Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Power of Words

Hello. How was your weekend? Mine was...eventful. I'm still recovering. I'm sleepy and tired and behind in my work. Also, I haven't been paying any attention to you because I haven't had the energy to spare.
Does that happen to you too?

Sometimes you have just about enough energy to keep breathing and that's it. Ugh, speaking of breathing...I'm not doing that so well either.
Anyways, so I want to talk about words today. Words have power. They can cause revolutions, break hearts, change minds, elevate the spirit, or depress it. Kill. Hurt. Heal.
And yet we use them so carelessly every day, don't we? We fling them about like confetti, letting them land as they will without thought to consequences or impact. We're just talking, just joking, just being honest...

On Sunday my son and I went for dinner at a nearby hotel because we were too lacking in energy to cook. When we got back home, it turned out that my son had left the house keys at the restaurant. I'm sure many of you are familiar with that surge of irritation that happens when someone else is careless with our stuff. What do we tend to do about it?
I was reminded of (spoiler alert) Jamie Fraser when Claire got lost on her way from a birthing. Her horse threw her and then disappeared so she was alone in the forest in a major downpour and with no way to get home. Anyways, bish bam boom, Jamie, and Ian found her and took her home. And as he was giving her a bath, he tells her that while he's aware that it wasn't her fault, he still feels like giving her a scolding to relieve his feelings. So Claire tells him to scold her in Gaelic because she'll only understand about half the words anyway. And that's what he does.

Back to my son.
So he says he left the keys, and I feel that surge of irritation. But just as I'm opening my mouth to tell him what a careless buffoon he is I pause. And I ask myself, who would you be helping by shouting at him? The deed is done. You can see by his face that he's expecting the word vomit you were about to pour on him. So instead I just held up the 100 bob I had in my hand and said: "Well go and get it."
I was still irritated so I called him a whole bunch of names in my head. Then I settled down and waited for him to come back. Just by his posture, and the way he moved fast to do anything I asked of him that evening and the next day, I could tell he was...relieved? that he hadn't gotten The Lecture. And it took me back to my own childhood and the endless lectures about every little wrong thing I ever did. And I resolved to always think before I opened my mouth, to anyone. Because what could be relieving feelings to one person might be a lifetime of trauma for somebody else.
Do you think Kevin Spacey thought about the impact of his words when he wrote that struggle apology? I think that he did. I think that he was thinking that if he said he was gay people would hesitate to come for him about Anthony Rapp because they would be scared to be labeled homophobic. And for sure, most news outlets led with the "Kevin Spacey comes out" part of the story and not the "Kevin Spacey molested a 14-year-old boy."
I have been Anthony Rapp and the way he says he feels even now was so familiar, I was like yeah, that is exactly how I would feel if I came face to face with that guy again. You're transported right back to that age, that level of fear, that level of helplessness. I'm glad I haven't seen him again. I can't imagine how it must be to see someone's face on TV every day. But back to the power of words; Kevin knew just what his words would do; he was trying to take the wind out the sails of Anthony's words. I'm glad people didn't let him succeed.
My son told me that three boys in his school were expelled for homosexual behavior. So I asked him "if they were caught having sex with girls would they have been expelled?" Because seriously, people being denied their education over their sexual orientation seems a bit harsh to me. And to think that gay people already have all these problems and Kevin Spacey is adding to them by saying, "Oh by the way, when you're drunk and you're gay sometimes you molest small boys" is just not helping.
So watch your words. Think before you speak and all that jazz.
Speaking of using my words, the National Gay and Lesbian Human rights commission could use your help. Whether you subscribe to the idea that gayness is wrong or right, surely you can see that to suppress someone's human rights because of their perceived immorality is not only hypocritical but just plain wrong. Hopefully reading In Search of Paradise will make you see that people are just people, regardless of who they love. Pre-order period is winding down. Three days and it's awverr. See you on the other side.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Spoils of War

Book Launch for Charity is winding down. We're on like the last seven days on what has been an epic journey of learning and getting the hang of an aspect of writing every writer hates: marketing. I want to thank you for sticking it out with me bombarding your inbox almost daily with my ramblings and musings.
Thank you for your time.
I've been thinking about writing a companion piece to In Search of Paradise. My ableiest of able beta reader asked me a number of questions while we were reading through the manuscript. She was curious about some things which I took for granted as obvious. Things which maybe only Kenyans might understand. Now I put in footnotes to explain those, but I feel like I might just take the time out and flesh things out. What do you think? Should I do that?
I'm also thinking about what next. In about seven days, In Search of Paradise will launch, the price will rise, we'll know how much was made on pre-order and give that to the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Hopefully, the book will have gained some momentum and I might turn to something else. I am dithering between finishing Cinderella By Any Other Name which is a forced marriage story, and Child of Destiny - Marcus Devereux in which we finally meet the Child of Destiny. Both of them are somewhere about midway or thereabouts. Which one to finish next? Shall I put a poll on my facebook page? What's the best way forward?
Meanwhile, +Rihanna did a shoot for Vogue Arabia where she channels queen Nefertiti. Which is only right since she has Nefertiti under her boobs (as a tattoo). Anyway, I was looking at one picture in particular and it was giving me SPOILER REDACTED vibes for In Search of Paradise. There is this one scene in which seriously if there was a visual representation, she in that outfit would be it...okay I'll give you a slight hint. It involves Zawadi, but it doesn't.
Either way, +Rihanna is the only true ruler I acknowledge. The - fake - ruler of my country just sent his thugs to beat up people and kill them in a slum neighborhood of Nairobi. I think he wants to provoke chaos and blame it on the other guy. Only, the other guy isn't playing those games. I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I've officially joined the resistance. Is this a worldwide thing now? Is it something in the atmosphere or is the apocalypse truly upon us? Anyways, maybe I should pack a small bag of necessities and keep that ready.
Just in case.
Question: What does one pack for the apocalypse? Apart from toilet paper that is...

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Blogger Recognition Award

So I got nominated by another blogger, Oursamyatra for this 'blogger recognition award'. I don't usually get picked for things, so this is a big deal to me just because it makes me feel seen. So yay!
A big thank you to Oursamyatra for picking me; if you have an interest in traveling in India, you should check them out.

What is the Blogger Recognition Award?

The blogger recognition award is given to bloggers, by bloggers to show appreciation for the work and dedication they put into their blogs. Now y'all know I put in work on this blog...So it's nice when somebody says, "Hey, here's lookin' at you kid!"
It's also a great way to keep the love going so do make sure to click on all the links and visit all the blogs mentioned. I also want to take this time to say thank you to my constant readers. Kisses and hugs to all of you.

What is Oursamyatra and who are they?

Samyatra means journey together and this blog chronicles the travels of two Indian students, Debabrati and Aniruddha around Kolkata and the rest of India. They combine photos and descriptions to provide a window into their world. If India is on your list of places to visit, this is a good place to start doing your research.

The Story Behind The Writing-A-Book Diaries

I started this blog when I took my book back from a traditional publisher and decided that from then on, I was going to do my own publishing. Of course, I did research, and one of the most common recommendations was that you can't be an author of note without a blog. I had no idea what to blog about being a very bohemian sort of person and just wanting things to be what they would be. However, with time and learning, I have reached the point where I know what this blog is for and hopefully so do my readers? It's been a trip and hopefully, it's just beginning.

My Advice to New Bloggers

1. Be yourself: I've seen people on the facebook writers' groups asking questions like "should I post such and such a thing or will it make me seem..." Stop trying to be a persona, and just be a person. Not everyone's going to like you, but that's okay. You'll find your tribe.
2. Post on a regularly scheduled non-schedule schedule: Okay I just wanted to say that; it's a quote from Frank Devereux in Supernatural season 7. However, the point is, don't go long periods of time without posting. The more reliable you are as a poster, the faster you will grow your audience.
3. Share, share and then share some more: when I started writing this blog, I would like put whatever heading jumped at me (okay, I still mostly do that) and write my piece and that was it. Whatever will be will be, remember? However, if you want to find your tribe, you have to make it easy to find you. So write a blog heading which gives your reader a clue as to the subject, and share your post everywhere so that you increase your readership.
4. Find out who your audience is: You might think that you're writing to elderly ladies in Scandinavia when it turns out that it's young gay men in Czechia reading your blog. Use bit.ly and google analytics to find out who you're talking to.

My Nominations are:

These are some blogs that I think are worth taking a look at:

Lesley Awino: http://www.jagombaka.wordpress.com/
Jackie Wanjiku: http://www.jack2y.com/
Valentine Kizito: http://kizitovalentine.wordpress.com/
Eva Muturi: http://evamuturi.wordpress.com/
Gloria Mari: https://nairobipedestrian.wordpress.com/
The Kenyan Camper: https://thekenyancamper.com/
Toi Thomas: http://etoithomas.com/
Bethany Perry: https://bperrywrites.com/
Glynis Jolly: https://ascriptedmaze.wordpress.com/
Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay: http://www.ddsreviews.in/p/about-me_27.html

Rules for Accepting this Award

Take the time to thank the blogger who nominated you, write a bit about them and their blog. Also, provide a link to their blog.

