Tag Archive | Writing

Bigger and Better…

The fire raged with menace, its bright hot orange flames licked the timber with such nimble speed that in no time the house was razed to the ground.

The Darlington’s barely managed to escape the inferno with their lives and only their pyjamas on.

Thankfully, through their weeks of shock and coming to terms with their misfortune their wonderful neighbours rallied around them.

‘We are going to rebuild a bigger and better home Jo,’ Ziggy assured his wife and hugged her to his side as they stared while the workers cleared the charred remains of their former home.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Thank you, Yinglan for the photo prompt and Priceless Joy for providing this platform.

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Spell it Out! #SoCS

The ‘spell’ prompt that Linda gave us makes me think of a two-pronged approach. I automatically thought of my spelling which seems to get dodgier by the day and the need for people to communicate properly.

I am not a mind-reader,
I can’t tell what you think,
so, why don’t you spell it out?

Say what you mean,
mean what you say,
just simply spell it out.

I don’t like guessing games
I prefer to communicate in clear terms,
for heaven’s sake, please spell it out.

Spelling errors! Quel horreur! I used to be a buzzing bee in spelling and read dictionaries as one would read a book. These days – I don’t know if it’s accountable to ageing, to being too busy, or the fault of the auto-correct that simply jumps to offer a helping hand and provides us with the correct options – my spellings are no longer of the Spelling Bee Champion category.

I have found lots of misplaced e’s and undotted double i’s with crooked t’s and what have you turning up at odd places and some days when I re-read an old article and find myself totally embarrassed to find silly little spelling mistakes here.

Somewhere in my mind lies the correct spelling but my fingers jump ahead of themselves to type something else. Maybe, it’s time again to start taking the dictionary to bed and yes, I shall blame all the spelling faults on auto correct. I think it has cast a spell on people and we now depend far too much on it.

Like most things in our digital lives these days, everything is going autopilot, everything has an app, and the spelling of the younger generation sucks. They don’t even bother to spell fully anymore. Full sentences are broken down into abbreviated jargon and trying to read it simply gives me a headache that most times, I spell out what is written to make any sense of it.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Counting The Words…personal

Writing, Life, Quotes, Gratitude

A hundred and sixty-five words! I bet a whole lot of these words need to be weeded out. Now I have to take the surgeon’s scalpel, the blacksmith’s hammer and the butcher’s knife to cut, shave, trim, tuck, beat this draft into shape and close the chapter.

I am thankful for having finished the first draft of my new book. It’s been a slowpoke journey writing this one. I thought that I would have it published by March, alas, balancing it along with all the other merry-go-round parts of my life has been interesting as well as hectic. I had to shelve other writing projects that I’m working on to focus on this one because it has been driving me to get it done with.

Each day, I am made more aware of the fact that the blessing of being a writer doesn’t come easy. Many days one is at loss for the right words to bring to life the thing that you want to say, yet, I found a hundred and sixty-five words and there’s more threatening to spill out.

This is not a novel, nor can it be classified as a memoir – though lots of bits and pieces of me are to be found within. However, it’s an exciting project that writing it has helped me beyond words. A book that took me full circle. In my head, I’ve got the song ‘ don’t you worry, don’t you worry child, heavens got a plan for you,’ on continuous shuffle.

I am grateful for the gift of writing.

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Labour Night…

Ulumma put down her basket of cassava for the umpteenth time and gasped in pain, her steps slow down as the contractions grow more painful and closer with each passing second.

The sound of critters amplifies and in the stillness of the air, the buzzing crickets, croaking frogs, mosquitoes and staccato beat of a talking drum that floated in the night air from the village increase her anxiety, reminding her how far she is from home.

She tries to dampen her ripe imagination from straying to folklores and ghoulish tales of the dead who come to do their farming after hours, but the tree limbs look ominous, gnarly and ghostly in appearance as dusk quickly falls in ‘Ubi.’

‘It wouldn’t do to have this child in this Godforsaken place’ she mutters as she trudges along, her thoughts diverting in anger toward her husband who was probably enjoying a drink of palm wine while waiting for his pregnant wife to return from the farm and make him a fresh pot of soup and fufu.

Hissing and cursing in pain, she vows not to allow him to touch her for the longest time ever.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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Thank you Yarnspinner for the interesting photo prompt and my lady PJ, I appreciate this platform that you host.

