September: Updates on work, life, reading and writing

One thing that I know I ought to work on is consistent blogging, however this season is my season of writing and submitting my work for review so I find myself spending more time away from posting here.

The first week of September to me has been filled with travel, work ( wrapping up projects, initiating new ones), reading and well, writing. I am looking forward to taking part in NanoWrimo so I am at the ideation stage, refining a story that I intend to carry on even after November comes to an end.

On work: From handing over projects in Nyakach to Mfangano Island, I have been encouraged just by witnessing the appreciation the schools and pupils have now that they can access proper sanitation facilities.

On reading: I started out this month by reading NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and it’s interesting written from the point view of a 10 year old, however the themes on Africa, poverty, corruption and immigration were not new to me. I posted the full review on Goodreads.

I am currently reading 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson.

Life events: My younger sister also finally got to wear her graduation gown and attend her graduation ceremony and we love photos, or maybe we act like we do in this family and I took the chance to let my hair down and pose for a picture.

afro, earrings, kitenge trouser, smile-check!

I have enrolled for 2 professional certificate courses that start this month and end in December and trying my best to juggle work, travel, and studies and the network glitches that come with learning via Google Meet!

On writing: I I have been prepping for NanoWrimo and re-writing the book that I was to release this past August.

I made it into the longlist for the 2021 Kendeka Prize for African Literature (my work’s mentioned here)

Quote of the week:

The forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence.- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

Updates on the Writing life, June scares and July expectations

I choose to be happy on this day. It’s a sunny Sunday with highs of 26 degrees Celcius. I woke up today at 6:34AM to do laundry and finish braiding my hair and since then, I have been listening to songs on my playlist and drinking cup after cup of coffee. I am officially on my fourth cup.

We are 4 days into July and June was a scary month for me, for I realized how weak my body could be and the mere mention of being on supplements to keep me safe scared me. However, I did manage to get in more sleep and read more books but write absolutely nothing when it comes to my WIP. What I excelled at was watching Korean Dramas on Netflix late into the night and working on my work reports.

I would absolutely recommend the following dramas: Warm & Cozy, Man to Man, Healer, I am not a Robot and Tomorrow with You.

From March I have been buying more books to read and my June and July book hauls demand attention and I look forward to reading them in the coming months.

I am also looking forward to starting a professional certificate course to further improve my skills and knowledge in my field. It feels great getting back to some kind of structure and I can’t wait to see this through.

On future projects: The Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship call for applications have been released and I’ll do what I always do, submit my application and keep my fingers crossed. I have been working closely with my Mentor/Professor who always critiques my writing to see to the release of the next book “A Hundred Little Things” in the first week of August.

My expectations for this month are:

  1. To improve on how I take good care of my body, from eating healthy ( more food rich in iron and calcium)
  2. To think positively of myself and what I do.
  3. To wrap up most of my work projects.
  4. Visit family and friends
  5. Have a weekend road trip- just to see another town, experience somewhere other than where I am right now.
  6. To watch some more K-Drama. My absolute favorite being Nevertheless– because in a way, Na-bi reminds me of a water-sign. She’s been hurt but she is still hoping for love, and with Park Jae-eon, she knows he’ll disappoint her but she is willing to give it a shot.

Updates on life, 2020 goals and everything in between

Life! Well, it’s been one rollercoaster and at some point, I felt so overwhelmed by what was happening that I took a break from writing and in that one week, I set aside everything including my NanoWrimo project.

The good news here is that yes, I aced this year’s NanoWrimo and managed to scribble 55,751words. Don’t ask me about what I wrote because it’s all messed up. I know because I checked and nearly lost my wits so I will let it simmer.

2020 goals: This was set to be my year, where I would workout consistently, eat healthy, write more, join a Writer’s network and invest in postgraduate education. I hadn’t written action plans for all these things, except for writing. And in true form I managed to write, edit and publish one book: Zuri: The Chronicler of Enzi. When it became clear that there would be prolonged restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of covid-19, I found myself slacking on my goals and in the first week of this month as I was reading through my journal, I came across all the things I was excited to do and it hit me that I took in so much that was happening around me that I forgot to reinforce what’s within me.

So, like the rollercoaster we’ve been on, I installed the 30 day fitness app again🙄 and I have managed to set times for working out. I am on day 4 and already loving the “Rest Day.”🧡

On writing: I just have this awesome idea that sprung up on me as I was writing my NanoWrimo project and I live for visuals when I am writing, so here is what is motivating me to explore it.

On reading: This month’s been a thrill and I’ve read a couple of books that made it easier to get lost in the written world.

  • The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • Diamond Eye by Arthur Rosenfeld

I am currently reading:

I am learning to write goals, and then break them down to tasks that I can do every day or hour so that I am not overwhelmed by the desire to accomplish them. I call it my 30 day reset and it started with uninstalling the Facebook app from my phone plus messenger so I can focus more.

