January 27, 2012


Hi everyone, I am here to introduce a new feature! Last year I wrote an article and invited readers to write a response from the point of view of another character in the story. I was excited at the response of a reader (see my article here and the response here), so I am doing a series where YOU can not only read my stories but YOU can be in it too! Every last week of the month, I will condense a full story into a flash fiction piece of less than 300 words, then you can rewrite the story from the point of view of any one of the characters in it but in 300 words or less. Send your story to omonaikee@yahoo.com, the most creative response will be published.  Remember you don't have to be a writer to write, there are no rules, just have fun with it!


I walked ahead of the man who stood at the bus stop waiting for a taxi so I could stop one first. Bending down to adjust my shoe, I didn’t see a green coloured taxi approach. Before I could, the man stopped it and slid into the backseat. I let out a hiss as I watched them go. Suddenly the car stopped in its tracks and reversed to a stop in front of me.

"I am heading to Zone 6, can I drop you off somewhere?" the man in the backseat asked.

I got in.

"My name is Ikenna, what's yours?

“Susan". I lied.

"Do you live around here" he inquired.

"Why do you ask?" I demanded. 

“Er, I was just asking" he responded and then fell silent.

Fishing for a comb in my bag, I started to brush my hair briskly. I extended my arm too far and my elbow hit his face.

"Aw" he grimaced holding his face.

"Did I hit your eye?" I asked with concern.

He glared at me. I could see his left eye was beginning to water.

"No, you didn't".

I was sorry and I told him. We didn’t say much else till I got off at my stop.

Later I and my team went for a presentation in a company whose account I was vying for. We were ushered into the boardroom and told the key decision maker would join us soon.

Minutes later, the door opened to admit a tall frame. It was the man in the taxi, Ikenna.

I froze.
                                                                    THE END

Good luck with your responses and oh, You can find the full story here

January 15, 2012

MEET AN AUTHOR and blogger after my heart- TERALYN ROSE PILGRIM!

I am absolutely proud of myself for interviewing TERALYN  ROSE PILGRIM as my very first blog guest this year and i'll tell you why. I found her blog on Myne Whitman's blog roll one day and it didn't take me too long to get hooked on her sincere and sweet persona. She's an author and more importantly, she's a friendly soul willing to teach all who thread the path of wordsmithery, the things she has and is still learning on her own journey. I think that is more than generous, it is simply Teralyn! I absolutely enjoy reading her and you will too, delish!

Omonaikee : Your blog is a resource for writers just by itself; it seems to come easy to you to teach what you learn. Does this reflective journaling of your journey help you as much as it helps your readers who read what you have written?

Teralyn : Aw, you’re so sweet! Blogging comes easily to me because I’ve kept journals and notebooks since I was a kid. I’ve always enjoyed writing 500 words or so of my thoughts. My blog is especially helpful because it causes me to put conscious thought into what I’m doing as a writer, which helps me learn faster.

Omonaikee: Your blog shows your struggles with your inner critic and how you attack that critical voice in your head. Where does that positivity come from that makes you try to turn things around when you feel discouraged and are justifiably so?

Teralyn: Over the years, I’ve been through enough ups and downs to recognize patterns. I know my down days only last between one and seven days. I know I always get back up again. I know there’s an answer to every question, a solution to every problem, and a cure to every weakness. Once I realized that, I stopped taking doubt so seriously.

Omonaikee: Why historical fiction?

Teralyn: I love good stories, and history is full of them. I never thought I would write historical fiction, but every now and then I’d hear about a person or event and think, “That story has to be told.” Eventually, I had more historical fiction ideas than fiction.

Omonaikee: Writers are plagued by melodramatic moods that lift them to the heights of euphoria with inspiration or plunge them into the depths of despair with disappointment. Then there are the deadlines, the blank pages, the badly behaved characters (who make themselves so difficult to create!) and of course, the other aspects of your life! How do you maintain a relaxed attitude to it all?

Teralyn: I’m relaxed because I made friends with other melodramatic authors. Those people are so boring. After hearing them complain, brag, share their plethora of ideas with people who don’t care, and otherwise only talk about themselves, I realized we often put ourselves on a pedestal for being artistic. I got over myself, and now I feel like a normal person (which I am).

Omonaikee: Is there that character you have created that was based on yourself howbeit remotely?

Teralyn: Actually, last year I wrote a book about two lovers who are my ying and yang: Savvy is everything happy and positive about me, whereas Eric is my dark side. Creating them was easy because I’m already familiar with their characteristics.

Omonaikee: You develop your stories painstakingly and put in a lot of research- I actually had no idea how intense it can get doing a novel based on ancient history! Does it get easier with the second novel? Is there a learning curve? Have you found better ways to do the required work faster?

