Thursday, June 16, 2016

Creative Writing and Hobby

I have a hobby of making bead jewellery. I attend bead shows every year, one of my guilty pleasures. The process of designing and handling natural stones silences my mind. It stimulates my creative side, especially when I am stuck in my writing.
Kazuri Copper Bracelet
This week, the writing challenge began when the protagonist in my novel (work in progress) fell in love. I had to get the romance right, for her age, and her innocence.

I made Kazuri bracelets, and this creative process cleared my thinking and helped me understand the kind of love the protagonist is looking for. So with the new bracelet dangling on my wrist, I’m all set to complete her love story.

Check more on Instagram: Kazuri Silver and Kazuri Stretchy - the beads used are a gift from a friend in Kenya.

Kazuri—the Swahili word meaning small and beautiful.

Link to Kazuri Story

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Timeline Process of the Novel

Me writing the timeline. 
I am half way through my novel and suddenly I know the ending. It’s really exciting.

I am a pantser for sure. I do not know what is happening next in the story and I do not write in a chronological order either.

I’ve experienced this with my first novel, The Beggar’s Dance. I was half way through the first draft and the ending came to me. This is when I wrote a timeline to have a clear vision of where the characters were in the story. Once I’d done that everything fell in place on it’s own.

It is happening again with my next novel. So I’ve got the timeline done. Now it’s all about filling the blanks.

Photo: Me writing the timeline. I didn’t know that my dog, Zorro, was resting behind me. Glad my hubby took this picture

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

I was very excited when I received a great review from  "Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards,” on my novel, The Beggar’s Dance:

The following is the judges's review:

The story opens with an intriguing and grabbing hook.

The plot is intriguing because it’s a foreign situation for us. We like Juma and we want to keep reading to see if he survives the streets. He grows through the loss of his mother and having to be on his own. We have great sympathy for Juma. His voice is just right for his age and situation, so we are intrigued by him. He tries to improve himself, makes mistakes and learns from them. Well done.

The voice of Juma is young and foreign, so it feels real and draws us in. It's clear you had a great heart for this story and it comes through in the writing.

The dictionary in the back is a nice touch and helpful. And I like that you still define the words within their context. The writing is clean and easy to read.

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.” See below evaluation as received for The Beggar's Dance.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 4

Monday, February 1, 2016

What inspired me to write my first Novel - The Beggar's Dance

When I was ten years old, growing up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one evening, I watched a young boy (about eight years old) with his mother, begging. I wondered why I was in the comfort of a car, enjoying an icecream treat and he was on the sidewalk begging? I couldn’t understand so I went back to find him, but never saw him. For a very long time, I would think of him and try to figure out how he’d have spent his day and survived—not realizing that I was writing The Beggar’s Dance all along. It took me many years to understand that there was nothing special about me; I was just born lucky. This childhood encounter was the seed that led to the unfolding of Juma’s story.

The protagonist, Juma, is my imagination of a beggar I once met. He seeks freedom from the life of a beggar. It's his inner spirit that leads him on a journey of hope and survival.