I feel tres guilty.
I have not updated this blog in ten days and it is like a little cockroach is scuttling around in the corners of my mind and it will not rest till I have done a lil something.
And I hate cockroaches.
Anyway, I have recently come across the book trailer phenomenon and I am quite fascinated by the concept of a book trailer.
Book trailers are basically a visual stimulant for the prospective buyer of the books (and perhaps it fulfills that quiet desire in the authors to see their books in movie format).
Will they do away with the need for blurbs? I couldn’t say but I suppose it is cross media marketing. At first it felt odd to watch a trailer as a preview to something that I would, in fact, be reading.
However, today I came across a book trailer that I fell in love with and I will be reading the book! Check it out and let me know what you think:
So I came across this post on the create space blog, which basically invites you to write a micro story.
A micro story is a one sentence story. The concept reminds me of the six word story, which I have attempted a couple of times. I was intrigued enough to try the micro story. Heck, I’ll try any kind of writing!
My first couple of attempts, my micro story came out as compelling sentences rather than a tale. I had to remind myself that I was really writing a very very very very short story.
So here is my micro story:
She woke to the cries of seagulls but he lay beside her snoring; oblivious to her torment, undisturbed by the sound of her tears, dead to the metal scraping and the click, and then, just dead.
Hopefully I’ll improve!
The idea for this post came to me because right now the last thing I want to do is write. Spent my first day in New York and I spent it in platforms which though preferable to walking in heels is still nowhere as comfy as flats or trainers which is what you should really be wearing when exploring those New York blocks.
Because of my ridiculous day in unrealistic shoes I am now cranky, I can’t work up the energy to change to jammies and I really really don’t feel like posting. But it’s not the first time I have felt like this and it won’t be the last; if I gave in all the time, I’d never write.
So here are a couple of tips for fighting the sandman and writing:
I have not forgotten that I have a Victorian Writing Challenge to attend to…unfortunately, the genre is not really my forte:
Victoria opened her eyes and blinked at the square pattern on the pale ceiling. It was not the ceiling she was familiar with. She was not home; but she had not been home for a long time. She sat up and tried to remember where she was. The room was decorated in soft pastel blues and pinks; it contained the bed she lay on, a couch by the French windows, a dressing table and a writing desk. It was tasteful and simple.
It was not a room she imagined the Duke had decorated. The Duke! She blushed as the memories flooded her mind. Had he had her carried in here? She was unwilling to add this embarrassment to her already lengthening list. She felt her heartbeat racing and tried to swallow large gulps. The doctor had told her to slow her thoughts down and breathe in slowly when she had one of these episodes. After a few moments her breathing had returned to normal. She stood from the bed and walked towards the mirror to take stock of her looks. Her untameable hair was becoming free of her braid; she tried to smooth it down, in vain. Her eyes were bloodshot still but she felt a little rested.
It is easy to fall into the habit of writing how one feels (especially when writing poetry). Focusing on how you feel will give your work a childishness that you did not intend and make it difficult to show instead of tell.
Personally my crappiest poems have been born when I was trying to write how I felt; especially if I used words such as ‘feel’ ‘like’ ‘want’ ‘I’ (‘I’ is actually the biggest culprit of the lot!). I hate ‘I’ poems. Let me drop an example for you:
The truth is, for most writers, there is nothing like the feeling of holding your book in your hand, flipping the pages and reading your own words — I imagine it is something akin to giving birth.
Many people have tried to convince me that print is dead. I always give the same response to that – you can’t cuddle next to a fire with hot chocolate in one hand and an iPad/kindle in the other! However, seeing as I am in the very hot Nigeria, the fire and hot cocoa are the odd objects in that scene.
Which brings me to why I believe that in Nigeria, e-publishing is a far better option than traditional publishing for the author as well as for the readers.
I don’t know how many people there are in the world who are like me:
1) For too long I wrote but shied away from advertising myself or my writing. I wanted to be discovered! I’m not sure how I wanted that to happen exactly. After all, I never spoke about my work, I didn’t enter competitions, didn’t send it anywhere; even the poetry book that I had self published was under wraps and before long I found myself ashamed of it.
2) I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to create a work that would cause critics to marvel at my creativity, my subtle metaphors, my unique view of life (especially for one so young!) So I ended up not writing anything. Or starting and not finishing because my words did not sound as though they were leading to a crescendo. I stopped writing for fun.
3) I didn’t want family and friends reading it. I didn’t want to be judged for the words that my mind produced all on their own. I didn’t want an aunty reading about a girl who slept around for fame, and thinking that I must have done something similar to be able to describe it so graphically. I didn’t want the church condemning me for the way I wrote about a demon. I started to think of pen names.
4) Then I moved to Nigeria and found a new reason to constrain myself – I didn’t write like Nigerian writers. My stories were not set in Nigeria, they were not heavy with Nigerian history, or culture. They were not reflections of society. So they became unimportant.
So I wrote in whispers. Wrote so no one would see. Wrote in fear. Wrote and hated every word.
If you are reading this and you can see yourself in it, here are some of the ways I overcome my internal obstacles: