Saturday, 23 September 2017

Pearls of Wisdom...Or Not

Is it weird that all the original cast of 'Different Strokes' is dead except for Todd Bridges? Sometimes I have random thoughts like that. My head is literally John Mayer's Twitter account.
Like yesterday I was thinking that the description 'imagine if Erykah Badu and Andre 3000' had a baby, like to describe some gorgeous piece of music...or person. Then it hit me that Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu DID have a baby named Sirius Seven who is in Harvard I believe. Now imagine if he and Malia Obama met and fell in love and had a baby...
That baby would probably save the world from the apocalypse.
Speaking of the apocalypse...
Nah, no update, I'm struggling with choosing just the right cover and trying to finish a story for a client at the same time.
But back to Twitter. Back in 2010 when I joined and right up to about 2014 it was a crazy place in which crazy things happened. Trolls made mean jokes about Rihanna and stans clapped back. Rihanna interacted with people. Theories abounded about everything and gossip was the currency of the realm. Something was always happening.
It's all politics and oppression.
I guess the world has changed and twitter just reflects that change. But instead of a place you go to escape, it's a place where you get deluged by everything that is wrong with the world.
So yesterday I'm scrolling along, procrastinating instead of working and I come across a tweet by this blacktivist complaining about black men finding her too...It doesn't matter what 'too' it was. She was letting it affect her mood. Then just like two tweets later, is this other tweet by this other girl saying something like 'sorry my vagina's too good for you.'
Such different reactions to the same issue; men's insecurities.
Two tweets later an announcement: Tamar Braxton is leaving music to 'protect' her marriage.
And it made me wonder what it was that made some women so needful of men's validation that they would 'hide their light under a bushel' to get it. While other women are so aware of their true worth that they understand immediately that if you want me to be less than I am, that's a 'your problem' thing, not mine.
Is it upbringing?
Is it the voices of society?
In my own case, I certainly remember my mother doing her thing - I'm gonna use that word - irregardless of anyone's opinion including my dad's. Irregardless is NOT a word people. It's not. Is that why I don't need the validation from a male to just go ahead and do my thing? Did society not whisper in my ear? I'm betting it did, I'm just not real good at listening to other people's opinions about what I 'should' do.
So what to do about you unfortunates who require that validation sometimes at the expense of your well-being?
Or let's turn that question around.
Why do men feel the need for women to make themselves small in order for them to feel tall? Who is teaching them this bullshit? Why are their egos so fragile? Is it a natural thing or can something be done to make them better humans - for their own sake?
I ask these questions knowing that I have a son and I don't want him to have to choose struggle women in order to 'feel like a man' or else make a great woman feel small so he can feel tall.
I'm thinking about John Legend who wants his wife to be great in every way.
I'm thinking about Jay-Z who even with his cheating ass never stopped his wife from reaching for the stars.
I'm thinking of Kanye West who builds up his women, leaves them better than he found them.
side note: can we let Kanye gain weight without endless comment if that's what he needs to be to get better? Please. Stop with the snarky posts. The man is smiling, leave him alone.
What makes these men different from Hussain al Mana, Marc Anthony and whatever Tamar Braxton's husband is called. Who feel the need to control their women in order to feel better about themselves. What is missing from y'all that makes you like this?
Today, as your internet mummy let me give you some advice.
Never listen to anyone who tells you that you need to change to be liked/valid. They are fucking with you because they can. Because they are unhappy and wish you to be unhappy too. You are valid the way that you are. The energy at which you vibrate is perfect for you and if you are true to yourself you will find someone who vibrates at the same energy levels as you. Or you won't. Either way, you won't die.
Stop looking outward for happiness when it is found within yourself and nowhere else.
Another random thought that hit me is that dancers who get together seem to have just the right spark to make it through this quagmire that is life. Is it that it's easier to find your vibrational level when you're dancing together? Maybe. Dances used to be a way to find a lifetime partner, didn't they? These days people don't dance.
Unless they're professionals.
Anyway, Harry Shum Jr. and Shelby Rabara, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan are two examples of dancer couples who are relationship goals.
Maybe look into dancing. :)
Hmm, I think I'm gonna make my gay African couple dance. Gosh, I have the best ideas!

