A couple of my books will be free around now for the next couple of days. Right now African Me is, so if you fancy it just click on the cover image to zoom over to Amazon for download. While you’re there Sands of Time is also free if you like wild romps with dragons and chatty spacecraft.
I wasn’t thinking of Halloween or planning on posting anything at all creepy until I almost stood on this guy today. Still got the willies – not keen on leaving my feet on the floor, and got me thinking about another thing that had me tucking feet under bum for weeks.
South Africa doesn’t really celebrate Halloween much. I’ve heard that it is growing in popularity a bit, but apart from those wonderful guys who will take any excuse for a party, I’m not sure that it would be a very good idea to go around knocking on doors around here dressed up as ghouls and such. Small scary creatures knocking on doors at night in South Africa are highly unlikely to get any sweets – probably only the visions of the backs of people running away smartly and screaming hysterically. Chatting to author friend Charles Yallowitz on his blog the other day, where he was discussing the sizes of various monsters reminded me about a little tokoloshe incident of my own.
I’ve been doing a little interior design work on the especially unpleasant hell that is home to the Nefandus – the demonic beings in Shadow People. I have a very vivid imagination, so I know that they don’t like it there at all, and are quite keen to leave. Their appearance of course, and their very specific methods of—. Well no – never mind that now. I will only say that they’re very, very, very, tall. All cultures on this world of ours have legends of demonic entities. They’re mostly quite similar in looks, which really should give us pause for thought. Black skin. Red eyes. Long pointy fingernails. They loom over beds, oozing icy malevolence, instilling immobilising terror, and often buggering about with the duvet, while giving their victims a nasty scratch or two. They throw things at walls. Occasionally these things are their victims.
So the whole demon thing is pretty disagreeable in general. Unless you’re another way inclined I suppose, then they’d just be invited guests at your party. Well. You enjoy whatever rocks your boat, is all I can say about that. I’ll be washing my hair on that night. Here in Africa we have quite a few gods and demons. Mermaids that are not gorgeous, blonde, and large breasted, but rather menacing and vicious whirling dervishes, that suck you down into rivers and drown you. Then there’s Nyaminyami – the god of the river. He’s a biggy. When the hydro-electric dam was built in the Zambezi valley in the 1950’s, the BaTonga tribe were forced off the lands that had been rightfully theirs from time immemorial into new settlements on higher ground. Angrily they vowed that Nyaminyami would destroy it, and to be truthful, over the years there have been quite a few large, unexpected, not easily explained, disasters and deaths there. So never be too hasty to disbelieve in legends.
We also have the tokoloshe. They are not so tall. In fact they’re about the height of a two year old child. But don’t let their short stature fool you – these are very frightening and powerful ooh-nasties. The method of choice to stop the evil little sods from hopping onto you as you dream, is to place lots of bricks under the legs of your bed. If you believe in them, this would be a wise thing to do, considering a particular one of their forms of attack. Not a cool way to awaken, I reckon. There are no character saving Leprechaunish pots of gold here. They’re murderous, terrifying entities if the thousands of stories are to be believed. I certainly wouldn’t like to meet up with one at all. Although once I thought I had.
Many moons ago, I was staying at the lake resort of Kariba in Zimbabwe – legendary home of the Nyaminyami by the way. I was sleeping off an overdose of one-armed bandit gambling, and various other youthful excesses, when I was rudely awakened by something tugging on my ankle. On opening a heavy lid, I locked eyeballs with two nasty little shiny black points of light surrounded by a swirling mass of hair. Lots of hair. Emanating from this horrible sight were some pretty odd noises too. I yelled at the top of my lungs and then did the cowering against the wall thing for a while. Apart from soft noises of movement coming from the adjoining hotel rooms, caused by my own screams of terror no doubt, I heard sharp nails scrabbling on the floor. Then a big bang as whatever it was squeezed out of the window in the bathroom before heading for the hills.
Needless to say I hightailed it out of there straight away to another hotel – with first floor rooms. The bleary eyed hotel staff had differing opinions as they poured several very large shots of medicinal brandy. The most sensible theory was that it had been a thieving monkey. Still – I didn’t like to think that a wild monkey had been yanking on my leg. And why would a monkey be doing that sort of thing anyway? It certainly hadn’t sounded like any monkey I’d ever heard either. More like that awful head spinning little girl in the Exorcist. Do they have scrabbling nails? My ankle was fairly badly scratched. I really don’t know. Even though they’re so clever, I’ve never been partial to them. My mother had an incredibly mean pet monkey once called Darwin, who she never believed used to bite me when she wasn’t around, and coo lovingly, and try and stroke my cheek when she was. Until someone left a window open my eight year old self was fairly traumatised. Not me, in case that’s what you were thinking – I wouldn’t want to harm them. I just don’t want them in my personal space, let alone yanking any of my limbs.