Quick Glossary

Ubi – An Igbo word for farm. 

The Time…Friday Fiction in Five Sentences

Image result for images of time

He could recreate her routine to the last second, sometimes he watched and silently willed her to break it, but like clockwork, she kept to her schedule of little things.

At precisely 4.15, she would come in, a creature of habit, she loved to sit in the same chair and the quieter corner behind the shelf with Art on a bold plaque pinned to its side.

She would plug in her laptop, put on her headphones, hum and move to the soundless music as she happily chomped on Twizzlers and tapped away rhythmically on her Toshiba laptop.

At 6.30 she would rise, stretch her taut limbs that bordered on thin, go for a restroom break and return with her lips glistening pink from gloss, a powdered face and a cup of decaf from the vending machine.

Now it’s 5 minutes to 8, he watched her pack up her things, in less than two minutes she would take the stairs two at a time, sadly, she seemed happy today, it was time, so he followed behind.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

 

The Chilling Interlude…

 

The hungry look they had in their eyes for each other didn’t go unnoticed. The passion between Sir Edgar and Lucy Rushmore sizzled.
Everyone knew that they were sweet on each other and it was no surprise how Lucy stole unchaperoned opportunities to stay as close to Edgar as possible. As a matter of fact, there were whispers that an announcement of their engagement would be made that evening.

It was a perfect evening. The drawing room was filled with high society. The ladies looked divine in their evening gowns and the gentlemen, dapper in their bespoke tailored suits.

Fine wine, rich food, good music and lots of laughter floated around the room. Kara Synod’s acclaimed renditions in her rich Soprano had lots of eye’s wistful and received prolonged applauses.

The shocking news left everyone chilled to their bones. In the interlude of songs, dance, and laughter, Lucy was found in a dark powder room cold from death and two long pointed hairpins with the etchings of a black rose stuck in the base of her throat.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to the FFAW photo prompt above. Thank Louise for the photo and lady PJ for this writing challenge platform.

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Meet Beautiful Lady Carly Sygrove

I remember the first time I read Carly’s post on her sudden loss of hearing, what caught my attention was not just her detailed writing, but her positive, humourous approach and outlook. I must say that I was intrigued. Many people when befallen with any form of hardship tend to drown themselves in the waters of woe is me, instead of seeking how to turn their situation into an experience that empowers them and inspires others.

I can’t begin to lay claims on the imagination of how such an experience would be, but through Carly’s words, I try to understand her World.

I enjoy interacting with her and I leave her corner with a lesson or the other.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

A little bit about me…

Hello. My name is Carly. I am 34 years old and I am currently living in Madrid, Spain. I am originally from a small, seaside town in Yorkshire, England called Bridlington. Bridlington is well known for fish and chips, which are usually served in gigantic portions! My parents still live there, and my mum enjoys walking on the beach and cliff tops every day.

I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and specialise in teaching 3-7-year-olds, and have been teaching for nearly 12 years. As well as England and Spain, I have also taught and lived in China and Thailand. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 years. Thailand will always have a special place in my heart.

It is where I gained self-confidence; where I met some of my favourite people; where I was able to travel to beautiful islands and other countries in South East Asia; where I discovered my love for Thai food and massage; and most importantly, where I met my wonderful boyfriend.

I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend who live in England and visit them whenever I have the opportunity. Their home feels like my second home, and we always have lots of lovely times together; eating, drinking and exploring the city where they live. I also love travelling, walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, my friends, my family, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. I don’t like people who are unkind, rude or selfish; anchovies; hard boiled eggs; loud sirens; having my photo taken; wasps; and cockroaches. I am trying to be more mindful in everyday life and to take the time to enjoy moments of happiness.

Bits About My Blog

Seven months ago I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. There was no accident or known infection or virus that caused my hearing loss. There was nothing inside my ear blocking the sound. It was not a gradual deterioration. My hearing just disappeared. I began writing my blog nearly 4 months after I lost my hearing. I initially hoped it would be a way of informing my friends and family about my progress in dealing with my hearing loss.

However, it has turned into much more than I had hoped or expected.  Blogging has become a way of documenting my experiences and a tool to help me make sense of my feelings. I have met so many people in the blogging world, all with different stories to tell. I have also been able to connect with others who have experienced different types of hearing loss.