Friday, 22 September 2017

It Takes a Village

Doesn't it though?
This morning I was, er, you know, performing my morning ablutions when I got this text from one of my oldest friends. He sent me a video of this single mom, who was also a student and she was having child care problems one day. So she let her professor know that she would not be making it to class and he was like "Oh no chile, bring that baby with you, it's fine."
So she brought her baby to class and the lecturer, who was an immigrant to the United States from Zambia, was photo'd carrying the baby as he lectured the class.
So naturally, she was feeling very grateful for him and his generosity. And I watched the video and my heart melted because I remember being a student with a baby and this whole village, including the guy who sent me the video, just helping me out. Of course, I did not find it such an unusual thing because, with all our faults, Africans just do have the warmest hearts on earth. They do. We do. But it was a great way to start the day with gratitude in my heart for all the people I may take for granted who make up my village.

Speaking of...if raising a child takes a village well, so does surviving the apocalypse. Imagine if you will, meteors falling from the skies as nations fight over inanities. Imagine Kim Jong Un in a battle to the death with Donald Trump to find out who can be the most childish. Nuclear proliferation accelerating in Iran and China because the threat of World War III is becoming more real. Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria wrecking havoc, earthquakes, tropical storms, tsunamis.
It's not one disaster, it's many all at the same time. And the biggest of them all, Vordania Prime bringing Armageddon.

Armageddon playlist applies:
-Its the end of the world as you know it.
- If today was your last day
- I don't wanna miss a thing
- In the End
But not too many songs because the electricity is always the first thing to go right?
I've always wanted to write a post-apocalyptic book, and now I have. Or rather I am. So there are three main characters - our village - Ben Ojamoong, Anders Mikaelsson, and Zawadi Akasha. Anders and Zawadi are half siblings (same mom, different dads) from the coast and Ben is Anders' boyfriend. They have stuck together through it all and now, when the world has been laid waste, they find themselves on the road. Heading anywhere they've heard that there are still people.
Now right now, in this world, Egypt might be struggling a bit with the Muslim Brotherhood and all, but in an apocalypse, the fact that they are already used to living in dystopia might vote Egypt and Syria 'most likely to survive.'
Beirut Apr 2016
In this mythical future, Egypt has already set up something organized so our three refugees are trying to get there. Find somewhere they can call home.
It's all very straightforward, right? That's unless you count the plot twists, the kidnappings, extortion, murder, Egyptian gods...just...stuff.
If I tell you why would you read the book?
Oh and there's also man-kissing and man-sexing. Explicit lyrics do apply.
Did I mention all proceeds from pre-order sales go to this charity right here? Well, they do. You can also donate directly to the charity under our hashtag #booklaunchforcharity.

Monday, 18 September 2017

In Search Of Paradise

Yes yes yes!
We have a book title.
 By common consensus with my survey cohort, that's the name that seems most comfortable, familiar and interesting. So now that we have a name, all we need is a book cover and of course, the actual, completed manuscript. Have you ever felt like everything is under control when it really isn't? Like I have 40 k words to write by Thursday and I am just feeling like, yeah, it will be done. I also have to finish the In search of Paradise manuscript this week and I am all over it. I mean I'm not complaining about being all Can Do! but at one point does confidence become delusion? I don't know. I guess we'll see on Thursday. Do you think this is how +Rihanna felt before she released Fenty Beauty, FentyxPuma and had the diamond ball all in the same week? Well, my work motto has always been WWRD (what would Rihanna do?) so I'm gonna assume that she had the same can-do attitude going for her.

How are you? How was your week? The Emmys were just on and a lot of bittersweet firsts happened. Bittersweet because its 2017 for crying out loud and yet we're still having the first black director getting an Emmy for Atlanta. Do you think he's the first to deserve it? I don't. First black (gay) female for comedy writing...Do you think she's the first to deserve that award? I don't. I think probably there were many who went before who were overlooked because they weren't the right gender/color. And Sean Spicer...already on his redemption tour. People laughing with him? It's nauseating. I recently followed a Nigerian writer on Twitter, Nnedi Okafor whose book was optioned for a movie (because of course, those are goals) by George R. R. Martin. Articles have been written about it in Variety, EW and what not, and the funny thing is they don't even mention her. They say 'a new Afrocentric offering from George R. R Martin. So the erasure continues. Till when guys? Till when?

