Game of Thrones: Predictions for Season 7

(Might contain spoilers)
Wow.
Wasn’t that something? The sixth season of Game of Thrones certainly delivered on: style, gore,twists and great entertainment.
One wonders what can possibly follow to trump that. (Trump trumped. Now I can’t wait to tweet that.)

Here are my hackneyed predictions about what is coming (winter of course) and how I think some things will play out.

1. Cersie is fried.
She is the last loose link in the battle for a united front against the Night King.
She has no friends, no allies(mountains and mad maesters don’t count) and a multitude of enemies:Tyrion,Danearys,Grandma Tyrell, Sandsnakes, The North led by house Stark, even the citizens of Kings Landing itself.
It is time for last part of her prophecy to be fulfilled. I can even see Tyrion’s smiling face as he twists the blade.

2. Lord Baelish is going to sell out the North.
Or at the very least do something terrible to Sansa. The look on his face in that last scene of theirs says it all:I will get you Sansa Stark and you will pay for killing my dream.
Side note: I don’t know what that guy drinks but I would love to have a sip of it.
Horned animals get meeting snail self follow come.

3 . Yara Greyjoy will die too.
Soon. Before she ever gets to sit on the throne. Maybe by the hand of her uncle. Maybe slain in battle. But those hoping for a Lesbian romance between the Iron Island queen and the queen of the seven kingdoms will have to construct that bit of fan fiction themselves. Hey, I might even read it.

That’s all for now.
What are your predictions?
What have you seen in the fires?
Please share in the comments.

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How Stories Come

Some stories come mutilated
an arm a toe a lip
Some, premature,
You spend months
willing them to live,
Some broken
twisted,
damaged somewhere
beyond the eye
Some stories come fully formed

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Every palm print
eyelash
toe nail
mole
in place
Ready to look Fate in the face
Welcome praise
or suffer disgrace
Each no more precious than the other
yet a half formed story makes me shudder

The Hangman’s Dream 1

 

 

 

I was looking for the best spot to hang myself when Alex called. She wanted to know if I could manage working as a driver with a local government chairman. I almost laughed. I would have grabbed any job: feeding pigs, washing corpses, packing shit, anything. Seven long, hard unemployed years had robbed me of all the pride, choice and hope I ever had. All I wanted was to end it; purge the world of my parasitic self, make myself more useful as fly food and manure. Then Alex called.

The interview was the next day and I didn’t have anything to wear. All my clothes were at least eight years old and most looked eighteen. The interview was meant to be just a formality but I couldn’t go looking like a loser. Alex had worked that out. She brought me a new jacket and a pair of black jeans.

“Hon Sam can be picky, so you want to put your best foot forward. Smile when you talk. Try to maintain eye contact. And for grief’s sake stop grinding your teeth!” She said rolling her eyes. I blinked away tears and tried to swallow the pebble in my throat. I was still looking for the words to thank her when she drove away.

The jacket fit perfectly but the jeans were loose at the waist. A sad smile flitted across my face; she was shopping for the old me. The one that played football, weighed 90kg and dreamt of owning a hotel chain not the underweight shell I had become. I looked into the mirror and a wave of panic hit me. What if Hon. Sam didn’t like me? What if he changed his mind? What if this was just another can of dashed hope? My blood froze at the thought. I couldn’t –wouldn’t imagine what that would be like. Before I left the house, I put the rope in my pocket and switched off my phone. If this was another of Fate’s twisted jokes, I didn’t want to be unprepared.

I left my house three hours to the interview but with unexpected traffic and a sudden rainstorm I found myself racing against time. To make it to Hon Sam’s house, I ran the last hundred meters under a relentless drizzle. His compound was massive, the size of three football fields. Its ten feet high, barb wire capped concrete walls loomed ahead of me. A kennel of dogs barked as I approached and a stone faced policeman looked me over before letting me in. I clenched my teeth to stop myself from shivering and tried to relax. I was cold, wet and scared.
A smiling young man led me to an outdoor bar to wait. We passed rows of cars in black covers. Part of me wondered which one I would drive, a Lexus? A Mercedes? A Porsche? The other part snickered: get the job first. Dreamer.

The young man gave me a seat at the bar and asked me what I wanted to drink. I wanted black tea, in a giant mug, served hot with plenty of sugar and cream but I smiled and said I was fine, while I struggled not to grind my teeth.

Loving Farouk

“Dee, what do you think? Isn’t she beautiful?”

I looked up from my book and took Farouk’s phone with a slight smile. I already knew what I was going to see: some slender size 2 beauty with large luminous eyes,  and reflective fair skin. Farouk had a type. A slim, light-skinned, large eyed, type; that somehow never liked him as much as he liked her or somehow couldn’t keep his interest as longer than a month.

That I understood.  That I was glad about. As long as Farouk didn’t find anyone that kept his attention, as long as it was just a shallow physical attraction I had a chance.

A slim, stunted, gnarled chance but a chance still.

As I looked at the phone I realised that my chance was about to vapourise. I was about to lose Farouk for good unless I did something.
The problem was: I had no idea what to do.

“She is gorgeous.” I heard myself say. And it was true. The lady in the selfie couldn’t be more than 22. She was a dark shade of chocolate, curvy and her small eyes twinkled behind her cute glasses.

On cue my inner alarm rang. This wasn’t gorgeous. This was gorgeous trouble. Farouk was breaking from the mold–that meant he had found something. Something special.

With a wider smile I handed the phone back. “So what’s her name?”

“Her name is Zukaida,” he replied, “I hope to goodness that she is the one.”

The drive back from class was a quiet one. Farouk hummed along to some Yanni playing in the car while I stared into the darkness and tried to imagine life without him.

