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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BYE BYE 2014...







Going over this year; it was happy and uneventful, even though half of it was spent working very hard to clear the rest of my papers at the University (taking the final exam in April) so I'll finally get my B.Ed in English Education. I also got to  finish the manuscript for my third children's book (STILL waiting for the editor's response on that) and while I hoped to finally write my novel, I ended up changing the story's plot over and over again! 
Yet there were the good parts. I got to go to Dubai with some friends, I clocked 35 and celebrated in a small way and created a third blog MY BOOK CABINET.  I  also learnt to stop being such a worrier and be more optimistic about the future and achieving my goals. Of course there was the reminder from some family members and friends that at 35 I'm not getting any younger and see about finding a husband and having babies. 

I believe 2015 will be a good year and I hope to achieve a lot of things. For example, finding a steady good paying job,  finally finishing my novel and getting it published with more to follow, finally moving to Canada and having my own life as a successful writer and other stuff like maybe finally a man who's definitely the one. While I'm not enthusiastic about marriage, it's not like I've completely ruled it out; I just don't want to be constantly reminded about my single status, it's not like it's a sin anyway (or anybody's damned business). I also hope there would be less reports about terrorists' attacks, shootings and whatever and  I and every member of my family will be there this time in 2015 to welcome 2016. 

So... bye bye 2014... PLEASE 2015, be a great year! 

CARBO FAN FICTION- CARLY'S DIARY PART 13




PART 13
Melanie composed the email herself; making sure it showed no exaggeration but at the same time explaining  to Bo the seriousness of Carly’s condition and the urgency of his presence.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BAH! HUMBUG!: A CHRISTMAS CAROL







Like most of the read classics in my book cabinet, I read the simplified and coloured edition of Charles Dickens' 'Christmas novella' ; back when I was about 10 years old. That was the first time I was introduced to Dickens' unforgettable character, Ebenezer Scrooge a grumpy, cold-hearted old miser who actually hated Christmas!  That part was what got my interest because the author's opening line Marley's dead: to begin with- rather put me off a little.


How can I describe this Christmas tale? One word: UPLIFTING. The tale is about an old miser who paid a night visit by his late business partner Jacob Marley who (after lamenting of what he could have done besides making money during his life time) warned Scrooge he would be haunted by three spirits, "you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate",  Marley explained, so it looked like the three spirits were coming to open his eyes to his mundane and friendless life, which never bothered Scrooge before.

'Without their visits,' said the Ghost, 'you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first one tomorrow, when the bell tolls one. Expect the second one on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that , for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!" 

And so did Marley's words came to pass. The first 'spirit' was the Ghost of Christmas Past- who took him to the time Scrooge was a boy, which causes a huge hit of nostalgia on Scrooge especially when he got to see his little sister Fan again, Fan had died young and left behind a son (who was more than kind and good-natured enough to invite his grumpy uncle to Christmas lunch but was coldly turned down). Then he saw himself as a young man just starting his path with young Marley under the employ of jolly Mr. Fezzwig then the sober scene of his fiancée Belle breaking up with him because he loved money and making money than wanting to marry and have a family with her... very sad and Scrooge couldn't bear seeing this repressed memory of his greatest mistake, - 'Spirit... show me no more! Conduct me home . Why do you delight to torture me?' 

The Ghost of Christmas Present came next and Scrooge saw people enjoying and celebrating Christmas which he'd described as 'HUMBUG!', his nephew's Christmas party where Fred spoke how he pitied his uncle who had money but no friends and then the humble house of his poorly paid clerk Bob Cracthit who was having a simple Christmas with his family, the brightest person there despite his fragile health Tiny Tim, the youngest child. One thing to note here, even though they were poor, the room was filled with love and Tiny Tim lifting their spirits with the words, 'God Bless us, Everyone!', which stabbed Scrooge with the guilty realisation that the very low salary he paid Bob couldn't cover Tiny Tim's medical bills.

'Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live.' 

'I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.' 

'No, no... oh no, Kind Spirit! say he will be spared.' 

Before the Ghost of Christmas Present left, he showed Scrooge two emaciated children; the boy was Ignorance, the girl was Want and warned Scrooge to beware the first especially. And when Scrooge cried if they had no source of help, the Ghost calmly repeated Scrooge's earlier cold words, 'Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?'  Talk about a guilt trip! 

Then the final 'spirit' appeared to Scrooge... the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come- the most memorable because it never spoke and:

It was shrouded in a deep  black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.  

What Scrooge saw now, after viewing his mistakes of the past which shaped his present, the consequences. He saw people talking about a wretched man who just died and his funeral would only be attended if food was provided (eww by the way), and the man's possessions being sold cheaply. The next scene was a debtor and his family who were glad of the man's death as they would have more time to pay or not pay at all and the last, very scene of the Cratchit family as they mourn (though they try so hard to be brave) Tiny Tim's death, which upsets Scrooge greatly. The spirit then takes Scrooge to the graveyard and the moment of truth is revealed to him via a neglected gravestone, the wretched man is him to his horror; unloved, unmourned, forgotten.

Spirit! Hear me, I am not the man I was! I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why would you show me this if I am past all hope? 

Christmas morning, Scrooge is a changed man (and then some), spending Christmas with Fred and his family who were surprised yet delighted to see him, sending a turkey incognito to the Cractchits and making a donation, incognito of course for it is not said that one who is silent in his good deeds reap the bigger reward? And of course a huge pay raise for Bob which contributes to Tiny Tim's survival.

