Friday, June 24, 2011


I took a jacket with me today.

When I’d left the house I knew it would rain. Soon. All the way to V/I on the bike, even as the first tiny drops fell, all I kept saying in my head was, ‘rain cannot beat me today. Lord, please hold the rain.’ And He did. Barely minutes after I walked into the hall it really started to rain. It rained almost all day.

Anyway, the workshop.

Today was great. We got a stipend—something I think none of us had been expecting. Just being there was good enough. While I was settling in to finish the reading assignments before we started I kept hoping I would have enough energy to participate and enjoy myself today. I'd stayed up till about 2 a.m. doing the writing assignments. I would start writing a particular story, get about one quarter of the way and change my mind. I think I did this three times before I finally got it. The assignment was to write about an object, either using it as a sort of platform for time shifting in the story, or as the subject of the piece itself. I needn't have worried about energy, though: I was fine all day.

The reading of the assignments was really nice. That was the highlight of my day. Elnathan made an impression with his reading skills. I liked his story, but what I liked even more was the way he read it, complete with the South African accent. Osemhen’s story was really sweet and taught me something about the Ishan tradition. Apparently, whenever an Ishan child is born, wherever they may be, the placenta is cut off and taken to the child’s hometown and buried. On the spot where it’s buried, a tree is planted; orange for girl children, mango for boys. Interesting.

Pemi worked her flash fiction magic again. Amazing. Gboyega’s story made me laugh till I cried. It was about farts and a boy on a danfo bus. Hilarious. Some stories got an applause after they were read. Mine was one of those. I was really pleased. And Olumide and Chimamanda showed me some things I could do to make it even better. Chimamanda said she really liked it. I'm doing happy dance in my head.

Also had a nice lunch today.

The workshop ran really long today. We left some minutes after six. I got a ride to Ikoyi with Glory. Tomorrow we start at 12 noon because of environmental. We have nine pieces to read before tomorrow. One piece to write. As part of the activities for tomorrow we will be ‘workshopping’ the entries we sent in, or whatever alternatives we would prefer to use. The writing exercise is on dialogue, what I consider my Achilles heel as far as writing is concerned. Right now I have no clue what I shall write. Should be fun!

Oh, note to self: take a shawl tomorrow, even with the jacket. For your feet.    

1 comment:

  1. Lol .. I find dialogue quite tasking too but I think I've gotten better at it (after completing a manuscript). I found, acting it out and saying it as one would naturally say it helps. Though I don't include every single exclamatory remark cause I think it makes it look a little amateurish.

    I think I once read a piece on the Chimamanda/Elnathan beef. Is he the same one?

    PS: I'm enjoying every bit of your "workshop experience". Taking note of the lessons too, and checking to see how well I'd do in em. And like you, public speaking isn't my strong point (wonder how I'd cope).