• Write a post to show your award.
• Give a brief story how your blog started.
• Give pieces of advice to new bloggers.
• Select 10 to 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
• Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them, provide the link to the post you created.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Stereotypically Unique

I never used to appreciate the significance of stereotyping in art until I began to watch Shadowhunters. Every character on there is the antithesis of what they're supposed to be. The gay head of institute, Alec Lightwood is as far from the stereotypical gay man as it is possible to get:
I think that subconsciously, Alec's differentness influenced my rendering of Ben in In Search of Paradise. Ben is the most like non-stereotypical gay guy too. He plays rugby, drinks beer, attends campus, has a typical rugby build. He's the guy all other guys want to be. He's the guy all the girls want. And he's gay. In fact, that whole book tries to throw out what your expectations of certain people are. You'll let me know if I succeeded yeah?
Back to Shadowhunters: Then we have Magnus, a bisexual warlock who knows how to be faithful. Apparently, bisexuality is associated with infidelity.

I have been aware of the debates and the importance of representation, mainly because of twitter. But I never applied it to me. After all, there are a finite number of ways in which female Africans are portrayed on screen; 
The helpless victim of oppression.

Or the exotic princess.
and that one's not even an African...
Or else they're background noise, especially Southern Sudanese people who do add a lot of color to the sea of white, don't they? Otherwise, they're Africans as African-Americans like Edi Gathegi in StartUp and Twilight and the myriad of other shows he's been in. Not that I'm complaining. He knocks it out of the park and I am here for it. I'm glad for his success but his characters are not me.
I sincerely do believe that someone on screen does not have to look like you or come from where you come from for you to relate to them. Still...some of the reason I'm soooo excited about Black Panther is it's almost all-black cast. Not just all black; but black people from everywhere. There's Kenya of course, Zimbabwe, Nigeria via the UK, African Americans, the islands...it's a veritable diaspora. That is exciting to me even though Wakanda is not my life. I also think its the first time an African location (albeit mythical) is portrayed as anything other than suffering and poor. It's the lack of stereotyping that is super exciting. Also Marvel. Also, black people being badass.

I was watching Rough Night the other day and with my new awareness of stereotypes, I realized that EVERYONE in that movie was a stereotype.
There was the pretty, popular blonde one who everyone wants to be friends with, the struggle fat girl who feels so grateful for the pretty one's friendship and is clingy, the black and bourgie one (p.s. has Zoe Isabella Kravitz kind of been typecast as 'your exotic negro'?), the struggle lesbian in flannel who doesn't comb her hair. They weren't even real people; they were just somebody's notion of how a certain cohort (I'm avoiding using stereotype so many times) of people behave and look.
I mean it was a good story, I enjoyed it. But...for once can the fat girl be the confident one? How about the black girl have other black friends? Oh, and I forgot the hippy, also doesn't comb her hair, doesn't stand up for herself when she's being insulted, gets to be the one who gets hurt, dirty blonde unwashed hair...
I mean, do you recognize yourself? Is this you? Or is this what people think you are?
Maybe we need to do away with stereotypes and focus more on characters huh? After all, we're all unique and special, right?
Book Launch for Charity is winding down. Have you got your pre-order yet? The price triples when the book goes live. So whether you're doing it for charity or to get a bargain, get that pre-order in now.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Is Integrity the Unicorn of the Trump Era?

I love Colin Kaepernick. Like, in my heart. To me, he is a shining beacon of integrity in a sea of selfishness and spinelessness. I read the background to his story, how he grew up, his conscious choice to embrace his identity and to stand up, or kneel, for injustice. It's compelling reading especially since some of the people he's standing up for ridicule him.
"Oh, what does he know? His parents are white."
"Who does he think he is anyway?"
And my personal favorite, "Colin is no Mohamed Ali. He's supported only by the radio guy (cthagod) and (someone else I forget who) - to which I added, + me.
Like people don't even seem to get the point. It's hard to live in this world if you are of above average intelligence...sigh.

Speaking of integrity...did you read Lupita's essay on Harvey Weinstein? It was so vivid that I was triggeredT. I was right there with her when she was wondering what to do with this guy wanting to give her a massage, in his bedroom, with his kids in the house.
With his kids in the house!
Like, do you predators have any shame at all? Is there no line in the sand you will not cross? I saw a discussion on a facebook group which I was very tempted to screenshot and Instagram where some guys were blaming everything from the chicks being bitter (including his wife) to how there is no innocent party, to how it's 'tricky' to it takes two...yeah, one to say no and the other to ignore it.
The lengths people will go to, to not have to look in the mirror and recognize themselves...the mind boggles.
Mayim Bialik also wrote an opinion piece in which she basically asked 'not so attractive' girls who might feel left out of the "the casting couch" experience, not to worry. Somebody somewhere would find them attractive enough. It wasn't clear if she meant attractive enough to sexually assault or...
Anyways, I don't blame her.
Just like I don't blame white men for not seeing what the big deal is with white supremacy. Discrimination is totally outside their experience and unless they truly apply themselves to understand what happens, it's all Greek to them. You can't blame someone for not having experienced what you have. You can only hope that they try to educate themselves before opening their mouths.