Like Oliver Twist, this story is more than meets the eye- it's not just about an old man who found redemption. It glaringly portrayed Dickens' sympathy for the poor, particularly poor children (Tiny Tim being a representative in the story) the joy of giving and sharing, especially on a festive season like Christmas and how the wealthy should do their part in helping the poor. And let's not forget, how past mistakes could shape one's present and future; Life is short and it's never too late to repent. 

Quote from book:

Many laughed to see this alteration in him, but he let them laugh and little heeded them, for he knew that no good thing in this world ever happened, at which some did not have their fill of laughter. His own heart laughed and that was quite enough for him. And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge." The story closes with the narrator repeating Tiny Tim's famous words: "God bless us, everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CARBO FAN FICTION- CARLY'S DIARY PART 12



PART 12
Frankie was very pleased to see Shawn D, while Molly exclaimed over the now  handsome adult version of the little boy she remembered. Shawn D explained how Roman had called him to inform him of Starr’s birth and Carly’s condition; after finally able to get off work, he’d flown in last night.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JUSTICE FOR ARNELLA KAMANZI


I first saw the infamous video some time back  and I was immediately sickened and horrified at what I saw; a maid physically abusing an 18 month old baby left in her care and she had no idea there was  a hidden 'nanny cam' placed in the room when she was hurting that poor little girl. It wasn't until I read the story in detail yesterday I discovered that the little girl's father was the one who planted the nanny cam after he noticed the poor child's bruises and limping walk. To his credit, he didn't fly off the handle and accuse the maid outright (which would have put her on her guard),  instead the camera was planted to get proof , a risky move since the child may have gotten beaten to death (but THANK GOD that didn't happen ) which he handed over to the police and Jolly Tumuhiirwe was arrested.
I used to think the practice of planting nanny cams was a blatant breach of trust but NOT anymore. What happened to Arnella Kamanzi was really terrible; I can't imagine why anyone would want to harm a helpless baby like Tumuhiirwe did. Didn't she have a shred of conscience when she hit and kicked the poor thing? And the audacity to tell the court she did it because Mrs. Kamanzi had beaten her hence the attack on the poor child was actually pay back. I have no idea if what she said about Arnella's mum was true but that does NOT justify physically abusing an innocent child.
So now, the 'monster maid' has been sentenced to 4 years in prison and she's just lucky she didn't do what she did here in Nigeria; I can only imagine how the parents and family of the child would've heavily descended on her before handing her over to the police. With what happened to Arnella, many families across the world, not just Uganda, would be more vigilant and careful when hiring maids and nannies to look after their children; character references from previous employers should be the main criteria before hiring at all. Arnella was very lucky and her father very clever and I think many more parents with young children should install nanny cams in their homes to make sure the nannies are really doing their jobs. That nanny cam along with the grace of God saved Arnella Kamanzi's life and I pray she is healing both physically and psychologically and will have no memories of that horrible incident.
As for Jolly, I hope she uses her time in prison to think over what she did and try to find some redemption. In court she asked the magistrate and the world to forgive her. SEE VIDEO
 Jolly, you should seek forgiveness from God.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CARBO FAN FICTION- CARLY'S DIARY PART 11





PART 11

Melanie wept as she watched Carly take off her engagement ring, her cheeks wet with tears as she kissed it, placed it in Bo’s hand and kissed him one last time before turning away to climb up the boat’s stairs, then at Bo who was staring up after her, tears rolling down his cheeks.

CARBO FAN FICTION- CARLY'S DIARY PART 10



PART 10
Melanie never envisioned she would feel anything but anger and resentment towards Bo Brady for what he put her mother through but as Isabella’s ghost took her further into his past with Carly, she found herself   feeling heart wrenching compassion and pity for him and hating Emmy Borden more.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

MY TALE YET UNTOLD




Writers aren't allowed to give themselves excuses NOT to write. The main thing we firmly tell ourselves is GET ON WITH IT! After completing the manuscript of my third children's book (at least I pray it will become a book eventually) my mind turned to the next thing; my first novel. After discarding several ideas, I decided to try my hand in writing  a 'coming of age' story. But after a few lines I drew a blank... except when I write fanfiction; probably because I'm trying to create my own characters now and leave subtle messages in the story besides telling the story. And there's still the fear; that I wouldn't measure up to the really established writers out there; writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- who has three novels and a collection of short stories under her belt. I actually met her years ago at the University of Lagos when she introduced her second novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun (now a major motion picture). While signing my copy of Purple Hibiscus (her first novel) I nervously showed her my two children's books which she briefly leafed through, nodded approvingly then asked me, what it only children's books I would keep writing?
That question struck a chord in me and I began asking myself the same question since then. My children's books (particularly the animal fables) are much liked, but should I stick to them ore try harder to be a novelist? Some say, "do what you know", but others say, "expand your horizons and think outside the box". To test myself, I indulged in "practice writing"- writing Days of Our Lives fanfiction and from the kind responses, it seems I can actually be a novelist
With all the advice and tips I've gleaned from the Internet on the best way to write a novel, I'm focusing on the best one... GET ON WITH IT; JUST WRITE! Ms. Adichie and other writers didn't sit down and dream or wait for inspiration and I don't intent to do that either. I shouldn't be afraid of mediocrity, but of not achieving my objective at all; which I will do via hard work and determination. And eventually,  my tale will finally be told.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

CARBO FAN FICTION- CARLY'S DIARY PART 9


PART 9

Melanie found herself in the Brady Pub, or rather what it used to be; the Fish Market. She couldn’t help but think how beautiful young Carly looked in the red and black pants suit she was wearing, her hair pulled back from her face. But her expression was rather sad as she sat at one of the tables with Caroline.