Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Picumentary

Character Intro

In Search of Paradise is the first ever post-apocalyptic gay African romance that details the Struggle of being gay while attempting to survive the end of the world. You have been introduced to Ben, Anders, and Zawadi in other posts. Today we're just summarising what we know in form of pictures. Because otherwise there's just too much stuff to read.


You can pre-order your copy by going here, and hovering your mouse over the picture. It will give you options from Amazon to Kobo whichever you prefer, where you can pre-order In Search of Paradise at a very discounted pre-order rate. It's discounted because we want as many people who can, to pre-order so that we can raise a goodly amount for the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

The Book Cover

I want you to take a closer look at the cover. Look at Anders' face. Do you see it? His face actually spells LOVE. The black and white background behind Ben and Anders' silhouettes is actually a picture of Uhuru Park in Nairobi. The bottom colored portion of the book cover is shaped like a pyramid and shows the devastation of the Apocalypse. After you read the book you'll have even more appreciation of how awesome that is. 

And Finally

Pre-order period ends on 3rd November which is closer than you think. So hit that link today.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Me Too

We've done character intros for Zawadi and Ben, today we're gonna meet Anders. In honor of girls and boys everywhere who are victims of society's failure to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence, we're gonna see how Anders lost his virginity.


Anders was tall, gangly, not yet grown into his six foot plus body and very naive. His mother was proud that at sixteen years old, her son wasn't out there drinking mnazi and wasting his days. He was home every day after school, helped his sister with housework without complaining and was such a great support to her. During the weekends, when she had to leave them to go to Namanga for business, she knew she was leaving the market stall in good hands. Anders was always ready to help, ready to keep an eye on Zawadi; curb her more...adventurous tendencies.
So when he asked if he could go on a school trip to Lamu Island, she looked for the money till she found it. St. Charles Lwanga mixed day and boarding school was a Catholic establishment. They would make sure nothing bad happened to her boy when he was away from her. 
She was aware of Anders' effect on people. 
His height, cafe au lait clear complexion, long curly hair, his huge amber eyes, and prominent caused people to look twice at him. 
Maybe three times.
Anders never seemed to notice though. She and Zawadi would sometimes exchange knowing glances when Anders was serving a customer at the stall. They always seemed to have a lot of questions to ask him, many of them nothing to do with the curios they were allegedly buying - both tourists and locals alike, female and male. Anders was always patient and polite, answering their endless questions with a smile. He always made a sale.
Anders' class would be staying overnight in Lamu at a tourist lodge. They would be accompanied by two teachers. It would be alright.
His classmates called him mzungu, which Anders found ironic since a lot of them were lighter skinned than him. But he was a half-caste Maasai and Norwegian, and they were full Waswahili so...them was the breaks. He didn't really mind, it wasn't said in any way that was nasty. He had two close friends in his class; Mo and Ali. They had kind of adopted him on his first day of school and now they were practically the three musketeers. They were all very excited about the trip. The first time for many of them - including Anders - that they would be staying in a hotel.
It was all the teachers could do to get the boisterous lot of them to check in without exploding with ebullience. Finally, they all had their keys - they were sleeping three to a room - and they all ran off to put their bags away. They had a full day of learning ahead and the buses were waiting. As one of Kenya's oldest continually inhabited towns and one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage site, there was a lot to learn from the town.  They had a full day's itinerary planned starting from Manda Island and ending with Lamu museum. 
When they got back to the hotel, their high energy was flagging, no matter how much fizzing enthusiasm they might have, the kids were hot, hungry and tired. They were sent off to their rooms for a shower and a nap, but most decided to go swimming instead.
Anders wore his beach shorts and jumped in the pool with his friends, reveling in the coolness of the water. There were a number of tourists sunbathing poolside but the kids ignored them and they, in turn, ignored the kids. Well...most of them ignored the kids. One man couldn't help noticing the tall gangly kid with the soft looking hair and the softer eyes. The open smile, the broad shoulders tapering down to a slim waist. The long legs splashing through the water as he laughed with his friends. His long fingers that looked like they might be long enough to reach interesting places...He sat up, putting his magazine down and just watched them.
The teachers came to collect them for supper and Anders was more than ready to eat. It would not have been an exaggeration to say he was starving. Mo and Ali were equally excited about getting to choose whatever they wanted from the buffet. However much they wanted to eat! It was an orgasmic time.
After dinner, the students were allowed to sit in the lounge or go to their rooms. The rule was everybody in bed by 10 am. Anders and his pals could live with that.
"Let's go for a walk on the beach." Mo said.
"Hakuna wezi?" Ali asked, inquiring on the presence of thieves.
"Ahh, no. Hapa ni Lamu, such things don't happen here," Anders assured them breezily.
So they went walking on the beach, the moon was full creating a spooky effect on the water. It was ethereal and eerie and Anders shivered, just a bit.
"Hello," a voice said from behind them and they all jumped, spinning around fists up, ready to fight.
"Ey, relax. I saw you guys walking and thought I would join you. I'm at the same hotel as you." 
The boys put their fists down. It was just some old, fat white guy. 
"I am Rogers. What are your names?" he asked holding out his hand to be shaken.
They told him as he shook hands. Anders had to pull a bit to get him to let go, but he dismissed it as Rogers just being overfriendly with the light-skin. They walked for a bit longer and then Rogers offered to buy them drinks at the bar of the hotel.
"No-" Anders said just as Mo and Ali both said, "Yes-"
"You guys are Muslims, you're not supposed to drink," Anders pointed out.
"Oh we're not drinking alcohol, "Mo said exchanging glances with Ali, "He didn't say alcohol he said drinks."
Anders pursed his lips but went along with them. When Rogers asked what they were having, he said Fanta. Mo had some sort of fruity cocktail and Ali took a virgin mojito. Rogers sat with them, asking them questions about school and their families. 
"I've been greatly interested in sponsoring a local boy to university, " he said looking at Anders, "Would any of you be looking for such a once in a lifetime opportunity?"
Mo was all over that like a cheap suit, and Rogers asked him questions like he might actually be serious like how his grades were and which university he wanted to attend. Anders sipped his Fanta.
Ali looked at his watch, "Time for bed, guys," he said.
"Oh," Rogers said looking disappointed, "You have to go now?"
The three boys all stood up, "Yes we have a curfew."
"Okay, but I have some brochures and business cards in my room. Why don't we go there first so I can give them to you?"
"Okay," Mo said just as Anders said, "We can't.."
"Ah come on Mzungu, it's only a few minutes!" Mo cajoled, "We won't be in trouble."
Anders sighed, "Fine. But we better hurry up. My mom will kill me if I get suspended."
Ali just laughed and they followed Rogers to his room.