It is so comforting to connect with others who are facing similar issues and difficulties to me and to read about how they deal with these challenges. Although I originally wanted my blog to be a way of informing friends and family of my situation, I actually haven’t yet told my friends on Facebook about my blog; although some of them are aware of my hearing loss. I want to be a bit more up to date with things. I am still a few months behind on documenting my story. Also, it’s quite nice having this secret WordPress community/life that is separate from my real life. My most viewed posts seem to be the ones where I move away from my story and talk about how the hearing loss affects my life, and also when I talk about the new challenges I am facing. Here are a few of my most viewed posts:   

Silly Deaf Moments

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/silly-deaf-moments/

Who would have thought that losing your hearing could be so noisy?

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/who-would-have-thought-that-losing-your-hearing-could-be-so-noisy/

The first time… Part 2: being brave and feeling proud

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/the-first-time-part-2-being-brave-and-feeling-proud/

Warning signs?

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/warning-signs/

Keeping Motivated

There is still so much of my story to write. I am still very much motivated to write my story, as I am enjoying writing and I also find it therapeutic. Every time I write a post about part of my journey, I feel like I can almost let that part go from my immediate thoughts; knowing that I will never forget it as it is documented forever. I have lots of notes for upcoming posts.

After consultations with specialists and also after having different experiences with unilateral hearing, I come home and scribble down lots of ideas for future posts. When I am feeling in a writing mood, I look at my notes and write the next instalment of my blog. The most challenging thing for me is getting readers to follow me. I am aware that writing about hearing loss isn’t the most glamourous subject. If I had chosen to write a blog about baking, travel or fashion, perhaps I’d find it much easier to get followers. But hearing loss is what I am passionate about. I not only want to be able to connect with others in similar situations, but also with people with other stories to tell. My readers and the blogs that I follow keep me going.

I am amazed at how much support I have been given from fellow bloggers and every comment and ‘like’ means so much to me. I have fallen in love with the blogging world, and think that it is wonderful to be able to share my story. My blog will be something that I have created, that will always be available for other to see.

A Word For Others

If you have a subject that you are passionate about, and would like to meet more similar minded people, by all means, blogging is a great way to share your story and meet lots of great people along the way. There is so much inspiration to be found in the blogging world; stories of happiness, fun, drama, sadness, strength, creativity are all out there. Blogging does take time and a certain degree of dedication. You will need to invest time to write regular posts, and also to read others posts and share your comments.

Carly and Boyfriend, Interview

Me and My Boyfriend at Christmas Market in London.

A day in the life of me

Since losing my hearing, I have been signed off work; as I would find it difficult to work with a class of 4-year-olds at the moment. A usual working day would have involved getting up at 7 am. Then I used to travel on two metros, and then walk for 15 mins to get to work. Then I would have a busy day teaching, often followed by meetings or lesson and classroom preparation.

Usually, I would get home around 6 pm, sometimes later. Since I have been off work, life has slowed down. My boyfriend leaves the house to go to work, around 8.45am. Every morning we have a chat before he leaves, and then I get up and start my day. I do general house tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, washing clothes, tidying up etc.

I usually have morning TV shows playing in the background whilst I’m pottering around. Often during the day I will catch up on any blogs that I’ve been meaning to read or reply to any comments on my blog. I also have 2 or 3 appointments a week at the moment with various specialists regarding my hearing loss. I still feel guilty for being off work, even though I know it’s not my fault. But am also aware that I should appreciate the time I do have away from work. So I try to make time to do something I enjoy every day, such as going for a walk in Madrid or baking something. In the evenings my boyfriend cooks for us and then we enjoy watching a TV series together or a film.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

Me and My sister in Geneva during Summer

In The Near Future

I will eventually share my blog on Facebook with my wider circle of friends. I would like to have my blog featured on some ‘hearing loss’ websites. I have contacted quite a few websites, but haven’t yet been taken up on my offer,  but will continue trying. I also hope to continue to gain more followers, so that I can share my journey with others. I was a guest writer for MakeItUltraPsychology (https://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com/ ) who were very kind to publish my post: Finding Strength Through Adversity: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/106156040/posts/13749

I’d happily be a guest writer for other blogs. Maybe one day I could turn my experiences into a book!

Thank you some much Jacqueline for giving me space on your blog. I really appreciate it J.