the beautiful, delightful, smart and prolific writer; Amanda Eifert.

It’s an honour for Mandi to accept to do such a personal interview with me. Ever since I started blogging Mandi has been a staunch and heartwarming friendly support. Mandi, I wish you all the best in your endeavours and appreciate your hand of fellowship.

  • Introduce yourself, a bit about your background, your likes, dislikes and general outlook towards life.

Hi, my name is Amanda or Mandi as some of you know me. I am from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and have lived here all my life. I live by two gorgeous parks and off-leash trails for dogs. I enjoy walking the off leash trails. I miss my old dog and enjoy the other dogs on the trail. I also love how peaceful it is on those paths.image1.JPG

I have been on disability for over eight years now. I used to be an admin assistant in construction for a commercial development company. I became ill, not realizing what was happening to me because I had never experienced mental illness before December 2008. I left work my last day emotionally distraught, embarrassed, and not realizing I was hearing echoes after certain people talked. I would hear what someone usually said, then hear an echo of their voice which would comment and say something mean.
On December 24, 2008, I waited in the emergency with my Dad. We discovered I was experiencing a psychotic episode. I went into the hospital in January. Once I started a certain antipsychotic, I stopped hearing things. For some reason my now doctor told me when you hear things, it’s always the worst things you can think of. After, the psychosis I had a mini depression.
I have never had another psychotic episode since 2008 but now experience depression and severe fatigue. Severe fatigue meaning, I cannot mentally or physically do things for a long enough period to work or do many activities in life.
After trying countless medications and developing insomnia along with my depression, I went into the hospital to overhaul my cocktail of medications in July 2015. I’m finally, on a helpful and tolerable med called Clozapine.
It acts as an antidepressant, antipsychotic, and causes me to sleep through the night. Before Clozapine, not being able to sleep and becoming so used to sleep medications that they stopped working was miserable. Now, I have more freedom in everyday life as well and can do some exercise and concentrate better.
I’m a determined writer and I’ve been working on improving my writing for years. I have a BA in English Literature, a certificate in Residential Design, and am pursuing an online MFA at UBC for May 2017. I love being creative and imaginative in my writing; I enjoy drawing and acrylic painting at times; and I adore dogs, hanging with my friends, Netflix, scrapbooking, and yoga. I’m told I’m intuitive and thoughtful.
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I don’t like it when people push me into a corner and force me to decide something, I need time to weigh matters for significant decisions. Because of my illness, I need a bit more control over my life than some people realize. I have to plan down-time to relax and can’t do activities out of the house every day. I hate it when people are discriminative of people with mental illness or disabilities of any kind. I regret that because of my disabilities, I missed a lot of time with my best friends and are not as close to them as I would like. But maybe that’s life and it happens as a person grows older.
I’m extremely close to my family and I’m drawn to people who are close to their family too, including pets. I’m a proud Christian and would not have made it through what I have, if not for God’s grace and the love of my family and friends.
  • Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself? What has your blogging experience being? Here, you can share some links of your top posts or blog posts that you particularly like with us.
I mentioned earlier, I have been working on my writing for years now. After my mini depressive episode, I couldn’t read books such as Harry Potter and it was hard for me to even write. Daily, I increased my ability reading, starting with easier books such as the Twilight books and other Young Adult books, eventually, moving into more difficult reads such as the books I read in university English classes.
My goal with writing was to bring my writing to the point it was at in university, but I hope I’ve surpassed that goal. I had read some of my friends blogs and had a friend who blogged on WordPress. I signed up and started blogging.
In the beginning, my blog was a place to share about my mental illness and my daily life, the disappointment I felt at not being able to live and be like a normal girl of my age back then, and the classes I was taking. I also started writing for a young woman’s magazine and I enjoyed writing about these current events twenty-somethings would be interested in.
I also started taking some editing course through Simon Fraser University online. Quickly, I discovered I would never be perfectionist enough to be an editor, but I loved to write so I focused on creatively explore writing. It has always been my passion and I’ve been writing poems since I was eleven or so as stress relief and because it always felt right to me.
The editing courses were useful and I did learn when editing others work, to leave it as their own work and not completely change it as my editor for the young women’s magazine had done to my articles often. But I did need to work on my spelling and grammar and my blog and the editing courses aided me there.