 Rogers was fumbling with some papers on his nightstand. He urged the boys to just have a seat while he was looking for, whatever.
Mo had made himself comfortable in the chair, going so far as to switch on the TV. Ali was looking around curiously while Anders sat at the edge of the bed nearest the door.
"I had them here...somewhere," Rogers mumbled. He picked up a piece of paper and turned around. Digging his wallet out of his pocket he removed a thousand shilling note.
"I can only find one copy. You Mo and Ali, could you go to the front desk and ask them to make copies? Keep change."
Mo was up in a flash but Ali was there before him, reaching for the money. Anders stood up as well. 
Rogers made a 'sit back down' gesture with his hands, "Anders you stay. You don't need three people to photocopy a sheet of paper, and I wanted to ask you a few questions."
"Umm," Anders said not really on board with this plan but Mo and Ali were already leaving. Anders watched the door slam behind them in surprise. His reactions seemed to have slowed a bit, and his head felt a bit woozy. He turned in surprise to find Rogers sitting right next to him, hand on his knee.
"Alone at last," he said and smiled.
Anders tried to stand up, to move away, but his body wasn't cooperative.
"What..?" he tried to ask but his tongue was so heavy in his mouth. Suddenly there was another tongue in his mouth and a hand on his crotch.
He stiffened trying to push Rogers away. But his hands were so weak.
Rogers was pushing him down onto the bed, pushing down his shorts. Anders tried to fight in earnest but he had no strength in his limbs. They would not obey him.

'What did you do to me?'  he thought frantically - his head the only part of him apparently still in his control.
'It's because he knows you're a dirty fag' a voice said in his head, one that sounded a lot like Akasha - Zawadi's father.
Whatever the man did to him, it hurt like a motherfucker. But the hurt dimmed beside the helplessness he was feeling. The guilt in his head telling him this was all his fault, he asked for this, why did he even come here.
He heard knocking on the door, and somewhere inside he sighed with relief and horror. His teachers had come to rescue him perhaps? He didn't want them to see him like this!
He lay on the bed, unable to move his hands so he could pull up his shorts, or pull down his shirt. The man - Rogers - opened the door a bit. Whoever was there he wasn't going to let them in.
"Oh, your friend?" Anders heard him say, "He left already. He wanted to go to bed."
Footsteps going away.
Ali and Mo were going to leave him to the mercy of this monster. 
Nobody would save him.
Anders tried to lift his hand, to move.
"Shh, don't worry. It will have worn off by morning. You probably won't remember a thing," the man said.
He then proceeded to take his shorts off, and lift his legs up in the air, "Just...relax," he said with a groan.
Anders would have screamed if his vocal chords would have cooperated.
'Help me, help me, help me.'