We had been classmates for just a year but it felt like we had known ourselves for a lifetime. We had so much in common: a love for cats, an interest in chunky novels,an aversion for onions, an addiction to chocolate cake.

Being around him was like being hooked to a giant cylinder of joy but now my tubes were about to be pulled.

I knew he didn’t feel the same way but that didn’t stop me from hoping or at worst enjoying what I had while it lasted.
Now all that was coming to an end.

He drove to my doorstep and waited for me to alight.  I stayed in the cat staring into the night then I turned, closed my eyes and kissed him on the lips.

He froze.
I opened my eyes and I knew I had made a mistake. His eyes were open and in them I saw shock, pain, disbelief and something uglier–pity.

I pulled away and dashed out of the car and into my house. Shame swallowed me whole. I was still sobbing when sleep came.

The next five days passed in a whirl. I avoided Farouk and braced myself for whatever was coming next. An engagement party. A wedding announcement.  A baby shower.

A week later I was making my way to the taxi park when someone grabbed my arm.
“Dee, we need to talk.”
My belly flipped and cold sweat trickled down my back.  Could it be? Was he going to say he felt the same way? Were the feelings mutual? Was love going to have a chance?

Of course not.
He wanted me to know that he understood how I felt and while he couldn’t consider us being more than friends he still respected me as a friend. Still wanted our friendship to continue. He recounted the great times we’d had together. He was till talking when I walked away.

I couldn’t bear to hear anymore.  I was a drift on a sea of needles and all of them pricked at once. I needed to get away, as far
away from him as possible.

I must have walked past the car park and on to the main road but I can’t remember that.

All I remember is the screeching  of tyres as the bus driver tried in vain to dodge me and the blissful darkness that followed.

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Hungry Lover

I
want to hug you so close
you meld in me,
Swallow you whole.
So I never have to
miss you anymore
I want to breathe you in
And exhale
Bliss
Joy
Contentment.

I never want to ache
From need,
Pant from thirst
Long for you near me again.

But I must.

So come,
Let me stamp your essence
on my soul,
Draw you close
and in that moment be made whole.

Courtesy Google images

6 Things You Need To Know If Farafina Didn’t Take You.

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It is that time of the year again. The time when a new flock of celebrity writer hopefuls are invited for the prestigious Farafina Writing Workshop. I have said my bit about the workshop (Google: Farafina Workshop Lottery) so I won’t say anything about the event now.

Now, I want to speak to those who applied and somehow didn’t get on the list of 24.
I have a word for you and this is it.

1. Rejection doesn’t exist

I know that sounds ludicrous but would like you to think about it. If every entry the judges got was excellent and they chose solely by merit they would still have just 24 slots to fill.

That means that not being taken might not be a reflection ofyour talent or skill but just a question of feasibility.

Or maybe your writing sample on a gay romance fell into the hands of a homophobe.

Or the slush pile sorter had a Twitfight with you once.

Whatever it was, don’t take it personal. If you sent in your best work after writing 2-4 drafts, making all kinds of ammendments, passing it through 2 beta readers and an editor, then that’s all you can do. Rest. Don’t sweat it, it is out of your hands now.

2. Keep getting better

I can’t say this enough. Being a writer means writing.  Being a great writer means constantly improving.  If you let this break your heart and your will and mess with your dreams then the joke is on you.

But, I guarantee you, if you keep working on your craft, improving your art and building your publication credits, one day you will look back at this event with a smile.

You’d have graduated from attending workshops to hosting them.

3. Workshop not magic wand

Workshops are great. They can create space for you to look more critically at your work. They can make you more visible. They can even lead to being published.
But

Workshops are not magic wands.

They will not make up for the fact that you haven’t read anything this year but Tweets and Facebook posts.

They will not fix your grammar.

They won’t earn you a loyal, loving, vocal follower base that yearns to read your next release and make it viral.

They won’t sit your bum down to finish that wonderful book you’ve been planning to write for ten years.

A workshop is just a workshop.

You are the one with the magic wand.

Only this time the magic wand is work.

You have to do the work.
No workshop will do the work for you.

4 . The world is bigger than Farafina

Believe me, there are so many people and places out there that want to read your work. Especially if it is fresh, tight, polished, and finished.

Start small.

Write for your Facebook friends and get feedback.

Consider joining sites like Naija Stories.

Finish the works you have in progress.

Send your work to magazines blogs and journals.

Send some of your work to us. (we pay by the way).

Get a beta reader, get two beta readers.

Get an editor.

Mbue Imbolo, a Cameroonian, sold her debut novel for two million dollars and she has never been to a Farafina workshop.

Use the resources around you to find ways to be read. Don’t look down. Look up. Look around

5. Channel your pain

Okay.

It still hurts that you won’t be there to drink at the divine fount of literary genius.

You are still refreshing your email, ransacking your spam, drowning a pint, and nursing a pot of anger in your belly.

That is good.

It means you have fuel.  You have something inside you that can be channelled to create
more work,
better work,
stronger work.

Some of the best art comes from a place of pain.

Don’t waste your energy. Re-channel it.

6 . Try Again

Yup. Don’t give up. If being on the Farafina Shortlist is still important to you, then don’t give up.  Try again.  Try next year. And the next and …

Lol.

But even if you have sworn never to let them hurt you again then try again still.

Try at a different place.

Try having bigger writing dreams.

Try placing yourself on a strict daily/weekly writing schedule and being faithful to it.

Try setting writing goals for 2016.
2020.
2030.

Whatever you do, however you feel,

Don’t give up.

Don’t give in.

Don’t get bitter.

Get better.

Keep writing
Keep dreaming
Keep trying

Keep being the great writer you’re were born to be.