Back to my Roots

My writing roots that is. There was a time back in my Myspace days that it was a rare occurrence for me to go a day without blogging. In fact, it was through that medium that I was encouraged to write my first book. I’d hear such comments repeatedly, but then those were the days when to me the concept of writing a book was a pipe-dream. Eight years later, I now have twelve books under my belt and I’m wondering what happened to my daily habit of blogging?

I miss the sanity it brought me on my darkest days. I miss the act of joking out my crazy days and the theraputic aspects of writing that helped me mature by way of self reflection. For me, writing is the medium through which my soul speaks and though I have never stopped in the sense of my being an author, somehow it is not the same.

Writing a book takes more work and focus. It takes time and diligence. Whereas sometimes I just want to be mindless with it and not contribute to a specific topic for hours on end. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy writing books, I truly do, there is simply nothing like it, but for those who drink coffee and smoke weed (I do neither, but hey work with me), coffee is the quick buzz you can get on the go. Its acceptable in all areas of society, whereas weed is the buzz that is a little more long term and best done in private. Okay that analogy sucks, and just goes to show just how much I need to get back into the practice of daily blogging again. That said, I am setting myself the challenge of writing a blog a day till the end of the year. They say it takes 30 days to form a habit, so let’s see if I can brimg bck a good one.

Add Zest to Your Written Creations

Add Zest to Your Written Creations by Customising Your Fonts

It goes without saying that I love writing. Though it was never my intention to write children’s books, that was where life took me and so I welcomed it with open arms. Problem is, my children’s books are written in different languages, thus far, Yoruba, Twi and English. The fonts available in said languages make it difficult to write in the font-style I’d like, that provides for all the diacritics that Yoruba and Twi demands. Thus far I had been having to change fonts letter by letter for each and every word that required an intonation mark. This made it so that to write a 22 page book that contained less than 300 words took several hours instead of a couple of minutes, had I been writing in straight English.

By book three I was becoming rather frustrated, there must be an easier way! Well of course there was, I just had to think outside the box. I’d create my own custom font for use in my Love My Language series of books! Why not, I’d done it before using my handwriting to enable to leave custom messages in my books for those who wanted signed digital copies.

Last time around it cost me a few quid, and believe me it was worth every penny, however for the life of me I could not remember the site I had used back then. I searched and searched and eventually came across a site that not only provided the service for free, the turnaround time was minutes rather than days. Due to the service being free and quick to use, after scrutinizing my creation and finding areas where I was less than satisfied, I simply made corrections and within minutes my font was to standard.

Instructions are simple to follow, all you need is access to simple image editing software like Windows Paint, or if you’re creating by hand, you will require a printer a scanner and a black felt pen. If you feel inclined to jazz up your publications by using your own customised font, give http://www.myscriptfont.com/ a try. I highly recommend it.

And Another One!

It’s barely a month after the release of Tolu’s Family and there has been such a wonderful response that I thought I’d do it again. This time we are learning Twi with Kwesi!

Kwesi's Family

Love My Language: Twi
Do Me Kasa: Twi

Yes, Kwesi’s Family is due for release at the end of August.

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Happy Birthday Tolu!

Most of you may know by now that I have recently released a book named Tolu’s Family, well what you may not know, (or were maybe yet to make the connection) is that it is based on my family. In other words, the character ‘Tolu’ is my based on my last born child. Now he is rapidly approaching his first birthday, so in celebration of this wonderful milestone, I have decided to offer 50 copies* of the book Tolu’s Family for £1 each** (rrp £6.99)!

Tolu Bday Offer

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* One copy per household. ** Excludes postage & packaging.

 

New Book Release!

Woohoo! My latest book; Tolu’s Family of the Love My Language series is now listed on Amazon and all reputable online bookstores worldwide. Naturally it is also available in my personal bookstore, which I endorse you to favour purchasing from, but hey, in the long run, your support is welcome either way.

Tolu's Family (Love My Language series)

 

(Click image to purchase)

This is ‘this space’!