On the other side of the coin, and I left my judgment hat at the laundry FYI, is the reaction of the - for lack of better word - victim. Lupita said no. She said no in spite of the fact that she had everything to lose. Lena Headey also said no. Cara Delevigne started singing so that she could get out of there without kissing anyone.
The point is that there is not just one way for this to go. Just because you're the target of harassment doesn't mean that you have to agree to be harassed...and then agree to be paid off afterward. Because doing that casts doubt on the next woman who claims sexual harassment. It becomes a question of "how much?"
How much is your dignity worth? Your self-respect? Is there a number?
I get it, some women are scared, they don't know how to say no, etc. That's why this is not judgment. It's pointing out for those who don't know, that there is another way. It might be more difficult but I bet ultimately, you can sleep better at night.

Because on the other side of sexual harassment is entrapment. A woman saying that Nelly raped her on his tour bus...another woman holding a press conference to say Usher gave her STIs...the ultimate aim was/is money and fame. Now, nobody is saying women can't be as money grubbing and conniving as, well, the next woman. But it's women like this that also make it difficult for women who experience genuine assault to be believed.
Again the question arises...
"How much?"
And I know you're gonna say, "But what if Nelly really raped her?"
Well, maybe he did. Ultimately only the two of them know. But I believe him. I believe him because I've watched him on his reality show with his kids for whom he is the sole breadwinner. I have seen him with his girls. And I've seen predators and how they act around women. Nelly is not a predator. He does not display any signs of misogyny, of seeing women as objects. More importantly, he is not a dumbass. He's not going to risk his freedom, his livelihood or his family for the opportunity to allegedly subjugate a woman on a bus.
Even if he wanted to cheat on his girlfriend, aren't there enough willing women? Why force somebody? It makes no sense.
Even R.Kelly's girls went to him of their own free will. He didn't make them. So we condemn him for preying on young girls when one of those young girls met him outside his pedophilia trial. Where were her parents? She must have been all of 15. How did she get there? What did she want?
What is the role of free will in sexual situations?
I personally would have given my left arm to be given the choice these girls had. The choice of knowledge. Of knowing what you were getting into.
but I'm 'sleep tho...

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. In honor of #booklaunchforcharity I did a mini virtual book tour and two of the interviews are out. Read them here and here.

Friday, 20 October 2017

PSA: You Are Being Brainwashed

I feel like the word 'hero' is misused a lot. Allow me to get political for once and rant to you a minute about what I see: Let us examine the contemporary context within which this word is used.
There are the "heroes" who go fight in wars, come back in coffins, after killing children and raping women all in the cause of what? Big Money.

You know that's why wars are fought right? To gain control of resources. There is nothing heroic about any war, any conflict. It's sad, dirty and shameful and the word "hero" is used to describe soldiers so you don't ask too many questions about what it is they're really doing over dere....wherever there is.
Not too long ago, when the filming of black men being gunned down by police was at its height, these policemen also started being called "heroes" and much ado was made about them standing "In the line of fire" and "putting their lives in danger."
I wonder whose life is in more danger. The police, or some twelve-year-old boy in a playground? Or a man in a supermarket looking at a BB gun...sure, these "heroes" are in so much danger. They must be allowed to kill everyone.
And now Black Lives Matter has been designated as a threat by the FBI. If you recall your history, you'll know that when they deemed the Black Panthers a threat, they sought to neutralize it by introducing cocaine into the equation. I wonder what they'll do this time since apparently everyone takes drugs now anyway...
Speaking of drug dealers, our leaders have been busy deploying heroes upon the citizenry since the failed election. These last two weeks we've been having demonstrations in the Republic because of police killing protestors. What is the response of these absolute "heroes"? To shoot at more people including a two-year-old. I tell you what would we do without these heroes? We'd be lost. Lost!
Today is Mashujaa Day in Kenya...heroes day.

But which heroes are we celebrating exactly?
We're celebrating the home guards who took over the government from the British and proceeded to rape the land, pillage it, turn tribe against tribe and set the stage for all this unnecessary conflict we see today. We celebrate Mr. Moi who ruled us for 24 years and looted everything and then, where there was nothing left, said, "Here take your country."
We celebrate Kibaki who escalated and exacerbated the whole idea of Kikuyu supremacy much like Trump is doing for white supremacy.
I'll tell you what we don't celebrate. We don't celebrate Kenneth Matiba who was tortured in dungeons underneath Nyayo House for the sake of democracy. You ever hear his name being mentioned? No. You know why? Because that's not what these so-called holidays are about. They're about brainwashing you into complacency while Cercei and her court sell your souls to the highest bidder.
I have no time for this nonsense so I'm gonna go write my stories and mind my business.
Happy Heroes Day!
Oprah said if you want to be "woke" then you must start with yourself. Take care of yourself first, make sure you're the best version of you before you try to wake other people up. So I'm just gonna go and keep working on myself first. You do the same.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Picumentary

Character Intro

In Search of Paradise is the first ever post-apocalyptic gay African romance that details the Struggle of being gay while attempting to survive the end of the world. You have been introduced to Ben, Anders, and Zawadi in other posts. Today we're just summarising what we know in form of pictures. Because otherwise there's just too much stuff to read.


You can pre-order your copy by going here, and hovering your mouse over the picture. It will give you options from Amazon to Kobo whichever you prefer, where you can pre-order In Search of Paradise at a very discounted pre-order rate. It's discounted because we want as many people who can, to pre-order so that we can raise a goodly amount for the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

The Book Cover

I want you to take a closer look at the cover. Look at Anders' face. Do you see it? His face actually spells LOVE. The black and white background behind Ben and Anders' silhouettes is actually a picture of Uhuru Park in Nairobi. The bottom colored portion of the book cover is shaped like a pyramid and shows the devastation of the Apocalypse. After you read the book you'll have even more appreciation of how awesome that is. 

And Finally

Pre-order period ends on 3rd November which is closer than you think. So hit that link today.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Me Too

We've done character intros for Zawadi and Ben, today we're gonna meet Anders. In honor of girls and boys everywhere who are victims of society's failure to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence, we're gonna see how Anders lost his virginity.