The other opinion was that it had been a tokoloshe, sent by the witchdoctor that had created it from the dead, to steal from guests. When I said that nothing had been stolen, it was suggested that it must have been planning something else altogether to begin it’s spree with, and I’d clearly had a very lucky escape. Indeed! The hotel manager helped polish off the bottle of medicinal, and was quite adamant that it had been the tokoloshe that had been swiping wallets, jewellery, and cameras off dressing tables for weeks. He further deprived me of sleep that night by insisting that now that it knew I had seen it, it would traverse the globe to hunt me down and kill me. That weekend was cut short for me right then. I spent the next few nights elsewhere, with wide open eyes, and fantastic and caring friends taking turns to hide under my bed at night and grab my ankles. Then I gratefully flew off to spend a few peaceful months in mercifully wild monkey free England. I haven’t seen anything remotely like that since. Maybe he’s still there, following my trail through dusty castles, and quite a few pubs as I recall, stuck forever in that lovely Kingdom, just waiting for me to return. Anyone heard of night-prowling monkeys in London I wonder? I do hope that my continued existence proves that it was just a monkey after all – it probably was – but then again, you never know.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Princess – Portable Sin Buns
It’s amazing with how busy you get, you forget your early blogging days, where you sat glued to your monitor with bulging out eyes and sticking out tongue, waiting desperately for someone to LIKE what you’ve written. Then that crestfallen disappointment when nobody does – even though you’ve only got three followers and two of them are your aunties. I must say that I love this bloggerverse more every day, and all the wonderful warm people I now get to call friend. Anyway, I suddenly remembered one of my first posts in those old shy days when the writing always seemed stilted, and you felt like you were peering in people’s windows and reciting poetry to them without an invitation, waiting for the laughter and jeering to begin. And then you find out that bloggers don’t generally roll that way – that they’re a pretty cool bunch after all. Anyway. Now I want to practice rescheduling posts on WordPress, so I shall inflict it on you. This post was “written” by Princess – Suzette’s cook in African Me & Satellite TV.
I have decided to share with you, a very simple chicken and prawn dish. You can serve it with rice if you wish, or do as I do, and fill buttered buns with it.
I do not eat chicken. I have seen that it is the one of God’s creatures that has been given the most hardships, and receives the most cruelty. I have arranged with God that I will not eat any sort of bird, unless he can show me in some way that it is the reborn spirit of one of those cruel people, who care so little of the pain of animals, and so much for the making of money. The bones of such a bird, I will crunch with relish!
I also do not eat prawns. Mr Herman once brought four lobsters home from Harare for me to cook. These creatures jumped to the floor, and caused much terror for myself and Felix. That cat had his nose crunched very painfully until I pushed that beast off with a broom. I do not wish to see such things again, and I will certainly not eat the flesh of their cousins.
So I see you ask, how then can you cook something if you cannot taste it? I will tell you what I have been told by madam and all of her many friends. That my cooking is always perfect. Why should I not believe this, when I can see that it is true?
I make many things which I cannot taste. Cocktails for instance. Obviously I do not drink alcohol, as I am a good Christian woman. But only once did I create a drink which was not very highly praised. Madam’s friends had especially enjoyed my Pickled Onion & Gherkin Martini, so I thought – what about garlic? That was thought to be my one failure. But after thinking myself about this, and remembering how Mr Collie had spat it on to the shirt of Mr Herman, who then fell from his chair, and caused Mr Themba to cry very loudly, I believe maybe it was not such a terrible drink after all.
PORTABLE SIN BUNS
I make these for Mr Herman to take when he goes fishing on his boat with his friends. He says that they are so good, they have to be bad, so he calls them Portable Sin Buns.
500g Chicken Breasts – sliced into thin strips
500g Prawns, cleaned & peeled
– Boil their heads and shells in 150ml water for 15 minutes & strain
1 Tablespoon Grated Onion
1 Grated Clove Garlic
1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
Buttered Bread Rolls
Brown the chicken with the garam masala, onion & garlic in a little oil.
Quickly add the prawn stock, tomato paste.