Okay, so in my last post I said, “Watch this space!”, well the following is the result of the light bulb moment that occurred as a result of my post.

Tolu's Family (Love My Language)

Yup, ya girl as gone and written her first children’s book and it is the first in a series I have decided to call… You guessed it; Love My Language. I’m not even gonna front, this is the hardest book I have ever created, what with my being such a novice in the skill of writing in Yoruba, not to mention the limited fonts available that cater for all the diacritics. Anyways, instead of whining about not having resources, I decided to create some.

Now, I know this will probably open the door to more criticism, but I figure we need to be the instigators of the change we wish to seek. If anyone has a problem with how I have presented the language, then this book is welcome to be seen as an invitation to do better. Ultimately we all win, those of us in the diaspora that struggle to find resources now have at least one more added to the limited pile of those that do exist. Better yet, reading this aloud to my baby everyday is not only a form of bonding, but it is teaching him an building the confidence of everyone in my household as we now have an opportunity to read aloud from a script that is not intimidating and allows us to slowly build on our understanding and of the Yoruba language as well as increase our vocabulary.

This book is due to be released on July 7th 2014! :-)

Love My Language

As most may know by now, I am of Nigerian parentage, born and raised here in London, UK. I am proud of my culture, but I have long struggled to get to grips with my language. I can understand it well, but I lack the confidence to speak it ever since I was laughed at for my accent as a child. I was able to speak it back then, but my voice was muted for being humiliated to the extent of feeling like I was doing something wrong.

The thing is, I can speak Yoruba in my head, I even dream in Yoruba on occasion, but when it comes out of my mouth, I sound like an idiot and my lack of vocabulary doesn’t help. I started trying to re-teach myself my mother tongue, but it was hard without having someone to practice conversing with, who would be patient with me and better yet, encourage me.

My desire to learn became even more desperate as I came to realise how many others were in the same position as myself. This was becoming a tragedy. In a generation’s time, we could possibly lose our language forever, as people of my generation were ill-equipped to pass it on to our children.

The birth of my baby gave me the incentive to practice speaking to someone who wouldn’t laugh or answer me back, but would also benefit from hearing the little I could say. This further led me to enlist the services of a Yoruba language tutor, Ogbeni Kolade Ogunbayode. My confidence increased greatly, even if only realising I was not a completely hopeless cause.

The thing is, I still feel frustrated for how few resources there are out there and how few Kolade’s there are to learn under. Our language is our heritage – our culture and it is under threat of extinction. Sounds like I’m exaggerating, but if you know of any Nigerians, ask them if they speak their language, even if they do, ask if their children speak it, what about their children’s children? The results are alarming. This has to change. I love my language enough to do something about it. As a matter of fact, I’ve just had a lightbulb moment. Watch this space!

Ease Up

When you put yourself up to be criticized, whether or not that was your intention, criticism is exactly what you get, and it isn’t always going to be favourable, I get that. However there are times during moments of self doubt or vulnerability that criticism can get your back up. Personally this rarely, if ever happens to me, but what I do find is I have a bad habit of judging myself by the achievements of others in similar fields. Not in a envious manner, but just feeling like I need to try harder to do better. This is a very negative way of being, as it is the opposite of gratitude. I’ve written six books, had three children, I juggle having sickle cell and yet every once in a while I think, damn that author over there is really working their craft, I need to be more like that. But hey, if that author had the same set of tools I’m working with, they might look at me and say the same: “Geez woman six books, where do you get the time?”

Time to give thanks not for my shortcomings, but for the fact that despite them, I’m still able to achieve period.

Giving thanks to my Ancestors and hoping they are proud of the little I am able to do.

Happy Birthday Daddy. Rest in Power

Mothership

A few weeks ago this mothership finally dropped her payload. Yes indeed, my new baby was born and though I thought that being that this is my third child, the labour and delivery was going to be a cinch…. Uh nope! It wasn’t easy at all. There were complications that put both myself and my baby at risk and needless to say, I’m still incredibly emotional very tired and extremely overwhelmed. I’m gonna take some time out and chill for a while.