"Where can he be?" Mo asked as they entered the room.
Ali said nothing.
Mo turned to him, eyebrows raised.
"Maybe we shouldn't have left him alone with that man," Ali said softly.
Mo's eyes widened, "What are you saying?"
"Let's go back. Let's go back and ask him where Anders is."Ali said.
Mo stared at his friend who avoided his eyes. 
They went back and knocked, and knocked.
"What?" Rogers irritated voice said from behind the door.
"Anders is not in our room. Which way did you say he went?" Mo asked not bothering to keep his voice down.
Rogers opened the door, "I don't know where he went, now go away." he said.
Ali reached out and held the door as Rogers tried to close it, "Sir, this could be a police case if you don't help us. Anders dad is a mzungu also. Ebu tell us where he is."
Rogers' face blanched and he became pale, "He drank some alcohol and passed out. I didn't want to expose him but he's still here, sleeping." he said.
Ali stepped closer, "We'll take him to the room. It's okay," he said and pushed the door open wider so he could step past Rogers. He swallowed as he saw Anders curled up on the bed like a discarded rag doll. He pulled at Anders' unresponsive hands glancing at Mo to help him. Together they maneuvered Anders onto his feet, dragging him to the door.
"Oh, and here is your change," Ali said flinging it at Rogers.
"No, it's okay, keep it," Rogers said.
"No thanks," Ali said as they pulled Anders away.
Rogers was right, Anders didn't remember a thing in the morning. Mo and Ali never said a word.
He was still never the same though.


In Search of Paradise available for preorder now.
All pre-order proceeds go to the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
When I first suspected I was pregnant, I went to a Mayo Clinic near my apartment for a checkup. I told the doctor my suspicions and he asked me to strip. He was very skeptical of my self-diagnosis so I thought maybe he needed to do an ultrasound or something. He did not give me a hospital gown but told me to lie down on the bed. 
There was no nurse.
He then began to probe me.
Even with all my prior experience of men being trash, it didn't occur to me that a doctor in a reputable clinic would take advantage of me in such a way. He touched my boobs, my vagina...and then he told me that yes, I was pregnant. He told me to get dressed and come back for a checkup at a later date.
It was only when I thought about it later that I realized that I had been violated. 
This is just one story. I have several hundred.
What about you?

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Toxic Masculinity...and Femme

So I'm minding my business right? Trying to finish up a manuscript for a client while I ponder on whether or not to make a blog post on a Sunday. Then I come across this article...and I'm like dude! So there are men out there who won't wipe their asses because homophobia? Seriously?
Do guys have any like, need to be clean? Do you at all feel uncomfortable when you haven't bathed for a while? I know my son doesn't, I know some guys are super allergic to water, but...there has to be some sort of line. Doesn't there? Is it because we don't make you clean up enough? You don't have to face the consequences of your (in)actions?
My mind is just folded in on itself and cringing right now.
Why are men so afraid of themselves. If you stick your finger in your anus, what? You immediately become less of a man? I just finished re-reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - yes I know, where do I find the time? It's called goofing off when you're supposed to be working. How do I get any work done then? I don't know man. As Cardi B said, "da fuck! because God chose me!"
Anyways, Voyager.
There is this part where Jamie takes Claire to a brothel and she's having breakfast with the other 'girls'. They think she's the new one so when the madame comes in the room and they think that there's a new client - new girl gets the ones nobody wants i.e. the clients who come at breakfast time - so they tell her 'just stick your finger in his bum. he'll come right away.'
It's called an erogenous zone. It's a bundle of nerves on the prostate. It feels good, gay or straight. It's anatomy. Why are y'all afraid of your anatomy?
Y'all's toxic masculinity will kill you all one day, you know that right? I mean, literally, kill you. Is it worth it to fit into some idiotic view of what 'manhood' is?
Speaking of idiotic views, there is one which has been bugging the fuck outta me recently and that is the idea that a woman cannot succeed on merit; there has to be some guy behind her that she's sleeping with/who's helping her for some reason. And it's bad enough that men have that view, but more than anything, it's other women who like to espouse this theory. Now Azealia Banks is crazy - like mentally ill crazy - but her views are echoed by many women. Nicki Minaj made it because of Safaree, Rihanna slept with everyone in the industry...

And then speaking of Rihanna, P!nk apparently got Eminem to collaborate with her by saying she might not be as hot as Rihanna but she's funnier. God forbid that Rihanna be hot, popular and funny too. Well too bad for you P!nk because Rihanna definitely funnier than you. I literally wanted to jump down her throat and not just cause Riri is my fave. I mean if we were to trade receipts here;  people who have said P!nk is funny versus people who have said Rihanna is funny...literally the only person I know who has said P!nk is funny, is P!nk. I can post on here several articles and interviews by various people including Oprah, saying how unexpectedly funny Rihanna is.
My point is that people like P!nk who are not conventionally considered to be pretty get this pass. They get to be considered to be intelligent and 'funny' or whatever. But god forbid you be pretty and intelligent at the same time. How many times have people said Rihanna can't sing, that she's a pawn in the wheel of the corporation; all evidence to the contrary? It's super fucking annoying.
Why are we those bitches.
Those 'why her and not me' bitches?
We need to learn to have more open hearts, to live in an attitude of abundance rather than that of scarcity. If I am successful it doesn't mean you can't be successful too. I saw this post on Instagram where this white woman, literally with no teeth and two young kids was saying there needs to be genocide - of people of color - so that her kids and other white kids can prosper.
First of all, these so-called white supremacists are kind of pathetic with their fear and their inadequacy. Of course, I personally don't have to live with their shit so it might be easier for me to look down on them. But this whole 'we must eliminate the competition' comes from a place of scarcity mentality. And this mentality keeps you a prisoner of fear.
Free your mind.
Let me allow Cardi B to tell you, she says it so much more elegantly...

So anyway, here's me doing my bit to make the world a more inclusive place by trying to normalize gayness in Kenya with a story.
Have you copped it yet.
It's vastly discounted on pre-order. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

How To Win Friends and Influence People - Introvert Edition

Did you see that Eminem freestyle? I woke up to J Cole notifying me that Eminem was a rap god so I had to go check it out.
Nah, can't say I was too impressed. I mean yeah he weaves and twists words like nobody's business and he definitely had passion...maybe it was the homeless look? I don't know. I love Eminem, I do, but I don't think that was his best work. Everyone was really hyped about it though. I mean I tune in to CNN and there's a panel discussing it. A whole entire panel set up to analyze the significance of what Eminem said. Even though he didn't say anything that people have not been saying for two years now. Maybe more.
What makes it suddenly significant because Eminem said it? Was it the 'line in the sand' comment? Is it because he's the first to tell his Trump supporter fans to step off? Has shit suddenly become real?
I don't know.
I am going to the Bishop's Dinner today in my local church to represent my small Christian community. It's depressing the fuck outta me.
Why don't people like to socialize these days? And I know it's not just me because I've seen countless memes about it on Instagram. I remember being young and being super excited about going anywhere. But these days...meh. Sometimes I'd rather just go hungry than go to the supermarket. And it's not an age thing because my son is equally blah about leaving the house. What happened to us? Why are we like this?
You know the humdinger of it all? There's food. As much as I would want to eat. Yet here I am thinking about developing a 'cough' so I don't have to go...
Supernatural season 13 is back today! Thirteen years on one show with two co-stars who have managed to get along for thirteen years without killing each other. Isn't that remarkable? Did you see the EW covers? The fanfic is writing itself. There's werewolf!Jared; damn, that boy is sexy when he's in beast mode:

And then there is, well...vampire!Jensen? Because he's preternaturally pretty; it's not even like he's a real person. He's like a...fae or some shit.
Anyways, that concludes the eye candy portion of this post.
I actually have some writing-related news and shit I want to share with you. I was rifling through my folders and came across some stories I did. I read them through and I swear to you, I can't even remember writing them, but I was like, damn girl, this is some good shit. Why is it sitting here instead of being out there for people to read?
Well other me replied, "Why I don't know. But aren't you supposed to be working?"
"Bleh. Work. Let's publish this."
So that's what I did.
Here are some stories for you to read on your lunch break if you, like me, do not like to make small talk. You can go get it on Amazon or iTunes or wherever - it's free, or just download it below. While you're there, if you haven't already, hit that pre-order button for In Search of Paradise.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

International Day of the Girl

I love every version of this song in existence. This morning I spent half an hour looking for my DVD of the BET Awards 2016 just so I could watch the Beyonce/Kendrick Lamar version (didn't find it though). There's just something about it that lifts the spirit and makes you wanna get up and do, right?
I have to admit though, I did not know some of these statistics. For the last seventeen years, most of my focus has been on the boy child.
It almost seems insurmountable, some of these goals, when I think about what everyday life is like. Girls are strong - the things they endure and still persist...smh. But I think we take that strength for granted sometimes. Like there's no breaking point. But there is, isn't there. We just so good at hiding it.
So what am I going to do with this info? I expect if I look around something'll come to me.
That HIV statistic though...twice as likely to get HIV. You know why that is? It's all about surface area. The membrane inside the vagina is very porous, let's things through pretty easy. For the penis, most of it is covered by skin except the tip. Not as wide a surface area for germs to get through. Also, when the man ejaculates into the woman, HIV is in his sperm. Women don't orgasm that often with men, some women never have, so, no ejaculate going the other way. Very likely when a woman infects a man with HIV it's because she has open wounds in her vagina.
That's why gay men tend to get HIV at a higher rate than straight men. The anus has, even more likelihood of having scratches and little wounds because it is not a self-lubricating passage and tends to get lacerations easier.
Okay, so this turned into a sex ed class.
Have I taught you something? Don't forget it.
And watch the video.
Also, don't forget that Book Launch for Charity is still live!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Heroes and Villains

Hey, it's hangover Tuesday no? The day after...not that I partied. My cramps put a cramp on that plan.
Pun intended.
And when I say party I mean go watch a movie. That's what we introverts do when we go wild - go to the ourselves. It's lit.
Frankly, I don't like to watch movies with a theatre full of pedestrians. Y'all are always chewing too loud, someone's phone will ring, someone else wants to pass back and forth every two minutes....Or someone's shouting at the screen. So uncivilized.

