Laana: An Excerpt

Lahaula visited me during the King’s mourning ceremony following an invitation from Prince Jabali to their kingdom with news. She smiled with renewed life and talked to me about the things she had seen at the palace and all the while I kept my thoughts hidden from her. It was something I had been learning while spending time in the singing forest.

“Laana, tell me why is it that your light and the Prince’s light are lost?”

“He blames me for the death of his father.”

“What else are you keeping from me Sister? I feel you slipping away into darkness, is there anything I can do to draw you back?”

“Do not worry about me Lahaula. Prince Jabali will come to ask for my hand in marriage after the King’s burial and I will accept. What I do not know is how I will cope with his anger.”

“Ei, I see, however, I want you to accept a gift. She comes from our kingdom and she will attend to you. Her name is Amina. Her tongue never stays still but when it comes to you, she will always do what’s right. I ask you to care for her, train her because I have a feeling that she knows more about the earth, what grows where and what it can be used for.”

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I looked at the young girl standing behind Lahaula for the first time. Her eyes were the color of darkness, a quiet reminder of how far the dawn was. She looked at me then looked away. I smiled and asked her to sit beside me. She nodded and did so and I could see her beautiful toes, feet meant for a princess, but feet that told the story of wars unrivaled by any I had encountered. She lowered her eyes and folded her legs beneath her. Lahaula released the breath she was holding, but I had already seen the girl’s past and her future was only what she could make it to be.

Lahaula stayed with me as her father and his envoys stayed at the palace.

Checking out of October

This month has breezed right past me and one thing I haven’t done as much as I had hoped to is to write consistently. However, I know NanoWrimo is two days away and I have already signed up and started drafting the novel I will be writing.

On reading: I am discovering new writers, reading more books as I hope to see to meeting this year’s Goodreads challenge, so far I have read 161 books and there are some titles I read on Netgalley that haven’t reflected yet, so it means I have a lot more worlds to explore.

I am currently reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which is giving me quite some history on Dracula and I can’t help but wonder how this will end.

I love love and cannot resist romance, which led me to this Italian series on Netflix and with just six episodes, I am already rooting for Alice, wishing her the very best in what she does and waiting to see her gain more confidence in herself. What this series did for me was give me a couple of hours to laugh, immerse myself in astrology (the Pisces that I am) and improve my eye coordination-keeping up with subtitles!

On work: It’s more of a balance that I definitely need because this month has been involving because of work and classes- and like my friend June keeps telling me, if you can study or work or travel now- do it before you take on lots of responsibilities- the only thing she forgot to tell me was that I would need more sleep.

I also learned a phrase that now I associate with “no, we are not doing that,” when I took part in some collaboration and in one of the briefs mentioned some key areas of improvement and was told “we’ll take that under advisement,” and let’s just say that 3 weeks and 3 days later- no improvement has been acted upon.

On fashion: I love kitenge. There is something about buying that 6-yard fabric, taking in the colorful prints and discussing designs with the tailor to finally get something I enjoy wearing. The downside to kitenge of course is that you have to iron it after you’ve washed it and I for one, do not find that act enjoyable. So here’s a jumpsuit I got and can’t wait to wear.

On music: I have been residing in the K-Pop world for a while and the one album that I highly recommend as a mood/energy booster would have to be No Easy by StrayKids.

And that’s it for October, 2021 is almost coming to an end and the curfew was lifted in Kenya, and a huge part of me hopes that we stop acting like we are out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic.

Have an awesome weekend, this girl has got an assignment on Strategic Management to submit before her class tomorrow.

Checking In: October Week One

Nine days into October and this is a reflection on what I’ve done so far:

Read 4 books

Started compiling a short story collection

Bought two sets of gym wear and installed the 30 Day Fitness Challenge app, but I haven’t worked out even for a single day.

Completed watching the K-Drama: He is Psychometric

Changed my phone ringtone.

I’ve had a serving of chicken flavored noodles every day since 3rd October.

Started drinking tea every morning

Prepped and ready to take part in NanoWrimo 2021. By being ready it simply means that I bought new stationery, a tote bag full of colorful notebooks and new set of highlighters.

Love this quote by Dorothy Parker:

I will be on the road tomorrow looking forward to an activity filled week, so until then, have a lovely weekend. PS: If you haven’t been watching Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha on Netflix, check it out, it’ll make your weekend swoonworthy!

5 things I do to unwind after a long day

Some events can turn a day into the longest day making you wonder just how much more you can take before you lose it. I have lost my cool on some days and my colleagues have never stopped calling me ‘apilo matindo.’

Over the years, I have found these five things to be of help.

Taking a warm bath

Setting my phone on ‘airplane mode’ or ‘switching it off.’ This way I cannot be reached until I am ready or in the right set of mind to engage someone.

Sleeping. I love sleeping because in a way I get to recharge and every time I wake up from such naps I am always hungry.

Listen to music.

Writing. I have been keeping a journal since I was twelve, and those stacks of books hold memories of many life experiences.

Monday in Motion: 5 things I did today

I am in awe of how fast time flies. We are 10 days to October and I went out and about today doing things I love.

  • Bought earrings
  • Bought stationery: 2 notebooks, a sharpener, orange highlighter (my absolute fave color), a 15-centimeter ruler and 5 writing pens.
  • Got two new books to read: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World by Bolu Babalola
  • Read these posts:
  • Cleaned the house.

5 Writing Gems I found Online

I came across these five insights on writing that I absolutely love and I hope you do too.

Step into a scene and let it drip from your fingertips.- MJ Bush

Write until you surprise yourself.

You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say.- Truman Capote

What would you write if you weren’t afraid?- Mary Karr

A drop of ink may make a million think. – Lord Byron

Have a great week and I hope you surprise yourself too!

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.