At the same time, I was working on a Residential Design certificate. It was good knowledge to know had I been able to return to work, but it wasn’t my passion. I signed up for a few creative writing courses, and participated in many versions of the WordPress online courses. I started writing posts for my blog everyday. Gradually, I fell head over heals in love with writing fiction and especially, poetry.
I have made it my goal to visit www.shadowpoetry.com and learn to write using as many poetry types as I can master. Poetry always comes out the easiest for me, usually in free verse. Fiction requires more thought. Through Flashfiction challenges, through writing my own novel, and learning the whole process behind developing a novel, my writing has improved substantially, since I began blogging nearly five-years ago.
As a writer, I realize a blog is a necessary part of sharing your work with the public, by commenting, participating in prompt challenges with other bloggers, and sharing your work over social media. I never realized even a few years ago, how all these social media accounts add to a writer’s audience.
Twitter is a big one. I have many followers on there and quite a few new ones every day. I write some poetry only on Twitter and have found places to publish my poetry through Twitter. Mainly, www.spillwords.com. I also love the WordPress community. It’s so supportive and I love brightening someone’s day by telling them how wonderful their writing piece is or what it makes me think about. Critiquing is so helpful as long as it is done in a helpful and kind manner and I try to do this when I comment. I would rather in my own work, have someone be honest with me if it doesn’t sound right (etc.) than tell me it’s fantastic and lie. But not everybody likes such honesty.
  • Take us with you on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of  your pets if you’ve got any.
Honestly, my average day is not interesting. I set out with a list of tasks to accomplish and try my best. Sometimes, it’s a bad day, and I end up staying mostly in bed and sleeping. Other days, I do chores I need to around the house, make healthy meals, do twenty to thirty minutes yoga or walking, clean, comment on other blogs and read blog posts, catch up on writing for different prompts, read books or magazines, or work on editing my novel in second draft. I research a lot online, try to stay up on current events, and watch Netflix or TV at times.
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A day out, I plan ahead. I go to a festival in Edmonton in the summer; go to the mall for necessities and sometimes clothes shopping; I go for coffee and meet a friend or sometimes on my own for a change of environment; I go for a longer walk in the river valley; go to a farmer’s market on a Saturday; get my hair or nails done; attend an appointment or go to a movie; and whatever else I want to do or need to do. I can only go out every couple of days usually, but sometimes I manage two-days out at a time. I’m limited to about four-hours out at a time, unless I’m simply sitting, such as for a movie. After a while, an extremely noisy or loud place is difficult to remain in on certain days.
On weekends, I often do something with my Mom in the day. I’m pretty constantly texting friends or messaging them and connected to the online world throughout my week, but sometimes even I need a break.
  • What’s the next pit-stop for your blog’s outreach and publishing?  Any plans in the offing? You can also share some of your published works here.
Well, like you, I’ve started doing interviews of other poets and Bloggers. It’s fascinating to learn about other writers, their writing processes, how they publish their work, and to find their unique take on life and writing in general. It’s been a success for me on my blog. I was extremely pleased to have you as my first interview. Now, I’ve got a whole list of interviewees until October at least. The interviews are informative for readers such as blog followers, as well as myself.
I’ve had poetry published in www.spillwords.com and www.sicklitmagazine.com since June 2016. I continue to send out my poetry to literary magazines and journals, as well as websites which publish poetry and fiction. My goal is to have a short story in fiction published.
Fiction is harder for me as I said, but I love it. Rejection makes me all the hungrier to have it published. Even when I receive rejection emails, I’m happy a publisher/magazine took the time to reject me and often tell me what I need to work on.
I want to eventually publish my novel which is a paranormal romance. I’m working on rearranging and polishing the second draft of my manuscript. Then, I need to look at editors because as it is my first novel, I need an editor to read through the whole piece and tell me what works and what doesn’t. I think I’m going to try querying for an agent after, but I will see. There are advantages to self-publishing, but given my health, it may be better for me to have a publisher take care of editing the manuscript, doing the cover, the marketing etc.
Thanks for interviewing me, Jacqueline. I appreciate your generosity.
Here are some current links to some of my work and some photographs:
5. Interview With Marquessa Matthews – Nonfiction –https://mandibelle16.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/interview-with-marquessa-matthews/
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This is Nikki. My long-passed on pet, but as I said I miss her 🙂

Ambition – Everyday beautiful people 96

“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.” W.E.B. Dubois

Ambition[1]

“I would like to be an architect,” she told me in her soft melodious voice and I listened.

