Celebrating East African Writing!
We apologise for last week’s unplanned and unannounced hiatus on the Storymoja Writers’ Blog.
I’d like to tell you a fabulous story straight out of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour, that involves my very beautiful stalker revealing herself and then promptly kidnapping me, that ends up with me at the bottom of a cliff with a bunch of bruises and hysteria, waiting for the very gorgeous Shemar Moore to rescue me. But I can’t. With my kind of luck, my stalker would be an ugly dude not from an American TV Series but my rescuer would be David Caruso… a la ‘words to the wise, my friend, words to the wise.’
So I’ll skip that story and tell you the real one. Wait… before that: So you know how if someone writes a really bad story about your behaviour that time you were not taking your meds, but they mercifully do not mention your name… yes, that story. Well, it beats purpose to go on and reveal your own self and then throw big words like Draconian in the hope they will beat the writer into submission in time for you to sue them for all the KSHS 62.97 they have in their bank account. See that’s the stuff that creates a counter suit, that accuses you of a bunch of stupid stuff, not in the less that you are a not very smart stalker, who does not have the steel to stay hidden until it is time for the big kahuna mystery murder.
What am I talking about? This is a blog that focuses on the art of writing! It almost sounds like a page off a sarcastic conspiracy theory blog created out of the Crappie Capital of the world.
So let’s go back to the creative art of writing. This by the way there is plenty of in Nairobi. So I am going to assume that the reason you have not submitted that awesome piece of urban narrative is because you are working to make that last paragraph absolutely awesome! Any other assumptions would result in… getting kidnapped by Makmende and not being rescued by Moore, right up there along with the real reason the blog was offline last week.
So instead of the usual submissions of short stories, I am going to send you to several blog posts by Kenyan writers. Once you are done reading them, Please, please, please come back and tell us what you think. Better yet, you can then be inspired enough to send in your Kenyan Urban Narrative for the Peugeot 504 contest. I will also be giving away a Storymoja Title of your choice and 500 bob worth of airtime, if you can send in your story by 6th May, 2011.
1. 1500 words maximum
2. Must involve a Peugeot 504 [if your dad didn’t use to drive an old beat up version of it that got you so truly embarrassed every time he showed up at that school he sent you to so he could brag to his friends but had to take out a coupla loans just to keep you there, please use a search engine]
3. Must be set within the borders of East Africa and have a Kenyan lead character.
4. Can be romance, mystery, crime, whatever genre you chose as long as its urban short fiction
5. Send in your short urban fiction with Peugeot 504 marked clearly in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6th May 2011.
So let’s go and spend a few minutes reading a few blog posts and see if they might revive us into writing and talking about writing. And then maybe we can start a whole revolution that demands of publishers to publish in print those stories we read online and would love to see on paper. Nothing like the smell of a new book along with a great story right?! Oh, yeah the blog posts…
Walking my Words Down the Aisle by Wambui Wairua: On a good day, I would earn sh180 if I worked hard from dawn to dusk. On most days, I took home sh100 and was content. Many of my colleagues took less. I was one of the healthier ones. My fingers could withstand the freezing cold and my chest, though wheezy…
The Pain of Silence by Chrispus Kimaru: Diana had never known happiness. As she ironed Brian’s shirt, the disgust in her mind was almost strangling her. The shirt was a symbol of her torture, the shirt he always wore for his “Foot ball outings”. He never even sat with the kids…
The Fall by Mwangi Ichungwa: Njuguna woke with a start. Something had scratched his left forearm. Not a scratch really, it felt more like a firm running of fingernails across the skin. He sat up in the large circular bed, sweating, convinced that someone or something was in the room with him. This was the fourth time he had been roused from his sleeping pill induced slumber by this eerie…
When the Cat’s Away by Wanjeri Gakuru: He smiled as he made mental calculations. Ten shillings per liter was a lot of money and all that separated him from it was a few hours of darkness. He snuggled deeper into his bed, the aquatic lullaby soothing him to sleep.
Francis for Christmas by Jacque Ndinda: I choose to give this child away on Christmas day; on his birthday. I have carefully planned it all out. I have taken time to count, and I know that he will be born on Christmas day… At 4. 56 pm. Mama does not know what I have decided yet. Mama is illiterate. She accepts everything…
Merchants & Gifts by Alexa P: Mama died, after her used clothes stall in the estate was burned down then, together with the other stalls, and with all her clothes. They say she died of tuberculosis. The retros did not help her anymore after that event. And often, she did not take them, but just stayed in bed. I heard Anyang’ Nyong’o in the radio, he blasted about the “justified rage of the people,” …
I hope you enjoy reading these posts, and very likely other fictional material by the same authors. If you have a blog post that you would like us to feature in May, please send in the piece in the body of email with a link to your online home.
Remember to send in your Peugeot 504 Urban Narrative by 6th May 2011. See submission rules above.
Have a great week full of creativity!
Register for the World Record Attempt! – Kenyan Reading Revolution