Allow to reduce until most of the liquid has gone.
Add the prawns and parsley and cook till done.
Season with salt & pepper to taste & add as much mayonnaise as you wish.
Spread the lettuce on a buttered roll and fill up with the chicken & prawn mixture.
OI! Buy My Book!
Ha ha! I’ve been thinking about marketing quite a bit now. I decided not to actively market until I had more than one book out (a la Hugh Howey), and just see how things in the self-publishing world worked first. So now the time has come. As soon as my revamped current scribbles, and the new African Me go live next month, it will be that time. Over the last year, I’ve been mainly watching, and reading as much as I can about how to sell books as an independent author.
Even though my career was in sales, I still find the thought of flogging my own writing quite daunting. It’s not quite the same as selling a product, where what you see is what you get. Somebody’s not likely to buy a product or service without knowing exactly what they’re going to get. With a book though, you’re selling something ethereal. A possibility. A promise. Your buyer isn’t sure that they’re going to like what they pay for even if they’ve liked other books written by you before.
I figured that that definitely is the first step for me though. No selling till there’s more than one to sell, and that there would be at least a couple of people who had read what I write and might like some more. I’m not expecting to have fans lurking at the bottom of the garden, hoping to get pics of me doing something outrageous to sell to the Enquirer, and I don’t anticipate lots of sales to happen immediately, or even in the first months of trying to ply my wares. Selling doesn’t work like that for any product unless you have Lady Luck not only rooting for you, but camping out at your house. A successful product needs advertising as well as word of mouth to make people want to buy it. Would you buy the baked beans you know and love for $1, or beans in a jar for 10c from a lady on a corner, even if she tells you they’re better than Heinz? Nope. We want what we can be pretty sure we’ll like.
Indies can’t generally afford major advertising campaigns in the places already famous authors have their books publicised, such as magazines, billboards, television. So they use what they have – virtual launches, parties, giveaways, and social networking sites to get the word out. Intrepid bunch we are. Finding a way into one of those big boy forms of media isn’t likely for the arb scribbler such as myself, unless I streak across the court at Wimbledon yelling, “Oi!! Buy my book!!” That would do it I reckon, now that I think about it. Could be a really good marketing strategy doing something outrageous, or out of the box.
From a purely sales point of view, with limited funds, I think one or two other things might be worth a try. Traditional mail for one. Send out real paper flyers. Have some posters made up. Hire a graffiti artist to splash your name around a bit in the dark of the night – ok that’s not legal – but still… Put out piles of bookmarks with the cover of your book and contact details on it, for people to help themselves to. Buy those chocolates that you can have your own image printed on the outer package. Balloons. Mugs. Whack your cover and info on these too, and hand them out anywhere you can. People love free things, and for those writers not so keen on handing out free copies of their actual books, promotions along these lines might help a bit.
Not many people get to make money selling anything at all without either spending money, a lot of hard graft, or a tangibly superb product. Probably a little of each would be best. Anyway… I’m only about to start the marketing trip, so I’ll just carry on stalking the successful guys, and listen to what they suggest. Pinch nose, close eyeballs, and jump into the fray I go…
Till next time friends.
Alien In Africa
There’s a big storm brewing here. I find it a bit hard to focus on what I’m doing when there’s a gale force wind blowing, and some fairly large twigs and branches zooming around, so I’m off to a very late and shaky start today. I’ll be concentrating on African Me from next week until it’s published, and then on to book two in the Shadow People series. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to getting my paintings finished for the new covers of all my scribbles too. A friend asked me the other day if it wouldn’t be wiser of me to stick to one genre, and wasn’t it confusing to write stories that are pretty much polar opposites. I’m not sure about the wisdom of this, but I don’t find it confusing. I find it easy to slip into book worlds, whether I’m writing or reading.
I do hope I don’t confuse my blogging friends though, with my trips into Africa on one day, and then heading off into alien worlds the next. It all makes sense to me, although I have been told that I can be somewhat odd, so I might be wrong. I really don’t find the idea of beings inhabiting other worlds in any way weird. In fact I think that saying that we are the only life forms in the universe is illogical. I spotted an item on the news the other day that NASA have found two more planets circling Kepler-62. They’re only slightly larger than Earth, both in the habitable “goldilocks” zone. Models suggest that they are both water worlds too. It doesn’t make sense to me that planets with warm temperate climates and covered with water won’t have life.