“I am starting my course at the University this September and I am so glad.”

‘You see, I am from Yemen and it’s not easy for us as women. There’s a lot of gender disparity,’ she continued in her lilting tone

I could see the shining ambition in her eyes and the beautiful smile on her clear pretty face and I felt such pleasure just knowing that she’s getting the opportunity to pursue her passion and ambition.

The saying that when you raise and train a woman, you raise a village, a town, a nation came to my mind.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published 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.

 

Jacqueline writes from her heart on passion, pain, suffering, loss and LIFE. I have been incredibly moved by her poetry and I know I will return to “Out of the Silent Breath” again and again.

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works and would like to do so, you can fuel my creativity with a slice of cake or coffee😉

His Flanges Got Propped!…. A short story

Defeat

It’s been quite a grueling competition! Sebastian is determined to win the championship even if is by the skin of his teeth!

He has come far and this is it! The moment of his life and his dreams!

He could almost taste the victory and the fame at the end of it all.

His face would be splashed all over the papers and television. Instant celebrity status stamped on him as he turns into the toast of the town.

Endorsements would fly in from here and there. He could imagine his preening and the ladies cooing after him; his companionship sought by all. He could see it all! The pause to pose for silent brooding pictures for the paparazzi. The constant request for interviews. The frenetic social calendar. What a success it would be!

For just a split second, his wandering mind drifts off from the game at hand. In that split second, the ball comes sailing through the air and his delayed reaction causes him to over-reach. His legs fly out under him! He sails into the air, landing with such a heavy thud at an odd angle.

Pain pierces and radiates through his entire body. He struggles to rise but this legs crumble under him as the excruciating pain keeps him down.

The medics rush to attend to him and a quick examination is carried out.

Through the haze of the pain, a sober voice filters through;

“Well my young man, it appears you have popped a rib or two!” Said the Voice.

”You will be needing a FLANGIPROP  for support for several months or more.” ”Unfortunately you cannot continue with the game.” The droning voice continued as he administers on-site first aid.

He is quickly holstered on a stretcher whilst he writhes in pain and anger. This is not the way it is meant to end he argues in his mind.

The flashes of the camera keeps popping in his face as the paparazzi catch every wince of pain and misery that is etched on it.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha.

In response to The Daily Post – Invent a definition for the word “Flangiprop,” then use the word in a post. 

The actual definition of Flange: An external or internal rib or rim which is used to add strength or to hold something in place.

The actual definition of Prop: An object placed against or under another to support it: anything that supports.

An Artist for Nobility….

An artist for nobility

Desire to paint was compelling. She couldn’t stop even when there was hardly any coins left to purchase supplies. Grocery change finagled to buy a paint or two.

Thoughts flowing from fingertips onto the easel with boundless verve, leaving people in awe of the elemental depths of her works.

Mama had urged her over and over to focus on a sensible trade. To pull her head out of painted clouds.

Mama’s fear, was that she would end up a penniless and hungry artist, if she had nothing else to do.

To please Mama, she had learnt a sensible trade. A governess to spoilt brats and dabbling in her painting away from prying eyes.

If only Mama could see me now!” Georgiana fervently wished for a moment.

Her works had won the National Art entry and gained public acclaim!

.And here she is on the palace grounds, painting her ladyships gardens. Appointment notes chock full with sittings for portraits and the likes!

Who would have thought! I Georgiana, the daughter of a green-grocer, would be an artist for nobility!

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to the photo prompt from Graham Lawrence for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers.

Thank you to Priceless Joy for providing this challenge platform.

A shove in the right direction….

Goal setting

Isn’t it peachy and very ambitious of me to lump in doing Writing 101 and Blogging 201 along with the busy-ness of my life hmm!

Truly, the bargaining chick in me saw the offer as a BOGOF (buy one get one free) and couldn’t resist biting the bait.

Well, sometimes, I guess we need these extra push to step out of our comfort zone and push our limits just a bit harder. Well, lets see how far I fare with the heat under my butt 😉

I love blogging because I have so many tales to tell and it would be selfish to keep them all to myself, what do you think?

I decided to start blogging because writing stuff down on notebooks no longer satisfied me. Writing gives clarity to my thinking process and helps me focus on the goals ahead.

If by chance of passing through this corridor, I gain notoriety as a leader in my field, that would be absolutely delightful.

