Keep an Open Mind: Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence is a book ahead of its time that is notoriously known for its erotic scenes. I approached it from this angle. But I was quickly reminded to avoid making judgements about something or someone without full knowledge about them, when I realised that the book addresses other important themes, such as love, industrialization, etc.
Say No to Evil: Do not turn a blind eye to evil. Choose your weapon (mine is a pen) and join forces against evil. Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book by Charles French reminded me that evil often targets the weak and the innocent, and those with power or have a voice should speak up.
Listen: When I say I thirst for stories (poetry) from Africa, I mean I want to hear about current affairs from the continent’s contemporary writers. Stories from the Sun by Nametso Phonchi, a poetry anthology took me to Gaborone and Johannesburg, where ‘streets are coloured with anguish’. This another reason I love poetry, it forces me to really listen.
Your Story Matters: Somewhere in the process of writing, doubt asserts itself and derails a writer from their writing journey. An anthology of personal essays, Daddy edited by K.E. Garland served as a much needed reminder that every story matters because it might just be what one person or reader wants to hear.
Be Bold: Women have long been shamed into keeping quiet about their dreams or success. This happens in The Muse by Jessie Button as well, where Olive and Odelle go into great lengths in concealing the real artist, whose talent deserved to be acknowledged and celebrated.
What if Olive had been bold and claimed her success? It would have surely inspired other girls and women in her era. So yes, let’s be bold. But remember bold doesn’t mean being boisterous but rather saying what you want to say.
The Muse happens to be my favourite from this summer’s reading list. It started slow. But when I finally matched its pace, I was mesmerised by the beautiful and lyrical language, and the story that spans over centuries. And the characters…compelling! If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.
And that folks is a wrap. Thanks to all my enthusiastic writerly friends, who took up this challenge and read with me. It was a great, informative and most inspiring exercise.