I don’t see why all other life would have to be bacterial either. The universe is most probably teeming with all sorts of critters way more advanced than we are. Although that would probably not be too difficult. Watching the news, I often wonder where all the hatred and awful acts will take us. At this rate we will be our own undoing, and not have to worry about being invaded by aliens. I’m still pretty sure that if aliens ever do pop on over, it won’t be to say Hi. They would probably be wanting the real estate, or maybe stopping over for provisions, and who knows what could be on an alien menu? Either way, I hope that when they do we’ll have worked our way up to where we can honestly call ourselves civilised, and to where we’re working together for the betterment and safety of all. If such a weird and wonderful event were really to take place right now I don’t think we’d stand a chance, because we’re too busy hurting each other to stand together against a global threat. I really hope we start to learn soon.
Till next time friends. xxx
Twitter Withdrawal Language
Today is Independence Day in Zimbabwe, celebrating thirty three years of independence from colonial rule. Regardless of the political situation here, that is indeed cause to celebrate in my book. I don’t get involved in anything at all political here. I’m a South African citizen anyway, and politics can be a slippery slope no matter where you live. African Me & Satellite TV was inspired by racism and colonialism across Africa, as well as the struggle for freedom against apartheid in South Africa. That being said, even though the story plays out in Zimbabwe, it’s a novel at the end of the day, with those themes running throughout the book. It never occurred to me that its publication would more or less coincide with elections here, but I’m happy that I held it back now. I’m watching events unfold here with keen interest, and really hope that everything goes smoothly and that the lovely peoples of this country can get back to living their lives again.
I managed to load up Twitter properly after quite some days barely getting a look in there. Today the electricity is on and my internet is at least working, although slow as a sick snail. It’s always Twitter and Facebook that won’t load when the internet is slow. This last week has seen the air turn blue for miles around a central me, and I’ve come up with many new and exciting ways of using the foulest words in the English language. Twitter is my favourite online place to be so it’s the worst place for me to be locked out of. Apart from the banter and the chat I don’t think that there is a better place for information gathering. I most of all love reading the few lines under new follower’s monikers when I follow back. I love the way some describe themselves, and make me instantly want to be their friend, and find out all about them. There really are some fascinating people in the world. I’m going to make a project of properly checking out a few of my follower’s profiles and tweets every day, and making sure that no amazing people are following me un-eyeballed.
Unfortunately after so many days of not being able to open a lot of emails, and posts on all the sites that I am part of, I know for a fact that some will be overlooked. This really bothers me. I hate the thought of anyone in the world thinking that I wouldn’t respond to anything they have to say. I think that ignoring anyone communicating directly with you is most unkind, so I’ll try my best to find every little thing. It might just take a while longer. And so, back to work for me.
Till next time friends. xxx
Now that I am dead, and I watch these people relive my life, I desire only to describe to them how I feel now, and to tell them that there is no need for their terrible sorrow.
Now that I am spirit, I have no colour or race, no accent, no pain. I feel the bliss that is eternity, and I wish that I could share it with them, these gentle scatterlings brought together by my human death, who now love me as I was never loved in human form.
I stand unseen beneath the Msasa tree, with the joyful souls of Felix the cat, and Cher the dog, whose painful deaths were the catalyst of my own pointless murder, as these people think of it. But no, I want to shout, there is no death. There can never be such a thing. We are all immortal, and these small passings from one place to another are not as terrible in reality, as they are in the eyes of people.
I watch them read my diaries, crying for me, crying for the days of my life, wondering how a small black boy living in those times, those times they call apartheid, how did that child come to be writing a diary.
But even so, my story begins before that day. In spirit I remember all, see all, even the days of other lives, other forms, in other worlds. But these are stories for other days.
© Jo Robinson 2012
One of my favourite writers and source of much inspiration, Nigerian, Chinua Achebe, author of the 1958 novel “Things Fall Apart,” has died at the age of eighty two. He was teaching at Brown University in Rhode Island, as professor of Africana Studies, and Bard College in New York. He wrote a couple of dozen books in his time and received honours and awards in his country as well as the rest of the world. “Things Fall Apart” has sold millions of copies world wide, and interests me not only because it is a fantastic story, but also because it is set in pre-colonial times. The lost culture and history of Africa are very important, and have to be searched for and revived to help with the healing of the people of this continent.