I have also set a writing schedule so I have ample time to revise my draft and write some more because I love having to write and publish a book over the Easter holidays, it kinda gives my readers and major fans here in Kenya (they’re 14 of them 💛😉) something to read over a 3day holiday break

On education: I am still keen on gaining skills and knowledge and I’ll put it out into the universe, may it bring me my desires and success in my quest to pursue policy writing and formulation in the field of Education here in Kenya. I feel like I’ve been on the ground toiling and working with rural communities to improve public primary schools and it’s a great achievement, however I can scale it up, I can see the need for social investment in children on the value of quality education, across the country and what better way to do this than ensuring the policies written and implemented by the state actually serve this need? I’m all about it and I’ll keep working on it, seeking programs, partnerships, scholarships to see it come to be.

It’s been a hectic month for me, and I am hoping for a better now, tomorrow and to be honest, it’s a working progress and I love that I am envisioning it and calling it into being.

2 quick questions: What are you reading this weekend? What are you setting your heart on right now?

Goodbye September and Hello October!

It’s the last day of September and I often feel a certain kind of warmth when a month ends mid-week because I am guaranteed a weekend in the first week of the new month! Well, that was before COVID-19 struck and decided to shake us up!

So, on Monday our President decided that well, the curfew is still on for 60-days and stretched the time to 11pm- 4am. He also granted permission for bars to open and my absolute relief was that schools would still be shut until we are better placed to contain the virus. What sucks about this is that the funding they received from the World Bank and other donors goes into their stomachs and not towards the health facilities!

On books: I was going through my Goodreads “READ” page and discovered I have read and reviewed 165 books so far and some of the best titles I got to read were in June (34 books in total). This month, I read more paperback copies and here are some of the titles that kept me company:

I am currently reading “EndGame by Derrick Jensen” and enjoying drinking lots of tea as well…

On writing: I am taking part in the 10k-Novel Writing Challenge that would mean writing 1000 words every day for the first 10-days of October.

I have been watching Never Have I Ever as well and in a weird way, I am now #TeamPaxton because at least he’s single and his sister called him out on how awful he treated Devi, whilst Ben is cute and considers Devi equal and brilliant- he’s still got a girlfriend, an athletic one as well, so hey…that means he’s got a decision to make!

My September song is definitely: Be Praised by Aaron Moses & Naomi Raine off Maverick City’s Vol 3, part 2 album

And, the greatest thing I have done this month is keep up with my laundry! It’s been refreshing knowing that I don’t have any dirty clothes waiting for me to clean them up and fold them!

In the previous update on life and staying at home post, I said I was struggling with consistently working out and this past three days have been a good run for me, I get to do some squats, push-ups, mountain climbers and 20-second planks in the morning and evening and I feel pretty good about it.

I am looking forward to October and we’ve got 93 days left until 31st December 2020, so live as best as you can, love as hard as you can and be kind- the world needs gentleness.

Aki si I have been quiet!

Can we just take a moment and appreciate this moment right here? Happy Saturday world, or should I say blogiverse? Well, it’s been a minute (as Kenyans, Nairobians in particular love to say when they haven’t seen you over two years) and I have so much to share and adventures on the road that involve Chinese contractors and a bit of conversation around politics and whatsapp.

I visited Homabay county last week and in my stack of cards it means I’ll be relocating to the county to work with various communities as scheduled in my time frame. So I boarded a matatu from Kisumu and settled in the front seat right next to the driver. He was chatty and threw in a few jokes here and there but as were approaching Oyugis, this guy just slowed down and turned to me and asked “Mrembo uko na shuka?”

I shook my head as aggressively as I could because hey, I have seen to many Nigerian and Bongo films to know that no stranger is allowed access to my personal items, what if I start doing handstands in supermarkets? Or worse off barking like a dog? Eh, gaki!

So he says, “Hawa wa Chinese wanatengeneza barabara na vumbi iko hapa, hata mimi naiogopa.” I released the breath I was holding and told him not to worry about it and he does his best to shut the windows even though his window doesn’t go all the way up…he drives off and let me tell you, there’s nothing as interesting as stepping out of a vehicle and spitting dust! If there’s anyone from Oyugis…please, drop a comment, ease my tender soul and tell me to suck it up, it’s just dust!

So, that was the beginning of my short visit and turns out there’s a lot that Homabay county could serve but hey, you know a place that’s in need of a shake up, because it’s like a sleeping giant, well…that’s how I felt and still feel about Homabay.

I loved visiting the Mbita Tourist Hotel because the fish+kachumbari+sukuma is to die for and the view, amazing because I’m a water sign and a daughter of the Lake, so water’s like my feel good, peace out, chill out vibe.

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My view from the restaurant, it was a bit cloudy.

Now, it’s been 21 days since I wrote anything and my manuscript progress report could easily be scored as an F, but I am not so worried about it. Given how much time I’m spending on getting things done at work, I feel too drained to write anything coherent and will have to work harder to build up on my process and schedule writing time.

In other news, I can safely say that following (10 reasons why I’m not fit to be a Fashion Blogger) I have since become a better sister, keen on the instructions my younger sister gives me while she’s taking photos of me. She’s still peeved that I do not wear make-up, my attempt at wearing a red-lippie still didn’t cut it.

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I think I aced this pose, but Jackie thinks not 😦

On reading, I’ll say that I read Sidney Sheldon’s The Silent Widow and that book gave me shivers. I’m looking forward to reading Grit & Grind by Rhonda Vetere to get my mind in the frame of hard work, passion and goal pursuit.

It’s all good world, have a lovely weekend and I’ll probably share some village chronicles once I settle down.