Teralyn: Goodness, yes. I made so many mistakes while researching for my novel about the Vestal Virgins. I wasted more time than I care to think about. Now I print every web page and article, buy the books I read, highlight everything, organize my notes, keep track of the sources, etc. Writing in general gets easier with your second novel, too.

Omonaikee: I see a collaborative approach in your writing; from getting feedback from groups, your online community and your blog followers to the creativity you employ to keep your blog interactive and fresh (blogfests, funny stories and games). Is this a strategy and how much further have you gotten using your blog this way?

Teralyn: I owe everything to the writers who have helped me along the way. Sacred Fire went through two critique groups and ten beta readers, and I’m not done with it yet. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a city to publish a book! I have learned more from the writers I interact with than I imagined I could.

Omonaikee: I hadn’t heard of Nanowrimo (competition where writers write an entire novel of 50,000 words in just 30days) until your blog! What has participating twice in a row, in this annual competition taught you about your writing ability, your resilience, your inner editor/critic … how has it helped you generally?

Teralyn: This was one of the best things I’ve done for my writing career. The first year, I was working out of a two-year writer’s block. NaNoWriMo got me out of it. The program changed all my ideas about writing; that I can be fast and flexible, that I can write every day, that not everything has to be perfect. The second year, I could see how much I improved from the last, and it was a thrilling feeling.


Teralyn Pilgrims Top Ten action steps that can move you closer from being a published-author hopeful turned blogger to being a writer with at least a complete manuscript are…

1. Doubts waste time. You’re going to write the book anyway, whether you make yourself suffer or not.

2. Take yourself seriously, but not too seriously.

3. Read about other writers; how they work, the struggles they go through, and what kind of triumphs are in store for you. They can be a tremendous resource.

4. Make writing friends. You need their support, experience, and advice.

5. Make outlines! If I start a book without a good outline, it screws everything up. I like to write my query letter before my novel to help me focus on what’s important in the story.

6. Read as many books as you can. You’ll be shocked how much you can learn by seeing other authors at work.

7. Read your genre. If you read books outside your genre, you’ll pick up methods that aren’t appropriate for your book and you’ll miss out on learning how to write in your style.

8. Don’t be afraid to make changes in your novel. I’ve gutted my book, re-stuffed it, turned it upside down and inside out, but the important parts are the same.

9. Remember why you write. You don’t have to do this. No one will frown on you if you walk away. You’re doing it because you love it.

10. Have fun! If you’re not having fun, something needs to change.

Read my feature on her blog here

January 12, 2012


Hello everyone, I have come out of a New Year induced retreat to as they say “clear the cobwebs” which have gathered on my page. Speaking of cobwebs, I was away for the Christmas and New year holidays and was welcomed by dusty furniture when I returned to my apartment. It took sheer will power to mobilize my tired bones to chase dust out of every fabric, nook and cranny of my house but once done, it was worth every aching muscle. 

Like my ordeal with the house, a retreat gives you the opportunity to look inwards and assess what needs cleaning, what needs to be thrown away and what needs to be added. And while it can be tasking, it is well worth the effort and time. My blog has also benefited from my spring cleaning.  If you were here last year, you’d notice the changes in the side bars like my new twitter handle to the left and I even included a “user manual” and “contact me” tab at the top of the page. If it looks the same to you, never mind! But after a few hours of HTML codes, google searches and navigating the dashboard, I succeeded in: 
  •        Putting up some new features.
  •        Getting rid of clutter and organizing information into pages and segments on the sidebar.
  •        Assessing the general direction my blog has taken in the past years
  •        Putting together a ready list of things I would like to do with it this year
So there is a lot to look forward to. Reading my list once again presents an analogy. The beginning of the year is a good time to adopt some things, get rid of others, assess our direction and put plans in place for what we would like to do in the year. Sometimes, it’s not even about doing anything new, it’s just about continuing what we have been doing and doing more of it!

In other news, one of my favorite bloggers staged a return to blogsville. Hers was one of the blogs I used as a benchmark when I started mine more than three years ago but while my archives grew hers stalled from a very long hiatus. Needless to say, I was disheartened but couldn’t give up on her blog for the love of her interesting posts and really great writing, so I did what a really big fan would do and added her dormant blog to my blogroll. I was absolutely delighted when she revived it with a revving 15 posts in January alone. Welcome back Adaure Achumba, be sure to check her out here.

In the spirit of improvements, Teralyn Pilgrim is hosting a “critique my blog” blogfest on her blog as an avenue for all listed bloggers on her blog hop to get feedback on their blogs. Read more about it here. Still in the spirit of improvements, i would like to know what you think of this blog, suggestions you have for improvements and things you’d like to read more of this year. 

Quick question: I considered including photos in the posts and experimented with this post, don't think I like it though, what do you think?

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