Bitter Honey – The Series.

Bitter Honey

About four years ago, I started a blog series titled Bitter Honey. It has been pressing on my heart to continue writing this series, and I’ll do that in the next few weeks. Until then, I’ve been reading through the past 17 episodes and I have had a good time doing that. If you haven’t read the story yet, follow this link!  Continue reading “Bitter Honey – The Series.”

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BOOK REVIEW: Everything, Everything

 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

Warning: I WILL spoil it for you, so if you intend to read the book or watch the movie, don’t finish reading this blog post! (That’s not true… I tried for you – finish reading!)

I saw the movie trailer on my Facebook timeline on Wednesday. I loved it. I saw it again on Thursday, and I realized I had to get the book and read it. There’s no way I was waiting till May 11th to know the details of that story. By Thursday evening, I had obtained the book through a friend (God bless you, Daniel Obiri) and I had started reading it. On Friday, I got distracted at work and couldn’t get through the entire book. But by 12 today, I was done reading. I loved it.

What. A. Story!

I NEVER imagined the storyline would turnout the way it did, and I was thrilled by it. I don’t know what’s wrong with these writers that always get us wishing we were living IN the book, but love them for it, and I hate that I do!

MY GOODNESS… SUCH a story!

First of all, Everything, Everything has pulled very hard on my heart strings because it’s a depiction of what I thought my life was – but maybe the very extreme case. Madeline (the main character) is diagnosed with a disease that makes her allergic to the world, and has NEVER been outside in her life (as far back as she can remember). Her disease is a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), and her mother is a doctor, so she’s pretty knowledgeable about what is good for her daughter and what’s not. So, she’s kept Madeline indoors all her life, in a home that has air filters and basically a lot of mechanisms that make the environment germ-free for Madeline.

This story is a love story. Maybe I’m in love with this book because of the hopeless romantic I am, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It breaks my heart to have to spoil it for you, (and trust me, I’m trying to figure out a way to write this review without actually spoiling it for you) but it seems I just have to do it.

The first thing I love about this book is, it suggests answers to a lot of questions I’ve had in my mind about life in general. The second thing is how readable the book is, almost lighthearted (if the content wasn’t a little morbid). Inasmuch as I’m convinced that I’m obsessed with this book, there were a couple of parts that didn’t add up. Especially in the last few chapters of the book.

Here’s the part of the storyline that is basic:

Madeline meets boy- Olly.

Madeline and Olly fall in love.

But…

Madeline and Olly can never be together,

because Madeline can never leave her house,

and not just anyone can come in to visit her.

But there’s a twist to it – you can find out for yourself.

One underlying idea in the book is:  the cause and effect of things. In the story, Madeline is basically the love of her mother’s life – and all she (her mother) wants is to protect Madeline and keep her safe. Madeline’s solitary lifestyle afforded her the opportunity to read so much, and think so much, and have so many questions about life, that she discusses with Olly. They have very interesting viewpoints that I enjoyed reading about.

For the most part, I think Madeline has a death-wish and a mind clouded by hormones. Eventually, I realize that the troublesome thing called hope – and an even more unpredictable thing called love is something no filter/cage/barrier can hinder.

When I got to the last page of the book, I found myself screaming, “Noooo!” I have so many questions, very few answers! I would really love to know what happened to them, and whether or not it was a heartbreak situation or a happy ever after kind of thing.

Some of the questions I have:

  1. How guaranteed are protective bubbles?
  2. Are all parents terrified of what the world can do to their children?
  3. Do all parents really NOT have the parenting thing figured out?
  4. Would I have turned out different, if my parent’s had made certain choices in the past?
  5. Will I be tragically redirecting the lives of my children with the choices I make?
  6. How much do I allow love to affect my decisions?
  7. Do parents sometimes over-do because of immense love for their children?
  8. Will these questions ever get answers?

You should get the book and read it too. You may not like how it ended, (I didn’t) but oh well.