If per chance I continue to connect with more fantastic bloggers; like I am doing right now, then I would be very glad and enriched with the presence of beautiful souls.

If per chance I am able to succeed in snagging a book contract or self-publish, then that would be a complete circle of success.

At each point in time, it is worthwhile to review one’s goals, fine tune them where necessary and ramp them up as well if need be and in that spirit, I want to keep my goals simple and feasible.goal_setting 2

  • Double my social media network by the end of 2015.
  • Add a bi-monthly series feature to my blog on or before September 30th.
  • Visit and socialize a bit more with my followers and discover new blogs each week.
  • Keep my nose on the grind and get the draft of one of my novel’s completed by 31st November.

Now let me not get too ambitious and just leave it at that.

Let me know what you think, please?

Thank you and regards.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to Blogging 201: Day One: Set Three Goals

Mama Put… A short story

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An assortment of okada, keke, and several kabu’kabu/taxi’s, park lackadaisically on the hard-packed earthen kerb, beside the gutter that Mama Put used as her frontage. This is a busy corner of the road side, which teems with human traffic.

Mama Put’s shack is brimming with customers going in and coming out. Some still have their toothpicks in-between their teeth, sucking in air, in an attempt to dislodge a tiny morsel that had stolen into a gap, whilst some insert a finger in their mouths, using it as a wrench to pluck out remnants of chewed meat.

Lunch time is one of Mama’s busiest period. These rushed gathering of men jostle each other for space on the worn wooden benches and the few mismatched plastic chairs inside the crowded shambolic tent of the popular buka.

The men are taking a proper break from the morning rush. Most times they leave their homes on empty stomach as early as 5:00am for the quick business turnaround of taking passengers to their places of work and trade. Leaving early not only helps to put more money in their pockets, but it is also a means of beating the unbelievable go-slow which builds up as early as 6:30 in the morning.

Hasty gobbles of soft  Agege bread, slathered with blue band butter chased down with hot tea from the local Mai shayi, serves as a respite till lunch time. On days when there is a lag between passengers, then it could be a quick meal of hot fried akara balls and ogi or kunu.

Hot Akara Balls

Hot Akara Balls

From 6.00am in the morning till she closes shop in the evening, Mama Put’s domain is a place of systematic chaos. She endeavors to start early to cater to her early bird customers and it was not a strange sight to see a flashy car or two with a customer carrying a food warmer to make purchase and eat in the comfort of their office, shop or home.

Her rivals spread snippets of malicious gossip that mama uses spiritual powers to keep her customers enraptured, but these back talks neither stopped her nor did it deter her customers. Nkoyo – Mama Put’s real name – could cook. Her food is always tasty, fresh and her demeanor pleasant.

The men look forward to their lunch. It is a place of camaraderie; a place you need to be, to keep abreast with the goings on in the vicinity. Heads crowd the steaming pots of jollof and dodo, white rice and stew, porridge beans and yam; each customer making their request and pointing out their particular choice of a piece of assorted meat or fish, whilst those who waited on the next round of pounded yam straddled their benches and engaged in idle chatter.

As they crowd the eating arena, an overpowering smell of dried human perspiration clings to the air, mingling with the divergent aroma wafting from pots of food and this creates a unique smell in itself.

The deep hums of their voices rhyme with the kpom, kpom, kpom beat of the pestle and the mortar at the back of the tent where a young lad mashes the boiled yam – which occasionally mingles with beads of his sweat – into softer lumps for swallowing with native soup. Pounded yam is a heavy meal appreciated by the hardworking men. It kept the hunger pangs at bay for hours on end.

Pounded Yam

Pounded Yam

Over their hot plates of food, their loud voices compete to regale each other with anecdotes of the days events. Of cantankerous, corrupt officials who dot every few meters of the road, casing the riders and extorting money from them. Sometimes, it would be the story of an irksome passenger or a tussle with another rider. They argue over football, a division of thoughts depending on the persons Premier League of support and their gist’s are often interspersed with ribald jokes. They talk politics, share their opinionated advise about women, touching on this and that.

“Ha!” “Mama, na wa o!” exclaims a stocky regular. This poundo fit belleful person so? E small o, he carries on talking as he receives his plate of pounded yam and afang soup.

Mama generously cuts a little extra portion and adds to the lumpy mound on his plate.