But if you go like in the middle of the week, in the afternoon when it's not a holiday, you can actually watch a movie in peace because they're like five guys in the whole theatre.
Speaking of empty theatres...
You remember when I said I'd make Ben and Anders dance? Well, the way the writing was set up, there was really no opportunity for gratuitous dancing. But I'm thinking I know where I can put it...and maybe even some movie theatre making out.
Yep. There could be one more revision.
I know I've given out some copies for review...I guess this doesn't make a huge difference to the verdict...right? Feel free to leave a comment if you think it will and you have a review copy.
I did treat myself to lunch. I went to this place where I'd once seen sangria on the menu. Thought I'd have some and toast to another year on this planet.
Well, guess what?
They didn't have any.

Luckily for me, I was having one of those days where nothing was going to bring me down. Not my cramps, not them not having sangria or how behind I was with work...I chose to be happy. Even bought a yellow belt to prove it. It went so well with my blue dress I can't even tell you. When I was going to catch the bus home, the conductor was like 'law school this way'. Like he thought I was a college student. What's not to be happy about?
Speaking of heroes and villains (were we?) I want to touch on this Harvey Weinstein situation. In my quest to be happy, I've been avoiding activist twitter because they also seem to be everything is wrong with the world twitter. But Harvey's been everywhere, and suddenly everyone has a sexual harassment story; not just to do with Harvey but with lesser Harveys in the entertainment biz.
Now, as someone who has seriously lived sexual harassment since I was eleven years old and my boobies started to grow, I must say that I am not impressed.
I'm not impressed with women who kept quiet about their sexual harassment because they 'didn't want to lose their jobs.'
I am not impressed with people who turned a blind eye for years suddenly being all 'shocked and horrified' by Harvey Weinstein.
In fact, the person I am most impressed by is Harvey himself who just basically gave a non-apology and continued living life until someone said they were going to fire him. Because you know what? He's not the devil. He's not the evil Harvey Weinstein.
It's just that this time, it was him who was caught.

And so everyone does what they do, they turn on him. They point fingers. They act like they haven't been complicit in his behavior for years.
Whatever your reasons, whatever you thought you would get out of it the fact is that you probably watched, laughed, said, "that Harvey, what a pistol!" slapped each other on the back and life went on. And if he touched you inappropriately, for sure you let him. No one is making rape allegations after all. But now that it's news, it's a whole different ballgame.
"I am shocked and saddened."
No, you aren't. You're covering your ass.
It's a culture and it permeates every society. But then when a spotlight gets shone on one person suddenly everyone's acting brand new.

I remember once when I actually was a college student, I was out with these three guys at the club, one of whom was my boyfriend. So this random dude kept passing by my chair and touching me inappropriately. I didn't know what to do about it so I told my boyfriend. He went and whispered something in the guy's ear and the guy apologized.
To him.
The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt diminished to an object. An object that belonged to a guy and therefore if someone else touches it, he needs to apologize to the owner of the object. I think if that happened now, I'd just punch that guy in the stomach real hard and call it a day. And if he wants to take it outside, hell, let's take it outside.
I'm seriously crazy these days.
Motherhood will do that to ya.

Harvey Weinstein was on Entourage, you remember? He offered to buy Medellin from Vincent Chase and the boys when it bombed. That's the image I have of him in my head. And for sure with the benefit of distance, and through the lens of Entourage, you can see how sexist Hollywood is for sure. David Schwimmer as himself wanting the female agent from Ari Gold's firm to go to lunch with him because 'he wanted to fuck her.' I don't know if she would have had to fuck him but I do know that she threatened to sue Ari's firm for sexual harassment if they fired her for having an affair with her boss. And they backed down.

Where are the sexual harassment lawsuits filed against Harvey? Nobody? Okay then.
I'm not saying what Harvey did was right. Hell to the no. But these are the men we raise. We raise them to see us as objects, as commodities and then turn around and cry victim when they treat us as such.
I'm talking to you mothers. When you talk down about the girls your sons bring home. Commodify them, then you teach your sons that a woman is good for nothing but 'mothering' him. If she can't cook for him, clean up after him, she's useless. When fathers high five their sons for having more than one girlfriend. Encourage them to 'sow their wild oats', talk about 'wife material' you are commodifying women. You are saying, if they do not possess these things, they're only good for...what? To be used. As objects.
We are all complicit.
and unless we start having different conversations then let's stop talking about 'shocked and saddened.'

An example; my son was telling me about this 'socialite' on Instagram 'everyone' follows. She had 50k followers and apparently because of that, the consensus among him and his friends was that she was a slut. That she slept her way to 50k followers.
So at this stage, truthfully, if this was your kid who said this what would you do?
Let me make some predictions: the "Christians" among you would have said that your kid should stay away from her or pray for her or some combination of the same nonsense. yes?
Pretty sure some so-called fathers would have asked for her IG @ so they could follow her and slide in her DMs.
(she's 17 by the way).
Others would have just dismissed the story right?
Well, and I am not trying to say I'm the paragon of virtue here, but I am.
I asked him to put himself in her shoes. I don't know this girl but I've been bullied. And what these boys are doing is bullying. So this girl goes to school right? She's in boarding school. but somehow in the short time that holidays are, she has found time to sleep with 50k people? These boys who say she's a slut, do any of them know her personally? Tell me, Chris, I said, what if it was you being called names because you'd achieved something others can't? And people called you names for it? People who don't know you? Don't know your life? All they see are pretty pictures and decide things about you from those pics. Would you like it?