Back to In Search of Paradise. It should be available for pre-order from 3rd of October. During book launch month, we're gonna do something a little bit different. We're going to raise money for charity.
Are you with me?
So the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission have agreed to partner with me in this endeavor. We're going to learn a few things about the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA community in Kenya, fundraise directly through their fundraising portal as well as all pre-order purchases going towards the fundraising. That will be our fun activity for October. Are you excited? I am soo excited. Y'all gonna help me make a difference right? Tell your friends. :)
Soon and very soon we'll have a little excerpt plus book cover reveal. Stay tuned!
Have a great week.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Health Check, How Are You Doing?

Sometimes, when something bad happens or you've had a shitty day, all you want is to tell someone about it and have them say, "Bummer."
Just to feel like someone commiserates right? Mostly what you might get is someone trying to fix you or tell you why, through quotable quotes, this too shall pass. It might make you feel not understood right? Alone in your misery?
Today you're not alone. You have me. I'm listening, I'm ready to commiserate, so talk.

It's been a strange week.
These days they are all strange weeks no?
But this week has been kind of a mental health strange week both in my surroundings and for me. First of all, I think almost two weeks ago? My alma mater had a fire in a dormitory, eight kids dead plus two security guards. It was shocking to me on a personal level because I slept in that dorm when I was a rabble (in form one or the first year of high school). It was the rabble dorm for green house and yellow house and I was in green house. It's the oldest dormitory in the school, which means it's been up for however long Moi Nairobi Girls' School has been in existence. I should know the answer to that question but I don't so...
Anyway, later it emerged that not only was there a fire but it was arson. There was a girl, she had been suicidal for a while, even asked her dormmates to help her kill herself. She started the fire. I don't know what her intentions were in doing that since she survived it.
A cry for help?
On the one hand, I feel her pain; the system failed her. Her guardians in the form of parents and teachers let her down. She needed help she didn't get it. Eight girls died.
On the other hand, it scares the fuck out of me to realize that they are children out there with neglected mental health issues walking around possibly burning down my son's dorm...and I'm sorry but I'll kill them first.

So please, I am speaking to each and every one of yous as parents, teachers, and guardians...PAY ATTENTION to your kids. Ask them how they're doing. If they're okay. Do they need anything? Any suicidal thoughts today? Are you maybe thinking about slashing your wrists? Cutting yourself? What are you sad about? Can I help? There is no such thing as too much attention. Your kids need it, they want it, they soak themselves in it and it feeds their spirit. Give. it. to. them.
And I am not for one minute saying attention will cure mental illness. I'm saying if you're paying attention you will notice when your kid needs help and hopefully, you'll get it for them.
And I know the 'Ah, my kid is fine' parents over there in the back are saying I'm being over dramatic.
Eight. dead. kids. beg to differ.
Talinda Bennington shared a pic of her husband Chester, just days before he committed suicide. He was happy, smiling, they were standing on a bridge. So I do acknowledge that it's not bullet proof, getting help, paying attention. But you can only do what you can do. The rest is out of your hands.
I had a moment where I feared for my life this week. I'm usually about sharing and caring but I kept this to myself because for once, talking about it would just have made me more anxious. I hadn't been feeling well and I woke up with the kind of a headache which makes you wonder if you're dying. I went to a nearby Marie Stopes and they took my blood pressure and it was high. Now my mom died of an aneurysm and my dad of congestive heart failure both of which are linked to high blood pressure. So obviously my heart dropped into my shoes and I was just totally going like "no no no no no."
See my son and I have a pact. We're dying on the same day when I'm 125 and he's 100. So you see why I couldn't risk this nonsense with high blood pressure now. It's too early. So from one day to the next, I changed my entire life. Threw out the sugar and the cake and the salt. Got some of that herbal salt that I'm not even sure is any different but hey, it says it is. I was already taking my aloe gel and bee pollen but I stocked up on vegetables and bran flakes and fruits. No more missing meals. I paid for a gym membership for a month and have gone religiously.
I ain't dying if I can help it.
My blood pressure is back to normal by the way but wow, that was scary. I saw my son yesterday and when he asked me how I was all I could do is shrug and smile because I didn't want to tell him about my shenanigans. The abyss definitely stared back at me this week.