Anders was tall, gangly, not yet grown into his six foot plus body and very naive. His mother was proud that at sixteen years old, her son wasn't out there drinking mnazi and wasting his days. He was home every day after school, helped his sister with housework without complaining and was such a great support to her. During the weekends, when she had to leave them to go to Namanga for business, she knew she was leaving the market stall in good hands. Anders was always ready to help, ready to keep an eye on Zawadi; curb her more...adventurous tendencies.
So when he asked if he could go on a school trip to Lamu Island, she looked for the money till she found it. St. Charles Lwanga mixed day and boarding school was a Catholic establishment. They would make sure nothing bad happened to her boy when he was away from her. 
She was aware of Anders' effect on people. 
His height, cafe au lait clear complexion, long curly hair, his huge amber eyes, and prominent cheekbones...it caused people to look twice at him. 
Maybe three times.
Anders never seemed to notice though. She and Zawadi would sometimes exchange knowing glances when Anders was serving a customer at the stall. They always seemed to have a lot of questions to ask him, many of them nothing to do with the curios they were allegedly buying - both tourists and locals alike, female and male. Anders was always patient and polite, answering their endless questions with a smile. He always made a sale.
Anders' class would be staying overnight in Lamu at a tourist lodge. They would be accompanied by two teachers. It would be alright.
His classmates called him mzungu, which Anders found ironic since a lot of them were lighter skinned than him. But he was a half-caste Maasai and Norwegian, and they were full Waswahili so...them was the breaks. He didn't really mind, it wasn't said in any way that was nasty. He had two close friends in his class; Mo and Ali. They had kind of adopted him on his first day of school and now they were practically the three musketeers. They were all very excited about the trip. The first time for many of them - including Anders - that they would be staying in a hotel.
It was all the teachers could do to get the boisterous lot of them to check in without exploding with ebullience. Finally, they all had their keys - they were sleeping three to a room - and they all ran off to put their bags away. They had a full day of learning ahead and the buses were waiting. As one of Kenya's oldest continually inhabited towns and one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage site, there was a lot to learn from the town.  They had a full day's itinerary planned starting from Manda Island and ending with Lamu museum. 
When they got back to the hotel, their high energy was flagging, no matter how much fizzing enthusiasm they might have, the kids were hot, hungry and tired. They were sent off to their rooms for a shower and a nap, but most decided to go swimming instead.
Anders wore his beach shorts and jumped in the pool with his friends, reveling in the coolness of the water. There were a number of tourists sunbathing poolside but the kids ignored them and they, in turn, ignored the kids. Well...most of them ignored the kids. One man couldn't help noticing the tall gangly kid with the soft looking hair and the softer eyes. The open smile, the broad shoulders tapering down to a slim waist. The long legs splashing through the water as he laughed with his friends. His long fingers that looked like they might be long enough to reach interesting places...He sat up, putting his magazine down and just watched them.
The teachers came to collect them for supper and Anders was more than ready to eat. It would not have been an exaggeration to say he was starving. Mo and Ali were equally excited about getting to choose whatever they wanted from the buffet. However much they wanted to eat! It was an orgasmic time.
After dinner, the students were allowed to sit in the lounge or go to their rooms. The rule was everybody in bed by 10 am. Anders and his pals could live with that.
"Let's go for a walk on the beach." Mo said.
"Hakuna wezi?" Ali asked, inquiring on the presence of thieves.
"Ahh, no. Hapa ni Lamu, such things don't happen here," Anders assured them breezily.
So they went walking on the beach, the moon was full creating a spooky effect on the water. It was ethereal and eerie and Anders shivered, just a bit.
"Hello," a voice said from behind them and they all jumped, spinning around fists up, ready to fight.
"Ey, relax. I saw you guys walking and thought I would join you. I'm at the same hotel as you." 
The boys put their fists down. It was just some old, fat white guy. 
"I am Rogers. What are your names?" he asked holding out his hand to be shaken.
They told him as he shook hands. Anders had to pull a bit to get him to let go, but he dismissed it as Rogers just being overfriendly with the light-skin. They walked for a bit longer and then Rogers offered to buy them drinks at the bar of the hotel.
"No-" Anders said just as Mo and Ali both said, "Yes-"
"You guys are Muslims, you're not supposed to drink," Anders pointed out.
"Oh we're not drinking alcohol, "Mo said exchanging glances with Ali, "He didn't say alcohol he said drinks."
Anders pursed his lips but went along with them. When Rogers asked what they were having, he said Fanta. Mo had some sort of fruity cocktail and Ali took a virgin mojito. Rogers sat with them, asking them questions about school and their families. 
"I've been greatly interested in sponsoring a local boy to university, " he said looking at Anders, "Would any of you be looking for such a once in a lifetime opportunity?"
Mo was all over that like a cheap suit, and Rogers asked him questions like he might actually be serious like how his grades were and which university he wanted to attend. Anders sipped his Fanta.
Ali looked at his watch, "Time for bed, guys," he said.
"Oh," Rogers said looking disappointed, "You have to go now?"
The three boys all stood up, "Yes we have a curfew."
"Okay, but I have some brochures and business cards in my room. Why don't we go there first so I can give them to you?"
"Okay," Mo said just as Anders said, "We can't.."
"Ah come on Mzungu, it's only a few minutes!" Mo cajoled, "We won't be in trouble."
Anders sighed, "Fine. But we better hurry up. My mom will kill me if I get suspended."
Ali just laughed and they followed Rogers to his room.

 Rogers was fumbling with some papers on his nightstand. He urged the boys to just have a seat while he was looking for, whatever.
Mo had made himself comfortable in the chair, going so far as to switch on the TV. Ali was looking around curiously while Anders sat at the edge of the bed nearest the door.
"I had them here...somewhere," Rogers mumbled. He picked up a piece of paper and turned around. Digging his wallet out of his pocket he removed a thousand shilling note.
"I can only find one copy. You Mo and Ali, could you go to the front desk and ask them to make copies? Keep change."
Mo was up in a flash but Ali was there before him, reaching for the money. Anders stood up as well. 
Rogers made a 'sit back down' gesture with his hands, "Anders you stay. You don't need three people to photocopy a sheet of paper, and I wanted to ask you a few questions."
"Umm," Anders said not really on board with this plan but Mo and Ali were already leaving. Anders watched the door slam behind them in surprise. His reactions seemed to have slowed a bit, and his head felt a bit woozy. He turned in surprise to find Rogers sitting right next to him, hand on his knee.
"Alone at last," he said and smiled.
Anders tried to stand up, to move away, but his body wasn't cooperative.
"What..?" he tried to ask but his tongue was so heavy in his mouth. Suddenly there was another tongue in his mouth and a hand on his crotch.
He stiffened trying to push Rogers away. But his hands were so weak.
Rogers was pushing him down onto the bed, pushing down his shorts. Anders tried to fight in earnest but he had no strength in his limbs. They would not obey him.