The depiction of Africa as the “Third World” has always bothered me, and authors and activists like Chinua Achebe will always inspire me. Africa was the “First World” to begin with, and the cradle of civilization. The amazing ruins and history slowly surfacing, show that Africa’s people were culturally, architecturally, and intellectually much more advanced at the time of their building than many other cultures around the globe. The incredible damage inflicted by the years of colonialism and oppression is not going to be fixed overnight, and it has to be recognised for what it is. Even though this generation isn’t guilty of it, it’s important that they understand it, because Africans can’t be expected to forget it. The results of colonisation = the mess that is Africa today. Africa should not be expected to follow current “First World” rules. They will have to stumble forward and find their own way, according to their own rules and beliefs. People like Chinua Achebe have helped people all over understand this a little better. He coined a lot of proverbs in his books which succinctly point out the some of the problems of post colonial African identity as well as being generally wise or witty.
“There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. … Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian,” he said. “It’s not one man’s job. It’s not one person’s job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.” Chinua Achebe
He famously criticized Joseph Conrad (author of Heart of Darkness), referring to him as a “bloody racist”, which if you read some of Conrad’s passages seems fairly plausible. He was outspoken on many issues, including poor governance in Africa and often turned down awards given to him by his own country in protest.
Corey D. B. Walker, an associate professor and chair of the department of Africana Studies at Brown University, said Achebe’s loss was a great one. “He was more than just a colleague, faculty member, and teacher at Brown. He was a gift to the world. At a time like this we could draw many words of wisdom and comfort from the deep wells of various African cultures and traditions to honour him. The most fitting is the simple and elegant phrase – A great tree has fallen.”
Here are some of my favourite Chinua Achebe quotes:
“I would be quite satisfied if my novels (especially the ones I set in the past) did no more than teach my readers that their past – with all its imperfections – was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them”
“I believe in the complexity of the human story and that there’s no way you can tell that story in one way and say, This is it. Always there will be someone who can tell it differently depending on where they are standing; the same person telling the story will tell it differently. I think of that masquerade in Igbo festivals that dances in the public arena. The Igbo people say, If you want to see it well, you must not stand in one place. The masquerade is moving through this big arena. Dancing. If you’re rooted to a spot, you miss a lot of the grace. So you keep moving, and this is the way I think the world’s stories should be told—from many different perspectives.”
“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”
“If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.”
“That we are surrounded by deep mysteries is known to all but the incurably ignorant.”
“The triumph of the written word is often attained when the writer achieves union and trust with the reader, who then becomes ready to be drawn into unfamiliar territory, walking in borrowed literary shoes so to speak, toward a deeper understanding of self or society, or of foreign peoples, cultures, and situations.”
“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
“There is no story that is not true, […] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.”
Hamba kahle Chinua Achebe.
The Bad Old Days
A few months ago we had a glut of radishes from the garden. Not being fond of waste, I peeled a pile and pickled them. This morning, after realising that I had run out of gherkin slices for my cheese pancake, I added several of these instead. I tell you this only to let you know that the pickling of radishes should never be contemplated, and if you are ever confronted with such a thing, don’t eat it. The problem is that they really are very nice. The larger problem is that they appear to be dangerous. I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse bellyache. These radishes have got me thinking though.
When Zimbabwe’s economy totally melted down a couple of years ago, the country got to the point where nothing was available to buy. People starved. We were a lot more fortunate than most. I’ve spoken about how horrible this was before, but this morning’s pickle peccadillo had me remembering how inventive we all got. Zimbabweans are an especially canny nation. They’re known not only for their friendliness, but also for their ability to generally make a plan. When we first realised that it was actually happening – we were living in the middle of an absolute economic collapse, we all dithered a little, and for quite a while went without most things that we generally now take for granted. Towards the end of the hard years, a group of us used to shop online from a South African supermarket, and everything would be trucked up once a month. Before that we had “runners”. These beloved intrepids would hop on board some fairly hazardous buses and taxis, zoom over the border to neighbouring South Africa, sleep on benches in parks, buy your groceries, pop them on top of more terrifying buses and taxis and deliver them right to your door. I remember my runner very fondly. We’re still firm friends, and she now has a thriving business from her personal shopping days. This didn’t work so well with things that had to be kept cold though. After several months without essentials such as cheese and bacon, experimentation begun in earnest. Life without cheese is no life at all.