I want to end on a positive note though because bad things happen all the time and I haven't even begun to cover the bad things that have happened this week. Hurricanes and flooding and what not. It's still quiet in my corner of the world and I don't want to jinx it.
Fenty Beauty...
My girl Riri came through for y'all! 40 different shades of makeup for every type of skin with those undertones that are so important. I don't know much about makeup but I read an article by an Asian celebrity - might have been Arden Cho, I'm not sure it was a while back - and she was talking about the scarcity of foundation with that yellow undertone for their skin and so it looks washed out on film. Fenty Beauty has makeup with the yellow undertones, and the green and the pink and blue, I think (probably for Sudanese skin).
I don't know.
I'm just so happy for you girlies. I see my twitter timeline all super excited when they're discovering what number of foundation their skin is. Some people have never had the opportunity to experience this because there is only one shade of makeup for 'dark skins'. So I'm super proud that in this age of selfishness and insularity along comes Riri and includes you all. Every single one of yous. Even albinos have a shade.
Talk about changing the world man.
I might even be able to put on foundation now and not look embalmed. What I'm excited about though, is the lipsticks. Maaan, so many shades to choose from. And with the glittery thing they doing. I might have to start dating again. Yes, I'm excited too.
I have just one complaint +Rihanna, you made all these shades for black skin but there are no Sephoras in Kenya, or Uganda or Sudan or Ethiopia. What about us girl? You know we can't afford that shipping.
Do something.
Okay, one very last thing. I may have a cover and name for my post apocalyptic gay African romance. The more I work on that book, the more excited I get. Can't wait for y'all to read it!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Politics 101

This is a post written for the literati blog hop. The subject we're tackling is #electionsKE.
So I was going to the supermarket this evening and as I stood at the bus stop, it began to fill with people. They seemed very excited, some woman was actually ululating. It was very loud. I wanted to tell every to shut up and sit down.
Well, as the excitement mounted, I realized that the source of all this was the fact that Y'all's current president was gonna drive past any minute.
Not stop.
Not distribute wads of cash.
Drive past.
So all the stanning going on around me was excitement at seeing a bunch of black tinted windowed vehicles zooming past at dangerous speeds.
For security reasons, nobody is even sure which vehicle the current president was in but no...
And I would understand if it was Mr. Daniel Moi because he had a habit of making random stops and distributing cash to lucky passersby. Yes, it was your taxpayer money but nobody was too bothered about that. But Mr. Kenyatta could never.
You might be wondering why I am calling him your current president...well if you have been living under a rock for the past week or so you might have missed the fact that the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the election.
It was from my sister that I heard the news. She's a lawyer, so I figured she must know what she was on about. But it was just...such.a. shock.
I mean the world has been showing us it's ass for the last two years right? People left and right reaching for the lowest common denominator. Living down to our expectations. I mean I only listened to like a snippet of the court case while riding a matatu but it sounded to me like there was actually a legit case to answer. I just assumed the judges would overlook that and throw the case out.
And then they didn't.
Y'all do not understand.
You just don't.
People are taking this as a victory for Raila Odinga but it isn't. Fuck him. This is a victory for the rule of law and order. For the possibility of presenting your case and having it heard and judged simply on the merits of the case.
It restored my faith in humanity frankly. It was like that time Moses saved the Block from the Aliens...
But I digress.
Well, of course, this moment of purity could not last very long. Not even a day had passed before Mr. Kenyatta was threatening to 'take care of' the Supreme Court once he's re-re-elected to the cheers and encouragement of his court jesters, sycophants, ass lickers and general idiots. He's such a petulant child, I don't get why people can't see that.
On the other hand, Mr. Odinga is acting like he already won the repeat election.
Aaaand on the ground, hate is spreading like wildfire. I always had it in the back of my mind that this tribalism thing is a bit of a joke but when it affects my relatively sane Facebook timeline then it's time to admit that things are thick.
To go back to where I began, with people stanning a president who is whizzing past in his motorcade, willing to harm their neighbors for that guy because he happens to speak the same 'mother tongue' as them...I want to ask you to stop.
Just stop.
Go and sell your sukuma wiki, feed your family, educate your children. Because Mr. Kenyatta or Mr. Odinga are not going to do that for you. Their kids attend the same schools, abuse the same drugs, marry the same debutantes...while you fight over the scraps they throw you as if you're stupid. You're not stupid. Quit acting like you are.

get the InLinkz code

Monday, 4 September 2017

On Taking Back Your Power and Owning Your Shit

I read an Instagram post today, by Rose McGowan. Do you know her? She was the new sister in Charmed once Shannen Doherty left. Are y'all old enough to have seen Charmed?
Here's the post.