There A LOT more to this post than I am at liberty to share, but when the movie comes out, hopefully my thoughts will be more structured and cohesive.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pen to Paper

So when someone asks me “why do you write”, the first thing that rolls off my tongue is; “that’s what comes easier to me” or “I enjoy writing” or “I’m good at it” … But that’s not always true. Most of the time, I’m only 30% confident about the things I write and the process isn’t always as easy as I wish it would be… I say it anyway (let’s call it a form of wishful thinking).

I’ve been thinking long and hard about why I write. Since I graduated from university, I have been haunted by a quote the class speaker made in his speech. It was very simple – light, even. You could’ve easily missed it if it didn’t matter to you and it said:

“If you dream of becoming a writer,

do not be afraid to put pen to paper”

-Festus Emmanuel Jartu

After months of long hard thinking, I had the opportunity to attend Kpodola’s writing workshop and I learnt that I should write for myself (summary). For some reason, this lesson reminded me of the graduation speech quote and I’m glad it did.

I write because there is a voice that needs to be heard.

There is something to be said about every situation and it helps to have it said / written. A lot of times, I find my mind drifting off into imaginary scenarios and how I would feel if that scenario was my reality. Based on that, I tend to write a poem or put down some thoughts. In spite of the very active imagination I have, I enjoy self-reflective moments where I am able to assess myself and some decisions I make and speak about it.

What I have come to understand is, there are a lot of people who may be in similar situations and will feel stuck – or helpless. If ever anyone ‘in a situation’ needs to hear a voice of reason – or a voice they can identify with, I write to be just that. It makes me feel better, knowing I’m helping someone out.

I’ve been through a lot of situations where I had wished to speak to someone who had been through the same thing before – and had found none. Maybe, they hadn’t made themselves available to be found? I don’t know, but I know there are very few things that are worse than being alone.

It is important to be a source of light and a vessel of truth in a world that is turning darker by the day… Many people have learnt so much for themselves and that’s good – but there should be a way you share those lessons with others and we should all be ready do that.  The internet and social media has made that possible. You don’t have to write blog posts, but at least put more edification in the system as opposed to the excessive rubbish we encounter – it may help in so many ways, and more than you can imagine.

I write to be a voice that can be found when needed… even if – especially if it is my voice that went missing.

 

Caged

Some situations  force you to act differently. Sometimes that’s the best thing for you,

even if it brings out “the worst” in you.

***

It was the first of many to come-

Finding myself where i don’t want to be,

doing what i don’t want to do,

being less than what is expected…

It was the start of a long journey of repetitive…

and I had no clue.

I was stuck –  a little bird who just wants to be free.

Instead, frozen in place at stages she couldn’t escape.

when a prisoner is motionless without a choice…

locked in, and robbed of her own voice…

she always finds a way to survive –

in retrospect, its what has kept this bird alive.

Woman

sometimes i speak to myself. sometimes it helps.

Woman.

I see all that you are

And all that you are scared to be.

I see where you are from

and how it haunts and cripples you.

Woman.

There is more to you.

I see you and all that you can be,

all that you want to be.

Woman.

Take a look.

I pray you see it too.

Sun, set on me…

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The Sunset is beautiful, it reflects my hue.

The sunset is beautiful, I am too.

The sunset is beautiful, but I’d rather look away.

I’ll do to it what you do to me everyday.

I could wrap myself up and tear me to shreds…

instead, i’ll savour what’s left and shelve my fears.

my imperfections are glass and their shards cut deep

but i’m golden like the sun

even when I shed purple tears…

Caption This… or not… whichever you like… :)

So my cousin and I did this thing on Instagram a while back; he posted a couple of art pieces and I  captioned them with a bunch of rhyming words 😂. It was fun.

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Thunder my heart and thunder my storm.

Thunder my veins they bleed purple venom.

Feeling the sunshine and the rain, I’d probably relive it over and over again.

I’d love to tell the lie.

Rather, I’ll rattle the palm leaves and hope they die.

 

You could take a swing at giving your own caption to this image in the comment below.