First, I have to warn that this post will be rambling. We’ve just finished the session for today and I’m pretty tired, but I’d said I’d blog about it every day for the duration of the workshop, and this is me doing that. And I have to do it quick so I can go do the reading and writing assignments. I’m not home yet cos I know if I go home I won’t get to do all I should before this day is over. So here goes.
Today was fun for me. I enjoyed every bit of the workshop—well, apart from the fact that I was freezing in there. Note to self: wear something warmer tomorrow.
Getting to the venue, I can’t really define my reaction cos I hadn’t known what to expect in the first place. Before the end of the day though, I’d gotten a bit familiar with the other participants there, and I can already pick out some interesting characters. It was nice meeting Pemi Aguda of the Afrosays fame. My first impression is of a quiet, unassuming person. But I think that a lot probably goes on inside her head, beneath the surface—I have read her work. And she’s an amazing writer, I must say. She writes the most incredible flash fiction pieces; and I think it’s a beautiful thing, that ability to pack so much into so few words.
There was also Elnathan John, the official class clown and all-round troublemaker (and I say this with love, Elnathan, just in case you ever read this). What I like about Elnathan, apart from his sense of humour, is his eloquence. He says some really deep stuff, and he does this so effortlessly. I might write some deep stuff, but anyone that knows me knows that expressing myself through the spoken word is not my strong suit. And then there was Onyebuchi. I like her. She seems fun and bubbly. And she likes to have her picture taken. There was Gimba, who likes “linguistic playfulness”, and thinks that simplicity in writing is overrated. We all had a good time poking fun at him, but he’s entitled to his opinions. There was Laurie from Botswana, and from some of the exercises we did today, I can tell she writes beautifully. There was Gboyega, and he strikes me as someone who’s quietly confident. There was Chinyere, the mom and banker who wakes up every morning at two a.m. to write. I want to be like her when I grow up. Talk about dedication! There was Gloria Edozien, who writes for Bella Naija. I’ve read her work on the site, so I wasn’t surprised she did so well today. There was the “Uncle” of the class (Mr. Emezuom), the oldest one among us, who became the inspiration for Onyebuchi’s piece for one of the writing assignments.
And hey, there was Chimamanda, who I’m meeting for the first time. She has such insight into the writing process, and she’s a discerning reader too. How does one ever get to be (or become?) that way? And she’s really pretty too. I shall get a picture taken with her before this workshop is over.
Okay, now to the activities. We did quite some reading, eight pieces in all and of varying lengths, and we have more to read in preparation for tomorrow. We discussed the pieces and what we liked or didn’t like; what worked or didn’t work for us, and we just basically shared our opinions on stuff. We did two assignments in class; one was to describe the room we were in, and the other was to write something on beauty without using the word ‘beauty’ or any of its synonyms.
We had a nice buffet-style lunch, and good conversation to go with it.
There’s a lot that happened that I won’t get to put on here cos I’m pretty tired and need to get started on the assignments. But I had a great time and have learnt quite a lot already.
Day two, here I come.