By afric.iWRITE | 7:31 AM
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Love and Writing

with my wife, Mrs. d'INK

It’s been a good start for me this year; a good wife and a new book. I can not but imagine what the remaining would be. I started my journey as a writer about ten years ago. No, it was nine years ago. I started as a poet. Like many poets, I started with love poems, and I wrote them in a diary and hid the diary under my bed. Then, I had no girlfriend, so all I wrote was how wonderful it would be for me to be in love. No girl read it. If they did, they would have all been mine, I think so. I don’t think so. I know so. Most of my friends soon knew I could write beautiful lines, so they all ran to me for a few lines. I was soon seen as a poet. I wrote for them on paper, and those who were in a hurry bribed me to punch the words into their phone. They forwarded them as text messages as soon as I was through.

Two years later, I had a girlfriend. My words worked, but this time through my mouth and not my pen. My poetry changed from the words of a poet who had no girlfriend but needed, to the words of a poet who was swimming in a pool of love. I wrote “Painful Ecstasy”.

Painful Ecstasy:

At the fall of a flag,
I stopped for love,
And pronto off with us, its bag,
Which weighed me down enough,
And pushed me zigzag, down the road,
Made me loose my poise the more,
Swirled me round. What a load!
Though so hard to the core,
Its pains that's set on me.
So blind, I'm yet to see,
Our morrow, the map so vague.
We'll toss in the wind, its route
Where ever, let it be, even a plague.
Yet still this love will I clench,
And yes, all the way, enjoy the pain.

I was noticed for the first time, as a writer. Painful Ecstasy was published on page one of Twilight Musings, an anthology of poems by the International Library of Poetry. To me, it was WOW! Especially when my sister came back from the United States with the book. I became a reeeeaaaaaallllll poet. Shakespeare, maybe! LOL! I read Painful Ecstasy aloud the day I met with Muhtar Bakare of Farafina and Dele Olojede of Timbuktu Media (234next). I think they loved it. (I’m not sure oh…). To me, no one was better than Binyerem Ukonu.

My relationship took another turn, after many years. I think two. I encountered a lot of heartbreaks and tears. I wanted to lock myself indoors, forever. I was not man enough, I told myself. What do those guys have that I do not? They kept stealing her from me, and returning her after tapping all the crude. I kept accepting her back. One day, I dropped her. I became brave. I found solace in my written words. My misfortune became so big that it could not be contained in poems. It tried writing them, but the lines became many. I chose to try Prose. I wrote and fumbled. I wrote again, and fumbled again. I am a wizkid. I immediately started making friends that were writers, and they introduced me to associations. I became a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors in Owerri, and attended meetings. I met Uche Peter Umez at one of those meetings. He was a young (but older oh) man, and had confidence in what he was doing. Like me, I still felt I was bigger than them all, although I was not an author yet. I felt they lacked something; talent. I felt Uche Peter Umez was the only gifted one in their midst. And come to think of it, they were so old, and being so old already meant NO BOOKER OR NOBEL FOR YOU! I ran away from them, but kept in touch with Uche.

At the time of my graduation from the department of Architecture in Imo State University, I had already written close to one hundred and fifty poems, and over thirty short stories, but they were all written in my diary. I also have novels that I never finished. Yet I was unpublished. Many friends pleaded with me, “Please publish a book now…”

But I have an answer, “It’s not by power or might something…”

with A. Igoni Barrett
Chika Unigwe picked interest in me, and started nurturing my gift. My words now wore costumes. I had confidence. She took me from one line to the other, and I saw reasons why I needed to keep writing. Many gifted friends of mine saw me changing. Onyeka Nwelue (author) fell in love with my works. Priye Ben-Baldwin (multi-talented singer) became my biggest fan. I started building my fan base on Facebook, and attended many literary workshops. It was at the Garden City Literary Festival, after a few chat with A. Igoni Barrett and Tade Ipadeola, that I knew I was ready to come out with a book.

my collection of eight short stories
I met Swapnil Chugh of Serene Woods at the right time. I met them when I was ready to bring out eight of my stories. They loved the stories, and showed interest in them. The Water Was Hot was published, and it’s doing well considering that it’s just the third week. I am presently working on a novel, while at work in the office (please don’t tell my boss). And I advise you not to expect it soon. I just got married.

He who enjoys eating frogs should eat big ones, so that he’ll love being called “a frog eater”…d’INK

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