Living in a farming community, milk and meat were a lot easier for us to get hold of than for those poor souls living in the bleak cities. Panir or soft cheese, made by stirring lemon juice into simmering milk and then straining, was learned first. Inserting a tablespoon of pepper and a triangle of processed cheese (if you could lay your hands on one) into the middle of it, then leaving it in the fridge to mature for a week produced a rather lovely result. Thinly sliced belly pork sprinkled with salt, brown sugar, allspice and cloves left to soak for a few days produces something that quite a few people still make, even though you can buy pretty much anything you like here now. My favourite fish shop has cheese and seafood flown in from all over the world every week, so I don’t often think about those crazy food experiments. A couple of people became totally self-sufficient, making everything themselves apart from loo rolls, and still pretty much are that way. We are so used to living with solar power and generators that we probably wouldn’t suffer too much if the zombie apocalypse really did happen. The zombies wouldn’t get to eat anyone here either before some clever Zimbo discovered the joy of undead pie, or something to that effect. I learnt a lot from those days though. I never waste anything if I can help it. Apart maybe from radishes from now on. I’ve learnt that people are much more resilient than they think they are. And also that amazing friends can be found in very unexpected places.
Tomorrow Zimbabweans vote for their new constitution, and I really hope that all goes well from there. It would be a fine thing indeed if this country could forget all about the terrible hardships they’ve endured, and move forward to happiness and health. They deserve it. One thing that stands out for me is that no matter how bad things got, I never came across many people here who lost their smiles. Thinking of those hungry days also got me thinking of how people banded together then. We helped each other in all sorts of ways, we got to know each other in ways that we never would have in times of plenty, and I for one, fell further in love with the people of this great continent. Here’s hoping for peace and prosperity for Zimbabwe from now on.
Till next time friends. xxx
Scissors Cut Paper – Africa Squishes WWW
For once my Karma Yoga has failed. Today I’ve been righteously pi… cross – all day. I’m not feeling the universal love at all really. Unfortunately I have an overly strong sense of duty. Madly, I do realise that this isn’t in any way normal, my sense of duty generally encompasses “everything”. I am the Red Cross on two legs. Some might call this OCD, others, excessively anal tendencies. I take offense in general to being likened to that particular orifice though, so let’s just stick to dutiful. I belong to far too many things I suppose – groups – events – you name it. The dragon’s lurking around somewhere. On Facebook and many other sites. I’m nothing if not a joiner. And I always feel compelled to inspect every little thing that happens, or is said, or done – anywhere at all. Someone might need help, or want me to do something. This generally takes up quite a lot of my time, but I usually manage to sort of keep up, even though getting around to doing any actual writing, editing, or the new projects of painting and poetry are generally put well on the back burner most days, and very often left undone entirely. That’s cool too.
For well over a week now I’ve been stymied though. One – two, or three days with no internet at all is actually looking quite good to me right now, as long as the bugger comes on properly afterwards, so I can get back to being ana…. dutiful. Now what we have is six to eight hours off, interspersed with on, but fifteen to thirty minutes opening a post on a site, then getting abruptly cut off just as you’re ready to hit the button after typing a nice long reply. Not so nice. A lovely author friend thought I had expired I think, and must have got a nasty shock when I responded to his post five days late – although I did disappear pretty immediately again, so he might very well be getting out a nice bunch of sage to burn, while chanting a little thing around his computer, right about now I’m guessing. I can’t imagine what everyone else is thinking. If they’ve even noticed that is. People generally don’t. Do they? It’s probably a huge mistake to think that anyone actually notices you. Anyway.
The only proper way to get more than a word out is to type something really upbeat and positive – such as this is really – really! – and then zoom it in sideways to Facebook and Twitter. I’m quite good at that. It’s all in the timing. And finger power. You have to be really quick at the end, and hit the send button excessively. That’s the plan with this. We’ll just see if it works today. I have managed to make sure that my most epic poison pen email has winged its way to my internet supplier though, so hopefully tomorrow I can go back to ana…. dutiful. Whether it will land safely or not is anyone’s guess. Who knows? It is true though – that there is no rush in Africa. Maybe I should just give up the world wide web author dream, and instead just listen to the beating of the drums, breathe in the smell of my beloved Africa, the sun-warmed grass and the cooking fires, not to mention the awful pong of the unfound creature expired in the roof somewhere, and send my manuscripts off in boxes to unsuspecting and potentially outraged agents around and about. Then again – don’t let me get started on the postal service around here. For now though, I think I might just head off elsewhere, if only to ensure the continued existence of my innocent desk dinosaur here – and the window pane just to my right. I will say though, that the angst and – just lately – anger filled poems, and “interesting” cover art paintings are coming along rather nicely. I really hope to be properly back with you soon. AUM. I think.
Till next time friends. xxx