Now my son is a soft-hearted lil' puppy beneath that cold exterior and I could see that he was sorry about the whole thing. But he's just one and for sure he might be the only one I personally can save. But at least I can make sure the girls he comes across are treated like human beings instead of objects.
Ugh, enough pontificating.
Book Launch for Charity is still live!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Birthday Post - Outtake

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to,
cry if I want to,
cry if I want to.
I feel like crying right now because it feels like a shiv is stabbing my abdomen continuously. Ah, the joys of womanhood.

It's my birthday today; I'm turning very old. But I don't look it so it's cool. This year, my birthday is all about giving, so I'm gonna give you something and you can pay it forward by pre-ordering the book; you know by now that the proceeds go to charity. 
What I'm gonna give you, is...a story. Since it's what I allegedly do best. The little story Imma tell you is a snapshot of Ben's life. This snapshot is not in the book, but when you do read the story you'll be able to guess the 'when' it occurs in Ben's life.

Even If You Win, You Lose

Ben lay prone on the grass, blinking up at the Nairobi blue sky, breathing hard. That game had been brutal. His cousins might be young but they were all little savages; more difficult opponents than any rugby team he'd ever faced. He could hear his father and uncle laughing uproariously from the verandah as they sipped their Guinness and boasted about the latest achievements of their children.

"Sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt," he murmured softly to himself, not exactly singing.
He turned his head a bit as he heard her laughing. 
Esther Onyango.
She was very pretty with her long curly hair tied neatly in a knot at the back of her head, a precise part at the front showing her brown skull in a small neat line. Her lips were shiny with lip gloss, and her slightly slanted eyes outlined with black eyeliner. She looked very carefully put together with her shiny blue nails peeping from her open-toed heels, her white pleather skirt - so not suitable for this weather - not too short, and just clingy enough to let you know she was shapely without being too ratchet about it.
She kept darting glances at him, tiny smiles and secret looks like they were in on a joke together. They weren't. 
He wasn't ready for this.
He'd thought he still had a few years - to 'sow his wild oats' - before his father declared that it was time to settle down and pass on the family name to a new generation. 
Then Fidel Onyango and his wife and daughter came to town. 
Fidel and Ben's dad were old school pals from Alliance boys. Fidel had gotten a scholarship to study in England, where he'd met his British Jamaican bride and sooner rather than later; along came Esther and her sister.
And now Mr. Onyango had managed to convince Ben's dad that he and Esther would be a match made in heaven. Hence this little get together.
His mother and father could not force him to do this.
No, nor would they if they could.
What they could do, was look at him with disappointed eyes if he didn't get with the program. Left unsaid would be the albatross he'd been dragging around with him for the last six years, "Your brother would have never done this."
Alex Ojamong had been the perfect big brother, the perfect son, a great friend, a good guy; bright, going places, funny, friendly...Ben looked up to him and wanted to be just like him. His father knew that his legacy was in good hands. Until one random Wednesday night, he and his friends were driving home from Rock Night at the Carnivore when a drunk driver ended all those dreams.
It was a shock to Ben. 
One minute, he had a big brother. The next, he was gone. He was just turned fourteen years old at the time. A difficult age, one made more so by the upheaval his brother's death caused. His father was never the same, and his mother got sick.
Diabetes they said.
Ben felt like it was his duty to keep the family together. To be the perfect son so his parents didn't have to worry about him.He was the consolation prize and he knew it; it was his job to try - and fail - to fit his brother's shoes. 
So he could not tell his father that, pretty as she was, he had no interest in Esther Onyango. What he could do was get up, paste a smile on his face, and go and speak to her.
Feedback is love.
In Search of Paradise available for pre-order here.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Character Analysis - Zawadi from In Search of Paradise

Is it too early for this? Probably right? I should wait until you've read the book shouldn't I? Okay, I'm gonna wait because I'm reasonable like that. What I will do is share an Instagram post with you which gives a little sneak peek at Zawadi Akasha, badass motherfucker, sister, daughter, friend.
She's one of the strongest characters I've ever written and all my women are strong. She's in this peculiar place where she's the last born child but also the first-born girl. So of course, nobody expects that her brother will 'look after' her. Nope.
TIA man, TIA.
The girl learns to cook fast, by the time she's twelve she should have the basic meals down.  Meanwhile, the boy child - Anders - can fuck around forever if he wants to. most households anyway. In mine, my son could also cook the basics by the time he was twelve.
Well anyways, apart from being 'the girl child' Zawadi is also the only one who knows her brother's big secret.
*whispers* that he's gay.
Today I was reading a post on the NGLHRC facebook page where a young gay man was beaten, robbed and blackmailed after meeting with someone from an app called hornet. They were asking people to be more careful about who they meet and make sure they aren't alone.
It's very sad I know, he was robbed; but also very interesting.
I didn't know there was a local version of Grindr.
Well, I suppose there has to be when you can't just go up to someone and say, "Hey, how you doing?"
This post is a lot longer than I planned.
Okay so help out NGLHRC to get such word out, you could be saving lives. All In Search of Paradise preorder proceeds will be donated to them so don't forget to pre-order today. Also in case you need further motivation, the price goes up after the pre-order period is done. So...up to you.
Here's the post.