I remember wanting to cry that day. Well everyday really. Every day I filmed this movie. I was pressured into doing it for all the wrong reasons ( big @UTA agentess known for her cruelty and I believe hatred of beautiful young women.) This woman who was meant to develop and further my career pushed me to do my first studio film. It was called Ready to Rumble and it was expected to be a hit. I threw the script in the trash 3 times. But I hadn't worked since the sexual assault. I didn't want to do this movie. It was stupid as hell. I was told by my agent that if I did this big studio film @warnerbros would put me in the next Clint Eastwood film. It wasn't a bad set, I just didn't want to there. Every day I was pushed to be an over the top sex object and nothing else. Written by basics, captured and filmed by a man, produced by men, edited by a man, music by men, sold to theaters by men and on your screens courtesy of men. And I was sold into it by a woman. On set I mostly tried to project out of my body and into a safe place on the astral plane. Look at what my eyes say in this picture. You may see a hot young chick, I see reinforcement of stereotypes, horrible career management, and personal vacancy. While my body was left on earth and got stuck being embarrassed, not valued and to serve as only the sexy object in a film. Sent to tittilate young boys and make girls aspire to be me cos I turned their boy on. See how that works? In my book BRAVE, I am pulling back the iron curtain. This is not a tell. This is a tell it how it is. - Rose McGowan 'excerpt from BRAVE the book' coming in February @harperonebooks LINK for pre-order in bio ☝️☝️ #brave #rosearmy #anarmyofthought

A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on

And I was thinking earlier how people have the absolute wrong reactions to things, and what the appropriate reaction is to a certain thing. For example, President Trump telling victims of #HurricaneHarvey to 'have a good time'...clearly something is missing somewhere. Is it sociopathy do you think? Or just lack of empathy? His mama didn't bring him up right? He just could not absolutely care less?
We seem to lack a lot in the empathy department these days.
So here I was, reading this post, and I figured that the expected appropriate reaction would be...what? pity? sympathy? outrage at Hollywood? At the 'woman' who 'sold Rose out?'
I don't know.
I'm serious.
Tell me what the appropriate reaction is.
Because I suspect that my reaction was a bit to the left of the field.
When I read it, this proverb was going through my head;

Rose points the finger at her agent, at Hollywood studios...says she wanted to throw the script in the bin but...Clint Eastwood movie! So okay according to her she had to sell her soul to Crowley in order to get what she wanted. 

According to my understanding of how demon deals work, you have to agree to it yes? You seal the deal with a kiss and you hand over your soul. So then what? Do you blame the devil for taking it? The devil's just doing his job. Willing buyer, willing seller.
To agree to do a trashy piece of work and then to turn around and say, "The woman agent sold me out" and "Hollywood made promises they (didn't?) deliver." is to sell your soul and then complain about the devil buying it.

This. is. your. shit.
Own it.
Rose wanted something. She felt like this was one way to get it. It didn't work out for her. Or it did. I don't know. I just know that shaming that agent for being cut throat and ruthless and doing her job because she is a woman is everything feminism should be against right? Why expect this woman agent to coddle you? Or baby sit or whatever the fuck she expected? The agent is working hard for her money, earning her commissions. If you're uncomfortable with the job, it isn't slavery, you can say no.
You can quit. You can find another way.
But you didn't.
That was your choice, Rose.
Not your woman agent's.
Not Hollywood's.
I get that this is a very unsympathetic way to look at it but life is hard man. Reality is harsh. Gotta learn to deal with that shit.

Speaking of owning things and taking my power back, She Leads Africa did a feature on me in August about how I took my power back from publishers who weren't even willing to use lubricant. You can read it here.