'What did you do to me?'  he thought frantically - his head the only part of him apparently still in his control.
'It's because he knows you're a dirty fag' a voice said in his head, one that sounded a lot like Akasha - Zawadi's father.
Whatever the man did to him, it hurt like a motherfucker. But the hurt dimmed beside the helplessness he was feeling. The guilt in his head telling him this was all his fault, he asked for this, why did he even come here.
He heard knocking on the door, and somewhere inside he sighed with relief and horror. His teachers had come to rescue him perhaps? He didn't want them to see him like this!
He lay on the bed, unable to move his hands so he could pull up his shorts, or pull down his shirt. The man - Rogers - opened the door a bit. Whoever was there he wasn't going to let them in.
"Oh, your friend?" Anders heard him say, "He left already. He wanted to go to bed."
Footsteps going away.
Ali and Mo were going to leave him to the mercy of this monster. 
Nobody would save him.
Anders tried to lift his hand, to move.
"Shh, don't worry. It will have worn off by morning. You probably won't remember a thing," the man said.
He then proceeded to take his shorts off, and lift his legs up in the air, "Just...relax," he said with a groan.
Anders would have screamed if his vocal chords would have cooperated.
'Help me, help me, help me.'

"Where can he be?" Mo asked as they entered the room.
Ali said nothing.
Mo turned to him, eyebrows raised.
"Maybe we shouldn't have left him alone with that man," Ali said softly.
Mo's eyes widened, "What are you saying?"
"Let's go back. Let's go back and ask him where Anders is."Ali said.
Mo stared at his friend who avoided his eyes. 
They went back and knocked, and knocked.
"What?" Rogers irritated voice said from behind the door.
"Anders is not in our room. Which way did you say he went?" Mo asked not bothering to keep his voice down.
Rogers opened the door, "I don't know where he went, now go away." he said.
Ali reached out and held the door as Rogers tried to close it, "Sir, this could be a police case if you don't help us. Anders dad is a mzungu also. Ebu tell us where he is."
Rogers' face blanched and he became pale, "He drank some alcohol and passed out. I didn't want to expose him but he's still here, sleeping." he said.
Ali stepped closer, "We'll take him to the room. It's okay," he said and pushed the door open wider so he could step past Rogers. He swallowed as he saw Anders curled up on the bed like a discarded rag doll. He pulled at Anders' unresponsive hands glancing at Mo to help him. Together they maneuvered Anders onto his feet, dragging him to the door.
"Oh, and here is your change," Ali said flinging it at Rogers.
"No, it's okay, keep it," Rogers said.
"No thanks," Ali said as they pulled Anders away.
Rogers was right, Anders didn't remember a thing in the morning. Mo and Ali never said a word.
He was still never the same though.


In Search of Paradise available for preorder now.
All pre-order proceeds go to the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
When I first suspected I was pregnant, I went to a Mayo Clinic near my apartment for a checkup. I told the doctor my suspicions and he asked me to strip. He was very skeptical of my self-diagnosis so I thought maybe he needed to do an ultrasound or something. He did not give me a hospital gown but told me to lie down on the bed. 
There was no nurse.
He then began to probe me.
Even with all my prior experience of men being trash, it didn't occur to me that a doctor in a reputable clinic would take advantage of me in such a way. He touched my boobs, my vagina...and then he told me that yes, I was pregnant. He told me to get dressed and come back for a checkup at a later date.
It was only when I thought about it later that I realized that I had been violated. 
This is just one story. I have several hundred.
What about you?

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Toxic Masculinity...and Femme

So I'm minding my business right? Trying to finish up a manuscript for a client while I ponder on whether or not to make a blog post on a Sunday. Then I come across this article...and I'm like dude! So there are men out there who won't wipe their asses because homophobia? Seriously?
Do guys have any like, need to be clean? Do you at all feel uncomfortable when you haven't bathed for a while? I know my son doesn't, I know some guys are super allergic to water, but...there has to be some sort of line. Doesn't there? Is it because we don't make you clean up enough? You don't have to face the consequences of your (in)actions?
My mind is just folded in on itself and cringing right now.
Why are men so afraid of themselves. If you stick your finger in your anus, what? You immediately become less of a man? I just finished re-reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - yes I know, where do I find the time? It's called goofing off when you're supposed to be working. How do I get any work done then? I don't know man. As Cardi B said, "da fuck! because God chose me!"
Anyways, Voyager.
There is this part where Jamie takes Claire to a brothel and she's having breakfast with the other 'girls'. They think she's the new one so when the madame comes in the room and they think that there's a new client - new girl gets the ones nobody wants i.e. the clients who come at breakfast time - so they tell her 'just stick your finger in his bum. he'll come right away.'
It's called an erogenous zone. It's a bundle of nerves on the prostate. It feels good, gay or straight. It's anatomy. Why are y'all afraid of your anatomy?
Y'all's toxic masculinity will kill you all one day, you know that right? I mean, literally, kill you. Is it worth it to fit into some idiotic view of what 'manhood' is?
Speaking of idiotic views, there is one which has been bugging the fuck outta me recently and that is the idea that a woman cannot succeed on merit; there has to be some guy behind her that she's sleeping with/who's helping her for some reason. And it's bad enough that men have that view, but more than anything, it's other women who like to espouse this theory. Now Azealia Banks is crazy - like mentally ill crazy - but her views are echoed by many women. Nicki Minaj made it because of Safaree, Rihanna slept with everyone in the industry...