Thursday, 5 October 2017


Have you ever had a book launch give you mood swings until it feels like maybe you're undergoing menopause? No? Just me then?
Today I woke up feeling like everything I ever wrote is trash. Have you ever felt like that? It all began when I checked my texts and saw this book club was discussing reading and reviewing In Search of Paradise. One of my literati members is a member of that group so they'd brought it up. And it seemed like people were up for it, and enthusiastic - kind of- about reviewing and even referring me to other reviewers...all very positive right? Well yes, it was, but somehow it just made me doubt every single word I wrote like, "Oh God, what are these strangers gonna think of me?"

This is not me.
You can ask my son and he'll tell you, "Mummy ain't scared of nothin'" - hopefully in grammatically correct English.
Ask anyone who has known me for like five minutes. I am truly one of those people who just doesn't give a fuck about other people's opinions. But here I am, second-guessing myself, wanting to find another profession, eating chocolate for breakfast...okay maybe I'd have done that last one anyway. The point is, I'm all discombobulated.
Over a book.
Maybe this is it; menopause is here.
Or I'm just a self-absorbed dickhead. One or the other.
It's freaking me out going from being Kanye to...I don't know, somebody who doubts themselves.

Maybe it's stepping out of my comfort zone? Probably. You think this is how Colin Kaepernick felt - and I am in no way comparing myself to him; he's my hero - when he decided to take a knee? Just hooo, okay here goes nothing. But expecting criticism and whatever from the masses and just letting it roll over him and still, do what he thought was right?
I mean this isn't that serious I guess but it's a problem. It's a problem in this society and many people would look at this couple and start quoting bible scripture at me. That's okay. What I fear most is that maybe I took this bit of culture and didn't' do a good job representing it. It's a responsibility and maybe I failed. Or that's how I feel today.
Well anyway, there's one cure for self-absorption and that's looking outside yourself and turning your attention to someone or something else. Another member of my literati squad wrote a blog post today about the origin of Jaluos. My beta reader, Ben, who is American told me that I need to include a glossary in my book for my non-Kenyan readers so they can understand all the very Kenyan references. Well, I didn't do a glossary but I did do footnotes. However, there are always blanks to fill and if you wanna know more about Ben's Jaluoness, read this article. Curiously it also talks about not letting our origins define us....serendipity perhaps?

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Book, Relationships and Launches

Today I woke up feeling gratitude.
You've heard of The Secret right? Thoughts become things and other stories? Well it's true, they do, but thinking can be bloody exhausting sometimes. Especially first thing in the morning.
Most mornings when I wake up I couldn't be arsed about having an attitude of gratitude; I just want to go straight to 'okay, what problems do I have today?'
But today! Today was different.

I woke up grateful that I went to sleep late but still got up early.
Grateful that water came.
Grateful that I had this absolutely big protein-rich breakfast followed by gym and a swim. I felt like I was doing my body right.
And very grateful that Doctor Oz declared that dark chocolate is good for you, because now that cube of Wholenut I eat every day just moved from the self-indulgent to the self-care column. I mean, if you can't be grateful for that, what can you be grateful for?
I'm also thankful to Kat (not Elissa) who had me sorted in fifteen minutes yesterday, thus ensuring that I did not have to delay....drumrollll

The Book Launch for Charity!

In Search of Paradise is now available for pre-order wherever e-books are sold! I'm so nervous about this, yet excited. Why nervous you ask? Well, this is a new space I'm venturing into, a stranger in a strange land. And yet not really.
Because the core of the book is relationships. And I think nobody is a stranger to those. 
Allow me to digress.
Or not really.
This week, Amber Rose held her annual SlutWalk. Now I'm really not sure what the message of the slutwalk is...but I think it's something to do with rape culture. I saw that it began when some policeman in 2011 said, "Well if you don't want to be raped, don't dress like a slut."
I grew up in the eighties and nineties when social media involved actually going out and socializing. Now because I didn't have access to everyone's every thought, I grew up thinking that everyone had the same views about certain things. Like there was a 'right' choice and a 'wrong' one. (These days that has been converted into the 'left' and the 'right' ironically). 
So in my mind, growing up there was no option for justifying rape. There was no scenario in which you could excuse a rapist because, oh, reasons. I thought everyone held that view until social media taught me different. There is apparently justification for anything; rape, murder, slavery...There is nothing which is 'wrong' anymore.
So okay, moral compasses are a thing of the past. How then to negotiate through life in the present? In this life where pastors sit on gold couches and their congregants kiss their shoes (true story). In this world where presidents are children playing their game of thrones with no shame or any indication of self-awareness;  not a smidgeon of leadership skills. And this applies to every leader apart from Angela Merkel. 
So in this quagmire called life, what can you do as an individual to restore sanity to your life? What can I do?
Well, I'm a writer so I can write.
Back to Amber Rose: she holds this slut walk yearly and this year, her boyfriend 21 Savage came out to support his boo. In my book, that earned him a seat at the adult table with Hov, Kanye and John Legend (see my post labeled Pearls of Wisdom...or Not). But to the internet, this was something to make fun of him about.
It made me sad...for the internet. Poor souls have no clue what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. Or else they're jealous because Amber Rose, known slut or whatever, has a man who is there for her, who shows up for her, who supports her in her endeavors. And they can't get a text back.
Anders and Ben, my heroes in In Search of Paradise,  go through something like that. They attempt to find a definition for their relationship when living in a world where you can't just go home and say, "Dad, this is my boyfriend." if you're a guy. So how do you negotiate the different relationships that you have as a person, and still stay true to who you are? It's a difficult question and I'm sure a lot of people in our community are living it every day. Can you relate?
After you've read the book, please come back and let me know.
Follow the #booklaunchforcharity events here. Or follow the hashtag #booklaunchforcharity and #readforacause on social media. I also intend to do some mad blogging this month so pray for me.
And go on, hit that pre-order button. You know the price will go up once Nov. 3rd arrives. Don't be caught with your dick in your hand - figuratively speaking of course.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