A beg give me pure water, another customer known as Sadiq requests.

Mercy, one of Mama’s kitchen girl heeds his request and ambles over with a cold sachet of pure water, which is kept cool with the ice blocks purchased from the ice block supplier.

Sadiq, calls her “my wife, my wife”, pats her ample waist and Mercy giggles as she steps away to answer another customer.

Jollof Rice and Dodo

Jollof Rice and Dodo

It’s a typical selling day and nothing is amiss until a customer rushes in, breathless with news of calamity. A demolition order from the new local government chairman is taking place. Makeshift stalls, shacks and all are being callously pulled down. They say it is to make way for modern stalls that Mr. Chairman wants to construct and sell or rent to the highest bidders.

Grumbling of mistreatment of poor masses in the hands of elected officials ensues. The men disperse quickly in order not to be caught in the backlash and have their properties impounded, as the rumble of the crushing Bulldozer is heard chugging it’s way slowly and surely, leaving destruction, tears and anguish in its wake.

Mama flounders as they hasten to gather crockery, aluminum pots, pans and other items that they can move quickly. Her thoughts are scattered to the four winds as she glumly watches her modest enterprise bulldozed to the ground. Tears leak out of her gritty eyes, rolling down her face unashamedly. She is caught in a wave of abject despondency.

Her sweat and efforts of many hard months fast turn into a crumpled heap of rubbish. It has taken so much to get to this point. To get to a point where she had a steady stream of customers and feasible income. Her family existed from hand to mouth; from the sweat of her brows and thoughts of her children, Uduak and Kufre’s school fees which is due in a couple of weeks cause more tears to well and brim over.

The bitterness of her situation pools and curdles her spirit. She rails and rants in anger, her vitriolic emotions overflowing its bounds. Her life has been a deep struggle; from one point to the other, that it sometimes feels as if the current sweeping her is too strong for her to keep her head up.

“Where will I start from?” Nkoyo mutters to no one in particular.

“How will I now catch up with my book me down customers?” She ponders fleetingly?

The vote she that she cast for the imbecilic Chairman a thought to regret and hiss over.

For as long as she can remember, she pays the local government touts protection money in cash and with free plates of food too. They extorted sums of pin money with promises that her space will always be maintained. She even contributed when all the vendors were approached to add their meager support to the Chairman’s campaign kitty.

Now that trouble had come calling, where were they to flex their lying muscles? Where were the thieving local government officials and their area boys? The Area fathers have slunk away like sly foxes with their tails tucked in-between their legs.

Nkoyo sits on an overturned mortar beside the rubble in weariness, her ambitions of expanding her business callously truncated. Her leaden legs are too tired to carry her home.

Glossary for words in italics that you may not know:

Afang soup: A vegetable soup originating from the South Eastern part of Nigeria – Cross River states.

Agege bread: A very popular low class bread baked in Lagos and favored by laborers. Usually very soft and eaten with so many variations of items e.g eggs, beans, bean cakes, etc

Akara: Bean cakes made from peeled black eyed peas and fried in hot oil.

Area boys/fathers:  These are loosely organized gangs of young men, who roam the streets of Lagos. They extort money from passers-by, act as informal security guards, and perform other “odd jobs” in return for compensation.

Book me down: Customers who purchase food on credit and keep an account with the food vendor.

Buka: Local food canteen a step below restaurants. Food cheaper than the restaurants.

Dodo: Fried ripe plantain

Go slow: Slow crawling traffic

Jollof: A popular meal eaten in most West African homes, a one-pot meal made with fried tomato and pepper stew, rice, meat and spices

Keke: Tricycles

Kabu’kabu: Shared taxi

Kpom, kpom: Typical sound made from pounding.

Kunu: Popular drink consumed throughout Nigeria but mostly in the North. Made out of millet or sorghum

Mama Put: Road side food seller so called because her customers are known to beg for extra food for their plates ”mama abeg put more now”

Mai Shayi: Road side hot tea sellers

Na wa o: Exclamation which expresses so many things such as surprise, woe, you don’t say etc

Ogi: Liquefied maize meal which is thickened with hot water and sweetened with sugar and/or milk.

Okada: Commercial motorcycle used as vehicle for hire in Nigeria.

Pure Water: Water bagged in disposable sachets.

This poundo fit belleful person so?: Will this pounded yam fill me up?

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Image credits: Nairaland.com