And then speaking of Rihanna, P!nk apparently got Eminem to collaborate with her by saying she might not be as hot as Rihanna but she's funnier. God forbid that Rihanna be hot, popular and funny too. Well too bad for you P!nk because Rihanna definitely funnier than you. I literally wanted to jump down her throat and not just cause Riri is my fave. I mean if we were to trade receipts here;  people who have said P!nk is funny versus people who have said Rihanna is funny...literally the only person I know who has said P!nk is funny, is P!nk. I can post on here several articles and interviews by various people including Oprah, saying how unexpectedly funny Rihanna is.
My point is that people like P!nk who are not conventionally considered to be pretty get this pass. They get to be considered to be intelligent and 'funny' or whatever. But god forbid you be pretty and intelligent at the same time. How many times have people said Rihanna can't sing, that she's a pawn in the wheel of the corporation; all evidence to the contrary? It's super fucking annoying.
Why are we those bitches.
Those 'why her and not me' bitches?
We need to learn to have more open hearts, to live in an attitude of abundance rather than that of scarcity. If I am successful it doesn't mean you can't be successful too. I saw this post on Instagram where this white woman, literally with no teeth and two young kids was saying there needs to be genocide - of people of color - so that her kids and other white kids can prosper.
First of all, these so-called white supremacists are kind of pathetic with their fear and their inadequacy. Of course, I personally don't have to live with their shit so it might be easier for me to look down on them. But this whole 'we must eliminate the competition' comes from a place of scarcity mentality. And this mentality keeps you a prisoner of fear.
Free your mind.
Let me allow Cardi B to tell you, she says it so much more elegantly...

So anyway, here's me doing my bit to make the world a more inclusive place by trying to normalize gayness in Kenya with a story.
Have you copped it yet.
It's vastly discounted on pre-order. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

How To Win Friends and Influence People - Introvert Edition

Did you see that Eminem freestyle? I woke up to J Cole notifying me that Eminem was a rap god so I had to go check it out.
Nah, can't say I was too impressed. I mean yeah he weaves and twists words like nobody's business and he definitely had passion...maybe it was the homeless look? I don't know. I love Eminem, I do, but I don't think that was his best work. Everyone was really hyped about it though. I mean I tune in to CNN and there's a panel discussing it. A whole entire panel set up to analyze the significance of what Eminem said. Even though he didn't say anything that people have not been saying for two years now. Maybe more.
What makes it suddenly significant because Eminem said it? Was it the 'line in the sand' comment? Is it because he's the first to tell his Trump supporter fans to step off? Has shit suddenly become real?
I don't know.
I am going to the Bishop's Dinner today in my local church to represent my small Christian community. It's depressing the fuck outta me.
Why don't people like to socialize these days? And I know it's not just me because I've seen countless memes about it on Instagram. I remember being young and being super excited about going anywhere. But these days...meh. Sometimes I'd rather just go hungry than go to the supermarket. And it's not an age thing because my son is equally blah about leaving the house. What happened to us? Why are we like this?
You know the humdinger of it all? There's food. As much as I would want to eat. Yet here I am thinking about developing a 'cough' so I don't have to go...
Supernatural season 13 is back today! Thirteen years on one show with two co-stars who have managed to get along for thirteen years without killing each other. Isn't that remarkable? Did you see the EW covers? The fanfic is writing itself. There's werewolf!Jared; damn, that boy is sexy when he's in beast mode:

And then there is, well...vampire!Jensen? Because he's preternaturally pretty; it's not even like he's a real person. He's like a...fae or some shit.
Anyways, that concludes the eye candy portion of this post.
I actually have some writing-related news and shit I want to share with you. I was rifling through my folders and came across some stories I did. I read them through and I swear to you, I can't even remember writing them, but I was like, damn girl, this is some good shit. Why is it sitting here instead of being out there for people to read?
Well other me replied, "Why I don't know. But aren't you supposed to be working?"
"Bleh. Work. Let's publish this."
So that's what I did.
Here are some stories for you to read on your lunch break if you, like me, do not like to make small talk. You can go get it on Amazon or iTunes or wherever - it's free, or just download it below. While you're there, if you haven't already, hit that pre-order button for In Search of Paradise.