When Shit Happens

My publisher is stressing the fuck out of me.
I have heartburn.
I hate waiting for feedback; it sucks balls. Especially when it's causing a delay I can do nothing about.
So I'm sitting here, tapping my heels, waiting for Pronoun to sort themselves out, wondering if I should postpone the release date, wondering if I should tell you about it, getting heartburn.
But I did promise didn't I? I promised to tell you what it's really like in this here publishing streets and so I gotta tell you, I'm stressed the fuck out waiting for Elissa to email me and tell me that I'm sorted.
She's late, they're supposed to answer within 48 hours.
48 hours have passed.
So I'm supposed to launch today and I can't because I'm not ready.
Pray for my stomach lining.

Monday, 2 October 2017

The First of Its Name

I'm no good at introducing my books. When anyone asks me what my books are about, I always feel like slapping a kindle into their hands and saying, "Read it and see."
I try to think if anyone ever gave me a treatise on a book before I picked it up and I gotta say, no they didn't. Usually, I just pick up a book, read the blurb, read the first few pages and if they look likely that's it.
Or not.

So I'm not going to give you a treatise on In Search of Paradise, the first of book of its do I know that, you ask? Well, in the process of submitting it for publishing, there is a step where you choose the category your book belongs to right? So I looked for "African, gay", also "African postapocalyptic"...
Guess what?
Those categories don't exist.
The closest I got was African American gay romance.
Why do you think that is? Well, of course, it's mostly the denial that gay Africans exist, I know that for a fact. Even my family, which is the most chill in existence has given me the massive side-eye over this project.
My sister put it this way, "Annemarie is writing gay porn now." huge sigh. What are we going to do with her?
Of course at this point eliciting that reaction is a way of life for me so...

Well, gay Africans do exist, gay Kenyans are out here trying to hustle just like the rest of us, and that's where the national gay and lesbian human rights commission comes in. I'll let them say it in their own words:

Founded by six young legal advocates, The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) announced its foundation at its inaugural Gay and Lesbian Awards in December 2012. Held in Nairobi’s City Hall, the Awards affirmed the Kenyanness of the LGBTIQ community while demanding for their inclusion in public and social organizing spaces. Since then, NGLHRC has been encouraging diversity and agitating for public dialogue on sex, sexuality, gender, and nonconformity.
Since 2013, we have been the go-to organization for LGBTIQ legal aid, including security response. We provide a greatly needed national legal aid response mechanism to help prevent and respond to discrimination on account of real or presumed sexual orientation or gender identity. We also engage in civic and public education on LGBTIQ identity, needs, and rights as we push for the full inclusion of LGBTIQ individuals and communities in Kenyan society. Through unique partnerships, targeted trainings and a responsive staff, NGLHRC’s services and resources are available to LGBTIQ individuals wherever they may be; in every city, town, rural area, and county in Kenya.

When I began to write this book, I didn't have any lofty ambitions in mind. It was a story, it came to me, it wanted to be written. LGBTQIA is not really my space - except in the laziest of terms, where I could probably be described as an ally, maybe. But I thought that since I have appropriated their culture for my book, it's only fair that they reap some of the benefits. That's why I decided to give all preorder proceeds to the NGLHRC to help in my own very small teeny tiny way to make it easier to be gay in Africa. That way, it won't take the goddamned apocalypse for people to come out of the closet.
Damn, is that a spoiler?
I think that's a spoiler.
Oh well.
 Speaking of the apocalypse, I wake up every day and the events I'm describing as fiction in my book seem about to happen in real time. You guys, I'm not ready to live in the Walking Dead. Can we all chill? Mother nature included.
What the fuck is happening though you guys?
Anyways, here is an excerpt from In Search of Paradise, read it, enjoy, go preorder the book, it's available from tomorrow.