Monthly Archives: May 2016

#TuesdayThoughts – Gratitude

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Tuesday Thoughts_310516

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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#FreedomFriday – Happy Innocence Day

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When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community

Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist

And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy

There were mothers who could leave their children for the market

And return to meet them alive and in one piece.

Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them

Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!

Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation

But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…

Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands

Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…

When Innocence was a child like me!

Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should

The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales

Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts

Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide

Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend

Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!

I don’t know if Innocence will return…

But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent

Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.

*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born,  3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#ThankfulThursday – Humour

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I hear things like “you are very mischievous or why are you so mischievous?” and I smile because I know I am or can be. I don’t know if there is a negative or positive mischief, if there’s none – then I’ve invented one. I love it that I find humour in that which was intended to upset me … sometimes. Actually King is good at this. Do I get upset? Yes, sometimes, but of course I know it’s a joke.

I enjoy watching people’s reaction when I do or say what I do or say. I enjoy the ‘innocence’ with which I try to keep a straight face, as opposed to the shock on your face. Can I do comedy in front of people…No! I just draw it up, share with King and we laugh our hearts out.

Today, I’ve had series of fun and I feel so alive. Yes, they say the “Economy is biting hard”, I don’t know if Economy’s teeth is complete, don’t worry, I won’t open its’ mouth to check or count the teeth. But I’m suggesting to the Economy, instead of biting, why don’t you try smiling? And that’s my 2 cents! Adios.

Thankful Thursday_260516

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#WQWWC – Freedom

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Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Freedom”

Freedom is being ME…

Enjoying air that’s free

Basking in the love of thee

Surrounded by my sweet Three

It is Joy, Peace and Sheer Glee

And every good thing in-between

Breaking out of limiting degree

As I excel above the spreading *Bree

Freedom is what it is

And I don’t mean to tease

*Scottish word for Brunt meaning Attack or Blow.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

WHEN ARTISTS MEET…

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Whenever I’m to go for an event and the ‘stress’ is much, I usually would still go because that tells me there’s something I need to learn there and I’m about to miss out on it. That was the scenario I found myself in before deciding to go for the Connect Nigeria 3rd Writers Conference, tagged “The Business Of Writing” on the Saturday, 21st May 2016, which was my first!

Like I said, I got in quite late with 2 hours left to go and I’m wondering “why did I burn N145 per litre of PMS and a family time-out to get there?”, but I didn’t regret it a bit. I’m still excited and motivated and on a whole new dimension. When it comes to my articles, I’m so looking forward to the next conference. I guess you won’t understand it until I share what is making me gush even days after.

My time there started out with Efe Paul Azino, he is an interesting fellow. If I saw him on the road, I would readily call him a sculptor or painter (he had those hands and keen eyes) but he’s a poet! You see, I was discouraged before now about my poetry, by someone I shared the desire to publish them years back, as in his expert opinion (a doctor by the way) “Nigerians don’t read much, talk-less of poetry”. Listening to Mr Efe say things like

  • To be a really good poet, “your consumption = your production” READ! READ!! READ Everything!!!
  • When it comes to performing, if you like theatrics, go ahead and perform yours like that. If you prefer to read out the poem, by all means, do that. Just perform it the way you are.
  • For a wider audience, try writing poetry in other languages. I’m trying out my pidgin English skills on this one.
  • Find your voice! Be original, so whenever anyone reads your poem, they can tell it’s yours. I would refer to this as your USP!
  • Learn to withdraw amidst all your successes and recreate yourself.
  • Form or join other poetry groups.

…I’m ready to go beyond the stars with the poems.

Mr Onimisi Adaba spoke for 5 minutes on the importance of having audio books, as some of your audience might not be the hard-copy crowd. For an intelligent writer, it is expedient to meet the needs of your diverse crowd in a fast-paced world, “Don’t just do hard copies, bring your words to life with the requisite emotion and pronunciation, using audio books.”

I’m not sure I was expecting to gain much from Ike Nnaebue a renowned Nigerian Movie Director/Screenwriter, as I’m a poetry and prose person, but by the time he started speaking I was yearning for more and already seeing myself as a screenwriter or applying the elements to my poetry and prose. As Mr Ike gave the ELEMENTS necessary for a good Screenplay Writing and I sat awed.

  • The Art of storytelling = The Art of Seduction. Try to woo, lure, entrap, persuade and capture your audience to remain in that world you have created till you are done and ready to release them. I love this! Yummy, I tell you.
  • To be a good writer, continue to ask question, make your audience asks questions too! Do not answer their questions, until you have new questions for them.
  • Have a unique idea. Make your characters, hate-able or likeable to the point that you create an emotional bonding.
  • Make your tale unpredictable by creating unique dialogues. Step out of the norms. Try not to use the first idea that comes to your mind, keep writing, more and better ones will come.
  • Though you are to consider the budget of your market, low budget doesn’t mean mediocre. Let your creative juices flow!

For Okechukwu Ofili, a self-published author and a non-conformist, Self-publishing is the way out. He expounded on his 10 Rules of writing. I love those rules and even when we refer to him as a non-conformist, all he said is a re-enactment of what others said. Be unique, everyone has got the same number of alphabets to work with, be interested in the writing as well as the sales amongst others.

It was a time well-spent seated amongst people with like-minds and if you want more, check my tweets @imaniking . Connect Nigeria Writers Conference 2017, here I come with other writers!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved